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Old 02-21-2013, 03:58 PM   #16
AnnieDan_Artlover
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Resorts, check, costume, check!

I called Disney last week, and my math was right!
It took almost one hour on the phone though. Wow, they really don't think about those poor people paying long-distance fees!

I was lucky to be on Skype and with all the time in the world ahead of me. (and lucky I went to the bathroom before I called!).

We secured AS-Music for one night, Sept 24th-25th, and AoA, standard Little Mermaid room for one night, Oct. 4th-5th.
And all in all, for less than 250$!

The CM told me Disney would move our bags from resort to resort! I didn't know that! That is niiiice! Unless of course we decide to just pack everything except our "on-the-road" stuff, and treat those nights like the ones on the road... in which case it wouldn't be helpful... I'll have to check how the luggage moving works... and maybe we'll do it so nothing melts in the car...

And after Alysa asked, I started lookin for costumes... and I found it!
Here it is:


I have always wanted one of those skirts!
I found this particular costume at an online costume retailer... but I have a friend who makes costumes, and she's going to make me a deal. I'm even going to be able to go buy the fabric myself, so it will be exactly like I want it!
Since I gained a lot of weight this past year because of a med I was taking, and since I should lose some of it until the trip, we will wait until 2 months before I leave to make it, so it fits nicely. And in case I lose a lot of wait last minute, since it'll be home made, she'll be able to make adjustments!

I'm real happy with my choice!!!

Not only because I like the idea, but because it will be practical, too!
I'll be able to wear my Chuck Taylor shoes with the dress, and it won't look weird, and my feet won't hurt! Plus, it's a costume in which I won't look stupid AND I could easily wear it again... not like that Belle princess dress I had 4 years ago... even if that dress had not broken down to pieces, it's not something I would've easily worn at a regular costumed party... while this doo-wop skirt, heck yeah! I'd wear it in the summer just for fun!

Next up I'll have to order Universal tickets before the prices go up (but I'm waiting because I might be able to order one of them "free" with my AirMiles points, like last year!)... and make the HRH reservation!

In just one week the park hours should be out and it will be time to confirm my planning!

By the way... I heard more details about the new MyMagic+ and Fastpass+ systems that should be in place in the next few months... I can't wait for it to happen so we have more details... at least it should've been in place long enough, when we go, so that the worst kinks are smoothed out... at least I hope.

I kind of like the idea of being able to make reservation times for attractions, because even though we never plan in much detail and only know which park we'll hit, we still always know if we'll go to the major attractions... and if there is an attraction we want to do that requires an FP, like Soarin, it's a sure thing we'll do it. So for me, making the ressie 2 months in advance or having to get to the park early, walk to Soarin only to get the FP and get a return time 5 hours later... making the ressie is better.
As for having a limit of FP per day... since we never stay very long in a park, we never have used more than 3 FP in one day anyways...

Then again, I am worried about the rumored AP allotment... if annual passholders only get something like 20 FPs per quarter, it would mean we'd only have 20 FPs for our whole 10 days... which would only be 2 FPs each day... in that way, it's not as good for us.

And one bad thing (but maybe just more fair) : with the RFID bracelet, FPs wouldn't be transferable anymore. So it means 2 things. If I took one and don't need it anymore, I can't give it to someone else as a little pixie dust sprinke... then again, if I just go on my Disney app and cancel it (if possible, I guess it will be), I am putting it back for anyone else to get, so it's a bit like giving it...
But... being non-transferrable, and if there is a limit... it means if Mama can only use 2 FPs a day, and I can only use 2 FPs a day too... I wouldn't be able to ride ToT 2 times in a row like I did last trip, using my own FP one time, and then Mama's, who isn't riding...
What would happen would simply be that Mama would use almost none of her available FPs and I would max out all of mine... and ride much less, since I can't wait in line...
...unless of course they manage something for the disabled...
because that was the whole thing!

4 years ago, I was in a wheelchair, and I was so sick I needed a Guest-Assistance Card, which stated I needed to wait in an alternative location (not in the sun, mainly). That usually meant, if the line was too long, they made me use the FP line. Of course that was when FPs were all used, since we used FPs too.
This year, I didn't need the wheelchair, nor the GAC. It was really empty, and not too hot, so we could alway manage with just FPs and small lines. Or single rider lines at EE, Mission Space and RnR.

But if I'm so severely limited in FPs... I guess I would have to ask for a GAC again. Because I'm guessing I wouldn't be able to just use Mama's bracelet...

Anyways, it's just useless speculation right now...

As a whole, I'm happy about this upgrade. I like technology and I think it can make for good park experience.

Just buying stuf and not having to get your card out will be nice... I wonder if they'll be able to link your AP with it, or if we'll still have to get it out with an ID, when we ask for a merch discount? That was such a burden every time! We broke one lanyard pouch getting the cards out of it so often!

Ah... I'm starting to get excited! We leave in 210 days!!!

