Here’s What You’ve Missed

If you haven’t been stopping by my new website, here is what you’ve been missing:

A video of Miss Melody giving Miles a bath

A post about Piggy’s Poop & the awesome Fiber Response Diet

A sad post because I still miss Harree

A reorganization of the website so it’s easier to follow

Disney Countdown Week 22

Disney Countdown Week 21

The Return of the Sim’s Completion Challenge

A post about Pokemon Go

and

A list of things I was nerding out about in August

You can now subscribe to RSS feeds (found on the sidebar of the site) so you can get updates! No email subscription yet (too pricey!)

I’m Moving! (This Blog)

I’m migrating this blog to a website, where it will join my other blog. While putting all my interests in one place (for those of you who follow all my stuff), it will also help separate out topics for those who only follow very particular interests. If you only want Disney stuff- there will be a page for that, just cats? different page.

Here’s some links:

Home of the new site

Cats page with a new post about Dixee

Sims page with a new post about the Bowling legacy

Disney page with the Week 32 update

Please let me know how I can improve the site, and if there are any features from over here that you miss/prefer. Thanks!

Countdown to Disney: 36 weeks

 

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I skipped a few weeks due to the craziness of starting a new job. However, new job means we can definitely afford to go to Disney in January! Woohoo! In celebration, Duffy got a new hoodie. He’s now ready for a day in the Animal Kingdom and riding Dinosaur!

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I did manage to make a countdown for Week #38, I just didn’t have time to write a post.

Plan for Dining

This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about dining…the next step in creating our general schedule. I’ll need to be ready to make my ADRs (advanced dining reservations) sometime in July, I believe. You can start making dining reservations 180 days before your trip.

I was torn between doing a quick service (Disney language for fast food) option for every meal, or if we wanted to do one table service meal per day. I’ve decided on a compromise: one table service meal per park! This will translate to roughly a table service meal every other day.

We are also going to allow one repeated restaurant (QS or TS) per park.

My primary focus is on table service since those are the ones that require the ADRs. One per park means I have four table service restaurants I need to decide on. We’ve already made some decisions:

  • Epcot- The Coral Reef: This will fill both a table service spot AND the repeat spot. We had a great experience at the Coral Reef last time. Despite my dislike of seafood, this ranked very high on both of our lists. The food was good, but the view, service and atmosphere were amazing. All of our quick service choices will be in the World Showcase.
  • Magic Kingdom- Skipper’s Canteen: Obviously! I’ve knew we were going to eat here since before this restaurant opened. It’s the new restaurant themed around the Jungle Cruise. Definitely a must-do for us. Our repeat at Magic Kingdom will be Be Our Guest.
  • Animal Kingdom- Still deciding!
  • Hollywood Studios- Our table service choice will be the 50’s Prime Time Cafe. Our repeat will be Starring Rolls- the sandwich we got was delicious and the perfect size to share.

New Guidebooks!

I used part of an Amazon gift card to order two Disney guides: The Imagineering Field Guide to Animal Kingdom and The Imagineering Field Guide Hollywood Studios. The guides are old, but they contain a lot of information about the thematic decisions behind a lot of the scenery/decorative choices, and trivia about the fun details.

Binder Updates

Upcoming Master To Do List

  • Try a new recipe
  • Find my unofficial guidebook
  • Start adding to the binder
  • Watch another movie
  • Work on the general schedule

Movie Updates

2 of 6!!

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We finally got to watch another movie! We went to the library and they had Big Hero 6 available. We loved it. It didn’t make me cry as much as other Pixar films, but it made me laugh out loud quite a few times. Baymax is adorable.

Resource of the Week

The Disney Food Blog!

WDW Virtual Visit

None- No time! I’ve watched a couple of live Facebook streams by Character Queen.

Question for the Readers

If you had to choose one restaurant per park, what would you pick?

Scenic Vistas!

Awhile back, I started a series of things I wanted to do after I moved to Virginia. One of the first places I listed was the scenic vistas on a near by highway. You can read my initial post here.

Every time I’d visit Jimmy down here, I’d drive by a couple of “scenic vista” stops on the highway. I was always in a rush to see my husband (and the cats), so I was never took the time to stop, but they remained high on my list of places I wanted to visit. This was for two reasons: 1) I was glad to be living in a place with topography again (no offense, northeast OH), and 2) I was grateful to be living in a place beautiful enough to have vistas.

