McIntosh Family 1st Trip: A Tale

More, more…we want more!!! :slight_smile:


Liners! You are a crazy and enthusiastic bunch of dreamers. I’m looking forward to posting more this week. Thanks for all the encouragement to do so. And @SallyEppcot, I’m reading your first trip report on your blog right now. So much fun!


@JonMcIntosh Did I see on chat that you are an Arkansan? Me too!!! We have made one previous trip to the world just over 4 years ago when our DS was 4. I’ve been longing to go back at Christmastime ever since. I believe this has been our third fall in a row with the back and forth “we should go, we shouldn’t go, we should go, no we shouldn’t go”. I made a trip to the bookstore a few weeks ago, bought the guide, and registered on TP in an effort to gather info so we could make a decision and hopefully end on “we should go”. I stumbled onto the forum and stayed up way too late for many nights sifting through lots of information. We booked our trip at just under 45 days. That night was all “I’m too excited to sleep!”, immediately followed by “Sleep??? Way too much to do!”. I felt way behind on planning. I’ve become consumed by al things Disney. Over the past few weeks, I think me DH has probably wondered more than once “So, are we having dinner tonight”. Although he’s way too sweet to actually say it. If he does, the answer will likely be something like, “I haven’t had time to think about dinner for tonight, but I can tell you we have and ADR for CM on 12/3.” I’ve had a few moments of hoping that the decision making would finally come to and end, but then I realized that would mean we were on a plane headed back home from our trip. I’m encouraged that you are now able to decipher the code here on forum. I’m still working on it and often hear myself say “What???” Looking forward to following along and learning from a fellow newbie!
FYI, we’re at 17 days. AHHH!! Our MBs arrived yesterday. Last night was “I’m too excited to sleep!” again. Still looking for the illusive A&E FPP. Fingers crossed.
Thanks for sharing your story. I’m excited to hear more!


Settling down on your futon. Thanks, @quicha! I’m really fluffy, so sitting on (not to mention getting up from) the floor would’ve presented me with epic problems!

@JonMcIntosh, thanks for sharing your story. Can’t wait for the next installment!


Nice cliffhanger - always leave then wanting more! Are you a professional writer?


Wow I love this. You have me hooked!


@amyscherz, we actually live in Memphis… so, not too far from Arkansas!

You and I are on the same page! My wife is just not getting how awesome these ADR bookings are… or why I’m staying up so late!


Thanks @brklinck, but no. I’m a pastor, so I get to write some as a hobby.


Part 2: I Get Cozy with WDW-DINE
Our family’s first Disney trip was on the books!

But, there were two obstacles to overcome that I wasn’t even aware at the time were obstacles.

The first was the ever elusive Advance Dining Reservation.

We want to do fun stuff. We’re going to Disney, let’s make sure the kids meet characters (and by characters, read: PRINCESSES).

What? You mean you can dine WITH the princesses? There’s a place called a Royal Table and another called a Royal Banquet Hall? Sign us up!

Oh. Those have been booked up for months? Oh. Ok. I understand. New Disney schlub here. Sorry to bother.

Ok. What about this other thing, where you eat with Mickey and his friends (oh, you call them the Fab 5… that’s cool) while the freaking monorail runs overhead? We’ll take that!

Oh. Booked up too? Of course.

Wait. Wait. What about this other thing where they sing and dance while you eat and drink unlimited Sangria? Yes! That sounds like a fantastic evening.

Of course. No opening. I understand.

No lie here, the only “interesting” ADR open at first was dinner at Planet Hollywood on Thanksgiving Night. I reluctantly booked it. No dissing Planet Hollywood, but it’s not the most exciting option for little girls.

DW was discouraged. This is what we get for our last minute booking! Should we rethink? Reschedule? Maybe this whole thing was a bad idea…

I wouldn’t be deterred. Remember… the magic was calling me.

The first thing I did? I prayed.

Not trying to have a religious conversation here, just being honest. I prayed a lot.

I also checked a lot. And called a lot.

I was on the site so much that it became automatic. Things to Do - click. All Dining - click. Character Dining - check. Unique/Themed Dining - check. And then I would just run through our dates: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

I did it constantly. I did it on my phone at stop lights. I would check right before I went to bed and the first thing in the morning. If I had a long commute, I would call the dining number. The Cast Members were always so helpful and so kind to run through all my dates and all my options. I felt like they were even rooting for us to get the ADR’s that would make 3 young girls happy.

