englanddg's Magical Mystery Tour (and Trip Report)!
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  1. #1
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    englanddg's Magical Mystery Tour (and Trip Report)!



    Pre-trip

    Ok, I'm setting this thread up for my trip report. I plan to brain dump daily. I hope you all don't find it too long winded, as I'm apt to over explain (we all know this). Anyhow, I'm gonna steal a stat thing from Winkster's Trip Report, cause it's fantastic, a must read here Winkster's 2011 Trip Report (reposted - again!)

    Magic Moments - 0
    Pics Taken - 0
    Vid for Projects Taken - 0
    Discomforts (bug bites/etc) - 0
    Unexpected Surprises - 0
    Peeves - 0

    Ok, well, I posted a Laundry vid in another Thread, that worked out, and I considered making it a whole series. But now that I'm pretty much done packing, I think it's easier and faster to post what I do pack for a 2 week stay. So, lets tear apart some luggage!

    (Video coming tomorrow night)


    Last edited by englanddg; 08-06-2012 at 12:23 AM.
      
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    Looking forward to reading (and watching) all your pre trip planning and about your trip. Have fun!


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    Re: englanddg's Magical Mystery Tour (and Trip Report)!

    Thanks! I look forward to posting! The only reason I really want to do this pre-trip video / post is that I pack for two weeks in what amounts to what TSA allows for carrying on. I do check my luggage, but that's only for convenience. In a pinch, I could carry on (though, I do have a few items that don't meet the 3 oz. requirement, and would be confiscated).

    In all, for me and the kid we each take 1 carryon size suitcase, one carryon "purse" for each of us, and one carryon "bag" for me.. Since we "check" the carryon sized suitcase, I generally have a small bag that I use for "loose items" for the flight (blanket for the kid, etc). I used to travel a lot for my job, and so I suppose I am quite good at it (not to mention the Eagle Scout thing).

    I've done this for 2 years, and still am amazed when I get to the park and see people with 3 or 4 pieces of check in luggage. Last year I had relatives join us, and the way they packed blew my mind.

    As a result, I'd love to share space saving techniques with others. I pack for two weeks and still have space to spare.

    I'll be ripping apart my luggage tomorrow night, and then posting as a vid on youtube either tomorrow or Tuesday.

    I hope some of you get some good ideas, and if you have ideas or comments of your own, I'd love to see/hear them!


    Last edited by englanddg; 08-06-2012 at 12:38 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by englanddg
    Anyhow, I'm gonna steal a stat thing from Winkster's Trip Report, cause it's fantastic, a must read here Winkster's 2011 Trip Report (reposted - again!)

    Magic Moments - 0
    Pics Taken - 0
    Vid for Projects Taken - 0
    Discomforts (bug bites/etc) - 0
    Unexpected Surprises - 0
    Peeves - 0
    Thanks for the plug - lol.

    I'm looking forward to your thread updates!


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  6. #5
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    Re: englanddg's Magical Mystery Tour (and Trip Report)!

    Quote Originally Posted by Winkster View Post
    Thanks for the plug - lol.

    I'm looking forward to your thread updates!
    It's not a plug if it's genuine! Your trip report is a must read, in my book. As is Curious Alice's (though, she's far more regular then all of us, so it's not quite the same).

    I gleaned a lot of useful tips and information from both. I was already not a Disney newbie, and they both gave me a lot of ideas and insight.

    I also found it amusing that you hated Pecos Bills, and your description as to why you hated it was epic! I haven't been there in years, and always walk by it. You voiced my reasons perfectly! (never tried the Taco Salad there, and according to Alice, I shouldn't)

    If I want a burger, I'll do Cosmic Rays!

    I hope to meet the standards that have been set by you two for stream of consciousness daily blogs when I do my visit in a few days.


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    Yeeeeyyyy, looking forward to reading your magical adventures
    Hope you and your little girl have a fantastic time


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    Re: englanddg's Magical Mystery Tour (and Trip Report)!

