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Park-hopping Halloweentime Honeymoon: An October 2013 PTR

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by joyfulDisneytears, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. joyfulDisneytears

    joyfulDisneytears DIS Veteran

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    We're going to Disney World! :jumping1:

    "We" is me, Dana, and my fiance, Jared. We are getting married near his hometown on October 5, 2013. :love: Small wedding, no bridal party, etc, just immediate family for the most part.

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    After much hemming and hawing regarding our honeymoon, considering many tropical destinations, cruises, and the like, we finally faced the inevitable...nothing is as fun as Disney World! (Well, at least I feel that way. :rotfl: And since he loves me so, he was the one that put forth the idea of returning to the World!)

    Our first visit was in October 2008. It's actually just a coincidence that our honeymoon will fall on some of the same days, but we had a wonderful time 5 years ago, and thanks to my discovery of the Dis after we returned, we should have an even better time this go around!

    I'm going to use this PTR as a place to write out my nutty over-planning. I love character meets and all the big headliners...heck, and most of the "minor" attractions too. As you all know, if you don't want to wait in long lines you should have a game plan! We got insanely lucky last trip in that we didn't wait over 20 minutes for anything, rides, characters, or otherwise, with the exception of parades/nighttime spectaculars and Peter Pan's Flight. :tink: Here's hoping I can replicate that.

    :welcome:
    one and all

    The package is booked: October 6-15 at All-Star Music. 8 days of park hoppers. I'm wishing upon a star for a huge discount to crop up so we can at least stay at a moderate with a nice pool slide. :)
     
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  3. joyfulDisneytears

    joyfulDisneytears DIS Veteran

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    We don't have a set budget amount, per se, but paying for a wedding, a honeymoon at Disney, and trying to save up money to move from Indianapolis across the country to Arizona where Jared hails from...has caused us to be a little more budget-minded this trip.

    With the idea of saving a bit, I got myself a Target store card, so I can purchase Disney gift cards at 5% off and pay for our trip costs that way. I've also obtained a Disney Visa, in hopes we will save up enough to redeem some reward dollars to use in the World. We will also be using the "freebies" provided in the Magic Your Way package (mini-golf, DisneyQuest, and Planet Hollywood vouchers) to supplement our non-park time.

    We did receive a free dining pin, but our trip dates are blacked out. :sad: We have already requested time off work, and if we pushed our travel dates back to match the free dining dates, we'd have to book an extra flight (will explain that in a minute), so it's not enough of a savings to really bother. My travel agent and I will be on the lookout for Visa cardholder & public discounts.

    Travel

    We are very partial to Southwest Airlines. We spent a few years flying back and forth to visit each other before we got engaged, and it was almost always with SWA. The prices are reasonable if you watch for sales, and they allow you 2 bags plus a carry-on free of charge. Plus they don't charge change fees, which is really nice. If you book their non-refundable fares and change later, you just have to pay the difference in price if it costs more, or you get a credit you can use on airfare up to a year after your original booking if the cost of the new ticket is less.

    We already had cheap flights to and from Phoenix, AZ (where the wedding will be held). So we've changed our return flight to Orlando (which cost more than I thought :crazy2:...I'll be watching for sales and change accordingly), and will fly back into Indy when the honeymoon is over. I was just a few airline points shy of a free one way flight MCO -> IND, so I spent $50 to purchase additional points. That's the least you can purchase and I didn't need nearly that many, unfortunately, but still, $50 for a flight is dirt cheap.

    We'll definitely be using Magical Express to and from the airport.


    Accommodations

    We stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter last time. We honestly weren't at the resort very much but to sleep...didn't even venture in the pool (I forgot to pack my swimsuit! :scared:), but we loved it because it was small and our room was so close to the quick-service dining.

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    Our room was right here (first floor if I remember correctly) on the end of building 4, literally right next door to Sassagoula Floatworks! Definitely made those refillable mugs worth the cost, we had no reason to not walk over there.
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    One of my few non-blurry pics of anything in the hotel. I am not much of a photographer and I may have been using the worst point-and-shoot camera in existence.

