Never say Neverland: Easter '18, May/June '18, July '18, Sept '18, Nov '18 TRs (8/18 UPDATE!)

kittylady1972

Disneyholic
Joined
Oct 20, 2003
Welcome one and all to another exciting and probably horribly delayed PTR and TR for me.

Who am I? I am an almost 46-year-old Disneyholic who has decided to drag her family kicking and screaming to Walt Disney World yet AGAIN, only about 4 months after the last trip (Dec 2017). What is even worse is that for the first time EVER we are attempting to go during one of *THE* craziest busiest times of the year...Easter weekend!

Dec 2017:
upload_2018-2-27_7-51-32.jpeg

Whenever people ask me for advice about Disney trips, and when to go, the one thing I have always said is that I would NEVER go during Easter week. I know there is a risk of the parks closing due to capacity. I have seen photos from people there during that week and laughed.

I'm not laughing now.

Honestly I can handle the crowds, they won't bother me too much but some of my family members...yeah not so much. I've tried to set their expectations though, especially since we are throwing this trip together with just over 30 days to plan.

So it's much too late to book flights at any reasonable amount, which means we'll drive. Honestly we do a 7-8 hour drive on a regular basis every few months to visit my family in NC and in fact I just did that drive solo two weeks ago, 7.5 hours to NC on a Saturday, 8+ hours home on Monday. It didn't bother me and DH is also up for the drive. It will take us about 14 hours and we've done it before...back in November of 2016. We were up at this time:

upload_2018-2-27_8-0-28.jpeg

Crossing into Virginia:
upload_2018-2-27_8-0-54.jpeg

South of the Border (South Carolina):
upload_2018-2-27_8-1-22.jpeg

Georgia:
upload_2018-2-27_8-1-43.jpeg

And finally Florida around 2:30pm:
upload_2018-2-27_8-2-21.jpeg

So it puts us on Disney property around dinnertime. For the trip in November 2016, we actually stayed at Universal Studios our first night to do the Universal parks the next day before heading to Disney. This trip will be all Disney.

Up next: why?






 

kittylady1972

Disneyholic
Joined
Oct 20, 2003
So why do we feel a need to go back already?

The obvious answer is WHY NOT? Honestly back in December, after that trip was over my husband actually asked me if we could take a break for a while. As you can see from my link below, I made FIVE trips to Walt Disney World in 2017 and four of them included my husband. Each one was unique. Each one had different people. I've completed the TRs for most of them in that thread, except for the December one.

The March 2017 trip was on a whim, planned literally an hour or two in advance. I'd lost my mom a month earlier, I needed a pick-me-up, my kids had some time off and so my daughter and I booked a flight one morning at 10am, caught that flight around 11:45am, and were in Magic Kingdom later that evening. We were booking our hotel while in the parking lot of the Magic Kingdom. I didn't book my flight home until I was in the airport for our connection that same day. We flew home late Sunday. It was so much fun.

The May 2017, Aug 2017 and October 2017 trips were planned well in advance, but then in April 2017 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I went through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation between May and November and these trips happened in between all of that. December 2017 was planned early also because I really wanted to see the Candlelight Processional again.

We had high hopes that 2018 would be better, and I still have that hope, but just last week we had to put our dog down after a very short battle with liver and cancer of the spleen. She was just 8 years old and the BEST DOG EVER. We were heartbroken and still are a bit.

Where do I feel happiest? The Happiest Place on Earth of course! Well wouldn't you know that as I checked the calendar I actually found Easter weekend had rooms available at Shades of Green Resort. I booked it. We also invited along my FIL as well and getting his room after the fact was a bit of a challenge but luck was on our side again and he's now also booked there with us.

We have Platinum Plus Annual Passes, renewed at the DVC rate a few months ago. Those passes happen to NOT have blackout dates, unlike the Disney APs we've had in the past.

Therefore...the trip shouldn't break the bank too much. Driving won't cost us much other than gas. The resort for 3 nights is very reasonable. We can get into the parks for free. That just leaves food and other misc stuff. We can manage that on the cheap too if we really work at it.

Can these Disney veterans handle the Easter crowds? We've visited during Thanksgiving week many times, July 4th week once, and managed. Actually we are heading back for Thanksgiving again this year. I have faith in us.



