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Old 09-30-2012, 10:16 AM   #31
IheartDDuck
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Originally Posted by DVCWDWMEMBER View Post
I think I still have that stone tablet somewhere. I'll look for it

I am really excited about staying at the Treehouse Villas
Wow, that's AMAZING that you still have that stone tablet! You pack rat.

I'm really excited to stay at the Treehouse Villas too. It will be a lot of fun.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:59 AM   #32
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Planes, Trains, or Automobiles?

All righty, I'm just going to talk briefly about how we are planning on arriving at our destinations for these trips. I mean, it's boring, but I gotta think of something to say before I start BUSTING OUT THE PLANS!

November 2012 -

This trip was a little bit of a challenge, because we're traveling at high travel time. Because we're flying out on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and flying back the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the prices were not very forgiving. We paid a bit more for this flight than we would normally pay, but I also knew that canceling is not an option, because my Mom really needs this trip.

So the first thing I did was book the flight out, because it was affordable. I figured I would play the game and wait for a flight back to lower. I don't really care about flying two carriers if that's what necessary.

Our flight down is with....



Good old reliable Southwest.

We will be flying out of Midway on Wednesday November 21st at 9pm. That time is NOT ideal, I was hoping for the 8pm flight, when it was over $80 more one way than the 9pm. I've been watching it like a hawk to see if I can switch the flight, but nothing yet. That's okay, we're arriving a little late, but we're getting there, right?

Our flight back is with....



This flight was the one that hurt, but it was still the cheapest option out there. The benefit to it is that the flight doesn't depart Orlando until 8pm on Sunday November 25th, so we get an entire extra day basically. That's how I wanted it. This will fly back into O'Hare.

Automobile? Don't mind if I do.

I admit freely that I prefer to have a car at WDW. I used to not care so much, but the more I've had one, the easier it is for us. I have also become an expert at booking and rebooking cars. It's a gift.

I normally try to use my corporate website to do this, because of the lower rates that we get on rentals.

So when I first booked a car, it was a little over $220 with tax for the four days. I booked it with Thrifty, knowing full well that the price would lower. That was for a compact car.

I'm looking again a few weeks ago, and they had a wild card selection, mid-size or better, for a little over $170 with tax. Sold! I cancelled the prior reservation and rebooked with this one.

So about three days ago, I'm looking again. And I find a small SUV rate for $130 with tax. Um, duh! Cancelled again and rebooked.

I prefer the car, because with flying in so late, we take out having to wait for ME to take us to the resort. We divide and conquer. Mom waits for the one piece of luggage we're bringing and I go and get the car. Plus, I can get us there faster than ME can. I don't know why, but I can.

So there's November!

July 2013 -

This one is complicated. You better hunker down for this. Just kidding! No not really, you better get ready.

Mom and Dad are going down earlier than we are. They are going to be leaving around Friday June 28th to take their time and drive down there. They are checking in at...



Yup, the are getting to the Wilderness Lodge Villas Tuesday July 2nd. They don't have solid plans for the drive down yet, but they going to plan some stops along the way to fill the time. Mode of transportation?



My Mom's Armada. This is a stock Nissan photo, but the only difference is that hers is dark grey. Benefits? Seats 8 people. They are going to be bringing all of the luggage down for us. Because, the rest of us are flying down, and we figured, two people, giant car, why not bring all of the luggage? One less thing for us flyers to worry about. Oh, and Dad is also bringing the golf clubs for him and Jason.

As for the flyers. Well we only have our flights down to Florida. That means Jason, Jeni, Joaquin, Gavin, and myself. Farrell not yet, because she's not a done deal. We hopped on the tickets because the one way was only a little over $100 a person. I mean come on, flights aren't that cheap anymore, so you get a flight like that, you take it!

We are flying down with....



American Airlines again. Our flight leaves at 6:50am on Thursday July 4th. Mom and Dad will come pick us up at the airport, and we'll head to the resort. The Villa may not be ready, but that's okay.

The flight back will be arranged once I find the combination of the right price and a late flight on Sunday July 14th. We want to have as full of a last day as possible when we're there.

We'll be getting to the airport with a limo service, because the price of parking at O'Hare is ridiculous! Plus, the boys will really like a limo I think.

Up Next: November Itinerary
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:59 AM   #33
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I need a few suggestions for our drive down to Florida. Rick and I are taking our time and want to stop at a few places before arriving at WDW on July 2nd. the plan is to either leave Thursday night or very early Friday morning. That gives us several days to travel...... which route should we take? I thought about heading to St Augustine FL, I have heard great things about the City. Does anyone have any other suggestions?????
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:55 PM   #34
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Good to see you are on top of your travel plans.

I considered renting a car for October, but once we added the June trip I nixxed it in the effort of cost shifting.

June - we will be driving. I am serious about this. Not going to change my mind unless I can get $79 each way and we KNOW those days are gone.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:45 PM   #35
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Quote:
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Good to see you are on top of your travel plans.

I considered renting a car for October, but once we added the June trip I nixxed it in the effort of cost shifting.

June - we will be driving. I am serious about this. Not going to change my mind unless I can get $79 each way and we KNOW those days are gone.
With the whole rental car thing I always set a price in mind that I'm okay with paying. In the end, if I am still higher than my "ok" price, I'll cancel the rental entirely and just go with ME and buses. But, my plans have always worked out in my favor. I've always been able to get really good prices on cars.

