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Old 06-07-2012, 01:12 PM   #1
artemis908
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I can't wait to be 30! Feb AND April 2013 PTRs to WDW and Disney Dream (WE'RE BACK!)

Well, this is the first time I'll ever be doing a PTR. I just joined these forums recently but I have been part of several like WDW Radio and WDW Magic for several years. I had never seen a "PTR" section before, came on here and was like "what does PTR mean?!" lol and I found out, it's a place to report on your planning! Well that sounds like fun. I really enjoy talking to people about my planning and hearing their thoughts and ideas. So please feel free to jump in if you have any thoughts, tips, or suggestions!

So about me...

I'm 29, I am married and live north of Philadelphia. My husband and I just celebrated our one year wedding anniversary June 4th. We took a lovely Mediterranean cruise in late May. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience, I have wanted to go to Athens since I was a little girl and finally I got to go.


We have a dog, Myles. We've had him since he was two, for about a year and a half now. I love him so much!


I am a writer, I write for an advertising agency. My husband is a web developer, he works with conference phone systems though I'd be lying if I understood at all what he did for a living. We typically take one big trip a year and then go to Baltimore for an anime convention in July or early August. We've gone every year for the past 4 years together EXCEPT for last year, when we were getting married and couldn't afford it/take the time off.

Last edited by artemis908; 02-11-2013 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:29 PM   #2
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Previous WDW trips...

I would call myself a Disney Fanatic, however since I became an adult I don't go as often I use to. Mostly because i feel like I need to get the big, long distance trips out of the way before we have kids, which we are trying to start having soon. In fact, this trip almost didn't happen because I didn't want the trip to get in the way, but since it's June I think we should be safe for a trip planned in February.

I have been to WDW with my family 13 times. It started when I was 6 and we would go just about every year until I was about 16, and then it became every other year or so. My mother and father were divorced when I was 11, so after that it was mostly just my dad and I. He has to this day never been on vacation anywhere else but Disney World.

For my father's birthday last year I dug through our old WDW photos I have stored away and found some photos to have framed. See, way back when, there use to be these cardboard cut outs of the weasels from Who Framed Roger Rabbit next to the cop car from the movie. Every year my dad would make me stand next to them with my hands up because they were pointing a gun and look scared/surprised. Each year you could see me getting more and more annoyed with the situation. :P I hated it, I thought it was lame and I didn't want to do it every year. Kind of glad I did though because I chose three and framed them and it was pretty awesome because you could kind of see me grow up (and get an attitude!).

We have stayed at Caribbean Beach, Dixie Landings, All Star Sports/Music, and Beach Club. 10/13 times it was Caribbean Beach, it was always our favorite. We've also gone on the Disney Cruise Line which was so awesome! We did it joint with WDW and stayed for about 5 days, followed by a 4 day cruise. It was so cool to leave one vacation to go on another, I didn't feel that sadness I usually felt after leaving WDW.

My last trip was in October 2007 with my mother. My mother had "given" me her car and so she said to make it up to her I should take her on vacation to WDW. :P I wasn't about to argue. I had gotten my first job out of college in May 2006 so I had enough money to take her and I there. We stayed at Caribbean Beach. It was the last vacation her and I took alone together.


My husband has been to WDW twice. The last time was with his ex-girlfriend. That's why we waited so long to go to WDW because he had with her about 6 months or so before he started to date me and it was kind of weird. We just wanted to experience some new things together so we went to Bermuda, the Caribbean, UK, etc etc. He stayed off property though and so in my opinion didn't experience the true magic of Disney. Boy, do I have a lot to show him!

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Old 06-07-2012, 02:11 PM   #3
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How we got here...

I am an OCD planner and I LIVE to plan vacations. Hell, I live to plan anything fun! I had been planning that cruise we just took for over a year and so as soon as we got home I started to go through withdrawal!

My husband wanted to go to Japan, he's wanted to for a really long time. I did some research in pricing because I knew it would be incredibly expensive and showed him the numbers compared to several other vacation options: A cruise on the Oasis of the Seas, Walt Disney World, a short trip to Niagra Falls.

