2018 Happy Merry Birthday Christmas

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by teetee830, Sep 4, 2017.

?

Which Resort would you choose?

  1. Pop

    7.1%
  2. Animal Kingdom Lodge

    57.1%
  3. Contemporary

    21.4%
  4. Beach Club

    14.3%
  5. Talk DS into Port Orleans French Quarter

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. teetee830

    teetee830 "If you can dream it you can do it."~Walt Disney

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    Hi all, I welcome you to read along. I'm going to try out doing a pre-trip report and using it as sort of a stream of conciseness sort of planning tool. Plus, as of starting the report we are 15 months out which is the farthest out I've ever planned a trip so yikes the wait might kill me! I tried doing a trip report for our last trip and kind of dropped the ball when life got in the way so hopefully I'll do better this time :rolleyes1.

    Now on to the basic plan, as of right now. We'll be going for my son's birthday so the date isn't going to change everything else is fair game lol. Dates will be November 29 - December 2, 2018. DS's birthday is the 1st, which is a Saturday, so we'll get to celebrate! It will most likely be myself and DS, but my mom might join also. We'll for sure do MVMCP otherwise the plan is open. Our last trip was a few weeks before Pandora opened so AK is probably in the cards and most likely we'll want to check out the new Toy Story Land otherwise I'm not sure of anything.

    EPCOT_BACKSIDE_4_20170322_7983878437 copy (427x640).jpg

    Immediately I'd like to figure out which resort we want to stay at. My favorite is POFQ, but DS wants to stay someplace we've never stayed. So my short list is; POP, Animal Kingdom Lodge (possibly renting points for DVC), Contemporary or Beach Club. Below are my thoughts on each and I think I'll add poll and you guys can help :worship:.

    POP, obviously my least expensive option which is the most appealing.
    Animal Kingdom Lodge, my son's choice. My concern here is transportation times. We like to take rests at the resort after lunches and I worry that travel back and forth will eat a lot of time at this resort. Thoughts?
    Contemporary and Beach Club, both are desirable for the same reason, proximity to parks and we have wanted to stay at both. Although, as I'm thinking about it we might skip Epcot this trip so maybe BC is out.

    Any other suggestions? My priority is new to us resort and ease of transportation. Resorts we've stayed at are; POFQ, POR, WL & ASM. All but POFQ we've only stayed at once and POFQ we've stayed at 5 times (I love it :love:).

    Ok I think that's it for now. I'll probably go back in later and add some pictures and other planning thoughts. Look forward to your results of the poll and any suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
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  2. teetee830

    teetee830 "If you can dream it you can do it."~Walt Disney

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    I've been using the same Excel workbook for my Disney planning for years and I think it really works for me. I can keep all my plans in one place. When I'm finally set and getting ready to go on our trip I print everything out and put it in my binder along with my airline boarding passes, etc. Then I have everything I need at my fingertips, make traveling and checking to the airport and resort so much easier for me.

    I'll try to upload some screen shots of my workbook next week, but for now here is a picture of my binder (I hope I'm not seeing it in the preview). Let me know if you want to see more detail and how I set it up, and of course I'll include the actual set up as the trip gets closer.

    36311342993_7f9202a97e_m.jpg

    So this week I set up my spreadsheet with my dates and a tentative park day plan. I'll wait to share that with the spreadsheet.

    If I ever get this picture thing figured out I'll go back and add my cast of characters and some other pictures. I've never had a problem add images before but this is the first time I'm trying to do this from my iPad maybe that doesn't work, let me know if you know. :confused3

    Thanks for reading along.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
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  4. DVC Kevin

    DVC Kevin Earning My Ears

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    Planning 15 months ahead it's going to be great, the wait is long yes but the reward will be well worth it! Sounds like you're getting into the kind of planning I like to do. Lots of good options. MY choice for resort would be POFQ.
     
  5. teetee830

    teetee830 "If you can dream it you can do it."~Walt Disney

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    Ok so I think maybe I'm pretty sure (not really) I've decided on Poly for our resort. My plan is to fly in Thursday, 11/29, late afternoon early evening. My son has requested a meal at 'Ohana and I'm thinking maybe that would be a good thing for dinner that Thursday. There is a Southwest has a non-stop out of Indy that lands at MCO around 7:30. There is also one that lands at 5:30is but that would require taking my son out of school early so I'm not sure. I'm thinking maybe we could swing a 9:00 ADR if we are staying at Poly? That gives him his 'Ohana and new resort and me my Monorail resort, win win. :yay:
     
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  6. teetee830

    teetee830 "If you can dream it you can do it."~Walt Disney

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    I think I've changed my mind and we might stay an extra day. Three park days means we have to skip a park, which was going to be Epcot (since we were just there in March). Now I need to decide if I want to arrive on Wednesday and home on Sunday or continue with the original plan of Thursday and home on Monday. To much time to make too many decisions.
     
