Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Trip Planning Forums > Disney Trip Reports > Completed Trip Reports
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read





 
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 01-24-2012, 10:27 AM   #1
QueenDoOver
Dis Diva
 
QueenDoOver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mukilteo
Posts: 1,698

The Eat My Words "I Will Never Go In August" MEGA AUGUST Trip

Hello Friends,
Decided to just make a pre-trip report to discuss all the ins and outs of my upcoming trip because my family and friends are glazing over on me and not at all interested in all the details that I like to ponder. So this will be my outlet and any of you that care to are welcome to weigh in and advise. This is my first big family trip to the world so your expertise will be greatly appreciated.

OK, I'll be back with greater details as to the travelers and dates and whatnot that I have set up so far.

Thanks!
Tracey
__________________
QueenDoOver is offline  
Old 01-24-2012, 10:34 AM   #2
GaRain
DIS Veteran
 
GaRain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,026

Can't wait to read what you have planned!
GaRain is offline  
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 02-01-2012, 09:51 AM   #3
QueenDoOver
Dis Diva
 
QueenDoOver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mukilteo
Posts: 1,698

Background: You can skip this if you want

A little background to let you know where I am coming from. I have always loved Disney. Grew up watching Sunday night Wonderful World Of Disney. I wanted to go to Disneyland my entire life. Finally when I was 16, my Grandparents told me they were going to Long Beach to see the Spruce Goose. I said, hey, that is near to Disneyland. Can I come and can we go? Please! And bless their hearts, they took me! We only had one day at the park, and I had a fever and was sick as a dog, but the memories of that day are forever etched in my mind, and were really the start of a love affair with Disney.

I did have the opportunity to go to Disneyland several more times as a young adult, and eventually even to Disney World 3 times on my own. But, my greatest joy occurred when I had my own kids and was able to start taking them. I had several one day Mommy and me trips with my oldest when we traveled to San Diego to visit my brother, but our family odyssey began in 2005 with our first family trip. We scheduled 3 nights at Paradise Pier and paid through the nose and showed up. It was a trip full of magical moments and the wonder of Disney without any expectations. Thank goodness it was off season because we had no plan at all! When we booked it, I convinced my husband to splurge because it was going to be a once in a lifetime trip. LOL That obviously wasn’t true! I found the disboards at some point after that trip and the planning began! We managed a 5 day trip in 2007, and then in 2009, we got an amazing deal on annual passes and that year we had a 9 day trip with what ended up being 14 people, and I had 4 other trips that year, my oldest went twice, my youngest went 3 times. What a year! Then in 2010 we took my Mom and had a 5 day trip and stayed concierge at Paradise Pier. What a wonderful time. My youngest and I managed a 3 day trip in summer of 2011. Now we have sworn off of Disneyland until 2014. Not bad for a family from the Pacific Northwest area. Two of those trips were driving trips and allowed us to see and do a few other things along the way.

In the meanwhile….my last trip to Disney World was in 2007 when I had gone to a work conference at The Grand Floridian. It was during October and pre disboards for me, so I didn’t really do any planning or know anything at all. I actually flew a red eye down and then went into the parks for one day, which was the only day I had free. I was so tired I was almost non-functional. At any rate it was about 90 degrees out and was at nearly 90 percent humidity. The one thing I remember after having to walk back and forth in my work clothes and nearly dying from the heat was that I swore I would never go to Orlando again unless it was December or January. Certainly August would be out of the question!
And this is where I must say, I have home school envy! Oh, the joy of setting your own calendar! I know that for me the negatives would out weigh the benefits, but that is one benefit that I would love to have. Because our schools here are pretty darn strict and if you miss 11 days in one semester you do not get your credits. With this in mind, I knew that we would need to plan our trip to DW on a school break. I really wanted to do a Christmas trip to tell you the truth, but other things prevailed.

How we got our dates:
My husband is by nature a very conservative person. He never really had a vacation until he met me. He just didn’t go that. He has been somewhat supportive, but I usually have to do a little convincing. For this trip, I knew it was going to be expensive, so I had started saving airline miles years ago. I had the miles we would need if I could get the flights at the super saver fare. Sadly, most of the school holiday times did not seem to offer this level. But I checked every now and again, and one day in November, I saw the flights at the award levels I needed. In addition to that, hubby had received a free cruise voucher from Norwegian Cruise line, and the free airfare would allow us to use that too. All of this was on my mind, but my husband was out of town for a week. Then I found out that one of my friend’s sons was diagnosed with Cancer. He was my oldest son’s age. And that was it, it tipped me over the edge. I booked the airfare and I sent my husband a note that we were going and what the dates were. I have to say, he took it pretty well considering it was a 3 week vacation. But…the darn flights were in August!

