Our First Trip as DVC Members! And a Bonus Christmas Trip to USO! Dec/Jan & June 2021-UPDATE! 7/19

karalecia26

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Hello and welcome to another attempt at a PreTrip report! I have attempted a couple before and just didn’t have the greatest luck getting them going, but this time I am really going to try and get this one going good! As it is our first trip as DVC MEMBERS!

Now for the cast of our trip!

Me: My name is Kara and and I am an Early Childhood Educator at a private child care center where I have been for 13+ years. At times I am ready to pull my hair out with as crazy as my days can be, but I absolutely love my job! I am planner of the family and love to find a good deal so I am always on the look out for discounts and such for our trips! With a family of 5 it is must especially since we live in NW Iowa and a major part of our budget for trips can be the transportation if we decide to fly! (We do drive also, but kids are amazing in the car!)

DH: Chris is a former teacher turned Educational Sales rep for our local music store. He is not a huge a Disney fan, but loves his family and really does love the food at Disney! He is also an amazing father and husband and lets me take the kids on trips by ourselves or in groups too. One of the big reasons we did buy into DVC was the fact we could have a place for him to stay and relax at the resorts if he didn’t want to go to the parks and having a living room and comfortable room was a must for us.
This is our picture from our 15 year wedding anniversary trip and Disneymoon (we didn’t take a honeymoon so this was a great time for just the two of us!)

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Next up is our oldest DD Hannah who is 15. She is finishing up a great freshman year in a really crappy way like everyone else is this year. We are lucky she is only a freshman and still has 3 more years of high school but still missed a lot of what was still to come. Not being able to finish her show choir season, concert choir and speech really sucks and so far soccer has been delayed until July.
She has been my one who also loves Universal a lot and we were able to take a mom and me trip last summer to Cabana Bay with July 4th at Magic Kingdom thrown in. She loves all things thrill (now, but hated it when we did our first trip in 2014) and still loves the magic that is Disney and Universal.

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Up next is our only DS Nicolas who is 13 and probably the biggest Disney lover in our family next to me! He is all teenage boy, but loves his Mickey Mouse (and isn’t afraid to show his friends his Mickey collection). He just finished his 7th grade year where also cut short was show choir, choir, band, math bee and middle school soccer. Hopefully club soccer will be ago in July. He was my first one I took on a mom and me trip for his 10th birthday and was just a magical time. Christmas baby and only boy in the middle of 2 girls he sometimes felt like he was left out, so this was great time. He is ready for our trip and can’t wait to get his hair cut at Harmony Barbershop! (Taken on our mom and me trip in 2016).
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And last but not least in our immediate family is DD Maddalynne who will be 10 in a couple weeks. Maddie is all girly girl and has taken on the role of cheerleader 2 years ago and it fits her perfect! She loves all things princess, Disney, Universal and Harry Potter. She is just happy to be able to go to Florida. She hasn’t gotten a mom and me alone trip yet, but has been able to go on 2 Christmas trips with one of each sibling (love that my DH is okay with us doing these!). She is excited to just go and see everyone and everything this time! Unfortunately for us though all 3 kids are now Disney Adults!
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The last two people that are going to be coming along on this trip will be my parents. This trip is going to be probably going to be the last big trip they go on with us (well that is what my mom says any way) so we want to make it is great as a trip as we can. They have gone to Disney with us in 2018 and although they had a great time, it was also stressful for them because my sister and her 3 kids were also along and it was a tough time for all (long story but will never travel that long of a distance with them again). We are excited they wanted to go along with us and since everything that has happened this year we are able to get a 2 bedroom villa and invite them to stay in our room this time!
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So here is our crew! We are hoping for a great time and we have a pretty long count down to go, but hopefully we can get a lot planned and make this a trip to remember! I plan on getting some initial updates on tentative plans up soon so I have them all in one place instead of all over a bunch of written notes! Hope you enjoy our planning with me and don’t be afraid to help! I need all the Disney “friends” I can get!
 
