Jan '11 PTR-Plane Tickets, Yet No Room Reservation: 1/31 update

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by disneydreamingdebby, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    Yes, you read that correctly! We have our plane tickets, but have not made our room reservations yet. Who are we?

    For my soon to be "new friends," here is our cast:

    [​IMG]

    Me: Disney crazy teacher- if you know me, you know I LOVE Disney World!

    DH: Disney crazy mail carrier - you wouldn't know his passion, but he does have a Mickey antenae topper (with a Christmas one in his glove box- thanks to dear friends who just returned with them for us!) As a Dis friend pointed out, check out the hidden Mickey!
    [​IMG]

    DD and DD: Eight year old twins (soon to be nine)- they too love WDW, but do not advertise like their mom (I own a collection of Disney T-shirts; they do not.)
    [​IMG]

    So on to the explanation:

    We own DVC February use year. DH can't get vacation approval until 60 days out (except for summer vacation). I can't move our points into Jan in case we can't go until Feb. So, I will be calling member services in 14 days to book any DVC studio available. This is an interesting wait to a Disney planning addict. It is also like playing resort roulette - whatever is available is ours.
     
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  3. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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  4. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    We are about 75 days away, can we get ADRs?

    No worries, I did book a couple, but I am going to cancel them. We are going to eat counter service.

    This trip cannot be a budget buster, so I have to think carefully about the food costs. Our trip is 4 nights, 3-1/2 days...not much time to spare for dining. For those who don't know us yet, we are commando in the parks.

    I calculated dining plan options: QS = $376 Reg = $464. An $88 difference for four table-service meals. This would be a no brainer except the time issue.

    Do I want to devote the time to four table meals? Nope. Choice made. Now, do I pay for the dining plan or not? Well, I just looked up if the mug is still included in the QS for 2011 and yes, folks it is...okay, this just sold me on the dining plan. ($60 worth of mugs...I don't think that we will drink $60 worth out of the mugs, but this does mean that we might be able to get some waters with a meal or two...I also have a mug to fill with creamer to store in our room's fridge. This option is priceless.)

    DH and I think that based on past experience, we can share meals with our girls and extend our counter and snack credits to cover breakfasts, too.

    Now, no worries, I know that ADRs are such a fun part of reading PTR. I will instead plan out our counter service options!

    Information about the Quick Service Plan
     
  5. tinkerbell60

    tinkerbell60 DIS Veteran

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    Joining your trip report Debby! Did you realize the pumpkins are a hidden Mickey that your DH is carrying!:rotfl:
     
  6. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    Welcome! I hadn't noticed; DH is going to get a kick out of it!
     
  7. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    Only Eleven days until I can reveal where we are staying.:laughing:

    In the meantime, I am planning dining options for our stay at BLT. DH and I decided that we would splurge on a stay at BLT this trip; the points are a bit higher than other properties. Clearly, this would require pixie dust :wizard:at two months out, but...just in case...

    We arrive on Wed night - late. I figure we can hit the Contempo Cafe and fill our mugs with creamer for my coffee and milk or OJ. I plan on bringing a couple of my quart sized rubbermaid water containers. Then, we can take our drinks back to the room and store the beverages in the fridge until morning.

    Thursday AM - Early Hour at MK. We will have to be at Contempo at 7AM opening to get a quick breakfast. I will bring two mugs for us to share in order to get water bottles for later. (Carrying two mugs in our backpack won't be an issue/ four mugs might be.)

    We will lunch and snack at MK; I'm not sure if I want to go to Fantasmic or not...it is at 6:30. If we do, we probably will get something at Studio Catering Co to take in and eat while we wait. I wonder if we can see Fantasmic and make it back in time to watch the fireworks from Top of the World?

    Daytime view from our tour this past summer
    [​IMG]

    Fireworks from Carolinayankee on smugmug (I hope it is okay that I posted it- it wasn't locked on smugmug and I am giving credit)
    [​IMG]


    Contempo Cafe pic from The Examiner.com
    [​IMG]

    Contempo hours
    Grab and Go 6am to midnight
    breakfast 7am to 11am
    lunch 11am to 10pm
    dinner 5pm to 10pm

    After reading a review on AllEars, I would have to say that I will try to fit in a lunch or dinner at Contempo. The menu looks good!
     
  8. mgsmom

    mgsmom DIS Veteran

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    Hey Deb! I'm here!!! This is so fun!!!
    Good luck on BLT - I can't wait to hear what you get. But, going in January/February and it not being so crowded should make it easier to get what you want, right? :thumbsup2
    And I'm thinking if ANYONE can get from Fantasmic to TOTW fireworks in one night, it will be you guys... :worship:
     
  9. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    Thanks for the smiles. I am hoping that the low time should help get any room. :rotfl:
     
  10. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    So, what does a Disney fan in limbo, who happens to be a teacher, do on a typical Tuesday? She uses a bit of Disney in her class.

    My students are beginning a unit where they explore the question: How does fear impact freedom? So, to introduce the question to them, I put it on a powerpoint slide with a picture of Lotso-Huggin- Bear. I had the slide projected on the screen with "You've Got a Friend in Me" playing from the speakers in my ceiling (I love my newly refurbed classroom!).

    I asked them to answer the question using Lotso...

    It went really well; my kids thought critically, they enjoyed having a kid moment, and I included two passions in one day: teaching and Disney!
     
  11. TinkerbellLuvr7

    TinkerbellLuvr7 Tinkerbellluvr7

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    The PTR title caught my eye from Queen's TR!! We're going in Dec and booked our Free Dining + AP Room only (one night) less than 45 days before check-in. It all had to do with our CM discount room being messed up and needing to be canceled so I know the feeling of booking late in the game!! For us, we were lucky to land WL for Free Dining at 35 days till check-in which is our fav resort, but I know how the waiting game is and weighing all of the options which we did between WDW discounts and my AP ones!!

