This is no longer a vacation. It's a quest for fun. An Oct 2013 PTR! Updated 10/5!

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by cfw213, May 27, 2013.

  1. cfw213

    cfw213 DIS Veteran

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    Hello and :welcome: one and all to my October 2013 pre-trip report! This is my second PTR, in addition to two TR's and I'm excited to share my plans for anyone who will listen! Here are the links to all my other PTRs/TRs:

    December 2011 TR (complete)- It's 9:15am and we're already off the Touring Plan - AKA: A Very Mickey Christmas!

    September 2012 PTR(completed) - I miss Disney :( Let's go again! (Fun fact that I just realized: I started this PTR exactly a year ago today. Weird-o-rama!)

    September 2012 TR - (in progress) - Are you Push?? Our sister trip around the World - A September 2012 TR

    First, a couple intros as my travel gang this trip is a bit larger than before!

    Who?
    First up: my sister and I!

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    My name is Christina (left) and my sister is Jess (right). This will be our sixth trip together (and we each went once separately on our senior class trips). We are both accountants :teacher: in Philadelphia and we live in South Jersey. We are Disney FANATICS and she is the best travel buddy!

    Jess loves Monster's Inc. and Sully and her favorite parks are Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios! Her favorite ride is Rock 'n Rollercoaster.

    As for me, my favorite park is Magic Kingdom, followed closely but Hollywood Studios. My favorite ride is Splash and my favorite thing about Disney is the FOOD!

    Also joining us on this trip (for the first time!!!) is my DH, Bryan!

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    He had been to Disney only twice, and never with me! I'm really excited for him to join us :love: We will be celebrating our second anniversary on this trip! I'm a BIT worried, since on our wedding day we were hit with a freak snowstorm and last year on our anniversary was Hurricane Sandy! Hopefully we won't bring any nasty weather with us. Bryan is a machinist here in South Jersey and loves to golf and hang out with our pup in his free time. He is most excited to ride Splash Mountain and to have a character breakfast, as well as play a round of golf with...

    Jess' boyfriend (of 10 years!), Mike!

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    Him and Bryan are really close friends, so I think they're excited to be going together. I'm not sure what Mike is most looking forward to since the boys won't let us talk about our trip, but he's a fun guy and I'll know he'll have a great time. Mike works at a chemical company in South Jersey and his favorite hobby is golf!

    Lastly, my parents will be joining us!

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    My dad is also an accountant (real cool people over here), and my mom is a homemaker. My mom came with us two years ago, but I haven't been to Disney with my Dad since I was young. My mom lovvvves Rock 'N Rollercoaster and is fun to travel with! I'm excited to show my dad around since he hasn't been in probably 15 years...he's never even been to Animal Kingdom!

    When?
    The dates of our trip are a bit confusing! My dad didn't want to take too much time off of work since they're going to Alaska in a few weeks, so my dad is coming Saturday Oct 26 - Tuesday Oct 29th (Me & Bryan's anniversary!).

    Bryan and Mike are staying until Wednesday afternoon (Oct 30th), since they have a round of golf that morning.

    Mom is staying until Wednesday night (Oct 30th), since she is doing something special with us on Wednesday morning!

    Jess and I are staying until Sunday, Nov 3rd! We're excited that we get three days to "ourselves", to do all the stuff that the others may not enjoy!

    As for resorts...that's another post since I've changed my mind a million times!

    I'm going to steal the ADR guessing game from Katt's PTR because I think it's so much fun! I will post our daily plans on Sunday mornings, so by Saturday evening, everyone can guess where our ADR(s), if there are any, are going to be for that day! Here are some clues!

    - We have SEVEN ADR's in total. TWO of them are signature experiences.
    - We have been to THREE of them before, so FOUR of them are new.
    - THREE of them are at resorts; ONE is at Magic Kingdom, TWO are at Epcot and ONE is at Hollywood Studios


    For our first day we have one ADR. It is at a resort and we have been there before....hopefully that doesn't make it too easy!

    ETA: Bonus point to this first person who can guess what movie my report title is from. No cheating!!
     
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  3. cfw213

    cfw213 DIS Veteran

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  4. Blessedwithboys

    Blessedwithboys Mouseketeer

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    Looks so fun :goodvibes You and your sister are just as cute as a button!

    I am in!
     
