“Big Jay?” “Yes Baby Jay?” “I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.”- September 8th-18th 2017 TR

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by Mackenzie Click-Mickelson, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 3: Planning for the trip Part 3
    On 3/31/17 I received in the mail I received a trip booklet!!

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    This was a personalized and customized based on my resort vacation booklet in the mail and it had my ADR dates, FPs and vacation start date on the back page. It was a little late for the important dates on the last page considering my ADR start date was a few weeks ago but I did get the e-mail for my ADR date when it was actually time.

    Also on 3/31/17 we booked a lower fare when SWA had a sale going on. The downside to booking with the Companion Pass is that in order to do a rebook for a lower fare you have to first cancel the Companion’s plane ticket, rebooked the other passenger(s) ticket for the lower fare then re-add the Companion’s ticket. I admit it’s a bit nerve-racking doing that. Anyways the lower fare was 16,710 points or the equivalent of $595.80 round trip for 2 people (or $297.90 per person). Because we booked with points the difference in points was refunded immediately back to Aaron’s account.

    On 4/2/17 we found a better deal through Costco(.com) since we are Costco members. If you book through Costcotravel(.com) as a Costco member your additional driver fee is waived (for one person I believe) for companies that would charge it. We booked an intermediate car through Avis for $197.99 again no pre-payment made. Aaron is an Avis Preferred member which allows for expedited process. Typically if all works out you receive an e-mail with your spot number and you just go to the car. You can also decide against the car you’ve been given and pick from a specified row that has additional options. If for some reason you don’t get an e-mail with your spot number your name should be up on a board where the cars are located and that should list your spot number.

    On 4/24/2017 after Room Only discounts had been released I was able to rebook us via my My Disney Experience account to upgrade from Standard to Preferred room category. This saved us $83.53. The new total was now $1,042.41 (including deposit already made). I kept trying to actually get the Standard Room rate with the discount but it was always Unavailable. That was totally ok it was just that it would have saved us even more money lol. We already were ok with spending what the Rack Rate was (as previously mentioned).

    On 6/12/17 I changed our Mama Melrose ADR time from 6:10pm to 4:40 pm. I was thinking it would be better to not rush our ADR and was figuring on getting some rides in before attempting to see Fantasmic!

    I had decided to make a binder of our plans and keep things together. Here is the cover of my trip binder:
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  2. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 3: Planning for the trip Part 4

    On 7/10/17 my FP date was here!!! Now I don’t remember exactly what FPs I chose and for what time like I did for my ADR. I had a feeling I would be adjusting those times and what the FP was for so I didn’t see a huge reason to write them all down.

    I will say I used this thread https://www.disboards.com/threads/fastpass-frequently-asked-questions.3491680/ to help give myself an idea of what FPs to choose based on what our interests were and what may be the attractions to immediately go for. As I mentioned earlier I made a schedule. My plan was to go to one park in the morning and another in the evening and make my FPs for the evening. Now using the thread listed above making FPs for the evening limits your ability (or at least can limit) to make your rolling 4th FPs. The tradeoff can be that you are reserving FPs for times where the park could be busier than in the morning.

    I copied parts of the thread listed above of the thread on an MS Word document and deleted items according to what my husband and I like to do and what I decided we would do (or try to do that is) during EMH along with the specific tiers and color coded them with the highlighter option.

    Example from my document:
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    Picking up a tip again from the lovely DISers I started at the back end of my WDW park days. The last WDW park day was 9/15/17 and was actually a Magic Kingdom (MK) in the morning and Animal Kingdom (AK) in the evening day so I went straight for Flight of Passage (FOP). There were plenty of times throughout the day to pick for that but I picked the 3ish-4ish time period (can’t remember the exact time).

    On 7/27/17 I bought these for our trip:
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    When we went in 2011 we had used just this:
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    Unfortunately our cell phones were too big nowadays to use this. I wanted a waterproof bag and I didn’t want it to be too too big. The ones I found were great and it was a 2 pack. We packed it fairly full TBH. We had the rain jacket, travel sized container of sunscreen (a must), cell phones, park tickets, gift cards, driver’s licenses, and credit card (SWA which gives us points).

