crazycatperson pre-trip reports - September 2014 (done), November 2014 (done), and February 2015

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crazycatperson pre-trip reports - September 2014 (done), November 2014 (done), and February 2015

We've been home from WDW less than a week, and we already have our next trip planned and booked! Actually, as I mentioned in my most recent trip report, we had it booked the night before we left for our recent Pop Century trip.

The preliminary details: Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Villas, one bedroom, savannah view, Saturday, November 1 through Saturday, November 8. Hubby has already declared he will spend a fair amount of his time on the balcony or patio enjoying the view, and while I also will spend some time there I will probably tour parks solo part of the time while he's relaxing.

We've never booked a trip this far out - we usually travel on RCI timeshare exchanges, and available weeks at WDW resorts usually don't show up until three or four months out. Thus, this is the first time we'll have the opportunity to make ADRs at the 180 day mark. Unfortunately, I can't forecast which parks we'll visit on each day since crowd estimates can hardly be considered reliable this far in advance, so I'm limiting our initial ADRs to resort restaurants, mostly at Animal Kingdom Lodge. They'll be so convenient on this trip where usually they are a good piece out of the way. We'll do 'Ohana around 8:30 one evening, hoping we can see the MK fireworks from our table, with the meal being the last item on that day's agenda. We'll do Boma one morning for breakfast; we've only had dinner there and are looking forward to seeing what their breakfast fare is like. We'll also have 5:30-ish ADRs for both Sanaa and Jiko, early enough to have dinner and then park hop someplace for the rest of the evening, and especially convenient for hubby if he spends his afternoons lounging on the savannah. Once we have a better handle on park crowds, I might make a lunch ADR or two at park restaurants that don't fill up fast. And there probably will be no Epcot ADRs at all because the Food and Wine Festival will be in progress and we absolutely adore cruising the booths all day long. Many of you reserve far enough in advance to make ADRs at the 180-day mark; how do you handle in-park ADRs when you don't know where you'll spend each day yet? Or do you just make the ADRs and go where you need to go to use them, crowds or no crowds?

If MNSSHP is still running November 2 and the crowds aren't forecast to be huge, we might get tickets. Or, if MVMCP has started before November 8, we might choose that instead. Or not. This particular week, being in between Halloween and the earliest beginnings of the winter holiday season at WDW, doesn't afford a lot of flexibility where the separate-admission parties are concerned.

We'll most likely fly into MCO and catch the Magical Express to AKL, which means that as much as I would like to spend a day exploring the new Diagon Alley expansion at Universal, it will probably need to wait till another trip. The good news is that we also have tentative plans to return to WDW yet again next February or March, and since I don't like to risk having a flight cancelled due to wintry weather I might try to talk hubby into making that trip on the Auto Train, which I love and he does not. That way we'll have a car and can easily leave the bubble for a day up the highway at the Universal parks. Either that, or we'll look into Mears transportation to and from Universal on one of those trips.

We've invited friends of ours along on the November trip. They've said they probably won't come along - the husband in that couple does not care for theme parks - but we hope they'll change their minds. If they do, we could book them an offsite timeshare to afford them a little privacy, or we could put them up on our sofa, since the AKL one-bedroom units have two bathrooms. I don't mind having our friends sleep on the sofa, but no way I am making four adults over 50 share one bathroom!

I do have a concern about Magic Bands. We already have one each (and could've had two each, but we had them keep the two gray ones that were waiting for us at Pop Century on our recent trip). However, the WDW website wants to give us not one, but TWO more for each of us - one for the AKL reservation, and a second because we have annual passes. How do you all handle this? It seems such a waste to have the Disney people send us a total of four more Magic Bands when we already have some. Is it possible to get them to cancel the new ones, or should we just customize the darn things and forget about it?

Anyway...ADR day is May 5 and FastPass+/online check-in day is September 2. As you can see below, some Mickey Mail has already arrived. I've got the cute little schedule magnet on the fridge to remind us of the fun that's waiting for us this fall.