After weeks of searching and booking we ended up with so many options, that I had to eventually cancel some, including that first reservation at Planet Hollywood.

At the end of the day, this is what we ended up with:
Day 1: Dinner at Akershus. This is will be the principal dinner our girls will look forward to the most. They are absolutely going to lose it. I kind of hate that this one is set for our first night, because they might expect Aurora, Belle, and Cinderella to be at EVERY meal we have that week, but beggars can’t be choosers.
Day 2: Lunch at 50’s Prime Time Diner. This one is probably more for me, but I keep reading reviews of this not-to-be-missed experience. I want to get yelled at for not eating my veggies.
Day 3: Hoop-Dee-Do Musical Revue. Our first (and light) Magic Kingdom day and we get to take a boat to Fort Wilderness for singing, dancing and eating… and yes, bottomless sangria.
Day 4: Lunch at Be Our Guest. We found out about and were able to book a FastPass for lunch on our chosen day.
Also, dinner at Crystal Palace. This is Thanksgiving Day and we have dinner here with Pooh right before Wishes. (Man, oh man, I hope the view from the porch is not obstructed by the recent work around the hub.)
Day 5: Dinner on our last night at Chef Mickey’s. Dude. I know some love to bash the food at CM, but remember, we’re going for the “Mickey", not the “Chef".
Day 6: A Supercalifragilistic Breakfast at 1900 Park Fare before we hit the road. One last beautiful character experience before saying goodbye to it all.

I know this is character heavy and there is no Le Cellier on this list, but this trip is not primarily for me… it’s for 3 princesses in training.

I don’t post this to brag or whatever. I post all of this because I know you guys will celebrate with me. You guys alone will get what a great turn-around this is. I also post this as an encouragement to anyone who is booking last minute to keep checking. And checking. And checking. And checking.

The magic is calling… but I learned that sometimes you’ve gotta call back.

(Next time: What’s a FP+ and what do you mean you have to wait 3 hours to meet Anna and Elsa?)


Great ADRs! I’m very impressed. Your girlies are going to LOVE it.

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Wow you’ve got quite the lineup ready to go. That’s actually really impressive for getting such a late start! I think Thanksgiving dinner at Crystal Palace followed by Wishes sounds pretty amazing! You can always purposely ‘break some of the rules’ at 50’s PT. Kids always love to see their parents get scolded lol.

You’ve done a great job!


Love your ADR story! Stalking the site for availability has become a bit obsessive for me. I just can’t seem to stop checking. So may good choices keep popping up. Even saw a CRT last week.

This made me laugh! I went to WDW with a friend for our senior trip many years ago. My friend didn’t like her green beans. She was so concerned about getting yelled at by “mom” that she put the veggies in her bag and threw them away when we got outside. Don’t think I’ll ever forget that.

Looking forward to your perspective on FPP!


That is something I would do lol. Roll them up in a napkin and excuse myself to go to the restroom to dispose of the evidence!

And back, and back, and back… :slight_smile:

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I am loving this so much (and I am a librarian, too, Sally)!

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Cool! My MLIS is from the University of Oklahoma. I worked in public libraries - first as a children’s and reference librarian and then as a Materials Selector. That was a long time ago though. I haven’t worked in 12 years.

You have a lucky congregation! I bet no one is sleeping in the pews at your church on Sunday morning.

I am so glad you got what you wanted. I agree with the sentiment of never giving up. I planned a trip 3 weeks out for my son. He wanted BOG dinner, Chef Mickey and Crystal Palace. I said I’d try and like you, it all worked out!

Akershus was always my DD’s favorite princess meal. They will have so much fun!

I’m sorry to say that I agree with the lack of love for the food at Chef Mickey’s. The salads aren’t bad though. Plus, your meal will be interrupted 5 times so, really, how can you enjoy your food anyway!

I look forward to the next installment :smile:


@JonMcIntosh, I’ll be at WDW with my DD7 – just the two of us for a girls’ trip to celebrate my big birthday – Nov. 21-26. Maybe we’ll run into you!! Hope you guys will have a wonderful time!! These plans all sound awesome! :slight_smile:

This is really awesome! Well done (and props to The Big Guy Upstairs for all of His help in securing these ADRs!!) :church: : Sounds like a fantastic trip in the making! :smile:


[quote=“amyscherz, post:32, topic:7403”]
She was so concerned about getting yelled at by “mom” that she put the veggies in her bag and threw them away when we got outside.
[/quote]Funny… and extreme!