    I second what MINI Mouse has said.

    I can't wait to read your reports! I love your writing style so I'm expecting some good stuff (no pressure there! ).

    Hope you and your daughter have a blast!


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    Yeah, can not wait to read your report, and get some ideas. Hope you and your DD have a magical trip. I will also be "borrowing" Winksters count idea at the end of my report (really an awesome idea to have a sort of recap at the end of each day)! This is my rough draft of what I may use....

    # of pictures taken
    # of characters met
    # of rides or attractions
    Weather report
    Food review
    Fun or best memory
    Dud of the day


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    Re: englanddg's Magical Mystery Tour (and Trip Report)!

    Dya know - the more I think of it, the more I think I may have poached that idea from someone else. I just have no idea who!

    If I poached your idea - whoever you are - thanks (and sorry!).


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    Re: englanddg's Magical Mystery Tour (and Trip Report)!

    You know, I think I'll steal that daily count idea, too! I think you started a new TD trend, Winkster!

    Have a fabulous time, englanddg! I look forward to reading your posts to this thread.


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    Re: englanddg's Magical Mystery Tour (and Trip Report)!

    I think I may have to use that format for my cruise


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  13. #12
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    Re: englanddg's Magical Mystery Tour (and Trip Report)!

    Day T minus 1 (Part 1)
    Pre-Trip

    Magic Moments - 0
    Pics Taken - 89
    Vid for Projects Taken - 6
    Discomforts (bug bites/etc) - 1
    Unexpected Surprises - 1
    Peeves - 0

    Breakfast - Cereal
    Lunch - Spicy V8 and half a Tomato and Grilled Cheese Sandwich
    Dinner - McDonalds
    Snacks - None

    ________________________________

    Ok, so this is going to be a 2 part post. The first, as promised, is a look through my luggage! The second I will do tomorrow on our flight to Orlando. I have a very early flight (6:55a), so I don't have time to really formulate today's post in it's entirety the way I'd like to. So, 2 posts!

    First, on to the luggage! Keep in mind I packed for a 15 day trip for one adult and one child. Here's the checklist I used. Pictures will come tomorrow when I'm on the plane.

    Oh, and let me add a note about Zip Locks. I use them. A lot. A whole lot. They protect items, they keep your bag well organized, and they maximize luggage space. I even bring extra ziplocks on the trip, for packing for the trip home.

    I take 3 major bags with me. My Day Pack (which I use at the parks as well), my Electronics Bag / Briefcase, and my Primary Luggage (which is a standard sized TSA approved carry on).

    Day Pack for the Parks("Purse" Carry on for TSA)

    [ ] First Aid Kit
    6 Gelcap Asprin, 2 Anti-Gas Chews, 2 Alka Seltzer packets, 2 Pepto Bismol pills, 1 Bacatracin Mist (anti-bacterial/pain), 15 standard size Band Aids (Barbie) packed in a small box (in this case a Johnson and Johnson first aid kit, but I've replaced all of the original contents).

    [ ] Friction powered flashlight
    It's always useful to have battery-less options when you need some light.

    [ ] Child's Poncho and Rain Jacket (in vacuum sealed zip lock)

    [ ] Brita filter water bottle
    First trip with this, but after a bout with dehydration in late May that sent me to the clinic, I'm paranoid about water intake. I'm not as young as I used to be, and I take dehydration and diet far more seriously now.

    [ ] Portable Power Pack by Energizer
    Great for recharging my phone and carmeras while walking around at the park.

    [ ] Small Notepad and pen
    Jotting notes quickly, or playing paper games like tic tac toe, hangman and squares with the kid while in a line

    [ ] Antibacterial Baby Wipes in a Travel Size
    Perfect for cleaning dirty hand and face after eating a Mickey Ice Cream, among other uses!

    [ ] Antibacterial Hand Solution

    [ ] Caribener attached to upper loop for holding hats, bags, etc.

