Hello Dis peoples! I am still in the very early planning stages of our next trip, nothing is booked yet, but I wanted a place to write down all my ideas and keep track of the plans. Tenatively, we are heading back in late January/early February 2019. Who we are: Me (Aimee), my husband (DH) and our two boys (DS1 and DS2). My boys will be 6 and 4 years old when we go on the trip. At the time of our last trip, DS1 was 4 and had so much fun, so I'm hoping to have that same experience with DS2 this time around. The Avatar section of AK wasn't opened on our last trip, and Toy Story land is supposed to be opened this summer so hopefully that means it will actually open in time for our trip. So those are all new things that we can't wait to see. Our reasons for planning a trip in January/February are similar to picking November last time we went - we are not people that handle heat well, so the cooler months are ideal, and we want to avoid the massive crowds. That mostly worked out well when we went in early November, but one thing I didn't count on was all Christmas everything. I want to hear the regular park music and not plan days around party nights and all that. In my November 2016 TR, I talked about a family friend I call our Fairy Godmother (FG), who is a DVC owner. On that trip, she let us use her points and reserved a room at the Boardwalk for us. For the upcoming trip, she has talked about renting a 2 bedroom suite and letting us stay with her and her husband. I was a little hesitant of this plan at first, because of things like privacy, and worried for my friend and her husband, who are an older couple and might not be used to the noise and antics of two young boys. After doing a little research, I discovered that the 2 bedroom DVC suites are a 1 bedroom suite attached to a studio, which is the kind of room we stayed in on our last trip and was perfect for us. So each family would have its own space and bathroom, and we would be able to share the common space but also close the door to our side of the suite when needed. After discussing with DH, he had no problem sharing a suite with FG and her husband. At this point, I'm not really sure what the plan would be as far as how much of each day we would spend together, but we'll figure that out as we go along. The where is up in the air, as it all depends on FG and where she books the stay. The Boardwalk is her home property, so that is a likely contender, but I would also love to stay at the AKL or Poly. I'm not going to count the FG eggs before they hatch, and have alternate plans in mind if FG ends up not booking. What's also not set yet is the number of nights. In Nov '16, FG booked 5 nights for us (Monday-Saturday), and I'm not sure how many nights she plans on booking for next year. My ideal trip I have planned in my head is arriving Thursday night, flying out after work/school that day, and checking out the following Saturday, which is 9 nights/8 days. My reasoning for this was while 5 nights was great, it really felt so rushed and we didn't have time in our plans to take a break, and there were only 4 days with no travel. With the longer trip, we would be able to have a day off from the parks and hopefully relax a little bit! So when I find out if/what FG books, I will probably add on a few nights at CBR, Pop Century, AoA, or one of the other value resorts. I've thought ahead a bit to dining and fastpasses, which is getting ahead of myself, but some reservations I want to make are 'Ohana dinner (during MK fireworks would be amazing), Sanaa or Boma, Via Napoli, a character meal or two - maybe Tusker House? Wild Cards - Dining plan. I am hoping to get the dining plan this time around, especially now that DS2 can't eat for free at buffets. For our family of 4, the regular dining plan is around $200/night (2018 prices). We paid OOP for dining during our 2016 trip and it was just pretty stressful worrying about how much things cost. Even if we're not saving money, it wold great to just have it paid for and not have to think about it. - Stroller. We rented a double stroller last time around, and I'm not sure if it will be neccessary this time, but I suspect it will be. 6 and 4 is still pretty young, especially to keep up with all the walking. The other factor is my kids are so big for their ages - DS1 at 5 years old is basically the size of a 7 or 8 year old. Who knows how big he will be in a year and if he will even be able to comfortably ride in a stroller. - Family. When we went in 2016, my cousin and grandma met us at Disney Springs for an afternoon. I would hate to go all the way to FL and not see my grandma, but I would prefer for my cousin to bring her to Disney as they live outside of Tampa and we would be relying on Disney transportation again, but with a longer trip, maybe us going to her would not be out of the question. - Legoland. DS1 really wants to go to Legoland, and I was thinking of taking a day to head over there, but the cost of one-day tickets and the fact that we wouldn't be able to use the dining plan that day are really deterring me. There are also plans to open a Legoland in New York in a couple years, and that would be an easy day trip for us. The last thing I want to talk about is money, which I know is one of those things you're not supposed to talk about, but I really wanted to talk about how we're affording the trip because it is not something that is easy for our family. Even though DH and I both work, there is not a lot of room left in our budget for saving for a vacation. To be quite honest, we ended up putting a lot of the last WDW trip, and a trip to the beach last summer on credit cards, and paying them off has just been painful. Going in to this next trip, our goal is to take on absolutely no new debt and to have it paid ahead of time. To that end, last month I started doing freelance closed captioning work at night, and spend a few hours every day working on that. They pay into my Paypal every week, and as soon as that is deposited, I order a Disney gift card for the amount I was paid. I've already saved a good bit of money and I prefer getting it on gift cards because if it was just a chunk of cash sitting in the account, we would definitely find something else to spend it on. By buying the Disney gift cards, it is earmarked just for our trip. (I get absolutely nothing if I refer someone to the company, so please don't mistake this for me trying to recruit people) I'm also talking about it here to keep myself accountable and not to slack off on saving. So that's where we are now. If anyone has any questions or suggestions, I'd love to hear them!