$5 A Day Means Disney MY Way: 17 nights, 26 ADRs, 165 TS credits, 4 Disney events

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by meggiebeth, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. Imbri

    Imbri Mouseketeer

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    $5/day was how we put away money for the down payment on our house. =D
    I love seeing other applications of the $5/day thing. <3
     
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  3. Disney44please

    Disney44please Mouse Hater?

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    I'm in too, can't wait to hear how everything went!
     
  4. DVCGail

    DVCGail David's Vacation Club Rentals Approved Advertiser

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    Amazing report. Loved your photos and so glad your family enjoyed their stay at Disney.
     
  5. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    The Journey and Reunion Resort

    Time to depart on holiday! We woke up promptly at around 5am and drove an hour and a half to Gatwick Airport, checking our baggage in and enjoying an impromptu breakfast at Starbucks.

    The Flight
    We flew in economy, which wasn’t very pleasant- being in such close quarters with people you don’t know for almost ten hours is somewhat awkward! Our flight was filled with screaming babies and toddlers, including one that seemed intent on kicking the back of my seat repeatedly throughout the flight.

    The Food
    The food was pretty dreadful- we had a hot (but rather disgusting) hot meal for lunch followed by sandwiches for dinner. Poor Rory who is a fussy eater couldn’t eat much- the sandwiches especially were very much geared towards adults.

    On arrival in Orlando International Airport, we followed the swarms of passengers to customs. It took a gruelling three hours to get through. It wasn’t incredibly busy, but there were evidently not enough officers there to ensure it ran as fast as it could. After customs, we had to wait for an hour at the Alamo front desk to gain access to our minivan- the spacious rental car we chose to book for the trip. We then managed to get lost in Kissimmee and spent two hours trying to find Reunion Resort. Floridian sign-posting is not good at all and sporadic at best! We arrived and relaxed for half an hour before heading off to bed at around 11pm (then 3am in the UK!). We had big plans for the next few days!

    Reunion Resort

    Here Rory is in the apartment, exhausted but happy!

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    Here is the spacious living and dining area- it was all so solid and spacious!

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    The kitchen and dining room were also lovely. The fridge had an ice machine which was absolutely wonderful to cool down. :groom:

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    The master bedroom was really lovely and spacious, with a huge en-suite bathroom as well.

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    Rory and I shared a bedroom and it was also lovely, with big, warm beds and lots of storage.

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    I am afraid I did not get a photo of Willum's room but it was a very nice room. All three bedrooms had an en-suite bathroom attached which was handy. :rolleyes:

    Coming up: our first full day! We got around a lot the first week... that's for sure. :cheer2:
     
  6. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    Bienvenue! :goodvibes Thanks for joining in!

    Small world! Who knows, we may have seen you! :faint: Thanks for joining in!

    Welcome! :cool1:

    Welcome again! I remember you from my PTR. :woohoo:

    Welcome guys! I love the $5 a day plan- it is great and before you know it you have a load of money. You must've saved for years with $5 a day- or maybe it's just that property is more expensive over here! :rotfl:

    Welcome lovely people! I am so glad to have you! It was a fantastic stay, I have lots of things to report on! :wizard:
     
  7. wuzzy6

    wuzzy6 Mom to the Fab 4

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    Joining in - can't wait to read more! :cool1:
     
  8. Nakkira

    Nakkira DIS Veteran

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  9. Imbri

    Imbri Mouseketeer

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    Only saved for a little over a year! =D First time home-buyers can utilize a lot of specialized stuff in regards to financing and down payments, plus we got a short-saled home (ie: super cheap house). Our mortgage+taxes are about $300/month less than renting, so it's pretty fantastic for us (We own a home now AND we're doing Disney years sooner than we thought possible.)

    The Reunion Resort is absolutely beautiful! Also, I love your younger brother's name. It was one of my top picks for my son, but I wasn't sure how well it'd go over in the States, lol. He still got a pretty UK name (Top 10, I think?), but at least it's gaining popularity over here, lol!
     
