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Pre-Trip A first, a last, and a galaxy far, far, away... (Now with bonus London TR!)

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
🐝 BEE IS GOING BACK! 🐝 BEE IS GOING BACK! 🐝 BEE IS GOING BACK! 🐝

So, this title might be a bit misleading. There are actually several firsts planned for this trip, and a semi-first. But "A first, another first, yet another first, a sorta first, and a last" doesn't roll off the tongue (or fingertips) so well.

I have a lesson with a client in ten minutes, but once I'm done I will post more details. I'm sure you can guess SOME of our plans based on the title. :joyfull:

For now, I'll leave you with the cast.

Me (Bee): 30
DW (M): 30
M's mom (MIL)
M's dad (FIL)
And a possible guest appearance by my brother, whom we'll call Jay: 24

And a countdown!
Our next trip  
 
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Darstarr

Well-Known Member
Advertisement
🐝 BEE IS GOING BACK! 🐝 BEE IS GOING BACK! 🐝 BEE IS GOING BACK! 🐝

So, this title might be a bit misleading. There are actually several firsts planned for this trip, and a semi-first. But "A first, another first, yet another first, a sorta first, and a last" doesn't roll off the tongue (or fingertips so well).

I have a lesson with a client in ten minutes, but once I'm done I will post more details. I'm sure you can guess SOME of our plans based on the title. :joyfull:

For now, I'll leave you with the cast.

Me (Bee): 30
DW (M): 30
M's mom (MIL)
M's dad (FIL)
And a possible guest appearance by my brother, whom we'll call Jay: 24

And a countdown!
Our next trip  
So excited!!!
And
You have to teach me that countdown thing!!!
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Background

My wife M and I have had APs every other year since 13-14. We find that we enjoy Disney more when we have a year-plus break in between a series of shortish trips, and of course we save money by not renewing every single year. We knew we would buy APs again for the 19-20 year, but until recently didn't have exact plans on when we'd return.

Our last trip was May 2018. I've been doing preliminary research and planning for our upcoming trip since about January of this year. The initial plan was to go over Labor Day weekend and part of the week prior, right before M's fall semester starts and my two main jobs start (I am a freelancer with multiple jobs so I am more busy during some times of the year than others).

We settled on dates of Sunday, August 25-Sunday, September 1. We considered Coronado Springs or another moderate resort, but then we found a great deal on the WDW Dolphin.

THEN, Southwest released the flight times for our dates and the best deal was to go Saturday to Saturday instead of Sunday to Sunday. We quickly booked nonstop flights from Newark to Orlando, and now we needed to change the dates of our hotel reservation.

My brother (Jay), who was living with our parents in Texas, had recently visited WDW and had gotten a fantastic deal on the Dolphin through Priceline. I almost never use third party sites these days because I had a really bad experience with one a few years ago, plus I prefer to book directly with hotels to earn or use points. But since he and I were talking about Priceline I had it on my mind, so I checked for our new dates and found a sale on Disney resorts (like true Disney Disney resorts, not just the Swolphin) during our dates!

I made a spreadsheet to compare different hotels, and we ended up booking a split stay through Priceline. I was able to get our Disney confirmation numbers, link the stays to my account, and reserve Magical Express rides!

So, our new dates and resorts were:
Saturday, August 24-Tuesday, August 27
Pop Century, preferred pool view

Tuesday, August 27-Saturday, August 31
Boardwalk Inn, standard view

There's the first big first: Our first Disney deluxe stay!!! :joyfull::joyfull::joyfull:
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The Last :cry:

As I'm sure you all know, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is ending later this year. This is my absolute favorite fireworks/nighttime show at WDW, and while I can admit it's probably time for something new, I will miss IllumiNations terribly! We knew we needed to see it as many times as possible on this trip, and staying at the Boardwalk means it will be very convenient to stay through the fireworks and get back to our room at the end of the night.

I considered booking the Frozen Dessert Party (even though I'm still salty about it replacing the Sparkling Dessert Party from a few years ago...with an extra $30 added to the price tag) for one of our nights, but then I heard about the IllumiNations Dining Package at the Rose & Crown. The package includes a table on the water, a three course meal, and, of course, unlimited beer, wine, and a specialty cocktail. We were sold! I was able to book it the day the package was released for my dates.

