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Pre-Trip "Should we buy a house or go back to Disney?" Our First Anniversary Celebration!

Well, that might be a slight exaggeration of the conversation that took place. We didn't quite literally choose between buying a house and going back to Disney this fall but our desire to travel (to Disney and elsewhere) were definitely contributing factors in our decision to prematurely end our house hunt. It's a seller's market, we've got a great apartment at a fantastic rate, and we have no idea how long we will actually live here.

But that's neither here nor there- we are going back to Disney!

As many of you know we were married last November and spent our honeymoon in the world in January (here is a link to that Trip Report).



For those that don't, I'm Amanda and that fella is my wonderful husband Daniel. We met several years ago while working in Yellowstone National Park and have been adventuring together ever since. I grew up visiting Disney World and he, being from California, spent his time at Disneyland. It is safe to say that I am the more Disney-obsessed of the two of us but thankfully he enjoys going as well!

While on our honeymoon we made ourselves a deal. If we could save $200 out of our spending money, we would put it down as a deposit for our next trip. We were hoping to take advantage of a bounce back offer but we picked a busy weekend so there wasn't one available. I was not discouraged though! The day we got home I reserved our next trip. Little did I know what our "quick weekend trip" would grow into a few months later. #whoops

Now for some details!

When?
October 31st-November 5th.

When I booked this in January our dates were November 1st-4th but then I had two realizations. First, who wants to fly home on their anniversary? Not me. So I added one night to the end of our trip. Then I realized if we arrived the morning of the 31st I would finally be able to go to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. So I added a night onto the beginning of our trip...and here we are.

Who?
Daniel and myself, obviously. But that's not all!

My parents were supposed to go on their own trip back in March but had to cancel due to some work obligations. I convinced them to reschedule instead of canceling, so they are coming too! Not only that but my younger sister, Sarah, was able to make it work with her schedule too! We'll be quite the crew.



Here is an old family picture to introduce them. The sister that is going is the one in front with the pirate ears. Sadly the Disney gene seems to have skipped over my other sister. This was from her last trip and she has zero interest in returning. :(

Sarah will have just turned 21 a month before our trip so I look forward to treating her to a drink while at Epcot!

Where?
Pop Century Resort.

This has also changed since we first booked! I originally chose All Star Movies to save some money but once my parent's rescheduled we decided to switch as well. We loved our refurbished room and don't want to worry about trying to get one of the new ones at Movies this time around.

Why?
We will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary (here's to round three of the Happily Ever After buttons), attending Mickey's Not So Scary, seeing Toy Story Land for the first time, and participating in our first RunDisney event!

We will all definitely need a vacation from our vacation!
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
I completely get your title - this came up in our house hunting discussions too! Our "deal" was if we found something below our budget for a house we would go back to Disney. We did, but then moving costs crept up along with work needed on the house, so it looks like Disney has to wait for us anyway. Sigh.
 

Mander

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
In the Parks
No
I completely get your title - this came up in our house hunting discussions too! Our "deal" was if we found something below our budget for a house we would go back to Disney. We did, but then moving costs crept up along with work needed on the house, so it looks like Disney has to wait for us anyway. Sigh.

It was such a tough decision! We walked away from a house we were really smitten with because it was at the top end of our budget and we just weren't ready to commit. I hope you really get to enjoy your home though and return to Disney sooner than you think! :)
 

Mander

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
In the Parks
No
And now for more details! As well as more old vacation pictures because everyone loves those as much as I do, right?



My sisters and I at Crystal Palace during our 2003 trip.

Wednesday, 10/31- Arrival. Also Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!

I wish we could fly in a day earlier but with work we really can't (at least not easily). The plan is to get morning flights. I've got my eye on one with Delta from Detroit that I just need to come down in price a bit. I was really hoping Southwest would have something but nothing really worked. I'm also tracking some Spirit flights but I am nervous about getting delayed and missing the party. So, here's hoping Delta works out! I know it's still early so they could reduce their fares.

Thursday, 11/01- Health & Fitness Expo.

