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Old 01-05-2013, 10:25 PM   #1
AnnieDan_Artlover's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Coteau-du-Lac, Qc, Canada
Posts: 368

Technically, it's not twice in the same year... - BACK ON!!!

Let's see how I handle writing both the previous trip's TR AND this! But I just couldn't WAIT

This is a classic case of FDM otherwise known as Fuzzy Disney Math.

Hi all, I'm Annie-Danielle aka Dan, I'm 33, and I'm crazy.

As proof, let me start by copying (yup, I'm gonna copy-paste my own TR) our introductions :
Im 33, both very mature and a big kid and the most important thing to know about me, I guess, is that I suffer from a chronic illness called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which, to make it short, means bad connective tissues (ligaments, skin, that kinda thing), bad immune system and lots of problems most of the time. Thus, I cant work, not even part time and I live in an extension of my parents house.

My favorites
-Thing to do in a theme park: thrill ride, the crazier the better
-Disney food: Pretzel bread
-Disney movie: Fantasia
-Disney character: Can't choose... as long as it's fuzzy!
-Disney park: Epcot

And with me is my mom aka Mama.
She is (ok, she asks that I say in her young sixties, says it shall be enough).
Her favorites
-Thing to do in a theme park: people watch
-Disney food: Casey's mini corn-dogs
-Disney movie: Cinderella
-Disney character: Can't choose, but like me, prefers the fuzz balls!
-Disney park: MK

I love to write and it's not even a bad day... but how many ways can you write "I'm 33 and love Epcot", really?

Mostly, I know it's important to give you that info... and was anxious to get to the FDM!

See, we are just back (not even a month!) from WDW... where we had been using an ANNUAL PASS. Because for the time we were there, was the most economical option.
Well... as long as we have that...

PLUS, we already paid for a Tables in Wonderland card, also valid for a whole 12 months! So it's like it's FREE! 20% off all our sit-down meals, for FREE! (see how that fuzziness is working?)

And on top of it all, since I'm a DISer, I knew that even though I was staying in a DVC resort on rented points, I could have access to a bounceback offer if I dialed #8844 from the room while checked-in...
And indeed we got a very good offer, better than the one we had on the table in the room (free dining I think) or the ones I got since.

It was 35% off any deluxe, for almost exactly the dates we wanted.

Because of course, being the DISer I am, I knew about this, we had talked about this before we even left, and I had done all my research so the only thing which could've changed our decision would've been an awful trip (not wanting to go back... happened in 2008) or no good bounceback offer.

So when you add FREE park entry, FREE 20% discount on sit-down meals and 35% on the room... things look very, very interesting!

And if you add Halloween AND the Food & Wine Festival... well... we just HAD to go back next fall!

Last edited by AnnieDan_Artlover; 09-27-2013 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:40 PM   #2
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Smile When and where


When are we going? NO! Don't look at the ticker! You are ruining the fun!

Well, I know I already said "Halloween and F&WF" but that leaves a pretty wide window.

As I said, before we left I had done my research, crunched the numbers, etc, etc.

I knew, for example, that the Halloween decorations should be up starting around mid-September until mid-November, same dates as the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP, from now on, as everyone knows it anyways).
I also knew that the Food & Wine Festival (F&WF) is usually from the end of September to mid-November.

I knew that there is Columbus day mid-October that is to be avoided even though it sadly usually coincides with the Swan and Dolphin's F&W which I would've liked to try...

I knew that the MNSSHP closer to actual Halloween were the busiest.

I knew the predicted crowds were the lowest in September (past the 1st week) and then not so bad but not as good...

I also knew my health doesn't play well with high temperatures and high humidity, so the latest would be the best for me...

I knew the pricing was going from Value season (until Sept. 26th)
to Regular season (last week of Sept. to the end of Oct.)
to Fall season (Oct. 20th until Thanksgiving)

And finally, I calculated that 7 days would be enough, since we would've just been there less than a year prior.

Factoring everything, our choice was : Arriving Oct. 2nd and departing Oct. 9th.

We thought we would stay at the Contemporary this time, since we didn't want the risk of renting points and not be able to cancel. Since we wanted to ask my dad to come with us (not being sure what we wanted his answer to be...), we needed a room that could accomodate us either way, and also which wouldn't make it complicated if he changed his mind either way last minute. So DVC was pretty much out of the question.

