Fairy Godmother waves her magic wand... Jan 2019 PTR (UPDATE 6/20)

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by cinderaimee, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. cinderaimee

    cinderaimee Mouseketeer

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    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)

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    and our two boys (DS1 and DS2).

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    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. :p 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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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?

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    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!

    :tinker:
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018 at 11:45 PM
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  2. Mystyg

    Mystyg WDW Dreamer

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    I don't know your financial situation, but we don't make a lot so we are still able to get refund money. So basically every year I discuss how many to claim on the W-4 so that we either don't owe taxes or preferably get a refund. I also have a Disney Visa Chase card but it only has $500 limit. So I try and use and pay it off as much as I can to earn reward dollars onto a Disney GC. And I started spring cleaning with a plan to sell stuff on the Facebook marketplace for some additional money. In fact, since I started selling some things I've had other family members ask me to sell stuff for them too and I can keep part of the money received. But I'm on DisBoards specifically to find information regarding the same exact thing, how to afford it all :) I would love to stay at DVC and I think all three places you want to go are lovely. We only ate at O'hana for breakfast and I really hope I can stay at the Poly sometime.
     
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  4. cinderaimee

    cinderaimee Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for reading and the suggestions!! :)
     
  5. musicalgirl2010

    musicalgirl2010 Mouseketeer

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    Hi I know it’s a little early but I’m here to follow along with another early Planner! I’m also planning a trip for late January/Early February 2019!
     
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  6. Kippa-Dee-Do-Dah

    Kippa-Dee-Do-Dah Earning My Ears

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    I'd love to know more about the close-captioning work and how to get started with that. I'm a SAHM and am looking for a way to financially contribute to our trip. Feel free to send me a message please!
     
    cinderaimee likes this.
  7. JessH87

    JessH87 Earning My Ears

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    I'm following along! I read along with your last trip report and enjoyed reading and I'm looking forward to hearing how trip plans out!

    I'd also be interested in more info about the closed captioning work if you want to share! Im a newly stay at home mom and am looking at ways to pay for my Disney addiction!!
     
    cinderaimee likes this.
  8. xtinelizabeth

    xtinelizabeth Earning My Ears

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    Following! This will be our first time and we're aiming to go from February 3 - 12, 2019! I've already submitted and paid a deposit on DVCrequest to rent points for an animal kingdom studio villa! They won't be able to check availability until March 5th so until then I'm crossing my fingers and hoping they'll have enough points for me.

    We're a family of 5 (one infant, thankfully) and Canadian to boot. The currency exchange is going to big the biggest kick in my butt. Happy planning!
     
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  9. mdsouth

    mdsouth DIS Veteran

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    WOW! I need to find a friend like yours! It sounds like you will be able to have some time with your friend but also have your own privacy when needed. Two thumbs up!:thumbsup2:thumbsup2

    And then your idea of adding extra days for just your family is a good one. I, agree, when I compare two of my trips, 5 days and eight days, of course the eight days trip was nicer since we were able to take some things at a more leisurely pace, knowing we had a second or third day planned for the same park.

    Add me to the list of people interested in getting started on the closed captioning work. You can PM me. I am a teacher, so it would make a nice side job in the summer months to use for my Disney addiction too! ::MickeyMo::MinnieMo
     
  10. cinderaimee

    cinderaimee Mouseketeer

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    Hi all! Sorry to leave you hanging, I thought I would get a notification if I got replies to this thread.

    The company I do closed captioning is rev.com (I'll remove that if not allowed, but I don't get paid for referring people or anything like that). I'm not going to lie that the pay is not so great, especially for the amount of time some of the videos take, but it's great for something to do on your own schedule, at your own pace, you get to pick the jobs you want to do. So far I've saved about 1/3 of my goal.

    Just as a general update to the trip planning... I haven't heard much from Fairy Godmother about the trip. We'll see what happens, but if she doesn't offer, I'm not going to keep bugging her. Either way, I'm going forward with planning and saving with the assumption I'm on my own and if she reserves something, that will just be a bonus.
     
