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Old 07-08-2013, 10:06 AM   #1
angierae
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,320

If We're Going to be in Florida, Let's Add some Disney Days! (10/2013 PTR)

In 2010, my MIL took my husband, my daughter and I, and my BIL and his wife to WDW. It was the first trip for DD(then 15) and I, and we were immediately hooked!

DD and I (and a friend of hers) returned in 2012 for 9 days in the week leading up to Easter, and had so much fun! But it looked like it would be our last trip for a while, with her starting college in the fall of 2013 and all the expenses that comes with that.

Here's DD on our last trip:


chef Brit by angierae75, on Flickr

and here's me!


Tink Angie by angierae75, on Flickr



However, we started looking at attending "Nerdapalooza" in Orlando the weekend of October 18-20th. It's a big nerdy music festival that is headlined by They Might Be Giants and has about 30 other musical acts, including several of our favorites.

On a whim, I looked at flight prices, and found us two flights for just over $300. But then we started going "But if we're going to go to Florida it will be weird not to go to Disney!"

After a few days of crunching numbers, we came up with a plan! We would fly down on Friday, spend Friday and Saturday night in a hotel near the convention center and attend Nerdapalooza, and then Sunday we would move to a value resort. Sunday night we'd attend the Not-So-Scary Halloween party, Monday we'd go to Hollywood Studios (my absolute favorite park!) and Tuesday we'd do ... something before our flights back at 8:30pm.

And so here we are, suddenly planning a "last minute" three day WDW vacation!
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10-2013 - Pop Century / 4-2012 - Port Orleans French Quarter / 5-2010 - Pop Century
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:27 PM   #2
angierae
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The Plan So Far

Friday and Saturday we'll be at Nerdapalooza. I am waiting to see what the schedule is for Sunday to see if we'll go at all in the morning, but the plan is definitely to be at our resort and checked in by about 3 so we can get to the Not-So-Scary-Halloween Party right at 3:45-4 when the gates open for us.

We'll spend the first couple hours riding some favorites and then I'm trying to decide if we want to get in line for the dwarfs first, or the princesses/princes. I'm thinking the dwarfs, since it's such a rare thing. We'll probably head over there around 6:15 and get in line - I'd rather spend an hour of the "bonus" time in line than an hour of the party. Maybe grab some QS and eat it while waiting in line?

This is our only time at MK on this whirlwind trip, so while I hope to spend as much of the party time doing party-things (and we are big on character hunting) I might take advantage of the lesser wait times to ride some favorites that might have longer lines during the 4pm-6pm time. Meeting the princes and princesses and the dwarfs are our only big wants, although if there are characters we haven't met yet, we'll probably want to do that. And trick or treating, of course!

But we're going to be pretty much winging it other than getting those dwarfs!

Monday we'll be at HS. HS is my favorite park, even if some people think that makes me weird.

Park hours at the moment are 9am-7:30pm. I plan on being there right at rope drop so we can do TSMM, because it is one of DD's favorites. I have no idea if FP+ is going to be going on at the time, so all plans are subject to change based on Disney's whims, hah!

Other highlights for us at DHS: The animation class, lots of character greets (looking for new ones, and probably some old faves, too), R&RC, Star Tours, Muppet 3D, Indiana Jones... you get the picture! We love shows!

DD has requested lunch at Pizza Planet, because she thinks it is super awesome that you can eat at Pizza Planet.


Pizza Planet by angierae75, on Flickr

We have 9pm dinner reservations at Kona Cafe to stretch the day out a bit longer since the park closes so early.
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No ticker! Looking at a Western US Trip for 2014 and maybe Food and Wine adults-only trip in 2015.

10-2013 - Pop Century / 4-2012 - Port Orleans French Quarter / 5-2010 - Pop Century
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:00 AM   #3
angierae
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,320

So my first trip, my MIL paid for DxDP, and that was a lot of fun. Our second trip, we got free DDP, and that was definitely nice (we had three disney adults).

