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Old 06-03-2012, 08:33 PM   #631
eandesmom
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Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
I think you had plenty to update, even if you didn't think so when you started writing. It's great how you have so many scenarios already figured out, depending on how the tournament and other decisions fall-out. That'll help with your decision-making when the time comes.
I guess, I'd just like to have it all settled and booked and feel a bit unsettled at the moment. I will be sad if we decide to keep it at OWK but have to change to a 1bedroom and the ones near hospitality house are gone but I'll just have to be patient and pray it's not much longer!

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Originally Posted by Poolrat View Post
I am glad you are down to fewer options.

Also knowing that you will have a better idea soon but not yet because people are not posting the tournament schedule would drive me batty too.
it is SO frustrating! They have to know by now, official notification supposedly went out friday by email, why don't they email the parents?

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You are better prepared that I am for my trip in July- What started out simple for me is getting more omplicated now. Not anything bad just more options as I get closer.
sounds familiar! We were very uncomplicated until a couple of weeks ago!
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:16 PM   #632
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I gotta say that reading all the in between chatter, it sounds like starting out at OKW would be a really nice, relaxing start to the trip. I have learned over the last couple of years that the tendency to go full throttle right at the beginning, on top of traveling, isn't always the best idea. Hope things get squared away soon. July is getting really close!
It is really close...well 53 days close lol!

22 days before I freak out about changes but OH I hope I don't have to wait that long!
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:53 AM   #633
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Hi Cynthia! How annoying that you still don't know what is going on!

I can understand that OKW sounds more and more appealing for your first night. We were there twice during our last trip to look around and I actually really liked what I saw. I am not sure it is the place I want to be at if I want to spend much time at the parks. But if you want a relaxing place in Orlando I think it is a wonderful choice! Katharina and I really enjoyed breakfast at Olivias - nothing special, but a very comfortable place.

What kind of sunscreen have you been testing? I remember that you once posted a lot about the difficulties of sun screen etc. Made me much more aware of that issue.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:26 PM   #634
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Hi Cynthia! How annoying that you still don't know what is going on!
It's making me nutty! I suppose it's the total lack of control of the situation, there are several things I'd like to pre-pay for and don't want to until I know if we have to buy additional flights for K or upgrade rooms and that's really bugging me as I'd love to have some of those things just checked off the list and can't yet.

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I can understand that OKW sounds more and more appealing for your first night. We were there twice during our last trip to look around and I actually really liked what I saw. I am not sure it is the place I want to be at if I want to spend much time at the parks. But if you want a relaxing place in Orlando I think it is a wonderful choice! Katharina and I really enjoyed breakfast at Olivias - nothing special, but a very comfortable place.
It's always looked lovely to me, though it's location hasn't been a big selling point. We've almost stayed there a couple of times and it would be interesting to try and see how well it works for the parks. Honestly though no matter where you stay there will be at least one park that it takes a while to get to. However, in this case, the location is what makes it so appealing. As we won't be hitting a park that first 24 hours, not being tempted by one seems a very good idea!

Olivia's does look like a good spot for breakfast. If we stay at OKW though, we'll be having a big early lunch at Margaritaville so it will just be light breakfast before that otherwise I know we'd be eating at Olivia's.

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What kind of sunscreen have you been testing? I remember that you once posted a lot about the difficulties of sun screen etc. Made me much more aware of that issue.
I use the EWG guide to help me find good sunscreens. I'm actually a bit hypersensitive to this as Eric burns so easily, both Jeff's parents have had skin cancer and right now I'm going through some testing of my own. While it is highly unlikely that is what is going on with me, it is making me more aware!

The brands we are trying out are
  • Badger
  • Caribbean Solutions
  • Mexitan Tropical Sands
  • Beyond Coastal

So far I probably like the Carribean Solutions the best for non swimming activities but haven't tested anything in water which will be the real test.

All of the mineral ones are a bit of a pain to rub in.

I've used others in the past
  • Aveeno, would still use, over the counter but better that most
  • Purple Prairie. This one expired on me and I got burned so skipped it when I reordered. Harder to rub in.
  • Karen's botanicals. Still use this face cream and like it a lot.
  • Soleo Organics. Worked well but one of the harder ones to rub in.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:38 PM   #635
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DVC Travelex update

for anyone who might be thinking about purchasing it

Ok, I admit. I am an online shopper. If I don't have to call someone, I don't!

So I purchased the travelex online.

