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Pre-Trip Janir's Winning at marriage squad goals WDW vacation plans


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I've stated before that the DW and I just became DVC owners in November. Seems we had to go to Aulani to go and buy some DVC points for WDW. ;-P
DVC membership was a bucket list item for us. I wanted to get it about 5 years after we got married but at the 4 1/2 year mark it didn't look like it could happen for us for a few more years. Then come our Hawaii vacation and we make the stop at Aulani and did another DVC tour and the numbers actually started working where at the beginning of the year they didn't look that good. The Federal tax cuts padded the savings account and my month paychecks to the point where I could absorb small amount of points for us finally. Big Win! The Hawaii trip at our 5 year anniversary and a DVC membership were shared dreams from our marriage and I had earlier thought the DVC was going to have to wait a few more years at best. Got some Copper Creek points starting with a 2018 use year.
So that brings me to our first DVC points trip coming up in August. Yeah August. We got married in WDW in August and if we could survive wedding dresses and tuxedos in August Florida weather we can surly survive a vacation trip.
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So, because I originally planned to rent off my 2018 points to a friend that had expressed interest in going to WDW this year, I didn't make 11 month CCV plans. But I did catch the 7 month window for AKL, which was always on our list of WDW places to stay one day. One day starts this August!

Aug 18-25 Fly in early AM on the 18th, fly out late in the day Aug 25th. Our general preference is to drive vs flying, but We generally stay nearly 2 weeks when we do. This time around we're trying to not completely kill ourselves and just do a week, but knowing full well that we'll go back again in mid March. >:) This means Annual Passes...

AP calculations
I knew from our WDW wedding that APs are the way to go if you do multiple trips. Part of the wedding package is you get two Platinum AP's as part of planning your wedding for the Bride and Groom. WDW ticket prices being front loaded and getting cheaper as you have more days on means that 2 trips of 7 days costs way more than one trip of 14. By the 5-6th day each additional park day is like $10 per ticket and less. So getting AP's is the way to go. I was curious as to exactly where the price point breakdown becomes advantageous so I spreadsheet-ed tickets with Park Hopper against AP Platinum and Gold.
Against a Platinum pass two trips of 4 days would be for 1 adult, $938 (using April 31 as a semi random starting point) The Platinum Pass is $894. Gold is $609 (WOOT DVC!!!) Against a Gold AP, I only need to take a 3 day trip and and second 2 day trip to get over the cost of the Gold AP. Bought both Gold APs already, waiting to activate onsite. :)

Tables in Wonderland calculations:
Back during the wedding we learned about Tables in Wonderland and I got us a TiW to use during our first AP and especially during the wedding weeks. With family and friends in having the TiW for some dinners was very helpful and having dinners with various groups outside of the wedding itself was a great way to connect with family and friends that came down for the wedding. Disney Weddings told us our 45 person count was one of their higher guest count destination weddings they've dealt with. Normally anything over 20 some guests for a destination wedding is only been someone local. They were somewhat surprised to see we managed to drag that many family and friends along to WDW. We shopped around our plans early to allow people to save money and then since Disney Weddings offered us some room discounts outside of their normal discounts many people found it a cost effective vacation to attend our wedding. An aside - If you are thinking about a WDW wedding, DO IT! You will not be disappointed and you will get value for every penny you spend! But I digress... TiW. I wanted a TiW again and might still consider it for the extra, like special events and such but at $150 I wasn't so sure.
My calculations. TiW costs $150 and gets you 20% off many table service dinners. (There is a official list but most table service places seems to accept the TiW card.) So to break even with TiW, I need to make $150 in savings from the 20%. So assuming a rough cost of table service dinners for two at $100, I need 5 dinners to just break even to the cost of a TiW. I could do that in the first trip. Then I thought, wait a sec, DVC gets me 10% already, so I should be looking at a TiW against my DVC discounts. That means I'll need to have 10 dinners to make up the TiW cost to get better than the DVC discounts. This changes the math enough to say TiW would only at best break even for two people and 10 table dinners between two trips.

Alright the part ya'll been waiting for the PLANS!
Aug 17th

Finish packing, and in the evening drive the doggies to my sisters place. We swap dog sitting for each other while on vacations. Her family loves our dogs and her dog is a sweetheart if energetic yellow lab.

