Makin’ our way, it’s an ADVENTURE every day! A Nov trip w/a toddler-FINISHED!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by JulieODC, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. JulieODC

    JulieODC DIS Veteran

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    Hi Everyone! Welcome to my first trip report! :welcome:

    I’ve been a member of the DIS for a few years now, but only discovered the Trip Report forum this year before our trip --- and I’m hooked! :love: I loved reading everyone’s trip details and got so many great ideas – I hope that sharing our trip adventures will be helpful, or at the very least, entertaining!

    Ok, so here are the details:

    Who: A little bit about the cast of this trip report – our little family of 3! This is DH and my 4th trip to Disney together, and our 2nd trip with DD. Here’s a little photo history of our family trips….

    September 2009: [​IMG]

    December 2010:
    [​IMG]

    November 2012: [​IMG]

    November 2013: [​IMG]

    Writing that out, I realized we’ve been yearly since we got married. Well, except that we missed a trip in 2011 --- that’s when DD was born. princess: She was 2 years old on this trip (26 months). We don’t have another trip planned…yet…but, I’d hate to break our streak! Gotta get on that! :rolleyes1

    What: This will be my 10th (or so) trip to Disney, DH’s 5th trip, and DD’s 2nd trip!

    When: November 10-16, 2013. Our previous trips were on the shorter side – 3-4 days over a long weekend. So, we were excited for a longer stay this time! (Although, it definitely wasn’t long enough!! Is it ever??)

    Where: Yacht Club :boat:

    Why: Do we really need a why? This trip wasn’t to celebrate anything in particular. Life as working parents has been pretty crazy lately --- and we just needed a little break from the daily grind. For us, a trip to Disney is a total break from reality, and where we are the most relaxed --- no work, no cooking, no cleaning, no yard work – just lots of time to be together as a family in the happiest place on earth!

    So welcome!! Can't wait to get started!
     
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  3. JulieODC

    JulieODC DIS Veteran

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  4. DisneyKid4Life

    DisneyKid4Life DIS Veteran

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    Well I see you DID start your very own Trip Report, so I'm staking out a seat before I leave for that very place!!! I hope to have lots to read when I get back. :goodvibes
     
  5. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    Following along! :goodvibes
     
  6. blklotus

    blklotus I can't go back to yesterday because I was a diffe

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    Yay! Following along. :thumbsup2
     
  7. JulieODC

    JulieODC DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for reading along!! :wave2:

    Thanks for joining! Fun to see another NoVA person! :goodvibes

    Welcome --- I'm so excited to see you joining in! Have an amazing trip!!! :yay:
     
  8. JulieODC

    JulieODC DIS Veteran

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    Pre-Trip Planning Fun!

    I thought I’d start with a few “pre-trip” planning details – since, let’s be honest, planning the details is a big part of the fun!! Luckily, I have a very understanding (and Disney-loving) husband, who lets me do my planning thing!

    [​IMG]


    Booking the trip!
    We booked this trip way back in March 2013 --- earlier than we usually book! Our “home” resort in the past has been Wilderness Lodge. We love the theming, the lobby, the Christmas décor, and the boat access to MK. But, we were there with DD last year, and found that taking the bus and boat most places was a little annoying with a stroller, etc. So, we decided to change things up and try something new!

    I debated between YC, BC, and BWI --- finally settling on YC. BWI was a serious contender – but that clown pool scares me a little ;-) BC ended up getting thrown out, because we really wanted a balcony (i.e. a place to escape with an adult beverage when DD went to bed). So, we ended up booking a lagoon/pool view room at YC! :beach:

    Special shout out to the awesome posters on the Beach and Yacht Club FAQ thread for all of the great info!


    Booking our flights!
    Since we booked this trip so early, we were able to take advantage of great flight prices when JetBlue opened their reservations for the fall on April 3. Booking the resort is exciting, but booking the flights really makes the trip “real”!

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    We really love flying JetBlue if we can….each person gets to check a bag for free (which, for a week at Disney, is hard to avoid), and we love being able to watch tv in our seats. On top of that, I got an email a few months later that our flight times had changed ---- we arrived earlier and departed later, giving us an extra 2 hours at Disney!!!

    Booking our dining reservations!
    May 14th was our “180+10” day for making dining reservations. Of course, I was up at the crack of dawn to make reservations. I tried to get BOG, but didn’t have any luck. I was sort on the fence about it anyway, so I wasn’t too bummed. My biggest priority was getting a reservation for CP before park opening – and I got one of those, so I was a happy camper! I also managed to snag a CG reservation when they FINALLY opened at the end of August too.