  11. cinderaimee

    cinderaimee Mouseketeer

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    Did you get AKV?? That's one of my dreams!
     
  12. Twoboysnmygirl

    Twoboysnmygirl DIS Veteran

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    Hello hello! Following!! We are planning for the end of Feb 2019, so I'm already planning too! It's never too early in my book.

    I giggled at your comment about going in november and everything being Christmas. I went on a short 3 night anniversary trip with my dh in November 2012 and was a little disappointed because in my head, disney is NOT Christmas, its Disney. The Christmas music really threw me off! Most people thought I was nuts bc i think lots of people like Christmas at Disney.

    Totally understand the money issues. To be honest, when I see most people talking about their trips I realize that we probably shouldn't even take trips with our income, we definitely aren't the typical family that can afford disney trips. I save a LOT and sacrifice so I can go. We do shorter trips and we dont do full family trips anymore, two people is cheaper than 5! We wouldn't be able to anyway because my boys college schedule is the exact opposite of mine, anytime they are off, I have to work!

    Looking forward to seeing all your plans!
     
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  13. cinderaimee

    cinderaimee Mouseketeer

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    I am glad we are on the same page about Disney being Disney. I don't need Christmas Disney! Regular Disney is so special on its own, I can hear Jingle Bell Rock at the mall at home. The decorations and costumes were fine, but the music seriously killed my Disney vibe.

    As far as the money thing... you can't take it with you, right? We are generally pretty modest, frugal people. We don't have a big house or flashy cars, I don't buy expensive purses or shoes. If I want to save up to go to Disney every few years, I don't think anyone should judge that, even if there are other things I should be spending money on (*cough new roof cough*) or paying off (uggghhhh student loans), but how many chances will I have to take my kids to Disney when they're little, or even can miss a week of school without it being a big deal?

    I love the idea of doing shorter trips or smaller groups. One day I'd love to take one-on-one trips with my boys, and I've been talking to my sisters about doing a long weekend without the kids sometime.

    Thanks for following along and commenting!
     
  14. TheOneWithTheTriplets

    TheOneWithTheTriplets Earning My Ears

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    Following. We're looking at late February into early March. My girls will be 5 at the time, so very close in age to your boys, but it will be their first trip.
     
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  15. cinderaimee

    cinderaimee Mouseketeer

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    BIG UPDATE - WE ARE BOOKED!

    I am so overwhelmed and in shock right now. I text with Fairy Godmother pretty regularly and since our initial discussion of going to Disney together, she hadn't really said anything else about it, and mentioned in one of our conversations that she had booked a trip for her and her husband in January, but didn't invite me along or ask about my plans, so I figured that was dead in the water. Her DH has also been dealing with some scary health issues lately so I could see them wanting to spend some time alone.

    So I went ahead with planning my "Plan B" trip and talking with a Disney planner and I knew booking was opening this week, so I texted FG this afternoon just to see what her dates were to see if we could possibly overlap a few days and spend some time together (she lives on the West Coast and we are in the DC area, so we haven't seen each other in a few years), and long story short...

    WE ARE BOOKED FOR 6 NIGHTS IN A ONE BEDROOM BOULDER RIDGE VILLA AT WILDERNESS LODGE!!!!

    :eek::jumping1::hyper:

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    Sorry for the all caps, but it has been a crazy day. I keep tearing up, just overwhelmed by FG's generosity and kindness. What have I done to deserve her?

    Many more plans to be made, I'm trying to narrow down my dining and FP choices but it's all just so crazy, and we are also planning on booking 3 more nights to extend the trip a little longer but I just had to jump on here and update because I am in complete shock right now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018 at 11:35 AM
  16. JessH87

    JessH87 Earning My Ears

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    Nice!!! Congrats! It's such a great feeling to have the resort actually booked!
     