Last edited by AnnieDan_Artlover; 03-30-2013 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:30 PM   #17
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I have been reading bits and pieces here and there about the MyMagic+ and Fastpass+ and I too am excited! I think for the most part it will be a positive change. We tend to enjoy park hopping, so I'm a little disappointed that I won't be able to schedule fastpasses in multiple parks on the same day.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:49 PM   #18
AnnieDan_Artlover
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Rare Disease Day

Hi guys!

This is a totally post, a short one, but dear to my heart.

Today is the International Rare Disease Day.
The disease I suffer from, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, hypermobile type, affects only about 1/5,000 people, maybe as few as 1/20,000.
It may sound a lot, but just start counting, or compare it to other diseases, and it's really not a lot.

It's not enough for doctors to really know anything about it but the name, most other health specialist even never heard about it (nurses, pharmacists, etc).

It's not enough for big drug companies to want to do research about treatments, because it's not financially interesting. In the US, and in some countries, the governments have to force them with laws... sadly not yet in Canada... and it'll never be a big enough budget to really help all the 7,000 different rare diseases sufferers all around the globe, but it's a start!

You can get more info here : http://www.rarediseases.org/

Living with a chronic illness is never easy, but living with one that you feel alone in the world living with, one that few people know about and that even your doctor can't help you understand is even worst.

Thanks for taking a moment to care!

I'll be back soon with a real update, promise!
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:49 PM   #19
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Well, I wasn't back "SOON" with an update...
Not because I forgot about you guys... simply because there wasn't anything happening!

I checked the park schedule on March 1st, when Disney released September's park hours... but they haven't even released October's park hours yet, and it's driving me nuts...

It was a pretty disappointing moment, too, because many EMH were removed... evening EMH were cut down to 2 hours... I looked online and I saw it had been announced last July, to take effect this January... I had totally missed that news. I'm very sorry to hear about that, as evening EMH were my favorite time to be in a park... Less people, at night... Some people prefer the morning ones, but not being a morning person...

I know the closer you get to the actual vacation time, the more hours they usually add, even on off-season... Last December was low season, and when they last updated the schedule in November, almost every day there was at least one park getting more time. AK opening one hour later, EMH were added morning and night, etc.
I hope the same will happen. Right now, some days don't even have ANY EMH.

And not one night has 2 parades at MK. I always prefer to go on a 2-parades night and go to the second one, to get a lesser crowd. Crossing our fingers they'll add a few of that too.

My TourGuideMike subscription had ended with my last trip... I realized that's not quite fair... if you select a trip date one year in advance, you'll get info for all the dates you want, the whole year until your trip, and get use of the website the whole time. If you select your trip date and sign on the website just a month or 2 prior to your trip, you'll no longer have access afterwards! It's not a one-year or month-by-month subscription... but a "by-trip" type of thing... well had I known, I would've put in the SECOND trip as my trip info, because I couldn't use it, and I sure won't pay again.
Being also subscribed to TouringPlans, and having noticed their crowd levels seemed more on point last trip (TGM's "green" park had been the one with the highest predicted crowd level in TouringPlans... and indeed there were more people there than in TGM's "red" park!), I decided to go with just them and my knowledge of crowd behavior...

Anyways, we park hop, we have plenty of time... we don't have a super set-in-stone plan, we just have a few ADRs so if we were to end up in a park and feel it's too crowded, we could just leave and switch.

But most of all, being slow season... the most crowded would probably be very breezy anyways and we won't even notice it.

SO. I didn't have to change my plans at all following the updated schedule... I wasn't planning ADRs based on parks opening hours, just one based on IllumiNations, and that shouldn't change... and the Wishes Dessert Party...

And then I messed up.

In 2 ways, as if one wasn't enough.

I had used an online tool to calculate the 180 days, just to be sure, since I don't trust my math (I NEVER trust my math).
...But I did so using our original ressie. Forgetting we will be arriving one night earlier now. September 25th is still our first real day in Disney... but we will check-in for A reservation on the 24th, and thus our 180 window + 10 days opened on Thursday the 28th...
Which I totally didn't realize until I put my reservation number in the system, on Friday the 29th and it said "179 days until your vacation!"... DAMN.

But I did that at 10PM that day... because even though on Thursday I talked about it with Mama, wondering if being able to book ADRs online meant we could start at midnight, or if it would still be starting at 7am like on the phone... hoping it would be midnight as I wouldn't have to set my alarm clock...
A few hours later it was all out of my head. I was sick (Ok, I'll give myself that), watching TV and totally out of it and not thinking about ANYTHING.
I went to bed... next day I did my things, went to see a friend's dance show with my best friend and her kids... and was very lucky to have a flash of memory when I got back! OMG the ADRS!!!

I was totally stressed out, got on the computers, trying to do everything at once...
I opened my ADR list, my plan, the Disney website...
Of course none of my reservations were linked to my account (it would've helped me know I could've done it earlier, to start!), so I did that first.

