Pre-Trip 3 Couples Going on an Adventure in Nov' 2019

X-S Press Matt

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Later this year, I will be embarking on a week long stay at Walt Disney World. My wife and I have not been there since March of 2018 so I've dying to get back. But I want to keep this first post simple and give you all of the details.

How:
So how did this trip come about? Well, our good friends have been wanting to visit WDW with my wife and I for a long time now. They asked us if we would be willing to go with them in November of 2019 and we, of course, said yes. Our friend is a school teacher so she gets a week off here in New Jersey. I know it’ll be a bit busy because of the runDisney event and Jersey week but I know we’ll make the most of it.

Who:
Matt (Me)
Melissa (my wife)
Miguel
Lindsey (School Teacher)
Doug
Kim (Sister of Lindsey)

Miguel and Lindsey are the ones who asked us on this trip. They are as big as Disney fans as Melissa and I are. We were trying to decide who we should invite on this trip and we decided to invite our other friends Doug and Kim. So cool story here. Doug is one of my longest and closest friends. I've known him since we were kids in middle school. Miguel has been a good friend of mine for a long time as well. I had started working with him when we were teenagers. Over the years, Doug and Miguel eventually met and had become friends as well.

Miguel and Lindsey met 6 years ago and will be married by the time we go on our Disney vacation. Doug went out on a date with Kim after meeting on a dating app. On their first date, they realized their mutual connection. Lindsey & Kim are sisters and Miguel & Doug are friends. They have now been dating over a year.

Now we are all friends and excited to go on an adventure with each other!

When:
November 2-9, 2019 (Saturday to Saturday)

Like I said earlier, we are going because Lindsey has off from her job as a school teacher. Her schedule only allows going during the those breaks or summer. I refuse to go in the summer ha.

Where:
Old Key West (2 Bedroom Villa) - Matt, Melissa, Miguel, Lindsey
Coronado Springs - Gran Destino Tower (Standard King) - Doug, Kim

My father in law is DVC member and allows us to use points his points every year. Very appreciative of that! He let's his kids use the points now which is great for us.

We chose Old Key West because it was the only resort that was available for that extended amount of time. His home resort is Vero Beach so we couldn't book that 11 months out and had to wait until the 7 month mark. We could have done a split stay but I didn't want to be bother with that. Honestly, I love Old Key West. My wife and I stayed there last year and we fell in love with it. It's so quiet and it honestly feels like you are returning home for the day. Miguel and Lindsey will be staying with us in the room as well.

Doug and Kim could have stayed with us as well but they wanted to get a place for themselves. So they found a great deal over at the brand new Gran Destino tower at Coronado Springs. I am very excited to check out the new tower. They actually had no idea it was new until I told them after they booked.

ADRS:
Crystal Palace - Breakfast
Toledo - Dinner
Cape May Cafe - Dinner
Ohana - Breakfast

Those are the only ADRs I have right now. We will figure it out later for rest of the days because I feel have to keep some spontaneity on your trip. I have never eaten at any of those places so I'm really excited to try them.

Special Ticketed Events:
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party - Friday, Nov 8
Up Close with Rhinos - Still need to book

None of us have done the Christmas party before so we are all very excited. We already booked our tickets and will be going on the very first night of the party! I know it'll be busy but I'll make sure to be patient with the crowds. I've done the Halloween party before so I know what to expect for the most part.

I also really want to do the Up Close with Rhinos tour at Animal Kingdom. We all agreed to do it, now we just have to book it. Very excited for that!

Other:
We are only buying a 5 day ticket with no park hopper. So we'll be making the most of those days. We are also giving ourselves some time to relax by the pool, visit Disney Springs and the other resorts.

I also have a Monorail Crawl planned. Well start by going to the Wave in the Contemporary. Then we'll head over to Trader Sam's at the Polynesian. Next we'll head over to the newly opened Beauty and the Beast themed lounge at the Grand Floridian (at least it's suppose to be open). Lastly, we'll take a boat to the Wilderness Lodge for one last drink at Geyser Point.

