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Pre-Trip 4th Birthday at WDW - why not?

Discussion in 'WDW Trip Reports' started by dmatt87, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. MomofPrincessGrace

    MomofPrincessGrace Active Member

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    Dont blame you one bit. After waiting about an hour last trip to meet Rapunzel and Tiana in Princess Fairytale Hall, I will never wait that long to meet a character. We didnt meet Buzz or Woody last trip, definitely going to cross them off the list this year.
     
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  2. amjt660

    amjt660 Well-Known Member

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    Hey Matt
    No judging from this guy
    Do what you got to do to set up a great trip

    That will be a lot of food on day one!!!
    You will have to work it off somehow
    Oh wait I forgot about the pack mule requirement
    You should be fine!!!

    Max
     
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  3. dmatt87

    dmatt87 Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    [​IMG]

    Good evening folks!
    Yesterday was an important day - a make or break day - DAY 60 , also known as FP+ Day.

    I was ready for this day, I had done my research to make sure I chose the right rides, at the right times, to be enjoy our trip to the maximum. I knew that a few of our rides would be highly time sensitive in order to get the good times - luckily for us, we don't do coasters so we didn't have too many dilemmas.

    FLASHBACK TO 2011
    When we visited in August 2011 for our honeymoon, we didn't have to go through this stressful process. Sure you had to book your ADRs 180 days in advance but you could decide your park and ride schedule on the day of. So during that trip we had a plan, that we didn't follow more than half of the time, and that was ok, because we were able to pick the park we wanted to visit and grab FP at those little convenient booths placed at the entrances of each eligible rides. And honestly it worked perfectly, and never once was there no passes left. I agree that we walked a little more and wasted some time to get them, but we could still maintain some spontaneity.

    This time around we knew we weren't in Kansas anymore! That's why I did my research beforehand :)

    So Monday night (day 61) I printed off my FP list for the whole week and numbered my priority for each ride - with no surprise FEA was number 1 on my list. Tuesday morning comes along, and I am ready! I'm sitting at my kitchen table, list ready and laptop connected to MDE on the WDW website. Boom! 7 o'clock is here, and I'm clicking away like crazy to get to the FEA highly coveted 9am Fastpass - it took me maybe 10 seconds to get there, I scored the earliest time available - 11:10 AM...:(

    Things started to a rocky start and I was getting worried... For a few seconds, I have to, shamefully, admit that I saw all my world crumbling to pieces and thought that all my planning (research, spreadsheets and Touring Plans) was going down the drain. The next 30 minutes was a blur - I felt like I was in a war zone trying to survive. I was making strategic decisions in a split second, scribbling notes on my lists and telling my DS to stop talking and go play in the living room - daddy was busy trying to make everyone happy - I felt like a crazy mom yelling at her child to BE HAPPY :oops:

    After all the smoke cleared and my FP+ were booked I left for work, with mix feelings of achievement and failure. I had gotten all the passes I wanted but not all at the times I wanted, some close within 10-20 minutes and others a few hours later. It was hard to swallow because I know that adjusting the Touring Plans would be quite the task! I must admit that I was dumb to think that I could get FP at 9-10-11, but I still followed through with that line of thinking, so all of a sudden a 9:15 FP means that I couldn't get one before 10:15, but mostly likely will be stuck with a 10:35 FP and the next one at noon, but already have an ADR for 12:15. But that was my own fault, setting myself up for failure - but also for booking a trip 125 days off and scrambling to make satisfying ADRs, as you saw in a previous chapter.

    Later in the afternoon, I took an afternoon break and took a further look at the mess I had created. I opened each affected Touring Plan and adjusted my FP times and shuffled things around. Some days had minor changes, and other were a complete overhaul to fit the new imposed times - the hardest fit were the DHS shows, they offered less flexibility.

    I don't like to throw around free publicity, but I must give high praises to the folks over at TouringPlans.com that created this amazing software that allowed me to find the light at the end of the tunnel and get my plans in order :D. I actually end it up with a more productive day at Epcot one morning that I had initially planned.