  7. teetee830

    teetee830 "If you can dream it you can do it."~Walt Disney

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    Wooo Hooo!!! I finally figured out the picture thing. I don't remember it being that difficult to figure out before. :confused3

    Any way without further ado......

    Cast of Characters

    My self, 47 (shhhh) trips to WDW 8, DCL 1.
    file.jpeg
    Self confessed travel and Disney-aholic. For me half the fun of a trip is the planning, although I'm not sure I'm a fan of starting 15 months in advance.
    Favorites
    Disney Movie - Mary Poppins
    Park - Magic Kingdom
    Character - Mary Poppins & Stitch
    Disney Dining - Be Our Guest
    Snack - Dole Whip Float
    Ride - Haunted Mansion
    Resort - Port Orleans French Quarter

    DS, 10 (as of this writing will be turning 12 on our trip) Trips to WDW 5, DCL 1
    EPCOT_ECENTR5_20170322_7984131052 (427x640).jpg

    Loves all things Disney, Star Wars and Marvel. Is 100% certain he will someday get the sword out the stone and be crowned King of the Magic Kingdom!

    MK_CSTLBACK_20170321_7982772332 (427x640).jpg

    Favorites-edited after asking DS
    Disney Movie - LILO and Stitch and Cars
    Park - Epcot (until Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens)
    Character - Secretly Daisy Duck (she's his first girlfriend) but if you ask Mickey Mouse and Stitch
    Disney Dining - Be Our Guest
    Snack - Dole Whip Float
    Ride - Spaceship Eart
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
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  8. teetee830

    teetee830 "If you can dream it you can do it."~Walt Disney

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    Today I've been spending time trying to narrow down what resort I want to stay at. I'd like to have our reservations made by the end of the week, I can always call and apply/change to any discounts might come out for our time.

    I thought this would be a perfect time to share part of my planning workbook.

    Discount.jpg

    This is the worksheet I use to help me narrow down resort choices. First I run the quote on https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/ to see what each will price out as. Yes the first section might be un-necessary but it helps me to see them lined up together with the price difference laid out in black and white. Then I plug in what the latest room only discount or if free dining is an offer for each and I can see which discount would be better.

    Obviously in these cases I'm not always comparing apples to apples but seeing it helps me decide if the added expense for the most expensive option is worth it. In this case I'm still torn, an extra $1,000 is a lot but, I'm planning a year in advance and its a shorter trip so proximity to parks and ease of transportation is key. Plus, its one of my dream resorts! Ugh the struggle is real people

    y5su1.jpg

    Basically I'm still undecided, any input/justification would be appreciated.
     
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  9. teetee830

    teetee830 "If you can dream it you can do it."~Walt Disney

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    I've decided to wait until 12 months out to make my resort reservations. I could possibly be just stalling so I don't have to decide which resort to pick.

    I the mean time I found a really awesome 2018 planner at Target.
    IMG_0365.JPG

    It's May Designs for Blue Sky and styled like a travelers notebook. It came with two inserts one for each half of 2018. They also have other insert notebooks you can buy separately. The planner was $19.99 and the notebooks were $6.99 for a two pack.I needed the 2018 planner and thought the notebooks would be good for trip planning and my travel journal.

    This morning I started my to do list in the Lists notebook (revolutionary huh ). For right now I've only done my rough travel outline and beginning to do list.
    IMG_0366.JPG
    IMG_0367.JPG

    I have almost exactly 13 months until I'm back home!
     
  10. becalubob

    becalubob DIS Veteran

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    Following along! I've been debating over when to start my pre-trip report since I still have quite a wait as well (Oct. 2018). Maybe writing about it will make the time go by faster!!
     
  11. teetee830

    teetee830 "If you can dream it you can do it."~Walt Disney

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    Hi thanks for joining our journey!
     