And that's how we ended up with:

Aug 14th- Arrive Orlando
August 27th-Drive to Miami for cruise
Sept. 1st- Fly Home from Miami


That leaves us 13 days in at DW. Will it be long enough??? I really wanted built in downtime so that we could relax and adjust to the humidity and not go 100 miles per hour to try to see everything.

Up next....where are we staying, when will we know? Who all is coming? What will we eat, etc...
__________________
QueenDoOver is offline  
Old 02-01-2012, 10:15 AM   #4
QueenDoOver
Dis Diva
 
QueenDoOver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mukilteo
Posts: 1,698

Cast of Characters

Who’s Going?
I”ll start with my family.
DH who will be 48, Me who will be 46, DS will be 16 and DS 9.

A picture from 2009 Big Trip



And at our brick that I presented to them as a Valentine



My Youngest and I have had a couple of solo trips:


Lunch on a hot day! And look who we got to meet! Oscar Here is an article on him: http://ocresort.ocregister.com/2011/...tenure/106456/


Besides my family, will be our good friends The Hogan family. Their son Jack is my son Nathan's bff. We took those boys on a birthday trip in 09 and they had a great time.



Besides Jack, there are two little girls, Annie and Maggie who will be 6 and 4 at the time of our trip. I am really looking forward to experiencing some of the little girls stuff through their eyes. I will post a picture soon.

Here is Jack with Maggie:


And Annie and Maggie:



My Sister Shelli and her son Alex:

My sister is on the right and my aunty is on the left. (she's not coming on this trip)
Alex



It wasn't too long after I announced that I was going, that my sister said she wanted to go too. So she and my nephew Alex are going to be coming on the trip for part of the time. Alex is about 18 months younger than my oldest son and they are great friends. Alex is about as big of a disney nut as I am and has been known to go on one ride over 20 times in a row. Crazy kid! Picture coming soon.

And so far that is it... But I have to warn you, the 2009 group of 14 snowballed and I wouldn't be surprised if this one does too
__________________

Last edited by QueenDoOver; 06-23-2012 at 10:53 PM.
QueenDoOver is offline  
Old 02-02-2012, 11:26 AM   #5
QueenDoOver
Dis Diva
 
QueenDoOver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mukilteo
Posts: 1,698

Where will we stay?

When I first booked our airfare, I also checked rooms at WDWR. The only room that would fit our budget for such a long trip was a value. So I booked a POP room with no discount, hoping that if we ended up that route we could get free dining. Without that and without a kitchen, we were going to be spending way too much money, but I knew I could figure out how to make it work if I had to.

Then I got busy figuring out the system to get my Worldmark Resort points traded into DVC through RCI. I had been stockpiling my WM points just for this occasion, although I thought I would have a little more time, so I just barely had enough. I put in my searches and sat back and waited. November and December went by with nothing. January approached and I started to panick. Was I being too picky? I had asked for two bedrooms. Maybe I should just take a 1 bedroom and then let my friends worry about themselves?? Just when I was about to change the search, we got matched to....


A two bedroom villa at BAY LAKE TOWERS! Can you believe it??? I could not have been more thrilled and the more I researched these units and this location, the more perfect it became. This part of my trip is when my friends with their little kids will be along. They are actually arriving a few days before us and will have the villa to themselves from the 11th until the 14th.

Now all I need is the 2nd week to match. I waited and waited, and nothing but one bedrooms are showing up. I know my sister would be disappointed if we were not all in a unit together, so finally I decided to book the two bedroom unit at Bonnet Creek as a back up. I took the $89 insurance on it and then set up another search a two bedroom DVC.

Even though I had set up an ongoing search, I didn't trust it. RCI searches are notorious for not working correctly, and so I got out of bed at odd hours to run the search manually. It was all consuming and I had resolved myself to staying at Bonnet Creek, and was totally fine with that. Then just the other day, BINGO! I had a hit. Where would we be????

Saratoga Springs 2 bedroom villaOk, I wasn't dancing banana happy at first. As I researched the property, I started to see the benefits. 2nd week. Nice and quiet with lots of lovely trees. Close to DTD and Disney Quest, which we would have tickets to. This is the week with my teenage nephew staying with us so I figured those two boys would have a great time. Then I saw the new pool complex and in combination with the existing Spring pool knew that it would be a great resort for all of us.