When we got in the room at the Bay Lake Tower, on our rented DVC points, there was indeed an offer on the table. It was up to 35% off on selected nights, on selected Deluxe resorts. None of the resorts we wanted, and not the season we wanted either. If I recall correctly it was for next spring.
There was ALSO a free dining plan offer. But I had already crunched the numbers for that, and even a FREE dining plan was not worth it for us. Because it meant taking a full-priced room and buying at least one-day park admission for each of us... and paying a few meals and snacks OOP. Right then and there, it was much more advantageous to hope for a good bounceback offer or wait for a good Annual Passholder deal on a room-only!
Plus... the free dining plan offer wasn't for the right dates either... Well, I think anyways. One thing is for sure : it wasn't worth changing our dates or wait for another similar offer!

One thing changed just before I called #8844 for my bounceback offer though: Mama said she thought we should go for 10 days. I wasn't going to argue with that! It's not like I don't pay a dime, but given our situation, she pays the bulk of it, so if she says she'd rather we stay longer, I'll go for it!
I figure, it's perfect: 2 days for each park, plus 2 days to choose which ones we'd rather revisit! Altough it's not really what we do, since we always park hop.

So I called, and it wasn't like I thought it would be. I thought I'd get a recording telling me what the offer was, and then I would decide if we wanted it or not, and book something with the code, online or otherwise.
Instead you get a booking agent who asks you what you want... what resort, what dates... I was a bit stumped, because the resort and dates were largely dependant on the offer! And she was NOT telling me anything about it. She knew I was calling about it... I clearly mentioned "bounceback offer", but she didn't mention any percentage or anything.

So I gave her my planned dates... and finally she said the only offer she had for the moment ended on October 5th. So having all my info fresh in mind I knew it should be fine, just the weather might be slightly warmer (still, it's so unpredictable!) and told her to go ahead and book me for 9 nights and 10 days up until the offer ended.

Which meant check-in on Sept. 25th and checkout on Oct. 4th.
With the 35% discount it got us a Garden Wing with standard view (aka parking, who cares?) for about 2500$.
250$/night for the Contemporary, we'll take it!!!

All in all, almost exactly what we wanted! The only thing is the F&WF won't be started when we get there (unless they change something from last year).

Being the 3rd trip and the 2nd one so soon I'm happy I'll have research to do on that and the Halloween stuff, because otherwise I would be there wishing I had things to do preparing the trip!

I must point out though that for us it will more be the FOOD festival, no wine implicated. I don't drink any alcohol, and Mama doesn't drink a lot. She might taste a wine here or there, but she isn't very into the tasting thing and doesn't like to drink a lot (no wonder, with my dad being an alcoholic... and it's something I'm very grateful for, as it would be hellish). In fact, last trip, a few times she decided not to have that glass of wine with our meal because it was too hot outside and she didn't want to feel queasy, or because she wanted to be sure to be able to ride Soarin' (she's very prone to motionsickness), etc.

I can't wait to learn more about it! I really enjoy tasting foods!

So, let's review :
Our stay will be at the Contemporary, Garden Wing (standard view), Sept. 25th to Oct. 4th
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:30 PM   #3
RIP our sweet Magic (09/27/10)
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Yay! I'm in on this one too! We would love to go for F&W this year, but I can't plan that just yet until we get the rest of our year of travel straightened out...
Susan, Chris, Katie (22 and in Grad School at CU - Go BUFFS!)

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Old 01-07-2013, 03:14 PM   #4
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Food and transports

Hi Susan!!!
Wouldn't it be AWESOME to be able to meet?!
I hope your year travel plans make it possible!

Today I learned one very important thing:
Researching F&WF makes one hungry!!!

Mama and I decided, after looking at the DIS official video and seeing the choice and size of offerings that except maybe one or 2 restaurants, we would skip a most sit-down dinners to do that instead.
We found we loved to do a park during the day and then go to Epcot to eat dinner... and this is what we'll do... but without any ADR!

Of course we'll have to look at the restaurants list to make sure we don't forget any must do's (or repeats), and of course we'll enjoy F&WF for lunch on our Epcot days... but out of thin air, I'd say we will skip a few to snack there.