So that's pretty much it for now. I'll keep updating as time goes on and our plans shift around. Also, I have my own Disney podcast called X-S Press if anyone is interested. I put out two episodes a week: an episode on theme park news and an episode where I interview past cast members.

Anyways, can't wait to continue telling everyone our plans on our upcoming adventure. Let me know what are your thoughts on our upcoming trip!
 

X-S Press Matt

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Advertisement
Disney released the park hours and extra magic hours for our trip in November so I made some tentative game plans for our park days. Let me know your thoughts in case you guys have any ideas. I am particularly excited about Wednesday :D!

Saturday - Arrival
We are arriving on Saturday and will be spending our time at the Boardwalk.

Sunday - Hollywood Studios
Here are a few ideas:
  1. Get there early for Extra Magic Hours and go directly to Galaxy’s Edge. Spend the day in Morning and Afternoon in the park. Leave at Dinner time and grab a meal somewhere else.
  2. Get there early for Extra Magic Hours and go directly to Galaxy’s Edge. Spend the entire day there in the park. Make a dining reservation in park or at another resort. Go back at night to see Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Land Land at Night. See Nighttime Fireworks or Fantasmic.
  3. Spend entire day in park

Monday - Animal Kingdom

  1. If we don’t get Flight of Passage FPs, we can get there early for EMH. Spend the morning and most of the afternoon in the park. Leave park to go back to resort and grab dinner somewhere on property.
  2. If we get Flight of Passage FPs, we can sleep in a bit and get there like 10-11am. Spend the entire day and eat dinner in the park. Some of my friends haven't seen Pandora at night which I think they should see
  3. Spend entire day in park
We also plan on doing the Up Close with Rhinos tour on this day.


Tuesday - Relax/Pool Day

I figured this day people could do whatever they wanted. If we all want to hang by the pool, we could do that. I think Coronado Springs has the better pool over Old Key West so maybe we'll hang there. Does anyone have thoughts on this?

We also have dinner plans right now at Coronado Springs that night at Toledo. We could even go to Epcot this evening and get dinner there. They have EMH from 9PM - 11PM.


Wednesday - Magic Kingdom

So I feel like there is one game plan for this day and I’m really excited about it.

We have 8:15AM breakfast reservations at Crystal Palace and the park doesn’t open until 9am. We’ll spend the morning and some of the afternoon at the park. Then we can go back to our resorts for a refresher and a nap perhaps. We will then do our Monorail Crawl which includes stops at the Contemporary, Polynesian and then the Grand Floridian. After that is done, we’ll go back to the Magic Kingdom for EMH. The park will close at 11PM for us.

I think this is the perfect day at Walt Disney World. It'll be a long day but it'll be amazing. What do you guys think?


Thursday - Epcot

Sleep in this day and get a bit later start. Stay in the park all day and get a dining reservation somewhere. Watch the new fireworks show.


Friday - Relax/Christmas Party

We have breakfast reservations at Ohana right now at 10am. Do whatever we want throughout the day then head to Magic Kingdom at 3:30. Spend the rest of the evening there for the Christmas Party.


Saturday

Pack up and leave. We’ll have to decide what park we want to do this day if we don’t do a park on Tuesday. Take a late flight home.

So those are some tentative plans right now. I'm curious to hear what everyone thinks of this! Any ideas or concerns? Let me know!
 

X-S Press Matt

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Another update:
I've have been doing some thinking regarding the flights to Orlando. We had an idea that we thought would be pretty cool. The week we are visiting happens to be the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend as well as Jersey Week. Since we are suppose to leave on Saturday, flights out of Newark Airport are insanely expensive right now. So Melissa and I had an idea.

Melissa and I are thinking about leaving on Thursday night, Oct 31, instead of that Saturday. On Saturday, the most ideal flights are at 9:41AM and 11:18AM out of Newark and both of those flights are almost full. The 11:18 is very close to being full. There are other flights during the day: 2:30, 4:00, 5:00 but at least in my opinion, I want to get in as early as possible to make the most of the vacation. Those later flights are a little cheaper and are not as full. Some of our party might fly out of Philly and those flights are significantly cheaper which is good. Right now, there are flights are about $400 with Frontier and $500 with American out of Philly. Melissa and I won’t be flying out of there because Newark is a 20 minute drive and it’s much more convenient.

