Desperate For More Disney Magic

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by JAMIESMITH, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. JAMIESMITH

    JAMIESMITH DIS Veteran

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    In September 2012, I experienced the magic that is Walt Disney World for the very first time. My husband, our four year old daughter, my favorite cousin, and I spent five nights at The Polynesian Resort. My cousin and I spent over a year planning this dream vacation and we can't wait to go back to Disney!

    Here are a few of my favorite photos from last September:

    This was taken on the first day of our trip. It was a complimentary photo taken at the Chase Character Spot in Epcot. Marie and my daughter Madilyn are on the left. My husband and I are on the right. I'm fairly certain you know who is in the middle :rotfl:
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    This is one of those cool magic shots the photopass photographers take. It was taken on the second day of our trip which was spent at Animal Kingdom.
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    We enjoyed the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at our resort.
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    Here is the link to the full trip report: 1437 Miles From Mississippi To Magical And Back And the pre-trip report if anyone is interested. Polynesian Here We Come...

    As I said, this was my first time at Disney, but my cousin Marie (mjohn9083 here on the Disboards) had been on two previous trips. Her high school senior trip in July of 2008 was an offsite stay. Spring Break in March of 2011 was spent with some of her sorority sisters at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Animal Kingdom Lodge was a free upgrade because All Star Music had been over booked :p
     
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  3. JAMIESMITH

    JAMIESMITH DIS Veteran

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    I know that Marie, Madilyn, and I will be going back to Disney during the last week of January in 2015. The men in our lives may or may not be able to join us. We won't know if they are going with us until sometime in 2014. Girls trip, or family trip, we are going to have a blast!

    I applied for the Chase Southwest Rewards Visa card this morning, was approved, and should get my card in the mail in the next few weeks. I have never been on a plane before, but we are planning to fly to Orlando from Jackson, Mississippi which is about an hour drive from us. The 50,000 rewards points that they are offering right now (if you charge $2000 in the first three months) will more than cover our flight!

    We are planning to rent DVC points for the first time, most likely from David's website. I'm hoping that we will be able to get a studio (or two if the men are able to come) at Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo House. This will be a five night stay, just like our trip in 2012, but our arrival day will probably be lost due to flight times. I'm also really excited to see Madilyn try some of the rides she wasn't tall enough for last time.
     
  4. JAMIESMITH

    JAMIESMITH DIS Veteran

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    I'll include a post about the guys if they are able to join us, but this is just about the girls princess:

    Random Fact: We all have birthdays in the first week of August.

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    Name: Marie (she started our Disney addiction!)
    Age: Will be 24 before our upcoming trip
    Occupation: Works in the computer lab at the local community college
    Favorite Disney Park: Magic Kingdom
    Favorite Disney Characters: Goofy & Piglet
    Favorite Disney Princess: Belle
    Favorite Place To Eat At WDW: Grand Floridian Cafe
    Favorite Snack At WDW: Main Street Bakery Cinnamon Roll
    Favorite WDW Attractions: Rockin Roller Coaster & Expedition Everest
    Next Resort I Want To Try: Wilderness Lodge
    Want To Meet: Aladdin & Jasmine


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    Name: Jamie (that's me!)
    Age: Will be 27 before the upcoming trip
    Occupation: Works in the office at a lawn & garden center
    Favorite Disney Park: Animal Kingdom
    Favorite Disney Character: Simba
    Favorite Disney Princesses: Belle & Ariel
    Favorite Place To Eat At WDW: Coral Reef
    Favorite Snack At WDW: Kaki Gori
    Favorite WDW Attractions: Expedition Everest
    Next Resort I Want To Try: Beach Club
    Want To Meet: Fairy Godmother & Pocahontas