    Anyways, I'm in too!! I can't wait to read more!! I'm also a teacher. I teach Pre-K now but I'm still in the process of passing my last Praxis exam to get my teaching cert!

    ~Megan
     
  12. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    Welcome! :flower3: WL in December is going to be fabulous! How long are you staying?

    Good luck on the Praxis! Are you taking it soon?
     
  13. TinkerbellLuvr7

    TinkerbellLuvr7 Tinkerbellluvr7

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    Thanks! We've stayed at WL 7 or 8 times so far and love it, if only it were on the monorail loop:rolleyes1

    Thanks :) I took it last weekend..it was my 8th time taking the Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment exam. I'm anywhere from a point-5 points from passing so I would just like the drama of this 3 year headache to be over with! My plan is to get my cert and move to FL to teach.
    (I'm originally from PA too!..North of Pittsburgh, Butler)

    Can't wait to see what you come up with for a resort!
     
  14. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    I hope you get good news when you find out your scores! We are far from Pittsburgh--about 20 minutes from DE state line and 30 from Maryland.

    I can't wait to see where we end up too!:upsidedow
     
  15. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    So, over dinner while I was asking DH if his boss can approve his vacation first thing the morning of the 26th (no, it has to be end of the day), he asked what time we fly home Monday. I told him we fly home Sun, but I can change it. :dance3: (I made this request a couple of weeks ago and he didn't want to use more points. I don't mind using more points...life could be short.) He agreed that I could change it.

    All done...flight at 10:45 Monday. So, we have one more full day! Hip, Hip Hooray! (It happens to be late night EMH at MK too!)
     
  16. tinkerbell60

    tinkerbell60 DIS Veteran

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    Butler caught my eye - we are from Allison Park, just south.


    How fun! I usually try to wangle extra days too! I agree, can't wait to see where you will be staying.
     
  17. mgsmom

    mgsmom DIS Veteran

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    Yay! You got another day! How much longer until you find out where you're staying? popcorn::
     
  18. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    Yeah, about that...ugh! I just asked DH what time on Friday I will know and he told me he had bad news. His boss is off all week! Okay, so I guess DH will have to call me first thing Monday morning.

    GRRRR!!!!
     
  19. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    It looks like I need to wait two more days to call member services! I will have to make sure I am completely ready to teach Monday morning. Hopefully, I will be spending a portion of my planning period making my reservations!

    Then, I can get this pre-trip report going! :banana:

    Here is my list in order of where I hope we can stay:

    [​IMG] from Orlando Attraction Magazine

    Bay Lake Tower - my girls really want to stay here. DH and I aren't in love with it, but want to give it a try. We don't like the use of the extra points, so staying during value season for a short trip is a great way to try it out.

    [​IMG] about.com hotels

    Villas at Wilderness Lodge - DH and I would both only want to stay here during a winter trip (at least we think). So, why not give it a try this trip. I like the idea of taking the boat to MK.

    [​IMG] Disney

    Animal Kingdom Villas - I love AKV! It is so warm and inviting. I love Mara's food and the animals all over the resort. We've had great bus service.

    [​IMG]

    BWV - This resort was lovely. I don't like the lack of counter service, but the bakery is right there. Also, my girls love community hall.

    [​IMG]

    BCV - Absolutely love the hop, skip and jump to Epcot. Otherwise, for a winter getaway, ehh. Transportation to the other parks not fantastic.

    [​IMG]
    4 vacations. com

    SSR- Would love to try this resort. I think this is the resort that many people only stay at when nothing else is available. Then, they probably fall in love and want to return. I have heard that you should have a car when staying here. This is not high on the list for January since we won't have a car.

    [​IMG] time share expert . com

    OKW - We have this as last because we are thinking this is where we want to stay this summer.

    If you could choose any of these for a four day trip in Jan, which would you choose? popcorn::
     
  20. mgsmom

    mgsmom DIS Veteran

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    Wilderness Lodge - hands down! Of course, you know me and my trees... :goodvibes
    But, I also have to say that boat to MK is awesome! Plus, you can always take a boat to the Contemporary and hop on the monorail.
    We didn't have a chance to go check it out last summer, but from the water it looks gorgeous!
     
  21. TinkerbellLuvr7

    TinkerbellLuvr7 Tinkerbellluvr7

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    WL is my fav resort! I've never stayed at the villas but I love the lodge!

    BLT, I would like to stay just to see how it is and you're right to use the extra points when it's a value season!

    AKL, I haven't stayed at Kidani but we enjoyed the lodge even though it's a huge resort! We still enjoy WL over it even though it has the animals!

    BWV, never stayed there. We would if it was between that and something else.

    BCV, LOVE IT! That's more a summer resort. Jan weather can be up or down so I wouldn't waste the points on that in Jan.

    SSR, you're right, it helps to have a car, the resort is HUGE. I've only stayed there with my friend who has DVC and we've always had a car.

    OKW, is my least fav. We stayed on friends points and were really disappointed. We thought the rooms were run-down, lack of counter service, the main pool was very crowded and smaller than it looked in pics and that was in late April. We were glad that we tried it once but even if they did a refurb, we still wouldn't return based on the amenities it lacks. It is also very large. We did have a car but I took the bus once and it took quite a while to get around as we happend to be the last stop.

    Those are just my opinions! My top 3 for you based on the time of year would be: BLT, VWL, and AKL..BWV would probably be next.
     

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