  10. eeyoresnr

    eeyoresnr DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! can't wait to read more.... we leave in 6 days :cool1: can't believe it's finally here... I will try to take notes and do a trip report when I get back but no promises..haha
     
  11. pitterpint23

    pitterpint23 Mouseketeer

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    Subscribed! Hoping you get a chance to enjoy the international program. You'd be a great asset, and I'm a huge advocate after my college program
     
  12. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    Adjusting to Floridian Life- 'To the Pool!'

    After a fairly long night of sleep, we were eager and excited to start exploring the Orlando area. The next day we would be attending Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party, so this was to be a fairly relaxed day where we could adjust to the five hour time difference we were faced with. So what to do first? A trip to the supermarket of course!

    After having a quick breakfast from the food wed grabbed from a distant Walmart the night before (we had no idea where we were!) we hopped into our spacious mini-van and drove to Publix, a fairly large (by British standards) shop opposite Reunion Resort. Id have rather visited the wonder that is Walmart again, but my parents were wary of getting lost again.

    Publix and Tinned Soup

    Publix is a lovely shop, but we didnt remember the prices being as high as they were! The fruit and vegetables were laid out in such a beautiful way in particular. We were looking to buy some tinned soup and cringed at the prices until we realised we were in fact in the International Foods aisle and the soup was British. Needless to say we passed that opportunity and went for some different food!

    After visiting Publix, we decided that it must be the same standard as a Sainsburys or Waitrose back at home. Walmart actually owns our supermarket brand Asda, but Walmart is so much bigger and better! We enjoyed some lunch at the apartment (me looking forward to the sumptuous meals at Disney lying ahead) and decided to take advantage of the weather- which was in the eighties fareinheight- and go to the Seven Eagles pool- Reunions main pool complete with a gym, arcade and pool bar and cafe.

    Reunion Pool Day

    At the pool, I decided some seasoned fries were in order- we ordered two portions which were plenty for the five of us to snack on. Overall we had a wonderful time at the pool and really felt like we were on holiday. When I went to buy the fries, I wasnt sure whether to tip the bar guy as the person ahead of me did. So I didnt bother, but I do get terribly confused with your US tipping rules so to speak!

    Reunion is a beautiful but very quiet resort, with not much of an ambience like Disney resorts. However, renting from a private owner made it a lot cheaper than a Disney resort, so a good option for the start of our trip.

    The view from our balcony...

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    As you can see, I was thrilled to be back at Reunion, and couldnt wait to get into the pool!

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    My mum also found it surreal, but a much needed break on our first day...

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    Willum and Rors enjoyed the main pool, but found the hot tub relaxing too!

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    Rory is a little water baby- he adores the water! This is probably one of his favourite parts of the holiday. Getting him out of the pool to go back to the apartment was always a challenge- One more minute! was a common phrase we heard. We had a fantastic time swimming and splashing together.

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    Guys, Im a bit busy here!

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    WIIILLLLLUUUMM! *Splash*

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    He finally reluctantly left the hot tub to tuck in on some tasty fries...

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    Here me and Rors are sitting on a sunbed enjoying some of those much anticipated fries...

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    Whilst my lovely dad enjoyed his share alongside a puzzle!

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    Willum, on the other hand, liked to pose for photographs whilst swimming. This one shortly made it to his screensaver on his laptop!

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    We were honestly thrilled to be back in Florida and excited for what our trip would entail.

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    As we left, we excitedly awaited our next trip to the pool at Reunion!

    Say goodbye! What a great way to start a holiday!

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    In the evening, we had a simple meal at Dennys, excitedly anticipating the next day- Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party! Before we left, I made sure to go on the internet and print off some coupons for restaurants for our stay at Reunion. We got 20% off of our total bill at Dennys- every little helps! You are very lucky in the US having access to coupons like these- they are virtually non-existent in the UK- everything is a lot more expensive! I saved a lot of money using my coupons, so I would really urge others to do the same if they can.

    Exhausted, we went to bed early, preparing ourselves for the day ahead. We had lots to do- and costumes to organize! What else could it be... Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party!
     