But, The Hogans were planning on staying the second week too, and wanted to be able to enjoy time with us as well, so they decided to try to get their own week at Saratoga Springs. I have set the search up, rented more Worldmark points from another owner, and we are anxiously waiting to see if we can get lucky one more time. The deposits of DVC weeks into RCI are slowing down, so I don't know if we will get anything, but I hope so! Once that piece of the puzzle is in place, we will be all done,except for the last two nights.

I am debating. My sister is a travel agent and she can get us checked into a room for 1/2 price for those last two nights. (she and her son will be there one more night with us and then they fly home) I can go with a value room for about $75 a night (not half price for some reason?) or a family suite for $129 each night, or jump up to POR or Wilderness Cabin for about $165 a night. It feels like with all the decadence of the previous two weeks that I should go as inexpensively as possible, but I know I also won't ever likely be able to stay in those other rooms at 1/2 price again. Decisions, Decisions! Hey, maybe I should rent points from a DVC member and stay in a studio somewhere? Decisions, Decisions!

Ok, so I had to look. AKV for two nights in a value studio is $210! I should totally do that, huh??
__________________

Last edited by QueenDoOver; 02-02-2012 at 09:23 PM.
QueenDoOver is offline  
Old 02-03-2012, 08:08 AM   #6
QueenDoOver
Dis Diva
 
QueenDoOver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mukilteo
Posts: 1,698

What dining experiences do we have to have?

I have to say, we don't have any do or die places to eat this trip. Everything is so darn expensive as it is, that we are committed to eating in the condo as much as possible.

Other than that, we will likely eat counter service. I hate to plan my time around sit down ADR's! That being said, we are for sure doing dinner in the Castle. It is just an experience not to be missed.

Other than that, I am looking for some ideas here. In general, we will arrive at opening, leave at noon for nap, return and close down the park. So far based on crowd predictions, this is what I have planned:

Tuesday Aug 14: Arrive to Bay Lake Towers
Wed 15th: MK day and dinner at Castle
Thurs 16th:
AK
and perhaps a bit of MK
Fri 17th: Epcot and/or MK
Sat 18th: Resort change day, pool day
Sunday 19th:Beach or pool, etc
Monday 20th: MK and Youth Education Classes
Tuesday 21st: DHS
Wed. 22nd: Beach, pool etc
Thurs 23rd: Beach, pool etc
Fri 24th Epcot
Sat 25th: Room change Day, DHS?
Sun 26th: MK
Mon 27th Check out, Drive to Miami Embark on Cruise
Tues, Wed, Thurs: Cruise
Friday 31st: Disembark (need Miami hotel)
Sat Sept 1: Return Home

Did I mention that we will have 8 days of park, and 8 days of Quest and Water Parks? We will also have hopping ability. I am pretty sure that week two, when we are at SSR that we will get a rental car for that week.

So I am looking for your ideas given our schedule (and I am open to schedule suggestions too) of best counter service and/or any must do sit down meals too)
__________________
QueenDoOver is offline  
Old 02-08-2012, 11:31 AM   #7
disney-super-mom
I make a mean pot of Jazz Kitchen gumbo
BRING ME ANOTHER DIET

 
disney-super-mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Spokane, Washington
Posts: 6,441

Yay, I found your pre-trip report!

For some reason the link in your signature doesn't work.

I didn't know you were going on a cruise too - how fun! What NCL ship are you on?

As for the last two nights, you have some good choices...it would be a hard decision. The roominess of a family suite or a cabin would be really nice! Hmmmmm, but if you can swing it, I think I'd book the value studio at AKV. It's such a beautiful resort!
__________________
disney-super-mom is offline  
Old 02-08-2012, 05:33 PM   #8
QueenDoOver
Dis Diva
 
QueenDoOver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mukilteo
Posts: 1,698

Hi Capri!
I'm so glad you found me. I know my signature was all a mess. But with Stacielee's help and a lot of patience, I think it is working now.



Here is my update: We did get another two bedroom at Saratago Springs! It has a Aug 19th check in, so The Hogan family will likely grab a room for one night taking minimal luggage with them. The good news is that we will be able to stay with them our second to last night, and now only need a place to stay for one more night. I guess we could drive to Miami that night and be ready to embark nice and early the next day.. But I don't want to leave Disney a day early!

Decisions, decisions!