When you do so, it asks you for your vacation start date. Which I entered.

You then get a policy for a year from that date.

Which of course doesn't match my use year!

So...if you are buying it, you need to enter the start date as the first day of your use year.

And, if you are like me, and using more than one use year for your trip, buy a plan for each use year. So far I've only bought one but will be buying the 2nd one. I may skip doing a separate cruise policy...that's the wildcard that I really haven't decided on yet, having the first one which is our "getting there" part of the trip seemed most important to me.

No issues getting it fixed but the way they word it is confusing.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:48 PM   #636
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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
for anyone who might be thinking about purchasing it

Ok, I admit. I am an online shopper. If I don't have to call someone, I don't!

So I purchased the travelex online.

When you do so, it asks you for your vacation start date. Which I entered.

You then get a policy for a year from that date.

Which of course doesn't match my use year!

So...if you are buying it, you need to enter the start date as the first day of your use year.

And, if you are like me, and using more than one use year for your trip, buy a plan for each use year. So far I've only bought one but will be buying the 2nd one. I may skip doing a separate cruise policy...that's the wildcard that I really haven't decided on yet, having the first one which is our "getting there" part of the trip seemed most important to me.

No issues getting it fixed but the way they word it is confusing.
Thanks for clearing it up for us!
I never even thought about looking into insurance for DVC trips. We bought insurance from our local AAA (they sell insurance even though we did not buy the trip from them) and that was it.
But I will look into DVC insurance!
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:32 PM   #637
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Thanks for clearing it up for us!
I never even thought about looking into insurance for DVC trips. We bought insurance from our local AAA (they sell insurance even though we did not buy the trip from them) and that was it.
But I will look into DVC insurance!
It can be a better deal cost wise. $79 per use year, per membership and it covers any and all trips on that use years points (and apparently up to 15 traveling companions). It also covers some things a regular plan might not, like dues, property and I did hear of one claim where they paid $5 per point lost though there is nothing in writing along those lines, not sure how that would actually work if it came down to it. I do know that AAA, for us, is a LOT pricier. For example, for us, if I purchased both use years, plus a standalone policy just to cover the cruise, we are at about $268. AAA for just the cruise portion would be $284. Granted, it is probably not an apples to apples coverage comparison but still...

Not sure if it is due to our state or not but I can get a comparable policy through insure my trip for less.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:59 AM   #638
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Any word yet?? I would think they would want to notify the parents ASAP! Or at least send out an email sharing why they are delayed with the info.

If you are still waiting, hang in there! You obviously have the patients of a saint!
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:05 PM   #639
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Any word yet?? I would think they would want to notify the parents ASAP! Or at least send out an email sharing why they are delayed with the info.

If you are still waiting, hang in there! You obviously have the patients of a saint!
I don't have any choice but it's killing me!

Nope, no info yet. There is practice tonight so maybe we will hear then. my guess is that they know, but are figuring out hotels and flights and sending it all to us at once, for whichever of the 2 tournaments it ends up being. Site says 6/1 notification though our team manager said 7/1. He has to be wrong though, how in the world can people figure out travel with less than 30 days?

Not to mention less than 30 may well mess with my points if I need to make changes.

I just want to know which one and can wait a few days on the travel detail but that's the only reason I can think of that they aren't telling unless they really don't know.

At the rate this is going, it will post on the tournament site before we hear it from our own coaches.
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:46 PM   #640
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The weather is so terrible here in Seattle I am spending a lot of time on the Disboards -- have to get some sun somewhere!

Do you mind if I hijack your thread and ask you a couple of questions on WDW? I know we have a trip in our future to WDW maybe in the next couple of years but I am pretty lost on where to start planning or how to even pick a time frame to go. Living in Seattle, I really like to stay home from July thru Oct to take advantage of the nicer weather. I am also not big on Christmas vacations away -- maybe when the kids get older I will change my mind. My kids normally have a break in February and then spring break. I probably need to avoid May travel because of the MSP. And the kids are usually out of school by the 20-something of June. So if you had to pick an ideal time to visit WDW using my time parameters would you go in February, spring break or the end of June? My kids have been to Disneyland a ton so I am thinking that 4 days (one day at each park) is plenty. Would you agree? In addition to WDW, DS really wants to go to Kennedy Space center (which is really cool) and to Harry Potter.
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:59 PM   #641
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Originally Posted by Misskitty3 View Post
The weather is so terrible here in Seattle I am spending a lot of time on the Disboards -- have to get some sun somewhere!