 
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  • kittylady1972

    Disneyholic
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2003
    I seriously cannot believe how lucky I was to snag one of the rooms at Shades of Green over the weekend. I keep stalking that website, since the 30-day cancellation is around this time, and I have yet to see the Saturday before Easter have anything other than an 8-person suite available. That's what we originally booked for my FIL when all I could get was Thurs and Fri night in a regular 2Q room but not Saturday. Somehow over the weekend during a very brief time I checked Fri/Sat night together when Sat showed up as available in only the 8-person room...and was able to book another 2Q room. So I had to modify the first reservation to one night, and keep the second one for the last two nights. It was crazy time!

    I called SOG to try to have the two rooms combined to one reservation (so FIL would only need to pay one deposit) but was told they didn't have that capability yet. No worries, it just means he forks over two nights now and in April he only has to pay for the one night. It will all work out as we have purchased a 4-day hopper for him that he'll most likely upgrade to a Platinum Pass while there so he can also join us for Thanksgiving week.

    I fussed around with our ADRs and FPs a little bit this morning, but really no major changes from what you see above. Here's a quick recap of our plan:

    THURSDAY: Arrival day, late afternoon/early evening. I know that last two trips that we have arrived late, my family has had no interest in hitting the parks that first night, but my daughter and I are ALWAYS for that. We'll see if they change their tune this time with such limited days there. I have some FPs there, but usually the family wants to eat also. Perhaps this time we try to stop for food BEFORE arriving within the "Disney Bubble" so everybody will have nothing to do but hit the parks. It's open until midnight and I plan to soak up every minute there.

    FRIDAY: My son and I are doing the Marceline to MK tour with a 7:45am arrival at MK, but it also happens to be a 7am early entry day at MK so if the family wants to join us, and are up for it, they can come to the park as well, we could even get in a ride or two first, and then we'll head to the 3-hour tour while the rest of the family explores the park. We will meet up around lunchtime and either have lunch at MK and then head to HS, or head to HS and have lunch there between our FPs there. I have two ADRs planned for dinner, but with two people who won't be eating meat on Friday (Lent) I'd almost rather head off-site for food to give them more options. I think SOG has a seafood buffet of some kind every Friday night, and once I get their monthly calendar for March I should know better. We can also just eat our way around the Flower and Garden kitchens, but again they will have limited options there if not eating meat.

    SATURDAY: This is our last full day (already) and a weekend so I expect crowd madness. We will do EPCOT on the theory of 'larger park will handle larger crowds better' and do a mix of our FPs and a few other rides, then maybe head around World Showcase again for food. I have dinner at Tiffins and Brown Derby, but I'm not fully committed to either one, especially since we kinda decided we would not visit AK park this trip. Perhaps we will head back to our resort and have dinner there or hit one of the monorail resorts quick service locations.

    SUNDAY: Last day, and the one where I'll get the most pushback for sure. I'll be in no rush to head home, and it's Easter day. Part of me says hit the HS early entry at 8am after checking out, and then I booked a Boma Brunch for that morning. Perhaps we can get our bellies full from Easter Brunch before hitting the road, since we most likely won't stop for Easter dinner. I know my husband will be anxious to hit the road for the drove home though, so we'll see how that works out.
     

    Mopedmom1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2017
    I'm tired just READING the plan! We did an Easter trip a few years back and it was VERY full, but we survived. We've also been there for the 4th of July and Thanksgiving. I'm really trying to avoid holidays from here on out. No school schedules to worry about now, but it seems there is no quiet time at Disney anymore.

    We did 28 days over three trips last year and leave again this Saturday for another 10 days. Our AP expires next month and we will be taking a break for at least a year. It's going to be a sad day March 13 when we board the Tragical Express for the last time. You better keep planning trips so I can get my fix through your adventures!
     

    kittylady1972

    Disneyholic
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2003
    I'm tired just READING the plan! We did an Easter trip a few years back and it was VERY full, but we survived. We've also been there for the 4th of July and Thanksgiving. I'm really trying to avoid holidays from here on out. No school schedules to worry about now, but it seems there is no quiet time at Disney anymore.

    We did 28 days over three trips last year and leave again this Saturday for another 10 days. Our AP expires next month and we will be taking a break for at least a year. It's going to be a sad day March 13 when we board the Tragical Express for the last time. You better keep planning trips so I can get my fix through your adventures!
    Yes I'm thinking we can manage Easter if we've been during other busy times also. Thanksgiving Day has always been a crazy busy day at MK in particular. We are heading back for Thanksgiving this year as well, so that's why we renewed our APs. Plus we got a fantastic rate as DVC members so it was hard to pass up having Platinum Plus APs for less than $600 each!

