September 2018 TR- Thunderstorm Dodging, Toy Story Land Visiting

Discussion in 'Camping at Disney World' started by Teamubr, Jul 1, 2018.

  1. Teamubr

    Teamubr Formerly racing around the country.

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    We are inside of 2 months now, so I figured it was time to start a September at the Fort thread.

    This will be a short trip for us, but our 3rd in a year. Getting as much out of the APs as possible. We (DS and I) will be coming in the Tuesday after Labor Day (the 4th). We are leaving StL on Monday and driving until we are close to the Fort. Haven't decided where yet, but want to stop within an hour or two of the Fort. Plan to arrive early on the 4th and take whatever Premium site is available. I broke down and rented a Fort golf cart instead of Kenny. We are only staying 4 days and the convenience of picking up and dropping off at the Meadows was worth the extra cost and not have to lose prime hours on Tuesday and Friday to return the cart with Kenny.

    We are only staying Tuesday to Saturday. 4 park days. Saturday the 8th, we will pack up and drive to Gulf Shores for a week at the beach. This is the rescheduled week from having to miss the GSP DIS meet in May. I haven't taken 2 weeks of vacation in nearly 20 years, but the hours I put in over the last 2 years for this project at work made me realize I should actually use the 4 weeks of PTO I get every year.

    DW doesn't have as much PTO time and will be flying to Orlando on Wednesday night (Sept 5th) after work. She doesn't enjoy the 15 hour drive and this works out for all of us. She snagged a $67 one way flight, so it was a cheap, easy solution. We've never taken the DME, so she will get to try that out too.

    We are 65 days out. Just started thinking about what parks DW wants to see in her 2 days and what parks Ian and I will get to do on our own. Right now, DW says she wants to see MK fireworks, Toy Story Land at DHS. She loves Soarin' and wanted a FP for that and mentioned AK. I reminded her that was 4 parks in 2 days. Oh boy. I think Ian and I will hit AK and get a FOP FP for Tuesday and maybe EPCOT on
    Wednesday. I'll check out the crowd calendars and see what parks look best on Thursday and Friday. I have until next weekend when FPs open up to work it out.

    I haven't made any ADRs for meals this trip. We are good with eating at the camper or hitting a CS in the parks. We will be there over free dining and that has made it hard to get reservations in the past, so we'll probably just see where we are when we get hungry and see what we can get on the MDE app.

    Anyone else going to be there?

    j
     
  2. PaHunter

    PaHunter Photographer in need of training...

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    Well.......with all my traveling this year, I am down to only 2 days vacation left. So you won't be seeing us down there. Hopefully there are no hurricanes headed that way again this year. Sounds like a good time will be had.
     
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  4. tigger92662

    tigger92662 They're not really rules, More like guidelines

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    Well, I'll jump on this bandwagon. We are there from the 15th through the 22nd.
    This will be a very different trip for us, as it will just be DW and I. Both kids will be in school (sorta) I'll get to that.
    We will be celebrating our 30th, and have been wanting to do Food and Wine for quite awhile.
    I haven't told the wife yet, but if I can find cheap airfare, the kids will be coming down for the weekend.
    We have Fastpasses for Avatar and Slinky Dog and ADR's at Le Cellier, other than that, we're just gonna wing it day by day.
     
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  5. proudmomof4

    proudmomof4 DIS Veteran

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    We'll be there in September too!

    9/19-9/23, hopefully we'll get a chance to really try out everything on our new camper. We're not really planning much of anything, other than getting to know and enjoy the camper.

    But, I'm sure we'll plan a dinner somewhere since my birthday falls during our stay.
     
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  6. Teamubr

    Teamubr Formerly racing around the country.

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    Joe,

    How did you get FPs already? I'm 65 days out and it won't let me book anything for September yet.

    j
     
  7. tigger92662

    tigger92662 They're not really rules, More like guidelines

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    DW told me she booked everything.:confused3 Maybe she meant just the food portion. I guess I better find out :scratchin
     
  8. tigger92662

    tigger92662 They're not really rules, More like guidelines

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    My bad, just food is booked
     
  9. Teamubr

    Teamubr Formerly racing around the country.

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    I'm still trying decide what parks, and therefore FPs, we want to do on what days. I have until Friday morning. I think I'll shoot for FOP FPs on whatever day I can get them. The rest of the parks will fall into place after that. TSL seems to be settling down quickly. The 2 new rides had lower standby times today than FOP, SM or some of the other top tier rides. By September they should be reasonable.

