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Old 08-15-2013, 06:58 PM   #1
Maggie7313
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Never too Early to Plan! An October 2014 (or maybe September) PTR!!!

Welcome to my very first pre-trip report ever!!!

Who are we???

I'm Maggie, Disney nut, vacation planner extraordinaire, and the driving force behind our upcoming extravaganza! After an absolutely amazing WDW & Universal trip in December 2012, I turned 40 earlier this year and decided that we should stave off any further aging by immediately moving to Orlando and obtaining annual passes to WDW, Universal, and Sea World. DH countered with a suggestion that I plan a 2-3 week trip in late 2014 in place of our usual 5-7 days every 3-4 years.

My husband, Mike, closet Disney nut, lover of roller coasters, and hater of parades and stage shows.

Rounding out our party is Molly, our troublesome but loveable geriatric cat. Molly refuses to be left behind and so we will be driving down and staying offsite.

What's the plan?

At over a year away, plans are still very much in flux. The pencil-sketched outline has us loading up the car and departing Northern Virginia on Sunday, October 12, 2014. We will take two days for travel and arrive in Orlando on Columbus Day, when we will check into our hotel for 15 nights.

I would like to attend MNSSHP on arrival day. We will also purchase 10 day WPFM hoppers, 2 day Universal hoppers, and spend 1 day at the Kennedy Space Center.

Where are we staying?

We need a pet-friendly hotel that will let the beast roam free in the room while we are at the parks (and allow us to defer housekeeping except when scheduled). I'm currently considering a 1-bedroom suite at the Residence Inn Lake Buena Vista because I like the idea of having an additional door between the cat and the outside world. We also like to idea of a kitchenette since it will be a longer trip. The Holiday Inn Resort Lake Buena Vista is the alternate contender.

I'd like to rent a vacation villa but I've heard horror stories from friends who rented and had pet policies change at the last minute so I think I prefer the certainty of a hotel.

That's all I've got for now!
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:58 PM   #2
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:44 AM   #3
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The Must-Do List

A place to remember all of the little things we want to do because we've never managed to remember or work them in before!
  • MNSSHP
  • Crepes at Crepes des Chefs de France
  • Nutella Waffles at Sleepy Hollow
  • Behind the Seeds
  • SciFi Drive In Diner
  • Sanaa
  • Kennedy Space Center
  • Blizzard Beach and/or Typhoon Lagoon
  • Winter Summerland and/or Fantasia Gardens
  • Garden Grill
  • Beignets at POR
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:17 AM   #4
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The Budget

Maximum Total Budget: $6250

Orlando Hotel, 15 nights: $2200.00
Disney Tickets, 10 day WPFM Hoppers (from UT): $850.00
Universal Tickets, 2 day Hoppers (from UT): $302.00
MNSSHP Tickets: $124.00
Kennedy Space Center (from UT): $98.00
Parking: $225.00
Gas (round trip from NoVA + Orlando): $300.00
Road Hotel, 2 nights: $150.00
Food, Drinks, Tips, Miscellaneous: $2000

Our actual cost will probably be less than above but I like to plan for the worst case scenario because extra money is always fun. Plus any leftover just gets rolled to the next trip. Costs for hotel (both in Orlando and on the road) are based on rack rates at the most expensive possibility - discounts will presumably pop up in the next year. We almost never buy souvenirs and will have breakfast at the hotel rather than out so the food/drinks/tips/misc category is very well funded. I'll buy the Disney tickets before the next price increase to lock in current rates.

We already have more than enough credit card reward points for Universal and Kennedy Space Center. With over a year to go, we will probably have enough to knock off a good chunk of the hotel as well.

I opened the Disney 2014 Special Savings Account this morning and made the first deposit!
8/16/2014: +445.00
Funds Available: $445.00
To be Saved: $5805.00
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:41 AM   #5
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MNSSHP Costume Ideas

I freely admit that I'm a crazed planner sort but the last few days have been excessive even by my standards since we are still 14 months away. The husband has forbidden any mention of Florida, Disney World, the ET ride at Universal, the expansion of WWHOP, mice, Halloween, and a few other things that I can't remember now for at least 30 days. Grump.

Unfortunately, I'm laid up at home for a few days and have nothing to distract me so I'm just going to keep on rambling to my trusty PTR.

Which brings me to Halloween!!! I'm super-excited that we are going to get to partake in MNSSHP! I've thought it looked like funnest thing ever for several years now. We've normally been December people and MVMCP has never appealed to me. But dressing up, trick-or-treating, and Halloween??? I can get behind that! So now I am dreaming up costume possibilities! I will definitely costume up and will work on the Grump as the time draws closer. Chances are it will just be me though!

We will definitely be riding during the party so I don't want an elaborate costume - just something cute and in the party spirit. Current thought is Wendy. Not that unique but I love her and Peter Pan is one of my favorite MK rides.

I've also been trying to figure out if there is a simple way to put together a "We Wants the Redhead" costume.
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:04 PM   #6
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Hi Maggie!

Isn't it great to have these boards as an outlet to save the people in your life from your incessant Disney ramblings?? DH is now an admitted Disney lover (although like your DH he hates shows/parades...except the Halloween parade at MNSSHP!) so we openly discuss our Disney obsession together...don't worry your DH will likely get there, it took a while for Joe.

Your plans sound great and I really think you'll love traveling in October and getting to do MNSSHP. We did it last year and had an absolute blast. I don't know if you're a big character-meet person (we aren't) but if you are you'll get to meet some great characters and if you're not, you'll get to experience almost every ride as virtually a walk-on! Don't forget to take a few spins on Haunted Mansion (as if you would) as they do some special stuff for the party.