So who knows what will happen with flights in the coming months. There will probably be a price drop but how much? That’s what got Melissa and I thinking about maybe leaving on Thursday night instead. I have a detailed document that I had created for Mel & I based on airline prices, hotel prices and Lyft fees. I won’t go into that right now but I’ll give you an overview.

As of right now, if the prices stay the same for flights, it could be slightly cheaper to leave on a Thursday and stay at a hotel near Disney Springs for a couple nights. Since its Halloween, I don’t think that many people will want to travel. We’d leave on a 7:45PM flight out of Newark. Stay the The B Hotel which is walking distance to Disney Springs. Mel and I would spend the day working remotely at the resort and go to Disney Springs that evening. Then on Saturday morning, we’d go to Old Key West and drop off our bags then figure out what we want to do during the day.

Luckily, we have the ability to work remotely and not waste a day of vacation time. We are going to be patient though and watch ticket prices closely. But that is our thinking and a little bit more of the Florida sun wouldn’t hurt! What are your thoughts on this?
 

krisri18

Well-Known Member
Another update:
I've have been doing some thinking regarding the flights to Orlando. We had an idea that we thought would be pretty cool. The week we are visiting happens to be the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend as well as Jersey Week. Since we are suppose to leave on Saturday, flights out of Newark Airport are insanely expensive right now. So Melissa and I had an idea.

Melissa and I are thinking about leaving on Thursday night, Oct 31, instead of that Saturday. On Saturday, the most ideal flights are at 9:41AM and 11:18AM out of Newark and both of those flights are almost full. The 11:18 is very close to being full. There are other flights during the day: 2:30, 4:00, 5:00 but at least in my opinion, I want to get in as early as possible to make the most of the vacation. Those later flights are a little cheaper and are not as full. Some of our party might fly out of Philly and those flights are significantly cheaper which is good. Right now, there are flights are about $400 with Frontier and $500 with American out of Philly. Melissa and I won’t be flying out of there because Newark is a 20 minute drive and it’s much more convenient.

So who knows what will happen with flights in the coming months. There will probably be a price drop but how much? That’s what got Melissa and I thinking about maybe leaving on Thursday night instead. I have a detailed document that I had created for Mel & I based on airline prices, hotel prices and Lyft fees. I won’t go into that right now but I’ll give you an overview.

As of right now, if the prices stay the same for flights, it could be slightly cheaper to leave on a Thursday and stay at a hotel near Disney Springs for a couple nights. Since its Halloween, I don’t think that many people will want to travel. We’d leave on a 7:45PM flight out of Newark. Stay the The B Hotel which is walking distance to Disney Springs. Mel and I would spend the day working remotely at the resort and go to Disney Springs that evening. Then on Saturday morning, we’d go to Old Key West and drop off our bags then figure out what we want to do during the day.

Luckily, we have the ability to work remotely and not waste a day of vacation time. We are going to be patient though and watch ticket prices closely. But that is our thinking and a little bit more of the Florida sun wouldn’t hurt! What are your thoughts on this?
I vote go for it! Our 12 night trip back in 2017 turned into 16 nights because the savings in airfare for 4 people plus the free gift card we got for staying at Caribbean Beach during construction for 4 nights meant we were only spending a couple hundred dollars more total for the entire trip. Disney math!
 

X-S Press Matt

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I vote go for it! Our 12 night trip back in 2017 turned into 16 nights because the savings in airfare for 4 people plus the free gift card we got for staying at Caribbean Beach during construction for 4 nights meant we were only spending a couple hundred dollars more total for the entire trip. Disney math!
I know! I honestly think we are going to do it. We'll spend a bit more money on food but it'll be worth it in the end. Just the thought of ending my work day and heading over to Disney Springs for dinner makes me want to do it ha.
 