  13. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    Welcome to both of you, thanks for joining in! :goodvibes

    That sounds fantastic! You're so lucky to already own a home! And to be less than renting is pretty amazing too- I am not sure that would happen here! I think once you start renting, it's a lot harder to get on the housing market, too. :confused3

    Thanks- I'll tell him you like it! I love his name too- I think it is really sweet. (Although uncommon in England as it is a very Scottish name!) I'm wondering what name you chose for your son, surely a top 10 name in the UK can't be too uncommon in the US! :goodvibes


    Hi again! It's lovely to have you! You must be so excited for your upcoming trip- I will keep my eyes open for your trip report if you decide to do one! :upsidedow

    Thanks for joining in! Thanks so much for that, I'd love to join the college program but am not sure I'd be able to move so far away from home, even for a short time! I am hoping I can do it though. :scratchin
     
  14. Moodyzblu

    Moodyzblu DIS Veteran

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    Joining in ! Looking forward to reading more about your trip. :thumbsup2
     
  15. angelabrezovsky

    angelabrezovsky Mouseketeer

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    I am joining in, I am on the November 2013 facebook group! :):cheer2:
     
  16. DisneyMountainWoman

    DisneyMountainWoman Mouseketeer

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    Came over from our Nov Facbook page!:beach:
     
  17. pitterpint23

    pitterpint23 Mouseketeer

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    I just have to say your picture is adorable.
     
  18. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    Dinner at the Plaza Restaurant

    After a chaotic morning of explorations of Walmart and preparing for MNSSHP, we excitedly headed over to Magic Kingdom- our first Disney park of the trip! Needless to say, we were thrilled. We could enter the park at 4pm using our party tickets, so had plenty of time to get to the Plaza Restaurant for our early dinner ADR of 4:15pm. Or so we thought! :rotfl:

    We arrived at the PARK at 4:15pm, and as typical with our family (you will almost come to expect it later in the TR), rushed over to the Plaza Restaurant. The park wasn't very busy yet, but a large proportion of guests walking around were in costumes, so we knew that MNSSHP would be busy later on in the night. In fact, when we drove to the park and paid for parking, we saw the 'Sorry, tonight's party is sold out' sign and realised- oh heck- this party is going to be PACKED!

    For the record, we were attending the very last MNSSHP of the year on the 1st November. This is known to be one of the busiest parties of the year, next to the party on Halloween night. We (or at least I) came with expectations that took the crowds into account. So, we weren't surprised to say the least when upon our rushed arrival at the Plaza Restaurant when the seating hostess told us they were running behind. We waited nearby to be called, whilst I went off to the nearby merchandise cart selling Mickey ears and autograph books to buy two autograph books- one for Rory and one for myself. We were eventually called and taken to our table.

    The restaurant is beautiful, but very small, so it isn't surprising that it was running behind so much. Our table was in a conservatory-like room and we had a wonderful window seat with a fantastic view of the castle and passers-by. It was lovely watching people in costumes walk by. The family seated next to us were dressed as surgeons- which was really cute! :upsidedow

    Here my lovely dad and I are, happy to be back at the wonderful Magic Kingdom.

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    Our waiter was polite- but very distant, and not very friendly. It wasn't the greatest start waiter-wise to our trip, but he wasn't rude so I shan't complain too much! He took our drinks orders and then we ordered our entrees- we weren't on the deluxe dining plan until we checked in at SSR so didn't want to order appetizers.

    Our entrees were brought out fairly promptly and we really enjoyed them. We actually shared entrees as we had eaten at McDonalds at Walmart earlier and everyone but me wasn't very hungry. (I tried to tell them that we were eating just after 4pm, but no, that didn't seem to matter! :lmao: )

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    Adult's Grilled Cheese Sandwich

    I ordered the adult's grilled cheese sandwich, which isn't listed on the main menu. It was very nice, but just a typical cheese toastie. I am vegetarian, so for any vegetarian readers, this is a good option to opt for!