Of course we did like sitting down at a restaurant to take a nice break, and Mama hates eating while standing... so we'll (I will) just have to figure out a nice, balanced, schedule.

On another subject, we were toying with the idea of transportation. In 2008 we took the plane. Mama, flying for the first time in about 20 years, remembered she was phobic... it was awful, she almost crushed my hand and it ruined her last few days of the trip because she couldn't stop worrying about the flight back. She vowed not to ever fly again.

Still, she doesn't like to drive so driving is my sole responsibility, and still stresses her out a bit, and since we rely on just me... we rely on my health. Which is highly UNreliable.
And it costs more. I'd say around 1250$ for driving (hotels, gas and meals), not counting the wear and tear on the car... compared to about 500$ flying if we cross the border to fly out of Burlington.

Since it's been 4 years, Mama kinda forgot how bad flying is... and is almost willing to give it another go. But I remember. And the flight out of Burlington is not direct... and take offs and landings are the worst part...
PLUS, we had planned on maybe adding a night or 2, in a value, to make it a "real" 10 days. If we fly, we get more a "8 days and a half" since you get there late on the day of check-in and you leave at least mid-day on the day of checkout...

So it looks like we're going to hope for good health on my part and drive.
So we can do just that, and arrive on the 24th in the evening, stay in a value on property (which isn't pricier than a Hampton Inn anyways)... I'd like to try Art of Animation... then the next morning check-in at the Contemporary as planned before starting our day (wouldn't matter if the room isn't ready yet).
At the end of our Contemporary stay, on Oct. 4th, we check-out and check-in at a value so we can enjoy one last day (and that one I'd try the All-Star Music). The next morning we leave.
With that we really have a true 10 days in the parks, and we even get to check out 2 new resorts!
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:16 PM   #5
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The ever-changing plans dance starts now!

You all realized that when I laid out a plan in the previous posts, it was so I could change them, right?

Already... we are thinking of adding a day (or 2...) at Universal.
Mama didn't like the parks... and there isn't much there for her motion-sick-prone-self (the few attractions she can do, she didn't enjoy much, like Twister! ) ...but she isn't one to mind hanging on to the bags and people watching while I'm enjoying myself, especially if it's just 1-2 days out of more than 2 weeks... especially since it's the kind of attractions I love and we don't plan on going anywhere near Florida for years...

If we are lucky, we will have enough AirMiles points to pay for at least 1 of our Universal park admission, and unless we get a great offer somewhere, we would stay offsite to save money. We might take the Express ticket, but just for myself as Mama rarely rides. I'll have to crunch the numbers.
It was fun to have it with the hotel, but 250$ or so a night just for that and WWoHP early entry wasn't worth it, especially since it was low season. And it will be low season again.

I'm thinking either just one day, and pay for the Express ticket and ride just the faves like crazy and skip everything else... or 2 days without the express and do smaller days not to overexert myself, and have a chance to ride my faves a few times... It will depend on the cost difference too.

On another topic, the FOOoooood topic, I started a tentative ADR list... turns out we will just have to check out the Food festival as snacks and lunch, because we have too much restaurants we want to check out! The list has somewhere around 15 options... even counting for just one the likes of "Jiko OR Sanaa"... It's just crazy.
We will face some very hard choices!

Oooh, and guess what we had as an appetizer for dinner? A curried cauliflower soup, just like we had at Boma! I found the recipe online (not the Boma recipe, sadly I couldn't find it) and it tasted very similar, it was AWESOME!

Here it is:
Curried Cauliflower Soup


- 2 Tbsp. butter, plus more for optional garnish
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped chives or fresh cilantro for garnish, optional

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting heat so onions are cooking but not browning, until onions look starchy and a bit creamy, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add curry powder and cayenne, if you like, and stir to combine thoroughly, about 30 seconds. Add cauliflower, stir to combine, cover and cook 3 minutes. Add broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook until cauliflower is very tender, about 10 minutes. Purée soup with a hand-held blender. Or, whirl in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth (place a kitchen towel over blender to prevent potential burns). (Note: At this point the soup may be cooled, covered, and frozen for up to 4 months.) Add cream and cook over medium-low heat until hot. Serve soup hot, with a sprinkle of chives and/or a pat of butter, if you like.
(makes 4 cups)
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:40 PM   #6
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Num, the cauliflower soup sounds good. Thank you for sharing. And aren't plans made to be changed?
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:45 PM   #7
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Welcome happybelle!
Most DISers plans definitely are made for changing, especially when they start so early! That's half the fun of it!
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:32 PM   #8
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I m so sorry that you won't be able to continue on with your trip! Definitely your personal health as well as your family's financial health are most important!

