We weren't SUPPOSED to plan a Disney trip this year!! Oct 23-30 *TR to come soon!*

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by kdka421, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. kdka421

    kdka421 DIS Veteran

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    My title says it all - this trip was not something we planned on doing, at all. We were last at WDW last Aug-Sept (see my trip report here) and in all our conversations about our next big vacation, Disney wasn't on the radar screen. We had waited two years between our last trips, and figured we'd wait at least two years before the next. This year, we were thinking of doing a "big" trip, maybe our first trip overseas to Europe, or something else totally new.

    Well, the Europe trip got nixed when we realistically considered how expensive that was going to be. Spending almost $2000 on airfare alone...that's just not in the budget right now.

    And so, when I was browsing the disboards a few weeks ago and saw that there was likely to be free dining during October, well, my wheels started turning. For all intents and purposes, I started planning an imaginary trip. But I started having conversations with my husband like: "Boy, if we went in October, we could get free dining, AND do Food & Wine festival, AND do the Halloween party, And .... And .... And..." And I kept thinking about it. And planning. And pricing. And talking about it.

    And wouldn't you know it. Two days ago my husband basically threw up his arms, and said "I give in! I want to go to Disney World again!"

    I wasn't expecting that. But I totally felt the same way.

    So, we're going! Well technically we don't have it booked yet, we're waiting for the official Free Dining announcement (rumored to be Thursday). But yesterday, we did put a hold on some plane tickets for the dates we want. So if we book the package, we'll pull the trigger on the plane tickets, and then it will be official!

    And my husband's fortune cookie yesterday affirmed this even more:

    [​IMG]

    (Clearly, of course, that's referring to the World Showcase!)

    Stay tuned as we hopefully get this all pinned down, and start making our official plans! Thanks for reading!

    --Kate (me) and Aaron (DH)

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. kdka421

    kdka421 DIS Veteran

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  4. chunkymonkey

    chunkymonkey DIS Veteran

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    Hi Kate! You and your DH look so cute. Excited to read more of your planning.

    I think fall is a great time to go...cool decorations, and less crowds, plus F+W and Free dining! How can you go wrong?
     
  5. Chelley00

    Chelley00 DIS Veteran

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    We'll be there the same time. Here's hoping Free Dining comes through!
     
  6. kdka421

    kdka421 DIS Veteran

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    Hey there! Thanks for joining my PTR! I can't wait to keep writing more of it! I agree that fall is going to be a spectacular time. I've never actually been at this time of year. The closest I ever came was our last trip, we were there into the beginning of September, and saw the Halloween decorations for the first time. That definitely planted the seed of a fall trip in our minds.

    Hi there :wave2: I see you've got an extensive PTR going as well, I'll definitely be taking a look through it! I don't think there's much chance that free dining won't happen, so I'm pretty psyched. So glad you found my PTR and I look forward to talking to you! I wonder if any of our plans will overlap...
     
  7. kdka421

    kdka421 DIS Veteran

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    INTRODUCTION:

    Okay, since I can't really make plans yet (well, I have been daydreaming the plans for a few weeks now, but I can't actually book the vacation yet...), let's start off with an introduction.

    As I've already mentioned, this trip will be just the two of us: myself (Kate) and my hubby (Aaron).

    [​IMG]

    This will be the third trip that the two of us will be taking to WDW together. We went once in July 2009, then we were there in Aug-Sept 2011 (along with my parents, as a gift for their 30th wedding anniversary). Prior to these trips together, I had gone on 6 other WDW trips with my family, from childhood through college. Aaron, on the other hand, had spent one whole day at the Magic Kingdom as a child! So our Disney trips together were really his first true introduction to the magic of WDW, and our trips as adults made us really understand what the Disney magic is all about. So this will be my 9th Disney vacation, and Aaron's 3rd. [No kids here yet - so we're still on adult only trips! But I look forward to future trips when kids are in the picture.]

    Aaron and I just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary last month. So in just over 5 years we'll have done 3 Disney vacations - to me, that definitely means we're hooked! :lovestruc

    I guess the other important thing to note about us is that we're definitely foodies. For the last 4 years, until the beginning of this year when we moved back home from Virginia to New York, my husband was working in a 5-star restaurant (before that he went to Cornell's hotel school). I was definitely not a foodie before we met, but ever since we started dating, food has become much more a part of my life! We've been blessed to be able to have a number of really fantastic meals and experiences, both at Disney and elsewhere. Last year we were able to eat at Victoria & Albert's, which was absolutely fantastic. So this year, one of the major draws is the Food & Wine festival, as well as trying some new restaurants we haven't tried before. I'll talk more about that later.