Do you mind if I hijack your thread and ask you a couple of questions on WDW? I know we have a trip in our future to WDW maybe in the next couple of years but I am pretty lost on where to start planning or how to even pick a time frame to go. Living in Seattle, I really like to stay home from July thru Oct to take advantage of the nicer weather. I am also not big on Christmas vacations away -- maybe when the kids get older I will change my mind. My kids normally have a break in February and then spring break. I probably need to avoid May travel because of the MSP. And the kids are usually out of school by the 20-something of June. So if you had to pick an ideal time to visit WDW using my time parameters would you go in February, spring break or the end of June? My kids have been to Disneyland a ton so I am thinking that 4 days (one day at each park) is plenty. Would you agree? In addition to WDW, DS really wants to go to Kennedy Space center (which is really cool) and to Harry Potter.
I hope you don't mind, but I felt the need to jump in! (we're all a little like that around here - always wanting to put in our 2 cents worth!) I say #1, go in February! Other than President's day, it is not very crowded. Spring break is awful for crowds.
The parks are so much bigger than Disneyland, that you should spend more than one day at each park. Although I suggest that perhaps one each for Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios might be okay, 2 each for MK and Epcot for sure. So if you have a week, that would still leave you a day to go to Universal (Harry Potter) or Kennedy. Kennedy is a pretty full day with the driving. I've not done Universal, so I can't really comment on that, but Cynthia has. We've done shorter trips and done one day at each park, and even though we've been there a bunch, it seems like we miss a lot. For your first trip, you'll want to give yourself enough time to do all the things you really want to do.

Hope that helps!
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:35 PM   #642
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Originally Posted by Misskitty3 View Post
The weather is so terrible here in Seattle I am spending a lot of time on the Disboards -- have to get some sun somewhere!
it is just miserable here today isn't it!

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Originally Posted by Misskitty3 View Post
Do you mind if I hijack your thread and ask you a couple of questions on WDW? I know we have a trip in our future to WDW maybe in the next couple of years but I am pretty lost on where to start planning or how to even pick a time frame to go. Living in Seattle, I really like to stay home from July thru Oct to take advantage of the nicer weather. I am also not big on Christmas vacations away -- maybe when the kids get older I will change my mind. My kids normally have a break in February and then spring break. I probably need to avoid May travel because of the MSP. And the kids are usually out of school by the 20-something of June. So if you had to pick an ideal time to visit WDW using my time parameters would you go in February, spring break or the end of June? My kids have been to Disneyland a ton so I am thinking that 4 days (one day at each park) is plenty. Would you agree? In addition to WDW, DS really wants to go to Kennedy Space center (which is really cool) and to Harry Potter.
Hijack away!

Here's my take/rambling thoughts in no particular order.

When to go

Really depends on when your spring break is. If you get a full week at Presidents, like we do, then your spring break might be ideal as it wouldn't be when most folks are (week before and after Easter). Weather wise, it's lovely. The E's spring break works well, though the rates are high they aren't easter rates. We haven't done it as the older kids school has a totally different break schedule so it hasn't worked but it's probable in the future we will use that time, if the schedule stays as is. There is some talk of getting rid of the Feb week off.

Presidents week (really fri-tues/weds) crowds are brutal, we did that one year (for all the reasons you've described above). It is doable but if that's when your Feb break is, and you can time it to be the days after P day...and into that next weekend, it will be far better. It is also pricier on the weekend itself. It can be cold. Or hot, or all of the above!

Avoid May, for the MSP. Which is kind of a bummer since that's when Star Wars weekends are but oh well. You won't know your weeks ahead of time enough to plan around it and not worth the stress. Memorial day weekend will have the same crowd issues, I'd avoid that.

Best deal that works with the school calendar around here for us, is not the best weather choice but it does work. Which is late August. Great weather here (if you forget about last summer) and icky there. That's when free dining typically is and better room promos, the parks are far less crowded as much of the east cost starts up mid month. But the weather is a bit bleh (hot, humid, rain, thunderstorms lol). Late June might have less rain and thunderstorms but the rates will be higher and it will be very crowded. School and sport is what has left us with our late July/early Aug trip this summer.

If you don't mind pulling them out of school though...Oct, Nov and March are great.