Last edited by thummyt; 09-05-2013 at 09:41 PM. Reason: updated message
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:22 PM   #9
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Talking The trip is back on!!!!

OMG I can't believe it!

I had not intended to completely stop writing, among other things I wanted to reply to your kind words, swwake & thummyt
I also take the opportunity to say I have NOT abandonned the past trip TR... but I have so many things going on at once : EDS awareness, including my blog, a new video I shot that will be shown to doctors to help teach them about the illness -SO EXCITED ABOUT THAT!, I'm now a moderator on an international rare disease website, I sometimes help a local marketing company by doing text revision/correction, I'm also in the process of putting the final touches to my book which I wanted to publish this fall... might be a bit late now... CRAZAY.
Good crazay. Health is still bad, but I've seen worse.
And so... each day I have to make choices and never get to do all I want/need, and the TR always gets pushed down the list... But it IS on the list! My Passporter pouches and notebook are beside my sofa in the living room... always ready... slightly dusty

So... now on to the big news :
Had the trip not been cancelled, we would've left last Friday, and this Wednesday would've arrived in Disney. We both tried not to think about it.
But I got an ADR reminder email last Monday!

I was confused... I was sure they had all been cancelled.
See, after I cancelled the trip, I went to check the ADRs on the Disney website... and it said I didn't have any. To make sure it wasn't just a glitch, I also checked my MyDisneyExperience app, and re-checked the website a few times over the months. Always I got "there is nothing to show". So I figured when you cancelled the trip, all the ADRs connected to it got cancelled too.
I should've known better : a) I have changed resort ressies many times for our first trip in 2008 (well... our Disney Unlimited agent did, but I knew how it worked), I've read enough here about split stays and last-minute resort changes... I should have remembered how they are not linked to a resort ressie.
b) I have had troubles with the Disney website so many times while making the ADRs, I shouldn't have trusted.

So, on Monday, I had to call and cancel everything. Thank god for Skype!
I must say, cancelling that, one by one, on the week it would've happened, while I'm physically much better than when we cancelled the trip... I was tearing up and it hit me much harder.
But we couldn't do anything about it. The decision had been done, mom had told me it was better financially after all, and without the bounceback offer, we wouldn't be able to afford it (or would have to stay at a moderate or value resort... which honestly would be too hard with my health).
Plus, it would be so last minute, we probably wouldn't be able to find anything where we wanted... we had had trouble finding availability at the Contemporary with the bounceback offer, and that was almost a year early!
And finally, we had said we didn't want to go back for the holidays... well, I don't meant that we wouldn't want to go then a second time, holidays were great, just see my TR when I finish it!
But what made us excited was seeing the Halloween period and F&W.
So I didn't even bring it up.

And then it happened.
Literally 5 minutes after hanging up with dining to cancel, I got an offer in my email.
Turns out, it's the same damn email announced everywhere : up to 30% if you book by the end of October, for a trip almost anytime from now to the holidays.

But, having cancelled and been so busy, I hadn't been anywhere near Disney info (too depressing).
Not thinking "we could go back", but just how funny it was, I sent the email to Mama.

And she replied with "...maybe we could go!".

So, that day, I was over my head in Fuzzy Disney Math trying to figure out if, indeed, we could... looking if there was any kind of availability... Set up my account on the reshaped MyDisneyExperience website as well...

And I was lucky that the link to make room reservations with that special offer didn't work, and had to call...
Because the guy on the phone a) noticed I could get a 35% discount with my AP! and b) found us an even better place to stay, for less than what we had agreed on!

Because we're just a month out, as I feared, there was less availability. That meant most standard aka cheaper rooms in the few Deluxes we were interested in, were not available.