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kormelmer's picture
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We have three sets of Magic Bands and we only got our annual passes last month (1 for Old Key Wes, 1 for Beach Club in May, and 1 for annual passes). We color coded our annual passes red and are using other colors for the hotel rooms. I am really hoping since we do a lot of weekends at Disney (live in FL) that we do not get a set of magic bands each time. At this rate by December we should have about 8 sets. It does seem like a waste and I agree with you I wish we could reuse them.

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We've stayed at:
Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, Beach/Yacht Club, Old Key West Resort, Port Orleans (Riverside & French Quarter), Coronado Springs, Boardwalk Inn, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Caribbean Beach, Pop Century, All Star (Music & Sports).

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You do know that you can reuse the Magicbands right? We have one of every color and all are active. We can pick and choose what ever color we want for whatever day. Our annual pass is connected to them all. If you buy tickets, you just have to connect the ticket number to your MyDisneyExperience.

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I will be there too!!!! yay

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Mr Hub, Thanks for the info, but is there a way for us to tell Disney not to send us a set of Magic bands? I would rather not have several sets of Magic bands floating around the house.

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We've stayed at:
Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, Beach/Yacht Club, Old Key West Resort, Port Orleans (Riverside & French Quarter), Coronado Springs, Boardwalk Inn, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Caribbean Beach, Pop Century, All Star (Music & Sports).

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Just don't customize the bands and they shouldn't be sent.

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We booked a trip on Friday and got two magic bands via UPS today. Crazy fast and we didn't customize them. I was expecting to just get them when we checked in since we were less than three weeks out. So we were shocked but pleasantly surprised yay

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Just a heads up, we've had some trouble with Benn's magic bands. His AP disappeared off my MDE account in December and I suddenly had two AP's. I worked with Member Services to fix it before our December trip and we were issue-free for the entire trip. This time, everything looked right on MDE, but when we got to Boardwalk, we were informed that nothing was linked to Benn's Boardwalk reservation band or newly acquired AP band (I was afraid not to get the AP band in case having that band would override our resort band or something). My new band was fine. His Saratoga band from December was still active. Of course it was because that was the only band that I hadn't brought along. Even once a CM got him a completely new band, she could only get his AP and his room key to sync with it. He had to use his actual AP card for his FP+. The moral of the story is bring all of your bands along just in case. You never know what sort of weird issues you might run into!

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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clapping clapping clapping yeah !!!! clapping clapping clapping

a Disney Trip to plan yay

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Yay for another trip! As far as booking ADRs and the 180 day mark, I look at the park schedule (regular hours and EMH) and the predicted crowd levels on Touring Plans to figure out which days we'll probably be at each park. If something changes as it gets closer, it's easier to cancel a reservation we're not going to use then try and do all our reservations from scratch once we're certain of the park days.

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Allie wrote:
Yay for another trip! As far as booking ADRs and the 180 day mark, I look at the park schedule (regular hours and EMH) and the predicted crowd levels on Touring Plans to figure out which days we'll probably be at each park. If something changes as it gets closer, it's easier to cancel a reservation we're not going to use then try and do all our reservations from scratch once we're certain of the park days.

That makes sense. I've reviewed the predicted hours and crowd levels, so maybe I will make an in-park lunch ADR or two.

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I thought it over, and since this is probably our best chance to obtain hard-to-get ADRs, I went ahead and threw together a tentative touring and dining schedule based on estimated park hours and crowd levels as of April 15. Schedule very much subject to change.

