Planning the Disneymoon I've Always Dreamed About--UPDATED!!!

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by tinacaplan, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. tinacaplan

    tinacaplan DIS Veteran

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    I'm a little late in getting this thing started, as I'm done with a lot of the planning, but I'm excited to start a PTR to fill my time now that I feel like all I have left to do is wait!

    Anyway, so this is an adults-only trip for DH and I. We will be celebrating our fifth anniversary. I am calling this our disneymoon, because we didn't really have an official honeymoon when we got married. :confused3

    I had thought about going to Disney then, but decided we didn't have enough money because we had just bought a house. In hindsight, I wish we had done it anyway, but what are you gonna do?

    So I recently got a new job (it was kind of a promotion) and the time seems right to be taking this trip.

    We are going February 13-20, 2010 and staying at CSR. Needless to say, that was not our original plan, as I have changed my mind a thousand different times!

    Pretty typical, huh?

    A little about us...we are proud parents of a DS, aged 2. Will definitely be using this trip, in part, to scope the place out for our first visit with him.

    DH: 36. Not a huge Disney fan. Went to Disneyworld once when he was a kid, just after EPCOT opened. Tells you how long ago that was....

    Me: 33. I wouldn't consider myself a huge Disney fan, either, but some of my happiest memories from my childhood are from trips to the world. Only went twice, though, the last time, I'm guessing was around 1989-1990, just before the major expansion with all the resorts and everything, so I never stayed on site. It has been my dream since my first trip to stay at the Contemporary, mostly because the flippin' monorail runs right through it. How awesome is that????

    Which might have you wondering why we chose Disney for this trip. Well...I will tell you...We could have spent some time at a resort in the Carribbean, but DH does not enjoy sitting on a beach all day and I wouldn't consider us big drinkers, either, and it seems you'd have to enjoy at least one of those things to really love a resort like that. Vegas has no appeal as we are NOT into gambling and going to Europe was just too expensive, plus we didn't haven enough time.

    And there are few places where you can hold your head up high and say, yep, I'm a TOURIST!

    I had been wanting to go back to Disney for a very long time, so I thought, hey, this could be perfect!

    And I hope it is!
    So I'm looking for any and all tips, advice, and misc. insight you all might have about this trip as I continue to work on this PTR.
     
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  3. disneycat_f2008

    disneycat_f2008 Mouseketeer

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    I shall join you for your PTR, we went to Disney last year for our honeymoon & it wa sthe magial thing ever we are currently planning our next trip to the Mouse for Oct 2010 (just trying to figure out where to stay)
     
  4. tinacaplan

    tinacaplan DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! Where did you stay for your honeymoon?
     
  5. disneycat_f2008

    disneycat_f2008 Mouseketeer

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    As we had just paid for our wedding we done the honeymoon cheap so we stayed on International Drive in a nice basic hotel that didn't cost much for the 2 weeks we were there but we are hoping to stay on Disney for our next trip
     
  6. tinacaplan

    tinacaplan DIS Veteran

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    This whole thing got started when I began to wonder if we could afford to go to Disney for New Year's Eve, as my husband and I met at a New Year's Eve party. Seemed like a great idea when I first started planning. :rotfl:

    What did I know?

    As it turned out, when it came to Disney...not a whole lot. For one thing, I didn't realize that Christmas week is the busiest of the year at the world and that it would be the most expensive, even if we weren't planning on arriving until December 26. My DM, who is also DGM to my DS, Max, who's two, was pushing us for February.

    And the more I thought about it and the more I read about crowd levels, the more I realized that it would be the better option. Plus, if we went in February, we'd be able to stay longer and who doesn't want to stay at Disney for as long as possible?

    And that was how our trip became a mid-winter break for us. We're also both teachers and kind of locked in as far as our travel times. If not, I can absolutely see how going down in October or even early November would be wonderful! Someday...

    I then spent the next couple months deliberating over resorts. Which one? There were so many and everytime I ran prices at the Disney website, I seemed to come back with different numbers.

