CHRISTMAS VACATION (The Trip, Not the Movie): 12/19 - We're back, TR link on p. 25

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by annnewjerz, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. AlohaPolynesian

    AlohaPolynesian DIS Veteran

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    Yay! I'm glad you were able to get what you wanted. All of your choices look awesome and I can't wait to hear about them when you get back because I haven't been to all of them. How exciting!
     
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  3. MyMuse

    MyMuse From here...to there!

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    Whoo-hooo! :woohoo::woohoo: on your ADRs!

    I really wanted to try Crystal Palace, but it would be kinda weird doing that alone.

    Try doing the 3am thing every morning for several mornings in a row! :surfweb: I'm staying off-site, it was a joy to get ADRs.
     
  4. annnewjerz

    annnewjerz If I had a world of my own, everything would be no

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    Getting up early is not my thing and I knew that if I got 5 hours and woke up for ADRs, I'd be too excited (or to angry, depending on how it went) to go back to sleep afterwards. This way, at around 5:00am the excitement wore off, I got a few hours of sleep and woke up just in time to shower and watch the first football game of the season. Perfect Sunday.

    You were who I was thinking about when booking. I kept having error codes and was thinking "After telling Kathy to be patient and use the online system, I'm going to have to call!!! :headache:" Luckily, it worked out and I was done within 15 minutes or so once I logged on.

    Thank, Todd! Really looking forward to Cali Grill after you gave it such high marks. Yes, 3:00am is the new way to get ADRs. I probably could have waited until later---but Deluxe DDP was resting on whether we got ADRs or not, so what's waking up early one day for the year?

    My Mom asked me if I really had to get up at 3:00am when I told her I would be staying up all night and I said yes. She remembers going 12 years ago when you could just stroll right up and eat. I'm sure you can still do that sometimes (we did in 07) but if I can make the reservations now, I'd be doing myself a disservice not to.

    I have a feeling we'll take away a few, but for the most part---I'm looking more forward to trying all of these new places than eating dessert with every meal (although that'll be a nice little bonus ;))

    The post-trip period is going to be a lot of work, probably moreso than planning the trip! I'm going to (try to) have a photo TR, a regular TR, a dining TR.....:faint: I'm getting exhausted just thinking about it. Combine that with the fact that Christmas is a week after we return and it's going to be a rough month!

    Thanks! I agree CP might be a little weird doing it solo, just because of the character interactions---but hey, it's WDW, anything goes!

    I couldn't get up at 3am every morning. Staying on-site meant we had the option of doing the deluxe DDP, so I had to get up early if I wanted it. If I was staying off-site though, I think I might wake up early to make one ressie I really wanted and then just see what I could get from there, mixed with counter-service.

    Getting up/staying up til 3:00am multiple days in a row would have been killer, especially since 3:00am turned into staying up until 5:30am. :surfweb:
     
  5. annnewjerz

    annnewjerz If I had a world of my own, everything would be no

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    Just a random thought on this Friday afternoon. I called WDW dining to check on a few things and asked them to transfer me to WDW tours so I could make a reservation. They transferred me over and right away, I was talking to a CM. I was about to make the reservation and got cut off :headache: Stupid cell phone.

    Anywho, I called back and was told I would have a 25 minute wait. Okay, that's do-able. After 25 minutes I hung up, thinking I had been forgotten. I mean c'mon, how long could it possibly take to book a tour?!?!

    So, I called back and have now been on hold another 20 minutes, even though my "estimated wait time" was 9 minutes or less. :rolleyes: What bologna.

    If I don't get through tonight, I guess I'll just call tomorrow. Based on the fact that you can make ADRs online now, I think they should work next on making tour reservations online. Having to call in is the pits. :sad2:
     
  6. creativeamanda

    creativeamanda <font color=darkorchid>One slithering around on me

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    Congrats on your ressies! They look awesome!
     
  7. annnewjerz

    annnewjerz If I had a world of my own, everything would be no

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    Thanks!! :goodvibes
     
  8. annnewjerz

    annnewjerz If I had a world of my own, everything would be no

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    So everyone, I have been looking at my list of ADRs and decided that I needed to make just a feeeeew little adjustments. First, I realized that we had planned to eat at The Plaza two times in October, and two times in December. I love burgers and fries, but I think once per trip will be enough.

    Sooooooooooooooo.