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  12. teetee830

    teetee830 "If you can dream it you can do it."~Walt Disney

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    I've finally decided on a resort, and I'm not allowing myself to change my mind. At the end of the month I will be making reservations at Contemporary! It ticks all our boxes: new to us, ease of transportation and close enough to get to O'Hana for dinner our first day.

    I'm also going to go head and book an extra day, so leaving on Monday, December 3rd instead of the Sunday the 2nd. If I decide I don't want DS to miss 2 days of school I'll just drop it later but at least it will all be planned for. Easier to drop than add later.

    I think I'll call and book because I have a question, the 'Tis the Season special offer where you get the special magic band is available until the 15th which would be fun but I'm not sure what happens if I book that and then a room only discount becomes available. If I have the magic bands will I be able to change special offers? Also, if a room only discount doesn't pop up I may have to end up switching resorts to POFQ.

    Ok I think that all new I have to report on the planning front. In life news I'm very proud of my DS straight A's on his first 5th grade report card and he made the Robotics Team.
     
  13. becalubob

    becalubob DIS Veteran

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    The Contemporary sounds perfect, and if that doesn't work, POFQ is a great back-up!

    Good question about the offers - I would definitely call.

    Straight A's and the Robotics Team!! Very impressive!! Future engineer? :)
     
  14. teetee830

    teetee830 "If you can dream it you can do it."~Walt Disney

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    I'll post the answers to those questions when I call.

    Thank you, his hope is to be an astronaut. He says he wants to be he first person to walk on Mars.
     
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  15. teetee830

    teetee830 "If you can dream it you can do it."~Walt Disney

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    I have an update quicker than I thought. I called the reservation line today to ask my questions about the 'Tis the Season offer. According to the person I talked to the is no stipulation for not being able to change offers. Apparently, at that point I just have the bonus Magic Band which is only available with the offer.

    Since I was already on the phone with her I went ahead and booked! party:I'm officially booked for November 29th - December 3rd at Contemporary!!
     
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  16. becalubob

    becalubob DIS Veteran

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    Nice!!! :banana:
     
  17. disney castle days

    disney castle days Earning My Ears

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    Following along!

    I've been debating wether its too early to start a PTR (Nov. 2018). I'm starting to think that I will.

    I completely get you with trying to decide on hotels. Right now we are between staying at BLT the whole time or split staying BLT and BC. I haven't stayed in the Contemporary, but having stayed at BLT, the Contemporary is so much fun and you can't beat the proximity to MK!
     
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  18. teetee830

    teetee830 "If you can dream it you can do it."~Walt Disney

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    Hi! Welcome! :welcome:

    I'm beginning to think I started too soon. There is only so much planning to be done at this point. Right now I'm deep in the weeds of Thanksgiving, DS's Birthday and Christmas all within a month. Shew!! It makes me tired just thinking of it.
     
  19. teetee830

    teetee830 "If you can dream it you can do it."~Walt Disney

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    So it’s been a minute since I posted an update, December is always a crazy month for me what with Thanksgiving then my son’s birthday then into all the Christmas fun. I hope everyone had an amazing holiday season.

    Finally, it’s 2018 and even though I know I’m still 11 months out just being able to say we’re going this year makes it sound closer somehow.

    I’ve made a resort change, not surprised. After starting to think of our plans and the Dining we would be interested in I decided that it made more sense to stay at Poly. I made the change official today and we will be in a Deluxe Studio. Although I’m hopeful that a discount will come out that I can apply even with a room change.

    I think I mentioned in an earlier post the my son had requested dinner at O’hana and I want to try breakfast at Kona Cafe, the pressed pot coffee is calling my name. That’s two for sure meals at Poly and what sealed the deal was looking the the Contemporary’s quick service menu, it just didn’t sound all that appealing to me.

    Now I only have 5 month before I can make ADRs , I’d better get planning.
     
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  20. MiracleCream

    MiracleCream Mouseketeer

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    Hello! I’m following along as I’ll be at WDW same time as you but a bit longer. The last week of November ☺️ Not doing PTR because I don’t think I’ll hace the time to do that but I love to read others to help me make decisions. I was rooting while reading through your PTR because I love the Contemporary sooo much. It was an emotional rollercoaster. Yay when you picked it then Booo when you went for Poly
     
  21. teetee830

    teetee830 "If you can dream it you can do it."~Walt Disney

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    Welcome! :welcome:

    :rotfl2:You cracked me up with the drama of my resort choice. I’m a little torn about the choice but that just means another trip right.
     
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