    Have FUN next week! I wish our trip was earlier but I think I can manage to hold on for a little while longer. I almost planned a trip for this weekend, leaving Sunday and coming home Tuesday, as a pre-birthday celebration for myself but I changed my mind on that. We never do "Tragical Express" so I can't even speak from experience on that one. We always rent a car since I'm a control freak and want to decide when I want to leave for the airport. I'll keep you informed of our future adventures. I do have some other time booked this summer, but now that I might take a short non-Disney trip in May, I may have to cancel the June or July travel plans. We'll see.
     
  • camper06

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2012
    Following along! With your excellent planning skills, I have no doubt you will all have a wonderful trip!
     

    kittylady1972

    Disneyholic
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2003
    Hard to believe, but about one year ago I began scheming about a quick weekend Disney trip in March. My kids had some time off and I told my daughter if she could find flights for a certain price we would go. I had been looking off and on for a while and occasionally would find a flight that might be cheap enough...but would require us to drive across state lines for it. So I never booked it.

    Just two days later, on March 3, 2017, I ended up going to work in the morning and decided I was GOING TO FLORIDA. With snow on the ground at home, I arrived and asked my daughter if she wanted to go to Disney World. She said yes, and an hour later I had booked a flight leaving that same day, within a few hours. We both packed up some backpacks and I told my husband I was leaving for the weekend with her. Later that night:

    upload_2018-3-1_13-27-33.png

    It was only one of the most spontaneous Disney trips I've ever taken. Actually the other one took place many years earlier, but for that one we were already IN Florida, with my in-laws, doing a totally NON-DISNEY trip when my 70-year-old FIL asked if perhaps we could do one Disney day...maybe two. I would spend the rest of that day, while in another amusement park, trying to book a Disney hotel for a night or two. It was crazy...and yet it worked.

    I think that girls weekend trip was just one of my favorites though. My daughter is so easy-going for the most part, that she just went with the flow. We stayed out late one night at a Disney after-hours event at MK, but the next morning I let her sleep in for a while. We took a break at our non-Disney resort pool which was lovely. We didn't do a ton of stuff, and that was still okay.

    I imagine this Easter trip will be somewhat similar. I was looking up some FPs last night...and I was SHOCKED that I couldn't even get a FP for Star Tours for our HS Park Day, a full 30 days in advance. Wow. What kind of craziness have I gotten us into here?

    My husband requested a dinner at Citricos and I found one and booked it, but I'll most likely cancel it because it is precious time we just can't waste.

    Every day I look over our plans and just out of curiously look at changing them. For many of the FPs, there really aren't a lot of other options and the ones that are left are later and later every day.

    I refuse to let this scare me. I'm a Disney veteran and I can handle this. We will simply do the best that we can, take advantage of early mornings and late evenings, and just try to soak in every minute of our short time there.

     

    ariane37

    Dis veteran
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2012
    OK wait, I'm just seeing this and we'll be there until the 31st! Now I need to check our park plans and see if we match up :goodvibes I will definitely be back to catch up :car:
     
  • Jenny Sanders

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 8, 2007
    I am so excited to follow along to another one of your PTR's and TR's!!!! If you see Timmy in the MK, be sure to say hello!!!!
     

    kittylady1972

    Disneyholic
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2003
    "Hello my name is Dina and I have a problem..."

    "...I am obsessed with checking out my Disney ADRs and looking for new options."

    So at this point I think we have at least TWO dinners planned for each day we are in Disney during dinner hours...Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We also have two Sunday morning meals I think. I haven't decided what to keep yet.

    Part of me thinks we should really try to do one nice meal, and that would be Citricos, but wonder if we need to dress up for it? If we can get away with doing it in somewhat casual clothing (jeans) then we could easily fit it in on Thursday maybe and then hit the park afterwards since this is our MK evening. HOWEVER this will only happen if we start our drive on Wednesday night. I'd really like to push to arrive at MK closer to afternoon on Thursday, and that will really only happen if we leave at midnight Wednesday or even early Wednesday evening.

    So I may have to see if I can bribe my son with dinner at Citricos (since he's such a foodie these days) if he agrees to a less exciting dinner Wednesday night on his 18th birthday. We'll see how that goes. I think I have a 50/50 shot of him agreeing to it.

