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Old 07-09-2012, 09:32 AM   #1
kdka421
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We weren't SUPPOSED to plan a Disney trip this year!! Oct 23-30 *TR to come soon!*

My title says it all - this trip was not something we planned on doing, at all. We were last at WDW last Aug-Sept (see my trip report here) and in all our conversations about our next big vacation, Disney wasn't on the radar screen. We had waited two years between our last trips, and figured we'd wait at least two years before the next. This year, we were thinking of doing a "big" trip, maybe our first trip overseas to Europe, or something else totally new.

Well, the Europe trip got nixed when we realistically considered how expensive that was going to be. Spending almost $2000 on airfare alone...that's just not in the budget right now.

And so, when I was browsing the disboards a few weeks ago and saw that there was likely to be free dining during October, well, my wheels started turning. For all intents and purposes, I started planning an imaginary trip. But I started having conversations with my husband like: "Boy, if we went in October, we could get free dining, AND do Food & Wine festival, AND do the Halloween party, And .... And .... And..." And I kept thinking about it. And planning. And pricing. And talking about it.

And wouldn't you know it. Two days ago my husband basically threw up his arms, and said "I give in! I want to go to Disney World again!"

I wasn't expecting that. But I totally felt the same way.

So, we're going! Well technically we don't have it booked yet, we're waiting for the official Free Dining announcement (rumored to be Thursday). But yesterday, we did put a hold on some plane tickets for the dates we want. So if we book the package, we'll pull the trigger on the plane tickets, and then it will be official!

And my husband's fortune cookie yesterday affirmed this even more:



(Clearly, of course, that's referring to the World Showcase!)

Stay tuned as we hopefully get this all pinned down, and start making our official plans! Thanks for reading!

--Kate (me) and Aaron (DH)

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Old 07-09-2012, 01:08 PM   #2
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Table of contents:

Introduction
Vacation Details
Day 1 plans
Day 2 plans
Day 3 plans
Day 4 plans
Day 5 plans
Day 6 plans
Day 7 plans
Day 8 plans
Recap

NYC trip report
Changes
Disney Movies
Special Event tickets
MNSSHP costumes
Costume update
Swedish Chef costume - complete
Resort Change!
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:08 PM   #3
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Cool!

Hi Kate! You and your DH look so cute. Excited to read more of your planning.

I think fall is a great time to go...cool decorations, and less crowds, plus F+W and Free dining! How can you go wrong?
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:19 PM   #4
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We'll be there the same time. Here's hoping Free Dining comes through!
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by chunkymonkey View Post
Hi Kate! You and your DH look so cute. Excited to read more of your planning.

I think fall is a great time to go...cool decorations, and less crowds, plus F+W and Free dining! How can you go wrong?
Hey there! Thanks for joining my PTR! I can't wait to keep writing more of it! I agree that fall is going to be a spectacular time. I've never actually been at this time of year. The closest I ever came was our last trip, we were there into the beginning of September, and saw the Halloween decorations for the first time. That definitely planted the seed of a fall trip in our minds.

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We'll be there the same time. Here's hoping Free Dining comes through!
Hi there I see you've got an extensive PTR going as well, I'll definitely be taking a look through it! I don't think there's much chance that free dining won't happen, so I'm pretty psyched. So glad you found my PTR and I look forward to talking to you! I wonder if any of our plans will overlap...
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:13 AM   #6
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INTRODUCTION:

Okay, since I can't really make plans yet (well, I have been daydreaming the plans for a few weeks now, but I can't actually book the vacation yet...), let's start off with an introduction.

As I've already mentioned, this trip will be just the two of us: myself (Kate) and my hubby (Aaron).



This will be the third trip that the two of us will be taking to WDW together. We went once in July 2009, then we were there in Aug-Sept 2011 (along with my parents, as a gift for their 30th wedding anniversary). Prior to these trips together, I had gone on 6 other WDW trips with my family, from childhood through college. Aaron, on the other hand, had spent one whole day at the Magic Kingdom as a child! So our Disney trips together were really his first true introduction to the magic of WDW, and our trips as adults made us really understand what the Disney magic is all about. So this will be my 9th Disney vacation, and Aaron's 3rd. [No kids here yet - so we're still on adult only trips! But I look forward to future trips when kids are in the picture.]