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  17. musicalgirl2010

    musicalgirl2010 Mouseketeer

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    Yay! Congratulations!
     
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  18. cinderaimee

    cinderaimee Mouseketeer

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    Yes! Even though I've been planning this trip for awhile now, booking is like it's really really happening!

    Thank you!
     
  19. cinderaimee

    cinderaimee Mouseketeer

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    BIG UPDATE #2

    Two bookings in two days, it's been a bit of a week.

    We are officially booked Jan 10-13 at the Caribbean Beach Resort!

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    I went back and forth a lot on which resort to book the extra days at, considered Art of Animation and Pop Century, but thanks to FG we had a ton more budget to work with and decided to go with CBR. I've been working with a vacation planner and she also suggested POR might be a good fit for us, but at the end of the day my gut said to go with CBR.

    I still have a soft spot for AoA - when I was on maternity leave with DS2 I saw a commercial with AoA and that's what sent me down the whole Disney rabbit hole. I just can't justify the cost of a family suite when you can get moderates for less, and the Little Mermaid rooms are just so far from everything and I can't do the full size beds lol, but I know my boys would just love staying there. Someday.

    So all together that's Jan 10-19, with 8 day single park tickets. Right now I'm planning two days at each park and I've got to start making some dining choices. My first dining date is July 14 which is coming up so soon!

    I'm so excited to have a ticker again!
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018 at 11:35 AM
  20. cinderaimee

    cinderaimee Mouseketeer

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    So guess who didn't look at the calendar and realize I was booking right into Marathon weekend? Not what I wanted to do, but here we are. I rearranged some of my tentative park plans to try to avoid some of the crowds, and I've got ::checks watch:: 24 days until I can start booking dining, which means I need a general plan in place.

    And by general plan, I mean obsess over crowd calendars and every minute of the day, so this is what I've sketched out (okay, created a super detailed excel spreadsheet)

    Thursday Jan. 10
    Night time arrival at CBR

    Friday Jan. 11
    Park: AK
    ADRs: Tusker House lunch
    FP: FOP, Everest, Dino


    Saturday, Jan. 12
    Park: HS
    ADRs: PPO H&V Breakfast (mainly to get in and register for trials of the temple)
    FP: Slinky Dog, TSMM, Star Tours

    Sunday, Jan. 13
    Park: MK
    ADRs: ?
    FP: 7DMT, Splash, BTMRR
    This is our resort switch day. I'm hoping to get packed up the night before and deal with checking out early so we can hit rope drop at MK. This will probably be a heavy day at the park, so I'm hoping to do as much as we can early, then head to WL and wait for FG to get in and find our new room, then head back to MK in the evening for HEA.

    Monday, Jan. 14
    Park: Epcot (focus on future world)
    ADRs: Garden Grill Lunch
    FP: TT, Character spot, SE

    Tuesday, Jan. 15
    Park: HS
    ADRs: Ohana Dinner
    FP: Alien Ride?, TSMM, ?
    This is kind of a throwaway park day, I'm hoping to do everything we want at HS on the first day so if we want to take a day off we can do it here, or go back to MK instead.

    Wednesday, Jan. 16
    Park: Epcot (focus on world showcase)
    ADRs: Via Napoli lunch, Teppan Edo dinner
    FP: Frozen or Soarin', Nemo?

    Thursday, Jan. 17
    Park: MK
    ADRs: ?
    FP: SM, Buzz, peter pan


    Friday, Jan. 18
    Park: AK
    ADRs: Sanaa dinner
    FP: Sarari, Kali?, ROL

    Saturday, Jan. 19
    Check out day
    Depending on the flight, maybe breakfast Whispering Canon Cafe?

    Okay, so that's what I've thrown together (meticulously planned) so far. I'd love some input, especially when it comes to dining. This is only using about half of my TS credits but I'm just so wary of overbooking.






     

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