    This time, however, with cost in mind, and because we will be staying longer, I've opted to book us at All-Star Music. Of all the All-Stars I like the theming (sp? themeing? my spell check tells me neither is a word! :lmao:) best. We love music in general :music:, and Broadway is at the top of the list for me...so even if we were to get stuck all the way back in that section of the resort I couldn't be too upset. Or the Rock section either, because I am mildly obsessed with all things 50s-era and vintage.

    That will not stop me from requesting close to the bus stop/main building when online check-in rolls around however!

    In a non-cost prohibitive world, we'd stay at the Poly and get the Platinum MYW package. :thumbsup2 I definitely looked into what it would cost to stay at Poly, but that was quickly ruled out. :scared1: We'll settle for a meal or two there instead.

    If a great room discount comes out, we'll consider upgrading to a moderate, but ticket prices just went up after we booked our ASMu package...I don't know how much of an effect that will have on package cost.

    Park day plans and ADRs to come in the next post :cool1:
     
  4. glaserjm

    glaserjm DIS Veteran

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    Congratulations on the impending wedding and honeymoon! My parents honeymooned there and it set up a lIfetime of Disney love for our whole family!

    Looking forward to reading about your trip!
     
  5. joyfulDisneytears

    joyfulDisneytears DIS Veteran

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    Thanks so much, and thank you for reading/posting!

    I know I tend to be a little long winded when writing! :P
     
  6. momofmaz

    momofmaz Mouseketeer

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    Looking forward to reading more of your PTR!
     
  7. joyfulDisneytears

    joyfulDisneytears DIS Veteran

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    5 years ago I didn't know about the Dis, but we managed to have a grand ol' time thanks to my discovery of http://allears.net

    We went to EMH parks our first 4 days to cover them all, and then hopped around as we liked for the last couple days. We never made a rope drop. (I know, I know...shock-horror! :eek:) Made large use of FastPass. Had a couple of ADRs. And I made a list of the attractions that were open during EMH. That was pretty much it on the planning front. It went just swimmingly. :fish:

    But reading the Dis now has me worried about crowd levels, even when it's not high summer or the holidays. It seems the general consensus is attendance is way up at any time of year. So I'm changing my strategy.


    • Evening EMH is still in my bag of tricks, I think, but we won't spend the entire day in that park.
    • We're going to *try* to make rope drop. This will be hard. Despite the fact that I get up at 4:00am on workdays, neither of us are morning people. Add to that the fact that we will be coming directly from the other side of the country and losing a couple hours due to timezones, and it will be rough going.
    • I'm making step-by-step plans for each park day. I won't freak out if they don't go as listed, but it's nice to have an idea of what to get done in which area of whatever park we're in before we move onto something else.
    • Planning character meets. This was not something we did last time. If we happened upon a character we'd like to see, we hopped in line. (I should say a character *I'd* like to see...DFi couldn't care less outside of Mulan & Donald. :rolleyes1) I don't think I once looked at a times guide.

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    Meeting Daisy on our first day last trip. I'd just said on the bus over that I'd never seen her in the parks, and boom, there she was. I was ecstatic. :hyper: Like I said...no planning.

    I'll post more detailed touring plans as I get them together, but for now here's our list of park days and ADRs.

    • Sun, Oct 6 - Arrival @ MCO ~5:15pm; head to Downtown Disney after check-in; Planet Hollywood reservation 9:00pm
    • Mon, Oct 7 - Epcot; Magic Kingdom evening/EMH
    • Tue, Oct 8 - Hollywood Studios; 'Ohana reservation 9:35pm
    • Wed, Oct 9 - Animal Kingdom; Epcot evening/EMH
    • Thu, Oct 10 - Pool time; Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
    • Fri, Oct 11 - Magic Kingdom (late start due to party night before)
    • Sat, Oct 12 - Mini-golf & DisneyQuest/DTD; may hit AK in the morning and/or MK at night
    • Sun, Oct 13 - Hollywood Studios; SciFi Dine-In reservations - made one for 11:15am and one for 2:05pm, hard to say when one wants to sit down to lunch!; Epcot evening
    • Mon, Oct 14 - Magic Kingdom; maybe Epcot evening
    • Tue, Oct 15 - Check out :sad:; hit a park (probably MK) for a couple hours before we have to leave

    I also made ressies for Biergarten on Thursday and Friday afternoons before I changed my plan to include the crowd calendar. I don't really think we're going to have time to hit an Epcot restaurant if we want to sample plenty at the Food & Wine Festival. I'll have to think about it some more, though, because Biergarten sounds really fun.

