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Old 08-02-2013, 09:39 PM   #1
RipperSB
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Escaping Saskatchewan Winter

I posted our pre-trip planning on a different thread, not able to link yet so here it is... where it should be, i suppose.

THE BACKSTORY

Back in 2010, the family was gathered at our place for Christmas. We have two boys who are now grown and (like Mom & Dad) are serving their country. They and their wives were managing to share holidays with both families and it was our youngest and his wife who suggested a Walt Disney World family Christmas. They were members of the Disney Vacation Club and would use their points for the two bedroom accommodations. After some careful thought we decided on Christmas 2012 as that would give us time to plan and budget.

Planning was left to our DS and DDIL as they (and especially her) were the WDW experts. They had booked the room for 29 Dec – 5 Jan so we would be there over New Year’s Eve… THE Busiest Time of the Year! They planned for us to be on the Deluxe Dining Plan which we paid for as our contribution. As the date approached, however, military life reared its ugly head and saw both my kids families get disrupted with postings that resulted in the oldest and his wife unable to make the trip.

Nevertheless, we pressed on and had a FANTASTIC time! DDIL was just mentioning putting together a trip report for that one, so I won’t go into details here but will post the link when it becomes available. We did attend a presentation about the DVC while we were there but there was a certain amount of sticker shock and so we declined, despite a discount of $7.00/point and double bonus points. It wasn’t until we returned home, crunched numbers, reviewed options with our bank that we were able to say “YES, we can do this!” We called our Guide did a direct purchase of 200 points at BLT… no discount but we did get a bonus of 200 points; and now, to plan our first trip as DVC owners.

THE PLANNING

It will be a party of two, to begin. DW and I will be there for the first week and the DS and DDIL will be arriving during our second week there for a week of their own.

Travel dates are: Arriving Sunday, 1 Dec 13 and departing Friday, 13 Dec 13 for 12 fun-filled nights of WDW magic!

Air travel was booked almost the day after the room was. Got a real good deal with United, the only problem is the last time they rescheduled our departure from a reasonable 1100 to a redonkulous 0600. Sure enough, in the time between booking the flight and typing this they did reschedule the departure flight but only from 1422 to 1305… still manageable. Ground transportation to/from MCO will be with the Disney Magical Express, the only way to go IMHO. We are staying at Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort, with a Lake View booked and a Standard View waitlisted.

I made ADRs for all our Table Service Meals at 180 days out. I had only one shutout… Be Our Guest was completely booked on the day I wanted but got the rest OK. I have also listed our intended lunch destinations (we’re planning on breakfast in our room before we head out for the day, except for a breakfast at Kona Café (TONGA TOAST!) and a departure breakfast on the last day):

Sun 2013-12-01 19:00 Contempo Cafe

Mon 2013-12-02 11:00 Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe

Mon 2013-12-02 18:40 The Crystal Palace

Tue 2013-12-03 11:00 Studio Catering Company

Tue 2013-12-03 18:30 50's Prime Time Cafe
Wed 2013-12-04 11:00 Wolfgang Puck Express

Wed 2013-12-04 18:30 Whispering Canyon Cafe

Thu 2013-12-05 11:00 Tangierine Cafe

Thu 2013-12-05 18:30 Biergarten

Fri 2013-12-06 11:00 Flame Tree Barbecue

Fri 2013-12-06 18:40 ‘Ohana

Sat 2013-12-07 19:30 La Hacienda de San Angel

Sun 2013-12-08 18:20 1900 Park Fare

Mon 2013-12-09 15:15 Sci-fi Dine-In Theatre Restaurant

Tue 2013-12-10 11:00 Be Our Guest QS

Tue 2013-12-10 17:35 The Plaza Restaurant

Wed 2013-12-11 8:00 Kona Cafe

Wed 2013-12-11 17:00 Teppan Edo

Thu 2013-12-12 11:00 Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Thu 2013-12-12 18:30 The Wave... of American Flavours

Fri 2013-12-13 9:00 Chef Mickey's

I have set an Itinerary (with DDIL’s help), including Special Events as noted:

Day 1 Sunday Arrival
Day 2 Monday Magic Kingdom
Day 3 Tuesday Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Day 4 Wednesday Downtown Disney
Day 5 Thursday Epcot
Day 6 Friday Animal Kingdom
Day 7 Saturday OFF (Carriage ride)
Day 8 Sunday Downtown Disney (joined by DS & DDIL)
Day 9 Monday Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Day 10 Tuesday Magic Kingdom *Mickey’s Very Special Christmas Party
Day 11 Wednesday Epcot *Candlelight Processional
Day 12 Thursday Animal Kingdom
Day 13 Friday Departure

We are also planning on viewing all the parades and fireworks in each park.