    I switched our 12/14 lunch reservation for Kona to a dinner reservation at The Wave. Then, I cancelled 12/15 lunch at The Plaza and replaced it with lunch at Kona.

    I still had one meal credit leftover to play around with, so I decided that I would add in a last-day of the trip breakfast. Since we will be staying at the BWV, I added a breakfast at the newly opened Kouzzina.

    So now, the schedule looks like this:

    Dec. 13
    Hollywood Brown Derby @ 11:35am (wanted 11:30am) --- really looking forward to lunch here.
    Flying Fish Cafe @ 5:35pm (wanted 5:30pm) --- nice convenient dinner since we're at BWV.
    Sci Fi Dine In Theater @ 9:20pm (wanted 9:30pm) --- just want to go for a late snack of some milkshakes and onion rings.

    Dec. 14
    Crystal Palace @ 8:15am (got the time I wanted) --- looking forward to pre-park opening breakfast.
    The Wave @ 5:30pm (got the time I wanted) --- looking forward to the avocado & citrus salad.

    Dec. 15
    Kona Cafe @ 1:30pm (got the time I wanted) --- looking forward to a lapu lapu here.
    California Grill @ 7:40pm (wanted 7:45pm) --- looking forward to sushi and MVMCP wishes from the deck.

    Dec. 16
    Yak & Yeti @ 12:30pm --- the original plan was ESPN Club which doesn't take ressies, so I booked just in case. I can always cancel.
    Jiko @ 7:55pm (wanted 8:00pm) --- mmmm, ostrich & filet with mac n' cheese.

    Dec. 17
    San Angel Inn @ 12:00pm (got the time I wanted) --- planning to "eat around the world" but booked this as a back-up.
    Le Cellier @ 8:00pm (wanted 8:00pm) --- was Tokyo Dining, but when I saw the "Holy Grail", I figured I should jump on it and change later if I want.

    Dec. 18
    Kouzzina @ 8:00am (got the time I wanted) --- french toast and frappe sound sooo good. Mmmm.
    The Plaza @ 1:35pm (wanted 1:30pm) --- can't think of a much better way to end our trip. Good old fashioned simple food right on Main Street.
     
  9. annnewjerz

    annnewjerz If I had a world of my own, everything would be no

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    Ugh---you guys. Today is a bad day. First, the Eagles lost (shocking, I know). Second, I am starting to second guess whether we should do the Deluxe dining plan or not.

    I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M EVEN THINKING THIS!!!

    :headache: :headache: :headache:

    I spent so much time planning and making these stoopid ADRs and now, I'm wondering how many of them are even must-dos for us.

    Financially, it may be better to just skip the DDP and pay OOP for all of the meals we really want to do and then do snacking/counter-service for the rest of them. If I do the DDP, I'm worried we'll have spent all of that money and feel like we have to get to all of the ADRs, even if we are in the mood to skip a meal. If we don't do the DDP, I'm worried we'll feel like we missed out on some great dining opportunities.

    I think, ultimately, I'm just worried about feeling rushes/pressured/not relaxed.

    Here are the places I definitely want to make sure we get to:

    -Hollywood Brown Derby (for lunch)
    -Flying Fish Cafe (for dinner)
    -Sci-Fi Dine In Theater (just for shakes and onion rings)
    -Crystal Palace (for breakfast)
    -California Grill (for dinner)
    -Jiko (for dinner)
    -The Plaza (for lunch)

    Here are the places I really don't know if I care about, after all:

    -The Wave (for dinner, since we'll be here in October)
    -Kona Cafe (for lunch, made ressie for DM but she just wants to see the Poly, doesn't care about Kona)
    -Yak & Yeti (for lunch)
    -San Angel Inn (for lunch)
    -Le Cellier (for dinner)
    -Kouzzina (for breakfast)

    I just don't know. If we didn't do the Deluxe DDP, we'd probably just sort of graze all day or grab one of the tastier CS meals (like Flame Tree, Sunshine Seasons, etc.).

    JUST WHEN I FREAKIN THOUGHT THE HEADACHE WAS OVER. I guess I have some numbers to crunch and some members of my travel group to bug yet again. :guilty:
     
  10. JoJo1980

    JoJo1980 DIS Veteran

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    I totally share your pain :hug: I went through exactly the same thing, we upgraded the free dining to the deluxe plan and then after thinking about everything over and over - we decided to downgrade to just the normal plan.