Ok, the second big news is that finally I was able to register the kids for the Youth Education Series classes and buy tickets. Such a savings! Yeah!!!
__________________
QueenDoOver is offline  
Old 02-09-2012, 01:00 PM   #9
disney-super-mom
I make a mean pot of Jazz Kitchen gumbo
BRING ME ANOTHER DIET

 
disney-super-mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Spokane, Washington
Posts: 6,441

Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenDoOver View Post
Hi Capri!
I'm so glad you found me. I know my signature was all a mess. But with Stacielee's help and a lot of patience, I think it is working now.



Here is my update: We did get another two bedroom at Saratago Springs! It has a Aug 19th check in, so The Hogan family will likely grab a room for one night taking minimal luggage with them. The good news is that we will be able to stay with them our second to last night, and now only need a place to stay for one more night. I guess we could drive to Miami that night and be ready to embark nice and early the next day.. But I don't want to leave Disney a day early!

Decisions, decisions!

Ok, the second big news is that finally I was able to register the kids for the Youth Education Series classes and buy tickets. Such a savings! Yeah!!!
Yay on getting another two bedroom at SSR!

What YES class are your kids doing? Our boys did Energy and Waves at the MK. They liked it and had fun, but I wish I had signed them up for Wild by Nature at AK or Ocean Discoveries at Epcot...I think they would have had more fun at those classes because they love animals.
__________________
disney-super-mom is offline  
Old 02-11-2012, 03:48 PM   #10
BillyFan
My white-trashiest chefy moment ever
I, for one have had a Billy Hill Buzz more once
And thanks so much for warming up the boyfriend for us
 
BillyFan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 2,099

I'm here! There are tons of yummy CS dining options, and I think doing mostly those is a great plan for such a large group.

I'm excited to follow along with your plans!!
__________________

BillyFan is offline  
Old 02-14-2012, 01:33 PM   #11
QueenDoOver
Dis Diva
 
QueenDoOver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mukilteo
Posts: 1,698

Hi Tina! Great to see you here. Looking forward to tips from all you experts out there

Our plan is changing a little bit since we now have two units and I am figuring out how to rock the dining plan a bit

Tuesday Aug 14: Arrive to Bay Lake Towers Quick Service Dining Plan Contempo Cafe Dinner
Wed 15th: MK day We are also taking the little girls to tea at the Grand Floridian while the men hit Gasparilla's for lunch. Quick Service Dining PlanBakery, Grand Floridian lunch, Harbour House Dinner
Thurs 16th:MK Quick Service Dining Plan
Bakery, Pecos Bills Lunch, Contempo or BLT Dinner
Fri 17th: Epcot and/or MK Quick Service Dining PlanSo many choices! Who knows?
Sat 18th: Resort change day, pool dayQuick Service Dining PlanPoolside at Saratoga Springs and then DTD Dinner
Sunday 19th:Beach or pool, etc Begin Deluxe Dining-DTD or Saratoga Springs
Monday 20th: MK and Youth Education Classes Royal Table
Tuesday 21st: DHS Mom/son/sister to Epcot for Le Cellier lunch Maybe everyone meet up for Via Napoli for Dinner
Wed. 22nd: Beach, pool, Blizzard Beach? etc HoopDeDoo Review
Thurs 23rd: AK
Fri 24th Epcot
Sat 25th: Narcoose's
Sun 26th: MK Check out day




Is there anyway to get Via Napoli pizza with counter service credits?

We also want to fit in a character breakfast during week two? Where would you suggest it.l

Oh my goodness, this whole dining plan thing gives me a headache. I have been to dining plan school for the last week!

I seem to be a little heavy on the MK days, but I think some of those will end up being hopper days, and other than the dining and the shows, I expect the teens will go where they want, and we will see what ends up being everyone's favorite and change to those areas as desired. But the first week, since we are at BLT, I want to stay close to MK.
__________________

Last edited by QueenDoOver; 02-14-2012 at 01:42 PM.
QueenDoOver is offline  
Old 02-16-2012, 09:15 AM   #12
GaRain
DIS Veteran
 
GaRain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,026

Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenDoOver View Post
We also want to fit in a character breakfast during week two? Where would you suggest it.
I LOVE the Crystal Palace for a Character Breakfast. You could schedule before the park opens and walk down a nearly empty main street! I also think the food is good. Chef Mickey's is also a good choice, but Ohana over at the Poly has some good food and you could have a nice view of the castle if you get w window table.
GaRain is offline  
Old 02-17-2012, 04:50 PM   #13
bumbershoot
DIS Veteran
 
bumbershoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Tacoma WA
Posts: 44,588

Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenDoOver View Post
Ok, the second big news is that finally I was able to register the kids for the Youth Education Series classes and buy tickets. Such a savings! Yeah!!!
Ooh nice.