X-S Press Matt

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So we did it! We decided to begin our trip on Thursday instead of Saturday. We booked our flight to leave on Halloween night. We'll be getting into Florida after midnight unfortunately but that's okay. We booked a two night stay at the B Hotel which is a 10 minute walk from Disney Springs.

We didn't have any vacation days left so we are working from the hotel on Friday (maybe poolside). After the work day is over, we are heading over to Disney Springs for the evening. I made an ADR for Wine Bar George. We've heard great things about it so we are very excited to finally try it.

On Saturday, we'll eat a quick breakfast and then move all of our stuff over to Old Key West. We'll place our bags in bellhop until our room is ready. We decided to relax this day and spend the afternoon exploring Animal Kingdom Lodge. Melissa and I have not been to it before so we wanted to check it out. We have an ADR at Sanaa for lunch and I can't wait to try the bread service.

The rest of our group will be arriving that afternoon and we'll be heading to the boardwalk that evening. So our WDW trip is now a 9 day, 10 night stay. Can't wait!
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Hello fellow Jersey person! I'm also a 20 minute drive from Newark, but I think in the opposite direction from you (Hudson County).

I think your plans sound great! Glad you got to add extra time to the beginning of your vacation.

Also, how cool that Doug and Kim get to stay in the new Coronado tower! I hope to stay there some time soon!

Your Wednesday MK-monorail crawl-MK plan sounds great!
 

Disstevefan1

Well-Known Member
Following along.
Excellent choice for ADRs!
Also excellent you are gong to the Christmas party, everyone must experience at least once. The Rino thing sound great also!

It is super you are arriving early! The B looks like a great place, and as you say right near DS!!

Looking forward to reading all about your trip
 

X-S Press Matt

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hello fellow Jersey person! I'm also a 20 minute drive from Newark, but I think in the opposite direction from you (Hudson County).

I think your plans sound great! Glad you got to add extra time to the beginning of your vacation.

Also, how cool that Doug and Kim get to stay in the new Coronado tower! I hope to stay there some time soon!

Your Wednesday MK-monorail crawl-MK plan sounds great!
So a bit of an update here! Doug and Kim decided to switch their resort to All Star Movies. They ended up saving just over $1000 because of it. They are going to use that money towards other things instead.

As of right now, we have a reservation at Toledo at Coronado Springs on Tuesday. But I'll make mostly cancel that since they are not staying there anymore so no real reason to visit the resort. We'll have to decide what we want to do on that day.
 

X-S Press Matt

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Here are some updates:
  1. Doug, Kim, Lindsey and Miguel all bought Annual Passes since they know they will be going several times within the next year. Melissa and I will most likely buy additional days and a park hopper so we have a bit more flexibility on the trip.

  2. Toledo Reservation has been cancelled.

  3. Doug and Kim booked their flights and are flying into Orlando very late Friday night instead of Saturday. They will get a non-Disney hotel for the night then check into their resort. Melissa and I currently have reservations at Sanaa for Saturday afternoon. We will have to speak with Doug and Kim to see if they want to join us otherwise we will figure out what to do that day.

  4. We have a big planning session on August 3rd.

  5. Best for last, there are now talks of doing a VIP tour one day. We have some friends who might be going to WDW towards the end of our trip. There would be 10 of us altogether which is the maximum amount for a VIP tour group. So if they go, there is a chance we will book it. The VIP tour allows us to do whatever we want for the most part for 7 hours.
I believe those are all of the updates for now!
 

X-S Press Matt

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Very quick update!

Like I previously stated, Melissa and I will be arriving late Thursday night as well as Doug & Kim getting in later Friday night. Good news is that Miguel and Lindsey will also be arriving late Friday night as well! So all of us have a full day on Saturday.

We have a planning session next week. Super excited to hammer down the details at that time!
 

X-S Press Matt

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
FINALLY!

