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Old 04-28-2013, 02:32 PM   #1
holleypie
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Lucky '13 (OCT/MNSSHP/F&W/TOT10M/OMG/LOL/BBQ PTR) Updated 09/25

Today my ticker says that our vacation is exactly five months away, so I figured this would be a good time to start my pre-trip report! (My husband's ticker says "four months, four weeks, and two days." But that's a little wordy, so let's just assume mine is correct)

You probably (don't) remember me from such trip reports as A Food and Whine Festival Weekend and The Twelve Days of Disney. They're not required reading, but they do contain many cute pictures of my baby, so I highly recommend them.

The annual passes we used on those two trips don't expire until mid-October, so we're squeezing in one more vacation!

This is us:



I'm Holly. I work part-time at a library. I enjoy writing, reading, and running. My favorite park is Epcot but my favorite rides are Tower of Terror and Space Mountain.

My husband is Brian (AKA Reddog1134). He's actually much more active on the DIS than I am. He's a customer service representative. He likes movies, TV, comics, games, and all things nerdy. His favorite park is Magic Kingdom and his favorite ride is Haunted Mansion.

Our son Luke turned one in December, so he'll be almost two on our trip. This will be his third visit to WDW. He is a fairly easygoing little boy and hasn't expressed any strong likes or dislikes yet. He does seem to have a penchant for Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck.

As for the title...2013 is obviously the year, and if you add up ALL of the WDW trips we've taken, it equals 13. This will be my and Brian's seventh trip together, plus I went twice before I met him and he went four times before he met me. Also...I couldn't come up with a more clever title. I'm accepting donations.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:27 PM   #3
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Trip Dates

We've gotten a bit addicted to visiting Disney World in the fall.

In 2010 we had a two-week split stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge and Old Key West in October for Brian's birthday. We joined DVC in 2009 and this was our first DVC trip at WDW (our first DVC stay ever was at the Grand Californian for our honeymoon). The weather was absolutely perfect and we had a great time at the Food and Wine Festival and Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.



In 2011 we actually wanted to visit in December for my birthday, but then I got pregnant so we bumped the trip up and came at the end of September/beginning of October. We had another great time. Even though I was enormous.



In 2012 we finally booked our December trip to celebrate my birthday and now Luke's too.



But before that, I got SO SAD that we were missing the Halloween party, the new vegan booth at the F&W Festival, and the Gin Blossoms, so we took a short weekend trip in late October.



That trip actually WASN'T so great. The obvious difference is that we were now traveling with a baby, but I think the biggest problem was actually the fact that it was such a short trip. We were only there two full days and two half days, but we tried to cram in as much as possible. So, it was more stressful than relaxing.

I like to run and I wanted to do a race at Disney, so we planned this year's trip to coincide with the Tower of Terror 10 Miler.



We originally thought it would be the last week of September like it was last year, but then the date changed to the first week of October. This actually worked out better for us. Our DVC use-year begins in October, and I sort of used up all our extra points last year with that weekend trip.

So we'll be leaving Baltimore on September 27th and returning home on October 7. We've flown on all our previous trips, but we drove in December and had a positive experience, so we're going to try it again.

Also--we invited my sister Tabby and her boyfriend Tommy to come along.



They joined us for three days on our December trip, and Tabby also spent a week with us in 2010. I know they'll want to do their own thing some of the time, but when we are all together it will be nice having more people for baby swap purposes.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:31 PM   #4
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Subbing in.

Your DS is really cute and I love that picture of him....er....eating birthday cake.

I think you and your family will be at WDW at the same time I will be.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:08 PM   #5
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Where Will We Stay?

Because of the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot and because the race begins and ends at Hollywood Studios, I wanted to stay at either the Boardwalk or the Beach Club for the sake of convenience. But we couldn't try to book either of those resorts until the seven month mark, so eleven months out we booked our home resort.



I love Animal Kingdom Lodge, so I would have been perfectly happy staying here again on this trip. It would just be a lot more convenient to stay on the Boardwalk.