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    Name: Madilyn (Maddy)
    Age: Will turn 6 before our upcoming trip
    Occupation: Kindergartener
    Favorite Disney Park: Magic Kingdom
    Favorite Disney Character: Goofy & Marie Kitty
    Favorite Disney Princess: Belle
    Favorite Places To Eat At WDW: Akershus
    Favorite Snack At WDW: Ice cream cone
    Favorite WDW Attractions: Barnstormer, Big Thunder Mountain, & Soarin
    Next Resort I Want To Try: Who cares? Mom’s paying!
    Want To Meet: Rapunzel & Tiana
     
  5. JAMIESMITH

    JAMIESMITH DIS Veteran

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    Going in September really spoiled us. We couldn’t go in September this year, but wanted to find another time with low crowds. We spent a lot of time looking at the calendars at easywdw.com. The last week of January was the week we found that worked best for everyone and is predicted to have relatively low crowds. We plan to fly down on Sunday January 25th and fly back home on Friday January 30th.

    I know that a lot of people don’t like the dining plan. We were lucky enough to get free dining on our last trip and I enjoyed not having to worry about how much each meal cost. It was also nice to know that our vacation was paid for in full before we ever left home. Renting DVC points will mean we have to pay for the dining plan, but I think it still makes sense for us. I don’t think it will really save us any money, but it will make my vacation more relaxing.

    Restaurants we are excited to try for the first time include: Ohana for dinner, Boma for breakfast, Earl of Sandwich for lunch, Be Our Guest for lunch, Mama Melrose for lunch, and Cinderella’s Royal Table for breakfast! We are all really excited about that last one! There are a few favorites from our last trip that we feel we must repeat. Those are: Coral Reef for lunch, Grand Floridian Café for dinner, and Flame Tree Barbeque for lunch. And we must have cinnamon rolls in Magic Kingdom! I promise to try and get more pictures of our food this time around.

    I bought standard six day park tickets for Madilyn and me today from undercover tourist :wizard:
     
  6. JAMIESMITH

    JAMIESMITH DIS Veteran

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    We really loved staying at The Polynesian Resort, but it’s just not in our budget right now. We will definitely miss the monorail. We do plan to visit the resort for dinner at Ohana after we get checked into our rooms at Animal Kingdom Villas. Our plane will probably land around 4:00PM. I hope that we will be able to get to Magic Kingdom in time for the 7:00PM Main Street Electric Parade and the 8:00PM Wishes. Our dinner reservation at Ohana will be made for around 9:00PM. Buses will run until 11:00PM as Magic Kingdom closes at 10:00PM.

    Monday will be our first full park day. We are planning to spend it at Epcot. We are also planning to repeat lunch at Coral Reef. We will choose a quick service restaurant in the World Showcase for dinner. Liberty Inn is a good possibility. I’m sure we’ll also use up some snack credits. Test Track was closed for refurbishment during our last trip. We are all looking forward to riding it.

    On Tuesday, we will have breakfast at Boma before heading over to Animal Kingdom Park. We plan to revisit Flame Tree Barbeque for a late lunch/early dinner. We’ll have another snack if we get hungry again before bedtime! We missed Festival of the Lion King last time and hope to see it this time around. I would also like to see It’s Tough to be a Bug and make time for the Maharaja Jungle Trek. Since the park closes at 5:00PM, we will have some time to spend at our resort.

    Wednesday will be spent at Magic Kingdom. We will head straight for the Fantasyland Expansion. I want to visit Gaston’s Tavern for a cinnamon roll. Lunch will be at Be Our Guest. Dinner will be a repeat from our last trip: Grand Floridian Café. Marie wants to watch Wishes from the beach at either the Poly or Grand Floridian, but I'm thinking we might head back to Animal Kingdom Lodge early again tonight.

    Thursday will be spent in Hollywood Studios. We will have lunch and dinner at Pizza Planet and Mama Melrose, but I’m not sure which meal will be at which restaurant. We skipped The Great Movie Ride and The Studio Backlot Tour on our last trip, but the thing we really don’t want to miss this time is Fantasmic.

    We will check out on Friday morning and then head to Magic Kingdom for breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Marie wants to book the earliest time possible so we can be in the empty park, but I would love to sleep a little late on our last day! We will head to Downtown Disney, a first for my family, for some shopping and lunch at Earl of Sandwich. Our flight home will not leave until around 5:00 PM.

