Who we are I am a 31 year old dance teacher in WA state. DH is 32 and a contractor on the technical side of things. We're DINKS (duel income, no kids) and we love it. This planning report relects that. This is not a trip being planned with children in mind (kids are great, I teach them afterall, but this is my time). This is a trip about fun, relaxation, and adult time. For those wondering about choices made, it is also not a trip made with a tight budget in mind.
WDW and DL are one of the few places that DH is able to truly find relaxation. He has a high pressure job where he tends to work over 60 hours a week, so if Disney is the one place that he can go and have relaxation from day one, then thats where we're going. It's a bonus that I also love it. I don't need alot in order to find relaxation, nor do I need as much as he does...but I'm more than happy to oblige a Disney-Vacation!
DH and I also tend to go to Disneyland about once a year. Living on the westcoast, it's an easy 4 day vacation for us to do. Many of the choices made for this WDW vacation will reflect this (i.e. we'll go on Pirates, Soarin, and BTMRR soon enough again, we don't need to do it this time around).
There's also our dietary issues. I can't do anything with soy in it (including foods fried in soybean oil...which is everything), and DH is hypogyclemic. He tends to the dramatic when things get off in his system--paranoia, visions of death, that sort of thing. And sense this is a recently diaganosed thing, my obsessive planning has taken a whole new turn.
Here's DH and I at DL last Christmas. He had blown out his ACL playing in his rock band in October and had surgery about three weeks prior to our trip.
The final thing to realize about this trip is our physical issues. He still has ACL issues, of course, just as anyone would. I have a completely arthritic ankle as the result of two reconstructive surgeries. I have a hyalagon shot every nine months or so, but still, some days are good for me, some days are bad. Many days I simply want a cane, other days I can dance for hours on end. So, if issues come up re. such things, then I apologize. And, if they don't, then awesome!
And, oh, yes...I love planning things.
More to come later, with the beginning stages of planning.
When to go, Where to Stay
Since I have a school, I need to make sure to go on vacation when we're on break. Hence, the decision to go President's Week. I know, I know..suicide. But I figure that last time in WDW was the Spring Break time, and last year we had a great time in DL during the Holidays. With good planning, I'm thinking it'll still be a good time.
Famous last words? We'll see. I think not having kids helps with this sort of thing, though. If things are too crowded, hey, just head back to the resort, plenty of fun to be had there. Dumbo too long? who cares, oh look it's the Hall of Presidents.
Anyhoo, so, where to stay.
For us, it's definetly the resorts. We don't care for a motel feel, so it's definetly the deluxes for us. But which one? I hate to admit it, but the room decor for them was the first way I made cuts. Yacht Club and Boardwalkd Inn looks to bright, Grand Floridian looks too much like my dead grandmother's house (do any men actually like it there?), Beach Club looks too girly.
Second way to cut, which ones do we want to save for later. Which ones do we think would be 'it', that after those, all other resorts would be a let down. The Contemporary and Polynesian fit into this because they're on the monorail and are the stuff of legends. Animal Kingdom fits into this because if couple with a Savannah view, I don't think we'd ever leave the room.
So, that leaves Wilderness Lodge. Not that it's a last choice. As far as ambiance and theming goes (and what appears to be the food) It's the one that appeals the most to us.
We booked a woods view in August (before the new rates and packages came out), and even then standard views weren't available. We're not view people. Standard, pool, woods, it's all the same to us. It's one of those things that we don't see an importance in spending more money on what we see from the room. Though, truth be told after this last visit to DL, a woods view does sound alot more quiet than one overlooking the pool. The longer I think about it, the more it sounds enticing...the woods view. Sitting on balcony with a beer or wine in the afternoon and reading a book. It'll be february, so I'll bring out a blanket. Sounds like a great vacation to me!
I just hope we get a king bed. I don't think I'd be bothered by a roll in shower, it might actually be nice for a change, not having to just hope that my ankle doesn't give out when stepping into a tub.