Saturday, November 1 - arrival day, evening at Epcot with FP+, F&W Fest dinner, no ADRs.
Sunday, November 2 - DHS daytime with FP+, counter service lunch, evening park hop to MK, BOG ADR around 7:00 pm.
Monday, November 3 - AK daytime with FP+, counter service lunch or possibly Wild Africa Trek, Jiko ADR around 5:30 pm, evening park hop to DHS.
Tuesday, November 4 - Epcot daytime, F&W Fest all day, evening park hop to MK with FP+ there, no ADRs.
Wednesday, November 5 - Boma ADR around 9:00 am, MK daytime with FP+, evening park hop to Epcot, F&W Fest dinner.
Thursday, November 6 - DHS morning/early afternoon with FP+, counter service lunch, late afternoon/evening park hop to MK, 'Ohana ADR around 8:30.
Friday, November 7 - AK morning, Sanaa ADR around 1:00 pm, afternoon park hop to DHS with FP+ there, evening park hop to Epcot, F&W Fest dinner.
Saturday, November 8 - departure day, Epcot morning and early afternoon with FP+, F&W Fest lunch, no ADRs.

Sunday dinner at BOG - although the menu at BOG doesn't thrill me, there are several dishes that I think hubby would like. Since this might be our best chance to get a dinner ADR there, I figured we should go for it.

Monday dinner at Jiko is scheduled so we can go there from any park and then hop to any other park, but I hope that's our AK day to cut down on travel time.

Wednesday breakfast at Boma will take advantage of the fact that we'll be waking up at AKL; if we were staying at any other resort we probably wouldn't get up early enough to travel all the way to AKL for breakfast.

Thursday dinner at 'Ohana is scheduled late enough to finish our day, so we can do it no matter which parks we visit, but going there directly from MK would be convenient.

Friday lunch at Sanaa will likely be rescheduled or cancelled if we don't spend that morning at AK.

I considered several other hard-to-get ADRs, but we don't like to schedule more than one ADR per day (food overload) and we do like to spend a lot of time at the Food and Wine Festival, so five ADRs seems to be the maximum we can handle on this trip.

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That sounds like a fun plan and very reasonable! I like how you have lots of food and wine meals already built in. I love my November trip - such a great time of year to go. mickey

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Okay, hubby has definitely been assimilated.

He called from work this afternoon to say he'd discovered a Saratoga Springs timeshare exchange for the week of our wedding anniversary and asked if I wanted to go, considering it will probably be a lot hotter than I like.

So I thought about it. Yes, it will be hot, but we'll be going again in November so who cares if we have to abandon the parks midday to find some air-conditioned comfort?

So now we have TWO WDW trips in the works, and I already have a few ADRs for the first one. Details to come.

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That's so awesome!!! yay yay

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Huh? See what happens when you start staying in the nicer resorts !

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WOOHOO!!! yay

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Sweet!!!

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Omg that's amazing!

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Our Very Merry 24 nighter Nov/Dec 15
Watson's go West May 15
The one with all the birthdays Oct 14 4 Big Birthdays and a Vow Renewal thrown in
The OMG trip June 14 30th Birthday present from the hubs
Girly trip March 14 A last min cheapy week
September 13 our first all DVC stay
TR May 2013 the last min bargain trip offsite
Oct 2012 TR with a cruise!big family trip featuring the beach club, AKL, the dream and a villa offsite
TR on a budget May - June 2011offsite condo
TR Sept - Oct 2010 big family trip in an offsite villa

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LUCKY!!!

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I planned our ADRs based on the assumption that I'll want to leave the parks for someplace cooler at least some of the days of our September trip. Our one lunch ADR is scheduled so we can head out of the park once it's finished, and all of the dinner ADRs are planned for after an afternoon break. Also, since we'll be celebrating our anniversary I threw in a couple of really nice restaurants. Here's the schedule:

Sunday: Biergarten lunch
Monday: Hollywood Brown Derby dinner (first time for us)
Tuesday: Turf Club dinner (also our first time there)
Wednesday: Tokyo Dining dinner (again, our first time, although we've done Teppan Edo before)
Thursday: Boma dinner
Friday: California Grill (first time, and saving the best for our last night)

At this point, our daily park schedule is flexible, but this is what we have for now:

Saturday, arrival day: depends on how late the parks are open and how early we arrive at our resort. Might just visit Downtown Disney instead of a park.
Sunday: Epcot daytime, MK for EEMH
Monday: DHS daytime and evening for EEMH
Tuesday: AK daytime, hoping for MK and MNSSHP in the evening
Wednesday: DHS daytime, Epcot evening for EEMH
Thursday: MK daytime and again in the evening
Friday: Epcot daytime and again in the evening
Saturday, departure day: hoping for a few hours at some park before departure

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I love Fall in WDW! Hoping for the Halloween party too! May just visit via your TR this year. biggrin

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Wow! That is awesome! You'll be arriving just as we're leaving, though...boo! sad

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crazycatperson wrote:
Okay, hubby has definitely been assimilated.