Then I looked at my ADR list... and it didn't make sense, as there were too many. I was sure I remembered removing most Epcot ADRs, but they were all there! It's like my list hadn't saved right a few months back when we decided.
Not having time to double check, I made all the reservations like they were set...

Starting with the most urgent one : Be Our Guest for our first dinner, as we knew it would be the most popular and harder to get... Indeed, I asked for 6pm, and got 8:30pm! The ONLY option. I TOOK IT!!!
Mama was not happy, she hates eating late. She asked me to try for another date, earlier... but then she realized I would have to move many other things around and said to forget it, she would deal with eating late. PHEW.

After that I did all the rest... and got pretty much all we wanted, 15min difference here and there.

Having discussed with Mama (and checked this PTR), I confirmed that my hunch was right and the ADR list was wrong... but I couldn't remove the ADRs as I wasn't able to view my ressies... so I couldn't cancel them! I'll try on the iPhone app later.

I was able to get us an ADR for Hacienda de San Angel at 8:30pm, which is the perfect time for IllumiNations... so now it will be up to luck (and asking nicely... and low season... and nice weather) to getting a nice outside table... or else it will just be a nice meal we would've skipped.

I was NOT able to make the Wishes dessert party ADR, as they stopped at the end of April. I did a bit of research and it seems they never go further than 90 days, always between 30-90 days.
I hate that I'll never know... so I'll have to check regularly, and hopefully it won't be all booked by the time I check, as I know they fill in very quickly!
Hopefully, too, there WILL be a dessert party for the date I'm planning to attend it!

I'll now have to order Universal tix (for one person... I'm hoping to get enough AirMiles by August to order the other one with them, like last trip)... It might not be possible, we still have a long way to go points-wise... but I figure if we don't get there, we'll only have one ticket with updated pricing to pay instead of both.

I'll have to make the Hard Rock Hotel ressie, too.

Check the itinerary, to see if we change a few routes...

Order the MNSSHP tix...

By the way I just checked, the F&W festival dates have been released (how come I didn't see that? I receive DIS news in my inbox everyday and get Disney, DIS and other Disney related news on my newsfeed on Facebook and Twitter?!) : September 27th to November 10th 2013.
So, yay! We'll only have 2 days without it! Exactly what I was counting on. If they had decided to start it later I would've been doomed!

Many things still to do, but not THAT much... and not a whole lot I have to rush to do...

It's nice, I'm midway writing the previous trip TR, and I think that when I'm done with that, the excitement of going back and the new trip will be rising so the timing will be perfect!
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:59 PM   #20
AnnieDan_Artlover
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Cheddar cheese soup

Now, I promised you a few recipes as I tried them along the way... (I think I did anyways?)

I couldn't wait to try this one, as it's one I LOOOOVED. Cheese is my main food group.

I had found a recipe on here, but it felt incomplete and had some weird quantities... I found 2 other recipes online (all saying they were the Le Cellier's cheddar cheese soup...).
So what I did is create a recipe with those 3 and my common sense.

So, this is NOT the exact Le Cellier recipe, since I didn't get it straight from there.
It does, however, taste just like that. Well, almost, since I did not put beer in it, as we felt it gave it a bit of a bitter taste, and I don't like alcohol.

It takes a good hour to make... and disappears much more quickly!
Definitely worth it, and I can't wait to make more!

It makes about a gallon of soup.
------------------

The number one rule in Cheddar cheese soup is "Low and slow". This recipe takes about an hour to make, and if you try to turn the heat up and rush it, you will only ruin your work The number two rule is "Keep stirring". This is a soup that can burn, and takes a lot of tender loving care. When in doubt, "Keep stirring".

½ lb. bacon
⅔ cup butter
1 red onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup celery, finely chopped (about 2 stakes)
1 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups milk
1 lb. old Cheddar
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
½ teaspoon tobasco sauce

1. In a large Soup pot (At least 1 ½ Gallon) render down the bacon. All you are looking to do here is to liquefy the fat in the bacon, you are not trying to brown it.
2. Add the Butter and melt it.
3. Add the Onion and Celery and sauté until onions to start to get translucent.
4. Dust this with flour and mix to form a roux. Keep stirring until all of the flour has been incorporated.
5. Add chicken stock, slowly, while constantly stirring. You are looking for something resembling a gravy at this point. It's going to be very thick.
6. Next add milk, again slowly, while constantly stirring. This should significantly lighten up your soup at this point.
7. Turn heat up slightly, it's time to melt the cheese. Add cheese very slowly in small amounts, while stirring constantly. Allow each portion of cheese to melt away before adding the next. Keep stirring.
8. Now add pepper.
9. Next add worchestershire and tobasco. Keep stirring.
10. Turn down the heat slightly and let simmer or serve. You can garnish each bowl with some finely chopped bacon and chives.