Aaron and I just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary last month. So in just over 5 years we'll have done 3 Disney vacations - to me, that definitely means we're hooked!

I guess the other important thing to note about us is that we're definitely foodies. For the last 4 years, until the beginning of this year when we moved back home from Virginia to New York, my husband was working in a 5-star restaurant (before that he went to Cornell's hotel school). I was definitely not a foodie before we met, but ever since we started dating, food has become much more a part of my life! We've been blessed to be able to have a number of really fantastic meals and experiences, both at Disney and elsewhere. Last year we were able to eat at Victoria & Albert's, which was absolutely fantastic. So this year, one of the major draws is the Food & Wine festival, as well as trying some new restaurants we haven't tried before. I'll talk more about that later.

Okay, that's us! I look forward to getting to know all of you as well. 'Til next time!
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:21 PM   #7
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So cute! I am in! Im heading to the world this christmas... but i have never been for F&W or halloween! It sounds amazing!!
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2000 [Disney Institute] ~ 2006 [Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge] ~ 2008 [Downtown Disney Hilton] ~ 2011 [Old Key West Villas] ~ 2012 [Coranado Springs] ~ 2012 [Wilderness Lodge]
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TR:NOT ONE MORE BITE: A trip of magically deluxe proPORTIONS!



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Old 07-10-2012, 08:34 PM   #8
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So cute! I am in! Im heading to the world this christmas... but i have never been for F&W or halloween! It sounds amazing!!
Hi Ariel! Thanks for joining in my PTR! I'm so excited, because hopefully in about a day and a half, this trip will actually be official, and then I'll have much more to talk about!

I haven't done either of these events before, and I'm so psyched. Is this your first time doing Christmas at Disney? We did it once during one of our family trips, and it was pretty awesome!
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdka421 View Post
Hi Ariel! Thanks for joining in my PTR! I'm so excited, because hopefully in about a day and a half, this trip will actually be official, and then I'll have much more to talk about!

I haven't done either of these events before, and I'm so psyched. Is this your first time doing Christmas at Disney? We did it once during one of our family trips, and it was pretty awesome!

Ohh! So exciting!
I have been for Christmas before... four years ago... and it was amazing! I am so excited to go back!
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5 Trips To The World (And Counting):
2000 [Disney Institute] ~ 2006 [Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge] ~ 2008 [Downtown Disney Hilton] ~ 2011 [Old Key West Villas] ~ 2012 [Coranado Springs] ~ 2012 [Wilderness Lodge]
2012 Holiday Trip Report:
TR:NOT ONE MORE BITE: A trip of magically deluxe proPORTIONS!



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Old 07-11-2012, 09:27 AM   #10
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Hello everyone!

Just wanted to pop in to say that it's less than 24 hours until we should be able to book our vacation! We know this is a somewhat last minute trip (it's still over 3 months out, but obviously we're well within the dining reservations window, etc) so we've tried to pick alternatives for our preferred resort, the restaurants we want to eat at, etc.

I'm a little nervous to see if the price of the vacation is going to work out to what I think it should be - basically I've priced it without adding in dining and without any other discount, so the price should be basically the same as that. But I'm concerned because I've heard a lot of people say they haven't been able to book standard rooms, only preferred rooms, which would drive the price up. But we'll see, nothing I can do about it until I found out the details tomorrow.

I'm so excited to share more plans with you all, I just need to wait until it's all finalized. All I can saw now is that we're planning on doing so many things that are new to us (new events, new restaurants, etc), so we'll be having a world of new experiences.

I'll leave you with another picture from our last trip, and hopefully I'll be back here tomorrow with some great news!!

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Old 07-12-2012, 08:54 AM   #11
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It's official!!!

Set the alarm for 6:45 this morning (because I knew I'd hit snooze once ), then called Disney reservations right at 7am. I didn't HAVE to call, since we didn't have an existing reservation, but I wasn't sure how quickly they'd get the free dining offer up on the website, so to be safe I decided to call.