    This is purely our decision though, dont want to influence yours - just want to make sure that you are getting the best bang for your buck and do what makes you feel best during your trip :hug:

    Many of the appetizers we dont like and wouldnt have paid for OOP so I didnt really view that as a saving. The thought of being tied to 3 ADR's every day of the trip felt like a total pain, mainly because this is our first visit during december and we want to see everything there is to see 'christmassy'.

    I've currently booked all our ADR's and have planned roughly where to go for CS - but even now i'm starting to think whether to cancel some of those meals :confused3

    It just depends on what works best for you and what you want to spend your time & money doing :hug:

    Just dont let this spoil your holiday or get you totally stressed out :hug:
     
  11. annnewjerz

    annnewjerz If I had a world of my own, everything would be no

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    Hi there! :wave2: Thanks for the thoughts.

    Here's the thing. On the Deluxe DDP, there really wouldn't have been any days where we sat down for 3 meals, most of it was Signature dining. When I went through the menus and figured out what we would spend to pay OOP v. what it would cost to do the Deluxe DDP---it actually ended up being the same! We are big on apps and find the desserts less appealing, so I would do either the Deluxe DDP or none.

    Decisions decisions. I'm sure we will enjoy it no matter what we decide on, maybe even do the Deluxe DDP without so many sit-downs to save on some tips. It's just so much number crunching and so much work. Exhausting! I need a vacation from my vacation planning! :faint: :goodvibes

    Have a great trip!!
     
  12. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    I wouldn't say that dropping the Deluxe DDP means you'll miss out on all those great dining opportunities - you can still go to them, just split meals or skip the dessert (which you say you'd prolly do anyway) or sodas/alcohol. How much does the DDP cost per day? $72/person? (I can't remember - maybe you have free dining reducing that cost). We can eat at a Signature restaurant for $60 *total*, which would still leave $84 to "eat up" the rest of the day to make DDP worth it.

    I know - I'm a big anti-DDP person - but I just love the freedom of being able to eat where I want (bluezoo.... :rolleyes1) when I want and not have to crunch credits and pore over menus to maximize my value... :flower3:
     
  13. AlohaPolynesian

    AlohaPolynesian DIS Veteran

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    I think the food is part of the experience at Disney and you should keep the DDP!! BUT, you are going twice so you might not need to do it since you'll have two chances to experience all the great places to eat. Like the PP said, just go for dessert or share a meal!
     
  14. annnewjerz

    annnewjerz If I had a world of my own, everything would be no

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    No free dining here since we're staying on DVC points. I guess part of the predicament is that we: (thinking out loud here)

    A. don't know our eating styles (60% of the time at home, DH and I split an app/entree/dessert and the other 40% we'll do our own entrees and an app, or sometimes just apps and desserts and no entrees). I'm worried that if we plan to split (which was the original idea) we'll get there and not want to, or we will and the portion sizes will be tiny (in which case we could each get our own dessert or a snack afterward I guess); and

    B. we'll be there as a party of 3, so even if two could split, the other one still has to get another entree just for themselves; and

    C. we have a $500 budget per person, part for the DDP and part for tips/our first day in WDW since we won't be on the DDP yet. For some reason, no matter how I slice and dice it still comes out to $500. Split meals and apps? $500. Deluxe DDP with lots of TS meals? $500. Deluxe DDP with some CS meals instead? $500. I must be really bad at math or somethin!

    The only benefit of not being on the DDP that I can see at this point is the ability to go to bluezoo, because I've really wanted to try it.

    Ughhhhh, I'm really ready for this trip to just get here already.
     
  15. annnewjerz

    annnewjerz If I had a world of my own, everything would be no

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    In October, I know it'll be harder to split meals because DH is a big(ish) eater. However, in December, splitting meals would be SO EASY because DM and I could just split an app and entree and then if we wanted to get a dessert we could split or get our own depending on how hungry we still were.

    I guess my fear is that if I plan to split, I won't want to when I arrive. I don't even know why I'm worried about that though because I split VERY often in real life.

    This decision is going to take a while. :surfweb:
     
  16. MissMet

    MissMet DVC Member, former NY Mets Season Tkt Holder & Blo

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    I used to be a fan of the dinning plan, but then I started to hate feeling like I was being told how & where to eat. Now I no longer get it.

