I love love reading trip reports and I knew I was going to do one myself!
My husband and I met each other late in life, but we found a common love for Disney! So, we eloped to LA and honeymooned at Disneyland. Right then I decided we'd go to a different Disney park every 5th anniversary! Thus, this trip to WDW marks our 5 year wedding anniversary. We're planning on Disneyland Tokyo for our 10th.
I prepared for two years for this trip! It started with the Ultimate Guide, then I found Touring Plans, then the Chat and this Forum. Other sites helped as well, of course. With the information I learned, I was able to:
Secure Free Dining, staying on site (originally planned to be Port Orleans Riverside, but my budget drove me towards Pop, but I got confused on the site so I booked ASSports with the intent to change it when I figured out how, but then got afraid to change it, lol).
Make my ADRs after reading all reviews and descriptions, and using the ADR finder for a couple of tough reservations to get exactly what I wanted.
Booked my tickets with Southwest, then re-booking them when the prices went down so I could get a credit (we are now using to pay for a trip to Colorado in February), thanks to heads up I got on Chat and the FB group!
Carefully plan how much time and which days to travel to each park to maximize fun and minimize waits and crowds.
Figure out the best Fast Pass Plus strategy for each day and to prioritize the booking when the day came.
I can honestly say, I can't imagine having taking this trip so successfully without TP. It helped with more than just pre-planning, as you will see when you read my report.
Now, let's start the Odyssey of Larissa and Preston, and a 9 day trip to WDW!
Day One: Travel Day and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
I knew I wanted to maximize our time in the park, so I booked our flight early and bought a party ticket. I did forget however, that we are middle aged. Don't we forget that when we are just as excited as any child, so why on earth couldn't we keep up with them?
So, up we were at 4am to finalize packing and head to the airport for our 7:30 am flight. I tried to get some sleep on the plane, but had a very chatty, friendly person traveling solo next to me I couldn't bring myself to tell shut up. No problem, I'll take a nap in the room when we get there! Husband delighted himself with the awesome window seat he scored because of the Early Bird check in I bought (I got A 25 & 26). He was like a 10 year old boy, it was cute.
Got a text that our room was not ready, but when we arrived at noon, they said our room was ready. We didn't get the exact room we requested, but we did get the room type we requested (King, 3rd floor, near food court and buses) and it was awesome. Touchdown has cute theming, and we enjoyed watching the children romp around the football field. Our plan: unpack, eat lunch at the food court, then nap before MNSSHP! The first two items went without a hitch, the third , not so much. Although Amazon said our box fan (for DH) and mattress topper (for me) had been delivered the day before, it wasn't in our room. So, between those items we need for good rest and the adrenaline from being at Disney running through our veins, we couldn't sleep. So, at 3pm we dressed in our "costumes" and headed for the party, stopping by the concierge to inquire about our undelivered items.
That's when we first heard the bad news. The concierge said that they have been swamped with packages from South America, and ours were still in the hub (warehouse) and they can't promise we'll get them tonight. I said we have health issues, and absolutely cannot sleep without these items. He promised to find them and deliver them to our room. Off to the party!
The first few hours we used our FPPs, but unfortunately my choices (Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain & Seven Dwarfs Mine Train) meant we had to cross the park and do a lot of walking in the heat of the day. By 8pm, all of our adrenaline at worn off and our 4am wake up time was catching up with us, but the party was just getting started! My husband was suggesting we go back to the room since we will be coming back to the Magic Kingdom another day, but I was aghast! I explained to him there were experiences at the party we wouldn't get on a normal day. He groaned, but agreed to get a frozen cappuccino and carry on. I was upset to find no gypsy woman sitting on a quite empty bench outside of HM, I couldn't find the Cadaver Dans and the Headless Horseman had been cancelled due to a brief shower that evening (so brief we didn't bother with ponchos).
We sat down on the porch outside of Chrystal Palace, contemplating middle age and exhaustion when Hallowishes suddenly started and we accidentally had gotten a fairly good place to watch them. This boosted our spirits and I managed to convince hubby to stay long enough to see the second Boo to You parade. I had to give up my longing to see the Hocus Pocus show, although I had glimpsed snatches of it while we were running around earlier. We got curb side seats in the Town Square so it was easy to leave toward the buses. I vowed then and there to never try to squeeze a park day in on arrival day again. Honestly, the party was just a blur. We would have been so much better swimming and going to bed early that night for the next day.
Thank heavens our fan and mattress topper were in the room when we got back. Unfortunately, the 2 additional packages I ordered and tracking showed delivered this day were not. Oh well, I would check in the morning again.