Other planning in the works:

We are returning 23-30 Mar 14 for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, BLT has been booked for that; and

Planning a trip to Aulani around Valentine’s Day 2015 to celebrate our 30th anniversary (April 20th).
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:58 AM   #2
DeannaMKB
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Looks awesome! I am all over ditching the Sask winter, especially after last year!
We are also planning our first trip(s) as DVC owners! I am running in the Wine and Dine in November and DH and I will spend a few nights at our home resort of AKL. (Won't have much park time though other than the Very Merry Christmas party and EPCOT food and wine after-race taste).

In February, we hit AULANI! WAHOO! Cannot tell you how awesome it feels to say that!

Question for you...I was always under the impression that we can not purchase DVC from Sask. We bought on the Fantasy this spring and at that discussion, my understanding remained that we would have to be "on property" to buy more points. Are you saying that you were able to do it over the phone/from Sask? We want to get our feet wet before buying any more but I can see how we are going to love it (it has already opened up so many possibilities) and could always rent out to people around here as well.

Good luck with the rest of your planning! Sounds amazing!!
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:19 PM   #3
RipperSB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeannaMKB View Post
Question for you...I was always under the impression that we can not purchase DVC from Sask. We bought on the Fantasy this spring and at that discussion, my understanding remained that we would have to be "on property" to buy more points. Are you saying that you were able to do it over the phone/from Sask? We want to get our feet wet before buying any more but I can see how we are going to love it (it has already opened up so many possibilities) and could always rent out to people around here as well.

Good luck with the rest of your planning! Sounds amazing!!
No, you are correct. In Canada, Disney is only (legally) allowed to communicate with people from Ontario and Alberta. Our home address was in Ontario when we called and then changed our address when everything was completed. If I was to buy more points I would do it on one of our trips down there.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:31 PM   #4
DeannaMKB
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Ok, thank you! I was just telling my husband about your post! That makes sense. I signed up for the Samantha Brown webcast and noticed it didn't even want me to be outside AB or ON for that. Silliness...We probably would have joined DVC (and should have), if I would have been able to access the information from Sask. I have a hard time spending valuable park time at DVC presentations! 😉
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:37 AM   #5
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Hi

Living in Moose Jaw now. Also a DVC member but bought when I was living in Ontario. Looking to add on next year when we go on the cruise so if I understand correctly we can buy while on the boat but not back at home?

Looking to escape next year ti Vero for the last week of March. Normally do not go that late but with this past winter I would have liked a late winter vacation!!!

Did Aulani last winter and it exceeded all my expecations.
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:19 PM   #6
RipperSB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfer_ed View Post
Hi

Living in Moose Jaw now. Also a DVC member but bought when I was living in Ontario. Looking to add on next year when we go on the cruise so if I understand correctly we can buy while on the boat but not back at home?

Looking to escape next year ti Vero for the last week of March. Normally do not go that late but with this past winter I would have liked a late winter vacation!!!

Did Aulani last winter and it exceeded all my expecations.
Greetings, surfer_ed. Also in Moose Jaw? I guess it really is a small world after all. Yes, apparently the rules regarding real estate sales (and time share is included) specify certain conditions that a seller must comply with (have their company prospectus published in the province, blah-blah-blah). I'm not sure if AB and ON don't have regulations or Disney has complied with just those provinces.

We originally envisioned a Jan-Feb timeframe for our "escape the prairie winter trips" but we are also going for the Flower & Garden and I would love to attend during Star Wars or the Food & Wine.

My son and his wife did Aulani last year and had a fantastic time, reccomending it unreservedly!
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:59 AM   #7
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35 days to go! Magic Bands customized, groceries selected, but not ordered yet. Going to do online check-in today and will update when completed.

Excitement continues to build.


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Old 10-27-2013, 04:40 PM   #8
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I will second the Hawaii review, our family of 4 travelled there last year (sigh) and it was great, we are looking into exchanging with RCI this year for a Mexico holiday!
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:16 PM   #9
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Already plannig Aulani in Jan 2015!
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1972-Off-site , 1976-Poly, 1977-Off-site, 1978-FW,1980-Christmas at FW,1993-CBR, 1994-Off-site, 1996-Off-site Disneyland,2003-Christmas & Honeymoon CSR, 2004-AKL, 2005-POP MNSSHP and DD first trip, 2006-March DCL/First Trip Home SSR, March 2007 Vero/Beach Club DS First Trip, Oct 2007 ASMo/DCL/Wilderness Lodge, Jan 09 ASSp/ASMu, Nov 09 Vero/DCL/BCV, Jan 2010 Family Reunion AKV, Jan 11 SSR no kids, Jan 12 DCL/BLT, Jan 13 Aulani/DL, March 14 Vero/Beach Club

2006,2007,2008,2009 Dreams Take Flight Group Leader,Magical Memories for Special Kids
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:42 AM   #10
DeannaMKB
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Haven't been on here in forever! The crappy weather of today made me realize I need to get researching a few more details for upcoming trips. Aulani is coming quickly!! Yahoo! Can't wait. DH and I spent a few days at AKV in November when I ran the Wine & Dine. The kids are anxious to see it so am considering next Christmas...I do hate to vacation too early in the winter though...as we all know we need a getaway to get through it!
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