We gave ourselves a pretty leisurely day to recover from the party and prepare for the race. We start with breakfast at the Grand Floridian Cafe (10:30am) and will have either lunch or dinner at Olivia's Cafe. My Mom has been wanting to eat there for a very long time, so that's the plan! We will also likely hit up Disney Springs before calling it an early night.

Friday, 11/02- Fall Feast 5k.

Our first RunDisney event! But not our first 5k. It's been a little while but with some prep I'm sure all will go well. My sister didn't know she was coming until well after we registered for this event so she will be sleeping in. After the run we'll be heading back to the resort for some needed downtime. Daniel and I are having our anniversary dinner at 'Ohana at 8:25pm and my family will be at California Grill at 9:05pm. Fingers crossed there will be a Happily Ever After with a view!

Saturday, 11/03- Animal Kingdom & Epcot.

We'll start with a morning at Animal Kingdom and switch to Epcot in the evening for Illuminations (my one true love). Daniel and I opted for no dining reservations during our park days so we have more park time and also because we want to utilize Food & Wine.

Sunday, 11/04- Epcot & Hollywood Studios (and our anniversary!).

Back to Epcot for the morning (it is our favorite park) and Hollywood Studios for some of our favorite rides and Toy Story Land!

Monday, 11/05- Heading home. :(

I'm hoping to book a later flight so we can at least enjoy the morning at our resort or maybe Disney Springs.


And that's it! This trip is going to go SO fast, I can't even imagine. We did eight full days last time and it went by so quickly. But I am so thankful we can make this happen again so soon! Just 149 days to go!


From our trip in 2008-09 (Christmas/NY week). Fun fact- I was completely miserable with flu like symptoms in this picture. :(
 

Mander

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
In the Parks
No
Y'all I had to pop in really quick because I am too excited!

We signed up for a Southwest credit card with Chase a couple of months ago in the hopes of qualifying for their 40,000 Rapid Reward bonus. We ran literally everything through that card from mid-April to last week and just qualified! Our points were added yesterday and I was able to book us two tickets from Detroit to Orlando for $22! I am SUPER excited.

Each way has a layover in Atlanta that is shorter than I'd like but I'm hopeful that since it is SW the gates will be nearby. Either that or they add a nonstop at some point!

This trip feels a little more real today!
 

John Dulmage

Active Member
Y'all I had to pop in really quick because I am too excited!

We signed up for a Southwest credit card with Chase a couple of months ago in the hopes of qualifying for their 40,000 Rapid Reward bonus. We ran literally everything through that card from mid-April to last week and just qualified! Our points were added yesterday and I was able to book us two tickets from Detroit to Orlando for $22! I am SUPER excited.

Each way has a layover in Atlanta that is shorter than I'd like but I'm hopeful that since it is SW the gates will be nearby. Either that or they add a nonstop at some point!

This trip feels a little more real today!
Flights paid with points are the BEST!!
 

Rista1313

Well-Known Member
Y'all I had to pop in really quick because I am too excited!

We signed up for a Southwest credit card with Chase a couple of months ago in the hopes of qualifying for their 40,000 Rapid Reward bonus. We ran literally everything through that card from mid-April to last week and just qualified! Our points were added yesterday and I was able to book us two tickets from Detroit to Orlando for $22! I am SUPER excited.

Each way has a layover in Atlanta that is shorter than I'd like but I'm hopeful that since it is SW the gates will be nearby. Either that or they add a nonstop at some point!

This trip feels a little more real today!

That's how I got our tickets for our last trip... so worth it... and I keep running stuff thru the card and paying it right off to keep getting points. I was able to buy 1 of two tickets we needed for a thanksgiving week trip to St. Pete Beach FL... hubby has talked me into taking a day trip up to Disney springs while we are there
 

Mander

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
In the Parks
No
I was ordering Daniel new shoes for this trip when I realized that I have shared in quite a while. Per usual with my family, there have been so many little changes! Since our Fastpass day is just over a week away, I figured I would share these first. And some more old vacation pictures, of course. :)


My sisters and I meeting Cinderella. Spring Break 2003. The small one in purple, Sarah, is the one coming with on this trip. For her 21st birthday! I can't even believe it.