    On 8/14/17 our MagicBands came after having been shipped on 8/10/17 from Davenport, FL. Blue for me and purple for Aaron.
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    Here’s how they looked on my wrist:
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    I put the setting on the very last hole of the outer grey band part and the first hole of the inner blue band part.

    At some point I also bought a cheap (I believe on sale and with an additional discount it was something like $17-$18 with tax) rain jacket from Cabela’s. I usually get cold inside places and I didn’t have this on our last trip. With rain it’s not the end of the world but if I’m going to have a jacket and I’m going to Florida I should make it a rain jacket.

    I should mention that I converted some Target gift cards in store to Disney gift cards (left over from our wedding back in 2013-we just don’t shop at Target), I got 2 Disney gift cards (1 for Christmas and 1 for my birthday) and then right before we left for our trip we converted a Wal-Mart gift card to a Disney gift card (also left over from our wedding in 2013-guess I had been saving it for some reason lol as we do shop frequently in Wal-Mart. In total we had $350 in Disney gift cards that we planned on using just for souvenirs. It was our way of allowing us to splurge on stuff we wouldn’t ordinarily buy. We also had Starbucks gift cards from various things (we don’t go to Starbucks but we do nowadays buy You Are Here mugs). We had I believe around $80 in Starbucks gift cards.
     
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  4. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 4: Labor Day weekend trip with Irma brewing
    For Labor Day weekend from 9/1-9/4 we were spending it at the Lake of the Ozarks near Osage Beach. The place where we stay at is in the Village of the Four Seasons. The Lodge of the Four Seasons resort is located there and our condo complex we stay at is not too far from there. It takes just over 3hrs to get there.

    Here’s just a few photos from that trip-

    Foggy morning (Saturday 9/2/17) when we were launching the boat into the water:
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    This is Aaron driving the boat (don’t worry we were stopped at the time of the picture):-Apparently Aaron likes that shirt a lot since he brought it with him on our Orlando trip lol. The boat belongs to the in-laws.
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    This is a view of what the condos are (the arrow shows the condo building we were staying at). The previous 2 years we had been staying at the same condo complex but 2 building to the left (if you are looking at the orientation of the picture) of the building we stayed at this year:
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    This is the view from right by the front door and shows the pool (which we actually didn’t go into). The balcony is screened in which helps keep the bugs out. We were on the lowest level this year and had to go down 2 flights of stairs from the parking lot:
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    Here is Aaron, myself, my mother-in-law and my step-father-in-law at our favorite lunch place down at the Lake:
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    I don’t have a picture of looking out to the lake so here is one from google images (photo is from May 2017 and is from an unknown to me person-Andrew Penney):
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    It can get pretty busy there for those boats and we really enjoy just sitting and people watching (well boat watching lol). It’s also a place where the water patrol is out strong as it’s a no-wake zone (meaning you cannot go at a speed that puts up a wake (or waves basically) behind your boat. We usually play a “will the water patrol stop that boat or that boat” game lol

    Here is a view from our favorite place to get dessert. This is the outdoor patio that is first come first serve. It’s a great way to spend a relaxing time having some coffee and their amazing desserts.
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    *Sorry for that little detour just thought I’d share a few pictures of a weekend trip leading up to our bigger, much anticipated Orlando trip

    Before our Labor Day vacation started hurricane Irma was just starting. At first I wasn’t too concerned because it was just starting but the next few days were with me glued to the National Hurricane Center’s website. I was getting worried due to the expected path. I’ll admit it wasn’t the most fun at the Lake that weekend simply because I was stressed about Irma.

    When we got home we kept our eyes still glued on the NHC’s website. The expected timeline was for the hurricane to impact us on Sunday-Monday (9/10/17-9/11/17). We were waiting until 9/7//17 to make our ultimate decision due to everyone saying the path would get more firmed up and waiting to see if Disney would go on a hurricane warning. Well 9/7/17 rolled around and we needed to check in for our SWA flight. At that time the path seemed to be more on the east coast of Florida which I had found out was much better as it put Orlando on the ‘clean’ side of the hurricane. So we decided to continue on with our plans. We did not make our decision lightly at all. We did understand that the expected path and category were subject to change.