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karalecia26

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Thoughts and Ideas for our Trip
When looking at the calendar for next summer and seeing when the 4 of July falls (my child care center will be closed on the 5th because the holiday falls on Sunday) I realized we could take a little longer trip without taking a lot of extra time off of work! So right now we are thinking of June 25-July 5, 2021. These dates are great, especially if we were going to drive, but because of this whole pandemic stuff myself and the 3 kids have flight credit from Southwest that we were to use in April that has been extended until 2022, so flying it is! Now we just have to wait to see if we are going to be able to fly out of Omaha or go down to Kansas City. We have done both and Omaha is 1 ½ hours away and Kansas City is 3, so not a huge travel time for either. It will just depend on flight times and if there is a direct flight from either. It is really great to be able to have a couple different airports that we can choose from. We do have a small airport in our hometown, but American Airlines is the only airline out of it and sometimes the flight costs are just plain ridiculous!


Since according my mom, this is going to be the last time they go with us, we want to make this a great trip for them! My parents haven’t been to Universal before and my dad loves Harry Potter, so since we are able to go down a couple days extra we are thinking about adding a couple days at the beginning at USO. As the title of this reports says, this is going to be our first trip as DVC members, so we are now trying to decide will we stay the whole time at Disney on our points or do a split stay with a USO resort. Right now I am leaning toward a USO resort for the first couple days and the remainder at Disney. One big reason is since we aren’t driving this time we would either have to rent a car or use UBER or Lyft and with 7 people that can get a little expensive. So being onsite for both resorts would make life so much easier. So much to think about! If we decide to do this route, we will probably do Cabana Bay Beach Resort as we love the family suites and then book our home resort, Saratoga Springs, for the remainder. We have done a split stay with the two parks before and really liked being able to just hop on a bus and be at the parks and not have to worry about where we parked or paying for parking , ect.

So there is the ideas for dates, travel, and where we are staying. Like I said there is so much to think about and still figure out, so luckily we still have a while until we can book so stuff!
 
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karalecia26

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
I have had some extra time so I have just decided to continue to write down my plans as I go. I may be doing some rambling and it may not be too interesting for any one else, but starting to write (type) everything down has been a great thing for me. We are currently on week 10 of this craziness and although I am one of the lucky (?) ones that still has my job and I get to leave the house daily, the toll of social distancing and not being able to take my kids to their events and so on has started to take a toll a little. I understand why we are doing this and everything, but it doesn't make it any better. So onto my happy place and on with the planning!


How to split our time!
We do know that we are going to spend the majority of our time this trip at Disney. What we haven’t really decided is how many days we are going to do at USO and how many days we are going to do at Disney. Right now, I am thinking of either 2 or 3 days at USO with park to park tickets and 6-day park hopper plus at Disney. With staying at Cabana Bay we won’t get express passes (which we are okay with) so 3 days at USO sound appealing, but I know that my DS will be really eager to get to Disney, so not sure if he would be the happiest of campers with 3 days of USO.

We have also never done the water parks at Disney and we thought that maybe this time we would do this. They also have had H2O Glow Nights at Disney the past couple of summers so we could do this instead of the Park Hopper Plus, but we also like to hop over to MK a couple extra times if the park is open a little later than others so at least get our packs of Sorcer’s Cards or just hop on a couple extra rides so I know that at least we will get the hoppers so money wise it would be cheaper to do the plus instead of the Glow Nights.

So right now, if we had to choose, we would do 2-day park to park tickets for USO and 6-day park hopper plus for everyone except me. This is where my brain has been on overload. Since we have gotten our DVC contract through resale, we don’t get the discounts on food and stuff. I know that we can purchase Tables In Wonderland but we don’t drink so the discount on alcohol is not a big deal for us. This is where getting an annual pass for myself comes in. We won’t be able to go again as a full family within the year, so getting all of us an annual pass doesn’t make sense but getting one for me, so we are able to have discounts on some table service meals and souvenirs would be great. Also, we wouldn’t have to purchase memory maker separately! So, there is another win! This could also mean that I could do a solo trip by myself sometime in the next year or I have a friend that wants to do a cheer mom weekend, so we could plan that, and I would have my ticket! I have also had an annual pass for USO this past year (got it December 2018 when they had the 6 months free so right now it is still valid and with the closure it will continue to September but won’t probably get down before it expires). I may do again an annual pass for the discounts and since the AP’s at USO are not much more than a couple days pass I may be able to get another USO trip in too!

