Hi all! Starting a new thread because I need to redo my planning. Here’s the old one, with our background (me + my dad + DD9 + DD7 = first Disney trip without my late mom).
So from poking around here and reading the Unofficial Guide (which I went ahead and bought for Kindle), I figured out I’d need ADRs, etc. etc. Originally the plan was to go May 3rd-9th. However, two things have happened to cause me to throw everything out the window:
Dad and I had lunch. It was a good lunch; we spent a lot of it talking about the trip. We both teared up when the subject of my mom came up but that was okay, a healthy moment. More practically speaking, I got info on his preferences. He’s pro-character meals but otherwise doesn’t give a fig about super-nice restaurants (and was absolutely horrified when I described the concept of Prime Time Cafe to him – glad I checked!) so I’m not going to worry too much about TS bookings or a dining plan in general other than character meals. Also he’s not high on rollercoasters. The kids won’t be either, so if we don’t get to, say, Space Mountain, it won’t be such a big loss. BUT he does want to splurge on the hotel and get something where it’s easy for us to take breaks. And he’s kind of nostalgic for the monorail.
The one thing I knew I might have to shift dates for was DD’s orchestra – she just joined this semester, and her music teacher has confirmed for me that they have a concert on May 9th at 5:30 pm. No way I’m making her miss that, or scheduling the trip over the rehearsal time she’ll need. So I’ve bumped everything back a week to leaving Friday the 10th, returning the 16th or 17th.
So a lot of factors I wasn’t considering earlier come into play. I had assumed we wouldn’t be able to do HS on the Saturday of our trip because it would be May the 4th and there would be lines for all things Star Wars-related, but maybe that’s not such an issue on May 11th. My original reservation was at the B Resort and Spa, so our original home base was Disney Springs, but now the field is much more open.
Current questions I’m working on:
- What hotel? Or hotels – I saw that @TheProphetPaul is splitting his trip between the Contemporary and the Boardwalk, and maybe that’s an option for us? Difference is that we’ll have a car (and also will still reserve one day for UO).
- Assuming that it takes us Friday afternoon/evening and Saturday morning to actually get to Orlando, what do we do Saturday afternoon? Dad’s worried that the kids will be impatient to get to UO. I’m still inclined to do one of the Disney parks for a half-day – my original plan was to do Future World with a Garden Grill character dinner, and I went ahead and got a Garden Grill reservation for 6:10 pm on 5/11, but HS may be a better option for a half-day.
- Should I plan to save UO for later in the trip (and risk the kids getting impatient at the wait) or plan it for earlier (and risk that overshadowing WDW for my Pottermaniacs)? (I haven’t looked at the CLs or EMHs for the new dates yet.)
- If we’re not worrying much about rides, are there experiences I should focus more on planning for? I’ve got Enchanted Tales with Belle and Frozen Sing-Along on my FP must list, but I still want to research other potential less-ride-based experiences.
- How much am I kicking myself for missing the Epcot Festival of the Arts and the how-to-draw-a-Disney-character event? Sigh. Not that we could have gone during those times anyway.
- Edited to add this one: Illuminations! How big a deal is it? I suspect we’d all enjoy it but I need to figure out if it’s worth configuring the schedule to include the inevitable wait.
All right! Back to the drawing board we go! Thanks to all of y’all for being so helpful and friendly during this!