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Old 01-02-2014, 11:07 AM   #1
PrncessA
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Cool Five Years is a long time to wait…Day 8 & 9 Plans!

Welcome to the coming home party of our familys long awaited, much talked about, many times over planned and cancelled return to Disney World! Our last trip was in September 2009 and although we have planned (and even booked) trips more than once since then, we have always ended up cancelling them due to one reason or another. This time it is on! We have decided it is d0 or die time, with our oldest turning 9 in March; we have reached the magic age threshold before for he becomes a Disney adult! Plus my Christmas present is begging to go to Disney World to take pictures!

First let me introduce our crazy cast of characters:

Me aka Mommy aka Disney Freak


I am a self proclaimed Disney-aholic and since our trip things have only gotten worse! I love everything about WDW and if I can convince DH we will retire there! LOL I am a huge fan of the history of Disney and Disney World and cant wait to spend a bit more time&. taking my time! I am most looking forward to exploring Main St. a bit more and having a lot more time at Epcot! Disney World was built up in my head to impossible standards before our first trip and it blew them all away. I have been heartbroken several times since our first and only trip in 2009 and have booked not one, but two, trips only to have things fall through. I almost fainted when DH said, Book it, this time we are going!

DH aka Daddy aka Grumpy!

He was not a Disney World fan before our trip having had an unmagical trip in his past. I remember talking CONSTANTLY about the MANY MANY trips we were going to have over the years and DH saying No way, once will be enough! Oh, how the times have changed! Disney made its way into his heart and blood and he is a Disney Lover through and through. I have caught him reading the many Disney World books he bought for me. He LOVES the MK and has become obsessed with the many hidden treasures of WDW that he is determined to see on our next trip. We affectionately call him Grumpy since he likes things to always go smoothly and the way he planned in his head or he can be a grump. He is looking forward to the kids being older on this trip and not having a stroller to fight with!

Now the kiddos, who we will be trying to keep the trip a secret from:


DS (8) aka Donald

He was 4 on our last trip and still remembers the magic! He *gasp* isnt as big of a Disney fan as his parents, most likely because Disney isnt the maker of the Xbox360 and Minecraft or isn't in Miami like his favorite team! He is growing WAY to fast and this is the last year that we can take him to Disney as a child. Since our last trip, DS has been diagnosed with ADHD and has anxiety over new experiences and crowds. This means that we will be prepping him as much as possible on all the rides, I see many many YouTube videos in our future, and going during a slower time of year. He surprised us all last summer with going to a sleep away camp 7 hours away from home for a week and doing fantastic. He is a big fan of Donald Duck still and although he is questioning if certain childhood fantasies are real, he is still a believer!

DD(6) aka Princess

She is a princess through and through, with the spirit of a Pixie! She is as much in love with Disney as her mommy and asks to go to Disney World at least a few times a week. She doesnt remember a lot of our first trip since she was 2, but talks about it like she does since she looks at the photos. She is FEARLESS most of the time although she can be a little shy. She is a fan of all the Princesses although her favorites are Rapunzel and Merida, I think it is their spunk. She is a dress-up fanatic and loves jewelry and makeup. I am thinking that the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique is in her future! She has her daddy wrapped around her finger and she knows it!


First up: When do we go? Where do we stay?

The When and Where
Just When You Think You Figure it Out
How Can I Sleep Tonight
WE ARE BOOKED
Busy Wife, Busy Life
ADR Wishlist Part 1
Oh how time flies... or doesn't
Family Frozen Trip
Ch-ch-ch-changes...
So many restaurants, so little time... Please help!
Mission ADR... Complete!
The Jig is Up
Ch ch ch changes
The trip that was, is no more...
Just a Small Change... with a discount that is!
Family Video from 2009 Trip
Did someone say Star Wars Dining? We are so in!
Minecraft and Miami
Update On the Homefront!!
Day One Plans
Day Two Plans
Who said Frozen items were hard to find?
Day Three Plans
Mother's Day
The ADR Shuffle
Busy as a bee...
Day Four Plans are Finally Up!!!
Day Five Rolling Along!
Day Six Plans, and some ch, ch, changes to Day 1
Day Seven Plans
Day 8, AK here we come!
Day Nine, Our last full day!

Last edited by PrncessA; 05-28-2014 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:13 AM   #2
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Following along!
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:52 AM   #3
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How fun to keep this a surprise for the kids! I can't even imagine how thrilling that would be! Excited to follow along!
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:58 PM   #4
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Following along!
Yay!
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How fun to keep this a surprise for the kids! I can't even imagine how thrilling that would be! Excited to follow along!
I have no idea how we (mostly I) are going to do it! DH already let it slip during Christmas, but covered it. Luckily my kids are use to me talking about Disney non-stop already, that won't be anything new!
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:15 PM   #5
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Just had to say hi after seeing your title!! We just booked ours for October this past weekend and are keeping it a surprise from our two girls as well! Good luck keeping it quiet...last time we went, I lasted maybe 5 days and convinced DH to tell them. They then drove us nuts for 3 months. This time around, we have more time to plan which means trickier for me to keep my mouth shut, but no way do I want to listen to them yak about it non stop for 9 months!!
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:48 PM   #6
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The When and Where

Now the big questions start…

When and where?