So my friend Doug was always pretty adamant about staying in a different room. He mostly wanted his own space to go back to when the day was over or when we were taking a break. That's totally fair and I completely understand. We kept trying to convince him to stay in the 2BR Villa at OKW with us because it'll save them money. After months are deliberation, he was finally convinced to stay with us but not because of the money.

Doug and Kim are newly annual passholders and took a trip down a couple weeks ago. Doug hasn't been to the parks in a long time and had his first experience with Disney Bus Transportation. Long story short, he realized if we were at different resorts there could a lot of time wasted waiting for each group to arrive at the park. It'll save a lot of time if we stayed together.

I'm just super happy now that everyone will be in the room together and it will make the logistics and planning much easier.
 

X-S Press Matt

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So Melissa and I decided to buy tickets for the last Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party on November 1st! That means we will be attending that Halloween party and the first Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party on November 8th!

We went to a Halloween party in 2013 but I was very unprepared for it and made a lot of mistakes. I am definitely not going to let that happen this time. We felt like we had to make up for it and try it again. Plus we love Halloween so it was really hard to pass it up. It will be a great way to kick off our vacation before the other couples arrive.

But I want to know, what are your best tips when you go to the Halloween or Christmas party?
 

Rista1313

Well-Known Member
Hi Matt.. just found your Pre-trip today.. and realized I listen to your podcast! =D Looking forward hearing and reading all about this trip. We are going in September and will be attending the Halloween party, so if I think of any tips, I'll let you know!
 

X-S Press Matt

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hi Matt.. just found your Pre-trip today.. and realized I listen to your podcast! =D Looking forward hearing and reading all about this trip. We are going in September and will be attending the Halloween party, so if I think of any tips, I'll let you know!
That's so awesome! Glad we found each other on the forums! I'll definitely want to hear your thoughts on the party. I already have a strategy for the party, let me know what you think...
  1. Earliest we can arrive is at 6PM
  2. When the party starts at 7, we'll start going on the special attractions that have overlays
    1. Pirates
    2. Space Mountain
    3. Laugh Floor
  3. At the same time, we'll try out all the specialty food and drinks that the party is offering.
  4. We want to see the Hocus Pocus Spectacular, and new fireworks show. If they have two showings, we'll go to the second showing. If we have time for the Boo-To-You, we'll also go to the second showing. Usually the crowds are better for the second showings.
  5. No Character Meet & Greets unless they are very short waits at the end of the night.
Thoughts?
 

Rista1313

Well-Known Member
That's so awesome! Glad we found each other on the forums! I'll definitely want to hear your thoughts on the party. I already have a strategy for the party, let me know what you think...
  1. Earliest we can arrive is at 6PM
  2. When the party starts at 7, we'll start going on the special attractions that have overlays
    1. Pirates
    2. Space Mountain
    3. Laugh Floor
  3. At the same time, we'll try out all the specialty food and drinks that the party is offering.
  4. We want to see the Hocus Pocus Spectacular, and new fireworks show. If they have two showings, we'll go to the second showing. If we have time for the Boo-To-You, we'll also go to the second showing. Usually the crowds are better for the second showings.
  5. No Character Meet & Greets unless they are very short waits at the end of the night.
Thoughts?
We were originally suppose to go the same week as you. But then free Dining happened in January, and we changed to the September dates .. thinking it would be before Star Wars. Now we have to plan our HS day a bit differently. Hopefully that will all work out (like DL.. light crowds!)

Sounds like a plan... I haven't really got a big game plan for the night yet... Our day looks like this:

MK in the morning with an 835am ADR at Crystal Palace... MK was originally opening at 9am, but they changed the hours to 8am.. so much for getting in the park early!

Pirates at 1015a
Haunted Mansion at 1115am

Have a snack and then leave the park by noon to head back to POP to take a break.

Return to the park at 4pm (you know you can get in for the party at 4pm right?)

Eat at Columbia House for dinner

FP for 7DMT at 505p.

Our plans for the party are no plans... Just enjoy what we can.
 