For USO we would go full out for the 2 days that we would be there. We definitely would do the park to park tickets for the Hogwarts Express. My parents won’t want to do any of the extreme rides (so Hulk and Rip Ride Rocket are out for them, but we may do a few of these for the ones who want to do them) so taking in a lot of the shows and both of the Harry Potter areas are a must for us. Hagrid’s is also a must as it was the most amazing ride ever! Hopefully with all this downtime for the parks, they have worked on or figured out how to keep it up and running all day. That was the biggest thing we noticed when we have gone this past year to USO was how much it was down. We did get a few rides in and the longest we waited, even over Christmas week was about 90 minutes. We also defiantly want to spend some time at Cabana Bay enjoying the resort. We absolutely love the lazy river and really want to try and bowl if we have the chance. One major perk is they also have a Starbucks inside the resort and I can get my refresher before heading into the park or even coming back!



After our time at USO we are going to head over to Disney for the remainder of our trip. Our home resort is SSR and we are excited to be able to do a 2-Bedroom Villa while we are there. As of right now we are planning on staying there the whole time, but also have in the back of our heads to look and see if there is availability at AKL at the 7-month mark to switch. My mom said that she would love to stay there sometime so we will see what we can do for her! If not, I know that she will be happy at SSR. A big thing that I am excited about with staying in a DVC room is the ability to wash clothes and not have to go down to a laundry room! With a family of 5 and it being summer I know we will change clothing a lot so having the ability to throw a load in whenever we want and not have to worry about someone taking our laundry or making sure that I am right there when it is done (I don’t like to leave my clothes for long because it is rude and I want to make sure others get a chance to do laundry if they want). I know some people don’t want to do laundry on vacation, but I would rather do a load or 2 while we are there and not come back to a massive pile when we get back from vacation.

Our idea for these days would be 6 days in the parks and either a full day at a water park or 2 half days depending on the weather and what we want to accomplish in the parks. We are for sure going to do 2 days at MK and right now not sure how we are going to spend the other 4 park days. Epcot may be only a 1- day park and spend either a day and a half at each AK and HS. We have not been to HS since they have opened Galaxy’s Edge and a short hop over to Toy Story Land in December 2018, so we don’t know exactly what to expect with that park. We love Animal Kingdom, but don’t know if we want to spend more than one day there this time with so much new at Hollywood Studios. A lot also depends on how things are working for Rise and the rest of Galaxy’s Edge when we go. If we need to do 2 days to be able to get onto Rise, then we will definitely be doing that. Another big question will be how hot it is when we go and if there is going to be a lot of rain. We have gone at this time many times before, so we are used to and know what the weather is going to be like and we can handle it, but my parents may want to take things a little slower with all the heat and humidity. Last time my dad had a scooter that we rented because he was to have a knee replacement after we got back, and he had said that he didn’t think he was going to want one this time, so we will see how fast we can go.






 
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  • DLo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2006
    Following along. Looking forward to reading more. Just a suggestion but have you considered going to universal at the end instead of the beginning of the trip ? I feel like the pace there is more relaxed so might be nice to slow down after the go go go of Disney . I did this with my brother and his family and thought it worked well. It may not be right for your family but just an idea .
     

    karalecia26

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2014
    Following along. Looking forward to reading more. Just a suggestion but have you considered going to universal at the end instead of the beginning of the trip ? I feel like the pace there is more relaxed so might be nice to slow down after the go go go of Disney . I did this with my brother and his family and thought it worked well. It may not be right for your family but just an idea .
    :welcome: Thanks for following along! I have thought at about doing Universal at the end of the trip also, but we were also wanting to be at Disney for the 4th of July. I am going to think about this and ask my parents what they prefer. I am not sure if Universal does anything extra for the 4th of July or not so that is something to also look into. This is another reason I am so enjoying doing this pre-trip report so I can put my ideas down and I can get ideas and responses from others! This is awesome!
     