We got exactly what we were hoping for (and got through relatively quickly too, we were on hold only about 10 minutes or so), so we also finalized our flight reservation.

So, finally, here are the details you've all been waiting for!

OUR PLAN:
Vacation Dates: October 23-30
Resort: Caribbean Beach Resort
Includes free dining plan

I'm pretty excited about Caribbean Beach - this was the very first Disney hotel I stayed at, when I was 9 years old. I haven't been back since.

Once the reservation went through, we also pinned down our table service options, and didn't have any trouble with those either! I wasn't sure if they'd be available since we're within the 180-day window, but we weren't trying for anything hard like CRT, so I wasn't too surprised we got what we wanted. More info on our ADRs to come later!

Just 103 days to go!

We'll be in double digits in no time!
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:39 AM   #12
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Good morning everyone!

In the last 24 hours we've gotten a lot of planning done for our trip! So now I'm going to try to lay out our plans, one day at a time.

Day 1 10/23:

To me there are 2 really exciting things about our first Day.
1) We're FLYING to Disney. Now, the reason why this is so exciting? In my 8 previous trips, we've never flown to Disney. In my 6 childhood trips (leaving from upstate NY, mind you), we took the train twice, and drove 4 times. The two trips I took with my husband (from Virginia) we drove once and took the train once. SO - I'm delighted to finally be able to fly (especially now that we're living back in upstate New York).

Our plane leaves at 7am from Albany, we change planes in NYC, then continue on to Orlando, getting in at 11:30. If you've ever done a 24+ hour drive to Orlando...you would understand that a <5 hour trip is beyond thrilling!

So we'll hop on the Magical Express and head to Caribbean Beach, check in, probably have lunch, and just relax a little.

2) In the evening, we're planning to head over and spend the evening at the Boardwalk. We made an ADR for Flying Fish, and then were thinking of checking out Jellyrolls after. (Has anyone ever done Jellyrolls? It gets good reviews but I've never been there myself)

So, that's our Day 1! We briefly toyed with the idea of doing MNSSHP this night, because logistically it was a free night and possibly the least-busy MNSSHP of our trip, but had a pretty good feeling that we'd be tired after our early morning flight. We haven't bought our MNSSHP tickets yet, so we could still change the plans around, but I'm pretty confident it would be pushing it to go this night, even though we're generally night owls (but not after getting up so EARLY).

Let me know what you think of Day 1 plans Also, let me know if there's anything else we should be sure to see while we're at the Boardwalk, I don't know too much about it. Thanks!
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:54 PM   #13
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Nice plans

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdka421 View Post
It's official!!!

Set the alarm for 6:45 this morning (because I knew I'd hit snooze once ), then called Disney reservations right at 7am. I didn't HAVE to call, since we didn't have an existing reservation, but I wasn't sure how quickly they'd get the free dining offer up on the website, so to be safe I decided to call.

We got exactly what we were hoping for (and got through relatively quickly too, we were on hold only about 10 minutes or so), so we also finalized our flight reservation.

So, finally, here are the details you've all been waiting for!

OUR PLAN:
Vacation Dates: October 23-30
Resort: Caribbean Beach Resort
Includes free dining plan

I'm pretty excited about Caribbean Beach - this was the very first Disney hotel I stayed at, when I was 9 years old. I haven't been back since.

Once the reservation went through, we also pinned down our table service options, and didn't have any trouble with those either! I wasn't sure if they'd be available since we're within the 180-day window, but we weren't trying for anything hard like CRT, so I wasn't too surprised we got what we wanted. More info on our ADRs to come later!

Just 103 days to go!

We'll be in double digits in no time!
Sounds like a great plan! I thought it was fairly easy to get the ADRs we wanted and we booked after the 180 day mark too. I think it's because it's low season. Compared to when I went with my sisters last March, where it was much more difficult to get ADRs we wanted.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kdka421 View Post
Good morning everyone!