When he could see how much money it would cost, he agreed we could hold off on the trip to Japan and suggested we go to WDW. He knows I had been itching to go for awhile so I can say pretty confidently that he was saying this to make me happy. Well, YEAH! I am TOTALLY fine with that. :D

Now, that actually planning...

Now the questions was... when? Followed by... where? I knew I wanted to go around the least crowded times of year, I knew right off the bat that was October and December. Obviously we couldn't go until 2013, it's not even summer yet though and October and December 2013 seem just so far away! I began to do more research and saw that it's also pretty low as far as crowds in January and pre-Presidents Day of February. I have never been to WDW during this time of year. I've been in... April... May... June... August... September... October... November (I grew up in NJ so we went a lot during "Jersey Week")... December... but NEVER February!

My first reaction though was no, February is too soon, that's less than 9 months away we can't go that soon. So I settled on September and figured in the mean time we could go to small places like Hershey PA (2 1/2 hours away) and Cape May NJ (2 hours away). I sat and thought about it, a couple of days past and I started to get antsy... September... that's really far away and if we get pregnant there is no way we could go. My husband and I have been trying for kids for about a year, I am a little... "challenged" in that department, but I am not in a rush to get pregnant either. Right now I feel like we have time to take our time and not get too stressed over it yet. But it would be really difficult to plan for a September trip and still try to have kids. Do I really want to stop trying all together for that long?

It's not like we can't afford a February trip... our vacation time resets in January... so why not? That's when I decided that we should just go in February!

Ok, so next was where. Grand Floridian is just too expensive, I have always wanted to stay there but after looking at the rooms and doing some research I decided it wasn't worth the price. Then I thought about Animal Kingdom Lodge. Well, I'd say AK is my least favorite of the parks but then again, I love animals. That means I'd have to get a savannah view, but really how much time will I be spending at the hotel? So that was out.

I started to remember when we stayed at the Beach Club and how incredibly convenient it was. I am a huge Epcot fan and tend to eat there a lot, so it was so nice to just be able to walk there. I remember thinking while at the Beach Club that the Boardwalk Inn looked really nice so, yeah, the Boardwalk Inn might be the ticket!

Eventually I narrowed it down to Boardwalk and Wilderness Lodge. Wilderness Lodge because it's cheaper, mostly and I had heard it's a gorgeous hotel. In the end though, I landed on Boardwalk, the #1 reason being "location, location, location"!

Next thing to decide was for how long. My husband's grandmother lives in FL so I knew we'd have to see her. I wanted to give us ample time to be at the resort but time to take a day to see his grandmother. My main concern though was just that I didn't want to rent a car, it's expensive and it takes away from the "Magic bubble". It's that bubble you're in when you're at WDW where nothing exists outside of it and you're just happy.

I asked my husband if he thought she would be willing to come to us and we would take her out for the day in Downtown Disney. Right now we are holding off because honestly February is far away but I think she should be in town fairly soon (all of my husband's family lives in the area) so I will probably just bring it up then.

The final count I landed on was 9 days. It meant we only needed to take off 5 days of work we could just arrive on a Saturday and leave on a Sunday.
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:53 PM   #4
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artemis 908 - wow we have a lot in common! We are the same age, I am from upstate NJ (not that far from you) and I too am OCD and love planning vacations. I have to say, I love your positive attitude. I cant wait to read more about your planning!
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ginnygi View Post
artemis 908 - wow we have a lot in common! We are the same age, I am from upstate NJ (not that far from you) and I too am OCD and love planning vacations. I have to say, I love your positive attitude. I cant wait to read more about your planning!
I'm from Monmouth County originally Thanks a lot though. When I have a bad day being able to think about my trip and plan it out helps make it better. It definitely helps to keep the positive in my life.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:12 PM   #6
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Ok, now what...