After talking about it, and realizing that we intended to go to Epcot to eat almost every day, we decided we'd love to stay in one of those resorts (ideally Beach or Yacht Club).
Of course, if cheaper, Contemporary would've been nice, we liked it. But it was a lot of walking to use the monorail and we didn't plan on going to MK that much more than HS, and much less than Epcot... And it would be nice to change.
Our last choice would've been AKL, but with the extra to get Savannah view (cuz if we're that far, might as well see the animals dammit!). I've been dreaming of those animals for a while... But being so far... well made it our last choice.

So. I called. And asked for BeachClub. The only available room (and I really mean ONLY, as in just ONE), was with laguna view... not cheap.
But Mama was set on staying in that area so she said, alright, go!
And that's when the great CM (he really was super nice and helpful!) said "wait, for 100$ less (over the total stay) you could have a Boardwalk VILLA, 1 bedroom!

Of course we jumped on that!

I won't have to wear earplugs! (Mama snoooores so loud!) And she'll be able to watch TV to fall asleep, while I'll be able to play on my laptop or iPhone without bothering her...
She's very excited about the washer/dryer... I'm mostly excited about the jettub!!! The help that will be to my joints!!!
And having both a tub and a shower will save us some time too!

I can't believe we'll have that! (for a bit less than 400$ a night with the discount).
So, it's more money than what we would've spent had we gone this week. Because of the season price change, and because IT'S A VILLA.
But we decided it was totally worth it.
Go back this year, see what we wanted to see... and not go again, or not for a long time. (not together anyways... I might go with friends... or not).
And "splurge" to make sure we have the best experience, while also making sure it's the easiest for my health. Being close to Epcot and HS, sleeping great, not losing time doing laundry (and really resting when we're back at the resort), and that jettub... all things which might help.

We will of course save a bit of money by having a full kitchen... but we won't be doing a whole lot of cooking, especially not with the F&W going on! We are not going there to cook! We plan on eating in for late-night snacks and breakfasts.

I did have to decide if it was still worth going to Universal, which in itself cost almost 1000$ more. And which was just for me.
Unlike Disney, we don't have APs there. I looked at the different options, and for how many rides I really wanted to go back... and when the count stopped at 5... I figured even for those it wouldn't be worth it.

Instead, we added 3 nights at value Disney resorts.
That way, we keep the same overall plan we had, but we're at Disney the whole time... 11 days total. Even less stress in case of a bad (or hot) day.

Because of course, it might still be hot...
But I'm hopeful. One month later should make a difference. The predicted weather is about 80°F... if it's not 95°F with the humidity, I should be fine. And it could even be colder... which is what I'm hoping for of course!
Last year we were there just one month later, and we had one almost "too hot" day, a few almost too cold... the rest being perfect. We could be lucky.

So... I've spent over 15 hours in the past few days checking everything out, on the phone for the different ressies and modifying the Sept/Oct plan into a new Oct/Nov plan!

Which is now :
Oct. 26th : leave home, drive
Oct. 27th: Drive (maybe have dinner with my friend on the way!)
Oct. 28th: Drive and arrive in DISNEY - All-Star Music
Oct 29th: First day at the park, hurray!
Oct. 30th: change resort for Boardwalk Villa
Nov. 8th: change resort for Pop Century and enjoy our last park day
Nov. 9th: Start the drive back home
Nov. 10th: Drive some more
Nov. 11th: Surprise! Visit Hershey museum and pick up a few Xmas gifts along the way ...and if we can make it, arrive home late in the evening

I'll detail you our new day-to-day plan in another post. If I forget, Swwake, send me a message or something to remind me

Oh, and I almost forgot : we got in the Magicband testing!
Being a huge techie I'm excited about that, even though I know it might be complicated, might have glitches and so on...

I'm also curious to see if, with the heath being a bit more present than last december (unless I'm super lucky), I'll need to ask for that new Disability card, which is a kind of fastpass... I'll tell you more later too.

Gotta go back to planning and all those things I have to attend!

Can't tell you all happy I am that we're going, after all! Woohoo!

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Old 09-30-2013, 09:41 PM   #10
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Hooray I'm really happy for you!!!

