A magical August trip of many firsts! (PTR - Update 7/14)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by bmb3, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. bmb3

    bmb3 Mouseketeer

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    I'm giving in -- and writing my first trip report! This is a trip of many firsts -- first trip report, first dining plan (and it's free!), first deluxe resort stay, first trip in the heat of summer...we'll see how many more come along!

    My husband and I are going back to Disney in August - taking advantage of the free dining! We really enjoy Disney -- maybe me more than him! I've been busy planning and planning, and happen to come upon the disboards - which are wonderful! We’ll be staying at the Contemporary – we decided to upgrade because we’re a little nervous about the crazy heat! I'm so excited to stay at a monorail resort - especially since Epcot and Magic Kingdom are our favorite!

    A bit about us - we're born and raised in Michigan. I'm a teacher, and he's in the insurance industry. We've been married for 2 1/2 years. I really wanted to get married at Disney, but we have a lot of family, so we had a wedding at home - which was wonderful. (However, I've convinced my husband that we'll do our vow renewals at Disney!) We had a wonderful Disneymoon at the Caribbean Beach Resort.

    We have made our ADRs: breakfasts at Tusker House and Crystal Palace, and dinners at Ohana, Rose & Crown, Tutto Italia and the Plaza. We’re excited as these are all new restaurants to us! We also are planning on seeing La Nouba. My husband has never seen Cirque du Soliel, but I’ve seen ‘O’ in Vegas.

    I'll admit - I'm nervous about the crowd levels and heat that August will bring. Last time we came in January and were spoiled with the crowd levels and moderate temperatures. I have been in Disney during a couple spring breaks - so I know how crazy it can get! However, my job only allows certain times to come down to Disney - and unfortunately it's school vacations!

    Only 67 more days and we’ll be in Disney World!!! :woohoo:

    Update #1 - Planner, Photopass, Etc.
    Do we extend our vacation?
    Vacation extended!
    One Month Mark


     
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  3. OhMari

    OhMari WDW PreTrip and Trip Moderator Moderator

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    Welcome to the DIS boards.
    I am going to move you over to our Pre-trip boards. I know it is a lot of moving around, but then your pre-trip won't get lost in our regular trip board section.

    What part of Michigan are you from.

    2 of my kids went to Northern Michigan U. in Marquette and they spent a lot of time in lower Michigan, visiting friends while in college, plus I had a ton of their friends stay here on weekends, because we actually live a lot closer to the University.

    Looking forward to your report. We don't get to many people that stay at the Contemporary and do a report for us. And the Contemporary has free laptops with free internet.

    Looking forward to your plans.
     
  4. twenty3curls

    twenty3curls Mouseketeer

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    Hey there, fellow Michigander!! Where in Michigan are you guys located? I'm from Troy and just recently moved back there after multi-year stint in Royal Oak. (Now that I've grown up a touch, I don't feel it's necessary to be within walking distance of 20 bars.)

    I think we're going to be arriving on the same day....at least our counters have the same countdown! My DF and I are staying at Wilderness Lodge and our ADRs (free dining, yay!) are at Ohana, Cali Grille, Yachtsman, and Le Cellier.

    I, too, am worried about the heat. We went June last year and I nearly sweat myself to death. We plan to get up early and try to get as much done before lunch as possible, then head back to the resort for pool and nap time before embarking on dinner and evening park time. As for crowds, I've heard it's not as bad in later August because the entire south goes back to school the first or second week of August. Obviously, free dining will probably bring a crowd, but I think it should be better than any holiday/spring break. Our last trip was this past January, so I know how you feel about being spoiled by the light crowds. But, my DF's in school and I'm a future teacher, so we better get used to this time, right?!

    Looking forward to reading more!
     
  5. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet DIS Veteran

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    Can't wait to here about your planning. I'm going the middle of August.
    I have been to Disney the last week in August before they started with the free dining and in September.
     
  6. butiflfeet

    butiflfeet DIS Veteran

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    Hey there! I'm in Michigan too! Living in Madison Heights now and I grew up in Troy. We're also going in August for free dining in the heat and humidity. I'm trying to convince myself it won't be that bad and we'll deal with whatever happens because we're going back to Disney World.

    We were there the last week of September last year and it was pretty hot and humid then (about 85-90 degrees). A few more degrees can't be much worse, right?

    This trip is going to be a Grand Gathering for our family. In the past it's just been DH and I enjoying the World but now it's my parents, sister, brothers, their wives and kids with DH and I :eek: This will certainly be interesting. My sister, DH and I have adult-only meals planned along with the family things so it won't be too bad with all the kids, we'll see!

    We're staying at the Beach Club and have most of our ADRs plotted out. My family thinks I'm crazy with how hyper organized I am about a silly little Disney World trip :rotfl2: If only they knew...
     
  7. bmb3

    bmb3 Mouseketeer

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    I'm from west-central Michigan - north of Grand Rapids.

    I'm really excited to stay at the Contemporary -- any advice would be much appreciated!