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    karalecia26

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2014
    Dining Ideas
    Dining can be a lot of our budget when we go, so this time we are looking for a few ways to save, but not make us have to scrimp and not have what we want. Having a full kitchen at Disney will help us save some. I don’t plan on making full meals all the time but having the option to go back to the resort and make a sandwich or have a snack in the room is a plus. Also, we are big breakfast reservation people (costs less for breakfast reservations and my kids love Disney breakfasts), but we won’t do one every day so having the full fridge, so we can have breakfast stuff in the rooms is a major plus for us. Also having the space to have water and soda in the room without taking up a bunch of space is a plus also.

    We have decided to let each kid choose one place to eat and so far, they have all decided on different places, but all for breakfast! DS wants Garden Grill, DD H wants Ohana and DD M wants Tusker House. I think we can make these work! I just need to find out if my parents want to have these reservations with us or not, but we do have a little while to think about this.

    For the rest of the time we are at Disney, we may do most quick service meals. This is one thing that I love about Disney is the amazing quick service meals and they aren’t all hamburgers and chicken nuggets. Some of our favorite quick service meals are BOG, Pecos Bills, Columbia Harbor House and Cosmic Rays (we love listening to Sunny Eclipse and food is typical quick service. Food) in Magic Kingdom. In Epcot we like the Mexico pavilion for a quick meal but there are so many other places we want to try! Animal Kingdom I would have to say that Satuli Canteen is our favorite quick service, but we are wanting to try Flame Tree BBQ as well. In Hollywood Studios we don’t really have a favorite quick service, but we are looking forward to trying Woody’s Lunchbox. This is probably where we will add another table service in because of the lack of quick service options. DH and I have done 50’s Prime Time when we did our anniversary trip and it was so fun, so I think that the kids will love to try this, and I know my parents will also.

    We have also done in the past the dessert party in Magic Kingdom. As much as I love this, I don’t know if it is going to be possible this year with the price increases that have happened. I am still toying with the idea because are looking to be at MK for 4th of July (we have done New Year’s Eve at MK so we know what to expect crowd wise and DD H did last 4th of July on our mom and my trip), but we would have to really decide as a family if it is going to be worth it or not. We watched the New Year’s fireworks from Frontierland and really thought that was a neat experience, so we may do that again and just get snacks ourselves and create our own dessert party!

    We have also never done Fantasmic and have thrown around the idea of doing the dessert party for this. I know that it is just a snack that you eat at your seat, but the idea of having a reserved place and not have to worry about getting a FP or waiting in line to get a good spot is really tempting. If anyone has done this before, is it worth it?
     
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  • karalecia26

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2014
    So over the weekend my DH and I were talking about wanting to get a way at Christmas time and decided to look at the DVC site and see what was available and decided that we would head down to Florida Dec 27-Jan 2! We chose to do 3 nights in a 1 bedroom at OKW (and we will still have enough points to bank for our summer trip!) and will probably do 3 nights at Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal! I think we have decided that we won't do any Disney parks this trip, but take time to enjoy the resort, do the monorail resorts to see all the Christmas stuff and maybe take a trip over to Kennedy Space Center. I am so excited to try and do this! The past couple years for Christmas we have done experiences over presents (they still get a few things) and we were a little worried about what we were going to do this year. Things could still change depending on what is going on, but we do have until October 31 to bank our 2020 points so we will keep planning away! I will be back later to do some of that planning soon!
     

    karalecia26

    Mouseketeer
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    Jun 29, 2014



    Let’s Go To Florida!
    I can’t believe that we are already on week 12 (yes I have kept track!) of our no school/social distancing. It has been a really long road and I know that we are still in this for a while, but I need (yes need!) something positive to look forward to!