    I keep checking for Be Our Guest dinner openings, and I'm going to try for the Wishes Dessert Party when that opens up.

    :scratchin Considering adding a Kona Cafe early breakfast reservation on our departure morning.

    Another change I'm going to try to make is breaks in the afternoon. I am all GO-GO-GO in the parks. I love being there and I want to see all there is to see (I know that's not really possible!). But I'm hoping with splitting the days between different parks, having multiple days to visit each park, and staying at the World longer will give us an opportunity to hit the hotel for a quick nap (or recreational activity...:p) or some pool time so we won't be totally wiped out. We'll see.

    Thank you to those of you reading, I know I can ramble on and on, but hopefully this is all making some sense at the very least! ;)
     
  8. joyfulDisneytears

    joyfulDisneytears DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for joining me!! :hug:
     
  9. joyfulDisneytears

    joyfulDisneytears DIS Veteran

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    Really starting to wish our dates coincided with that free dining pin, because I just made 2 more reservations... :eek:

    Boma dinner @ 4:55, Sat, Oct 12 (mini golf/DTD day)
    Kona Cafe breakfast @ 7:45, Tue, Oct 15 (departure day)

    I will be cancelling Biergarten. I'd love to do it but it seems silly to do a sit down meal during Food & Wine.

    I added Boma because we're dropping Biergarten, and I realized most of our ADR choices, while not un-tasty or poorly themed, are pretty standard and unadventurous (Planet Hollywood & SciFi specifically).

    Added Kona because, well...Tonga Toast! :banana: I read so much about it and I want to try it!
     
  10. joyfulDisneytears

    joyfulDisneytears DIS Veteran

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    Here is my personal breakdown of Magic Kingdom. Things I've never done/seen before in blue. (Hey, gimme a break, I have to stretch this PTR out for 3 months somehow! :lmao:)

    Must Do
    • Enchanted Tiki Room (this wouldn't have been on the list in its "Under New Management" incarnation, but now that they've "updated" it to the original version I want to see it again!)
    • Pirates of the Caribbean
    • DOLE WHIP!! :p
    • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
    • Splash Mountain
    • Country Bear Jamboree
    • Haunted Mansion :hmghost:
    • Dumbo :dumbo: (Never rode it! ...How can I have been to Disney parks 4 times and never been on Dumbo?!)
    • Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid
    • Mickey's Philharmagic :donald:
    • Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
    • Space Mountain
    • Tomorrowland Transit Authority
    • Main Street Electrical Parade
    • Wishes (I cry EVERY TIME! :sad:)

    Want To Do If There's Time
    • Walt Disney World Railroad
    • Main Street Trolley Show
    • Dapper Dans
    • Dream Along With Mickey
    • Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It
    • Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade
    • Magic Carpets of Aladdin
    • Frontierland Shootin' Arcade
    • Frontierland Hoedown

    • Hall of Presidents (not terribly enthralling to me, but DFi likes history and we haven't seen it since they added Obama)
    • Liberty Square Riverboat

    • Barnstormer (haven't been since the re-theme)
    • Enchanted Tales with Belle
    • Clown Wowzer's show

    • Be Our Guest CS lunch
    • It's A Small World (DFi HATES this, I might be sailing by myself :rolleyes:)
    • Mad Tea Party
    • Peter Pan's Flight
    • Astro Orbiter
    • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor

    • Carousel of Progress

    Take It or Leave It
    • Jungle Cruise
    • Swiss Family Treehouse
    • Tom Sawyer Island

    • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
    • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

    No...Just...No :rotfl2:
    • Stitch's Great Escape
    • Tomorrowland Speedway


    Yikes...I don't want to do much do I? Good thing we have nearly 3 days at MK!
     