At the WL I'm looking forward to flexing my camera skills, hanging out in the hot tub, watching the geyser, Artists Point , and room service. I am not looking forward to the possabilities of the screamings of Wilderness Canyon.
interesting thought while writing these posts. I'm finding it difficult to not say 'now if we had children we would probably make a different choice'. It's like it's ingrained in me, having to defend what I do to people who have children.
We are DINKS also. I love planning our trips without regard to anyone else - kiddos that is. We have stayed at AKL, GF and Poly and liked them all. If I had to choose a favorite between the three it would be GF. It didn't remind me of a grandmothers at all :rotfl: but it's all about personal tastes. We are currently planning a trip for sometime next year and wrestling with the idea of where to stay. We truly enjoyed being on the monorail and the MK side, although at some point we would like to try YC. Choosing the resort is always the hardest part for us, but it seems like the two of you know exactly what you want in that regard.
Looking forward to reading more about your upcoming trip ...
My grandmother was definetly a deep south kind of woman, so it makes sense that the GF reminds me of her place. She was v. sick from the first time I remembered (passed away when I was still v. young) so it makes sense that I associate that look with something not v. fun.
One of the great things about WDW is that there truly is something for everybody. Well, maybe not those wanting to stay in hostels, but almost everyone!
I'll be back soon, with transportation talk! i.e. I need to get my butt in gear and call the magical express.
...or how we change as we get older.
It was just a few short years ago that we would always book the red eye flight from Seattle to back east. Last time in WDW we got in around 7am, checked in, and went straight to the parks. It was great! We loved every moment of it. We didn't feel we needed a break until the fifth day of the trip.
Oh my, how times have changed, and why oh why did I once again book the red eye. We're older now, we need our rest! *sigh* Flying in at 7am, even if we wanted to go to our room we won't be able to until 3pm or so. So we'll be forced to wander around EPCOT (Le Cellier, 1pm) in the red eye daze. I think that this is truly going to be the big regret of the trip. At least we rethought the tail end of the vacation and booked an extra night. We'll fly out late afternoon that time. We probably would have done the same for the day before, but my work schedule won't allow.
Next time, flying in at a normal time and not even bothering to get a park hopper for that day. Mark my words!
Speaking of flying, we bought new luggage yesterday. Dontcha just love Tuesday Morning! With the risk of it sounding like a budget board... a full, four piece set normally retailling at $800 instead for $200, now thats nice. We needed them anyway, last trip a wheel broke on one of our roll ons and another is wearing thin (cheap purchase first year of college). I have to admit, though, looking at that one really big bag, I keep thinking about shopping in EPCOT.
It should also be a much more pleasurable flight this time since we bought the Mac. I know it helped with the DL trip and a four hour flight delay. Load up the cd wallet with every Disney movie ya got, and you're set for entertainment. Until the battery wears out, that is. Hmm, maybe we can get a back up.
It'll also be interesting doing such a long flight w/ time change now that we know about DHs hypogyclemia. I'm really wondering how he'll react to it. Don't worry, we'll have plenty of protein snacks with us, but it will be interesting all the same.
...and I really need to call magical express.
Do you have any more pics? I'm a visual gal and love seeing pics. Crazy as it may sound, I would love to see pics of your new luggage, stash of Disney DVD's, stuff like that. It's your own fault for spoiling me with a pic in the first post. ;)
Have you called Magical Express yet? :laughing:
I'll have to wait a day or so on pics of the luggage, but I'll do it just for you! And truth be told, it is pretty luggage. If I think of any other pics that might go along, I'll be sure to include them too. Unfortunatly, most of our pics are from DL.
DAY 1, Saturday, Feb. 16th. The Plan.
As stated before, we made a tatical error in judgement in taking the red eye from SeaTac airport. We'll get into Orlando around 7am (insert whimpers here). From what I understand, the earlier the flight, the more likely that the Magical Express (it's starting to sound like a punchline to me) will not have you waiting for long. So, at least that's a small favor for taking such an early flight.
I figure we'll get to the WL around 9am, and while we'll be able to check in, I know that there will be no chance of getting in a room at that point. Anyone know how they take to people taking naps in the lobby? hahahaha. No, really.