The when has become a big question since the kids are now in school and if we want to go during a less busy time of year, then we will need to pull them out. I am not too thrilled with the idea, but they are smart kids and a week away won’t kill them in 2nd and 4th grade. The other issue is my work and school schedule. I work at a church/preschool so I luckily/unluckily get two weeks off, at Christmas, the busiest time of year at Disney World, so taking off a week or two before that is almost funny. Plus I am going back to school starting this semester, and me missing class is a bit more of a problem. We were lucky enough to go during free dining last time and I am hoping for that again!

Our options are:

Option #1: Middle/Late August
The kid’s school starts in late August, and I will not be in school yet either, so a trip around August 17 seems like a great idea. Our kids love the water, so this would be a great time to try out the water parks and maybe stay at a resort with a great pool! We already have a PIN for this time of year, with 35% off, so no waiting for a discount, just waiting to see if a better one comes around. The downfall is that DH HATES the heat and humidity, and wants option #2.

Option #2: Early December
Pre-Christmas Disney World! Ideally the second full week of December would be when we go. Although I have read that since Thanksgiving falls late again this year, the parks might be more crowded than usual. Plus that week is the week that I most likely will be taking finals or it will be the week before finals and the kids will has 2nd quarter tested at their school. The testing isn’t state required, just for the district’s information, but it still makes me a bit nervous to pull them (and me) out that week. DH is completely in love with the idea of visiting at this time of year, as he loves Christmas decorations and the possibility of less heat and humidity. Waiting a week until the week before Christmas ups the price and the crowds…

What to do, what to do?

Next is narrowing down where to stay. Sooooo many options to choose from, only one trip.

We love nice hotels. We like large rooms and nice amenities. Our kids are right there with us, although partly because we haven't given them the option of an All-Star or Pop. I think they would love any of the value resorts, but DH and I wouldn't like the smaller beds, more travel time and only counter service restaurants.

Here are the kids in Cancun last year... they LOVED the large hotel.




Option #1: Wilderness Lodge
This is where we stayed in 2009 and we fell in love. It is so beautiful and relaxing. We loved the boat transportation to MK and beautiful landscape. DH can’t imagine staying anywhere else. The price is right for a deluxe and you can’t beat the lobby.

Option #2: Beach or Yacht Club
This would be a stretch for our budget, but I know the kids would have a blast in Stormalong Bay and being within walking distance to so many restaurants and Epcot is defiantly appealing to me. I think DH sees the potential in it, but is still holding out for the Wilderness!

Option #3: None of the above!
The only thing I know for certain is that we will be staying on property. I am constantly researching and reading trip reports and who knows what will happen. DH has mentioned the GF a few times, although I don’t think I could swallow the cost!

Last edited by PrncessA; 04-22-2014 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:00 PM   #7
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I've heard that early December is a wonderful time to visit the parks! You get the combination of low crowds, low humidity, and the Christmas decorations. Tough decision with the testing, though. Is there any chance you would be willing/able to do early January 2015? As long as you wait a few days for crowds to clear after Christmas that's a pretty great time to go.

I've never stayed at either of those resorts, but they both look awesome! If your kids love to swim I could definitely see the appeal of Stormalong Bay...what a thrill that would be!
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Old 01-03-2014, 01:06 PM   #8
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Joining in! So excited for you that you'll be going back "Home!"

So many hard decisions though, can't wait to see what you choose on where to stay and when to go!
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:29 PM   #9
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I've heard that early December is a wonderful time to visit the parks! You get the combination of low crowds, low humidity, and the Christmas decorations. Tough decision with the testing, though. Is there any chance you would be willing/able to do early January 2015? As long as you wait a few days for crowds to clear after Christmas that's a pretty great time to go.

I've never stayed at either of those resorts, but they both look awesome! If your kids love to swim I could definitely see the appeal of Stormalong Bay...what a thrill that would be!
We really would like to go for Christmas, the lack of severe heat and humidity being one of the biggest reasons, but I think we are about to settle on August! After talking to DH yesterday about all of our options, he is coming to the conclusion that August might be our best time to go.

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Joining in! So excited for you that you'll be going back "Home!"

So many hard decisions though, can't wait to see what you choose on where to stay and when to go!
Stay tuned...
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:23 PM   #10
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Our Disney DVD Arrived and all the plans changed...

And I thought that deciding when to go would be the easy part! We were all ready to decide on August and then DD found something in the mail...



Who could resist Disney's obvious plugging of visiting during Christmas? You think you can go during August and deal with the heat... but what can replace MVMCP and the Osborne Lights? And nothing could replace watching the Castle being lit up! And let's face it the weather in Florida in the summer beats this...

Which is what we are dealing with in Chicago right now! The thought of escaping this for a week next winter makes me

So now I need to figure out how to make this work with the kids' and my schedules. DH has no idea about the possible change yet... I think I should spare him until I have certain details worked out.