We also booked some other new (for us) dining experiences, such as Toledo at Coronado Springs, Sebastian's at Caribbean Beach, and (what I'm most excited for) the Celebration at the Top at California Grill!

Up next: The bantha in the room
 

LisaBelle

Well-Known Member
Hooray! I was so excited to see that you posted a pre-trip (even though I still haven't finished reading your last TR). Congrats on the Deluxe resort! Boardwalk is beautiful. Your trip sounds like a so much fun! I will absolutely be following along.
 

MinnieM123

Well-Known Member
Yea, another bee TR!! I'll be interested in your impressions of the Boardwalk. Never knew anyone who stayed there, so this will be interesting to get your "take" on it.
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Galaxy's Edge is opening WHEN???

Back when we booked this trip, the opening date for Galaxy's Edge in WDW had not been announced. We, and I think a lot of others, assumed it would open in September or later. We were looking forward to one last trip before it opened so we could visit Toy Story Land and ride Slinky Dog Dash in peace. And, we figured we got such good hotel rates because it would be right before GE opened.

BUT THEN...

It was announced for August 29!!! During our trip!!!! 😧

My initial reaction was to try to change our dates entirely to get in before the opening, but it ended up not making sense to move the trip. Then, we decided to just avoid DHS for the entire trip and hope that the other parks would be less crowded (or at least not MORE crowded) because of Star Wars.

Now, don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Star Wars! I first saw the OT when I was 8 and I was OBSESSED! I joined a Star Wars fan club for kids and read the EU books and gave out Star Wars valentines to my third grade classmates. When the prequels came out I was too young to understand how bad they were :hilarious: so I liked them! To this day, Episode IV remains my favorite movie and I watch the OT multiple times a year.

BUT.

I did NOT want to be anywhere near a brand new land with so much hype surrounding it! I don't do crowds! I don't do lines! I would have been content to wait two or more years to visit SWGE to let the crowds die down a bit.
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Cat's out of the bag

M's dad called her shortly after we made our reservations to ask about our trip. We hadn't told her parents we were going to Disney yet, just in case we had to cancel or change it, but we forgot that they can see all our reservations on MDE because we're "Friends and Family." :hilarious: Since he saw we were coming back to Disney this year, he and MIL renewed their APs so they could hang out with us at Disney. We don't know exactly when they're coming down or where they are staying, but we will see them for at least part of this trip!

The Brother Strikes Back

My brother (aka Jay in this report) recently moved from Texas (where we were born, and where our parents and most of our extended family live now) back to Florida (where we grew up). He also loves Disney and bought a Florida AP within a couple months of living there. We also started a Disney podcast together, and we were literally in the middle of recording an episode when the opening date news dropped, so one of our cold opens became me freaking out about the opening date. :hilarious:

We sort of casually joked about meeting up for the opening, but I was still determined not to go to DHS for awhile to avoid the crowds.

But in the back of my mind I kept thinking about going, and wondering if I'd regret NOT going since I will have the chance.

I think it was this video that finally made me realize I just HAD to go:


My brother is going to try very hard to get off work to meet up with us to get up way too early to be there for opening day of Galaxy's Edge!
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
THE PLANS!

SO finally, here are the general plans for our trip!

Saturday, 8/24

Afternoon flight to MCO
DME to Pop Century
EPCOT! IllumiNations!

Sunday, 8/25
Epcot, probably
Magic Kingdom, maybe?
8:00 Celebration at the Top and HEA!

Monday, 8/26
Magic Kingdom
Boat to Wilderness Lodge
1:00 Whispering Canyon Cafe to try the new vegan skillet!
Epcot and IllumiNations again, probably
@DisneyGigi this is the night we were going to do Toledo, but we've decided to try it another trip

Tuesday, 8/27 (DELUXE DAY!!!)
Check out Pop, and check IN Boardwalk!!!
More Epcot (surprise)
8:00 Rose & Crown IllumiNations dining package!

Wednesday, 8/28
A mostly chill day, but probably some Epcot (surprise!!)
5:50 Ale and Compass dinner
Early bedtime
My brother arrives, probably, and stays ???

Thursday, 8/29
THE BIG DAY!!!
Get up way too early, bring snacks and coffee, and have a bathroom plan for the line!!
GALAXY'S EDGE!!! :joyfull: :joyfull: :joyfull: (those three could be M, Jay, and me...but we'll probably be more like 😫 😴 😜!)
Some rest, and then FOOD AND WINE! (oh yeah, it's also opening day!??!???!)
More IllumiNations, maybe???