    How exciting that you'll be there the same time! Taking advantage of free dining too I'm sure!

    Ahh the heat. We've gotten some dri-fit shirts and are planning on bringing our water bottles that we'll just fill continuously throughout the day. We are also thinking about taking the afternoon to enjoy the resort - and pool! We are hoping the crowds will be less due to the southern schools back in session!

    The joys of being a teacher - and living by the school schedule -- but I sure can't complain too much!

    Is it unbearably hot?

    I keep telling myself that despite the heat and crowds - we're in Disney, my favorite place!

    I'm hoping that (for some amazing reason) the temperatures will be lower than normal while we're there! :rolleyes1

    Wow - that's a lot of family going with you! I hope you all have a wonderful time together!

    You'll have to let me know how the Beach Club is. We're going to check out DVC while we're there this trip! I'm also crazy organized -- my husband still loves me despite that!
     
  8. butiflfeet

    butiflfeet DIS Veteran

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    DH and I stayed at the Contemporary for our trip last September and I'm sure you'll love it!. We were in the Garden Wing (right next to the pool!) and the walk was really nothing to get to the tower. We ate at the Wave for breakfast a few times and it was really good. It was so nice being on the monorail and just a few minutes away from the other monorail resorts and a 10-15 minute walk to MK! The bed was really comfy too! They even sent a bottle of champagne to our room for our anniversary. I would definitely stay there again but I'm excited to try the Beach Club this trip!
     
  9. bmb3

    bmb3 Mouseketeer

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    I'm realizing that it's hard to update my pre-trip report! I bought the Unofficial Guide and have been reading it almost nonstop. We're going to try the touring plans - even though the crowd calendar is showing 5's the days we're there (except for the 7 on Friday). It will be nice to try them before we'll most definitely have to use them next April! (Spring Break and Easter weekend -- yikes! At least we'll be on the Disney cruise for most of it!)

    I've also been working on a Disney planner -- why I haven't done this before, I have no idea! I'm the ultimate planner and am super organized! (My husband likes this quote from Friends, "Honey, I don't love you because you're organized...I love you in spite of that!") I'll be sure to take pictures as it all gets put together.

    I did pre-order our Photopass CD! Being Disney Rewards members, I got another discount on top of the pre-order discount. Hopefully the weather will cooperate so my hair doesn't frizz/have sweat dripping down our faces...or we don't look like drowned rats due to a hurricane/thunderstorm! :rolleyes:

    I also...am completely addicted to the Dis! :rolleyes1 Any cures for this?
     
  10. bmb3

    bmb3 Mouseketeer

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    So now it's time for some advice as Disney just keeps tempting us with such great deals! :laughing: Here is our original plan:

    Aug. 16 - Fly into Orlando at 11:30am, rent a car and spend the rest of the day at Kennedy Space Center, return the car and take the Magical Express to the Contemporary
    Aug. 17-21 - Enjoy Walt Disney World
    Aug. 22 - Fly home

    Now, Disney has made room reservations 35% off. Our dilemma is: do we book a room only reservation for Aug. 14-16? Here's what we are thinking:

    Aug. 14 - Fly into Orlando at 8pm, rent a car and drive to Coronado Springs
    Aug. 15 - Enjoy the resort, go to Downtown Disney, mini-golf
    Aug. 16 - Drive to Kennedy Space Center, return rental car, use original Magical Express to Contemporary

    We have to think about both sides - the extra cost of the room, rental car and switching the airline tickets...but there's also the extension of the vacation, spending more time in Disney and at the Kennedy Space Center. What does everyone think? Any advice? :confused3
     
  11. Disneychix

    Disneychix When you wish upon a star...

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    I would def go on the 14th if you have the opportunity! BUT, I wouldn't waste time and money driving all the way back to MCO. Return the car at either the Dophin resort or the other car return place onsight (sorry can't remember where it is!).
     
  12. bmb3

    bmb3 Mouseketeer

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    We are staying in the Garden Wing as well! I'm glad to hear the walk to the tower is short. It's been a dream of mine to stay at a monorail resort -- I'm looking forward to it! You'll have to let us know how the Beach Club is!

    Thanks! The only reason we're thinking about returning the car at the airport is since we'll be heading back from Kennedy Space Center that day anyway. And we'll have all of our luggage since we'll be switching resorts as well. I'll let you know what we decide!
     