I've been checking multiple times a day for when they will allow us to book our 2013 packages and no go thus far. I've heard that it could be this month or it could be August. I guess last year they had them come out in June, so crossing my fingers they'll be out soon. In the mean time I booked a standard room only for my dates on the phone. Always enjoy speaking to the people at Disney, they are usually very cheerful.



I also pre-ordered 2 books on Amazon for 2013. One comes out in August, the other in September. I shall just have to patiently wait for them! I have always gotten Birnbaum books for a really long time, pretty much since a kid since my parents always got them, so I got one of those along with one of the "unofficial guides".

We've also decided to go with the Deluxe Dining Plan. Last time I was at Disney you got an appetizer AND dessert with your meal, since then they have changed that which I don't like. It made me rethink things and now we are going with the Deluxe Plan, that's three meals a day table service OR counter. It seems like an awfully big jump from the regular dining plan, I wish there was one like that with TWO instead of THREE. And then you could get an appetizer and dessert with that. Since they don't have this we are just going to have do the Deluxe Plan!

There are several reasons why we decided to go with the Deluxe Plan:
  • Like previously stated, I would like an appetizer. I don't feel like I am necessarily going to get an appetizer AND dessert at every meal but I like having the option
  • I don't like the counter service. The way I have been setting things up, I won't have to have counter service any day but the first and last. I typically struggle finding a counter service I like because I don't really like fast food or french fries very much. The only counter service I kind of like is the one in the Land, which is where we plan to go the first day we come in
  • I have never been to a Signature restaurant (we did Le Cellier before it become Signature) so I want to be able to try signature restaurants without having to pay OOP
  • I haven't been to 50s Prime Time or Sci-fi since the Dining Plan started simply because you got one table service a day and I didn't want to waste it on those restaurants, so we can go to these places for lunch now. Also going to add Rainforest Cafe and T-Rex Cafe to that
So that is my thought process around the Deluxe Dining. I am working on a list of restaurants and times now, will share them very soon. My main issue here is just making sure the meals are spread out enough. I am planning two meals a day. Lunch around 11:30 or 12 then dinner around 7:30 or 8. If it's breakfast than breakfast around 8 and dinner around 6. I am hoping these gaps are big enough and I figure if we get hungry mid day we have two snacks to use!
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:51 PM   #7
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Oooh, I really want to stay at the Boardwalk on our next trip. I mean...the next trip after the two we're already planning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by artemis908 View Post
See, way back when, there use to be these cardboard cut outs of the weasels from Who Framed Roger Rabbit next to the cop car from the movie. Every year my dad would make me stand next to them with my hands up because they were pointing a gun and look scared/surprised. Each year you could see me getting more and more annoyed with the situation. :P
That is adorable. I would love to make my kids do something like that, but I can't think of a good spot. With my luck whatever place I picked would disappear before our next trip.

Looking forward to hearing more about your plans!
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by holleypie View Post
Oooh, I really want to stay at the Boardwalk on our next trip. I mean...the next trip after the two we're already planning.



That is adorable. I would love to make my kids do something like that, but I can't think of a good spot. With my luck whatever place I picked would disappear before our next trip.

Looking forward to hearing more about your plans!

There has GOT to be something you can do, like something that couldn't easily be replaced. I am kind of surprised those weasels even lasted as long as they did. It was part of the old Studio Lot Tour. Like maybe something that is part of the rides. First thing that comes to mind is the stuff in front of the Star Wars ride or the Buzz Lightyear when you're waiting in line for the Space Ranger spin. :D
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:01 AM   #9
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subbing in!

ahhh January and February are my favorite times to be in the parks. I love being able to wear a hoodie!

and I wouldn't force yourself to use your snack credits if it means spoiling your appetite for awesome TS! you can always go snack credit crazy your last few days, and get stuff to take home! that way you get tiny pieces of Disney, even after you're home :]
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:27 PM   #10
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When I went onto Disneyworld.com last night, this was what was waiting for me. Nice touch, Disney.



Definitely adds to the excitement. I love it when they send you your little packet of information that has your name on it. This will be the first time we receive one with my married name, which is exciting too. Today is 241 days!