    Okay, that's us! I look forward to getting to know all of you as well. :wave2: 'Til next time!
     
  8. midwesternbelle

    midwesternbelle Midwestern Princess meets Southern Belle

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    So cute! I am in! Im heading to the world this christmas... but i have never been for F&W or halloween! It sounds amazing!!
     
  9. kdka421

    kdka421 DIS Veteran

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    :wave2: Hi Ariel! Thanks for joining in my PTR! I'm so excited, because hopefully in about a day and a half, this trip will actually be official, and then I'll have much more to talk about!

    I haven't done either of these events before, and I'm so psyched. Is this your first time doing Christmas at Disney? We did it once during one of our family trips, and it was pretty awesome!
     
  10. midwesternbelle

    midwesternbelle Midwestern Princess meets Southern Belle

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    Ohh! So exciting!
    I have been for Christmas before... four years ago... and it was amazing! :cool1: I am so excited to go back!
     
  11. kdka421

    kdka421 DIS Veteran

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    Hello everyone!

    Just wanted to pop in to say that it's less than 24 hours until we should be able to book our vacation! We know this is a somewhat last minute trip (it's still over 3 months out, but obviously we're well within the dining reservations window, etc) so we've tried to pick alternatives for our preferred resort, the restaurants we want to eat at, etc.

    I'm a little nervous to see if the price of the vacation is going to work out to what I think it should be - basically I've priced it without adding in dining and without any other discount, so the price should be basically the same as that. But I'm concerned because I've heard a lot of people say they haven't been able to book standard rooms, only preferred rooms, which would drive the price up. But we'll see, nothing I can do about it until I found out the details tomorrow.

    I'm so excited to share more plans with you all, I just need to wait until it's all finalized. All I can saw now is that we're planning on doing so many things that are new to us (new events, new restaurants, etc), so we'll be having a world of new experiences.

    I'll leave you with another picture from our last trip, and hopefully I'll be back here tomorrow with some great news!!

    [​IMG]
     
  12. kdka421

    kdka421 DIS Veteran

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    It's official!!!

    Set the alarm for 6:45 this morning (because I knew I'd hit snooze once :rotfl:), then called Disney reservations right at 7am. I didn't HAVE to call, since we didn't have an existing reservation, but I wasn't sure how quickly they'd get the free dining offer up on the website, so to be safe I decided to call.

    We got exactly what we were hoping for (and got through relatively quickly too, we were on hold only about 10 minutes or so), so we also finalized our flight reservation.

    So, finally, here are the details you've all been waiting for!

    OUR PLAN:
    Vacation Dates: October 23-30
    Resort: Caribbean Beach Resort
    Includes free dining plan

    I'm pretty excited about Caribbean Beach - this was the very first Disney hotel I stayed at, when I was 9 years old. I haven't been back since.

    Once the reservation went through, we also pinned down our table service options, and didn't have any trouble with those either! I wasn't sure if they'd be available since we're within the 180-day window, but we weren't trying for anything hard like CRT, so I wasn't too surprised we got what we wanted. More info on our ADRs to come later!

    Just 103 days to go! :wizard:

    We'll be in double digits in no time!
     
  13. kdka421

    kdka421 DIS Veteran

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    Good morning everyone!

    In the last 24 hours we've gotten a lot of planning done for our trip! So now I'm going to try to lay out our plans, one day at a time.

    Day 1 10/23:

    To me there are 2 really exciting things about our first Day.
    1) We're FLYING to Disney. Now, the reason why this is so exciting? In my 8 previous trips, we've never flown to Disney. In my 6 childhood trips (leaving from upstate NY, mind you), we took the train twice, and drove 4 times. The two trips I took with my husband (from Virginia) we drove once and took the train once. SO - I'm delighted to finally be able to fly (especially now that we're living back in upstate New York).

    Our plane leaves at 7am from Albany, we change planes in NYC, then continue on to Orlando, getting in at 11:30. If you've ever done a 24+ hour drive to Orlando...you would understand that a <5 hour trip is beyond thrilling! :thumbsup2

    So we'll hop on the Magical Express and head to Caribbean Beach, check in, probably have lunch, and just relax a little.