Unlike my fellow New Englanders, when I was back in Cape Cod, I loved living in a place that attracted so many tourist. Tourists mean better shopping, more restaurants, and plenty of attractions to visit. Scenic Vistas are a good sign that an area might have some tourism, and I’m so happy to be living in a place like that again.

Now that life is starting to normalize, a bit. We finally had the opportunity to go check them out!

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Of course, Duffy came along. His life’s mission is to be in as many travel-related selfies as possible.

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How beautiful is my new home environment?

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The stops were pretty quick…not much to do besides look at the pretty mountains and take photos of Duffy. Still, I was very excited to be able to do something fun on a weekend with Jimmy (and Duffy). I look forward to more adventures very soon!

Countdown to Disney: 39 Weeks

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It’s been a crazy couple of weeks! We’ve been very busy, and overall it’s been pretty positive. More good things are starting to happen and we may be getting back on track. Unfortunately, my hectic schedule made the blog quiet for a couple weeks. Lucky for me, the countdown for last week would have ALSO been 40 thanks to the adjustment in our dates. So, I took advantage of that, and didn’t bother making a new countdown post. 😀

Activities for Week 39

General Schedule

I didn’t have much time to work on things this week, but I began coming up with the general scheduled of the trip:

disney schedule 1

I have the dates listed, the main activity (park) for each day, and the lands that will be the focus of that day. I have places to fill in lunch & dinner plans, snack ideas and any goals we want to accomplish on that day.

Binder Updates

Upcoming Master To Do List

  • Watch a movie (so close!)
  • Purchase another guidebook with an Amazon gift card I’ve saved since Christmas (I’ve decided which one, but just haven’t ordered it yet)
  • Try a new recipe
  • Find my unofficial guide
  • Start adding to the binder

Movie Updates

Still at 1 of 26…..SOON. I thought this week was going to be the week, but some important vehicle tasks are taking too long. Hoping we can finally have a day of relaxation soon.

Resource of the Week

I’ve mainly been listening to the WDW Radio podcast and the Dis Unplugged.

WDW Virtual Visit

None

Question for the Readers

What a Disney movie that you haven’t seen, but really want to?

Countdown to Disney: 40 Weeks?

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Activities for Week 40

Date Selection

In Week 47, I discuss in depth how I go about this process. So, if the below image doesn’t make sense, take a look at that first (also feel free to leave questions below).

Seven Options

WDW Prep School has released their crowd calendars for the early part of 2016. Now, they list low crowds for January 17th to February 2nd. However, earlier in the month they have it varying from low to heavy, with a lot of it being in the moderate zone.

This is actually super helpful. My first three scenarios based upon the Touring Plans crowd calendar are all during this time of fluctuating and potential heavy crowds, according to the WDW Prep calendar. The calendars, of course, are only educated guesses based on history, school calendars, events, etc… I don’t expect either of them to be perfectly accurate, so who knows who is correct for this period of time.

However, they both AGREE with my Options 4 through 7 as being the lowest crowds around that time of year. Therefore, we can safely kick out Options 1, 2 and 3.

Four Options

I made up a little table to represent my view of the remaining four:

final options

I scored the park arrangement on a scale of 1 to 3….1 point for okay, 2 for good, 3 for great. We had two average crowd scores…4.125 and 4.25. The 4.125 got 2 points, the others 1 point. I looked at the highest predicted experienced crowd level (so they highest we’d personally encounter) and assigned 1 or 2 points based on the answer (6 vs. 8). In the end, the results were pretty clear…Option #6 is my favorite option. My days at the Magic Kingdom are spread out, but it is my last day. All the other parks are nicely spread out (so if we get a string of bad weather, an illness, etc…). It has the lowest predicted average crowd levels for our likely schedule. And the maximum crowd level experienced is 6.

This means next week will also be week 40! My countdown was just an estimate, and now it’ll need to be updated.

 

Binder Updates

More section headings, this time for the Magic Kingdom! I found the fonts here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/235735361721118394/

Upcoming Master To Do List

  • Watch a movie (someday, someday)
  • Purchase another guidebook with an Amazon gift card I’ve saved since Christmas (I’ve decided which one, but just haven’t ordered it yet)
  • Try a new recipe
  • Pick a dates option
  • See if there are any section headers I’m missing

Movie Updates

Still at 1 of 26…..

Resource of the Week

The WDW Radio podcast is pretty fun to listen to. Lou is very upbeat and obsessed with food.

WDW Virtual Visit

I didn’t get a chance to watch any this week. My week has been a bit hectic because of travel plans.

Question for the Readers

What are you strategies for avoiding crowds in Disney?