    I don't know how you're doing your park tickets, but since you are taking two trips, you may want to think about getting an AP. They say if you are going to wdw for more than 10 days in a year it's worth it. Even if just one of you get it, then you can still get the TIW card, which saves 20%. Plus, if you take a trip next year you'll have your tickets & you'll get a discount on your hotel room.

    We have used the TIW card for all our trips & on every one we ended up saving more money with it than we would have on the DDP. Plus, we aren't being told what & where to eat. :goodvibes

    If that's not an option... Personally, I would drop the DDP & just enjoy the restaurants you REALLY want to go to. Then you'll feel better about the finical aspect of the trip and you & your mom can share meals. :goodvibes

    Either way I know you'll have a good time. :thumbsup2
     
  17. annnewjerz

    annnewjerz If I had a world of my own, everything would be no

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    Even though you're a NYM fan, I may still have to take your advice. ;)

    Unfortunately, APs don't make sense for us (we were able to get military tickets and won't be in the parks more than 8 days total and no trip next year :sad2:), so TIW is not an option even though I'd love to get it.

    With the Deluxe DDP I just figured, there aren't really any CS options that I'd really really like to have, so why not replace them with some fun TS options? But the more I think about it, if I'm just so-so on CS and so-so on some of our TS, might as well save 30 minutes and a few bucks and do some CS. I know there are a lot of great ones in The World, so I'm sure I won't be disappointed with them.
     
  18. annnewjerz

    annnewjerz If I had a world of my own, everything would be no

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    I really dropped the ball, folks. In all of my obsessive planning, ADR making, park hour stalking---I completely forgot about booking our tour!! :headache:

    I realized it this past Friday and forgot about it again this weekend. After dealing with over an hour on hold on Friday, can you blame me?

    Well today I called and after a pleasant 5 minute wait, I was put through to the WDW Tour Department and with fingers crossed, told the CM what I was looking for. I ended up booking the Behind the Seeds tour at 11:15am on our Epcot day. Apparently, this is the first tour time of the day. Bologna, I say---wdwinfo.com has the first time listed at 9:45am and running every 45 minutes.

    WHATEV! :rolleyes:

    This will give us time to hit Future World for two hours for some rides, take our tour and head over to World Showcase for an all-day country exploring extravaganza. :hyper:

    For only $48 for three adults, I'm thinking there is no way I can feel like this is a waste of my money. It's about an hour long, it's a tour through one of my all-time guilty pleasure rides (I have to do Living with the Land each trip, dorky---I know) and best of all they allow photography so hopefully I'll come back with some cool shots of veggies and such. :goodvibes

    On a site note: Since when did CMs get so pushy? I called today and just wanted to book the tour, that's it. In my 10 minute phone call, I was asked if I wanted to book Cirque du Soleil (we have already), any other tours during our stay, MVMCP (which I said no to and was asked if I'm sure because the tickets go really quickly :rolleyes:), Wishes Dessert Party for those MVMCP days.......

    ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

    All I want to book is my stinkin' $48 tour. That's it, Serenity!!! (yes, that was her name)

    Don't get me wrong, she was very nice, but I felt like I was at a car dealership or something with the hard sell tactics.

    Thank goodness for the DIS, otherwise after making everything seem so fantastic I may have been sucked in and spent another $400 on this black hole of a trip. :santa:
     
  19. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    I did the same thing when it was time to book our KTTK tour! Haha I'm glad you were able to get it booked. I didn't find my CM to be pushy, he only asked about MVMCP, but of course, we have tickets already so maybe that is why? Either that or he was eager to get off the phone with me because of my choppy cell phone connection. :confused3

    I hope you figure out what you want to do about the DP. I'm not much to help because I have never had the DP, can't have it this trip, and am not big on TS restaurants! And to add insult to injury, I'm a SAINTS FAN! I'm only marginally sorry we beat your Eagles, and that is only because I feel bad that you are mad about it! ;) I shouldn't even be posting, should I? :lmao: In all sincerity, though, I hope you figure out what is best for y'all so that you don't have to be stressed about it!
     
  20. annnewjerz

    annnewjerz If I had a world of my own, everything would be no

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    :rotfl2: :rotfl2:

    No hard feelings. The Saints played a good game and we had a quarterback who was playing their first ever NFL start---so I had extremely low expectations for Sunday to begin with. :)
     
  21. LOVEMY3KIDDOS

    LOVEMY3KIDDOS DIS Veteran

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    So, what was the final verdict??? DxDDP or no?
     

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