    [ ] Sony DSC-WX50 Still/Video Camera
    My first year with this Camera. So far I'm very happy, well worth the money. I keep it in the external cel phone pocket on the bag, or in my pocket.

    [ ] Extra pair of contacts and Contact Friendly Eyedrops

    [ ] 2 Wisps and 1 pack of Sugarless Gum
    Wisps are portable 1 use only tooth brushes

    [ ] 2 Glad Snack Size Ziplocks
    1 for pin backers, 1 for change / pressed pennies. I empty the penny bag nightly into a larger bag, and restock the change.

    Electronics Bag ("Overhead" Carry on for TSA)

    [ ] Laptop, folding mouse, and headphones
    For work. Even when I'm at the parks, I work at least 1 - 2 hours a day, as my job doesn't allow me to be completely disconnected.

    [ ] iPad
    General entertainment, books, games, etc.

    [ ] High Adventure Durable Camera
    Another first time this year item. I'm excited to take video at the Water Parks and Pools, including underwater shots! In the past I've used that terrible Kodak "underwater" camera you can buy at the parks. It's better then nothing, but this year I'm looking forward to some fantastic shots!

    [ ] Chargers for all of the items listed above
    I also pack 1 extra charger for the cel phone, and 1 extra battery for HD photo/video camera. I'll leave the extra battery charging at the hotel, and swap daily.


    [ ] 8" x 11" Leather Portfolio and Office Supplies
    With pen, about 30 sheets of blank paper, printouts of all pertainent flight / hotel / ticket / reservation information organized in order of the trip, plus business cards and extra pens / pencils.


    Primary Luggage (Checked)

    [ ] Toiletries Bag
    Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Deodorant, 1 can Shaving Cream, Razor stub with 3 new blades, Nail Clippers, Fine Tip Tweezers, 30 Q-tips in a snack sized ziplock, 5 pairs of extra contacts with daily solution and contact holder (my contacts are 90 day wear, but I don't want to run out), spare prescription glasses and non-prescription sunglasses, and snack sized zip locks or travel sized bottles of daily and spare medications (28 gel coated aspirin, 15 vitamins, 4 alka seltzer packets, 12 Pepto Bismol tabs)

    [ ] 2 Packing Sized Ziplock Bags of Clothes (rolled per outfit)
    3 Standard Day outfits (shirt, underwear, socks, shorts), 1 "Classy" outfit (Golf shorts, polo, etc...I look like a Golf Pro in it...this is what I'll wear to Jiko or California Grille), 1 Swim outfit (suit + tshirt), 4 sleep outfits (shirts, shorts, underwear), 2 pairs spare underwear / socks (for fluff). My fifth outfit is what I wear on the plane, 2 baseball caps.

    [ ] 1 can Heavy Starch
    I iron our daily clothes while the kid is in the nightly / morning bath/shower.

    [ ] 5 bottles of spare Hand Sanitizer
    For when I run out in my Day Pack

    [ ] 1TB USB Hard Disk for Picture / Video Archival
    Packed between my clothes for padding

    [ ] 15 packs of Gum
    Disney doesn't sell Gum on property. I'm an ex-smoker, and Gum in my crutch.

    [ ] 30 Wisps
    Mentioned before, these are one use toothbrushes. I will use them to replenish my Day Pack. I probably won't use them all, but when you need them they are a god send.

    [ ] Laundry Kit
    Video link describing this is in this thread - http://www.talkdisney.com/forums/tri...ng-advice.html

    [ ] Birkenstocks and Water Shoes (I wear my Keens on the plane)

    [ ] Bags of Snacks
    Trail mix, etc.

    Allright, this last item is a bit adult, but I do recommend it if you are so inclined.

    [ ] Bacardi Rum

    This year I packed 2 plastic 750 ml bottles of Bacardi. I'm a fan of getting a Pina Colada at the end of the day from the Hotel Bar, and I'm going to use these to spike them. Far cheaper then buying liqueur at the hotel!