I found your thread a little while ago and got hooked, but as I read on I saw your trip was cancelled so I didn't post a reply!!!

I can't wait to read more!!! Go Disney!! Go Disney!!!

Me Madeline Wife, Mom, & 1st Grade Teacher Extraordinare Husband Jason Michael 15 Mallory 5

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2602026 Mallory Makes a Magical Wish! -- UPDATE -- I wish for... Rudolph!? pg. 4 Post #46

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Old 10-01-2013, 11:28 AM   #11
RIP our sweet Magic (09/27/10)
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Wow this is super exciting! I've been missing Disney quite a bit and have had my "moments" of thinking we could make a last-minute trip. But I don't see it happening this year.

I thought about you last week when they announced the new rules for the disability access cards. I think it sucks that those who really need it are being punished due to the acts of a few cheating VIP "hosts". My SIL said "they aren't being punished. They still get fastpasses." To which I replied - that's not good enough. Some people have to plan their whole days around a couple of hours when they will feel well enough to go to the parks and see their favorite attractions. Having to go get a fastpass and return later will add stress and time.

I thought about your situation, as well as the many Wish children. Just makes me furious!

Anyway, hope you've had a good summer. Good to see you back!
Susan, Chris, Katie (22 and in Grad School at CU - Go BUFFS!)

Visit my travel blog: Oh, the Places We'll Go!
December 2011 PTR September 2010 Trip Report Oasis of the Seas Cruise TR Las Vegas TR
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:26 PM   #12
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Small update before the huge post ;)

Awww, Madeline, that's so sweet! Never thought someone could get "hooked" on one of MY PTRs or TRs, wow! Welcome aboard (again!)

And Susan, em, Swwake, thanks for raising awareness and speaking out for those like me!

I'm actually not to frustrated about it... for myself. Because honestly, I had always ALWAYS thought that was pretty much how the old GAC cards worked... they used to say "if it's just waiting outside that's a problem, rent an EVC (scooter) or take your wheelchair" (and who cares if that costs you over 300$ -that's when you decide beforehand to rent one for the whole stay, otherwise it's much more expensive). Otherwise I had been told I would be in the regular line anyways, and, only if the wait was too long or, you know, the CM felt bad for me, I guess, I would be given a time to come back... or would just be offered to sit out the wait time somewhere more comfy.

In 2008, I asked for the GAC. We didn't use it at every attraction. It wasn't super crowded, sometimes also just using the wheelchair entrance made it the FP entrance anyways and they didn't make us wait longer than the FP people (but not less). I remember one time in particular, at ToT I think, where because I was in a wheelchair, I was asked to wait somewhere else, and because of that I actually waited about twice longer than everyone else (which is why I always was confused when people said a GAC or wheelchair was a way to go "front of the line"!).

Last year, not to give any punchlines away from my TR, but I didn't ask for a GAC, and even though my health still gave me grief at times, since it was so lightly crowded, using Fastpasses the right way, we were good.

I had been wondering about asking the GAC this year since it will be hotter (hopefully not too much), and since I'm writing to you right now with a maybe torn meniscus in my right knee (happened yesterday), wearing a brace and unable to walk, we might have to rent the scooter and ask for the damn GAC (or should I now say DAS, as they call it now) and see.

I like the way the new FP+ works in that you don't need to walk across the whole park to get, say, a Kilimanjaro Safari FP, and then tour the park, to go there again when it's time. You have a set time (which you can, maybe, slightly modify on the day if needed) and you can organize your day accordingly.
But having only 3 allowed FP+ per day, for just ONE park, makes it hard.
Not being able to do a long day in one park, we usually park-hop a lot. With F&W we'll park hop even more! Stop in Epcot for dinner and move on, for example.

So... having used regular FPs last year, if I'm in good shape... we might be fine without it (either if we can add the regular FPs even though we have MagicBands... which I'm guessing we can't... or simply if it's not too crowded!). We could also be fine just getting return times with the DAS. Especially if rumors are true and there are kiosks around the park you can get return times for without having to get to the attraction... rumors now about this don't seem too encouraging though.