ENJOY
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:16 PM   #21
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Joining in on the planning fun...our trips will overlap a little!
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:13 PM   #22
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Unhappy Sad news

Hi all

Sorry I have abandonned you for a while (don't we all say that too often on these boards? )

Maybe it's because I unconsciously knew what was coming.

The spring has been easier on my health than the winter. Had not had infections on top of viruses and so on... but Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is still making life hard.
I've had a few bedridden days each month, migraines and osteoarthritis episodes regularly... routine, in other words!

A few months ago Mama told me we had to start being careful with our expenses.
My parents are both retired now, so our income is lower than it was, and we have to be careful so they don't spend all their retirement money too early (neither of them worked for a company with a retirement plan, they had to make their own, so it's not garanteed).

I say "their" income but "we" because as I may have said before, being chronically ill I can't work. I get social disability money, which I mostly share with them (and use the rest for my personal expenses).

So... seeing how much effort we have to make to make ends meet, and how many things we need to delay buying... or had to decide not to buy, because money is short... I was feeling maybe she would just not go to Disney.

I'm also personally very low on money and haven't even finished paying last December's trip! I THINK I will have by next September, but I'm not 100% sure.
My computer died on me last January so I had to put money into that and so on... as things always happen.

I talked to Mama about it, and she said she had put money aside specifically for that trip, and she didn't want to re-assign it, and she wanted to go.

And then... weather happened.
Mama had already told me of her worries about us going to WDW late-September to early October heat-wise. And I had told her I was sure I would be OK, and how could that be so much warmer than what I had planned initially (end of October)?
Plus, I had been fine in May in 2008, and this past December, and we had a few days in the warm side.
But in truth... I was wondering myself.

Because in May 2008, I was in a wheelchair, but on the warmest day, I almost fainted because of exhaustion and heat.
And last December, when we had that worst day heat-wise, it was really hard for me. I couldn't stand to watch the parade, I had to sit down often... and it definitely was a harder day.

Still, I was sure I'd be fine.

And then, as I said... the weather happened. Here.
It's 84°F right now, plus humidity...
And here I was, outside, sitting in the shade, just typing on the laptop... with my cooling scard around my neck, wet hair and an iced coffee to drink... and I started feeling ill, my blood pressure dropped, and I had to rush inside (well... rush slowly ) so as not to faint.
It took me at least half an hour to recover.

When my mom learned of that, she came back on the subject of Disney, and would it really be wise to go?
She didn't want me to have a crappy trip, didn't really want to have to worry about me or be overly protective ("are you OK?" "Are you sure you can do this?" "do you need to rest?"). And she's not a fan of the heat either...

So we checked the average weather for September and October, again.
And it's exactly what we have today... or worse.

Realizing that our last trip was almost perfect, in my eyes... even with the problems we had... I wouldn't feel brokenhearted not to go back so soon... or ever again. (). And most of all, I'd rather "end" Disney with that last, good trip as my last memory (at least, last memory for a while), than go back and have a crappy trip and end on THAT memory.
Because we had already decided that next fall would be our last Disney trip for a long while. We are limited and want to do other trips.

We talked about it, and she feels the same.

But we didn't officially decide right away...

After a while she came back and told me, maybe we could just go to the parks in the late afternoon and evenings... and maybe early morning.
And then I looked at my plan, and noted that parks never opened early (plus if we went late in the evening we wouldn't want to wake up early, she added).
And since it's off-season, there are no or very little EMH planned... so parks will close before 10pm!

And AK closes at 5-6pm.

So we would spend the day in the room, in the AC... and then only 5-6 hours in the parks each day?
Spend over 7000$ for that?

No way.

If I could only physically do so few hours, it would be worth it.
But going at another time of the year, I can do an almost normal day, so it's not worth it in my eyes. And I would just go crazy being stuck inside the rest of the time! Knowing the parks are all around and having all those plans I can't do!

So that was it.
We officially pulled the plug on our trip.

Fall 2013 trip died this afternoon at 2pm. RIP.

Honestly... I'm at peace with the decision. Because of what I said earlier.
But I'm still sad.

I'm thus ending this PTR...
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:42 AM   #23
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Oh I'm sad to hear this. But here's hoping that there will be another Disney trip in your future!!

Your health is what's most important.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:32 PM   #24
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I m so sorry that you won't be able to continue on with your trip! Definitely your personal health as well as your family's financial health are most important!

Last edited by thummyt; 09-05-2013 at 09:41 PM. Reason: updated message
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:22 PM   #25
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Talking The trip is back on!!!!


OMG I can't believe it!

I had not intended to completely stop writing, among other things I wanted to reply to your kind words, swwake & thummyt
I also take the opportunity to say I have NOT abandonned the past trip TR... but I have so many things going on at once : EDS awareness, including my blog, a new video I shot that will be shown to doctors to help teach them about the illness -SO EXCITED ABOUT THAT!, I'm now a moderator on an international rare disease website, I sometimes help a local marketing company by doing text revision/correction, I'm also in the process of putting the final touches to my book which I wanted to publish this fall... might be a bit late now... CRAZAY.
Good crazay. Health is still bad, but I've seen worse.
And so... each day I have to make choices and never get to do all I want/need, and the TR always gets pushed down the list... But it IS on the list! My Passporter pouches and notebook are beside my sofa in the living room... always ready... slightly dusty

So... now on to the big news :
Had the trip not been cancelled, we would've left last Friday, and this Wednesday would've arrived in Disney. We both tried not to think about it.
But I got an ADR reminder email last Monday!