    In the end, it was a very stressful day, for which I came unprepared, that started out in the gutter but had a very happy ending. I will be ready next trip - unless they change the system once again. ;)

    Here is a quick overview of our FP+ :

    Saturday, May 20, 2017 2:05 PM - Magic Kingdom Park

    Jungle Cruise: 2:05 PM - 3:05 PM
    Haunted Mansion: 3:10 PM - 4:10 PM
    Pirates of the Caribbean: 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM

    Sunday, May 21, 2017 9:15 AM - Magic Kingdom Park
    Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid: 9:15 AM - 10:15 AM
    Peter Pan's Flight: 10:20 AM - 11:20 AM
    The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: 11:35 AM - 12:35 PM

    Monday, May 22, 2017 9:20 AM - Disney's Hollywood Studios
    Toy Story Mania!: 9:20 AM - 10:20 AM
    For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration: 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM
    Voyage of The Little Mermaid: 12:10 PM - 12:25 PM

    Tuesday, May 23, 2017 9:05 AM - Magic Kingdom Park
    Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin: 9:05 AM - 10:05 AM
    The Barnstormer: 10:05 AM - 11:05 AM
    Mickey's PhilharMagic: 11:20 AM - 12:20 PM

    Wednesday, May 24, 2017 8:25 AM - Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park
    Kilimanjaro Safaris: 8:25 AM - 9:25 AM
    Kali River Rapids: 9:50 AM - 10:50 AM
    Festival of the Lion King: 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

    Thursday, May 25, 2017 9:10 AM - Epcot
    The Seas with Nemo & Friends: 9:10 AM - 10:10 AM
    Frozen Ever After: 11:10 AM - 12:10 PM
    Spaceship Earth: 1:05 PM - 2:05 PM
     
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  4. DisneyBound2017

    DisneyBound2017 Member

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    Holy moly...... you had that much trouble getting FEA FP+ for 60+5?!??!?! :(
     
  5. dmatt87

    dmatt87 Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    It's not a problem to get an FEA FP+ - the problem is not being able to get one at a desired early time. When I checked later in the afternoon, I could get one around 1pm and afterwards. I guess a lot of guests make FEA their priority and all those ram the gates as soon as 7am hits the clock.

    If you are flexible in the time you want to visit FEA, you should be fine :)
     
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  6. dmatt87

    dmatt87 Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    ROYAL UPDATE
    As you all know we had initially booked our vacation at CBR, but as luck would have it, it will undergo a massive refurbishment during our planned stay. So after spending 1.5 hours on the phone, we were upgraded, free of charge, to a King room at POR - staying in the Alligator Bayou. We were extremely happy, and actually more satisfied with our new resort than CBR. The room was nice and had a nice murphy bed for DS4. My wife saw the Royal Rooms when we were checking out info on the resort and wished that we could've upgraded to those rooms.

    Ever since she passed those comments, I have had an idea in the back of my mind to surprise her on the trip with something unexpected, and believe, she is impossible to surprise!!!

    At one point I thought about splurging and transferring over to AKL - it was our dream resort that we always regretted not choosing on our honeymoon. Although it was a deluxe and the view of the savannah was going to be magical for the whole family, I didn't believe in the end that the money was worth it, considering that we would be far from every park, except AK, and that although it was a DELUXE, it didn't feel like that like some other options.

    I was back to square one...:banghead:

    And then yesterday afternoon I called the reservation line to see how much of an up-charge the Royal Rooms would be, I was expecting to fork out an additional $500 - and to my surprise, it was less than $200 :jawdrop:

    I immediately jumped on the opportunity and updated our reservation!

    Now the best part is this: my DW believes that we are staying at POR in the Alligator Bayou, and she's happy. But I cannot wait to see her face when we start walking towards the Mansions in Magnolia Blend - and if she says something I'll say that they moved us to a King Room on that side (which I know doesn't exist but she doesn't ;)) - and then we will open the room's door and she will see this (I just can't wait :cool:):

    [​IMG]
     
  7. amjt660

    amjt660 Well-Known Member

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    Well aren't you the sneaky one
    I love it
    Try to do this every chance I get with my family too
    Job well done my friend

    Now the big question is

    Will you be able to keep it a surprise!?!?!? :):):)

    Max
     
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  8. dmatt87

    dmatt87 Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I'll try very hard to keep it a secret - I'm trying to program myself into thinking that we are going in the Alligator Bayou room - so less chance to trip up.

    And since she's tired of hearing about the planning, less chances of a trip up ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017 at 9:54 AM
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