Aug 18th Travel day into the World:
Flying in from Milwaukee to Orlando via Southwest flights. I bought our SW tix as soon as they scheduled them and all they've done since then is go up in price so I'm pretty happy. 2 round trip flights for about $270 each, I can deal with that. We leave in morning and will arrive later morning to WDW. Magical Express to AKL, drop off our carry on luggage in the room or with Bell Services and were off to Disney Springs and our first taste of the Disney Bubble!
We'll just kick back around DS area for shopping and some lunch and drinks with umbrellas in them. (that is a requirement for vacations, and umbrella drink) Booked some Void Star Wars Void experience for the afternoon just before dinner. We didn't do it in November at DLR coming back from Hawaii as I mistakenly thought that the Ralph Breaks the Internet experience displaces the Star Wars one. Once that is scheduled, we will also take an Uber/Lyft to the Disney Character Warehouse store 15 minutes away and do some shopping there. (We nixed the Character Warehouse plans for more DS time) We'll hit ticketing in DS to activate our AP's, get some Celebrating Ever After buttons at Guest Services, do some more shopping & snacking, until 5:30 pm, when our Edison reservations are scheduled. ADR at Edison, then we'll either go see some MK fireworks or just head back to our room, depending on how much energy we have left.

Aug 19th EPCOT day:
Dunno if we'll attempt to rope drop this or not yet, We'll play it by ear. We'll grab some breakfast somewhere, coffee and a simple sandwich will suffice, but will try to opt away from a sugary bakery option, at least for me. DW may want that school bread asap. :p We'll Futureworld for a bit, dunno what FP+ we'll have yet as we're not at the 60 day window. Will got Frozen, Mission Space and The Seas w/ Nemo. We'll try to hit Living with the Land as we wander around until International Showcase opens up. Then probably start with Mexico and we'll wander clockwise until lunchtime in Japan for Katssura Grill, the DW wanted to try that badly this time. We'll lunch, and wander and shop some more around EPCOT in general. If we get done sooner than planned, we'll go back to the AKL and nap / rest and come back later by 6 pm for dinner at Restaurant Marrakesh. We haven't been here since we got married and its time we got back. Then we'll go find a nice spot for our last personal viewing of Reflections of Earth fireworks. Hopefully around UK area as that's where we had our dessert party viewing for the wedding.
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Best place to watch fireworks in EPCOT. :)
Next Bed time.

Aug 20th Animal Kingdom:
We won't bother to rope drop this as another day we'll be at a DVC party, so we figure we can get our fill of attractions then. FP+, we got Na'vi River journey, Everest and the Kilimanjaro Safari. No Flight of Passage but we'll be doing the Moonlight Magic party so we shoudl be able to get on Fop then realatively easy. We'll hit Dinosaur at some point, try to pick up some more Expedition Everest or just single rider that. We'll wander around until lunch we're we plan for Satu'li Canteen, assuming food isn't too spicy on the DW spicy meter, we'll stay there of find some other counter service food. Then by 5:30 or so we leave and we'll go back to AKL for dinner at Sanaa ( we gotta try the bread service we hear ;-P ). After dinner, we'll go back to the room and watch a few animals at night and turn in.

Aug 21st The Return to The Magic Kingdom!:
WE MIGHT try to rope drop this, dunno yet. Breakfast depending on rope drop. Maybe grab something in AKL or at MK. As long as I get something and some coffee to go with. FP+ to start, 7DMT, PPF, Haunted Mansion, and whatever we can grab after that. We'll definitely hit IASW, DW as loved that since she was a little girl when she made her father take her on it 5 times in a row. To this day my Father in law says he has nightmares. I know I'm the right person for her as I'm inoculated against the song. It doesn't affect me. <twitches head> Never mind that...
Never done Splash Mountain. I've planned water shoes and extra dry clothing so I'm planning on Splash mountain this trip! Always avoided it due to hating to get wet and walking in wet shoes and wet pants all day. We'll hit PotC by lunchtime / early afternoon then the lines thin out a bit.
Dinner 5:50pm that night is Artist Point at Fort Wilderness to meet my bro Dopey, my fixer Snow White, the Johnson who keeps hireling my team - The Evil Queen and my double Grumpy. I'm a gamer and for a number of years my friends and I have had a Shadowrun (Cyberpunk universe with some Magic and magical races and creatures return to the world) all Dwarven team of Shadowrunners (work in the Shadows doing "odd jobs" for whomever pays) and our team was modeled around the Disney Dwarves and I was Grumpy, a mage with a temper and a penchant for big blow them all up magic spells. Snow White was our handler and was romantically involved with Dopey so she cut us deals to our favor. The Grump is my "spirit animal". 2 years ago I got a picture with the full set at a MNSSHP. Now I get to met the G-man one on one. And also get to do a MnG with the Evil Queen herself. Now I got a short timing issue here as once dinner is done we have to be right to the Contemporary Resort by 7:30 pm for a Fireworks Cruise for DVC members. If we get done with dinner soon enough, we'll take the boat from Fort Wilderness to Contemporary but most likely we'll have to take a MiniVan to get the fastest travel service without our own car. I make the dinner reservations and couldn't change them. I'm willing to miss some of the beginning of the deserts of the Cruise if we need to. I'll know better the timing as if the fireworks go later being mid August, then the cruise won't be such tight timing. We've never done a fireworks cruise at WDW and doing a DVC one is just like icing on the cake, getting to use a DVC perk. Post fireworks, back to home and bed.