I figure we'll have some sort of breakfast at Roaring Forks (is the breakfast platter the typical eggs/bacon/toast? if so, that'll be it!). I saw that they have grits. Are they good grits? True grits? I'm a born southerner who's lived in Seattle for many years, if the grits are good, I might have to dive in.
I will, however, be avoiding the coffee. I should make sure to get a Venti drip at the airport. I mean, there HAS to be at least a Starbucks at the airport, right?
We'll head out to EPCOT, with the plan of doing a couple of slow, long, sit down things:
Universe of Energy (yeah! Bill Nye!...and possible nap time)
find ourselves in Leave a Legacy
Before we do anything, however, I'll try to get a FastPass to Mission:Space, which is my favorite ride of all time. If not, I'll just be prepared for whatever wait there is. I love this ride to no end, I actually get emotional over it and truly want to go to space. The downside is that DH gets sick on on spinning rides and motion simulators, but he enjoys the interactive exhibts, which I don't. So I figure it's a wash. I used to do the single rider line, but I've heard that the lead up to the ride is quite extensive, so I'm not sure if I should just go through the normal line and drag him with me. Thoughts?
We'll try to do Mission:Space as the last thing before we head over to Canada for a 1:10 at Le Cellier.
Hmm, now that I'm thinking about it, maybe it would be too much to do before our reservations. We'll just plan on that as the 'plan' and take out a ride if need be in order to get to our lunch on time.
Back to Le Cellier. Unfortunatly, alot of the things that look uber tasty to me also look like they'll have soy sauce in their ingredients...which is a big no no if I want to enjoy Sunday. I am, however, looking forward to that Tomato Stack. Not sure about the fabled cheese soup, however. How rich is that thing? Someone convince me! And how is the wine selection, in particular the Canadian wine selection? mmmm, wine. For DH, much steak like protein to be had.
So, figure close to an hour for lunch, that'll put us at 2pm and we'll head back to WL for our room to be ready at 3pm. Hazzah! naptime.
Who am I kidding, though. I'm one of those people who have to unpack everything and set up house before I can relax. Oh, and I'll definetly need a shower about that time too. Word to the wise, if you encounter me that day, don't come close. On Friday night I'm leaving straight from teaching ballet classes to the airport. Oh yes, I'll be ripe by 3pm Saturday.
That evening (after a nap!) We have a 6:30 reservation at Artists Point. Although, now that I'm thinking about it, maybe I'll call tomorrow and see if I can get it moved to later in the evening. Just so that we can have a longer nap time. I think we'll probably be the most critical of this resteraunt as we're NW foodies. I mean, we're the types who actually go to Penn Cove and eat the muscles on the water there. It's hard to think of eating them across the country. We're also salmon snobs...if it isn't perfect, we're not happy. That said, that menu also looks the best to me out of all the menus I've seen, so I'll just want it all...except the pot stickers.
As of now, we're planning on NOT going back to the parks that night, but instead just sleeping sleeping sleeping. We might try to find a beach in order to watch the floating parade and fireworks...but if we did that I'd need to be careful about new reservations for Artists Point.
SO, TO DO!
make new reservations for Artists Point
call Magical Express
take pics of luggage
find out about room service in WL
The tomato stack at Le Cellier is yummy!
You mentioned being there close to an hour for lunch - plan on at least an hour and then some. Service there is slowwwwwwwwww.
Artist Point is excellent! Can't wait to read your dining review as I'm sure you will love it.
*note to self* hour and a half.
I actually like longer meals. I know that alot of people like to get in and get out for more touring time, but I like the relaxation part of sit down meals.
Well, I got my Artists Point reservation changed to 7:30. I figure that it'll be the right amount of time to eat and then wander out to the beach for the boat parade. I wonder if I could wander with a drink? hmmm
I also was able to change a reservation later in the week for Cinderella's Castle...I'll talk about that later and why it annoys me. The reservation, not the castle.
I'm also v. happy with the offerings in room service at WL. Of course, all I needed to see was the possabilites for eggs in the morning. I really, really hate leaving the room for breakfast. The bad part is that they don't start serving until 7am. I'll have to figure out what to do food wise for early entry mornings.
call Magical Express
take pics of luggage
i'm really enjoying reading along with your pre-trippie. i'm going in feb too, but before you guys get there.