    I had been reading a hurricane thread on the DIS and found some helpful hints. Aaron went ahead and packed us a suitcase (medium size) of food and crystal light packets. We did this knowing we would probably be holed up in the room for at least Sunday and Monday. We also brought flashlights with us in case the power went out. We also discussed if we could feasibly extend our vacation a day or two to make up for those two days. We decided to bring Aaron’s work laptop in addition to our personal one so Aaron could do some work while we were unable to leave the resort during the hurricane.

    Ok so planning is finally (edited: spelling) complete!!! If I remember something later on that I did I will let you all know. Thanks for sticking with me through all that :-):-) I know sometimes the planning part can be boring but I didn’t do a Pre-Trip Report so I added all the planning on here to my actual Trip Report.

    So bags were packed, hurricane preparedness done, flights checked in and Orlando here we come! :jumping1:
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  5. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 5: Arrival Day Part 1 (adjusted chapter number effective 1/13/18)
    So our flight out of KCI (MCI is the actual code) was at 7:10am on 9/8/17. We left our house at 4:50am and arrived at The Parking Spot at 5:30am. There is a shuttle that takes you to your terminal and by 5:45am we arrived at our terminal. Security took about 10mins.

    Not too long after we found out that our flight was being delayed roughly an hour at the request of Orlando International Airport. It wasn’t a weather-related issue but rather so many planes coming in and out trying to get people out of the area prior to the hurricane hitting. Orlando’s airport was scheduled to shut down I believe around 5pm on Saturday 9/9/17. We certainly understood the delay (though delays aren’t what people want when they travel) as we were those people going to Orlando towards the hurricane.

    We grabbed a quick bite to eat (a muffin for Aaron and a bagel with cream cheese for me plus we shared a drink). We knew because of boarding positions that a lot of people had cancelled less than 24 hrs prior to the flight (there was a passenger with a B boarding position for example) but only 30 people total were on board.

    There was 1 person going back home and batting down the hatches, another person from our area whose parents lived on a farm in FL (I can’t off the top of my head remember exactly where). He was talking about trying to get horses out of harm’s way. And there was another person working for the Red Cross from our area going down to work in the Headquarters building in Orlando. She actually spoke about how sometimes they are put up in Disney resorts (though this time she wasn’t). We spoke quite a lot about the safety of Disney’s resorts and how locals do seek shelter there at times (which I had heard about from the DIS Boards as well).

    The Flight Attendants had us sit in rows 1-20 so they could more easily hand out beverages and snacks and it also helped get us off the plane quicker. We sat in the first row.

    About 7:45am we boarded our flight and by 8:00 we pushed off the gate.

    Funny side story Aaron’s dad’s girlfriend texted Aaron asking for like the 3rd time if we would delay our trip and her last text said “how about flying in on Wednesday instead?” The thing is I knew that while no one wants to stay holed up in their resort room with the length of our trip I would rather be there and know we’re there then try to fly in just after the hurricane had passed and knowing from other people’s experience that was the right call. People were having their flights cancelled for Tuesday 9/12/17 and either delayed or cancelled for Wednesday 9/13/17.

    Anyways Aaron texted back to her saying “Well we’re on the plane…so that won’t work out”.

    By 8:10am we were in the air on our way to Orlando!

    The plane landed at Orlando International Airport around 11:30am eastern time and we got to the gate about 11:40am. We got our luggage and went on our way to get our rental car. As mentioned earlier Aaron has Avis Preferred and his name was up on the board with our spot number. By 12:30pm (edited: adjusted time) we were leaving the airport and headed too……

    ~Stayed tuned to see where I was headed to :) ~
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  6. Elsaalltheway

    Elsaalltheway DIS Veteran

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    We were there during Irma too.
     
  7. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    That's awesome!! What were your dates and where did you stay at?
     