Aug 22nd Disney Hollywood Studios and then AKL DVC member party.
If we're not Zombies yet, another Rope Drop attempt. Get some FP+ for Star Tours, Toy Story Midway Mania, and Rockin Rollercoaster. Then whatever else pops up. We'll spend plenty of time in ToyStory Land being our first trip since it opened. Woody's Lunchbox for lunch, then dinner somewhere near AK or outgoing in DHS as we're headed to the DVC AK member party that night. Need to review some AK DVC party info to see how much snack vs dinner food is available. I invited a buddy of mine and his daughter who live in Tampa area to join us that night since I can get us two extra spots. My Buddy needs some special father-daughter time so I'm giving it to him, all he has to do is drive in. :) If they need they can crash the night in our room on the pullout.
As for the DVC AK party, I'm hoping we get some more FOP, River journey, see the night river show, and maybe a late Safari with the 'evening lights'.

Aug 23rd Anniversary day Magic Kingdom day 2.
Not even thinking of a rope drop here with last night's party. Apparently its a Extra Magic Morning, so we might swap this with DHS tomorrow. We have dinner at Be Our Guest at 5:45 pm before the MNSSHP, were we will be dressed up as a zombie bride and groom. (By the party time we may just be real zombies!) It is our wedding anniversary. Definitely stay for MK fireworks and parades, and more trick or treating! Need to get some candy bags, bigger than the handouts. :p Last time we didn't collect much candy. I don't personally need it, but hey, I'll collect as much as we can score now that I know how the game is played and just give it to the wife. :p And more Character meets ups with rare characters!

Aug 24th Disney's Hollywood Studios
If we don't swap this is DHS day 2. More TSL, more Star Tours, more DHS in general for 1/2 a day. Then midday go back to the room, clean up relax a bit and by 5 pm call for a Lyft and head over to Coronado Springs for Dinner at Toledo.
We'll walk around Coronado Springs for a bit to look around the new building and such then head to 7:30 ADR at Toledo for some Tapas. If possible, we'll watch the MK fireworks from the restaurant, supposedly we're able to do that. If not, then we'll head over to MK to watch the fireworks. This is our last night in the 'World and we usually end it with MK fireworks. We are spoiled on fireworks since WDW fireworks.

Aug 25th 1/2 day park somewhere. Probably MK, maybe EPCOT.
Then by 3-4 pm? we need to be back for our ME bus ride to the airport. Airport and wait etc... until 6 pm to fly out back home. Get home late, but at least a direct flight. Pick up the truck at airport parking and drive home 2 minutes.

Aug 26th Home - no work Recover form vacation.
Next day both off of work, recover form trip, and go in the early evening to get the doggies. Thank sister and her family. Maybe discuss potential plans for them making a 2021 50th WDW trip my niece suggested a while back. My brother in law's brother has a DVC so there may be some potential of points combining. But I also have plans with a friend, and his sister and niece for that year so whatever we do with my suster's family has to fit with that plans as well. The more the merrier at WDW right?!? :p Heck the Youngest would be 12, my buddy's niece and my own nephew. Everyone else would be and adult or almost adult.

Anyway that's our trip plans. All laid out in my calendar ready to go. And while these are the plans, it doesn't mean we won't change things around, take some breaks mid day that were not planned or cancel plans for something different as we see fit.

Trip report with pics once the trip happens!
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