    Other than that, there isn't really any other tweaking for me to do right now. I'm seriously thinking of ditching the idea of an on-site meal Friday night simply because it will be lent and with some of our family doing the no-meat Friday thing, I think we can find more off-site restaurants with better menu selections. I even think SOG might be an option, but have yet to get an email from them with the March schedule of events there. There is usually a seafood feast of some kind on Fridays there. That would be easiest.

    So hard to believe we'll be back in our Happy place in 24 days!


     

    kittylady1972

    Disneyholic
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2003
    So just when I was on the verge of throwing caution to the wind and booking an overnight trip this week...a parents worst nightmare unfolded this morning. My daughter called me in tears...they had just been in a car accident on the way to school.

    The good news is that EVERYBODY was okay. My son (the driver) remained calm even if his brother and sister were a bit shaken up. It was a 3-car pileup during rush hour traffic, so the car in front of my son's failed to stop, and hit the car in front of her...had to be quite hard looking at her car (the red Hyundai)
    upload_2018-3-6_13-22-50.jpeg


    and my son tried to stop but couldn't and hit her.
    upload_2018-3-6_13-23-5.jpegupload_2018-3-6_13-23-16.jpeg

    Both airbags deployed. We won't be getting that car back for sure now. This car has been fixed once before...we've only owned it for two years and right after I bought it used in 2006 and was in the car with my son who was learning to drive...somebody pulled out in front of us and we hit them causing about $4000+ in damage. I wasn't sure it would be fixed but it was then. That won't happen now.

    I'm just glad we were NOT on a plane to Florida. This just makes me realize how scary it is to travel and not be able to drop everything like today and rush to get them.

    So now we wait for insurance adjustments and fault (my son wasn't charged by the officer) and see what happens. The good news is that BOTH vehicles are under the same insurance carrier so that should make things easier.

    In any case, the important thing is everybody is physically fine. Mentally it is going to take some time I'm sure.

    Wow...put my dog down two weeks ago and now this. I'm not too fond of 2018 so far.
     

    kittylady1972

    Disneyholic
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2003
    So...all I kept thinking about when I got that call on Tuesday was how that very morning I was SERIOUSLY considering booking a very quick overnight trip to Disney, leaving Wednesday morning and returning Thursday afternoon, just because I could and DH would have been with me. What if we were not home and something like this had happened? It makes me seriously reconsider going away, especially both of us, right now.

    As expected, my son's vehicle was a total loss but on the bright side we got top dollar for it because despite it being used it was in GREAT shape. Since we also got a great deal on it two years ago, we are pretty happy with the payout for it. Now to decide what we'll do about replacing it. My son seems to be wanting the exact same make a model car, and color, but a few years newer since we can afford that. We will keep an eye out I guess. I will hand over the paperwork today and get the check. Happy Birthday to me.

    **********************************

    In other news, I think I have convinced (bribed?) my son regarding travel for Easter break and we are now planning to leave on his birthday for our drive south. I'm hoping to make it to South Carolina that night where I have a few hotels booked for us to stay for the night. My "bribe" is that we will arrive in plenty of time Thursday that we can have a nice dinner at Citrico's that evening for his birthday celebration a day late.

    Also my father-in-law noticed the tour I had booked for myself and my son and asked if he could join us. So I've booked him on the Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour as well. The three of us will do that FOR NOW but I might end up trying to add the rest of the family. We'll see.
     

    kittylady1972

    Disneyholic
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2003
    So YESTERDAY I turned...well that's not important really is it? As part of my birthday fun, I got an automated call around 9:45am that my kids' school was on LOCKDOWN because somebody was texting a kid at school, making observations about kids in a certain classroom, and saying they were easy targets for shooting.

    Nice huh?

    Kids sheltered in place in their classrooms, activity ceased for an hour or so while police checked everything out inside and out, and by 11:15am they ended the lockdown.

    Between the car accident Tuesday and lockdown yesterday, I think my kids are ready for the weekend now.

    ******************

    I'm also ready for the weekend for sure. I cancelled a few ADRs yesterday because I know now I won't make the late THURSDAY night ADR (which is sad as I'd love to try WCC at least once) and I'm hoping we can make our Citricos plans for Thursday evening.

    I may have tweaked a few FP+ reservations as well to work around Citricos on Thursday. I also tweaked our Friday FP+ a bit later for after our morning at MK and tour there.

    I'm sure there might be more changes between now and when we leave in 19 days!
     

    ariane37

    Dis veteran
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2012
    Thank goodness all the kids are ok, I cannot fathom how scary getting that call was! Ricky will be getting his driver's permit next month and as excited I am at the prospect of not having to drive him around as much, I'm so nervous ABOUT him driving. So glad everyone is ok.