I was confused... I was sure they had all been cancelled.
See, after I cancelled the trip, I went to check the ADRs on the Disney website... and it said I didn't have any. To make sure it wasn't just a glitch, I also checked my MyDisneyExperience app, and re-checked the website a few times over the months. Always I got "there is nothing to show". So I figured when you cancelled the trip, all the ADRs connected to it got cancelled too.
I should've known better : a) I have changed resort ressies many times for our first trip in 2008 (well... our Disney Unlimited agent did, but I knew how it worked), I've read enough here about split stays and last-minute resort changes... I should have remembered how they are not linked to a resort ressie.
b) I have had troubles with the Disney website so many times while making the ADRs, I shouldn't have trusted.

So, on Monday, I had to call and cancel everything. Thank god for Skype!
I must say, cancelling that, one by one, on the week it would've happened, while I'm physically much better than when we cancelled the trip... I was tearing up and it hit me much harder.
But we couldn't do anything about it. The decision had been done, mom had told me it was better financially after all, and without the bounceback offer, we wouldn't be able to afford it (or would have to stay at a moderate or value resort... which honestly would be too hard with my health).
Plus, it would be so last minute, we probably wouldn't be able to find anything where we wanted... we had had trouble finding availability at the Contemporary with the bounceback offer, and that was almost a year early!
And finally, we had said we didn't want to go back for the holidays... well, I don't meant that we wouldn't want to go then a second time, holidays were great, just see my TR when I finish it!
But what made us excited was seeing the Halloween period and F&W.
So I didn't even bring it up.

And then it happened.
Literally 5 minutes after hanging up with dining to cancel, I got an offer in my email.
Turns out, it's the same damn email announced everywhere : up to 30% if you book by the end of October, for a trip almost anytime from now to the holidays.

But, having cancelled and been so busy, I hadn't been anywhere near Disney info (too depressing).
Not thinking "we could go back", but just how funny it was, I sent the email to Mama.

And she replied with "...maybe we could go!".

So, that day, I was over my head in Fuzzy Disney Math trying to figure out if, indeed, we could... looking if there was any kind of availability... Set up my account on the reshaped MyDisneyExperience website as well...

And I was lucky that the link to make room reservations with that special offer didn't work, and had to call...
Because the guy on the phone a) noticed I could get a 35% discount with my AP! and b) found us an even better place to stay, for less than what we had agreed on!

Because we're just a month out, as I feared, there was less availability. That meant most standard aka cheaper rooms in the few Deluxes we were interested in, were not available.

After talking about it, and realizing that we intended to go to Epcot to eat almost every day, we decided we'd love to stay in one of those resorts (ideally Beach or Yacht Club).
Of course, if cheaper, Contemporary would've been nice, we liked it. But it was a lot of walking to use the monorail and we didn't plan on going to MK that much more than HS, and much less than Epcot... And it would be nice to change.
Our last choice would've been AKL, but with the extra to get Savannah view (cuz if we're that far, might as well see the animals dammit!). I've been dreaming of those animals for a while... But being so far... well made it our last choice.

So. I called. And asked for BeachClub. The only available room (and I really mean ONLY, as in just ONE), was with laguna view... not cheap.
But Mama was set on staying in that area so she said, alright, go!
And that's when the great CM (he really was super nice and helpful!) said "wait, for 100$ less (over the total stay) you could have a Boardwalk VILLA, 1 bedroom!


Of course we jumped on that!

I won't have to wear earplugs! (Mama snoooores so loud!) And she'll be able to watch TV to fall asleep, while I'll be able to play on my laptop or iPhone without bothering her...
She's very excited about the washer/dryer... I'm mostly excited about the jettub!!! The help that will be to my joints!!!
And having both a tub and a shower will save us some time too!

I can't believe we'll have that! (for a bit less than 400$ a night with the discount).
So, it's more money than what we would've spent had we gone this week. Because of the season price change, and because IT'S A VILLA.
But we decided it was totally worth it.
Go back this year, see what we wanted to see... and not go again, or not for a long time. (not together anyways... I might go with friends... or not).
And "splurge" to make sure we have the best experience, while also making sure it's the easiest for my health. Being close to Epcot and HS, sleeping great, not losing time doing laundry (and really resting when we're back at the resort), and that jettub... all things which might help.

We will of course save a bit of money by having a full kitchen... but we won't be doing a whole lot of cooking, especially not with the F&W going on! We are not going there to cook! We plan on eating in for late-night snacks and breakfasts.