    2) In the evening, we're planning to head over and spend the evening at the Boardwalk. We made an ADR for Flying Fish, and then were thinking of checking out Jellyrolls after. (Has anyone ever done Jellyrolls? It gets good reviews but I've never been there myself)

    So, that's our Day 1! We briefly toyed with the idea of doing MNSSHP this night, because logistically it was a free night and possibly the least-busy MNSSHP of our trip, but had a pretty good feeling that we'd be tired after our early morning flight. We haven't bought our MNSSHP tickets yet, so we could still change the plans around, but I'm pretty confident it would be pushing it to go this night, even though we're generally night owls (but not after getting up so EARLY).

    Let me know what you think of Day 1 plans :) Also, let me know if there's anything else we should be sure to see while we're at the Boardwalk, I don't know too much about it. Thanks!
     
  14. chunkymonkey

    chunkymonkey DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a great plan! I thought it was fairly easy to get the ADRs we wanted and we booked after the 180 day mark too. I think it's because it's low season. Compared to when I went with my sisters last March, where it was much more difficult to get ADRs we wanted.


    I loove the Boardwalk area! I love that it's so close to Epcot and DHS. I always say one day I'll stay there, but the prices of those Deluxes are always the highest. I think just walking up and down the boardwalk will keep you busy for a while. There are gift stores, restaurants and bakeries/dessert shops. It's a lot of fun.

    I've never been to flying fish cafe but have heard great things about it! I have also never beento MNSSHP. I thought about doing it thisyear, but we're doing the DHS Villains Bash and I thought that 1 night party would be good enough.
     
  15. kdka421

    kdka421 DIS Veteran

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    I was very happy with the ADRs we got. We had chosen 2 signature meals, and got both those reservations -- only I realized later that we had actually previously decided we wanted to try for a different signature meal instead of one of the ones I had reserved. We had thought we would try to get a reservation for Bistro de Paris -- but it's good that I made the reservations that I did, because Bistro seems to be booked the entire week of our trip. I guess it's more booked simply because it's in Epcot, not a resort? Anyway, I'll keep checking to see if this one opens up, but we're very happy with the other signature experiences if it doesn't.

    Glad to hear you love the Boardwalk area :) I think the Deluxes are awesome as well. If I could pick a deluxe to stay in, Beach Club might be at the top of our list, we went to Cape May for dinner 2 trips ago, and thought Beach Club was just beautiful. I'm actually really looking forward to just having the first night as a relaxing night at the Boardwalk, I've never really planned a down-day where we aren't in the parks, so I think this will be nice.
     
  16. smile4stamps

    smile4stamps DIS Veteran

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    Hello!!

    I followed you over here from my PTR!

    Wo-Hoo for booking your trip! and Flying! So much nicer than driving!! :thumbsup2

    Wanted to mention the reason you can't get a Bistro de Paris reservation is because the restaurant is closed for refurb till the end of October. :sad:
     
  17. kdka421

    kdka421 DIS Veteran

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    Day 2 10/24:

    Wednesday will be our first park day, having spend the prior day traveling and relaxing at the Boardwalk. Generally, our first park day ends up being Magic Kingdom, because it just seems like the "right" park to start your vacation at. However, we're switching it up a little this time, and our first park is going to be....

    [​IMG]

    EPCOT!

    We both LOVE EPCOT; I know it's definitely Aaron's favorite park (I hate picking favorites for anything, and seriously, how are you supposed to choose between MK or EP, they are both wonderful but so different). We picked this day at EPCOT for a few different reasons:

    1) Evening Extra Magic Hours at EPCOT - we're not ones to avoid the parks with EMH, we love taking advantage of them! So we'll enjoy having a few extra hours at the park this evening.

    2) Food & Wine Festival - strategically, we've read that we should avoid going to the Food & Wine festival on Friday/Saturday, since those tend to be busy, so I avoided scheduling Epcot days on Fri/Sat.

    We're rope drop people, so I'm sure we'll get there for rope drop. (Actually, I think I've read that traditional rope drop doesn't really exist anymore...? I'll have to research that) I'm a little concerned, with Test Track being down, that everyone (including us) will head straight to Soarin...but what can you do?!

    We're planning to spend the afternoon in the World Showcase, browsing around the food booths, using our snack credits for lunch from the booths. [This will be our first time at F&W, so I don't entirely know what to expect...but this is what my husband is looking forward to most from our trip. He's such a foodie!]
    Then, for dinner, we have ADRs for Rose & Crown @ 5:50. This is one we've tried before, and really loved. We got lucky last time and were able to get a seat outside for Illuminations, but we don't plan on doing that this time. I've toyed with the idea of picking a restaurant we haven't eaten at before, however on our next EPCOT day, we do have ADRs at a place we haven't tried before. So if something catches my eye, I might switch things around, but for now I'm happy with this plan.

