I started out planning this trip by adding a 4 night, 5 day solo trip to WDW after a conference in Clearwater that I am attending in late September. I picked AoA since PoP wasn’t available, and I really enjoyed the food court on a previous visit. Once I booked, I discovered I would be there for the kick off of the anniversary celebration…bonus.
Soon after, I talked dd (will be 20yo in a couple of weeks) to fly down and meet me at WDW. She is flying into Tampa and we are renting a car to drive up to WDW and returning it immediately after checking in. Plan was for one day at the beach and then 4n/5d at AoA.
Life is good. I kept doing research, tweaked park reservations, planned ADRs …and then realized I would need a leading reservation in order to get anything during the busy anniversary weekend.
Everyone here was amazing with hints and help. The Excel file is magic. Leading reservation made and ready to go.
Then the announcements started. Extra evening hours for Deluxe guests was where I might have lost my brain a bit. We have been visiting off and on for over 20+ years, mostly staying in moderates with careful planning to get the most out of our time and stretching our budget. The decision really rubbed me the wrong way and for the first time I saw no upside to staying on site. I started on a path to investigate a possible switch to an off-site hotel/resort/rental and in the end, because of crazy expensive rental car rates, I just stuck w/ AoA and resigned myself to it being what it is.
Over all of these years we have never considered DVC. Our visits average out to about every 2-3 years and for a good chunk of the last couple of decades we weren’t in a financial position to do so. I had also been a bit wary of renting points, possibly because the planner in me was uneasy with the lack of control. Well, the universe spoke and a last minute rental opportunity dropped in my lap.
So the trip is all changed, with one night less in Clearwater and one more at WDW.
9/30 – Clearwater
10/1 – Check in at AoA/EPCOT
10/2 – MK
10/3 – DHS
10/4 – AK
10/5 – Check out/MK/8pm Flight from MCO
9/30 – Check in at the Polynesian/MK
10/1 – AK
10/2 – MK
10/3 – Check out of the Polynesian/DHS/Check into AoA
10/4 – EPCOT
10/5 – Check out/DHS/8pm Flight from MCO
In the end the 3 nights at a studio at the Polynesian (which adds one additional day/night at WDW overall), the two nights at AoA, and the 6 days of tickets I purchased using TP’s ticket calculator ends up being only $300 more than 1 night in Clearwater, 4 nights of AoA, and 5 days of tickets.
So right now my MDE is a mess. The leading reservation, our Poly stay, and our last two nights at AoA make my plans looks somewhat complicated …BUT I AM SOOOO EXCITED!!!
This will definitely be our trip of firsts…first time at Poly and AoA, first time for ALL of our planned ADRS, new fireworks, and maybe even Hoop de Doo??
A huge PIVOT!!!..But a welcomed one!