  11. joyfulDisneytears

    joyfulDisneytears DIS Veteran

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    Again, things I've never done/seen before in blue.

    Must Do
    • Spaceship Earth
    • Turtle Talk with Crush
    • Captain EO
    • Test Track :car:
    • Voices of Liberty
    • Reflections of China
    • Illuminations
    • Sample MANY Food & Wine Festival offerings!! :thumbsup2

    Want To Do If There's Time
    • Spend time at The Seas aquarium/pavilion :fish:
    • Sum of All Thrills
    • Club Cool
    • Soarin'
    • Universe of Energy
    • Jammitors
    • Off Kilter
    • Impressions de France
    • Matsuriza
    • American Adventure
    • Jeweled Dragon Acrobats
    • Maelstrom
    • Gran Fiesta Tour

    Take It or Leave It
    • Nemo & Friends ride
    • Living with the Land
    • Circle of Life
    • Journey Into Imagination
    • Mission: Space (orange affected me badly last time and I don't really see the appeal of the green side...maybe we'll catch this as we leave the park in case I feel poorly after)
    • O Canada!
     
  12. joyfulDisneytears

    joyfulDisneytears DIS Veteran

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    Doing the double digit dance!!!! party:

    99 days to WDW...and 98 days until the wedding!!!
    Really need to watch what I'm eating and try to lose a few before I have to squeeze into that wedding dress! :eek:
     
  13. joyfulDisneytears

    joyfulDisneytears DIS Veteran

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    I priced out our food to the best of my ability...we tend to share some counter service meals and drink mostly ice water, but even so, those buffet/family style meals at 'Ohana & Boma are SO pricey! :faint: It has me rethinking a few things.

    One thing is certain - the dining plan would not be in our best interest unless it's free. With 'Ohana, Boma, and even if I'd left Biergarten in, there's no way we would eat that much and break even, despite Jared being a very tall guy at 6'5" and me being somewhat pooh-sized. pooh:

    I think I may drop dinner at Boma in favor of lunch at Sanaa. I really want to try that bread service, and I'm not at all sure I want to pay $40/person for a buffet meal, especially since we have 'Ohana already at the same price point. I also think a peaceful sit-down meal would be nice as opposed to a bustling buffet. And, Jared isn't always the most adventurous eater (he's willing to try things but often doesn't like "different" flavors), so $40 for eating meats and kids' buffet selections is not very appealing. I want to try the famous Zebra Domes, but we can always stroll over to AKL from Kidani and hit up the Mara for those! This idea is sounding better all the time, I think I may have convinced myself...:scratchin

    Also considering dropping Planet Hollywood. The only reason I'd chosen it was for the voucher with the MYW package, but even after that discount, we could spend less at Earl of Sandwich and not be tied to a certain meal time on arrival evening.

    Still waiting on the Wishes Dessert Party to open up for October...heck, September hasn't even opened yet! :badpc:

    Pretty sure J thinks I've lost my mind at this point...I told him he's not allowed to order his usual restaurant breakfast ham and cheese omelet at Kona. I want to try the macadamia pineapple pancakes *and* the Tonga Toast, darnit! :rotfl:
     
  14. joyfulDisneytears

    joyfulDisneytears DIS Veteran

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    I don't know if anyone is reading at this point, but I'm trudging on. ;) Continuing on to DHS...

    Must Do
    • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (another I will be riding alone...J is a thrill ride chicken!)
    • Toy Story Midway Mania
    • The Great Movie Ride
    • One Man's Dream :cloud9:
    • Star Tours :ewok:
    • Muppet*Vision 3D :3dglasses

    Want To Do If There's Time
    • Rock'n'Roller Coaster (single rider again!)
    • Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
    • The Voyage of the Little Mermaid
    • Animation Academy

    Take It Or Leave It
    • The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow
    • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
    • Lights, Motors, Action
    • Studio Backlot Tour

    Probably Not
    • Disney Jr. Live on Stage
    • American Idol Experience
    • The Magic of Disney Animation (movie)