How Long

For me, to go all the way to FL, which takes a day each way(unless you do the red eye)...it isn't worth it for 4 park days. It is SO different than Disneyland...SO much bigger that one day per park, in my opinion isn't remotely enough. You've got 4 parks, downtown Disney plus the waterparks if that is of interest, plus all the other area attractions. For me, 7-12 days is what we look at (since you'll lose 2 to travel) and that allows for some down resort, pool and shopping time.

We did 7 nights/6 days in 2009, on the Presidents day trip(nightmare flight times) , didn't go to Universal or anywhere else and ended up frustrated with not enough park time and big crowds.

Our next trip will probably be an 7-8 night one. I'd like it to be longer but with the time of year we are planning on (new years), just not possible. It will probably be 2 Universal, 6 WDW.

Our 2010 trip was 12 nights, a red eye there and late direct back. 8 at WDW and 4 at Universal. That felt perfect to me and we didn't remotely see everything but might be a bit much for others. 2 of those days were non park days. Universal/Harry Potter is at least one full day and can easily be 2-3 but not more than that. Kennedy is a day and a chunk of that will be driving. Depends on the kids and how interested they would be in it as to whether it is worth the haul.

My personal advice is plan it around the Alaska direct flights. It makes SUCH a difference! It is the only non stop option.

Right now your options are:

outbound
1 flight daily, 8:45 am, arrives 5:16
Red eyes on Fri/Sat. (10:35pm-7;10 am or something like that) More expensive but to me, worth it as you make the time change and don't lose a day. It's not for everyone and didn't work for us this coming trip, we are on a connecting non stop instead (bleh).

return
2 daily I think. One super early in the morning. I don't know the time as I refuse to do it. LOL!
6:25pm, arrives 9:35 pm

I love this flight, it's the one I always try to book and the one we are doing in august. You get almost a full last day!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mndisneygirl View Post
I hope you don't mind, but I felt the need to jump in! (we're all a little like that around here - always wanting to put in our 2 cents worth!) I say #1, go in February! Other than President's day, it is not very crowded. Spring break is awful for crowds.
The parks are so much bigger than Disneyland, that you should spend more than one day at each park. Although I suggest that perhaps one each for Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios might be okay, 2 each for MK and Epcot for sure. So if you have a week, that would still leave you a day to go to Universal (Harry Potter) or Kennedy. Kennedy is a pretty full day with the driving. I've not done Universal, so I can't really comment on that, but Cynthia has. We've done shorter trips and done one day at each park, and even though we've been there a bunch, it seems like we miss a lot. For your first trip, you'll want to give yourself enough time to do all the things you really want to do.

Hope that helps!
I vote for 1.5 at DHS and AK but that's just me! Lots of folks think of AK as a 1 day or even a half day park but we love it.

Typically we'll plan 1.5 at each park and then have "free" day where we just pick where we want to go based on what we didn't think we got enough of and then allow at least one resort day, or several half days. For me, the waterparks are only a half day.
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:58 PM   #643
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Thanks for the info! I really appreciate it!

Are park hoppers a must? Do you park hop? Does it take a long time to go from one park to another?

Does the extra Mickey hours only apply to those that stay on property? Those hours can either be in the morning or evening, correct? And can occur at any of the parks, correct?
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:20 PM   #644
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Thanks for the info! I really appreciate it!
My pleasure, hopefully it's not TMI

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Are park hoppers a must?
A must? No. Pro's and cons to them.

Pro
  • Ultimate in flexiblity. Great for mood changes, requests by kids and crowd avoidance. If it's a busier time of year I think they are more important than during a slow time so that you can adjust your day if needed.
  • Dining flexiblity. Can visit one park the bulk of the day but eat dinner in another, or hit another for EMH.
Con
  • cost
  • limits you on dining
  • Also, if it's your first time, you may just want to really focus on that park for the whole day

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Do you park hop?
Generally yes. We have a one day base ticket this summer and it's going to drive me nuts? I haven't been limited like that um...maybe ever. We always get hoppers. LOL! With the exception of Universal in 2010. There we did 3 day non hopper tickets. It worked fine in that instance. However we do not always get water parks and more.

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Does it take a long time to go from one park to another?
This varies depending on what park you are trying to get to and method of transportation, as well as time of day. Lots of options

Bus between any
Drive between any
Boat between DHS and Epcot
Monorail between Epcot and MK

20-40 minutes depending on all the variables might be a decent average but others can chime in. We have had it take longer but usually that's from resort to a park more than from park to park. Disney will tell you to allow 2 hours but that's nuts. An hour is almost always sufficient for worst case scenario in my experience. That said we try to plan our days to limit the travel time, we will often do park, resort (pool time), then the next park, dinner, park.

