1. Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.
    Dismiss Notice

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

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

  1. MomofPrincessGrace

    MomofPrincessGrace Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    238
    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.
     
    dmatt87 likes this.
  2. amjt660

    amjt660 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,391
    Likes Received:
    6,017
    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
     
    dmatt87 likes this.
  3. dmatt87

    dmatt87 Well-Known Member Original Poster

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    601
    Likes Received:
    1,702
    [​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
     
    amjt660 and WDWDarling like this.
  4. DisneyBound2017

    DisneyBound2017 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2017
    Messages:
    710
    Likes Received:
    2,438
    Holy moly...... you had that much trouble getting FEA FP+ for 60+5?!??!?! :(
     
  5. dmatt87

    dmatt87 Well-Known Member Original Poster

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    601
    Likes Received:
    1,702
    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 :)
     
    DisneyBound2017 and amjt660 like this.
  6. dmatt87

    dmatt87 Well-Known Member Original Poster

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    601
    Likes Received:
    1,702
    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

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,391
    Likes Received:
    6,017
    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
     
    DisneyBound2017 and dmatt87 like this.
  8. dmatt87

    dmatt87 Well-Known Member Original Poster

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    601
    Likes Received:
    1,702
    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
    amjt660 likes this.
  9. dmatt87

    dmatt87 Well-Known Member Original Poster

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    601
    Likes Received:
    1,702
    Ohana means Family
    Quick update on ADRs! Like I mention last week, we had a first big day with ADRs for all three meals. So trying to change things up, I moved our Crystal Palace breakfast reservation on the Sunday, to a dinner reservation on the Wednesday. I thought that was a good move to rush us less on our first full day.

    DW was very disappointed when I swap our Planet Hollywood Observatory reservation for T-Rex on our first night, but I thought DS would like T-Rex more, and PH didn't seem to offer a kids menu at the time. Looking at the menu for Kona Café on our last night and our schedule, I thought it wasn't a good fit and didn't think DW would appreciated has much. So I swapped it out and got us in to PH for fun dinner on our last night, and then we can do some shopping!!! And again, for a few weeks now, DW isn't in on the planning, she has absolutely no idea where we are eating at least for half the meals and no clue about the schedule or new room booking :happy:

    And finally, the biggest change and surprise! Last night I was fooling around on the MDE app to see if I could find an earlier time for our H&G reservation, but I still couldn't. I decided at the same time to see if I could get a Ohana breakfast ADR on our first morning (at Sunday), and not at 10am, since A) we want to visit MK, and B) we have 12:15 ADR at BOG. When I clicked to choose availability on that morning at the Poly, I was stunned by what I saw :jawdrop: - a 7:50 spot available!!!! I didn't think twice and I snagged it. I'm so happy to have the chance to try Ohana for breakfast - I really wanted to see the decor and get a chance to meet Lilo and Stitch with DS.

    It will be a busy first day but SO worth it! DW initially asked me not to go crazy with ADRs but I had no choice - I knew these reservations would please the family. and since it will be a while before we come back - I wanted to make this trip memorable and magical!
     
    sheriffwoody, PacNWTigger and amjt660 like this.
  10. amjt660

    amjt660 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,391
    Likes Received:
    6,017
    As the saying goes at work
    "You have to plan the work and then work the plan"

    Keep on tinkering with it my friend
    It sounds like a great trip for the whole family

    Max
     
    dmatt87 likes this.
  11. dmatt87

    dmatt87 Well-Known Member Original Poster

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    601
    Likes Received:
    1,702
    What's funny is that after each round of tinkering, I make myself believe that it's the last time! :p
     
    PacNWTigger likes this.
  12. Frogglet

    Frogglet Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2016
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    106
    Ha ha I said this too & just made changes last night with less than a week to go :)
     
    dmatt87 likes this.
  13. sheriffwoody

    sheriffwoody Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Messages:
    1,260
    Likes Received:
    6,106
    I can't believe I've found someone who makes changes more than I do :joyfull:

    Sounds like a great trip! Doesn't Frozen Ever After open with World Showcase at 11? If so, your FP is probably as early as you could have gotten it. (ETA: Nevermind, I just saw on the website that it opens at 9. I'm often wrong...haha)
     
    dmatt87 likes this.
  14. dmatt87

    dmatt87 Well-Known Member Original Poster

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    601
    Likes Received:
    1,702
    QUICK UPDATE
    I'm still 40 days away from being home, and it's getting harder to sit still. I'm keeping busy with the forums and by slowly purchasing the missing items for our trip. I actually went to the Disney Store last weekend, just to browse, but I wanted to buy 3-4 different t-shirts for the trip. My wife prevented me from spending money on t-shirts that I would only wear on the trip or around the house - she had a point, and we already bought 2 a few months ago.