    I did book a night at Lake Louisa for Labor Day night. That makes a 980 mile shot from home, but it will just be Ian and I. We travel pretty well. A cooler with drinks and sandwiches means we only have to stop once for fuel. Bathroom stops can be an exit ramp and run to the camper instead of a guaranteed 30 minutes if I have to find a truck stop. Google maps says it is 14 hours (13.3-16.3 depending on traffic- thank you ATL). There is a time zone change so we "lose" an hour, but if we leave at 0600, we should still be in to Lake Louisa before 10pm.

    I have never arrived at the Fort very early in the morning. That sounds fun to me. I'll take whatever Premium site is open (hoping for a loop close to the Settlement) or I'll just leave the rig in the overflow and head to a park.

    j
     
  10. bama_ed

    bama_ed It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney

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    Jim, not to sound like my DW but that's a long drive so take it easy and just go with the flow (she would say "be careful"). Make sure you call Lake Louisa a day or so before you arrive to get the gate code since the Campground entrance is only staffed until "sunset".

    The early Fort arrival (say about 630am) is really cool because it's dark, quiet, and empty up there at the check-in building (allow 30 min to get there). There are usually two CM's at the front counter and you can chit chat with them since there is no rush. I hope they have a spot for you available.

    Bama Ed
     
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  11. Teamubr

    Teamubr Formerly racing around the country.

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    Tell DW I appreciate the concern. We usually drive straight through on the way home. It is a long day, but you said it right, go with the flow. I was going to stop somewhere in south GA, close to the FL line. That would get us in sometime around dinner time. I didn't see any point sitting around for a few hours before we went to bed when we can get that much closer to the Fort. We used to do similar drives when we were racing in Colorado or northern Minnesota.

    I remember there being a gate code from last September's trip. Unfortunately we never had a chance to use it with Irma making a mess of things.

    Not sure if we will make 0630, but certainly by 8. Hopefully that gives us some quality CM time at check in. Depends when we get to Lake Louisa and get to bed. Ian and I will likely make Tuesday a long park day, so we don't want to get up too early.

    j
     
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  12. Teamubr

    Teamubr Formerly racing around the country.

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    Today is 60 days to go. I got up at 0530 to get some FPs before getting ready for work. Thinking 0530 central time is 0630 WDW time and my window opened at 0600 WDW time.

    Nope! Still can only book up to August 5th. (AP 30 days)

    Apparently the 60 day window starts at 0700 WDW time. At 0601 Central time, exactly ZERO FPs were available for Slinky Dog Dash for any of the 4 days we will be there. I could get TSM and AS2 (Alien Saucer Swirl- apparently AS2 is the proper abbreviation since *** didn't go over well with the family crowd. What was Disney thinking? Or Imagineers with a sense of humor?)

    The good news is both new rides in TSL are already showing lower standby times than FOP, 7DMT or even SM. I grabbed a FOP, EE and FotLK FP in AK for Ian and my first day. All those FPs are in the afternoon. I want to see Illuminations one last time before it goes away, so we will probably head to EPCOT for dinner and the evening show. DW doesn't like Illuminations so we'll knock it out before she comes down. I don't have anything booked on our 2nd day. Donna (DW) will be flying in that evening and I'm not sure what Ian and I will do during the day. Thursday morning we will start at EPCOT with a Soarin FP. That is one of the few rides DW really wants to do. Not sure what we will do after that. Probably just wander EPCOT. Friday, starts the morning at DHS. We have a 0910 FP for TSM. I think we will do rope drop there and make a run for SDD since there aren't any FPs left. After that, we will head over to MK to spend the rest of the day wandering until HEA.

    Saturday is pack up and head for GSP for a week at the beach. This will be the first time I didn't hit the road before 0600 leaving the Fort. I may even get breakfast at TE before taking off for the beach.

    I may try for some ADRs. Ian mentioned Tepan Edo. It is a favorite and we go every trip. It may have to be dinner on our first day or maybe lunch on the morning we do Soarin.

    j
     
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  13. kmccain

    kmccain DIS Veteran

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    popcorn:: Currently planning a trip for next September 15-21st. We will be with DS and DDIL as they celebrate their 5th anniversary. We have never done the Food and Wine Festival. Hoping that will cut down on some cooking in the camper.
     