I did have to decide if it was still worth going to Universal, which in itself cost almost 1000$ more. And which was just for me.
Unlike Disney, we don't have APs there. I looked at the different options, and for how many rides I really wanted to go back... and when the count stopped at 5... I figured even for those it wouldn't be worth it.

Instead, we added 3 nights at value Disney resorts.
That way, we keep the same overall plan we had, but we're at Disney the whole time... 11 days total. Even less stress in case of a bad (or hot) day.

Because of course, it might still be hot...
But I'm hopeful. One month later should make a difference. The predicted weather is about 80°F... if it's not 95°F with the humidity, I should be fine. And it could even be colder... which is what I'm hoping for of course!
Last year we were there just one month later, and we had one almost "too hot" day, a few almost too cold... the rest being perfect. We could be lucky.

So... I've spent over 15 hours in the past few days checking everything out, on the phone for the different ressies and modifying the Sept/Oct plan into a new Oct/Nov plan!

Which is now :
Oct. 26th : leave home, drive
Oct. 27th: Drive (maybe have dinner with my friend on the way!)
Oct. 28th: Drive and arrive in DISNEY - All-Star Music
Oct 29th: First day at the park, hurray!
Oct. 30th: change resort for Boardwalk Villa
Nov. 8th: change resort for Pop Century and enjoy our last park day
Nov. 9th: Start the drive back home
Nov. 10th: Drive some more
Nov. 11th: Surprise! Visit Hershey museum and pick up a few Xmas gifts along the way ...and if we can make it, arrive home late in the evening

I'll detail you our new day-to-day plan in another post. If I forget, Swwake, send me a message or something to remind me

Oh, and I almost forgot : we got in the Magicband testing!
Being a huge techie I'm excited about that, even though I know it might be complicated, might have glitches and so on...

I'm also curious to see if, with the heath being a bit more present than last december (unless I'm super lucky), I'll need to ask for that new Disability card, which is a kind of fastpass... I'll tell you more later too.

Gotta go back to planning and all those things I have to attend!

Can't tell you all happy I am that we're going, after all! Woohoo!

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Old 09-30-2013, 09:41 PM   #26
Redwavess
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Hooray I'm really happy for you!!!

I found your thread a little while ago and got hooked, but as I read on I saw your trip was cancelled so I didn't post a reply!!!

I can't wait to read more!!! Go Disney!! Go Disney!!!

Madeline
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http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2602026 Mallory Makes a Magical Wish! -- UPDATE -- I wish for... Rudolph!? pg. 4 Post #46

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Old 10-01-2013, 11:28 AM   #27
swwake
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Wow this is super exciting! I've been missing Disney quite a bit and have had my "moments" of thinking we could make a last-minute trip. But I don't see it happening this year.

I thought about you last week when they announced the new rules for the disability access cards. I think it sucks that those who really need it are being punished due to the acts of a few cheating VIP "hosts". My SIL said "they aren't being punished. They still get fastpasses." To which I replied - that's not good enough. Some people have to plan their whole days around a couple of hours when they will feel well enough to go to the parks and see their favorite attractions. Having to go get a fastpass and return later will add stress and time.

I thought about your situation, as well as the many Wish children. Just makes me furious!

Anyway, hope you've had a good summer. Good to see you back!
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:26 PM   #28
AnnieDan_Artlover
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Small update before the huge post ;)


Awww, Madeline, that's so sweet! Never thought someone could get "hooked" on one of MY PTRs or TRs, wow! Welcome aboard (again!)

And Susan, em, Swwake, thanks for raising awareness and speaking out for those like me!

I'm actually not to frustrated about it... for myself. Because honestly, I had always ALWAYS thought that was pretty much how the old GAC cards worked... they used to say "if it's just waiting outside that's a problem, rent an EVC (scooter) or take your wheelchair" (and who cares if that costs you over 300$ -that's when you decide beforehand to rent one for the whole stay, otherwise it's much more expensive). Otherwise I had been told I would be in the regular line anyways, and, only if the wait was too long or, you know, the CM felt bad for me, I guess, I would be given a time to come back... or would just be offered to sit out the wait time somewhere more comfy.

In 2008, I asked for the GAC. We didn't use it at every attraction. It wasn't super crowded, sometimes also just using the wheelchair entrance made it the FP entrance anyways and they didn't make us wait longer than the FP people (but not less). I remember one time in particular, at ToT I think, where because I was in a wheelchair, I was asked to wait somewhere else, and because of that I actually waited about twice longer than everyone else (which is why I always was confused when people said a GAC or wheelchair was a way to go "front of the line"!).

Last year, not to give any punchlines away from my TR, but I didn't ask for a GAC, and even though my health still gave me grief at times, since it was so lightly crowded, using Fastpasses the right way, we were good.

I had been wondering about asking the GAC this year since it will be hotter (hopefully not too much), and since I'm writing to you right now with a maybe torn meniscus in my right knee (happened yesterday), wearing a brace and unable to walk, we might have to rent the scooter and ask for the damn GAC (or should I now say DAS, as they call it now) and see.