  5. katt789

    katt789 DIS Veteran

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    Yay! Jumped right over here from your TR

    Quite the gang you have joining you, that’s awesome that you have mish mashed time lengths with everyone so you get a little bit of everything on your trip!

    Ah! A shout out! How wonderful! Thanks!


     
  6. happybelle

    happybelle DIS Veteran

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    Joining in. :goodvibes
     
  7. SnowWhite607

    SnowWhite607 DIS Veteran

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    Joining in..........and I think its a quote from National Lampoon's "Vacation" with Chevy Chase.
     
  8. cfw213

    cfw213 DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! And thank you for the lovely compliment :goodvibes

    Yay glad you made it over! Yeah the timing is going to work out well. At first it was my parents and THEN the guys, not really overlapping. But I think this will work out better.

    Thanks for joining and yep you're right!
     
  9. SnowWhite607

    SnowWhite607 DIS Veteran

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    Did you make the shirts in the first post? My daughter and I would love some like that for our upcoming trip!
     
  10. glaserjm

    glaserjm DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a great trip, with a combination of getting to shop some newbies the ropes and getting a few days to tour in your own style! Looking forward to hearing admit your trip!
     
  11. cfw213

    cfw213 DIS Veteran

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    Yes we did! They were really easy. The black tank tops were a few dollars from Target. We got the paper at JoAnn Fabric, I think, and just printed the Mickey heads from the internet (you can head over to the DISign board, they have tons of stuff there), and ironed them on. They didn't hold up well but they were great for one day in Animal Kingdom!

    Thanks for stopping by! I like to show "new" people around, but my sister and I definitely have our own things we want to do too!
     
  12. cfw213

    cfw213 DIS Veteran

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    Good afternoon all - it's time for some nitty gritty details! This is fairly boring but there are so many flight legs I think it deserves its own post!

    Also, I'd like to provide a budget breakdown for our trip, so see the end of this post for details on flight budgets and tickets. I love this thread: How much is your 2013 WDW vacation going to cost you? and I think it's really helpful, so I'll share budget details where I can.

    Flights
    As I mentioned in my first post, we have tons of flights going on. It was a nightmare trying to put in all my DME requests! We are all flying down on October 26th...Mike, Jess, Bryan and I will be flying...

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    Southwest! We love :love: Southwest for many reasons. First of all, all four of our flights were free! What's not to love?? Last year Jess and I each signed up for the Southwest credit cards and got 50,000 points each, which translated into three roundtrip flights for each of us. We used two last year (one for each of us), so we used the remaining four to book our roundtrip airfare. Yay for cutting nearly $1,200 off of our trip bill :woohoo: Also, we love that you can check two bags for free! Jess and I will each pack a second smaller bag with miscellaneous stuff (last year I packed my pillow from home and my small fan), and the guys will probably check their golf clubs. The only problem is (and this may be the case with other airlines too...) is that they have very few direct flights. We are in Philadelphia so it's not super far...about 2.5 hours if direct but we usually have a connection. This year I jumped on as soon as flights were posted and got 4 direct flights from 7:45am to 10:15am!! Yahoo! It's not TOO early (we'll have to be out of the house by around 5:30 to arrive by 6:30-6:45am).

    My parents will beat us there though because they are flying on...

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    US Airways. They had credit card points they wanted to use so we agreed to fly separately. They leave at 6:50 and are flying direct and arriving at 9:20. We agreed that they will probably just have breakfast in the airport and wait for us to arrive so we can all get on the DME together!

    As for departing flights - this is where it gets tricky!! My dad decided he can only take a few days at Disney and is flying home on Tuesday night, again on US Air. He is leaving at 7:35pm and has a direct flight, so we anticipate the DME pickup time to be around 4:30...so he'll have most of the day at the park!

    Mike and Bryan have a golf tee time on Wednesday morning, and they will be leaving after that so they each only had to take 3 days off of work. They will be flying home on Southwest which leaves at 4:30pm...so their estimated DME pickup time will be at 1:30. We are going to book a 7:00am tee time so they will be done by noon and on their way back to the hotel with plenty of time to catch the bus.

    Mom is doing something special with us on Wednesday morning (I'll post what it is when I get to that day!), so she is going to need to stay a little bit later. We anticipate being done around 2:00, so she needed a flight at 6:00pm or later (an hour to get back to the hotel for a 3:00pm pickup, meaning no earlier than 6:00pm flight). We ended up booking her on one at 7:35pm and arriving home at around 10:00.