    A few ground rules for my planning process...
    1. I knew that the Dining Plan was a must for us.

    My husband is thrilled at the prospect of not having to think about prices for meals while we're there. Since it will just be the two of us and we enjoy our share of fine (and not so fine) dining, I knew we'd want to do a lot of signature restaurants. When you consider that the Cali Grill (for one) has entrees :scared1: in the forty dollar range, I don't see how we can lose on the Dining Plan..

    That said...

    2. Epcot is our favorite park and I kinda figure we'll also really love DHS, so I as seriously thinking about an Epcot resort..

    Which is where the problems began...

    I am HUGE mid-century modern (think 1950's-1970's) design freak and I LOVE the theming of the Contemporary. I've wanted to stay there since I was a kid and we passed through it on the monorail.

    But...the location at the Epcot resorts? I mean, come on. I deliberated over staying at either the Swan or Dolphin because their decor do appeal to me a great deal and there are some good deals there, but .... no Dining Plan? That made it a non-starter for us.

    So, I looked at the BC,YC, and the BWI. Problem is, we're from New England. If I want to to go to charming, New England anything I can pretty much just walk out my front door. I've also spent nearly every summer of my life on Cape Cod in Masschusetts, so the thought of doing the Disney version just does not appeal to me.

    Thus, I thought I had decided on BWI. Then I kept looking at pictures of those rooms and then back to rooms at the Contemporary and...well...I (thought) I had decided to try for a garden wing room at the CR. Being removed from the tower didn't bother me. If anything, the thought of being so close to the pool appealed to me.

    And then a dose of reality hit me regarding pricing. So, I checked out POFQ, which I thought was kind of cute. Then I stumbled on the CSR thread here and while I had discounted CSR without a thought...on closer inspection...when I saw those renovated rooms, I realized I had found the resort I'd been looking for.

    The grounds at CSR are beautiful and different from here, that's for sure. And the new rooms look gorgeous and not like anything I've stayed in before. The thought of having a queen bed no matter what was also really appealing.

    So, we finally booked a room-only res at the end of August... The originial res was for five nights, starting February 15.

    What an exciting day that was!
     
  7. tinacaplan

    tinacaplan DIS Veteran

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    Once I made our room only reservation, I started to obsess over finding the perfect, least expensive flight. I then decided it would be great if we could fly out the night of the fourteenth so as not to give up a whole day travelling.

    And then...it happened....I got an e-mail from Mousesavers about the 4/3 deal. :cool1: Could not believe it. Nor could I get over how genuinely thrilled I was for a couple days after that.

    So, in the end, my Dh and I will be staying at CSR for a full seven days, for less than what I originally had planned on spending.

    I don't think I've ever taken such a long vacation anywhere like this in my life. Most of my vacations (and I'm not knocking it because I know its better than what a lot of people get) involve packing up for a week to rent a house at the beach on Cape Cod. Beautiful and wonderful and a family tradition my whole life, but also...a lot of work! Especially now that DS, 2, is part of the deal.

    But the thought of being taken care of for a whole week? Having to eat out every meal for a whole week? Sign me right up!

    And then the ADR planning began in earnest...
     
  8. Microcell

    Microcell <font color=red>No, no,no, those red signs with th

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    We are going the beginning of Feb ourselves... so will be watching this report for ideas I can steal!

    Congrats on your belated Disneymoon!
     
  9. tinacaplan

    tinacaplan DIS Veteran

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    Thanks, Microcell! You inspired me to get working on this thing again! Maybe some more later tonight. :thumbsup2
     
  10. tinacaplan

    tinacaplan DIS Veteran

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    I have to admit that a large part of the reason why I'm so excited for this trip is the number of meals we'll be able to eat out. Oh, wait, that's right...all of them...for a whole week!!!

    So, I had decided long ago that I wanted the Deluxe Dining Plan. We love going out to eat and my husband is thrilled about not having to think about what things cost. :rotfl:

    After a lot of research on these boards, it became clear that the only way to truly take advantage of the DxDP would be to reserve a lot of signature restaurants.