Day 2, Sunday, Feb. 17...part one
I might regret this...but, I figure we'll have plenty of sleep the night before, so, here goes.
6:00am wake up *sigh* I must be insane. We need time to shower, eat (instant oatmeal, peanut butter, vitamins, and coffee coffee coffee)
7:00am get first bus to Animal Kingdom (with coffee in hand)
I'm guessing that since it's a peak weekend, the park will open early and they'll do the rope walk thing. Our plan, however, will be a bit different than most.
The Plan: Head to Dinoland. I shall go Primevel Whirl (love this ride), while hubby heads off to get Everest FastPasses (he would rather die than go on the Whirl). Meet back up, do Dinosaur and then the Safari (FastPass if need be).
I figure by that time, things will start to be crowded and it'll be prime time for relaxation events.
We really want to do...
The Lion King (never seen it)
Finding Nemo (never seen it)
Jungle Treck (favorite part of last trip)
Oasis (love this)
Pangani Exploration Trail (I wanna see gorillas throwing poo!)
Planet Watch (We're geeks)
We'd like to, but don't have to do...
Flights of Wonder (seen it before, loved it, but will sacrifice for other things)
Pocahantas (why not)
Tough to be a Bug (see it in DL many times, but Tree of Life does need up close time)
Last time at WDW, we wanted to spend more time at AK than at any other park. We'll be able to do another half day later in the week, so I'm good with doing the big rides once each today. However, more than anything I just want to spend time watching the animals. That was the best part last time. It was raining the entire time, so the park was empty, the animals were out, and the CMs were bored...hence much talking time. I know I shouldn't expect that again, but it was truly the best.
I'm looking forward to a whole lot of great pics with my camera. *does a lil excited dance*
What I'm not looking forward to is the food options. There doesn't seem to be a lot of good protein options that are easy to get to. I'm sure Flame Tree BBQ will see us a couple of times. I'd like to hear about Tusker Houses new deal after it's been open awhile (btw, last time, their hummas sandwich was the best food of the entire trip...I'm so upset that it won't be there!), and I hope Yak and Yeti is open by then. All in all, we can't really plan food until we know more about those options. All I know is we'll have our beef jerky and peanuts in tow.
Although,who can tell me about the Dawa Bar? They got food? how's the booze?
We're also looking forward to perussing the shops in AK, we didn't really get to do that last time.
I'm guessing we'll leave around 5pm to head back to the hotel to get a nap...and perhaps other things, but definetly a nap!
Feel free to comment. I definetly need touring help on AK! It's the one I'm most clueless on...well, that and MGM...or whatever they call it now.
call Magical Express
take pics of luggage
change name on reservations
Day two, Sunday, Feb. 17...part two.
So, assuming that we get a great nap in...I'm thinking wake up immedietly at 9pm...order room service immedietly (kids meals come with milk, so I won't have to buy any for my coffee!)...I figure by the time it gets there we'll otherwise be ready to head out at..oh, say, 10pm.
And on to the Magic Kingdom!
DH is hysterical when I ask him what he wants to do first. He does practically a whole rundown of every single attraction, snack, show that is there. See? this is why I need to do advanced planning. Otherwise nothing would happen because of so much running around. He also seems to have issues that we're getting there so late on the second day...and he has issues that we aren't making it to MGM for another day. Honey, we need to pace ourselves. He's like a little kid.
Sunday is an EMH night, and they're scheduled to be open until 2am. So, for the first two hours, we're going to enjoy the magic of adventureland at night. We'll head straight to Jungle Cruise (my favorite) and do the walking/shopping/eating thing. Starting there (and taking adantage of EMH) our plan is then do to Pirates, BTMRR, Splash Mountain (provided the weather), and Haunted Mansion. If there's time leftover, we'll see what all we can do in Fantasyland (Carrousel, Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh, Philharmagic, Peter Pan).
So, I'm guessing we'll be back to the hotel at 3am, ready to fall into bed and sleep.
We're nuts, aren't we.
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