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I miss Disney :( Let's go again! A September 2012 PTR - updated 9/10

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by cfw213, May 27, 2012.

  1. cfw213

    cfw213 New Member

    Welcome pixiedust: to my September 2012 PTR! This is my first PTR, so I hope some of you will follow along - let me know if you're here :cool1:

    I hope to share all my planning details and get feedback here, then continue on to my new TR. :goodvibes First up, the details!

    Who? - This time it will just be my sister & I!
    We are both accountants - I am 24 and she is 22. I work in Philadelphia and she is starting a job in October/November in the building right next door. She's my best friend and I'm so happy to be taking another trip with her! :love:

    When? - September 15th - September 23rd! We have 8 day park hoppers with WPFAM.

    Where? - Saturday - Thursday night at Art of Animation - Little Mermaid section!! Friday & Saturday is at a yet-undecided DVC resort. I am in ROFR right now with my Saratoga Springs contract!!!!! So once I close we will see what's available. We also have free dining, upgraded to the regular dining plan from QS.

    Why? - No reason, just fun :)

    I hope you'll follow along - let me know if you're here! I'll add the trip links below.

    A little backstory
    About us!
    Flight information
    DVC details
    DVC Update & some purchases!
    ADR Plans!
    Another purchase...
    Day 1 Plans!
    Day 2 Plans
    Whoops! I'm back!
    Day 3 plans!
    We have Mickey mail!
    Crafty time!
    Day 4 Plans
    Garden grocer order
    Day 5 plans!
    An exciting little change
    Day 6 plans
    Purchases & Day 7 plans
    Final Day Plans
    A little bit of crazy
    Exciting news & changes!
    Must-eat snacks
    Last PTR post!

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  3. cfw213

    cfw213 New Member

    Here’s a little backstory on this trip....

    Since our December trip, I have been itching to go back to Disney! But Jess was graduating in April and not starting a full time job until November, so cash would be tight for her. She’s also taking her CPA exam this summer and not really working at a part time job until then. Also, at the time we were planning a big family trip to Italy in May 2013, so she was saving for that. I knew I HAD to go, and my DH wasn’t up for it. Plus a Disney trip would just not be right without my sister! I did some “Disney math” and realized that I could pay for the majority of the trip with credit card points & some cash that I had made from ChaCha on the side (which can really add up if you do it alot!). I would have had to pay about $100 out of pocket - sold!

    Jess & I both applied for the Southwest Visa at the time that they had the “two free flight” promos. We each got about $800 worth of free flights!! I also applied for the Chase Sapphire card and got $500 in rewards points after spending $3000 in two months. I had also had some points on my other Capital One card to use, plus the ChaCha cash - we were golden for a nearly “free” trip (in the sense that I didn’t have to spend any of my budgeted money on it).

    We had originally wanted to stay at AS Movies. I have stayed at Sports & my sister stayed at Music, and our last trip was at Pop. When FD was announced for February, we booked from September 16th - September 21st. For some reason the day it was released we could only book at Sports with FD, so I did. I then checked a few days letter and AS Movies was available so I booked a new package for the same dates, called Disney and cancelled my old package.

    THEN I heard that AoA is going to open the day before we arrived for the trip. Hmm...could we switch? Well, FD wasn’t available at the time so I wasn’t about to switch and add hundreds of dollars to our package. Bummer, but I would deal. Then my little math brain really started cranking. At this point we decided to postpone our Italy trip. I would have cost about $2500 a person, and my DH and I are saving for a house and thought the cash should go there instead, so we would wait a few years for Italy. I had already set aside $1000 in my “vacation fund” for a trip. Last year I was spoiled and went on a ton of vacations. This year (besides our annual Adirondack trip), Disney is my only vacation so I should go all out, right??

    Right. And to top things off, AoA was now booking with FD!! That was a sign, I knew I had to make our trip even better! So what did I do? Booked a new package with an additional 3 nights - the 15th, 21st and 22nd, and switched us to AoA in the LM rooms - on opening day!!!