    For the past few years, we have done experiences over presents for our 3 kids for Christmas and for the most part it has been great with the exception of my son’s cruise that we were to take this summer for his present. They have been great with fewer presents and have loved that we have been able to get away from the cold Iowa winters! With everything that has gone on in the past few months, we didn’t think that this would be an option for us this year, but with things starting to open and our DVC purchase, I jokingly said to my DH we should drive down and spend the week in Florida. He was all for it, as long as we drove, and gave me the okay to look!

    So right now we are booked in a 1 Bedroom Villa at Old Key West from December 27-30 and then we will head over to Royal Pacific Resort from the 30th-Jan 2! Let the planning begin!

    How we are getting there?
    With the whole virus thing going on, the price of flights, and my DH not really wanting to fly we are going to pack up the family and all of our belongings and start the 1500 mile trek to Florida! We have driven to Florida 2 times before, plus other places that require a long trip, and we are good with it. Most of the time (our 6+ times driving this far) we break it up into 2 days leaving early in the morning and driving all day to get over half way there then staying the night somewhere then heading the rest of the way the next day with a late afternoon arrival. This time we are debating on when we want to leave and how we want to break up our trip. I absolutely HATE driving through Atlanta and we always end up hitting it at a bad time, even if we try and plan it to be at a time when there shouldn’t be much traffic, but there always is! Ugg! Two years ago when we left Florida we went the long way home (mostly state highways) and it was a great trip and really didn’t take too much extra time. This time we are thinking of doing the Atlanta route again, but doing it differently.
    Christmas this year is on a Friday and we do most of our celebrating with family on Christmas Eve and Christmas afternoon. My thoughts are to start our trip Christmas evening and break our trip up into 2 ½ days with the first being a short amount of time in the car but be able to start early enough Saturday morning that we can drive and get through Atlanta Saturday night and even possibly get to Florida before we stop. Then we can finish the rest of the time Sunday before we check in. Hopefully the weather cooperates with us also as who knows what to expect that time of year.
     
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    karalecia26

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2014
    Changes for Both Trips!

    Wow it has been a month since I last updated and have made some updates to both of our trips! This is what I get for trying to plan a vacation during a pandemic and I don't have a whole lot to do!


    Holiday Trip!
    After lots of discussions and what we want to do this next summer with our DVC points, I did go ahead and cancel our 3 days at OKW and banked our points into 2021. With the borrowing restrictions we would be close to not being able to do the full trip we want to do and by banking our points we can do what we want and have an amazing trip and not worry about not having enough points to do this. Okay so what to do now? Talking with my DH, I was still feeling really guilty about my DS's cruise being canceled and his not being able to do his trip this year. He said he didn't care, but this mom was really feeling the mom guilt! We sat down with the girls and decided that instead of Florida for their big thing this Christmas we would do a long weekend at a Great Wolf Lodge (probably Minneapolis since we could also do the MOA) and then DS and I take off and do the rest of the week at Cabana Bay Beach Resort for his make up trip from this year. I was really surprised he wanted to just do a Universal Trip (is a complete Disney nerd!) but with not knowing if we would be able to get tickets for the parks in 2020, and doing a large family trip in June, he was okay with it. He has only done Universal one time and it was a short trip and we didn't get a lot of things done during that trip and missed out on a lot (the girls and I have done it since and have done a lot more and they were telling him about all the stuff he missed). I am hoping he is going to like it and we have a blast.
    So new dates for this trip are December 29-January 3, 2021 at CBBR in a Volcano Bay View Room! We are going to fly (thank you flight credit from canceled trip and really cheap fares!) and looking forward a nice relaxing trip!


    Summer 2021
    Date changes and more up in the air!

