I knew who I was this morning, but I've changed a few times since then...a Nov/Dec 2021 PTR

kclark9830

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 28, 2014
Hi everyone! Welcome to my pre-trip report! I picked a quote from Alice In Wonderland for my title because...well, 2020 has reminded me a little of Alice's "world of my own."

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So, with that being established, let me introduce you to, well, me!


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I'm Katie, Disney lover and trip planner. I am a teacher (I finally finished my Bachelor's in education in January 2020...see something good did happen this year! LOL). I teach at a small private school, part time. The part time status gives me lots of flexibility, which I need. I am also a writer. I write all kinds of things including magazine and newspaper articles, educational materials, and novels.

My first trip to WDW was as an adult, but my love for all things Disney goes back to my childhood. I have two distinct memories. The first was my parents bringing home a copy of Beauty And The Beast on VHS. I was so excited for it! And it's been my favorite Disney princess movie ever since. The second memory was watching Full House. In particular, the two-part episode where they went to WDW. I was mesmerized by that episode! I still like watching it today.

I love Epcot the best, but all the parks hold places in my heart. I love Belle, eating at Sci-Fi Dine In Theatre, and walking around the World Showcase. My favorite ride is Flights of Passage.

Also pictured here is DD Ashlyn. She's in 5th grade, and she loves WDW, too. Her first trip was at 1 year old, and she's gone a handful of times since then. She loves all the princesses, but Cinderella is her favorite. She loves all the parks and changes her mind about which is her favorite park and ride constantly.

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Micheal is my husband of 17 1/2 years. He is a "property management coordinator" for a large pest control company. Something I did not know before the pandemic is that pest control is considered a public health necessity. Boy was I glad about that when businesses started closing down this past spring! He travels for work regularly, and we do occasionally get to tag along on his trips. What does he actually do? IDK. I think he's some type of building inspector. LOL

Micheal doesn't "love" WDW, but his "like" is strong enough that he doesn't mind going back every few years. His favorite park is Hollywood Studios, and his favorite ride is Tower of Terror. He could ride it over and over because he says it's different every time.


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Finally, we have Miles. He is a bundle of joy (or terror, depending on the day! LOL). Miles has only been to WDW once as a 1 year old. He adores all the Disney characters, and he regularly talks about going to Disney World, which is cute since he really doesn't have a concept of what it is.

Now we can get on to the details of this trip!

WHEN: November 29-December 4, 2021
WHERE: Disney's Swan Hotel
HOW & WHY: No reason in particular...sort of. Overall, we like going to WDW. We also know Miles is at the perfect age to go, and we chose November/December because all our other trips have been in August/September. We wanted cooler weather! There are lots of other small details that added up to us choosing this trip the way we did, but I'll get to that in another update. For now?


We're going to Walt Disney World!
 

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kclark9830

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 28, 2014
HOW DID THIS TRIP COME ABOUT???

We originally booked a trip for December 2020, back in 2019. But in January we just had a feeling about it, and we canceled the reservation. I can't describe the feeling. We just knew we weren't going to go, so we canceled.

Besides that, we had also booked a May 2021 Alaskan cruise. That was going to be our "big" trip, and we would just do small things until that trip. Technically, that is still the plan. We are keeping our fingers crossed for this plan! This is the main reason we have chosen late 2021 for WDW.

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Mid summer, Micheal was told at work he'd be getting a special travel allowance for Marriott brand hotels. My sister (who is an avid WDW fan) reminded me that the Swan & Dolphin were Marriott hotels. I mentioned this to Micheal and left it at that.

Fast forward a few weeks and Micheal surprises me with a weekend trip to Pigeon Forge for my birthday. No kids!!! We have only ever been away without our kids 1 other time, for our 10th anniversary. It was a fantastic weekend!

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While we were away, Micheal says he wants to use his Marriott bonus to go to WDW. WHAT?! I was super on board with this, and it was exactly what I'd hoped for when I first mentioned it to him.

I contacted our TA and told her what we were thinking. The only thing left to do was wait for the WDW fall/winter 2021 rates to open up. As soon as they did, we jumped on it!

Hence, we ended up at Disney's Swan Hotel.

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We stayed at the Boardwalk in 2018, and we had a room facing the pool. Here we are on the balcony. You can see the Swan behind Micheal.

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We were a little iffy about staying at a not-official Disney hotel, but since we had stayed at the Boardwalk and seen the Swan up close and personal, we felt much better about doing it. Historically, it has also received many of the on-site perks.

I will say though, I've heard that just this week Disney has stopped running their busses at the S&D resorts. I'm hoping this is a temporary thing because of cutbacks, and I'll be keeping my ears open about this issue. For now, we are excited and enthusiastic about staying at this resort!!!
 