    The $1000 I had in my trip fund covers the extra days tickets and hotel nights, plus the upgrade for the dining plan. The room was also slightly more expensive. I paid for my sister's share this time and told her it was for her college graduation present :cool1: I probably would have done it anyway - my husband is not a big traveler (although I have FINALLY convinced him to go to disney next year, but that's for another PTR! :goodvibes:goodvibes:goodvibes) and I love to go, so I just want to make it happen anyway I can.

    Before this, my longest trip was 5 days - all very commando style! We also always went at a cooler time of year - December and the first week of March (which was 10000x colder than December - we must have went on an off week!) so we will be using the pools and waterparks this time!

    This time we have 8 day hoppers with WPFAM and are planning on taking plenty of time to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
  4. cfw213

    cfw213 New Member

    About us!
    Here is a little into about the players of this trip.
    First up, me!
    On my wedding day :)
    I am 24, just married in October. I'm a CPA at a Philadelphia firm - super exciting work! :goodvibes When I'm not working, I love hanging out with my pup:


    Oscar, the best doggy in the world!

    And of course, my DH!

    Us on our honeymoon - St. Kitts. We have never been to Disney together!! But that will change next year and I'm SO EXCITED!

    I also love browsing the DIS - I've been trying to post more instead of just browsing! I also love to read (currently in the middle of Fifty Shades of Grey) and travel to other places besides Disney :)

    I've been to Disney twice when I was little, once as a senior in high school, once in 2010 and once in 2011. After my 2010 trip, I caught the Disney bug! I'm currently in the process of buying a Disney timeshare :goodvibes Here are my "Disney details"

    Favorite Park - Magic Kingdom
    Favorite Disney movie - Anything Pixar!
    Favorite Ride - 3 way tie between Splash/Test Track/Tower of Terror
    Favorite Character - Minnie!
    Favorite Princess - Belle
    Favorite Disney Snack - Caramel square from karamel kouche

    Also on this trip is...Jess!


    Jess on our Vegas trip last September! She is 22 and just graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. She was offered a job at an accounting firm also in Philadelphia (right next to my building!) and is taking the summer off to study for her CPA exam. In her spare time she likes to play with my parent's pup, Bentley (who happens to be Oscar's biological brother!):


    She also likes to tan, read and travel. Here are her Disney stats:

    Favorite Park - Tie between Magic Kingdom & DHS
    Favorite Disney movie - Lion King
    Favorite Ride -Rock 'n Rollercoaster
    Favorite Character - Sully
    Favorite Princess - Jasmine
    Favorite Disney Snack - Mickey premium bar

    So now that you know who we are, I hope you'll following along my PTR and to my future TR!

  5. Alysa

    Alysa New Member

    Cute! I've done a trip with my sis too - it was a blast! Looking forward to hearing more.
  6. cfw213

    cfw213 New Member

    Thanks for following! She is the only one that shares my Disney passion so she will forever be my travel buddy :love:
  7. cfw213

    cfw213 New Member

    Now for a boring post (because the first two were oh-so exciting) - our flights! We both signed up for the Southwest credit card when they were giving away 50,000 points! They say it's two free flights but I will get at least 3.

    The fee for the card was $69 which we had to pay right away, and I believe its $69 a year, but I'll cancel before I get billed next year. We each got one so we have 100k points to use between this year and next. This year we got two round trip and next year we should be able to get 4 for my the two of us, her BF and my DH. :banana:

    Southwest flights are annoying lately - there is hardly anything direct! We are flying out Saturday morning from Philly at 9:00am and we connect in in St. Louis :confused3 before arriving in Florida at 2:10pm. The first direct flight isn't until 2:30pm! There is a flight at 6:30am that arrives around noon, but I cannot get up that early. Last time we did that, and if I don't get at least 6 hours a night of sleep I get physically ill - no fun on our first vacation day!! So I'll arrive in WDW a little later :). This flight cost about 9,000 points for each of us.