Is it time to book the flights yet...?

There are no flights out yet to Orlando from Philadelphia. I have at least narrowed it down to two airlines based on December prices: Southwest and AirTrans. I am leaning towards Southwest because you can check luggage for free. Since we're going for 10 days and I will need to bring layers for the February weather, I don't want to skimp on checking luggage, especially since I don't even have to handle them once they are at the airport. I tend to buy a lot of souvenirs too, particularly for family so I want to have some added room for that. When we were in Europe for 2 weeks, I was able to get it down to one large suitcase, one small, and a duffel bag. That was kind of annoying though because we had to carry more, I think this time it all goes to the luggage and we spare our shoulders/back (er not so much "ours" as my husband's! )

Prices are looking to be around $250-300 a ticket. I have pretty much looked up every airline that leaves Philadelphia. I am not interested in any stops, it's a 2 1/2 hour flight and I don't want it to turn into 4 or 5. I am hoping maybe I can get some discounted flights with Disney, that might end up making up for the price of checking luggage.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:28 AM   #11
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Subbing! I am also planning a trip with my boyfriend to go in February 2013, very excited! I'm hoping it will not be weird, I met my ex-husband at Disney when we did the Disney college program and we got engaged there in 2007... so I have some memories of us there but I LOVE Disney and want to share that with my DBF.

I'm trying to plan my stay around when flights will be cheaper, and I don't want to plan days for parks until I know the park hours with EMH, etc. And I don't want to plan ADR's until I plan park days! So I am READY for Disney to let me book!! Will probably go through Southwest for flight, love them. Hoping for Free Dining in February, I have also never been during that time period. College program was May-January 4th. Taking DBF for his birthday

Looking forward to reading more!
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:27 PM   #12
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First off, I am really happy to have everyone join me on this little PTR journey :D I get really excited seeing everyone's posts so keep em' coming hehe

Next week is the big day!

Whelp, this morning I was following a post about the disneyworld.com site changing it's interface and that's when we discovered the announcement that on July 11th we'll be able to make reservations for packages online. Now, it said ONLINE, I am not sure what that means for phone reservations. Will those be available the same day? How about before? I have read that traditionally they have come out with new packages and rates on Sundays so since July 11th is the middle of the week it surprises me that this has changed, if it even has. Perhaps they will be available on Sunday, who knows.

In other news I was rethinking my ADR plans and the only change I made was I think I might want to do Beaches and Cream for lunch our first day because the pictures I've seen of the ice cream sundaes look DELICIOUS. Well, that's not really an ADR, but a plan for food. :P But I was considering doing Yachtsman Steakhouse instead of Chef Mickey but I showed both restaurants to my husband and he said we should keep our plans as they are. Rethinking our plans I agree because we are doing Le Cellier and we really don't need two steakhouses and I prefer Le Cellier over Yachtsman. Chef Mickey is our only dinner buffet so it offers some variety. So yay, less than 7 months until our trip and less than 1 month before we can make ADRs!
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artemis908 View Post
First off, I am really happy to have everyone join me on this little PTR journey :D I get really excited seeing everyone's posts so keep em' coming hehe

Next week is the big day!

Whelp, this morning I was following a post about the disneyworld.com site changing it's interface and that's when we discovered the announcement that on July 11th we'll be able to make reservations for packages online. Now, it said ONLINE, I am not sure what that means for phone reservations. Will those be available the same day? How about before? I have read that traditionally they have come out with new packages and rates on Sundays so since July 11th is the middle of the week it surprises me that this has changed, if it even has. Perhaps they will be available on Sunday, who knows.