  • CruellaNY

    It’s Good to Be Bad
    Joined
    Jul 9, 2020
    Oh BOY am I glad I found this! So glad you started it and I am super super happy you have this trip planned Katie!

    and his favorite ride is Tower of Terror. He could ride it over and over because he says it's different every time.
    Well I did not know this! Michael and I have this in common ::yes::
    Besides that, we had also booked a May 2021 Alaskan cruise. That was going to be our "big" trip, and we would just do small things until that trip. Technically, that is still the plan. We are keeping our fingers crossed for this plan!
    Oh please please please! Believe me I'm crossing all my fingers and toes this happens for you too lol.
    Fast forward a few weeks and Micheal surprises me with a weekend trip to Pigeon Forge for my birthday.
    Awesome! I...know quite a few folks who have gone here especially in the last few months. it's never been on my radar but now it is and I'm seriously considering a trip there in the near future! So what did you do? What did you love?
    I contacted our TA and told her what we were thinking. The only thing left to do was wait for the WDW fall/winter 2021 rates to open up. As soon as they did, we jumped on it!
    I'm sure she was so happy to hear from you!
    I will say though, I've heard that just this week Disney has stopped running their busses at the S&D resorts. I'm hoping this is a temporary thing because of cutbacks, and I'll be keeping my ears open about this issue
    Ugh, yeah :rolleyes: I believe you are right that it's due to cutbacks and I also feel it won't be forever because nobody is happy about it and nobody will become happy about it. Well, Disney may, as folks might decide to move from these resorts to true Disney resorts. But overall I don't think it'll be a lasting thing. At least you have enough time to see what happens and move if you want although I know you'd rather not. As you say for now just knowing you're going is great!! Looking forward to hearing all the planning!

    ::yes::
     

    Bama Mom

    Disney Dreamer
    Joined
    Dec 13, 2017
    Following along. My sisters and some of our daughters are taking a girls only trip in March and I can't wait.

    I hope that you get to take your Alaskan cruise. Hubby and I have decided to do one for our combo 50th birthday gifts which will be in a couple years.

    We love Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg but I haven't been in several years (2015 actually-my daughters senior year in high school when her cheer camp was there). We have talked about planning a family trip there maybe next fall when our grand daughter will be a year older (she is just now 6 month).

    Can't wait to hear about the rest of your plans.
     

    kclark9830

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2014
    Oh BOY am I glad I found this! So glad you started it and I am super super happy you have this trip planned Katie!


    Well I did not know this! Michael and I have this in common ::yes::

    Oh please please please! Believe me I'm crossing all my fingers and toes this happens for you too lol.

    Awesome! I...know quite a few folks who have gone here especially in the last few months. it's never been on my radar but now it is and I'm seriously considering a trip there in the near future! So what did you do? What did you love?

    I'm sure she was so happy to hear from you!

    Ugh, yeah :rolleyes: I believe you are right that it's due to cutbacks and I also feel it won't be forever because nobody is happy about it and nobody will become happy about it. Well, Disney may, as folks might decide to move from these resorts to true Disney resorts. But overall I don't think it'll be a lasting thing. At least you have enough time to see what happens and move if you want although I know you'd rather not. As you say for now just knowing you're going is great!! Looking forward to hearing all the planning!

    ::yes::
    Welcome!!! Pigeon Forge is nice. We have gone many times over the years, and it's very...touristy. But Micheal had booked a cabin nestled between the mountains, and it was beautiful! We also went on a hike to a giant waterfall, which was really great. We never do things like that with the kids.

    We also went into Dollywood since we bought season passes pre-covid. They've done a pretty good job in their cleanliness guidelines, at least in our opinion. But the park was busy that day, and we didnt want to wait in lines so we didn't ride anything. Ha! We just ate and shopped.

    We also did a lot of shopping at the outlet malls 👍.

    Besides the outlet malls, though, we do try to avoid the very touristy "main strip."

    Following along. My sisters and some of our daughters are taking a girls only trip in March and I can't wait.

    I hope that you get to take your Alaskan cruise. Hubby and I have decided to do one for our combo 50th birthday gifts which will be in a couple years.

    We love Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg but I haven't been in several years (2015 actually-my daughters senior year in high school when her cheer camp was there). We have talked about planning a family trip there maybe next fall when our grand daughter will be a year older (she is just now 6 month).

    Can't wait to hear about the rest of your plans.
    Welcome! So glad to "see" you here 🙂. A girls trip sounds great! Something I have always wanted to do with Ashlyn and my mom and sisters/nieces. Maybe someday!
     









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