    I'm going to have to cut this short here, as I need to get to sleep for our early flight. Part 2 and I'll post the promised luggage and other photos tomorrow, as well as the rest of T minus 1!

    I promise, the rest of my posts will probably not be this long, but this time it was a list, and honestly, this took less time then making a well edited video describing it all like I did with the Laundry vid!

    See you all tomorrow!


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    Last edited by englanddg; 09-04-2012 at 09:07 PM.
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  14. #13
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    Re: englanddg's Magical Mystery Tour (and Trip Report)!

    I didn't really get the point of listing your luggage contents, but I actually got some great tips for future trips from reading it. I get it now! LOL

    I am a Ziploc person, too. They keep everything so clean and organized. I had to look up "caribiner"...I never knew the name of those things. I always use them on my WDW trips.

    Best tips you gave me: Brita water filter bottle, portable power pack (how big is it?), Wisps, and a bottle of rum! My DH usually brings a few little airline bottles of rum, but why not just go with a full size bottle?

    Looking forward to reading the next chapter of your trip report.


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    Re: englanddg's Magical Mystery Tour (and Trip Report)!

    Great checklist!


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    Re: englanddg's Magical Mystery Tour (and Trip Report)!



    Day T minus 1 (Part 2)
    Pre-Trip

    Magic Moments - 0
    Pics Taken - 89
    Vid for Projects Taken - 6
    Discomforts (bug bites/etc) - 1 (escalator)
    Unexpected Surprises - 1 (Enterprise rocks!)
    Peeves - 0

    Breakfast - Cereal
    Lunch - Spicy V8 and half a Tomato and Grilled Cheese Sandwich
    Dinner - McDonalds
    Snacks - None

    ____________________________________

    I don't own a car, but when the munchkin comes to visit I rent one. I arranged to return the rental at 5:30p, and the agency (Enterprise) said they would give us a lift to the MARTA Subway station. From there we could make our way to the Atlanta Airport, where we would snag a hotel room for the night, since our flight was early.

    Alas, when I showed up, they said their driver was out, and they couldn't do it. However, they had proactively called over to another Enterprise office a few miles away, and that office had said yes!

    Happily, I drove over to the other office, but when we arrived, I was informed that they, too, couldn't give us a lift, even though the station is less then 3 miles away. I got a sinking feeling that this was going to turn into a farce of mis-communication and poor customer service, but to my pleasant surprise, the manager of the office had already called the airport location and arranged that I could drop the car off there, and furthermore, the $70 airport drop off fee would be waived.

    This was completely unexpected! I was thrilled to be able to take my time to travel to the Airport, as my only pressure had been the 6pm closing time of the Enterprise offices in my area. We stopped back by the house and double checked for left last minute items, and then got some McDonald's to eat on the trip to the Airport.

    Once there, returning the car was uneventful, and everyone was extremely helpful and polite. They were aware of my situation already, and were expecting me down to the check-in guy in the parking lot. This sort of service just reinforced why I enjoy using Enterprise for my rentals (as opposed to Hertz, which I've had several issues with over the years).

    We hopped on the tram to our hotel (Marriot Springwood Suites at ATL Airport), and our first accident of the trip happened. My kid wanted to tackle the escalator on her own with her baggage. I thought nothing of it, as she's done it many times, and never had an issue.

    However, this time she didn't have her bag completely on one step, and when the first step raised, the bag tipped back and sent her falling head first down the escalator. I freaked out, dropped my bag and grabbed her, and after a quick check for blood, indentations, etc (specifically back and head). There were none, outside of some scratches and scrapes, so I rode with her to the top. Once there and calmed down, she stood in silent embarrassment as I ran back down the escalator to collect her luggage and mine. They were stuck in a loop on the middle of the escalator, going up a few feet when the teeth caught, then sliding back down. Both sets of luggage are now permanently scratched, and part of the reason why my last post was a packing list was that I unpacked and repacked all our bags last night to check for damage because of this ordeal.