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    Vegetarian Sandwich ~ $11.99

    Fresh Mozzarella, Hummus, Basil Pesto, Cucumber, Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato, and lettuce on Freshly Baked Focaccia with choice of Broccoli Slaw, Homemade Chips, or French Fries

    My parents ordered the vegetarian sandwich to share, which they very much liked. They said it tasted fantastic, although the focaccia bread was quite stale. They said they would recommend it not only for vegetarians but for those who don't feel like a stodgy meal filled with meat!

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    Angus Chuck Cheeseburger ~ $14.99

    Served on a Flour-dusted Kaiser Roll with Lettuce, Tomato and Onion. Choose from the following toppings: Cheddar, American Cheese, Bacon, Grilled Mushrooms or Grilled Onions. Veggie Burgers available upon request. Served with choice of Broccoli Slaw, Homemade Chips, or French Fries

    William thought this was OK, but he found the burger quite dry, I believe. He orders burgers without all the fancy accompaniments so there was even less to distract from the dry-ness of the burger and bread. It is worth noting that Willum has braces and so struggles with meat anyway, so this may have altered his opinion. Despite loving meat, he often had to pass up entrées he wanted due to the risk of the food altering or getting caught in his braces.

    Willum and I decided to order dessert- he wanted to order a sundae all to himself but I knew we ought to share one together- the portions are huge! Earlier in the meal I saw another table ordering the Plaza Brownie Sundae and decided then and there, that was what I wanted! For some reason, we didn't take a photograph of dessert, so here is a photograph I took off of the internet!

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    Brownie Sundae ~ $6.49

    Vanilla Ice Cream and a Fudge Brownie topped with Hot Fudge, Whipped Cream, and a Cherry

    In one word, this was DELICIOUS! It is absolutely suitable for two people- I don't think one person could possibly finish it on top of an entrée. It is a huge chocolate brownie cut in half, served with two scoops of ice cream. I vastly prefer chocolate ice cream to vanilla, so asked if one scoop could be chocolate (for me) and the other remain vanilla (for Willum). Absolutely no problem, and we still didn't finish the dessert- it just filled us up too much! It is pretty good value for $6.49. Desserts we get in restaurants in the UK cost upwards of $8 and for much, much less actual food.

    After the meal, we hurried on out to enjoy MK before the party started! A slight inconvenience is that the Plaza Restaurant doesn't have restrooms inside, so you have to head outside the restaurant to the nearby public restrooms heading towards Tomorrowland.

    We tipped the waiter 18%, but not very happily. It was almost like he expected a tip, so wasn't very attentive, nor friendly. On our last trip we encountered some unfriendly behaviour due to lower tipping so were too scared to tip lower than 18%. I don't actually think it is very fair to recommend an 18% tip as a minimum, when 15% is still very much OK in our eyes. In the UK, we tip 10% generally for outstanding service, so it is hard adjusting to US rules when you know a waiter does not deserve it, even though you know they don't get paid much hourly.

    Overall, we would rate this restaurant...

    ::MinnieMo ::MinnieMo ::MinnieMo ::MinnieMo / 5

    Atmosphere: 7
    Value: 7
    Food: 7
    Service: 5

    It is a good choice for a cheaper TS meal in Magic Kingdom, although not good value on the DDP. If you are paying OOP, this place is a great choice! We really enjoyed it- only the waiter put a slight damper on it. It really is a little hidden gem in the MK, and it really is very small!

    Off we went further up Main Street USA, where we found the Move it! Shake it! Celebrate it! Parade happening in full force, before admiring Cinderella's castle.

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    What a lovely view, right? :goodvibes

    Coming up- more MNSSHP, costumes, rides, shows and more!
     
  19. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    Thanks for joining in, hope you enjoy the report! :goodvibes

    Thanks for joining, Angela! I remember you from the November Facebook group! :dance3:

    Welcome to you! Thanks for coming on over, I am so glad you are here! :)

    I have to agree! :woohoo:
     
  20. freckles04

    freckles04 DIS Veteran

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    Yay! Another update!

    We also ate at The Plaza on our MNSSHP night and we were less than impressed with our server, too. She was prompt so I guess that's all that matters, but just on the unfriendly side. :confused3
     
  21. pitterpint23

    pitterpint23 Mouseketeer

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    Phenomenal overview! You should blog!
     

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