    Finally, Jess and I will return home on Sunday. We agreed we didn't want to wake up before the sun (like on our last trip), so our flight leaves around noon...which means a 9am DME pickup, so we'll have time to eat breakfast at the resort and packup. We get home around 3!

    As far as airport transportation...we will probably take one car for Me, Jess, Bryan and Mike and my parents will probably drive on their own. My mom will have to take Rapid Rover home (is this in every airport?? I don't know, but it's basically a pickup/dropoff service), and Mike and Bryan will take our car back home so we don't have to pay for parking for all 8 days. They will then pick us up from the airport as we get home on a Sunday afternoon.

    Whew! If anyone actually reads that whole thing, I will be very impressed!

    BUDGET BREAKDOWN
    FLIGHTS - $370.

    Each of us on Southwest had to pay $2.50 for each leg of our trip as a booking fee or something ($20). My mom had to pay $100 OOP after she had used all of her points and Dad's flight was $250 roundtrip. Most of that bill is my parents, clearly. Not too bad!

    Tickets
    I am soooo excited, because Jess and I were able to purchase the DVC Premium Annual Passes when they were on sale last year!!! We bought the vouchers for $425 each but will get THREE trips out of them (totaling 20 days in all). Price per day = $21.25. Total trip cost = $170 each. Such a steal and we are so excited to be able to display one of these bad boys....

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    (credit to this thread - this is not my photo!). We only have the vouchers so will have to get activate them (starting the one year "cycle), as soon as we arrive.

    Ironically, the 5 day hoppers we bought for everyone else cost $325 a pop from Undercover Tourist - ouch! We were going to get 4 day passes but the 5th day was free...so we just did 5.

    BUDGET BREAKDOWN
    TICKETS - $1,610.

    This is our biggest expense besides food. It would be more if Jess and I didn't get the killer deal on the APs! Buying our tickets from Undercover Tourist (since we are staying DVC), definitely saved a couple bucks. I also lucked out and purchased them right before the price increase last week.
     
  13. glaserjm

    glaserjm DIS Veteran

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    I too love all the budget stuff and seeing what kind of deals I can get. Between credit cards rewards points for airfare or hotel, using my Red Card for 5% off Disney gift cards at Target, renting DVC points and buying tickets from UT then bridging and upgrading...I'm able to save so much over what the same trip would cost if you just booked direct with Disney! It's kind of a little thrill isn't it?

    Good for you for being organized enough to get everyone to and fro when they need to be. You'll have a great trip!
     
  14. lvcourtneyy

    lvcourtneyy DIS Veteran

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    I'm here!

    Ah I can't believe you got married during that freak snowstorm! We were moving that weekend. Hopefully everything will be normal this year!

    How awesome that you guys got such good flight deals! I find the same thing with Southwest from NYC- there's never any direct flights. Glad you guys were able to find some though.

    I'm gonna go back and read what you said about your ADRs before making a guess!

    ETA: hmm I still have no idea on the ADR but I'm gonna guess Chef Mickeys!
     
  15. LadyBeBop

    LadyBeBop DIS Veteran

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    Joining in.

    AUGH!!!! Please don't let this be a jinx. October 29th is our AK day, plus my DD and DGD will be going to MNNSHP that night.
     
  16. Dancegrl624

    Dancegrl624 DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! Love that you were able to take advantage of that great sale on the AP's...huge savings!!! And, I love reading about flight deals. Saving money rocks!
     
  17. cfw213

    cfw213 DIS Veteran

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    Hey guys, I only have one guess for our ADR!!! I'm going to try to post this weekend, so gimme some more. The clue was:

    It's at a resort, and we've eaten there before!

    I love hunting for deals too! On our last trip, I used DVC points, flight points and had $500 towards Art of Animation, PLUS free dining!! It ending up costing us each like $450 for 8 days or something crazy like that! Such a thrill, but it could be because I'm an accountant and find math things nerdy. :teacher:

    Yeah I also can't believe that we got married during that snowstorm :rotfl: it was seriously SUCH a nightmare, our photographer was late, we got married at a beautiful winery but it was sooo miserable outside, our ceremony started half an hour late...but it was certainly memorable!

    ADR guess noted! :goodvibes

    Thanks for joining! Believe me, no one is praying harder than I'm not a weather jinx this year. Last year we were holed up inside without power during hurricane Sandy! Unless a tornado or something hits WDW, hopefully we're safe from any new disasters this year!