    In the midst of all the planning, Disney went back to the 180 day window!!!! I also pieced together a rough idea of what park we would want to be in on what days, at what times, etc. I used the Touring Plans website to give me a rought idea of where to be when, as we are going at a peak time.

    So I was one of the many on that dark day in October trying to get into the reservation system. I was finally lucky enough around nine p.m.. that evening
    and here's what I got:

    Arrival Day, Saturday:
    Lunch -- I guess we'll grab something at our resort when we get in...
    Dinner -- Tutto Italia -- I know we would want to hit Epcot first!

    Sunday, Valentine's Day:
    Lunch -- Biergarten -- I had such a good time here years ago...we'll see...
    Dinner -- Cali Grill -- DURING WISHES!!!! On Valentine's Day!!! :dance3::dance3::love::
    And then we can follow it up by spending even extra magic hours at the Magic Kingdom!!!

    Can you tell I'm excited???
     
  11. jordanyosh

    jordanyosh DIS Veteran

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    okay. I'm here.
     
  12. tinacaplan

    tinacaplan DIS Veteran

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    Don't know how I could reasonably expect people to keep up with this thing when I haven't! :rotfl:

    That said....

    On Monday...
    We are off to the Magic Kingdom! After much deliberation, I finally decided on lunch at the Plaza. I was going to go for Tony's Town Square, as Lady and the Tramp is my all-time favorite Disney movie (and possibly my all time favorite movie...period!), but when I saw pictures from the interior, I wasn't all that enthused. The Plaza, on the other hand, reminds me of something straight out of Mary Poppins, my other favorite Disney movie. And my husband and I liked the menu there a little better. Especially for lunch.

    My overall plan is that we'll be heading back to the resort everyday sometime after we have lunch. And as a northern girl, if the temp is above 70, I'm going to want to spend some time in the pool. I've travelled south in February before and even sixty-five can feel tropical to me at that point of the year. :cool1:

    That night there are evening EMH's at Disney Hollywood Studios, so we'll head over there around five.

    We have an ADR for eight at Primetime. I know people have mixed feelings about the good here, but the theming appeals to my DH and I a great deal. In fact, I recall watching something on TV about Disney restaurants from several years ago and this was on that was highlighted and I've wanted to try it ever since!

    So excited. How many times can I say that?? :lmao:
     
  13. tinacaplan

    tinacaplan DIS Veteran

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    When our plan was to only go for five, or even six, days I had not planned on spending full day at the resort, but when I started laying everything out, spreadsheet-style, I realized that we did not have to spend every spare second in the park. Commandos, we are not!

    We do, however, enjoy sleeping and resting and with both of us working (I work twelve to fourteen hour days) and chasing a two year-old around, you can imagine how little time we have to do that!

    So I thought it would be nice to spend a day just hanging around after three days of jam-packed Disney excitement. Then I thought I would make an ADR for Kona for a very late breakfast. Then I read a few reviews for Kona at lunch...and now I'm not sure if I want to turn that into a ADR for lunch there. :confused3 I was really looking forward to the tonga toast and the french-press coffee, but then I saw some desserts and cocktails from lunch, so I'm leaning toward doing that. We shall see.

    After we dine at Kona, I figure we can tour some resorts, go to DTD, which I"m not all that interested in, for some reason, or head back to CSR for some R and R. Know that if it is a beautiful, warm day, we will be going back to CSR for some serious pool time.

    That evening, we have a late ADR at Jiko. The place looks so beautiful and interesting and even though I've read some not so great reviews lately, I'm still excited. I like exotic food and actually love Ethiopian food, though I realize that's not quite what they serve there. I have to say I'm really looking foward to that filet!

    Here's hoping for a relaxing, wonderful day!
     
  14. tinacaplan

    tinacaplan DIS Veteran

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    If I'm being honest...I'm not a huge fan of all things Disney. My DH and I chose to go to Disney for several reasons: its all neatly contained, doesn't require a lot of "insider" know how :-)lmao:...now I know that's not true), and there's plenty to do and see. That said, I do LOVE Mary Poppins! So, when I heard there was a character breakfast with her, I knew I had to make that ADR!

