It is 4:30 at AKL, and I simply cannot get back to sleep. I have decided, therefore, to get a head start on my trip report. Aren’t you lucky?
I’m going to try and split this into segments so that you, dear Liners, are not confronted with a wall of text.
Let’s start with the introductory/planning phase, shall we?
I am a mid-20s Liner who has taken her responsibilities as Maid of Honor to one of her favorite people in the world very seriously. Bachelorette Party in Disney World seriously. This is the bride’s (I’ll be referring to her as M for Moriarty from here) 15th to 20th trip to DIsney, but her first since FP+ was instituted. It is my second trip, as I had too many younger siblings in my youth for my parents to justify the price (in other words, more than one child) so I took myself on a solo trip last year during the first week of the F&W Festival.
M’s Matron of Honor is the only other person in her wedding party and could not make the trip, so it is just the two of us. M, bless her, budgeted destination bachelorette and bachelor parties into her wedding; she is footing the bill for the hotel and our tickets, which I cannot thank her enough for. Not having to pay for those items has freed up some money that I would not have had otherwise to treat her to a big surprise (no spoilers!).
I am the one that has done the planning for the trip, however, seeing as: 1) I have some experience with FP+, 2) I have a MDE account from my last trip, 3) I am a proud Liner with a subscription to the website, and 4) I am good at stalking Mousesavers for deals. Also, I’m super OCD, and medication only goes so far to quell those tendencies.
M had the following requests: 1) MK as the first park, 2) a certain budget for the hotel room, 3) lunch or dinner at Le Cellier, 4) Rope Drop daily, and 5) nap breaks at the hotel.
Our first step was determining the dates we could get out of work. Insert long, dull explanation here. Ultimately, we planned our trip around when we could get the best deals. With my Mousesavers stalking, we were able to get a phenomenal deal on AKL (a little over Value resort price during this week between Labor Day and the start of the Halloween parties). Neither of us has stayed at a deluxe hotel before, and seeing as we are celebrating, we booked in a flurry of texting in mid-July.
Originally, due to the remaining times I could find for difficult to get dining reservations, I got the bride’s permission to put Epcot as our first park day, followed by MK, and a half day at AK before driving home. The plan was to arrive on Thursday just in time for the surprise and to use that as a rest day with Friday and Saturday as full park days. However, after 3 weeks of calling daily, I could not book our surprise on Thursday, but Friday was available. With M’s approval, I booked the surprise for Friday.
I should briefly note that MK is hosting the Night of Joy this weekend, so one of our park days was going to be cut short anyway. Booking the surprise was going to make MK a time crunch, but I believed it to be well worth it, and told the bride so.
However, I had already booked all our dining reservations. I had to drop and re-book all our dining reservations for Epcot and MK so that we could switch our park days! It was super fun! (#sarcasm)
The reservations I was trying to re-book were: 1) Via Napoli for lunch or dinner, 2) Le Cellier for lunch or dinner, and 3) BOG for Lunch. I lucked out on my first day re-booking by snagging Via Napoli for lunch, but no luck on the other two.
We got to two weeks out, and I started feeling nervous. Alfred Hitchcock nerves. I kept seeing BOG lunch reservations popping up for 2:00 and 3:00, but we needed to be back at AKL for the surprise by 3:30 at the latest. Nothing for Le Cellier had popped up. Obsession consumed me. I took to living in caves and calling MDE “precious.”
And this is where I pause to thank Touring Plans and the Liners. Without your stalking strategies and stories of triumph, I might never have gotten through those dark days.
Finally, exactly a week out from our trip, hope glimmered. I checked the website, and lo, a dinner reservation for Le Cellier was laid at my feet. Praise be Touring Plans strategies, amen! I snatched it up and basked in my glory.
I became ravenous for the elusive BOG, and refreshed the page every 30 minutes before I would have to leave for work. My last refresh before I had to leave, an apparition of a BOG lunch reservation at an appropriate time appeared to me. But oh no! The website was lagging. In a panic, I called the reservation line, holding my breath.
I come before you in victory. A laurel wreath and Minnie mouse ears adorn my brow.
Oh, and I made FP+ reservations in accordance with my Touring Plans.
More to come, but telling the tale of how I vanquished my foes has left me hungry. I think breakfast is in order.