    Welcome! Thanks for joining in :) Actually yesterday, I was poking around on the SW website (cause I'm weird), and the guys flights home went down by 2,000 points each! So I cancelled and rebooked for like 5,000 points per flight - the dollar equivalent was $99! Glad I happened to check!
     
  18. cfw213

    cfw213 DIS Veteran

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    Hello Disboards! I haven't posted in a while, but our trip is slowly getting closer and now it's time to talk hotels!

    We are lucky to be DVC members and DH and I are excited to be able to treat my family to a DVC villa for this trip! My parents have taken us on plenty vacations so we feel like we owe them :goodvibes

    We went back and forth for a while on where to stay for this trip. I had originally wanted to get a two bedroom SV at AKL for the first 4 nights and then a studio for Jess and I at BLT with an MK view (lots of abbrevs in that paragraph!) for the last 4 nights. It ended up that it was going to be way too many points, since we are planning a trip to Disneyland in May (but that's for another TR!!!)...so it was decided Jess and I would try for a studio at Wilderness Lodge and a 2 bedroom savannah view at AKL.

    BUT (there's always a change!), I had been stalking the DVC website in the days leading up to our 7 month window and Beach Club had been available most mornings for the first hour or so. I have been *dying* to stay at BC, but I figured since we were going during F&W there was no chance we would get it. I decided to just wing it and if we didn't get BCV, we would book AKL.

    When 8:00am rolled around on our 7 month date you better believe I was logged into the DVC website ready to go. Lo and behold...

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    pixiedust:pixiedust:pixiedust:pixiedust:pixiedust: I was able to book Beach Club for Oct 26-30th!!!!!!! I was shocked because I'd heard how crazy difficult it was to get during F&W and I thought it would be impossible. BUT, I got it so for the first four nights of our trip we will be staying in a two bedroom villa. I wasn't able to get the villa with two queens in the second room though, but I waitlisted it right away (this was at the end of April) - and it hasn't come through yet. If we don't get our waitlist, Jess & Mike will probably sleep in the living room since the second bed in bedroom #2 will be a double. My parents will take the master suite. Here are some photos of the two bedroom! Note: these are obviously not mine since I've never been.

    Master bedroom:
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    Second bedroom:
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    And we are SUPER excited to use this pool:
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    Now that we had gotten the first party of our stay out of the way, we had a few more days until we were able to book the studio part. We decided we would stay in AKL in a Savannah view studio since we were only there for two days last time and we loved it so much!

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    We are booked Jambo house this time. Last time we were in Kidani Village and we loved it, but just wanted to try something different his time.

    BUT........I recently found out that the villas at the Grand Floridian are opening on October 23rd!

    How beautiful is this????
    [​IMG]

    We are actually thinking we might have a chance to get it since all of the points won't be sold and it may be our *only* chance to get it for the next several years. SO, our four month window (it's slightly different with VGF since it's new) is June 30th. I will try for it and if I get it...we will be staying at our first monorail resort! If not I will be just as happy at AKL!

    That's the resort drama for now...stay tuned, I'll updated on the 30th as to whether or not we get it!

    ETA: I forgot to add the budget section of this post! We aren't paying out any cash for the rooms since we are DVC, but we pay about $4.73 per point and the total for our rooms is 226 points, which means $1,069 worth of dues will give us the rooms for 8 nights. I don't have this anywhere else so I'll add it here: our DDP costs $1,778 - yikes! We also budgeted $250 for tips for 8 nights.
     
  19. lvcourtneyy

    lvcourtneyy DIS Veteran

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    Yay-- congrats on getting into BCV! The Beach Club is my dream resort especially for Stormalong Bay! :cheer2:

    I'll keep my fingers crossed for VGF!:goodvibes
     
  20. glaserjm

    glaserjm DIS Veteran

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    That's awesome about getting BCV! We are hoping to do a split stay b/w there and OKW on our October '14 F&W trip and it's encouraging to know that you can sometimes get it at 7 months.

    Good luck on the VGF...I looked at a bunch of pics of the model unit yesterday and they look phenomenal!
     
  21. cfw213

    cfw213 DIS Veteran

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    Yeah we were very excited about BCV! Just book as soon as the window opens - they were gone a few minutes after 8!

    Thanks! We can't wait for SAB!
     

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