As for the resort I am beginning to think it might depend on if we do the regular or deluxe dining plan. On our last trip we went deluxe and it was A LOT of food, and DD wasn't even on the plan yet, so adding more snacks into that is crazy. As a family we all enjoy sit down restaurants, and a lot of character dining is a must, so it is very tempting. I know DH and I would love to try several signature meals (minus the Brown Derby, of which we were not impressed) and the DxDDP would make it a lot less stressful on sticker shock while we are there! If we go deluxe then staying at the Yacht Club is more than a bit tempting with all the dining options...

Right now I am reading emmysmommy's dining report and have a list of entree's I am dying to try already!
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Old 01-05-2014, 12:20 AM   #11
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Will it change before I book tomorrow?

Once again I have changed my mind... I am beginning to think that a last minute trip like last time was the only reason I didn't pull out my hair.

After crunching numbers today and running many senerios...

Wilderness in the fall standard room


Wilderness in the fall CL room


Wilderness in the winter standard room


Wilderness in the winter CL room


Yacht Club/fall/standard


Yacht Club/fall/CL


Yacht Club/winter/standard


Yacht Club/winter/CL



Add to that all the options of no dining plan, DDP, DxDDP.... park hoppers, no park hoppers... water parks, no water parks... room discount, no room discount... the possibility of free dining... and this was me today

Needless to say that after all of the options as well as starting to think about dining I am going a little loony!

After all of the number crunching turns out that August is our best option financially, and the difference between the Wilderness and Yacht Club is only $200. Well worth it for Stormalong Bay, IMO. That 35% discount code really helps. Obviously, there might be a discount code closer to December for a discount or free dining, but as much as we would LOVE to go over Christmas, I think August just makes more sense. Florida summer heat, here we come.

So tomorrow I will be booking it....

8 days, 7 nights...


Regular Dining Plan


Yacht Club Resort


AND DH SAID BOOK CLUB LEVEL!

Woohooo

I don't know how I will sleep tonight...

Last edited by PrncessA; 01-08-2014 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 01-05-2014, 12:46 PM   #12
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Ahhhh You DID IT!! Congratulations for booking YC and CL even! I know you will LOVE it. The CL staff will do everything they can to make it special for you and your kids! I don't think I write too much about that but they really are great CM that attend to your every need/whim/desire.

Going in August you and the kids will love SAB. It is a really great pool! We did actually take a dip this last trip so I'll have a lot of photos. (I can't recall if I've posted that day yet on my TR. ha ha!)

I think the regular dining plan should be fine unless you wanted to do a lot of signature restaurants. Hanging out at the pool you could even use some snack credits for some things at either Hurricane Hannah's or the BC Marketplace. Anyway, I think you made some great choices! August can't come soon enough huh?
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Old 01-05-2014, 12:48 PM   #13
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Oh, and one thing you may want to check out if you haven't already (sorry if you already mentioned this...) is the YC/BC thread on the resorts board. My pal Dee "hosts" the thread and it always has a lot of great information.

Here's the link if you haven't already browsed through there.
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:44 PM   #14
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I am so excited to read more of your report! I would love to stay club level anywhere


We just got back from our vacation. We stayed at Pop. Although I liked it, it just wasn't as fun as in the past. I think I am ready for a resort change. Maybe Yacht Club LOL! I have almost three years to save so it's pretty doable.
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Old 01-05-2014, 04:10 PM   #15
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Ahhhh You DID IT!! Congratulations for booking YC and CL even! I know you will LOVE it. The CL staff will do everything they can to make it special for you and your kids! I don't think I write too much about that but they really are great CM that attend to your every need/whim/desire.

Going in August you and the kids will love SAB. It is a really great pool! We did actually take a dip this last trip so I'll have a lot of photos. (I can't recall if I've posted that day yet on my TR. ha ha!)

I think the regular dining plan should be fine unless you wanted to do a lot of signature restaurants. Hanging out at the pool you could even use some snack credits for some things at either Hurricane Hannah's or the BC Marketplace. Anyway, I think you made some great choices! August can't come soon enough huh?
I am looking forward to the photos! Going in August, I have a feeling we spend a lot of time in the pool area.

DH and I are going back and forth between DDP and DxDDP.... I ended up booking the DDP but DH reserve the right to up it to the DxDDP after we make our restaurant wish list.

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Oh, and one thing you may want to check out if you haven't already (sorry if you already mentioned this...) is the YC/BC thread on the resorts board. My pal Dee "hosts" the thread and it always has a lot of great information.

Here's the link if you haven't already browsed through there.
Headed over there soon...

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I am so excited to read more of your report! I would love to stay club level anywhere


We just got back from our vacation. We stayed at Pop. Although I liked it, it just wasn't as fun as in the past. I think I am ready for a resort change. Maybe Yacht Club LOL! I have almost three years to save so it's pretty doable.
I am soooo surprised that DH said he wants CL. It will be a completely new situation for us.

I was looking at the photos online of some of the value resorts and to be honest the Art of Animation resort looks like a lot of fun! I think we might make it over there just to look around!
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