I like the way the new FP+ works in that you don't need to walk across the whole park to get, say, a Kilimanjaro Safari FP, and then tour the park, to go there again when it's time. You have a set time (which you can, maybe, slightly modify on the day if needed) and you can organize your day accordingly.
But having only 3 allowed FP+ per day, for just ONE park, makes it hard.
Not being able to do a long day in one park, we usually park-hop a lot. With F&W we'll park hop even more! Stop in Epcot for dinner and move on, for example.

So... having used regular FPs last year, if I'm in good shape... we might be fine without it (either if we can add the regular FPs even though we have MagicBands... which I'm guessing we can't... or simply if it's not too crowded!). We could also be fine just getting return times with the DAS. Especially if rumors are true and there are kiosks around the park you can get return times for without having to get to the attraction... rumors now about this don't seem too encouraging though.

I totally understand Disney for changing the system, am not angry with them for this. I'm definitely angry with the people who cheated, abused and made it this way now.
I also wish they would've just made it so that people with disabilities could simply have access to more FP+ slots and the ability to park hop. I mean, it would work the same way, we wouldn't be cutting in front of anyone... and I'm not talking unlimited or 4 FPs every hour... I can't do that anyways. No, just maybe a few more each day, and have the possibility to have a few FP+ in MK in the afternoon and then 1 or 2 at Epcot in the evening. Or the chance to do FP+ for rides in the day at one park, and then use a parade spot FP+ in the evening at another park.
I do realize, though, that all of this, MagicBands, FP+ system and this new DAS card are (or will be) in testing, not set in stone in any way... so it might get better.

So far, there aren't so many rides, especially so close after being there, that we are dying to do and need an FP. So we end up with a lot of repeat FP+. But at the same time, we will want to ride some less popular attractions for which we don't take FP+ (or for which they aren't available)... and if the wait times are over 15-20min (5-10min, if it's very hot or if I'm having a bad day)... I'll need the DAS card or will have to skip that ride.

On that note... let's go write that detailed plans post
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:37 PM   #29
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The long, detailed, plan!


Wow... no, it didn't take me THAT long to write the post...
Just many things (mostly good ) happened...

But I'm here, not forgetting. And here it goes:

Oct. 28th: we arrive in Disney late in the evening and check in All-Star Music.

Oct. 29th: FIRST DISNEY DAY
Early start at AK (hopefully at or close to rope-drop), and stay there until around noon.
We have FP+ for Primeval Whirl, Dinosaur and Kilimanjaro Safari.
Then we move on to Epcot after lunch for the rest of the day and all evening.
We might as well see the Smash Mouth concert (Eat to the Beat). But not IllumiNations.

Oct. 30th: We switch resort in the morning (we probably won't be able to settle in Boardwalk so early, but some luggage will be transferred, the rest being in the car it's no problem... the administrative part is the bothering one we need to get out of the way )
Once it's done, hopefully by late morning, we move on to MK for the day, where we have FP+ for POTC, Haunted Mansion and IASM. We plan to catch MSEP and Wishes... and I keep trying for FP+ for those (we don't care losing an attraction FP+). I know it's not necessary, but we'd like to try the parades/fireworks preferred seating, and Mama would especially love not having to stand for so long (me too, but unlike her I'm able to sit on the ground... even though it's hard to get down and back up).
I'm hoping for the 2nd MSEP to be added to the schedule, which is always less crowded... but I don't know if they do that in early November?

Oct. 31st: Back to MK, at rope drop, and since it's an AM EMH... well we'll try anyway
We have FP+ for Space Mountain, Under the Sea and POTC, and plan to stay until after the afternoon parade.
Then we'll go shopping at Basin in the Grand Floridian (we know the monorail goes the other way and we'll basically have to do one extra turn... but since they don't ship to the resorts -we learned that last trip- it's that or carry our soaps around all day. Plus, monorail is fun! )
After that and some relaxing, it's on to Epcot for dinner and some evening fun.

Nov. 1st: Late start. Head to Epcot for a late afternoon lunch... then on to MK around 4pm for the MNSSHP!!!
Since we get there early, I got us FP+ for Space Mountain, Under the Sea and Haunted Mansion (to put us in the mood )
We plan on not riding rides during the party itself... just hit the trick or treat spots, maybe a few characters (but no 1h lines... love the 7 dwarves but... no.), a dancing party if I convince Mama... and just get in the sights.
And of course, unless we have the good luck of FP+ getting offered for those fireworks and parades until then, at least 90min total to save those spots...
At least there's a second parade... at the MVMCP we arrived maybe 20min early for the fireworks, and then moved our good Frontierland spot for the 2nd parade and it was perfect.