You never know, you might get $79 each way! But realistically, I know, it's been almost impossible to get good prices on anything flight related. I'm okay with driving, I just don't always love wasting the time.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:25 PM   #36
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AKV is worth the stay for sure. I would make sure though that if you are able to rent the points, stay at Jambo House. I have nothing against Kidani Village, but with the setup of the resort, Jambo house is just a lot more convenient. But I'm also the kind of person that really likes to be within walking distance of the refillable mug station.
You and me both!!! I don't want to have to walk that far for my refills.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:47 PM   #37
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You and me both!!! I don't want to have to walk that far for my refills.
It is a serious part of my resort strategy. I don't have a refillable mug for nothing you know.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:29 PM   #38
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We still have to wait a few months before we can make our reservations for the two bedroom at AKL and are hoping for sure to get Jambo House. It will be much easier for us with the kids too.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:34 PM   #39
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It is a serious part of my resort strategy. I don't have a refillable mug for nothing you know.
But of course..... HA HA
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:46 PM   #40
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We still have to wait a few months before we can make our reservations for the two bedroom at AKL and are hoping for sure to get Jambo House. It will be much easier for us with the kids too.
For sure. Plus, I love Jambo House too. We'll get it, I'm sure.

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But of course..... HA HA
Truth. I need unlimited Diet Coke / Coke Zero.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:50 PM   #41
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I'm here... Took me awhile, but I made it...

Love your plans so far... And I totally agree about cheap flights... Those days are long gone!!!

But dang... Only $100 for the July flight down... Score!!!
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:30 AM   #42
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I'm here... Took me awhile, but I made it...

Love your plans so far... And I totally agree about cheap flights... Those days are long gone!!!

But dang... Only $100 for the July flight down... Score!!!
LOL, that's okay, I'm glad to see you here.

I know, it' so sad that the days of affordable flights are gone. I had to jump on that flight while it was there because it was so inexpensive.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:13 PM   #43
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Departure Day Wednesday November 21, 2012 and Day 1 Thursday November 22, 2012

I'm updating a little fast and furious, but I want to get some details out of the way because I know what tends to happen is that time tends to get by you. I won't have as much time always to spend on the DIS either, because I'm currently studying for the CPA exam, and that takes up A LOT of time.

So, let's talk a little November, shall we?

I also had to edit this post to let everyone know that the Boardwalk waitlist came through! Woo hoo!!!!! We now have a garden view studio at the Boardwalk. Yay for Mom, because this will be her first official stay at the Boardwalk. She's only stayed one night before.

Departure Day - Wednesday November 21, 2012

So both my Mom and I have to work on this day. For me, because I'm in Accounting, it's month end, so there would have been no way I would be allowed to take the day off anyway. As discussed previously, our flight doesn't leave until 9pm that night from Midway.

Midway is not an ideal location, it's the hardest airport for us to get to here, but it was the cheapest flight we could get.

I'm working until about 5pm, so the plan is for me to hitch a ride to work so I don't have to worry about my car. My Mom and Dad will come to pick me up at work and my Dad will drop us off at the airport. It will be rush hour, so it's a good idea for us to leave early. It already takes about 45 minutes on a good traffic day, so during rush hour, we have no idea what we're going to get.

We'll have some dinner at the airport and then be ready to go.

We're bringing carry ons and one piece of luggage between the two of us. Originally we were going to bring only carry ons, but I want to buy a few houseware items when we're down there, so I wanted the extra room.

Our plane is set to land at 12:30am. I'm hoping it lands a little early, as they have in the past. Mom will head to get the luggage while I get the car rental. I'm hoping to have that all squared away quickly. I don't want to get to the resort later than 2am.

Then it will be off to bed as soon as we get ourselves settled in at the hotel. I've been checking the hours for the parks, but they haven't updated anything recently. For Thanksgiving though, it seems that they tend to wait until you get closer.

Day 1 - Thursday November 22, 2012

This is our Epcot day, yay!



The park is still set to open at 9am. With our late arrival, that will work in our favor, but I can't guarantee we'll be there right at 9am. It all depends on how arrival goes.

We are not doing a dining plan (I forgot to mention that in my previous updates). My Mom and I have been very strict with our eating, and I'm approaching my Disney trip this year with the same idea. I didn't want to do Dining and be forced to get a dessert with every meal that I eat. I wanted a little more flexibility.

Breakfast will be at:



Just a small breakfast, probably something like some yogurt and some fruit for us. During that time, we'll secure some fastpasses for:



If the wait time isn't too bad, we might way. I don't know for sure though. If it is longer, we'll head to:



Gotta go see Figment!

And:



Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.......

We'll probably be ready for lunch after that. Our reservation is at 11:30am at:



Via Napoli! I have never eaten here, so I'm super excited. We're going to follow our plan of sharing a pizza and sharing an appetizer. I'm super excited.

After our lunch, we will likely wander World Showcase, and eventually, because it's me and you know me, we'll end up at the Ditch.





For one (or a few) tasty tasty 'ritas....and perhaps a Drunk Little Cucumber....for my brother.



Other must do's at Epcot?





What, how on earth did THAT picture get in there......



Basically, just wandering around aimlessly. My Mom and I don't have hard pressed plans really. We just go with the flow with a few basic plans.

I do want to stay to watch Illuminations, because I haven't seen the whole show in quite a while, and neither has my Mom. So that's definitely part of the plan. Oh, and I forgot a few other important details.





Honestly, I never know WHERE those pictures come from......

Up Next: November, Day 2

Last edited by IheartDDuck; 10-01-2012 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:40 PM   #44
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Bahahaha, had a good chuckle at all the mysteriously appearing drink photos. And the reappearance of the Drunk Little Cucumber.
Sounds like a great day's worth of plans!
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:40 PM   #45
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Bahahaha, had a good chuckle at all the mysteriously appearing drink photos. And the reappearance of the Drunk Little Cucumber.
Sounds like a great day's worth of plans!
Hahaha, I had to make the whole thing a little funny. LOL. Plus, for real, I mean Epcot does have some great drink offerings.
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