LOL! Hoorah! yay

Resistance is futile.

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How awesome for you guys! I'm not sure that we will be there at the same time in September or not, but have a WONDERFUL time! yay

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Looks like two amazing trips! We will be at Epcot the same day as you Sunday Sept. 7th! You picked lots of great places to eat at.

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crazycatperson, Were you able to find the Extended Magic Hours for your November trip and if yes, did you use them to plan your days? We will also be at WDW, from 11/1-11/14, and I'm trying to find times for all the parades, fireworks, EMHs, regular hours, etc so I can plan our ADRs.

Today a CM in Reservations told me that there are no Halloween parties scheduled in November and the first Christmas party is November 7. She said the Osborne Family Lights would probably start on November 7, but not 100% sure yet.

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jhugo wrote:
Looks like two amazing trips! We will be at Epcot the same day as you Sunday Sept. 7th! You picked lots of great places to eat at.

I did a little rethinking of that September park schedule. We normally are not early risers, so MEMH has never factored into our plans. However, given the midday heat in early September, I realized MEMH would be our friend - we could get up early enough to enjoy a park in relative comfort, head back to the resort for a midday nap if needed or to hit the pool or a water park, and then resume touring in the late afternoon or early evening when temperatures had started to moderate.

This meant switching up our first three full days in September to take advantage of MEMH, including changing a couple of those ADRs. Epcot is still not completely out of the question for Sunday - if it's not too hot we'll park-hop there for lunch - but beyond that our plans now look like this for Sunday through Tuesday:

Sunday: DHS in the morning; counter-service lunch there, back at SSR, or at Epcot if it's not too hot by then; Turf Club dinner back at SSR; and MK in the evening for EEMH.

Monday: AK for MEMH; counter-service lunch either at AK or at SSR; and DHS for EEMH with Brown Derby for dinner.

Tuesday: Epcot for MEMH and Biergarten for lunch; MK for MNSSHP and counter-service dinner.

Although not mentioned, time is built into each day to return to SSR in the afternoon or possibly head to a water park if we're feeling energetic and we leave the morning park early enough.

I also have AK listed for MEMH Friday, but then we'll park hop to Epcot and stick to the original Friday schedule.

So, jhugo, what does the rest of your week look like? Interested in a meet-up? Anybody else interested? I have to set aside our actual anniversary day for hubby, of course (and that's Monday), but I'm game any other day of the week.

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Mickey2 wrote:
crazycatperson, Were you able to find the Extended Magic Hours for your November trip and if yes, did you use them to plan your days? We will also be at WDW, from 11/1-11/14, and I'm trying to find times for all the parades, fireworks, EMHs, regular hours, etc so I can plan our ADRs.

Today a CM in Reservations told me that there are no Halloween parties scheduled in November and the first Christmas party is November 7. She said the Osborne Family Lights would probably start on November 7, but not 100% sure yet.

For November, I have guesstimated park hours, EMH, and entertainment schedule from touringplans.com. That's a subscription site, so you won't be able to see their guesses this far out without subscribing. But WDW should be releasing that info for November fairly soon.

VelcroPooh

Yay!

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Crazycatperson our schedule is as follows. Arrive the 5th DTD, Sat 6th MK, Sun 7th Epcot, Mon 8th AK, Tues 9th Epcot, and Wed we go home. We are not park hopping this trip because we needed to cut back on a few things. We couldn't give up on staying at WL. I would love to meet up if we could swing it. Would love to meet some of the amazing people from the forum.