    Today was a sad day for me however... I cancelled our Ohana breakfast ADR :cry:
    I was really looking forward to it, and I was the only one (my wife and son didn't know about that ADR). But looking at the following reasons, it made sense :
    1) We already have 2 other ADR's that day (BOG and Tusker House/ROL)
    2) It was a travelling pain to get there in time
    3) My son doesn't care much for Lilo and Stitch
    4) Menu was limited - DS4 is intolerant to eggs
    5) Food budget was getting a little high - too many TS, and this once was OOP

    Next visit will be only me and DW, and we will do Ohana - for breakfast and dinner!:D
     
    amjt660 and MomofPrincessGrace like this.
  15. MomofPrincessGrace

    MomofPrincessGrace Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    238
    26 days for us! So glad we dont have a Disney Store in our area or I would spend so much more money. I usually go to DisneyStore.com once a week or so, but once I see the shipping fee I decide I will put off whatever it is that I am wanting until a free shipping promo happens. Sorry you had to cancel Ohana. At least it wasnt something you shared with DW and DS so there wont be any added disappointment.
     
    dmatt87 likes this.
  16. dmatt87

    dmatt87 Well-Known Member Original Poster

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    601
    Likes Received:
    1,702
    Lucky you - let me know if you enjoy POR! And yes, good thing the shipping on the online store is expensive, or else... Christmas would come early, and often ;)
     
  17. amjt660

    amjt660 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,391
    Likes Received:
    6,017
    No worries about Ohana my man
    You can always eat there on another trip
    Your Disney fever is peaking (based on how antsy you are right now)

    Personally I got a fever - and the only prescription is more cow bell
    upload_2017-4-10_20-13-18.png
    upload_2017-4-10_20-14-15.png


    Max
     
    PacNWTigger and dmatt87 like this.
  18. dmatt87

    dmatt87 Well-Known Member Original Poster

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    601
    Likes Received:
    1,702
    Less than a month left - UPDATE

    Good evening folks!
    Only 27 days left before we detach ourselves from reality and let ourselves be absorbed by the magic at WDW. I must say that these next 4 weeks will be hell - I have nothing else to plan, adjust or wait for...

    I paid off the vacation last week, placed our BOG order on Friday and also got our luggage tags on that day. Got all my paperwork in order, pre-trip purchases are 98% completed, and luggage checklist hsa been prepared and tweaked multiple times. Yesterday I optimized our FPs and our Touring Plans.

    I had considered purchasing the Memory Maker but I don't think the investment is worth it. We will make sure to use the service when possible, and only order 5 or 6 shots once we get back home.

    I wish I could go to bed and wake up on May 19th - this way I wouldn't have to stress until then. However these extra days allow me to get into shape a little more before enjoying that DDP :p

    I don't know how WDW regulars manage their excitement when they get this close to showtime... Especially since I'm ultra excited about my son's first visit, the multiple character meals and the secret upgrade I made to a Royal Room!!!!​
     
  19. amjt660

    amjt660 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,391
    Likes Received:
    6,017
    DMatt is back!!

    Listen dude - if you biggest problem is not having anymore things to plan?? - you really do not have a problem!

    Loving the PTR ride and can't wait to see the TR!!

    Max

    PS Sort of drove by you last week - went out to Nova Scotia to bring my oldest back from Acadia University.
    Saw the Ottawa / Gatineau cutoff and thought of you and your family prepping for your trip
     
    dmatt87 likes this.
  20. dmatt87

    dmatt87 Well-Known Member Original Poster

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    601
    Likes Received:
    1,702
    Thanks for the support Max! Can't wait to start the TR, I will likely start the week before, because, as you know, this is when the adventure starts!:D

    If I would've known you were so close, I would of made coffee ;)
     
    amjt660 likes this.

Share This Page