    We have a few details to iron out over the next thirteen months, but I know I'm looking forward to an awesome trip!
     
  7. JAMIESMITH

    JAMIESMITH DIS Veteran

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    I posted before that I got the Chase Southwest Rewards Visa and plan to use the 50,000 points they are offering to fly us to Disney World. My cousin Marie sent me a link to a newspaper article that said Southwest is pulling out of the Jackson, MS airport next summer. Jackson is the closest airport to us so at first I was really bummed. After a little digging, I realized that by drving three hours to Birmingham, AL we will likely gain six or seven ours on our arrival day and we can get a slightly later flight home on our departure day. :banana:

    So what I thought was really terrible news is looking like it might be for the best! :thumbsup2
     
  8. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    Following along! :goodvibes
     
  9. JAMIESMITH

    JAMIESMITH DIS Veteran

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    I ordered myself a new camera because my old one died. I had a Nikon point and shoot that was about three years old, but I'm replacing it with a Fujifilm bridge camera. It's not nearly as nice as Marie's DSLR, but I think it will be good to take on vacation. I should have the hang of using it by then!

    I ordered three regular six day park tickets from Undercover Tourist. I'm hoping my husband and Chris will be able to go on this trip with us, but if not I'm sure I can sell the third ticket to Marie ;)

    The 11 month window opens up for us at the end of February, but I can go ahead and put our request in to David's DVC Rentals as early as January.

    My plan is to wrap our park tickets, park maps, some new Disney shirts, and maybe a stuffed animal for Maddy for next Christmas. We can tell her we are heading to Disney exactly a month after Christmas. Hopefully Santa will bring new carry-on luggage for us :thumbsup2

    I'm also planning to order us all some matching shirts from Etsy.

    Can you tell I'm really excited? :cool1:
     
  10. JAMIESMITH

    JAMIESMITH DIS Veteran

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    Our January trip is looking like it will be a girl's only trip. I am tentatively looking at a family trip in early December 2015. We will probably only stay four nights instead of our usual five. Boardwalk Villas is a strong possibility. Hopefully we can swing two trips in one year. I would love to experience all the Christmas magic that Disney has to offer pixiedust:
     
  11. jennyjinx3

    jennyjinx3 DIS Veteran

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    Hi! :wave2: I am here too! Following your cute family again!:goodvibes we just got back from two 2013 trips and a dream cruise....hoping to get in one more trip before our AP's expire. Then we probably won't be back for a few years. Our November one was at Boardwalk....if you have any questions just ask!
     
  12. JAMIESMITH

    JAMIESMITH DIS Veteran

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    Hi, Jenny! I'm glad you're here! I think it will be another three or four years before we can go back after the trip(s) we're planning for 2015. We are seriously talking about adding to our family. Daycare is so expensive that vacations just won't be feasible for a while.

    Compared to the Polynesian, how did you feel about the other resorts you've tried? The Poly was so perfect for us! I'm really excited about AKL, but I'm not sure about the Boardwalk. That clown pool :scared1:

    How were the crowds in November?
     
  13. jennyjinx3

    jennyjinx3 DIS Veteran

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    That is wonderful you are thinking about adding to your fam! And yes daycare is crazy. I have only worked part time since the kiddos, and have been staying home with them for that reason.

    We actually really liked the Boardwalk. As my DD9 says "Polynesian was our favourite, now we have a new favourite!" The pool slide was actually soooo fun, as fun or even a bit more than the Poly pool. In May 2013 we stayed at the Beach Club and experienced Stormalong Bay...now that was amazing too. You can't go wrong in that area, being able to walk to Epcot and have a relaxing boat ride to Hollywood Studios was amazing.