    And happy belated birthday party: I did see it on FB but I'm so bad at wishing people HB on there :blush: so better late than never and I hope in spite of everything you had a good day!

    I got an automated call around 9:45am that my kids' school was on LOCKDOWN because somebody was texting a kid at school, making observations about kids in a certain classroom, and saying they were easy targets for shooting.
    Ugh, we went through this last week at Ricky's H.S. and 3 other schools in surrounding districts with similar threats. It's getting out of hand and I fear it's only going to get worse before it gets better...............................

    Still hoping we can meet up later this month! I'm going to be posting our plans soon in my current TR so we'll see where we match up :)
     

    kittylady1972

    Disneyholic
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2003
    Thank goodness all the kids are ok, I cannot fathom how scary getting that call was! Ricky will be getting his driver's permit next month and as excited I am at the prospect of not having to drive him around as much, I'm so nervous ABOUT him driving. So glad everyone is ok.

    And happy belated birthday party: I did see it on FB but I'm so bad at wishing people HB on there :blush: so better late than never and I hope in spite of everything you had a good day!


    Ugh, we went through this last week at Ricky's H.S. and 3 other schools in surrounding districts with similar threats. It's getting out of hand and I fear it's only going to get worse before it gets better...............................

    Still hoping we can meet up later this month! I'm going to be posting our plans soon in my current TR so we'll see where we match up :)
    Yeah I've actually been very chill about this whole driving thing up until this point. The time I spent in the car with him while he was learning to drive was plenty for me to feel good about his driving abilities. I've never really worried too much about him being out on the road. Getting a call from my daughter crying though...was terrifying.

    Thanks for the BDAY wishes. I'm bad about posting things there too.

    And UGH about the lockdowns...after the week my kids had already they just didn't need anything else. It was a very specific threat too, not just a random we will shoot or bomb something. It indicated whoever was making the threats real time knew what was happening inside the classroom, what specific kids were wearing/doing and calling them out. I cannot imagine.

    Definitely let me know the plans and we can at least do a drive-by maybe! :)
     

    kittylady1972

    Disneyholic
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2003
    Quick life update on us. My kids (13,15,17) are popping painkillers like crazy these days as they deal with the aches and pains from the car accident. We don't feel any of them have anything that can be treated at this point, just going to take time to heal. I feel terrible for them. In the meantime, my son is in no mood to car shop for himself, and quite frankly I detest the process myself, but my DH is all about the fun of shopping for another vehicle. We had the chance to squeeze in a look at a few in our area over the weekend, that were in our price range and what we wanted, and I just wasn't impressed. Again not in a hurry so we'll see what happens. I miss driving my own vehicle though.

    My weekend was filled with tennis matches and then a delicious belated birthday at home Saturday night with one of my favorite meals: STEAMED CRABS!

    upload_2018-3-12_13-47-57.jpegupload_2018-3-12_13-48-3.jpeg

    The second one is my girl's favorite thing to do...steal my phone and take a zillion photos.

    Sunday we took her to the batting cages for the second time this month:
    upload_2018-3-12_13-49-52.jpeg

    She has decided, at the age of FIFTEEN, to try playing softball for our local REC league...with other high schoolers 19 and under most of whom have probably played since they were FIVE.

    Now she did play a few years ago...four years ago...and she was small then:

    upload_2018-3-12_13-54-37.jpegupload_2018-3-12_13-54-45.jpeg

    She is still pretty small...but her mom is only 5'2"...and played softball herself for YEARS. So that's probably why I'm more open to letting her try...even if I think she is going to be quite outmatched out there. She has two other friends on the team, also who haven't played before (well one hasn't and one played years ago like my daughter) and so she at least will have some company. I plan to work with her as much as possible, including frequent visits to the batting cages. We will see how things go as first game is in about a month.

    Anyway this spring is going to be very busy between myself and my daughter, which isn't exactly a bad thing but I imagine I will have very little time at home between my tennis playing (I think I will be on about 5 different teams come spring) and her softball (games every Sunday, practices every Saturday) we will probably never be home.

    Oh and did I mention I got a new position at work? It does not come with a raise (but there is potential for one in the future) but just a lot of added responsibilities and more meetings to attend. Yay.

    So really I'm going to be so ready for this Spring Break vacation as it will just be the start of what is going to be a very busy time at home.




     

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