At the seven month mark, I asked Brian if he had called Disney to try and change our reservation.

He said, "Oh no, I forgot."

WHAT? Brian is always on top of things. I was a little shocked and maybe a tad outraged, but I tried to be nice about it.

A few days later he hadn't mentioned it again, so I asked him if he had called yet. He said, "Oh yeah, there was nothing available."

"Are you SERIOUS? Nothing? Did you at least get us on a wait list for that Friday and Saturday?"

"Yeah, we're on the wait list."

He was being so vague with the details. Like he didn't even care. I figured maybe we've just taken too many trips lately, and he wasn't as excited this time around.

A few weeks went by. Tabby and Tommy decided they were definitely coming, so Brian added them to our reservation. A few days later we got something in the mail from DVC. When I tried to look at the letter, Brian took it away from me! He told me it was just confirming that he added Tabby and Tommy to the reservation.

Obviously he was lying. The wait list must have come through and we'd gotten a few days at the Boardwalk or Beach Club. I figured he wanted to surprise me, so I didn't press the issue.

But later, he came clean. The wait list hadn't come through, because there'd never been a wait list. The very first time I asked about changing the reservation, he had already changed it! He was able to book seven nights at the Beach Club.



I think he wanted to keep it a secret until we arrived, but then realized there would be too many complications when we started making plans. Actually, he probably just realized I'd eventually get curious and figure out how to log into the DVC account.

I already mentioned that we're dealing with a shortage of DVC points, so we're set to arrive at the Beach Club on Monday September 30, but we're leaving Baltimore on Friday September 27. We're going to drive overnight (the idea is that Luke will sleep the whole way. We'll see how that goes) and then spend Saturday and Sunday off site.



It's apparently near Sea World. It does look like a nice enough hotel and I'm really excited about the free breakfast.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:18 PM   #6
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Subbing in.

Your DS is really cute and I love that picture of him....er....eating birthday cake.

I think you and your family will be at WDW at the same time I will be.
Thanks! He definitely had a lot of fun with that cake.

Oh wow, I've only just glanced at your trip details but it sounds like it will be an AMAZING trip. Now excuse me while I go read about all your plans and live vicariously for awhile....
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:05 PM   #7
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Joining in!
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holleypie View Post
Thanks! He definitely had a lot of fun with that cake.

Oh wow, I've only just glanced at your trip details but it sounds like it will be an AMAZING trip. Now excuse me while I go read about all your plans and live vicariously for awhile....
Hope to see you there!


And I'll be at the BCV too. Checking in on the 29th September and staying until the 7th.

I like the Residence Inns. Their buffet breakfasts are good; especially cook your own waffles!
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:28 AM   #9
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Joining in!
Welcome!

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I like the Residence Inns. Their buffet breakfasts are good; especially cook your own waffles!
Awesome! I'm glad to hear it's good.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:23 PM   #10
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welcome!

thank you!
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:26 PM   #11
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Food: ADRs

One of the most important considerations of any vacation is where we are going to eat. Here's what we have so far in terms of ADRs.


Cape May





I love breakfast. I love buffets. I love characters. I love characters in outfits. Since we're staying at the Beach Club, obviously we have to do the character breakfast at Cape May.

Mama Melrose



I've come to the conclusion that the only good food to be found at Hollywood Studios is in the sit-down restaurants, so we're trying a new one. Pasta before a race is compulsory, so we have a lunch ADR here for the day of the 10 miler.

Yak and Yeti



Another new one. I wasn't excited at first when Brian said he wanted to eat here because I remembered thinking there wasn't anything good on the menu for me because I don't eat meat. But the menu actually looks pretty good. I must have been thinking of the Anandapur counter service location, which literally doesn't have one vegetarian item including the salads.