    After patching her up and kissing her boo boos (and soothing her bruised ego), we arrived at the Springhill Suites. Check-in was painless, in fact it was pleasant. The staff was extremely polite, and even jovial. I ran into several staff members, and to sum it up, it's probably one of the best staffed hotels in terms of friendliness and proactive interactivity that I've run into in a long time (even Disney). I enjoyed the staff so much that I have jotted on my notes to write a letter to the hotel to praise them. They oriented me to the hotel, asked me about my stay not in a shallow way, but to find out if I needed a wake up call, which they then scheduled proactively during checkin, etc. They even remembered my name when I came down later to purchase some sodas for the evening. 5 star experience at a 3 star price!

    The rooms are small, but well furnished, and since they use pocket style sliding doors, they feel much larger then they are. Pics are attached.

    The rack rate for the room is a bit steep (~$250 a night), but if you ever need to squat at the ATL Airport overnight, and can get a good advance rate, I highly recommend it.

    One interesting thing is that this hotel is "Green Certified". I wasn't sure what that meant until I got to the room. First, everything is turned off when you get in. I don't mean the maid turns them off either! The power in the room is actually turned off. The only light you have is in the entry of the room. On the wall, there is a pocket, where you put one of your room keys. Once you put it in, within about 20 - 30 seconds, all your electricity starts working. Once you pull it out, it takes about 5 minutes before your electricity cuts off.

    It's weird, but also neat (as a "green" idea). However, I just took it as another reason to request 2 room keys at check in! I don't want my stuff to shut off simply because I went to dinner!

    As far as perks, the hotel is very clean and well maintained. The decor is wonderful. They have a heated indoor pool and a small but functional exercise room. They also have a flight display board in the hotel lobby, which is nice to check flight statuses in the morning before you leave. Internet and WiFi are free.

    My only pet peeve is a trend that I've seen lately in hotels (not enough to make my peeves count above, but I really don't like it). Hotels seem to be migrating to a model where create "shops" in the lobby instead of putting vending machines on the floors.

    Whilst I love the shops, I *despise* not having vending machines on the same floor I'm staying on, especially if it's a large hotel.

    Other then that, the hotel was wonderful, and I went to bed happy, comfortable and anticipating the next day!

    Quote Originally Posted by Curious Alice View Post
    I didn't really get the point of listing your luggage contents, but I actually got some great tips for future trips from reading it. I get it now! LOL
    Yeah, I mostly did it because I was overzealous to get started on the trip report, and I had to go through all the luggage anyhow since the escalator incident (posted today). So...thought it might work as a good checklist, and something people could work off of so they can give me ideas and vice versa about things to bring!

    Quote Originally Posted by Curious Alice View Post
    portable power pack (how big is it?)
    It's not large. About the size of a gameboy color. 6" long x 4" wide x 0.5" tall. There are smaller ones if you need/want less power, even ones smaller then cellular phones.

    I have this one, and I love it. Keeps my phone and cameras going all day!

    Energizer® XP4001 Portable Charger for cell phones & MP3 players | Portable Charger

    Cost about 40 bucks at Target when I got it.

    The posts are gonna get a lot more trip oriented as we go, but I've never seen a trip report with a "pre-trip" (closest was Winkster where he talked about their mini-vaca in the UK before flying over here), so I thought it would be an interesting new touch. If I failed, c'est la vie ! (grin)


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails englanddg's Magical Mystery Tour (and Trip Report)!-dsc00062.jpg   englanddg's Magical Mystery Tour (and Trip Report)!-dsc00051.jpg   englanddg's Magical Mystery Tour (and Trip Report)!-dsc00055.jpg   englanddg's Magical Mystery Tour (and Trip Report)!-dsc00056.jpg   englanddg's Magical Mystery Tour (and Trip Report)!-dsc00050.jpg  

    Last edited by englanddg; 08-23-2012 at 08:53 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    englanddg's Lanyard
    Mickey Cruise LineMonorailMickey GearsMonorail Pilot Wings LEHorizons
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLC | 2013 - Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ

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