X-S Press Matt

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Sounds like a plan... I haven't really got a big game plan for the night yet... Our day looks like this:

MK in the morning with an 835am ADR at Crystal Palace... MK was originally opening at 9am, but they changed the hours to 8am.. so much for getting in the park early!

Pirates at 1015a
Haunted Mansion at 1115am

Have a snack and then leave the park by noon to head back to POP to take a break.

Return to the park at 4pm (you know you can get in for the party at 4pm right?)

Eat at Columbia House for dinner

FP for 7DMT at 505p.

Our plans for the party are no plans... Just enjoy what we can.
That sounds like a great day to me! I know we can get in at 4pm but we are going to be working remotely until 5pm. Originally, we were suppose to fly into Disney on Sat, Nov 2 but the flights were outrageous. We fly in Thursday night instead and we will have to work remotely that Friday. We'll head to MK as soon as we are done with work.

I forgot about dinner ha! So maybe we'll eat dinner between 6-7.
 

Rista1313

Well-Known Member
That sounds like a great day to me! I know we can get in at 4pm but we are going to be working remotely until 5pm. Originally, we were suppose to fly into Disney on Sat, Nov 2 but the flights were outrageous. We fly in Thursday night instead and we will have to work remotely that Friday. We'll head to MK as soon as we are done with work.

I forgot about dinner ha! So maybe we'll eat dinner between 6-7.
Eating dinner is essential before getting all that trick or treat candy.
 

X-S Press Matt

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
This past weekend we had our big group planning session and we made a lot of progress! Here are our current plans for the trip:

Friday - Nov 1
  • Fly in at 12:30am and arrive at the B Resort
  • Melissa and I working remotely during the day
  • Going to Halloween Party at Night

Saturday - Nov 2
  • The rest of the gang arrives at 12:30AM
  • We are all staying at the B Resort so we'll meet up in the morning.
  • Head over to Old Key West in the morning to drop off our bags.
  • I believe we will be spontaneous during the day and figure out what we want to do.
  • 5:10PM Reservations at Cape May Cafe in Beach Club
  • Go to Jelly Rolls and Ample Hills Creamery afterwards

Sunday - Nov 3 - Hollywood Studios
  • Plan is to stay at Hollywood Studios all day and rope drop Galaxy's Edge.
  • I am going to try and get a Cape May Cafe Reservation on this day.
  • Fantasmic at 9PM
Monday - Nov 4 - Animal Kingdom
  • Rope dropping that morning
  • Leave park mid-day to rest a bit
  • Head back to see Pandora at night
  • 9:00PM Reservations at Toledo at the Gran Destino Tower (Will try and get California Grill this night)

Tuesday - Nov 5 - Relax/Pool Day/Epcot
  • We'll sleep in and get in rest
  • Go to the pool
  • Head to Epcot in late afternoon
  • 5:45PM Reservations at La Hacienda de San Angel in the Mexico Pavilion
  • New Fireworks Show at Night
  • Extra Magic Hours 9PM-11PM

Wednesday - Nov 6 - Magic Kingdom
  • 8:15AM Reservations at Crystal Palace and the park doesn’t open until 9am.
  • Stay in Park until mid-afternoon
  • Refresher and/or nap
  • Monorail Crawl which includes stops at the Contemporary, Polynesian and then the Grand Floridian
  • Back to the Magic Kingdom for EMH. The park will close at 11PM

Thursday - Nov 7 - Spontaneous Day
  • We'll see what we want to do. I look for hard to get fastpasses this day and see whats available.
  • Evening in Disney Springs
  • 8:15PM reservations for Boathouse. (Will try and get California Grill this night)

Friday - Nov 8 - Christmas Party
  • Spend some time at Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • 12:10PM reservations for Sanaa.
  • Head to Magic Kingdom at 3:30 for the Christmas Party.
Saturday
Everyone leaves this day.
Melissa and I's flight departs at 5:30, Doug & Kim depart at 6:30 and Miguel & Lindsey depart at 1PM. Some of us will have more playtime in the parks!

So those are most up to date plans!
 
Top Bottom