I totally understand Disney for changing the system, am not angry with them for this. I'm definitely angry with the people who cheated, abused and made it this way now.
I also wish they would've just made it so that people with disabilities could simply have access to more FP+ slots and the ability to park hop. I mean, it would work the same way, we wouldn't be cutting in front of anyone... and I'm not talking unlimited or 4 FPs every hour... I can't do that anyways. No, just maybe a few more each day, and have the possibility to have a few FP+ in MK in the afternoon and then 1 or 2 at Epcot in the evening. Or the chance to do FP+ for rides in the day at one park, and then use a parade spot FP+ in the evening at another park.
I do realize, though, that all of this, MagicBands, FP+ system and this new DAS card are (or will be) in testing, not set in stone in any way... so it might get better.

So far, there aren't so many rides, especially so close after being there, that we are dying to do and need an FP. So we end up with a lot of repeat FP+. But at the same time, we will want to ride some less popular attractions for which we don't take FP+ (or for which they aren't available)... and if the wait times are over 15-20min (5-10min, if it's very hot or if I'm having a bad day)... I'll need the DAS card or will have to skip that ride.

On that note... let's go write that detailed plans post
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:37 PM   #13
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Location: Coteau-du-Lac, Qc, Canada
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The long, detailed, plan!

Wow... no, it didn't take me THAT long to write the post...
Just many things (mostly good ) happened...

But I'm here, not forgetting. And here it goes:

Oct. 28th: we arrive in Disney late in the evening and check in All-Star Music.

Early start at AK (hopefully at or close to rope-drop), and stay there until around noon.
We have FP+ for Primeval Whirl, Dinosaur and Kilimanjaro Safari.
Then we move on to Epcot after lunch for the rest of the day and all evening.
We might as well see the Smash Mouth concert (Eat to the Beat). But not IllumiNations.

Oct. 30th: We switch resort in the morning (we probably won't be able to settle in Boardwalk so early, but some luggage will be transferred, the rest being in the car it's no problem... the administrative part is the bothering one we need to get out of the way )
Once it's done, hopefully by late morning, we move on to MK for the day, where we have FP+ for POTC, Haunted Mansion and IASM. We plan to catch MSEP and Wishes... and I keep trying for FP+ for those (we don't care losing an attraction FP+). I know it's not necessary, but we'd like to try the parades/fireworks preferred seating, and Mama would especially love not having to stand for so long (me too, but unlike her I'm able to sit on the ground... even though it's hard to get down and back up).
I'm hoping for the 2nd MSEP to be added to the schedule, which is always less crowded... but I don't know if they do that in early November?

Oct. 31st: Back to MK, at rope drop, and since it's an AM EMH... well we'll try anyway
We have FP+ for Space Mountain, Under the Sea and POTC, and plan to stay until after the afternoon parade.
Then we'll go shopping at Basin in the Grand Floridian (we know the monorail goes the other way and we'll basically have to do one extra turn... but since they don't ship to the resorts -we learned that last trip- it's that or carry our soaps around all day. Plus, monorail is fun! )
After that and some relaxing, it's on to Epcot for dinner and some evening fun.

Nov. 1st: Late start. Head to Epcot for a late afternoon lunch... then on to MK around 4pm for the MNSSHP!!!
Since we get there early, I got us FP+ for Space Mountain, Under the Sea and Haunted Mansion (to put us in the mood )
We plan on not riding rides during the party itself... just hit the trick or treat spots, maybe a few characters (but no 1h lines... love the 7 dwarves but... no.), a dancing party if I convince Mama... and just get in the sights.
And of course, unless we have the good luck of FP+ getting offered for those fireworks and parades until then, at least 90min total to save those spots...
At least there's a second parade... at the MVMCP we arrived maybe 20min early for the fireworks, and then moved our good Frontierland spot for the 2nd parade and it was perfect.

Nov. 2nd: After such a late night, we'll get to AK late morning... with FP+ for Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl and Kilimanjaro Safari (see a pattern in the FP+s?)
We'll stay for the afternoon parade, too...
Then head on to Epcot for dinner (maybe with a break at the hotel in between), and if we feel like it, we'll continue towards MK for MSEP and Wishes... especially if it didn't happen or go well the 1st time around.