    With talking with my parents and really looking at the calendar we have decided to move our trip up a couple weeks and I think stay at Disney the whole time instead of switching over to a Universal hotel. We may still do Universal a couple days, but just Uber over for the day or two. The new dates we are looking at is June 18-27, 2021, so one less day but makes more sense to us so we wont be gone over a pay day ( I get paid once a month on the 1st for a small business who does not do direct deposit) and we can then also do a long weekend for the 4th of July somewhere close to home. I am going to be booking at 2 bedroom at our home resort of SSR here pretty soon so we have our room for sure (would like to try and switch to AKL 2 Bedroom at 7 months but who knows what booking is going to look like this year with the closures).
    The big thing we have up in the air is park tickets and the park reservation system that is in place. Right now I am really hesitant to purchase tickets for a year away since we really don't know what this next year is going to look like. For 2021 you able to purchase park hoppers but the reservation system doesn't allow that at the moment and also it is almost a year away and I don't know what we really want to do! So we are going to wait to purchase our tickets for a while and decide later on what exactly we want to do. Hopefully this doesn't backfire on us, but if we aren't able to get into the parks it won't be the end of the world. We will still go and have an amazing time! Seems really odd trying to figure out all of this when we really don't have a clue what even tomorrow is going to bring us! Fingers crossed there is a vaccine soon or we can figure and understand more about this virus and we can move on with more normal lives.
     
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    becauseimnew

    Planner-aholic
    Joined
    Jan 14, 2020
    Changes for Both Trips!

    Wow it has been a month since I last updated and have made some updates to both of our trips! This is what I get for trying to plan a vacation during a pandemic and I don't have a whole lot to do!


    Holiday Trip!
    After lots of discussions and what we want to do this next summer with our DVC points, I did go ahead and cancel our 3 days at OKW and banked our points into 2021. With the borrowing restrictions we would be close to not being able to do the full trip we want to do and by banking our points we can do what we want and have an amazing trip and not worry about not having enough points to do this. Okay so what to do now? Talking with my DH, I was still feeling really guilty about my DS's cruise being canceled and his not being able to do his trip this year. He said he didn't care, but this mom was really feeling the mom guilt! We sat down with the girls and decided that instead of Florida for their big thing this Christmas we would do a long weekend at a Great Wolf Lodge (probably Minneapolis since we could also do the MOA) and then DS and I take off and do the rest of the week at Cabana Bay Beach Resort for his make up trip from this year. I was really surprised he wanted to just do a Universal Trip (is a complete Disney nerd!) but with not knowing if we would be able to get tickets for the parks in 2020, and doing a large family trip in June, he was okay with it. He has only done Universal one time and it was a short trip and we didn't get a lot of things done during that trip and missed out on a lot (the girls and I have done it since and have done a lot more and they were telling him about all the stuff he missed). I am hoping he is going to like it and we have a blast.
    So new dates for this trip are December 29-January 3, 2021 at CBBR in a Volcano Bay View Room! We are going to fly (thank you flight credit from canceled trip and really cheap fares!) and looking forward a nice relaxing trip!


    Summer 2021
    Date changes and more up in the air!

    With talking with my parents and really looking at the calendar we have decided to move our trip up a couple weeks and I think stay at Disney the whole time instead of switching over to a Universal hotel. We may still do Universal a couple days, but just Uber over for the day or two. The new dates we are looking at is June 18-27, 2021, so one less day but makes more sense to us so we wont be gone over a pay day ( I get paid once a month on the 1st for a small business who does not do direct deposit) and we can then also do a long weekend for the 4th of July somewhere close to home. I am going to be booking at 2 bedroom at our home resort of SSR here pretty soon so we have our room for sure (would like to try and switch to AKL 2 Bedroom at 7 months but who knows what booking is going to look like this year with the closures).
    The big thing we have up in the air is park tickets and the park reservation system that is in place. Right now I am really hesitant to purchase tickets for a year away since we really don't know what this next year is going to look like. For 2021 you able to purchase park hoppers but the reservation system doesn't allow that at the moment and also it is almost a year away and I don't know what we really want to do! So we are going to wait to purchase our tickets for a while and decide later on what exactly we want to do. Hopefully this doesn't backfire on us, but if we aren't able to get into the parks it won't be the end of the world. We will still go and have an amazing time! Seems really odd trying to figure out all of this when we really don't have a clue what even tomorrow is going to bring us! Fingers crossed there is a vaccine soon or we can figure and understand more about this virus and we can move on with more normal lives.
    Your holiday trip sounds like so much fun. We stayed at Cabana Bay once when we went to Volcano Bay and it was awesome. They loved the lazy river at CB.