Quote:
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Does the extra Mickey hours only apply to those that stay on property? Those hours can either be in the morning or evening, correct? And can occur at any of the parks, correct?
Yes, only for guests staying on property. There is a schedule, all parks have them but it varies as to what (am or pm) is offered and at what park. Schedule doesn't stay the same but they do update it regularly online and you can look at historical hours to get an idea. We use EMH heavily but a lot of folks avoid parks during them, it really varies. For us, coming from West Coast time, the evening EMH's were a godsend with teenagers. That said we didn't spend the whole day in the park that had the EMH, we were just there for the EMH so it is a bit of a different approach. A lot of times folks with non hoppers will pick and EMH park and be there the whole day, which can make the regular park hour portion fairly crowded.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:27 PM   #645
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Dining with the Animals!

No, I still don’t know about the tournament. The tournament facebook page says “any day now” and it’s silent on the coaches front.

In the meantime I am trying to keep my brain occupied! I have
  1. Ordered our new FE!
  2. Ordered FE gift supplies. VERY excited about what we are doing. It’s a small FE so we can have a little more fun with it and make something.
  3. Ordered Jeff some trip related father’s day presents
  4. Finalized Evan’s birthday gift. Yes…he turns 13 in 2 days. Scary!!!

With little else do to other than wait wait wait not so patiently, I thought I’d do my final dining and touring plan update.

With the potential for the OKW day, I went back and reanalyzed TIW versus DDP. Because the first part of the trip is mostly quick serve and the end part so short, DDP sill wins. So the plan is to do DDP for the AKV days! And most of where we will be eating is new.

Sunday 8/5.
AM: Disembark. We will have breakfast on the ship
Check in to AKV. It’s going to be funny; I honestly don’t think the kids will have a clue, at the rate this is going, until we get there. Right now they haven’t asked when we leave…and we haven’t told them. K’s mom knows the dates and flight info but it is probable that K isn’t tracking it at all either.
Lunch: The Mara! I am SO excited to eat here!
Afternoon: Pool time! Check out AKL/AVK, see the animals!!
Evening: Head to DTD to return rental car. Shop either before or after dinner depending on when we get there and what we did or didn’t do on day 1 of the trip.
Dinner: Planet Hollywood. I realize this is a bit of an odd choice but well, it’s the one request Evan made and I figured why not, the menu looks decent and it will be fun. It will be a surprise, they'll probably assume Raglan Road.



Monday 8/6. AK Day!
AM:We will all grab a snack credit either before getting to the park from the Mara (cathching bus from there) or grab something there. It is EMH morning hours and I’d like to hit it early. We will see how that works but given that it’s our only day…I sure hope so!
Lunch: Flame Tree BBQ. That’s my hope anyway; picnic in the park is an option as well.
1:00 Jeff and Kendall head to the Backstage Safari
Dinner: Sanaa! One of our very favorites. We have an 8pm ressie so that hopefully we can close down the park and go straight to dinner.



8/7 Departure day. WAH!
AM. Pack up.
Breakfast: Boma. I’ve made it for 10:50, the latest I could get. Hopefully that’s late enough so we are packed up and can drop bags with Bell services/DME. If we are on top of it, maybe even for a morning swim for the kids. I don’t know, with DVC, if there is any possibility of late checkout but oh I’d sure love that!

My question is...do they really still have these? I am excited to try their famous juice...although it may well give me a sugar coma.



Midday:We will have about 3.5 hours after Boma, before DME, to kill. Options will be resort time, pool hopping, DTD, maybe mini golf, shopping at AKL, community hall, maybe the Boardwalk. Really not sure. At this point am sort of planning on winging it but that never seems to go terribly well, I need a plan that we can fall back on. The challenge I think we will have with pool time is the inability to shower before such a long flight and leaving stuff out accordingly….We will possibly use up our last snack credit as a little lunch tide me over after the big breakfast but are going to have to figure out food before the plane as well…maybe something to go from Mara?

I admit. I really really wish we had tickets for these days, both arrival and departure but…we have one day base and the cost to upgrade well…as you all know…you don’t save anything until you hit 4 or more and really save starting at 5 so it’s really impossible to justify for half days.

Ideas?

Afternoon: Our flight is at 6:25...which means the not so magical express around 3:30. Sigh.

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