T-Minus 11 Days and Counting


#1

So we (me, my wife, and two kids age 12 and 9) are checking in Sunday, 25 Nov at AKL and staying through Saturday, 1 Dec. I’m new to the board and have several questions that I hope you all will indulge…

We have an ADR at 1:00 on Sunday that will be before we have had a chance to check in. Can I use my dining plan for the reservation?

We are booked in a Standard room at AKL. We have requested bunk beds for the kids. We listed two birthdays and a 15-year wedding anniversary all happening within a couple of weeks either side of our trip. Any advice towards hopefully getting bunk beds and/or a room upgrade?

Groceries. We have some things we need from Publix. Anyone have experience using the Instacart app and having groceries delivered to the Resort? If we are not at the Resort when they deliver will the front desk hold the items for us (including refrigerated items)?

We are doing Mickey’s Very Magic Christmas Party on our first night. Would really like to see Santa, the 7 Dwarfs, and Mary Poppins/Bert. Recommended best times for each of those? We plan to stay in the park until close (midnight).

We have looked for an O’hana dinner ADR for months to no avail. Please someone tell me there is hope that something pops up while we are at Disney?

We are doing Early Morning Magic at HS on Wednesday. Our reservation says 7:00, but we cannot actually get to the rides until 7:30 right? Any dos/don’ts for EMM?

Crowd calendar looks good, but my wife is extremely worried that it is not accurate and the parks will be packed. How accurate have the crowd calendars been of late?

Last question, we would possibly like to extend our stay by one additional night to Sunday, 2 December but there are no rooms available at AKL. Any advice on best deals or resorts for a one-night stay?


#2

Congrats on the upcoming trip! I will try to answer as questions as I can.

Yes, you can use your dining plan even before your room is ready. If for some reason it doesn’t work, the front desk will be able to fix it when you do check in. We have never had a problem doing it though.

As far as the room goes, I would put in a TP fax request and mention all of those things (bunk beds, birthdays, an anniversary).

Love Instacart but I haven’t used it at Disney. Sorry.

I would suggest getting in line well before the official party start (7 pm) for the 7Ds.

Do you have a reservation finder set for 'Ohana? It’s amazing what reservations become available even a day before.

I haven’t done EMM at HS (but I have at MK). And I think that you should resist the temptation to do SDD first. I think that is where everyone will head first (it’s like 7DMT at MK during EMM).

I think that having a good touring plan is much more important than the CL.

What other resorts have you checked for the last night? Switching resorts is easy–bell services will take care of your luggage.


#3

@Dreamer answered most of your questions but we used Instacart at AKL last May and the groceries were delivered before our arrival and held until we called for them after we arrived at the resort. The refrigerated items were kept cold and bell services delivered them. The only thing you need to know is that you have to call bell services to have them delivered. It’s not like DME luggage that just shows up. Worked great.

And my DH and I had a standard view room booked last May and we got a partial savanna view of flamingos and giraffes and bunk beds!! We didn’t consider the bunk beds a bonus but hope you get them. We were in room 4485


#4

We are booked in a Standard room at AKL. We have requested bunk beds for the kids. We listed two birthdays and a 15-year wedding anniversary all happening within a couple of weeks either side of our trip. Any advice towards hopefully getting bunk beds and/or a room upgrade?
We stayed at AKL in April and booked a standard room as well. We too listed birthdays and asked for bunk beds. We did not get that initially, got a room with a great view, but no bunk beds which we really needed for 7 nights. I asked at the desk about the possibility of bunk beds and they could not accommodate us that day, but could if we agreed to move rooms the next day. We did that, and ended up with a fabulous bunk bed room with a great view of the watering hole. It was well worth not unpacking and moving the next day.

Groceries. We have some things we need from Publix. Anyone have experience using the Instacart app and having groceries delivered to the Resort? If we are not at the Resort when they deliver will the front desk hold the items for us (including refrigerated items)?
Yes, we used Instacart for the same trip at AKL. They delivered to bell services who delivered it once we called. Easy peasy. Yes, they will keep the cold things cold as long as you put in your notes (with Instacart) to make sure the cold is separated and well marked.

We are doing Mickey’s Very Magic Christmas Party on our first night. Would really like to see Santa, the 7 Dwarfs, and Mary Poppins/Bert. Recommended best times for each of those? We plan to stay in the park until close (midnight).
We were first in line last year for the 7 Dwarves, they begin meeting at 6:15pm. We got in line about 4:15-4:30pm. Yes this is a long wait, but you will be done by 6:20 and can then move to another character meet. During the wait, schedule some FPP and also have plans for some dinner that you can bring back. Every group had 1 person stay inline with the stuff while others left for rides and food. It worked out wonderfully, we had 4 adults so just switched out who was in line and who was elsewhere.

We have looked for an O’hana dinner ADR for months to no avail. Please someone tell me there is hope that something pops up while we are at Disney?
Yes, keep checking, They often show up the day before as people cancel to avoid the no show fee.

Crowd calendar looks good, but my wife is extremely worried that it is not accurate and the parks will be packed. How accurate have the crowd calendars been of late?
Even if the crowds seem like they will be low, it will be plenty crowded. Most people think a 2 or 3 crowd means barely anyone else is there, and that just is not the case. Instead plan on it being very crowded at times, and have a good plan.

Last question, we would possibly like to extend our stay by one additional night to Sunday, 2 December but there are no rooms available at AKL. Any advice on best deals or resorts for a one-night stay?
Priceline Express has had some great deals lately, I would check there or Orbitz for Disney hotels.

I see Yacht Club has a standard room available on the Disney website- it is $423 plus tax for the night with Magical Holidays room only discount.


#5

Can you direct me to the TP fax request info? Thanks for all of the help!


#6

There is link to it on your touring plan dashboard.
It will link it to a map of your hotel and give room options based on the type of room you booked. You select a room and it will configure the fax for you. I tend to add comments in it–that’s where I would put the info about the bunk beds and celebrations.
There’s no guarantee you will get the exact room, but often times it’s similar so it’s definitely worth trying.


#7

Should I check in online, in person, or does it make a difference towards getting an upgrade?


#8

For the bunk beds, I would just keep it simple and make that be the only request you have. I’ve done that twice at AKL and have been given bunk beds both times. I have had a lot of success with room requests with keeping the requests simple and not being overly specific (i.e. requesting one specific room number).