March 18, 2018 - And so it Begins
Booked our trip:
Staying at Art of Animation - Cars Suite
7 Day Parkhopper Tickets - 21-Sep to 27-Sep
DW, DH (me), DS9, DD11.75
My wife and I had been to Disney once before in 2004 pre-kids. At the time her cousin (DWC for this report if not too confusing) lived and breathed Disney and moved to Orlando to follow his dream. We filled out a questionnaire from him and he handled all planning and tour guiding. We stayed at his house in downtown Orlando. He was as good as a flannel vest IMO.
This would be our once in a lifetime trip with the kids. DWC still lives in Orlando and now works for Disney (Dream-WIN!), but I wanted to immerse myself in the planning fun based in part on articles much like this one about increasing the joy of the trip. I became the Trip General. Constant family talk about rides, food, resorts, shows, # of days, etc. Know the enemy.
That planning advice turned out to be so true, getting to study DFB videos, TimTracker, subscribe to this website, Undercover Tourist, etc. was pure joy and continuing to read these threads with no plans for any type of DW/DL trip on any horizons lets me continue it vicariously. Joy-WIN!
March 24th to 29th - ADRs
With hopes and dreams, but no promise of free dining (an army marches on its stomach) ended up with everything I wanted (many cancels and shifts along the way, but this is the end result). Good Eats-WIN!
- Tusker House (character dinner)
- Coral Reef (aquarium dinner)
- Biergarten (entertainment dinner)
- Be Our Guest (lunch)
- Ohana (dinner)
- Trattoria Alforno (character breakfast)
April 24th - Free Dining
Woke up around 2:30 am and started hitting refresh with all the other hopefuls that would descend like locusts when the rumored offer hit. My plan of attack was to look at the lowest tier of deluxe first since AoA suites are expensive and DW would want to upgrade to TS meals anyway (that probably covered the cost difference between AoA suite and Deluxe)….and I would love to be a warrior walking to HS/EP pre-rope drop. At 4:20 am was able to book BoardWalk Inn Garden View with the free dining plan. Savings-WIN!
I was ok with it but knew the pool at BC/YC was the real weenie….not the clown face I showed pictures of to my kids. It’s fine, it’s fine, everything is fine. Great time had by all.
April 24th to May 29th - Switching Resorts
It had to have been daily checks of room availability to attempt switching. The matter was settled with the family, but it didn’t hurt to try. 4:00 pm on the 29th I hit on a garden view at the Beach Club. Weenie-WIN!
End of July - Let’s throw a wrench in for fun
Yada yada yada….You know DW our room sleeps 5. If DMIL wanted to join us she would only have to pay for airfare and park tickets. Room and board are covered already. DMIL and I are two peas in a pod. Both pretty chill and with a strong desire to make others happy and go along to get along. DMIL is ecstatic and thinks we “undercharged” her. Elite strike team finalized.
Pre-Disney walking regiment is in full force. New shoes are purchased and broken in. We refused to lose the battle by being unprepared physically.
Worked with DWC on our Fastpasses and he got similar ones as he was able to by viewing our shared TP. ADRs were covered well enough as we booked all of them for 6 people. I didn’t know which days DWC would join and included him incase DWC’s partner wished to join for a meal or two. Now more likely included DMIL and DWC, but no adjustments needed there.
Next “Storming the Beaches”