    [​IMG]


    Discounts!!
    I was eagerly awaiting the fall room-only discounts to come out, and crossing my fingers that we could get a YC room with a discount. I knew from past experience that “free dining” isn’t as good a deal for us as the “room-only” discount is. Discounts came out on August 1st – and the phone lines were ridiculously busy…..so I ended up booking a new reservation through the website, and canceling my original reservation a few days later. So, with the 30% discount, we got same room category at the YC, but for $933.54 less! WOOHOO!!!!! party:


    MB and FP+
    The last major pre-trip planning that I did revolved around ordering and customizing Magic Bands and booking our FP+ for the week. Luckily, I was following some DIS threads about MB/FP+ for November travelers, and was able to hop on as soon as it became available and booked everything we wanted for times that worked with our schedule. It definitely required way more up front planning around our park days --- but in the end, it worked really well, we never waited more than 10 minutes in a line, and it allowed us to fit everything in without running around like crazy. More on our MB and FP+ experience to come….but suffice it say, we liked the system a lot! :cheer2:

    [​IMG]


    Packing
    Finally, just a few notes about our packing style. Like I said, I’m a planner….so no surprise, that I had lots of lists of what to pack (especially traveling with a 2yr old, there are lots of “what-if” scenarios to be prepared for!). I read some great recommendations on the DIS to pack outfits for each day in a plastic bag (see below for an exciting visual of this!) --- we did this for our last trip, and it worked great. So, I planned an outfit for each of for each day of the trip, I put the complete outfit (along with diapers and disposable bibs), in a little plastic bag.
    [​IMG]
    That way, each morning, we could just pull out that days bag and go. It made re-packing our park bag super easy too!


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    Ok, so that’s it for the pre-trip planning stuff --- since I spent 10 months planning this trip, it seemed only fitting to give it a little trip report air time! Now, on to the good stuff…..


    Coming Next: Traveling to our happy place!


    [​IMG]
     
  9. ZehnJahren

    ZehnJahren DIS Veteran

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    I'm here too! Looks like you have your priorities straight with a trip to WDW every year. :) Except, of course, when the little one was born.

    I love the YC! It's one of my favorite resorts; I liked it over the BC myself (disclaimer: I have not stayed at BC, but I walked through a couple of times and liked our place at YC better).
     
  10. IheartDDuck

    IheartDDuck DIS Veteran

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    I'm joining. Can't wait to hear about the trip.
     
  11. JulieODC

    JulieODC DIS Veteran

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    Welcome, welcome! I need to get to work on a 2014 trip! ;) The YC quickly became one of our favorites too!

    Thanks for joining! I smiled at your name --- DD likes Donald Duck a lot, but can't quite say "Donald" yet, but on our trip started calling him D Duck! :)
     
  12. Tinker326

    Tinker326 DIS Veteran

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    Great start to the TR!!! I am a planner too, like you- and I did the same for my kids. Packing all their clothes in labeled individual bags. Works great!

    That BWI clown pool scares me too! :scared: For that reason alone, I won't stay there. Although I also wonder how noisy that resort could be with the activity on the Boardwalk?!

    YC was my favorite of the three (and I didn't even stay there) but if i DID stay in that area again, I'd forgo BC for YC. And the Beach Club Villas all had balcony's. Which was nice.

    Looking forward to following along our journey that happened at the same time! :)
     
  13. teekathepony

    teekathepony DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! Followed you here from your post on my TR :)
     
  14. ZehnJahren

    ZehnJahren DIS Veteran

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    I just have to say that I had a very clear view of the clown pool on my recent November trip, and the awesome view I had of HS made up for it. I could totally take seeing that clown when I could also see ToT looming in the background. :) I felt almost the same way you did, but now that I've stayed there I like the clown more (yes, I did take a slide down the clown slide!) and think the resort is great.

    Oh, and if you don't want to have a noisy room overlooking the Boardwalk, you just tell them. There are so many people who want the view that I'm sure they'd happily move you! The only noise I really heard at all were the fireworks from Illuminations.

    Don't rule it out! :goodvibes
     
  15. JulieODC

    JulieODC DIS Veteran

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    Welcome, welcome! :clown:

    Thanks for joining in!! :goodvibes

    I'd definitely stay the BWI if the opportunity came up --- the location cannot be beat, and I actually think it would be fun to overlook some of the boardwalk activity (though, I would hate to be in a room close by ESPN Zone).
     