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  8. paradesintherain

    paradesintherain DIS Veteran

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    Hello! This looks like fun, I'll be joining in. I'm from Missouri so I feel like I should say something against the Jayhawks but I just don't care about college sports enough :rotfl:

    I know this lake! So exciting to see someone from the same area!

    That's my airport! Haha, again, just excited to see someone from my area. Do you love or hate KCI? I'm in the love crowd, but I do see its shortcomings.

    The lack of food options being one of the shortcomings.


    Can't wait to read more!
     
  9. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    KcMo recently voted to build a new KCI airport terminal. Who knows how the airport is going to change, but it looks like they are gong to make it more modern.
     
  10. Capang

    Capang DIS Veteran

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    Joining in!
     
  11. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    :rotfl2: I'm not one who knows all the intimate details like the players stats and whatnot but I do enjoy watching the Jayhawks play....well football hasn't been as enjoyable for years though lol

    I love finding people on the DIS who live in the area. I grew up going to the Lake of the Ozarks as my grandparents lived there (I can never remember the mile marker though of where they lived). I had a decent hiatus though when my grandparents moved up to the KC metro area. But for the last few years I've been going to the Lake with my mother-in-law and step-father-in-law as well as my father-in-law who has a lake house there by Laurie (on the Gravois arm).

    I'm in the love crowd. I'm concerned for the new airport. I feel that Burns and Mac would have likely taken more consideration for what the locals love and enjoy about the airport but *sigh* I guess we'll see. I think for the most part the reason a new airport was passed was because funds for it were not going through sales or property tax. Unfortunately as a resident of KS I couldn't vote on it. But I did recently find out that they will hold a town hall-style meeting in KS so residents can express opinions on what they would like to be taken into consideration for the new airport.

    It is but one thing I love....I know I'm not typically going to be stuck in the airport for too too long. I did eat at the BBQ place once or twice (which has an entrance both inside and outside security) and it was really good. If I had to say one of its short comings was more charging seats even if they aren't the nicer chairs they currently have in the Terminal where SWA flys out of (as that is the primary airline we use).

    Thank you!!!
     
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  12. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for joining in!! :)
     
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  13. Elsaalltheway

    Elsaalltheway DIS Veteran

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    We were there from the 4th to the 14th. It was a great time. W stayed at Pop in the new renovated rooms.
     
  14. Stasieki

    Stasieki DIS Veteran

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    We left Disney on the 8th after a fun week. We almost stayed due to the gas situation (driving to Nashville), but left at 2:00 AM and only took us an extra hour with one or two times ending up at a station with no gas.
     
  15. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    I'm glad you had a great time! What did you think of the renvoated rooms? I've seen the pics from the main thread about them but I know some people have liked them others did not. Did you like the option of folding up the murphy bed? The decor inside?
     
  16. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    Oh well that's good to hear :)

    I know unfortunately some people had hours and hours added onto their drives home. I'm glad you guys got home safe though :) :)

    Where did you stay at while you were at Disney?
     
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  17. Elsaalltheway

    Elsaalltheway DIS Veteran

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    I enjoyed the murphy bed, but we left it down the whole time. We declined maid service so there was no reason to fold it up every day.
     
  18. Stasieki

    Stasieki DIS Veteran

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    We were at Coronado Springs. Loved it!
     
  19. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    I'm glad you enjoyed the murphy bed. I know that's been quite a sticking point for some. I can understand where loss of a desk-ish area if you left the bed down all the time would be a downer. Then again if you left the bed up all the time (especially if you didn't need it because of the number of people staying in the room) that could be quite the bonus for extra walking room. Personally for me I wouldn't put it up and down everyday..I think I would get tired of doing that lol.
     
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  20. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    Ohhh nice. I'm glad you liked it!
     
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  21. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    Hey guys I'm working on another large update!

    So sorry for the length in time for another update. Life got busy, holidays happened and we went out of town and I'm still waiting on Aaron to get some things off of the knock off go pro we brought. I totally forgot to mention that earlier that we bought one. There's a chest harness that Aaron wore and I want to see if I can get those videos on my trip report depending on the quality.

    Anyways thanks for sticking with me. Hope to have the update done here soon :D:D:D.
     
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