    We have never stayed AKL, our family of five would have to have two rooms, or rent point. But it looks great too! You should pop on over to the Resort Changers thread on the Resort board, there are a bunch of ladies over there who have stayed at AKL and really love it!:)

    Come on over! Here is a link:
    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3187858
     
  14. JAMIESMITH

    JAMIESMITH DIS Veteran

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    I love the resorts changers thread! I haven't really participated, but I'm so indecisive about which resort to choose and I love reading about everyone else who can't make up their minds! :rotfl2: Our stay at the Poly was originally planned for AKL and then for WL. I'm pretty committed to AKV this time unless a room is just not available by renting points. I'm afraid the BWV studios are a little girly and that the men won't be crazy about that, but the location and the price are so great!

    I would love to stay at BC or YC for Stormalong Bay, but I want to save that for when Maddy is old enough to really enjoy it. We spent so much time in the parks on our first trip that we only used the Poly pool once :rolleyes2
     
  15. JAMIESMITH

    JAMIESMITH DIS Veteran

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    I sent a request into David's DVC Rentals (even though they won't be able to book the room until the 25th). My fingers are crossed that they will be able to get us a value studio at AKV.

    My husband spoke to his boss and he will be able to be off work for that week! I can take off pretty much anytime from November-February without any issues. My girl will have to be pulled out of kindergarten for a week, but it shouldn't be an issue. It's just kindergarten after all! :crazy2:

    Marie has already gotten that week okayed to be off. All that leaves is Chris. It looks like our girls trip is becoming a family trip after all! :thumbsup2

    I'm now trying to convince Marie to add one more night to our stay. I really want to try the seafood buffet at Garden Grove in the Swan. They only have it on Friday nights. That's a good excuse to spend one more night at Disney, isn't it? :rolleyes:
     
  16. pigninnie

    pigninnie Mouseketeer

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    foloowing :) going in the same month in 2015 we are going the first week
     
  17. JAMIESMITH

    JAMIESMITH DIS Veteran

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    Hi! :wave2: You are braver than I am! I'm not sure I would be willing to brave the crowds for the first week of January.
     
  18. JAMIESMITH

    JAMIESMITH DIS Veteran

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    I've had my request into David's since the end of January, but when our eleven month mark rolled around I got an e-mail saying that they don't have points to book our room. I got another e-mail yesterday saying that some of our dates are already booked up at the AKV value studios. I'm on a waiting list. Hopefully we'll be able to get a standard studio at AKV or BWV. I'm not very good at the waiting game :crazy2:

    Fingers crossed for some pixie dust! I hope we are able to stay at one of these two resorts!

    Marie hasn't put in a room request for Chris and herself. It's looking like we may end up at different resorts if we book at different times, but we'll still be able to meet up in the parks :thumbsup2
     
  19. pigninnie

    pigninnie Mouseketeer

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    i heard the 5-11 wouldnt be to bad. we are atcually going to SOG on the 3rd but going to the ocean and see sights. the first day in the parks will be DD 12th bday :)
     
  20. JAMIESMITH

    JAMIESMITH DIS Veteran

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    Oh, that shouldn't be bad at all! I was thinking you would be in the parks on New Years Day :scared1: I'm sure your daughter will love being in the parks on her birthday! Do you have anything special planned for her? Like being in Disney isn't already special enough :rotfl2:
     
  21. JAMIESMITH

    JAMIESMITH DIS Veteran

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    All of the AKV Value Studios filled up for some of our dates before David's was able to get any AKV points to rent us a room with. My second choice was an AKV Standard Studio. My third choice was a Standard Studio at BWV. I could have waited to see if David's would get any AKV points, but I decided to go ahead and book the Standard Studio at BWV. The points were available and so was the room. I figured, why not? :rolleyes1

    I do kind of hate that we aren't getting to stay at AKV, but HS is my husband's favorite park and being near all the Epcot area resorts will give us the opportunity to try some new restaurants. I just have to decide which ones!

    I am very excited to have a room reservation so that I can get into some serious planning ;) Our tickets are already bought. I will add the dining plan and make our reservations when the 180 day mark comes. I also have to book our flight with my Southwest Rapid Rewards...
     

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