    We were originally going to fly home on 9/23 with the latest flight - a 4:45pm to 10:45pm flight. This flight was going to cost 11,000 points each :(

    But since I bought DVC :love:, we are staying an extra night and flying home direct first thing Sunday morning! The flight leaves Florida at 8:40am and is home by 11:10. I should be back home by noon - plenty of time to settle in before heading back to work the next day. The best part - this flight was only about 7,500 points, so we still have 34,000 points left - should be plenty for me and DH next year!

  8. cfw213

    cfw213 New Member

    I am so excited that I will be a DVC member for this trip! Although the majority of the trip will be at AoA (I'm renting out most of this years points since we already had AoA planned), we are planning on spending the last two nights at a DVC resort!

    After our December trip, I was DYING to go back by February. I knew I had been bitten by the Disney bug (I knew before, but now I couldn't stay away!), and that DVC might be a good option for me. I priced everything out, and we would only spend a little more every year on DVC than we would staying at a value or mod.

    The points are really expensive going direct through Disney so I went through the resale market, using Fidelity as my broker. I bought 160 points at Saratoga Springs :banana: We paid $60 a points, but the seller is covering the 2012 maintenance fees, so we caught a break there.

    I am currently in ROFR with Disney. If you're not familiar with the DVC process, every resale contract has to go through Disney. They have the right to "refuse" you the contract and can buy it back themselves. However, it takes up to 30 days for them to decide :scared1:. DH & I submitted on May 9th so I am expecting to hear back by the end of the week!! After that we go through closing and we should be in the DVC system by the end of June.

    I am unsure where I want to stay, but I would be happy at any resort except Old Key West (beautiful, but just doesn't interest me). I want to try to get BLT, Boardwalk or Beach Club, but I know booking at two months out doesn't leave me very many options, so I'll take whatever studio I can get. Since we are going during a slow time I'm sure I won't have a problem getting something at SSR, and I would be more than happy with that as well - my home resort is gorgeous and we can walk to DTD. If anyone has stayed at SSR - how did you like it?

    I will keep all my faithful readers :-)rotfl:) posted on my DVC status!

  9. cfw213

    cfw213 New Member

    If anyone is out there, please say hi! :wave2: It's depressing just posting to the empty internet!

    Anywho, we got good news on our DVC contract - we passed ROFR!! I am hoping to have our closing documents within a week or so and I'm hoping I'll be able to book our last 2 days at a DVC resort by the end of the month :banana:

    Also today, I made some purchases from the Disney website! I get 5% travel rewards when I shop at the online Disney store & I took advantage of some sales and got...


    I am SO OBSESSED with this shirt. It's on backorder until July 8th but I have wanted it since I saw the image somewhere (before I knew it was a shirt!). It was on sale - $20 or two shirts for $28 so of course I had to get another one :rolleyes1


    I looooove v-neck shirts so I'll wear this one in the park!

  10. Alysa

    Alysa New Member

    I am enjoying reading your posts! And lots of people are probably lurking. Usually if you go by other people's reports and say hi, they will come over and visit yours too.

    Congrats on SSR! You will love being a member. We have had so many wonderful trips since we joined. We've never regretted it for a moment! And smart to buy resale, wish we had been clever enough to do that!

    Cute shirts too!
  11. CMA21

    CMA21 New Member

    Hey! I just joined the Disboards and started reading your all your pre-trip plans! I'm enjoying all the posts and its look like you're planning a great trip! Your post caught my eye because I'm also 24 from the Philadelphia area and I'm going to WDW in September (from Aug. 31st - Sept. 8th) also! Looking forward to reading more about it!
  12. cfw213

    cfw213 New Member

    Hello! :wave2: Thanks for posting! I should take my own advice and start commenting! I read so many TRs/PTRs but never comment.

    And thanks for the congratulations - I am SO excited to be a DVC member. I look forward to the decades of trips I can take with my family :) I will stop by and check out your PTR later!

    ETA: I just clicked over to your PTR & realized it was one of the ones I was reading already. Congrats on the baby!!

