This trip was a wonderful way to celebrate our 30th Anniversary!!! It was so much fun, and a lot of credit for that goes to you guys and the things I learned here. Thank you all.
At the end of June, when we chose WDW as our place to celebrate, my idea of planning a trip to WDW was to call my parents, who live about 40 minutes away from WDW, and tell them we are coming to visit. They have lived there for about 15 years and knew WDW way better than we did. We had never stayed on site. I had never made an ADR, or advance FPP reservation myself. I had used the kiosks in the parks to make more on days I was there. I was one of the people with no plan, but my parents did a pretty good job of getting us around the parks, and we always still had good trips. The main thing we knew at the beginning was that we wanted to avoid the 40 minutes of driving at the beginning and end of the day. DH started checking at work to see when he could take a week off, and I started looking at the Disney website for things we could do, and researching further by reading a lot of other sites for better explanations of things- the Disney site is really good at causing more confusion than they clear up.
On the 4th of July I made my reservation for Nov.10- 16. One easy thing we could do leading up to that was pick out some places we wanted to eat- that is actually a big deal to us when we go places- and we had found some things we really wanted to do- things that we were never aware existed before. In the process of making a reservation I was asked about adding a dining plan. I had no idea what it was, but I did Know I did not have to make final decision about it right then. More research, but no one who does any of the websites about traveling to Disney likes the dining plan. They have a lot of reasons for not liking it that have nothing to do with the numbers. I got very frustrated by this. I ran my own numbers and found that the DxDP would easily save us money with the meals we already had planned, so I added it to our reservation.
Everything went forward, FFP day was Sept. 11. no issues. Then, on Sept. 12 DH came home limping. He had hurt his knee, and overnight it got worse. I took him to the hospital and we found out he had torn is Patella tendon. Surgery to repair it was on the 17th. The doctor said he would be able to walk, but would have to wear a brace to keep it straight for 6 weeks. Then it could be unlocked gradually after that. He was determined to keep our plans as they were. No matter what we would still have a good time, after all- it was WDW. At 4 weeks after surgery he started PT and they did start working to where he would be able to unlock the brace safely at 6 weeks. It all worked out well, and he was able to sit on all the rides, but because of some weakness when walking he also used a crutch in the parks.
Since my parents live close we asked them to join us whenever they wanted to during our week there. I did ask them early in planning to let me know if they wanted to come for any of our meals, or have FPP with us on any day. Looking back, I should have just added them to everything from the beginning, (I did not know I could get FPPs for them when I got mine. I learned it later) then I could have easily removed them from things they would not be doing. 3 weeks before our trip they asked me to go ahead and get FPPs for all the things I had them for. What? I tried. I changed some things and got 4 FPP for almost all the things I had 2 for- of course no FoP. I did not have one for SDD or SDMT anyway. However since we had been linked up on MDE, and they have AP, I had been watching the FPP availability for the current day and I knew a few things. One is that even outside of the regular drop times there are many FPPs available everyday. FPPs for everything. I saw SDD, FoP, FEA, and SDMT during many times of the day. I figured I could get anything on the days we were in the parks.
A week later I was asked to add them to our BOG dinner ADR for 6:00 on the 12th. Well, it was a party reservation, and you have to call to make changes to those, unless you get lucky and there is still availability. Bu I did not want to change my time, so I called. Once I got through it was easy to add the 2 people to that one. Then a few days later they asked if I could add them for our dinner at H&V on the 11th. That was F!DP for us, but they did not want to go to the show. No. It was not possible to just add them without the show. I had to do something different. I also had a PPO breakfast there for that morning- one of the things I wanted was meals with Goofy. I had 2 that day. I just had to be able to switch them. Not so easy, but I knew something most of the CMs who do reservations on the phone do not know. All meals at restaurants that are part of the various dining packages only have one pool of available reservations. If there is availability during the times that you can schedule meals with a particular DP at a participating restaurant, and there are still any dining packages available they are the same as the non-package meals. I had to be sure I could get dinner for 4, and still get a PPO breakfast for 2. I knew that I might be able to cancel the meals I had and get them back again, but I also knew I might lose them. So I set the res finder to find an early breakfast for 2 and a dinner for 4. As it usually does, it came through. I was able to get an 8:50 F!DP res for 2, and I changed dinner to a regular meal for 4 a little later than the original. I was able to move dinner back to my original time that I dropped right then. The 8:00 breakfast res was gone as soon as I dropped it. I was hopeful that they would in fact still let me in to start early, like everyone on here said they would, and they did. They took in all those who had earlier reservations and had checked in before us first, but we were still in the restaurant at a table before 8:15. I am pretty sure many people get PPO ADRs just to skip it and be at the front of the line to go into the rest of the park. That restaurant was no where near full while we were there, but there were no more ADRs available.
Finally it is time for us to go. It is a long lead in, but all part of the story. Without all of that our story would be different. It is easier to appreciate the best parts when you know the struggle to get to them.
We left home on Friday the 8th and drove to GA to spend a couple of nights with good friends. We had a wonderful visit, and left Sunday morning- destination POP Century resort. We got there around noon. I had done online check in and had not received any word about a room. We decided to wait for it and collected our mugs and got some drinks. We then set off to explore the resort and AoA. We shared a bacon cheeseburger, fries and a tie dye cheesecake. Around 2:45 we went to ride the Skyliner to HS and back- just to check it out. We were back
Around 3:30 and I went to stand in a much shorter line to check on our room. Almost as soon as I got in line I got the room ready text. 1329. Not what I was hoping for or requested at all, and I felt a bit of disappointment, but we were at Disney world, and those few extra minutes of walking really would not make a difference in the grand scheme of things. We moved in and got on a bus for DS. We walked around for a while and then headed toward Morimoto Asia- Dinner scheduled for 6:45. We were early, but they checked us in and would text us when our table was ready. Well, MA is right next to Raglan Road, and they had musicians outside the restaurant- entertainment while we waited. When we went in for dinner we were taken upstairs and had extra entertainment of watching the tables below have all kids of different food delivered to them. We ordered Fried Mushrooms and Shumai as appetizers, Morimoto Peking Duck, and the Chef’s Choice Gelato and sorbetto. They were all good. We had a fun night and a wonderful meal. Then we had a LONG walk to the bus back to POP- that is actually a recurring theme in this story. Time to sleep so we can be ready for a long day in HS.