In the last 24 hours we've gotten a lot of planning done for our trip! So now I'm going to try to lay out our plans, one day at a time.

Day 1 10/23:

To me there are 2 really exciting things about our first Day.
1) We're FLYING to Disney. Now, the reason why this is so exciting? In my 8 previous trips, we've never flown to Disney. In my 6 childhood trips (leaving from upstate NY, mind you), we took the train twice, and drove 4 times. The two trips I took with my husband (from Virginia) we drove once and took the train once. SO - I'm delighted to finally be able to fly (especially now that we're living back in upstate New York).

Our plane leaves at 7am from Albany, we change planes in NYC, then continue on to Orlando, getting in at 11:30. If you've ever done a 24+ hour drive to Orlando...you would understand that a <5 hour trip is beyond thrilling!

So we'll hop on the Magical Express and head to Caribbean Beach, check in, probably have lunch, and just relax a little.

2) In the evening, we're planning to head over and spend the evening at the Boardwalk. We made an ADR for Flying Fish, and then were thinking of checking out Jellyrolls after. (Has anyone ever done Jellyrolls? It gets good reviews but I've never been there myself)

So, that's our Day 1! We briefly toyed with the idea of doing MNSSHP this night, because logistically it was a free night and possibly the least-busy MNSSHP of our trip, but had a pretty good feeling that we'd be tired after our early morning flight. We haven't bought our MNSSHP tickets yet, so we could still change the plans around, but I'm pretty confident it would be pushing it to go this night, even though we're generally night owls (but not after getting up so EARLY).

Let me know what you think of Day 1 plans Also, let me know if there's anything else we should be sure to see while we're at the Boardwalk, I don't know too much about it. Thanks!
I loove the Boardwalk area! I love that it's so close to Epcot and DHS. I always say one day I'll stay there, but the prices of those Deluxes are always the highest. I think just walking up and down the boardwalk will keep you busy for a while. There are gift stores, restaurants and bakeries/dessert shops. It's a lot of fun.

I've never been to flying fish cafe but have heard great things about it! I have also never beento MNSSHP. I thought about doing it thisyear, but we're doing the DHS Villains Bash and I thought that 1 night party would be good enough.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:53 AM   #14
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Sounds like a great plan! I thought it was fairly easy to get the ADRs we wanted and we booked after the 180 day mark too. I think it's because it's low season. Compared to when I went with my sisters last March, where it was much more difficult to get ADRs we wanted.

I loove the Boardwalk area! I love that it's so close to Epcot and DHS. I always say one day I'll stay there, but the prices of those Deluxes are always the highest. I think just walking up and down the boardwalk will keep you busy for a while. There are gift stores, restaurants and bakeries/dessert shops. It's a lot of fun.

I've never been to flying fish cafe but have heard great things about it! I have also never beento MNSSHP. I thought about doing it thisyear, but we're doing the DHS Villains Bash and I thought that 1 night party would be good enough.
I was very happy with the ADRs we got. We had chosen 2 signature meals, and got both those reservations -- only I realized later that we had actually previously decided we wanted to try for a different signature meal instead of one of the ones I had reserved. We had thought we would try to get a reservation for Bistro de Paris -- but it's good that I made the reservations that I did, because Bistro seems to be booked the entire week of our trip. I guess it's more booked simply because it's in Epcot, not a resort? Anyway, I'll keep checking to see if this one opens up, but we're very happy with the other signature experiences if it doesn't.

Glad to hear you love the Boardwalk area I think the Deluxes are awesome as well. If I could pick a deluxe to stay in, Beach Club might be at the top of our list, we went to Cape May for dinner 2 trips ago, and thought Beach Club was just beautiful. I'm actually really looking forward to just having the first night as a relaxing night at the Boardwalk, I've never really planned a down-day where we aren't in the parks, so I think this will be nice.
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:22 AM   #15
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Hello!!

I followed you over here from my PTR!

Wo-Hoo for booking your trip! and Flying! So much nicer than driving!!

Wanted to mention the reason you can't get a Bistro de Paris reservation is because the restaurant is closed for refurb till the end of October.
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