    We will start the day with a breakfast ADR at 1900 Park Fare. I'm rather excited about this one. Again, not so much for the food, as for the chance to see Mary! Cause you know...(cue music) it's a jolly holiday with Mary!

    And then we're off to the Magic Kingdom for more touring. At some point, I am going to work out some sort of touring plan for our time at the individual parks, but haven't done that yet.

    Because we have breakfast plans, I left lunch open. If we're hungry, we can do counter service somewhere in the park or just grab a snack.

    Again, I figure we'll head back to the resort sometime early in the afternoon to relax, maybe swim... and then its off to the Boardwalk for our ADR at the Flying Fish. There have been so many excellent reviews of this place on the Dis, I'm so excited to go there. We can also check out the scene on the Boardwalk and possibly check out Jellyroll's or the Atlantic Dance Hall, depending on our mood.
     
  15. jordanyosh

    jordanyosh DIS Veteran

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    We miss each other by a day. I'll be at Flying Fish on Tuesday and Jiko on Monday.
     
  16. dizneeat

    dizneeat DIS Veteran

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    I need to join this thread! We are going the exact same dates and staying at CSR also. I so know what you mean about changing your mind ...... so did I! Can't wait for ALL of our vacations to start!

    Greetings from Austria! :flower3:
    Karin
     
  17. tinacaplan

    tinacaplan DIS Veteran

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    WOW! Good morning, everyone! Just figured out how to multi-quote. You learn something new everyday! :lmao:

    So, are you all worried about the February crowds?
     
  18. tinacaplan

    tinacaplan DIS Veteran

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    This is going to be the day, I think, more than any other, when I begin to wonder if we can really eat it all. This day took shape, or the ADR's at least, when I heard about the Tusker House/Nemo deal for seating. For someone who claims to not be so into Disney :rolleyes1, there are numerous Disney movies that I absolutely love and Nemo is right up there at the top of the list.

    I have read so many fabulous things about Boma, though, and our ADR at Tusker is so late (like 1:45 late) that I thought I'd throw Boma in for an early breakfast. So I did.

    After the show, we'll head back to CSR for some downtime and to get ready for our big night out at Citirico's. Again, after all that I've read, I am super excited for this one, too.

    I get little butterflies in the my stomach whenever I think about all the amazing meals I have coming my way.
     
  19. tinacaplan

    tinacaplan DIS Veteran

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    So I tried to plan this around various crowd calendars...

    Don't have a breakfast ADR, but we're doing Sci-Fi for lunch. My DH is completely taken with the theming and I must admit that I'm intrigued, too. Think we'll be all right if we just get burgers and fries, right?

    This will be our last evening at Disneyworld and lucky for us...its evening EMH at Epcot. We have a late ADR at Chefs, where I had a meal twenty some years ago that I still haven't forgotten... So it seems fitting to be ending my trip there.

    Should be a wonderful, magical night...again.
     
  20. MomsOf2boys

    MomsOf2boys <font color= deeppink ><marquee>Has obsessive fing

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    Sounds like you have got it all figured out already! :thumbsup2:rotfl2: Our February trip keeps changing as far as who is going so it makes it really hard to plan. We do have one person going who has never been before and get this.....SHE doesn't want to do EPCOT. It looks boring says she! :confused3 I'm shocked because this is our most visited park now that the kids are a little older!
     
  21. tinacaplan

    tinacaplan DIS Veteran

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    The only reason I have anything figured out is because of these boards! :rotfl: Can I reasonably claim reading them as a hobby?

    And someone who doesn't want to do EPCOT? :confused3 No, way! That might have been my favorite park on my first visit when I was a little kid, oh so many years ago... I think my best memories are of EPCOT! Has she seen pictures? Does she understand that it isn't a museum? I'm sure you'll convince her! And honestly, if I had the chance to go to Disney with someone who's been as often as you, I'd do what you say!

    Have a wonderful trip!
     

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