    Regarding Fantasmic: I love it dearly. I have the soundtrack and listen to it all the time. Fantasmic and Wishes are my favorite Disney productions by far. But...standing in that giant mob of people waiting to be let into the theater for an hour or more is not appealing to either of us. And the plan I've drawn up as of now does not include any evenings in DHS. So this time around I'm going to content myself with watching this awesome Fantasmic video on youtube a few dozen times:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GteyJTzHcA

    Here's my best pic from Fantasmic on our last trip:
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  15. joyfulDisneytears

    joyfulDisneytears DIS Veteran

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    I was going to do a similar post on AK but then I realized that would be kind of silly because I want to do everything there! :goodvibes Well, minus Triceratops Spin unless there's absolutely no line to speak of. :laughing:

    I am firmly in the pro-Animal Kingdom camp. It may have been my favorite park day on our last trip. Not for any particular reason that I can think of, it was just really fun. We watched the parade, I crawled into bushes to take pics of the birds in the aviary, we sat on a bench and laughed at nothing because we were exhausted and slap happy, we took pictures with Baloo & Louie.

    So I'll just use this post for some fun AK pictures from our 2008 trip:

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    In this last one, Louie indicated Jared was making him feel short, so he needed to stand on the concrete support there. :rotfl:
     
  16. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    I'm in! We'll be at Disney the same time. Have a great honeymoon! I understand not wanting Boma & Ohana on the same trip. My husband & I tend to stay away from buffets in general as the price point is high for what you get. If I'm spending $100 on a dinner, I rather be served each course.
     
  17. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 DIS Veteran

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    Congratulations on your upcoming marriage! Disney honeymoons are amazing (not that I would know or anything :rolleyes1) Your plans look great so far!
     
  18. joyfulDisneytears

    joyfulDisneytears DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for posting! It's tough trying to decide where to dine, because Jared definitely does not live to eat like I do! I have an extensive list drawn up of snacks and CS places I want to visit too (I'll post about those later I'm sure)...he seems to think I'm going overboard. :angel:


    Thank you so much, and thanks for posting! I'm very excited. I just hope I'm not overplanning. You're not commando if you put downtime in your schedule right?! :rolleyes1
     
  19. joyfulDisneytears

    joyfulDisneytears DIS Veteran

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    I got it! I got it!!! :hyper:

    Wishes Dessert Party on October 12!

    I love love LOVE :love: Wishes, and this trip we'll be watching it 2 new ways. From the Poly beach (with a Lapu Lapu in hand for me, most likely!) before our late dinner at 'Ohana, and from Tomorrowland Terrace at the dessert party! :dance3:

    Very excited!

    In other news, our travel agent applied the room discount that came out today, so we save a little over $100. Not huge by any means, but enough to cover the dessert party, and the other thing I'm seriously debating...

    The "Marceline to Magic Kingdom" tour! Never have I done a tour at Disney World, and this one is priced very well. Jared doesn't really seem to like the idea, but when I suggested he could sleep in and I would take the tour by myself I was told it was silly to do separate things when we're on our honeymoon. Fair enough, yes...so I'm still deciding whether to book it or not.
     
  20. Pixiedust530

    Pixiedust530 DIS Veteran

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    I'm not entirely sure from where or how I stumbled on your PTR. I guess that's what happens when you start reading and then leave the thread up on the computer so you can come back and finish later. :rolleyes1 :confused3

    Anyway, it looks like some of our trip dates overlap. I will be in the World from Oct. 6-11. Mine too is a couples only trip...just my boyfriend and I. I might have some hopes and wishes that the trip includes a proposal :rolleyes1 but we shall have to wait and see. My dream is to also have a Disneymoon one day!

    I love your plans so far and when I have time to go back I will comment on some of your must do's in each park. I will mention (as it was in the last post I read and it's fresh in my head) that while I have never done a tour, I too have one planned for our trip. We are doing the Keys to the Kingdom tour and I am super excited. I haven't read much about the Marceline to magic tour, but I have never come across a bad review of a tour.

    HAPPY PLANNING!!!:thumbsup2
     
  21. Marsheliz

    Marsheliz DIS Veteran

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    Love your list of the must-do's!! I need to do something similar!

    Where was the pic of Jiminy Cricket taken? Animal Kingdom? I LOVE him!
     

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