  13. bmb3

    bmb3 Mouseketeer

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    We decided that the deal was worth it - so we extended our vacation! We'll now be arriving in Orlando on August 14 and staying through the 22nd! I've also been working hard on my Disney Planner and here's our itinerary thus far:

    August 14 - Fly to Orlando, Arrive at Coronado Springs
    August 15 - Enjoy resort, Mini-golf at Winter Summerland, Go to Downtown Disney, dinner at Planet Hollywood
    August 16 - Rent car and go to Kennedy Space Center for the day, Arrive at Contemporary
    August 17 - Start at Epcot, go to Animal Kingdom for evening EMH, dinner at Ohana
    August 18 - Breakfast at Tusker House, stay at Animal Kingdom, see La Nouba, go to Epcot for evening EMH
    August 19 - Start at Magic Kingdom, dinner at Rose & Crown, go to Hollywood Studios for evening EMH/Illuminations
    August 20 - Breakfast at Crystal Palace, go to Hollywood Studios, dinner at Tutto Italia, stay at Epcot for evening EMH
    August 21 - TBD, dinner at The Plaza, stay at Magic Kingdom for evening EMH/Spectromagic/Wishes
    August 22 - Head home...:sad1:

    I based the days on touring plans crowd calendar (they are showing 5s on the 17, 19 and 20, and 7s on the 18 and 21). We are also planning on heading back to the resort to swim/rest/relax during the hot afternoons if needed - but it's also our first time using Unofficial Guide's touring plans, so we'll see how that worksout. Also, the evening EMH are just possibilities -- we'll see how worn out we are!

    Very excited that we're just over a month away from our vacation!!! :woohoo:
     
  14. bmb3

    bmb3 Mouseketeer

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    We got our Magical Express packet in the mail yesterday! :cool1: And our vacation package came in the mail on Saturday! I can't believe our vacation is just over a month away!!!
     
  15. twenty3curls

    twenty3curls Mouseketeer

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    YAY!! :cool1:

    I've started laying out some of my new vacation purchases in my closet... It will be here in no time. :goodvibes
     
  16. wdwgirl03

    wdwgirl03 <font color=red>I'm just a big Disney Freak! :-)<b

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    Just joining in on your PTR. We are also going in August and it's our first time going in the summer as well. Being from Wisconsin I'm not used to the heat/humidity that Florida is going to bring so it's definitely going to be interesting!

    It looks like we'll be there for a couple of the same days as you. And yay for getting your ME packet...that means ours must be coming soon! :banana:
     
  17. butiflfeet

    butiflfeet DIS Veteran

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    :yay: Just a little over a month to go! We are using the unofficial guide touring plans too and going to the same parks on the same days your are (the 18th to the 21st anyway). Here's hoping they're right!
     
  18. Disneymommy2006

    Disneymommy2006 "...keep moving forward..."

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    We are also going on August 13-22nd!!!! We are worried about the heat and humidity,too. My husband is also worried about the crowds! I was looking for an old report from last year but haven't found one so that we could see what other people's experiences were last year...have you read any old reports to see what others are saying? I am enjoying reading your plans...one question...how did you save on the photo pass cd with being a Disney rewards member? We are also Disney rewards members so I might be interested in doing that as well. Thanks!
     
  19. bmb3

    bmb3 Mouseketeer

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    Isn't a vacation a great excuse to go shopping?!

    Thanks for joining! It's my first PTR! It sounds like we'll be battling the heat/humidity together! I hope your ME packet and vacation packet arrives soon!

    That's hilarious that you chose the same parks on the same days as us! Hopefully we have chosen correctly - and maybe we'll even see each other!

    I'm worried about the crowds as well as the heat/humidity. Touringplans says the crowds should be at 5s, and a couple 7s. However, the last time we went was January 2007, and the crowds were very low -- but I have been to Disney during Easter/Spring Break -- so I'm hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst! I have read a few reports, but not much was said about the crowds. A few mentioned Hurricane Faye though! :eek:

    As for the Photopass CD, we recieved a flyer in the mail for our Visa rewards giving a code for 15% off pre-ordering the CD. However, I think it expired June 15. Hopefully they'll give another code before your vacation!
     
  20. Disneymommy2006

    Disneymommy2006 "...keep moving forward..."

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    Thanks...for the info about the code :)Lisa
     
  21. bmb3

    bmb3 Mouseketeer

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    We've officially hit the one month mark! In exactly one month, we'll be flying through the skies on our way to Disney! :banana: Being the obsessive planner that I am, I'm tempted to start packing...but instead, have just started on my packing list. My husband saw some new luggage on sale, so we may be making that purchase. We both have to start breaking in our new shoes as well...with the possibility of rain in August, we thought we better each bring 2 pairs of tennis shoes!

    We've been having a mild (maybe even cool) summer here in Michigan -- so we're not-so-secretely hoping that we'll bring some cooler weather down to Florida with us! (I kid you not, it was record low temperatures last night -- 39 degrees! However, it's back up to 75 today) I also got our rain ponchos at Wal-Mart - the $5 ones.

    I made a reservation for Planet Hollywood for August 15. Since we won't have the dining plan for our new extension, we thought we'd use the voucher at Planet Hollywood. I'm also getting the tickets in place for Kennedy Space Center -- and while on the website, I found out there is a shuttle launch on August 18! I'm bummed we won't be at KSC on that day - but am hoping we'll be able to see it from Disney! (I've always wanted to see a shuttle launch -- I have a passion for space science/aeronautics.) At least I'll get to see it on the launch pad!

    Well...I think that's all for now...let the countdown continue! :thumbsup2
     

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