The other thing you haven't mentioned which you'll probably love is Food & Wine which will be taking place at Epcot during your stay. I'd say to allot a certain amount of your food budget to some wandering afternoons/evenings through the World Showcase so you can sample what's on offer.

I don't have a lot of advice for staying offsite as we always stay on-site, but I think your plan sounds good. As far as the vacation villas go, I would think they're worth exploring as a lot of them have contracts that will show their pet policies and once they're signed by both parties, they have to abide by them. I think you might like the space they provide, having a full kitchen, etc. for such a long trip and for usually less than a hotel (especially in October).

Looking forward to hearing more about your plans!
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glaserjm View Post

Isn't it great to have these boards as an outlet to save the people in your life from your incessant Disney ramblings??
Oh my goodness...yes.
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:07 PM   #8
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Following along.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glaserjm View Post
Hi Maggie!

Isn't it great to have these boards as an outlet to save the people in your life from your incessant Disney ramblings?? DH is now an admitted Disney lover (although like your DH he hates shows/parades...except the Halloween parade at MNSSHP!) so we openly discuss our Disney obsession together...don't worry your DH will likely get there, it took a while for Joe.

Your plans sound great and I really think you'll love traveling in October and getting to do MNSSHP. We did it last year and had an absolute blast. I don't know if you're a big character-meet person (we aren't) but if you are you'll get to meet some great characters and if you're not, you'll get to experience almost every ride as virtually a walk-on! Don't forget to take a few spins on Haunted Mansion (as if you would) as they do some special stuff for the party.

The other thing you haven't mentioned which you'll probably love is Food & Wine which will be taking place at Epcot during your stay. I'd say to allot a certain amount of your food budget to some wandering afternoons/evenings through the World Showcase so you can sample what's on offer.

I don't have a lot of advice for staying offsite as we always stay on-site, but I think your plan sounds good. As far as the vacation villas go, I would think they're worth exploring as a lot of them have contracts that will show their pet policies and once they're signed by both parties, they have to abide by them. I think you might like the space they provide, having a full kitchen, etc. for such a long trip and for usually less than a hotel (especially in October).

Looking forward to hearing more about your plans!
Thank you for the great advice! It is wonderful to have these boards as an outlet!!!

We will definitely be spending time at Food and Wine. I caught a day of it once while I was at a conference and loved it. And maybe enough beer for DH will buy me a parade or two beyond Boo to You!

I'm still on the fence about trying a villa and will definitely do more looking once the October booking window opens. You can definitely enforce a contract once signed but might have to sue to do so. My lawyer side knows that would be a hassle that would probably result in money damages but would still leave us without accommodations. And then I have the morbid thought that if we lose the cat and I don't have to deal with pet needs, I may just want to stay on-site. She's healthy now other than the mental instability when we travel but she is old so you never know. Saving money and a private pool would make me happy, though so I clearly need to think about this more.

Thanks for following along on my journey!
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:49 PM   #10
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Oh my goodness...yes.
It's awesome!
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:50 PM   #11
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Following along.
Welcome!
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:54 PM   #12
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YAY...I am along for the ride in October 2014. I just booked my trip for myself, my son and my mom!!! This year I am doing Christmas time with my hubby, son, step daughter and soooo wanted to take my mom so planned Halloween time for next year. I am booked 10/19 - 10/24 right now and might add another day but my son plays football so don't want him to miss a Saturday....and this will be our 3rd trip in 3 years so a shorter one won't be too bad. Just want to do MNSSHP and have mom see Disney.

I also just found a private facebook page for October 2014 if you have facebook!!!!
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:12 PM   #13
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No big planning updates to report even though I'm still spending a ridiculous amount of time thinking about this trip. My mother is having bilateral knee replacement so I'm on a leave of absence from work for a few months and free time equals Disney time!

My main focus is money saving right now. With the longer Disney trip next year plus a ridiculously high number of family weddings and graduations, our 2014 travel budget is out of control. My current leave of absence is also unsettling - I'm definitely not used to one paycheck. We're normally pretty frugal so it is all doable but I would like to get the numbers down. I'm mapping out a strategy to maximize our credit card reward points - at the very least I think we will have enough to redeem for the Universal and Kennedy Space Center tickets plus enough gas cards to cover the whole trip. I signed up for a Target Red Card and transferred all of our prescriptions there so we can buy the 10% off Disney gift cards. Those things alone should lower our out-of-pocket costs by $1000. I'm still thinking about the lodging question and renting an offsite villa. I really want a private pool!

Decisions decisions!
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckelvey72 View Post
YAY...I am along for the ride in October 2014. I just booked my trip for myself, my son and my mom!!! This year I am doing Christmas time with my hubby, son, step daughter and soooo wanted to take my mom so planned Halloween time for next year. I am booked 10/19 - 10/24 right now and might add another day but my son plays football so don't want him to miss a Saturday....and this will be our 3rd trip in 3 years so a shorter one won't be too bad. Just want to do MNSSHP and have mom see Disney.

I also just found a private facebook page for October 2014 if you have facebook!!!!
I think October 2014 is going to be great! I love WDW at Christmas but am so excited about Halloween!!!
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:45 PM   #15
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I'm so amazed!!! DH just asked me if the Haunted Mansion would be decorated for Halloween and said he was looking forward to seeing what they do while we are at the "not so scary" party! I almost fell out of bed I was so shocked! He's been listening to me!!!
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