Additionally, I thought we had an ADR at Rose & Crown, as part of our continuing quest to eat around World Showcase. But apparently I told Brian that I didn't want to have a sit-down meal at Epcot while the Food and Wine Festival is going on. So I guess we're not doing a sit-down meal at Epcot, and we don't have one planned for Magic Kingdom either.
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:17 PM   #12
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Your ADRs look great.

I'll be eating breakfast at Cape May as well as eating at Yak and Yeti. I agree with your viewpoint that the better food at DHS is at the TS restaurants. I don't mind Starring Rolls for snacks; but have yet to have a decent CS meal at DHS to date.

Like you, I don't have any ADRs at Epcot during F&W but I do have a couple of ADRs at MK.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:34 PM   #13
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Your ADRs look great.

I'll be eating breakfast at Cape May as well as eating at Yak and Yeti. I agree with your viewpoint that the better food at DHS is at the TS restaurants. I don't mind Starring Rolls for snacks; but have yet to have a decent CS meal at DHS to date.

Like you, I don't have any ADRs at Epcot during F&W but I do have a couple of ADRs at MK.
We usually stop at Starring Rolls for snacks and I like going to Writer's Stop, mostly just because it's called Writer's Stop.

It feels like a waste to go to a sit-down restaurant at Epcot during the Food and Wine Festival...but we take most of our trips in October so I don't know how we're ever going to try them all.
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holleypie View Post
We usually stop at Starring Rolls for snacks and I like going to Writer's Stop, mostly just because it's called Writer's Stop.

It feels like a waste to go to a sit-down restaurant at Epcot during the Food and Wine Festival...but we take most of our trips in October so I don't know how we're ever going to try them all.
I don't think there is a need to try them all. The Blissful Bites at F&W......that's a more compelling argument.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:56 PM   #15
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Food: Snacks and Counter Service Ideas

We're 20 weeks out! At this point counting weeks instead of months or days just makes it sound much closer.

Shockingly enough, I'm still thinking about food. I always WANT to make a lot of meals in the room, both to save money and calories. But there are always so many other things we want to eat. Here are some snack and counter service ideas I've had so far.

Since we'll be staying on the Boardwalk anyway...



How could we NOT visit the Boardwalk Bakery? The first time we went there was on our December trip, but they've remodeled the whole bakery since then. I definitely want to pop in and check it out, even if we don't end up getting anything. The Focaccia Sandwich looks good, but I've been burned by bland Disney sandwiches before.



We're not planning on going to Beaches and Cream, but it's RIGHT THERE so it's a definite last-minute possibility for milkshakes or dessert.

At Epcot...

The Food and Wine Festival! I'm especially interested in Greece because I wanted to try a lot of those items last year, but never made it to the booth. I'm super excited to see this year's menus. I think they won't be out until July.

At Hollywood Studios...

Brian always likes to make a stop at Starring Rolls once on every trip, so I'm sure we'll end up there.



Otherwise I'm betting on a cold drink and a pretzel. I LOVE pretzels.

At Animal Kingdom...



If I need a chocolate fix, I'm going to head to Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery to try the brownie paw and an Amarula Schokoleti.

At Magic Kingdom...



Columbia Harbor House is an old favorite so we might end up there for a quick lunch or dinner.



I would be incredibly surprised if Brian didn't insist on at least one trip to Sunshine Tree Terrace.



LaFou's Brew isn't quite as good as butterbeer, but it's definitely delicious.



I'm SO EXCITED to try the Nutella waffle sandwich at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments. I've never had nutella in my life, and I'm intentionally NOT trying it until the trip, so I hope it's as delicious as it sounds.

At Downtown Disney...

Most of our favorite counter service restaurants are at Downtown Disney, which is a little inconvenient.



Earl of Sandwich--our old favorite.



Wolfgang Puck Express. For the longest time I avoided it because I thought it was "fancy food", plus the West Side location looked like it was straight from the 80s. But we finally visited the location at Marketplace, and the four cheese pesto pizza is DELICIOUS.



I didn't eat anything at Bodie's All American, but Brian really loved it.
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