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  14. tripleb

    tripleb Mouseketeer

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    Teamubr, don't bother with a FP for soaring ... It's appeal has dwindled quite a bit. Wait times are usually less than 30 minutes and shorter especially if you are there at the opening of Epcot.
     
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  15. PaHunter

    PaHunter Photographer in need of training...

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    O
    Oh it will cut down on cooking at the camper, but it will also lighten the wallet quickly. Of course if you have a Disney Visa, use that and earn points toward your next trip, we do.
     
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  16. PaHunter

    PaHunter Photographer in need of training...

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    Japanese hibachi is the best. I like to go when at Disney, I like to go when I am home. Last trip, came home with squid/octopus jerky and the nephews loved it. It is a bit salty, and maybe an acquired taste.
     
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  17. FtW Mike

    FtW Mike DIS Veteran

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    Squid and Octopus Jerky I call that BAIT
     
  18. Teamubr

    Teamubr Formerly racing around the country.

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    I'm hoping crowds are as low as the esitmators say. (3-4), but Soarin is DWs favorite ride and have a dedicated time is better than trying to keep an eye on standby times. Last September and again in February, standbys were 45-60 minutes. I do prefer the old movie better than the new one. We don't have anything else planned so burning one FP isn't a big deal.

    Last night was pretty productive on trip planning. We booked a few ADRs and rearranged some FPs. I think we have a plan for the 4 days... at least for now.

    Here's what we have lined up.

    Tuesday- Arrive early, 7ish. Get a site and setup or park in overflow and head to the parks. The first 2 days will just be Ian and me. We plan on heading to AK. We have afternoon FPs for FotLK (I know you don't need one), EE and FOP. The last FP is at 5:40. After that, head to EPCOT for dinner somewhere and see Illuminations. DW doesn't care for Illuminations and I want to see it one more time before it goes away, so this will be Ian and I enjoying the show one last time.

    Wednesday- Rope drop MK. I've never truly done rope drop there. Ian did one of the recent trips. I was in the park for KTTK tour when I saw everyone walking down Main St, but that's as close as I got. After RD, hit a few rides with the shortest lines. Maybe 7DMT (we missed it last trip) or Jungle Cruise or PotC. We have morning FPs for SM and BTMR. No specific plans for the afternoon. We may just come back to the Fort and hang out or take a boat out for a run. DW flies into MCO at 7:30 pm. I don't expect her to WDW until 9 and she doesn't want to rush to try and see anything. MK has late EMH until 11, but we'll see how she feels when she gets there.

    Thursday- DWs first day, we decided to get some ADRs. I was surprised to have a lot of availability given that it is free dining period. Ian is a huge Stitch fan and wanted to do Breakfast with Lilo and Stitch at Ohana again. We have an 0830 ADR there and we'll head to EPCOT on the monorails after breakfast. Our Soarin FP is at 11 and we are doing lunch at Teppan Edo at 1:30. After lunch, we will jump on the monorail to MK and let DW wander/shop and hit some shows and rides until HEA at 8. Wishes and now HEA are a first night (and usually last night) tradition. This trip the schedule is a little off with DW flying in and MNSHP messing with HEA nights. Thursday is the only night they have HEA we can make.

    Friday- This is our DHS and TSL morning. We plan on rope dropping DHS and heading straight to SDD. It is the only ride we couldn't get a FP for. We do have a FP for TSM at 9:10. Hopefully SDD lines will be short right at opening and we can make the TSM window by 10:10. After that, we will head out and head to whatever park DW wants to see. It will probably be AK since we didn't get there on Thursday, but we'll see what the weather is like and what we are in the mood for.

    Saturday- Get breakfast at TE, head back to the camper, pack up and hit the road for GSP.

    We talked about hitting Narcoosee or LeCellier for a nice steak, but we decided to save the $$ and find some new places to eat in and around Gulf Shores.

    We aren't the kind of family that schedules everything to the minute and we often drop FPs or ADRs the day before and change up everything in midstream. Since this is only a 4 day trip, we'll probably stay pretty close to this plan, but weather and crowds (or lack of) might impact what we do too.

    j
     
  19. PaHunter

    PaHunter Photographer in need of training...

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    Looks like a good schedule. Want to do Ohana for breakfast sometime. One of the few places we have not eaten that we really want to.
     
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  20. bama_ed

    bama_ed It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney

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    I second this. Bama Ed
     
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  21. tigger92662

    tigger92662 They're not really rules, More like guidelines

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    When you say next September, are you talking this September or 2019?
     

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