This trip, we weren't planning on having any ADRs at all, but the more I got to thinking about it, the more I wanted to have a couple. On our Hollywood Studios day, the park closes at 7:30. We could make a 9pm reservation for Kona Cafe (my daughter loves eating there) and stretch out the night a little longer. Then since on Tuesday we're going to Disney Quest but they don't open until 11:30, we started thinking about doing a breakfast.

We liked the food selection the best at 1900 Park Fare of all the character breakfasts we did, so we decided we'd try to get a ressie there.

I started crunching numbers to see if it made any sense to get the DDP, since we were now having two ADRs. (I doubted it, since one was breakfast, but I like to look at things.)

On Dining Plan - $234.64 before tips


QS Dinner at MK during halloween party

Snack credit for breakfast monday
QS Lunch at HS (Pizza Planet)
Kona Cafe dinner

Tuesday - 1900 Park Fare breakfast

Or, if we paid cash: ($235)

$28.04 for lunch at All Stars Food court, including soda
$20.50 for dinner at MK, ice water to drink
$10 for snacks at the halloween party

$7.73 for a bagel and apple each at fairfax fare for breakfast Monday (and ice water)
$20.50 for lunch at Pizza Planet (ice water)
$88.15 for dinner at Kona Cafe (INCLUDING TIP)

$53 for breakfast at 1900 Park Fare (including tip)
$15 for lunch at Earl of Sandwich

Definitely not enough. I can feed us for three days on the same money where we'd get two days worth of food on the ddp. Plus we'd have to pay tips.
(Even if public free dining shows up for October, it will probably require a 3 night stay, which we aren't able to do anyway.)
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:23 AM   #4
angierae
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Flights Booked!

So booking our flights last night was an ordeal in itself!

Travelocity & Expedia both had the flights for about $20 cheaper total for two than directly on Spirit's webpage. I figured I have an account at Travelocity, so we'll do that.

I picked the flights, entered all the information for DD and I, entered my payment information -- and it hung for a long time, then errored and dumped us back at the flight selection page.

Except now the flights were $405 total, and the flight home we'd planned to take was no longer an option. So I closed that tab and moved over to Expedia. Selected the flights, put in all of our info, put in my payment info ... and when it went to authorized the card, it bounced back with "The price for your flights has now changed to $365! (From $325)

Sighing, I went over to Spirit Airline's webpage, booked both flights for $345 and then added on one checked bag there and back (which I would have called and done if I had booked on Expedia or Travelocity) and for $405, I now have two flights to Orlando! YAY!

(Last spring break the cheapest we could find were $350 EACH. Plus bags. It was ridiculous.)

So excited! Our "last minute" trip is moving right along!
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No ticker! Looking at a Western US Trip for 2014 and maybe Food and Wine adults-only trip in 2015.

10-2013 - Pop Century / 4-2012 - Port Orleans French Quarter / 5-2010 - Pop Century
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:13 PM   #5
angierae
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Some of our favorite pics from 2012


Is she a pirate by angierae75, on Flickr
(Tink asking us if Brit was a pirate, because she had a pirate lanyard.)


Band geeks making friends by angierae75, on Flickr
(Both of the girls are in band, so they had to stop and chit-chat!)


Brit in a stroller by angierae75, on Flickr
(We got to MK late one night for EMH and there was a CM collecting strollers. Brit said she was so tired she needed one, and she thought she'd fit (she's 4'10", so the CM let her try one out. :P)


singing with the mayor by angierae75, on Flickr
(Singing Supercalifragalisticexpialadocious with the Mayor.)


One of the things I love so much at Disney is even in a group of three with no little kids, the CMs went out of their way to make it fun for us. Stitch danced with Brit at Club 626, the Mayor pulled them out of the crowd to sing, etc. Lots of people think Disney is just for kids, but since MY kid didn't get to go til she was 15, I'm SO GLAD that she's been able to really do a lot of those fun "kid" things even if she's been 15 and 17 on her visits, and now will be returning as an "adult" for the first time.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:52 PM   #6
angierae
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So many updates!