Friday, 8/30
Sleep in, probably
Hit the F&W booths early! (Beer and waffles for breakfast, anyone??)
Hang out at the Boardwalk some time
Food and Wine all day!
Close out the night at Epcot (it's open late!) and see one last IllumiNations 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

Saturday, 8/31
Tragical Express and morning flight home 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
You, are an excellent teacher of many things!
Thank you.
You’re welcome! πŸ˜„

Yippee! Bee is going back! (Not only does it roll off the tongue, it’s quick and easy to type too πŸ˜€)
You’re right! I should go back all the time! πŸ˜†

Yay for a trip to WDW. I always enjoy your reports. :)
Yay!

We are going to overlap again! My dates are the 24th - 30th. What day are you guys doing Toledo? We are eating there our Anniversary on the 28th.
We ended up cancelling Toledo but we plan to try it on another trip. Looking forward to hearing about your experience! We will look for you two in the parks!

Hooray! I was so excited to see that you posted a pre-trip (even though I still haven't finished reading your last TR). Congrats on the Deluxe resort! Boardwalk is beautiful. Your trip sounds like a so much fun! I will absolutely be following along.
Thank you! We are so excited for our first deluxe! Though of course we worry we might get spoiled!

Yea, another bee TR!! I'll be interested in your impressions of the Boardwalk. Never knew anyone who stayed there, so this will be interesting to get your "take" on it.
It will be totally new for us! I will of course post lots of pics and all of my thoughts on the resort!

Apologize if I’m behind... no Animal Kingdom?
(And loved your last trip report!)
You’re not behind! We don’t have any plans for AK yet, though there are some times we don’t have much planned for at all when we might go. We also don’t have any FPs yet so that will probably change some things.
 

dizfan917

Well-Known Member
I hope you enjoy the BoardWalk. I've never stayed on the Inn side, but this was the first place I stayed with my bf after we joined DVC. I really enjoy it (my brother and I think we like it more than Beach Club, even...). We always like getting breakfast at the Bakery and just chillin' in the lobby (with those creepy 'people chairs') or on the balcony overlooking the water. The walkability (is that a word?!) to EPCOT and DHS is REALLY nice. You can almost always beat the boats by walking...

I'm sad that we will miss you by 15 days! boo. The current bf and I will be staying there again this trip. I plan to say goodbye to Illuminations as well. It is one of the most inspiring and beautiful experiences I've had when it comes to nighttime spectaculars. The message, the diversity, the beauty... It will be missed, but 20+ years is a good run and I'm okay with change. :geek: Have a BLAST!

"we go on...."
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I hope you enjoy the BoardWalk. I've never stayed on the Inn side, but this was the first place I stayed with my bf after we joined DVC. I really enjoy it (my brother and I think we like it more than Beach Club, even...). We always like getting breakfast at the Bakery and just chillin' in the lobby (with those creepy 'people chairs') or on the balcony overlooking the water. The walkability (is that a word?!) to EPCOT and DHS is REALLY nice. You can almost always beat the boats by walking...

I'm sad that we will miss you by 15 days! boo. The current bf and I will be staying there again this trip. I plan to say goodbye to Illuminations as well. It is one of the most inspiring and beautiful experiences I've had when it comes to nighttime spectaculars. The message, the diversity, the beauty... It will be missed, but 20+ years is a good run and I'm okay with change. :geek: Have a BLAST!

"we go on...."
We're so excited for the Boardwalk! Too bad we'll miss you! Now I'm watching this on repeat:

 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Here's a little summary of some of the major events of this trip...

FIRSTS
  • First Deluxe stay
  • First Boardwalk stay
  • First day of Galaxy's Edge
  • First time in Toy Story Land and first time on SDD (probably)
  • First trip to WDW with my brother since we've both been adults
  • First time at Whispering Canyon Cafe
LASTS
  • Last chance to see IllumiNations 😭
  • 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 That's the only last, I think, but I couldn't leave one bullet point alone
SEMI-FIRSTS
  • First stay at Pop since the room renovations
  • First stay at a Value since 2016
  • First time at the Celebration at the Top (we've been to CG for dinner and brunch but not special events)
  • First time at the Rose & Crown dining event (we had dinner there once)
  • First breakfast at Ale and Compass (we've only had lunch there)
 
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