Nov. 2nd: After such a late night, we'll get to AK late morning... with FP+ for Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl and Kilimanjaro Safari (see a pattern in the FP+s?)
We'll stay for the afternoon parade, too...
Then head on to Epcot for dinner (maybe with a break at the hotel in between), and if we feel like it, we'll continue towards MK for MSEP and Wishes... especially if it didn't happen or go well the 1st time around.

Nov. 3rd: We finally get to HS! Where we have FP+ for ToT, Star Tours and Toy Story Mania (I say "we have FP+" but most times it's just me who'll ride of course...) and where we'll stay until closing time or so...
We plan on a late dinner at Epcot, and then maybe swing by Jellyrolls to see those duelling pianos I've been wanting to go see since 2007!

Nov. 4th: Get in Epcot near rope drop, and we have FP+ for Soarin, Journey with Figment (I know, it's corny and we don't need an FP... but we had to fill the 3rd FP+ spot and I want to go anyways ) and Maelstrom.
We also have a place for a chef's demonstration at 1pm. I just hope it's not something I can't taste after, like coconut or shellfish... and thus I wouldn't benefit from the tips either... crossing fingers!
We'll stay until dinner, and then move to HS where they have evening EMH.

Nov. 5th: Yet another early and full day at Epcot. This time the FP+ are for Nemo, Soarin' and Living with the Land (I know... but the Land ride was the one we waited the most for last time, curiously!).
We'll leave in early afternoon since we have an ADR at Boma at 4:50pm.

Nov. 6th: Our second full day at HS, where we'll arrive late morning.
FP+ are for Star Tours, ToT and FANTASMIC! That one is interesting... can't wait to see where we'll be seated and how much or little wait there actually is for a scheduled arrival FP time of 20-30min before the show! Mama isn't very excited to see the show again... but after seeing it in 2008 with a dinner package and about 45min wait (in wheelchair) and being seated so high and far back... and then last December, not a bad seat (middle, middle) but almost 2hrs wait... it would be fun to have a grat seat and not wait long! Plus... it's our last time...
After the show if we're not too pooped I'd love to check out Epcot since it's an evening EMH.

It's the nice thing of being so close... when you're just 10min away, and walking (so no waiting for a bus or monorail), you can very easily say "we'll check it out" and then 1hr in the park is totally worth it!.

Nov. 7th: Last AK day. With the big day before and late Epcot night, we'll arrive around noon. We also want to start packing in the am. FP+ are for Primeval Whirl, Dinosaur and... you guessed it, Kilimanjaro Safari...
We plan to attend the afternoon parade, because it will be the 1st JINGLE jammin' parade (the Xmas one)! I absolutely loved it last trip.
Then we have our 2nd and last ADR of the trip (that's where you see the F&W effect!), at Sanaa at 5:35, which I'm hoping to be perfectly timed with the animals being active close to sunset...
Getting back if timing is right and we have energy I'd LOVE to go see Dennis De Young at Epcot's Eat to the Beat concert... and then we finish packing.

Nov. 8th: Our last day
We start by saying goodbye to the Boardwalk and switching resorts, checking into Pop Century.
Then we go to MK one last time, hopefully getting there by late morning.
And we leave at some point in the afternoon... There's an MNSSHP anyways, so by 4pm it won't be as much fun...
Moving to HS for one last time... to witness the first lighting of the Osbourne Festival of Lights!!! Which will be different from last trip! We would've been happy to see the same thing again, so it's even better!
And believe it or not, we still aren't finished... we have FP+ for Soarin', Misson Space and IllumiNations... All after 8pm, so it's tight but possible...
The sun should set around 5:30, so I'm guessing the lights should start around 6:30... if we get in right away, it might take 30min navigating and taking it all in... it's a very close thing to get to Epcot by the FP+ time of Soarin (1-8pm) but we could either try to change it on the day... or just miss it and that wouldn't be too bad.
I think it will be nice to end the day with the show, especially not having to scout our spot an hour early, even more if we're lucky enough to have a chair!!! (For the 10pm show, the FP+ arrival time is between 9:35 and 9:55!)

Nov. 9th: We check out of Pop and leave...

But I'm sure by then we won't be too sad to leave... having spent enough time to see and do all we wanted, having seen spring (and Flower & Garden Festival, and Pirates & Princess party which was going on in 2008), the Holidays (and MVMCP) and fall (and F&W, and MNSSHP).
We'll be tired and, still, will be looking forward to stopping to the Hershey's museum on the way...

And I know I'll be looking forward to decorating the house a baking holiday treats... in other words, I'll be in the holiday spirit, thanks to the last 2 days in the World!

...Having to cancel and then the chance to re-book this trip seems to be like the perfect timing, things will be even better.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:11 AM   #30
swwake
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So how do the FP+ work? Is your window 1 hour like the FP? I saw that you said Soarin' 1-8 - so you have 7 hours to use it?

And if you use a parade or Fireworks FP+, you can't get an attraction one?

And you get 3 FP+ per day? Only one park - I think I read that.

I'm just curious about how all of this will work.
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