  16. JulieODC

    JulieODC DIS Veteran

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    Traveling to our happy place! (Sunday, Nov 10th)

    DCA to MCO
    We flew out of DCA early on a Sunday morning. Our departure time was 7:05am --- which meant a cab picked us up at 6:05am, we zipped the few mile drive to the airport, checked our bags (YAY for free checked bags on Jet Blue!), and made our way through security to the gate.

    We grabbed bagels and fruit, oh and COFFEE, of course, for breakfast before boarding. Since having DD, we’ve gotten into the habit of waiting and boarding last – we let her run off as much energy as possible, and spend as little time as we can cooped up in our seats. It works well for us --- we’ve never had a problem on a single flight (and we’ve done 20+ flights with DD in just 2 years).

    [​IMG]

    The flight was uneventful. We recently bought a Kindle Fire based on reviews here on DIS, and DD watched a few episodes of Sofia the First (her absolute favorite show!), while DH and I enjoyed the free tvs that Jet Blue has….and before we knew it, we were landing at MCO. In fact, we landed at 9:15am --- 15 minutes early! :wizard:

    ME time!
    All of our recent trips had us arriving late in the evening, so we’d never actually taken advantage of the bag transfer that Disney does. What a nice treat to not have to get our bags!! So, we headed straight down to ME (shout out to the faux monorail! DD loved standing and holding the pole --- little did she know that much, much better rides were ahead ;) ).

    [​IMG]

    We pulled our MBs out for the first time, swiped them without trouble, and headed for the bus. BEST SIGHT IN THE WORLD! I think our bus had guests headed to YC, BC, BWI, and CBR…..YC was first on the list, which was awesome! :drive:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Check-in!
    We hopped off the bus, walked right up the check-in desk, and had our room keys by 10:30am. Not bad!! One side note --- I had attempted to do online check-in a few times in the weeks before our trip -- but kept getting error messages, so gave up. Apparently it did actually work though, because the front desk CM said I was already checked in? :confused3 Either way, we were very happy to find out that our room was already available…so no waiting around for a text, etc. :thumbsup2

    Our room - #4079 - was AMAZING. Literally, amazing. :love: We could not have had a better view. It was exactly what I’d hoped for when I booked a lagoon/pool view. We had full balcony that overlooked the wedding gazebo, the boardwalk, SAB, the Eiffel tower in France, and even the hot air balloon over at Downtown Disney. We were far from the main elevators, but were very close to the back elevator that led down to the “secret” entrance/exit right out to the boardwalk (for more on that see the YC/BC thread on the Resorts board). We had a perfect view of the Illuminations Fireworks too (pictures to come later) – both from the balcony, as well as our bed! pixiedust: It seriously could not have been a better room.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We (of course) turned Stacy on while we scoped out the room and the view. We had decided not to get a crib for DD (we were afraid she wouldn’t sleep well in a PNP or small crib), so we requested a bed rail --- and that showed up in 5 minutes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Our luggage hadn’t arrived yet…but we’d packed bathing suits in our carry-on bag, and it was sunny and in the 80’s…SO, you can probably guess where our next stop was! :beach:

    Coming Next: SAB, lunch at Hurricane Hanna’s, and RELAXATION!
    [/SIZE]
     
  17. Tinker326

    Tinker326 DIS Veteran

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    Ooooh, seeing the inside of the rooms at YC, I DEFINATLY like it better than the BC. The Beach Club kinda screamed "Country Inn" while the Yacht Club looks a wee bit more elegant!

    DD is adorable & clearly a seasoned traveller with all those trips under her belt.
     
  18. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Joining in!

    Love the view from your YC room! I stayed there for the first time in October for a conference trip and loved the resort although the view from my room was not as good as yours. :goodvibes
     
  19. luvpoohandcompany

    luvpoohandcompany DIS Veteran

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    followed you over from the FAQ thread. Loving it so far - brilliant room views :thumbsup2 Looking forward to hearing more :goodvibes
     
  20. teekathepony

    teekathepony DIS Veteran

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    What a great, easy travel day! Sounds like all went smoothly. What an amazing room with a beautiful view!

    Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
     
  21. DisneyMountainWoman

    DisneyMountainWoman Mouseketeer

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    Following along popcorn::
     

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