Nov. 3rd: We finally get to HS! Where we have FP+ for ToT, Star Tours and Toy Story Mania (I say "we have FP+" but most times it's just me who'll ride of course...) and where we'll stay until closing time or so...
We plan on a late dinner at Epcot, and then maybe swing by Jellyrolls to see those duelling pianos I've been wanting to go see since 2007!

Nov. 4th: Get in Epcot near rope drop, and we have FP+ for Soarin, Journey with Figment (I know, it's corny and we don't need an FP... but we had to fill the 3rd FP+ spot and I want to go anyways ) and Maelstrom.
We also have a place for a chef's demonstration at 1pm. I just hope it's not something I can't taste after, like coconut or shellfish... and thus I wouldn't benefit from the tips either... crossing fingers!
We'll stay until dinner, and then move to HS where they have evening EMH.

Nov. 5th: Yet another early and full day at Epcot. This time the FP+ are for Nemo, Soarin' and Living with the Land (I know... but the Land ride was the one we waited the most for last time, curiously!).
We'll leave in early afternoon since we have an ADR at Boma at 4:50pm.

Nov. 6th: Our second full day at HS, where we'll arrive late morning.
FP+ are for Star Tours, ToT and FANTASMIC! That one is interesting... can't wait to see where we'll be seated and how much or little wait there actually is for a scheduled arrival FP time of 20-30min before the show! Mama isn't very excited to see the show again... but after seeing it in 2008 with a dinner package and about 45min wait (in wheelchair) and being seated so high and far back... and then last December, not a bad seat (middle, middle) but almost 2hrs wait... it would be fun to have a grat seat and not wait long! Plus... it's our last time...
After the show if we're not too pooped I'd love to check out Epcot since it's an evening EMH.

It's the nice thing of being so close... when you're just 10min away, and walking (so no waiting for a bus or monorail), you can very easily say "we'll check it out" and then 1hr in the park is totally worth it!.

Nov. 7th: Last AK day. With the big day before and late Epcot night, we'll arrive around noon. We also want to start packing in the am. FP+ are for Primeval Whirl, Dinosaur and... you guessed it, Kilimanjaro Safari...
We plan to attend the afternoon parade, because it will be the 1st JINGLE jammin' parade (the Xmas one)! I absolutely loved it last trip.
Then we have our 2nd and last ADR of the trip (that's where you see the F&W effect!), at Sanaa at 5:35, which I'm hoping to be perfectly timed with the animals being active close to sunset...
Getting back if timing is right and we have energy I'd LOVE to go see Dennis De Young at Epcot's Eat to the Beat concert... and then we finish packing.

Nov. 8th: Our last day
We start by saying goodbye to the Boardwalk and switching resorts, checking into Pop Century.
Then we go to MK one last time, hopefully getting there by late morning.
And we leave at some point in the afternoon... There's an MNSSHP anyways, so by 4pm it won't be as much fun...
Moving to HS for one last time... to witness the first lighting of the Osbourne Festival of Lights!!! Which will be different from last trip! We would've been happy to see the same thing again, so it's even better!
And believe it or not, we still aren't finished... we have FP+ for Soarin', Misson Space and IllumiNations... All after 8pm, so it's tight but possible...
The sun should set around 5:30, so I'm guessing the lights should start around 6:30... if we get in right away, it might take 30min navigating and taking it all in... it's a very close thing to get to Epcot by the FP+ time of Soarin (1-8pm) but we could either try to change it on the day... or just miss it and that wouldn't be too bad.
I think it will be nice to end the day with the show, especially not having to scout our spot an hour early, even more if we're lucky enough to have a chair!!! (For the 10pm show, the FP+ arrival time is between 9:35 and 9:55!)

Nov. 9th: We check out of Pop and leave...

But I'm sure by then we won't be too sad to leave... having spent enough time to see and do all we wanted, having seen spring (and Flower & Garden Festival, and Pirates & Princess party which was going on in 2008), the Holidays (and MVMCP) and fall (and F&W, and MNSSHP).
We'll be tired and, still, will be looking forward to stopping to the Hershey's museum on the way...

And I know I'll be looking forward to decorating the house a baking holiday treats... in other words, I'll be in the holiday spirit, thanks to the last 2 days in the World!

...Having to cancel and then the chance to re-book this trip seems to be like the perfect timing, things will be even better.
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