    As a final note -- one of my goals for this trip is to NOT have to visit first aid at EPCOT this trip!!! Each of our last two trips has involved me going to EPCOT's lovely first aid center. If you're interested in reading my injury story, you can find it here in my last trip report.
    So yeah, needless to say, it would be quite a success to NOT have to visit first aid again! :lmao:

    And that's it for Day 2! Let me know if you have any good Food & Wine tips!
     
  18. kdka421

    kdka421 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks first of all for joining in with my PTR! :flower3:

    And thanks a bunch for the heads up on Bistro de Paris, obviously I had no idea. I just shared that info with my husband, who pointed out that would be really helpful information to have on the reservation page. I wonder why Disney doesn't provide that information, seems like it would be simple enough.
    Anyway, thanks, now I don't have to keep checking to see if this opens up! And as I told my DH - now we'll just have to go here on our NEXT trip :rotfl:
     
  19. smile4stamps

    smile4stamps DIS Veteran

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    Yeah... Restaurant closures can be tricky to find! I actually have an ADR there for October 22. They e-mailed me they were canceling it and switching it to Chef's de France. I told them I wasn't interested in Chef's and they replied back okay they would just cancel it... BUT it's STILL in my ADR list so I am keeping it there just in case they reopen early! They may still cancel it as we get closer but until they do I'm not touching it lol!

    What Signatures do you have planned?
     
  20. kdka421

    kdka421 DIS Veteran

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    That'd be cool if they opened early and you were still able to keep your reservation. Fingers crossed! :thumbsup2

    We have ADRs for Flying Fish, on our arrival day, plus Yachtsman Steakhouse. Both are totally new for us, and I'm so excited about both of them.

    I'm holding on to a shred of hope that they might soft-open Be Our Guest while we're there, but I know that's a long shot. If they do, I think we'd definitely try that over our reservation at Liberty Tree Tavern.
     
  21. kdka421

    kdka421 DIS Veteran

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    DAY 3 10/25:

    Day 3 is another big day for us. The biggest reason for that is --

    MICKEY'S NOT SO SCARY HALLOWEEN PARTY!! :woohoo:

    We've never done any ticketed event before. The only exposure we have to Halloween at Disney is our trip last summer, when mid-trip they put up the Halloween decorations at Magic Kingdom. So we saw the pumpkins, scarecrows, and the signs for the upcoming Halloween events, but we weren't there for the events themselves.

    Here's a picture of me, hubby, and my parents, last year in front of some of the Halloween decorations:

    [​IMG]

    This day is actually early extra magic hours at Magic Kingdom; so depending upon what time we leave evening magic hours at EPCOT the night before, I'm not sure if we'll plan to be there for 8am or not. My guess is we will try to be there by 8am.

    So we plan on doing regular park touring for the morning. Our tentative meal plans this day are to try the Sleepy Hallow waffle sandwiches for lunch (thanks chunkymonkey for the heads up on those!), and maybe a late lunch/early dinner at Pecos Bill (love their salads) or Columbia Harbour House.

    We'll probably take a mid-afternoon break to go back to the hotel and change into our costumes. (Hubby's already decided who he's dressing as, but I'm still trying to figure it out...once I do I'll write a separate post on that!) Then head back to MK at 4pm for MNSSHP!

    The things I'm most excited about at MNSSHP:
    -The Halloween parade
    -HalloWishes
    -Seeing some of the different characters
    -Going on rides in the evening (the outdoor rides have a real different feel in the dark, I remember one of the first times I rode Splash at night, and it was so cool)

    Things I'm not as interested in:
    -trick or treating
    -too much character stuff

    We're not big character people in general, but I do like the idea of being able to see the Seven Dwarfs and things like that.

    We haven't bought our tickets yet, but I know we'll have to do that ahead of time, since it's less than a week away from Halloween itself. However, I'm terrified that we'll be committed to a day and it will end up being poor rainy weather. If we missed out on the parade or the fireworks, I'd be SO upset. I'm sure this doesn't happen too frequently, but I know it's always a possibility. Ugh, I really really hope that doesn't happen!

    Let me know if you have any tips or comments on MNSSHP, I'd really love to hear them! Thanks.
     

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