In other news I was rethinking my ADR plans and the only change I made was I think I might want to do Beaches and Cream for lunch our first day because the pictures I've seen of the ice cream sundaes look DELICIOUS. Well, that's not really an ADR, but a plan for food. :P But I was considering doing Yachtsman Steakhouse instead of Chef Mickey but I showed both restaurants to my husband and he said we should keep our plans as they are. Rethinking our plans I agree because we are doing Le Cellier and we really don't need two steakhouses and I prefer Le Cellier over Yachtsman. Chef Mickey is our only dinner buffet so it offers some variety. So yay, less than 7 months until our trip and less than 1 month before we can make ADRs!
I was coming over here to tell you about the res release on July 11th, but it looks like you already know abot it. As for if the packages will be available via phone on Sunday. . . I don't know. According to someone who talked to a CM they are getting ready for the package release this week. Since the website has already released the July 11th date, you might be able to ask a CM via the phone or just wait until Sunday and try calling.
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:25 PM   #14
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Woo hoo! It's official!

I am happy to report that my vacation is officially booked. I called up Disney at about 7am last Wednesday, had a fairly short hold and was booked within about 15 minutes. No details have changed, still doing 9 days at Boardwalk Inn, Deluxe dining, park hoppers, etc.

There is just one thing that could change... if they don't offer free dining I am probably going to downgrade to regular dining. I was astonished by how much the price had increased from last year, about $15 a person. To me that is substantial! That's almost the difference of an extra meal. So, I am going to make all my ADRs as I would if I had deluxe and then if things change, I just have to cancel some. I am crossing my fingers though for free dining and just slightly worried that my check-in date might be too late. Then the question is would it be worth to add a day to our schedule? I don't know, I think we have a good chance though.

The only thing that has really changed to my ADRs is since Be Our Guest is a one pointer, I added a breakfast to one of our Epcot days at Kouzzina. I didn't want to waste a credit and I figured I could just really spread our meals out more and make them later than they were and make breakfast really early, like 7am. My husband will love waking up that early!

Just hope I am not turning into my dad. When we would go to Disney I'd have to wake up at the crack *** of dawn so that we could be at the gates WAITING for them to open. That wasn't fun, I hated it. I will never do that again, but I didn't think an early breakfast was so bad. It's not like it's every day!
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:13 PM   #15
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Well, it's a new year and 27 days to go! What's my New Years resolution? To have baby by the end of the year. I am taking this seriously by going on Weight Watchers to lose weight. My doctor had told me that sometimes women can get their fertility back just by losing weight, so that's what I am going to do.

On the Disney front, I got my Magical Express stuff in the mail. Took out our two suit cases and getting prepared with some initial packing (I own two Disney shirts, so those can go in right away). Also washed a bunch of clothes and trying to get an idea about the weather. Weather.com says to expect low 70s, which to me is a jacket and short sleeve shirt.

Also, a special thanks to Rebecca aka mrstomrice from our February group for giving me the idea of staying overnight the night before our flight. I don't know why it never occurred to me to even look into that, but we are going to stay at the Wyndham by the airport, park at the hotel and then take a shuttle over. It will save us time from having to wake up early and worry about finding a parking space. There is really no easy way of getting to the airport from our house, it usually takes around an hour even without traffic because the airport is so far down south, it's practically in Delaware. We are very north above Philadelphia, so although an hour isn't bad, it's annoying when you have a 7am flight. So the Wyndham charges $109 total for a room and up to 14 days of parking. I am super happy about that and it's about the same cost as parking at the economy lot. Tripadvisor gave it a good rating, so we're heading down to Philadelphia Friday the 1st!

I seconded guessed myself again about ADRs and was pretty close to doing the Fantasmic Dining Package. The only thing that stopped me were the lack of ADRs available at the Brown Derby, even for lunch. The only times left were 3pm. It would need to take over our Chef Mickey spot, which I was a little apprehensive about doing, last time I was there I loved it. So in the end I made no changes and just accepted the fact that I may just need to be okay with missing Fantasmic altogether if we can't make it due to our ADRs being 7-7:30pm.

I really hate that the parks close so early in February, the only one closing at 9 is Epcot, the right it's 5-8pm, what gives? I know it's a slower time, but I thought since it was the same month as President's weekend and Valentine's Day maybe it wouldn't be so bad, oh well.
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