Nerdapalooza announced that they are "very close" to announcing their hotel partner, so I haven't booked that yet.

We booked our two nights at All Star Music, and our one day park tickets for DHS. We fussed with our meals a bit. Right now, the plan is:

Sunday: Check out of convention center hotel, cab to ASMu, drop bags with bell services if our room isn't ready, take our halloween costumes in our bags and head to the Poly for lunch at Kona Cafe at 2:30, then go over to MK at 4 for the party.

Monday: get to DHS 30-45 minutes before "official" opening, spend all day there, finish up with Fantasmic at 7:30. No meals planned other than having either lunch or dinner at Pizza Planet.

Tuesday: Check out of hotel, drop bags with bell services. Breakfast at 1900 Park Fare at 10:15, head to Downtown Disney to make use of the free Disney Quest admissions and do a bit of shopping. Back to the resort around 4, collect our bags, readjust our packing so we only have what we want on the plane, catch ME back to MCO at 5:15.

Probably going to pay off the package at Disney, order the halloween party tickets and get our Nerdapalooza tickets this weekend. Then I just have to pay for the other hotel once it's announced.
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No ticker! Looking at a Western US Trip for 2014 and maybe Food and Wine adults-only trip in 2015.

10-2013 - Pop Century / 4-2012 - Port Orleans French Quarter / 5-2010 - Pop Century
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:35 PM   #7
angierae
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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Spent some Quality Time on the phone with Disney today!

Had the fall promo added to our package - we only saved $33.50 with the 15% off at ASMu, but hey, that's $33.50 we can spend elsewhere at WDW, right?

I ordered our MNSSHP tickets for 10/20, and paid off our package. Now we've officially got the Mouse paid off. See you real soon!

Also arranged DME to take us back to the airport.

Getting very, very excited!

Oh! the other thing I did was re-subscribe to touring plans. Since we've only got the one day at HS, I wanted to make sure we could do everything we wanted to do. I plugged in all this to get a feel for things:

Pull a FP for TSMM
Ride TSMM standby
Go see Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Do a class at the Animation Academy
Ride TSMM with fastpass
Do the animation academy again (I did this for the first time on our last trip and I love it!)
Go see Walt Disney: One Man's Dream (still haven't done this)
Ride Rock N Roller Coaster
Ride the Great Movie Ride
Pull a Fast pass for Star Tours
Go see Muppetvision 3D
Ride Star Tours with FP

This puts us at Pizza Planet for lunch at 1:20. The only quibble I have with this is that maybe we should do One Man's Dream later. I don't know. But it does leave the afternoon open for character hunting, and there's quite a few we haven't met yet!

Buzz & Woody - Pixar Place - 9:15-3:25
Mike & Sulley - Backlot Exit 10:00-2:40
Stitch - Hat Courtyard 2:30-2:50
Frozone & Mr. Incredible - Magic of Disney Animation (before 2:40, it fell off MDE before I got exact times)
Ralph & Vanellope - Magic of Disney Animation 2:40-6:30


(Okay, so we've met Buzz & Woody and Stitch before, but Buzz is DD's favorite, and just recently a family friend stayed at Aulani and got me a small stuffed Stitch, then got their picture taken with Stitch holding it. I want to get a picture of Stitch holding the stuffed Stitch at WDW, too.)

I'm thinking we can get Mike and Sulley after lunch, then head over to be early in line for Stitch, then head over to Magic of Disney Animation and get Ralph and Vanellope. I don't think we'll be able to squeeze in Frozone & Mr. Incredible, but that leaves more for next time, right? I figure if we're all done with character hunting by 3:30 or 4, that still gives us a couple of hours before we have to head over for Fantasmic.
__________________
No ticker! Looking at a Western US Trip for 2014 and maybe Food and Wine adults-only trip in 2015.

10-2013 - Pop Century / 4-2012 - Port Orleans French Quarter / 5-2010 - Pop Century

Last edited by angierae; 08-05-2013 at 01:40 PM.
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