    Hopefully you can switch to AKL, a week there would be amazing!

    We had penciled in our first family European trip for summer 2021, but at this point I think we are just going to reschedule that for another year and use the savings to purchase a small DVC contract. Of course we keep going back and forth on actually purchasing DVC, not knowing what the future looks like, specially when they weren't allowing DVC members with reservations to buy tickets.
     
  • karalecia26

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2014
    Your holiday trip sounds like so much fun. We stayed at Cabana Bay once when we went to Volcano Bay and it was awesome. They loved the lazy river at CB.

    Hopefully you can switch to AKL, a week there would be amazing!

    We had penciled in our first family European trip for summer 2021, but at this point I think we are just going to reschedule that for another year and use the savings to purchase a small DVC contract. Of course we keep going back and forth on actually purchasing DVC, not knowing what the future looks like, specially when they weren't allowing DVC members with reservations to buy tickets.
    We have only stayed at Cabana Bay the few times we have gone and it just feels like home and fits our family well. The girls and I have annual passes right now (top tier) that allow EP after 4 and we have found that works best for us and our budget. We also love that you can do a payment plan for their AP's and that makes it even more a win for us.

    I was actually able to book our first 7 nights at Saratoga Springs yesterday and I think we are sticking with the dates of June 18-27. I think we are going to do Uni the last 2 nights, so we will see when 7 months come up if we can switch or we know we will be good at SSR.

    We kept going back and forth with our DVC purchase and started the whole process the week before everything happened so we weren't sure exactly what to expect with all the closings and everything. We were lucky that we didn't have a vacation affected by the closures but can see all the problems that it did create for a lot of people. Overall I think they have handled most things pretty well, and you do have to make sure you read every email so you are kept up to date with what is going on. We also chose to do resale and have no regrets about not doing it direct. The amount of money we saved by doing resale is HUGE and the perks that can always be taken away really didn't apply for us anyways.
     

    karalecia26

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2014
    WE ARE BOOKED!

    We are officially booked for our June 2021 trip! June 18-25, 2021 in a standard 2 bedroom villa at Saratoga Springs! We are still throwing around what we want to do the last few days and may stick with our plan of going over to Universal and staying at Cabana Bay for the last days so my parents can see Harry Potter and Suesslanding. I was nervous about doing this booking but it was a breeze and even have 40 points left over in our 2021 use year. We can now decide at our 7 month mark if we want to try and switch our reservation and since we didn't use all of our points and didn't have to borrow any we can move and not worry if we need more point or not since we have more to use.

    I am going to say this has been a very lazy weekend and we have spent our time bing watching volgs because I need some happiness in my life and my DH decided that he wants to make a Lightsaber after seeing Adam Hattan's vlog of him doing it. We think we are going to let the kids decide if they want to do a lightsaber or a droid for their special thing this trip (since this a big trip for us!). DS 13 said he wants to do a lightsaber and DD 15 wants to do a droid. DD 10 has no clue and that's okay since we have a while until we can even plan to do this, but gives them something to look forward to doing. Other than that planning nothing else really has happened in the planning department for next summer.


    CHIRSTMAS /NEWYEARS 2020/2021

    Right now we still have our Dude and Mom trip planned for after Christmas into New Years. After I posted last update packages for 2020 we available again to book so I went ahead and booked the same dates as Universal for Disney (Pop Century with 4 day base tickets). I am really thinking about what we want to do. Keep the Universal or do the Disney package. I am really leaning to just keeping Universal and canceling the Disney one. Price is about the same for both, but with so much still closed at Disney ( and that can change between now and December) I don't know if I want to spend that mount of money and be so limited. Most of Universal is open and operating so I may keep that reservation. I have some time to think about it, so as of right now I am keeping both.


    I hope every one is staying safe and hopefully we will see an light at the end of this insane crazy tunnel soon!
     
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