    Hi neighbor! :wave2: Have you ever been in September before? I know its going to be HOT! I hope I can take it!!
  13. CMA21

    CMA21 New Member

    I went in September once when I was like 7, so I don't remember too much about that trip..haha. I know it's gonna be hot, but it won't be quite as bad as the middle of July, and the crowds will hopefully be a lot less since most kids go back to school then...that's the part I'm looking forward to!
  14. katt789

    katt789 New Member

    Hi! I'm here to read along!! You're trip looks like it's been filled with pixie dust already, and it's still 3 months away!!:rotfl:

    2 friends and I will also be going down Sept 15-21, and staying at Art of Animation!! Exciting, so pumped to check out the resort, the areas I've seen look amazing, I'm just hoping the LM section isn't too far from the busses/main hall haha
  15. TheNewMrsB

    TheNewMrsB New Member

    I'm glad I just came across your PTR! As a born-and-bred Philly girl I feel a kinship. ;)
  16. cfw213

    cfw213 New Member

    I agree! I am hoping the low crowds make the heat more tolerable!
  17. cfw213

    cfw213 New Member

    Hello, thanks for stopping! You will be in LM the same days as us :) I looked at the map and I think it's gonna be pretty far :(. I'm bummed because I like to wake up, get my caffeinated beverage and drink it while I get ready so I can leave my mug in the room. But if I have to get up half an hour early that is just not going to happen!

    Hello, thanks for stopping!! I actually live in South Jersey too :) I was born and raised a Jersey/Philly girl - still proud to be a (south) jersey girl even though we get a bad rep nowadays!
  18. katt789

    katt789 New Member

    I know right?! I love my coffee, and with the FD, I want to actually use my mug, who knows, I'll be adjusted to getting up super early by the time I'm at AoA, so maybe I'll be the coffee runner. I'm just hoping for building 9 (I think) so we can do the "cut across the parking lot" thing that I do at Pop when we're in the 90's!
  19. cfw213

    cfw213 New Member

    Let's talk about everyone's favorite topic - ADRs!

    Since our last trip when we had free dining, I've been kind of in love with the dining plan. Especially when it's FREE. This time we also got free dining so we loaded up on the ADRs with a ton of new places. Here are our plans:

    9/15 - 7:05 @ Le Cellier. Cannot wait to try this one!
    9/16 - 7:05 @ Kona Cafe. We originally had The Wave but I couldn't get excited about the menu. Last year we did Ohana and loved it, but wanted to try something different. We are planning on doing MK EMH this night so wanted a monorail restaurant
    9/17 - 6:55 @ Mama Melrose. We tried to get a Fantasmic! dinner package but they only had lunch
    9/18 - 6:55 @ Coral Reef - the ambiance looks amazing and I can't wait to try the Lobster Ravioli.
    9/19 - No ADRs this day! :(
    9/20 - 9:55am @ Crystal Palace -We did a Tusker House character breakfast last year and can't wait to do another one
    9/21 - 8:00 @ T-Rex. We originally had Rainforest but were able to switch it by calling, since we've done Rainforest before
    9/22 - 7:00 @ Via Napoli. This place sounds yummy! But we may switch it depending on what DVC resort we are at. If we get BC/BWV then we'll keep it. If we are at SSR, I will try to switch to Turf Club.

    I can't wait to take lots of food pictures on these 8 new (to us) restaurants!
  20. cfw213

    cfw213 New Member

    I was very bad today. I purchased something I've been eying up for the last couple weeks...


    The Dooney and Bourke mini margot in white! I am obsessed. I needed a park bag that was a little bigger than the small coach crossbody that I used last time. I've heard this one is small so I hope it's big enough for me. I'll be sure to post pictures when it arrives!

  21. Alysa

    Alysa New Member

    Ooooo - I love that bag! I think it's the perfect size! The trouble with big bags is you are tempted to take way too much stuff and it gets so heavy! Plus everyone wants to give you stuff to carry. And what do you really need? Small bottle of water, small bottle of sunscreen, annual pass, room key, sunglasses (but you probably are wearing these anyway), and camera.

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