Quote:
And this is where I must say, I have home school envy! Oh, the joy of setting your own calendar!
It is a definite advantage! My cousin just enrolled her kids in school (the 4 year old in half-day), after finding a school that works wonderfully with her son (who doesn't have a diagnosis of Asperger's, etc, (although he TOTALLY has that and far more) and therefore didn't have the protection of an IEP, and was *kicked out* of 2nd grade), so she isn't homeschooling him anymore, which is going to be a problem for a future Big Family Trip with them!



What kind of food does everyone like? My ideas might not be good for you, since we're veggie and I believe you are omnivorous. But if you give the *sorts* of foods you like it might help.

Tricky thing about Crystal Palace is that WDW likes to CHANGE their opening times. We *thought* we had a pre-opening ADR for Crystal Palace, but I didn't know they might change things, and when we arrived, it turned out the park was already open. GRRRRRRRR. So keep a good eye on the park opening times, and if it changes, get the CP reservation changed asap as well.

The opposite problem...Harbour House tends to close earlier than you want it to. Probably not as big a problem in the summer, but we've come to it twice, thinking they would be open, and found it closed. (would really help if *someone* in the group would take the time to read things!)


Congrats on the Bay Lake and SSR bookings!

Will you have a car? If so, don't count out going "off campus" for food. Sweet Tomatoes is, quite simply, awesome. Even if they have *pickled* canned beets on their salad bar, instead of normal canned beets. (they also have non-canned beets, but even as a beet-lover I gotta say, non-canned beets taste like nothing but dirt, LOL) (sorry, went on my own tangent there)

And having that kitchen makes the idea of your own food really great, though to be honest we still haven't taken as much advantage of it as we want to. We get really wrapped up in the parks, and then it's just too late to come back for spaghetti or whatever. But our BEST days have always been when someone gets up early enough to make a nice egg breakfast; there's something about that protein that makes all the difference in a day.



Love that you're tacking a cruise on, too! Yay!
__________________
-molly + robert + eamon (10!!)

DLR '05-'09 found within this link
DLR 7,9,12 2012 Universal Feb '12 DLR Dec '11 and Feb '12

Made weight goal 1yr8m8days after starting...currently working to maintain 85 lb loss thanks to Weight Watchers!

Last edited by bumbershoot; 02-17-2012 at 04:56 PM.
bumbershoot is offline  
Old 02-18-2012, 01:27 AM   #14
QueenDoOver
Dis Diva
 
QueenDoOver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mukilteo
Posts: 1,698

Hi Molly!
So glad you are back! Funny thing, I just learned to love beets this last summer. Pickled or not

I know what you mean about the kitchen and the parks. I am afraid it will be the same way for us. The Hogans are big eaters and big meat eaters at that. I think all those chicken and rib things will be great for them, as well as some of the steaks. I look at the dining plan and it seems like way too much food to me! We are still going back and forth on our plans. I think I will just make the ADR's for my family and then if anyone else ever makes a decision, they can try to get a seat

We will likely just have a car for week two when we are at Saratoga Springs. I am open to going off site. As a matter of fact would rather just do that and skip the dining plan.

Did you just get back? Are you doing a little trip report for us

I am so excited to stay at BLT. The location is so darn great!
__________________
QueenDoOver is offline  
Old 02-20-2012, 12:03 AM   #15
DizNee Luver
Luver of all things Disney!
 
DizNee Luver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Philomath, Oregon
Posts: 9,357

Hi Tracey!!!

Thought I'd pop over & say hello!!! Sounds like a fun trip so far.......nice that the villas worked out!!

I've never been to Florida.....but I'd have to guess that you're going at a very hot time?? I'll be interested in seeing how you prepare for the heat (and I hear they have lots of bugs??) We're going in December....our first time to WDW......so love reading other peoples plans & gathering what ever tips & information I can!!!
__________________
Road Trip 2014HEREClub 33HEREWDW TRHEREOct PTRHERE 2013 Divas #3HERE2012 Holiday Trip HERE
WDW Dec 12 PTR~Cancelled: HERE 2011 Holiday Trip: HEREDivas, Take 2~2012: HEREDiva's TR~2011: HERE
10 of Us Summer Trip~2010: HERE 25th Anniv.TR~2009: HERE

DLR: 1967, 1972, 1984, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2011, 2012, 2012, 2013, 2013 WDW: 2013


DizNee Luver is offline  
 



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:52 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.