First big change is a shift in dates. We'll now be there from October 30th-November 5th. I originally didn't want to take an additional day off of work but once I sat down and looked at my vacation time, it seemed doable. We're still flying Southwest but the layover on the way down is a bit more forgiving and since we're arriving the day before the Halloween party, I'm less nervous about delays.

So, here's the new plan! Complete with dining reservations.

Monday, October 29th-
Daniel and I will be working a full day, leaving for the airport at 5:00pm. It's about a five hour drive to Detroit. Assuming we leaving on time and make one stop, I'm hoping we get in around 11pm. We've reserved a room and parking near the airport (love ParkSleepFly for that). We're not sure if we'll drop our car that night or in the morning.

Tuesday, October 30th-
Very early morning! Our flight leaves at 6:35am and we'll probably try to get to the airport an hour early (maybe an hour and a half- it's a big place). We should probably drop the car off the night before, now that I'm thinking about that flight time! We do have a two hour layover in Nashville before a 12:15pm arrival in Orlando.

I've request early check in at our resort- Pop Century. Though this night is separate from the rest of our reservation as I booked it with a Returning Guest offer. We're hoping we can stay in the same room the whole time but if not, that's okay! Our plans are to relax and have dinner at Morimoto Asia at 7:00pm.

The rest of our party is also arriving on the 30th! They are driving down the morning of for a late afternoon flight from Detroit. They have a nonstop (jealous) through Delta and should land at MCO around 6:00pm.

Wednesday, October 31st-
We are considering spending the morning at Typhoon Lagoon. Daniel hasn't been since 1995 and I've never gone. We also booked lunch at Sanaa, so who knows what we'll decide! My family has a lunch reservation for Morimoto Asia (based on our recommendation).

Then the whole group is attending Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party! My sister and I have wanted to do this for so long! We plan to be at Magic Kingdom just before 4:00pm.

Thursday, November 1st-
Our whole group will have breakfast together at the Grand Floridian Cafe (10:30am) before four of us have to head to the Health & Fitness Expo to pick up our race information. Then the plan is more relaxing and maybe mini golf or Typhoon Lagoon. We have dinner reservations at Olivia's Cafe that evening (my parents ate there on their last trip and loved it). Then sleep!

Friday, November 2nd-
Fall Feast 5k! With a start time of 5:30am, I believe the plan is to be on the bus by 3:30am. Daniel is tentatively planning to join us but recently suffered a foot injury that we're hoping will be healed up in time. If it doesn't, I think he and I will be speed walking the whole thing!

I'm not 100% sure for the rest of this day but we did all add a 3rd day to our park tickets. I think the plan is Hollywood Studios in the evening. Hopefully with a Slinky Dog Dash FP and a viewing of Fantasmic!

Saturday, November 3rd-
In the past I've relied on crowd calendars to plan our days but seeing how none of them agree for these dates, I've given up on them (probably should have a while ago). We'll start with a morning in Animal Kingdom (with FPs) and then end the night at Epcot. Am I prepared for weekend Food & Wine/Wine & Dine crowds? Probably not! It'll be fun anyway. We definitely plan to catch Illuminations because I love it too much and am not prepared for it to be gone.

Sunday, November 4th-
Our last day. :( But also our 1st wedding anniversary! :)

We're planning on evening FPs for Magic Kingdom as we want to catch Happily Ever After. I've decided to not plan the morning and we'll do our best to just go where we want.

Monday, November 5th-
Our flight leaves at 1:15pm with a 90 minute layover in Atlanta. We don't get back into Detroit until 6:45 and then have the 5 hour drive home. There is an earlier flight at 6:30am but that Magical Express pick up time will be awful, so I'm not sure.

That's all for now! I'll be back next week with Fastpass plans!


My Mom and sister during their January 2018 trip.
 

MeeskaMooska0714

Well-Known Member
I just found this! Happy Anniversary! Good luck with the run - my hubby and I did the same one. It is a great experience, and don't worry about time! There are a lot of stops to take pictures with characters.
 

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