Hello everyone, and welcome to my newest Pre-Trip Report! If you're a long-time DIS friend, you know the drill, but if you have mistakenly decided that this tale of trip planning may be interested to you, I'll start with a little background. First of all, the cast of characters is very small in this case. There are only two, myself, Skier_Pete, 8-year veteran of the DISboards, and certified dis-a-holic. On my left is my DW, Ukeemom on the boards, though don't expect her to ever, ever post. We have been to WDW 10 times now is 1997 - eight since 2006 - as well as two trips to Disneyland including the ABD trip the picture above came from (yup, us entering Club 33), as well as our first Disney cruise this year. Missing from that photo, and from this trip, is our DD11. No, she is perfectly OK, we are just leaving her at home with grandma, Otherwise, how would it possibly be an adults only trip? So, like every good Disney Pre-Trip report, this one starts with an earlier trip. In fact, this story starts ON our previous trip: While we are well enough off, we are far from rich, and as a result we typically can only afford to take one Disney trip per year (yeah, I know poor, poor me). And going into 2014, we knew DD really wanted to do a Disney Cruise, and that if we did a Disney Cruise, that would mean no Disney Park trip! So, while we were spending our last days in the parks in 2013, DW and I decided that we would call up about what sort of bounceback offer we could get. Here's us daydreaming about Food and Wine, while DD suspects nothing! They told us we could get BB free Dining for the end of September. It was only a $200 deposit, so we decided to put down a placeholder to come down for 4 days (3 nights) to enjoy an adults only food and wine trip. WE booked for September 27th-30th. We got back and discussed how we could afford to pull it off. We figure it would cost us about $1600 to come down for 3 days even with free dining, which was rather a lot, but decided that we would split the costs and each try and save 1/2 that amount. (Normally ALL our vacation $$ comes out of my account, so to have DW pay half made it more "affordable".) In February we took our Disney Cruise, and while we had a lot of fun, DW and I both decided it was no Disney Parks trip! By this time we had a little money saved, but it was still very up in the air as to whether we were going to actually go forward with the trip. Then I surprised myself. Something made me take a closer look at DVC. I had heard about it before and thought it cost way too much. However, when wandering around the DISboards, I stumbled across the option of buying re-sale, and suddenly the numbers made waaayyyy more sense. We had only ever stayed deluxe once (renting DVC points at AKL) and it is far from a necessity for us, but we DO prefer the moderates. But, without going into the details, when I started to look at the long-term implications, and how DVC would allow us to afford Disney trips into our retirement days, I couldn't say no to the idea. Even THIS was not enough to get us to solidify a trip for this year. In fact, my plan was to buy a DVC contract for use in 2015. I had decided to buy at AKL since it is a resort we love, and is one of the less expensive DVCs to by into. Then, as I was watching for a new contract, I came across one that had a good price, and was stripped of 2014 points (a DVC term) but had a bunch of "Freebie" points that had to be used before December 1st of 2014. (Freebie points are a term for points in which the buyer does not have to pay the annual maintenance fee. Because the cost of DVC is the up-front cost plus the annual MF, points without the MF are often consider "Free", though technically you are paying for them with the purchase of the contract. Anyways, enough of that boring jargon, we decided that if we could purchase this contract, it would give us our "free" hotel stay. This would actually be better than "free dining" as the problem with free dining for Food and Wine is that you only have 3 snack credits each, so most of Food and Wine would be OOP anyway. So, we put a bid in on the contract in mid-March. The bid was accepted within a few days, and then we had to go through the whole DVC re-sale process, which takes about two months. In the meantime, we got a really good deal on airfare, with a free flight we were able to book round trip for only $224, so we picked a weekend in October as our best bet, October 16-20th. We would have enough points for 4 nights in a studio at the DVC resorts. That week has big significance for us: Our 2nd trip to WDW together took place on that week in 2000. Our 3rd trip and 1st trip with DD also took place that week in 2003. And our 8th trip - the one we stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge in 2010 also took place that week. And THAT week we had the most perfect weather we've ever had on a Disney trip! Us enjoying an Adult's Only dinner at Jiko from that trip! Sitting together on Aladdin's Magic Carpets Hey, just came across this pic, what's that they're building over there? So, we'd booked the flight, we were committed. Our only problem now is getting the room. See, one of problems with DVC is it at certain times of year, it's really hard to get a room, even months in advance. And the WORST time of year to try and book with short notice is during Food and Wine! So -FINALLY in mid-May our contract came through, our points were available and we could book a room. So I log on and look for a studio: Beach Club and Boardwalk....nothing...well, no surprise. Bay Lake Tower, VGF and Wilderness Lodge...nothing...OK, not really a surprise either. Animal Kingdom....nope! Saratoga Springs? Nada! Old Key West. Zip, Zilch, Zero S&%T! OK, no need to panic. We actually have enough points for a 1-bedroom at a few of the less point-heavy resorts. Animal Kingdom...sorry. Old Key West....no chance... Saratoga Springs....YESSS!!! Whew! We had just enough points to pull it off 127 freebie points, and we needed 122! So, we are IN! Five days / four nights at Walt Disney World, and we are sticking with our original $1600 budget. Total Airfare Cost: $224 Total Room Cost: $0 Estimated Ticket Cost: $620 Food budget: Ummmmmm.... Cause there's one main reason we're doing it all. It's all about this place! Yup, Food and Wine Festival. We've been to WDW during Food and Wine season a number of times, but we have never really had the chance to really do it right. And by "do it right" means take multiple days to really taste "around the world". So yes, our food budget is likely going to be more than the Gross National Product of some of these countries represented around World Showcase. But boy is it gonna be worth it! So, stick around to see what our plans are, and if you're going to be around the parks, maybe we'll see you there, but if you are there with your kids, you'll excuse us if we don't stick around too long! There's food to be eaten and beverages to drink! Updates / Page Links Saratoga Springs as a resort of choice Day 1 plans Day 2 plans Food and Wine Seminars BOOKED! Day 3 plans Day 4 Plans Day 5 Plans FP+ Plans Mini-TR for Myrtle Beach Pictures from 1997 and 2000 MAGIC BANDS and Be Our Guest More updates to come.