• 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.

The Culmination of It All - Tom & Sarah's WDW HONEYMOON Pre-Trip Report

It really has been a long time in the making. It has been roughly two and a half years since I first reported our Engagement during Christmas Wishes! on the Beach of the Polynesian. During that time, we have taken four additional trips to WDW in August 2008,
November/December 2008, August 2009 and October 2009.

For those unfamiliar with us, here are the characters to the Story. I'm Tom, the male. Sarah, female, is my beautiful fiancee.


The planning began almost immediately after we returned from that engagement trip with the first inquiry being a substantial one: Walt Disney World wedding? This question was one that we really struggled with. If we did a Disney wedding, that would effectively preclude many family members from attending, either as they wouldn't or couldn't fly, or that it would be too expensive for them to attend. Conversely, the wedding is about us, and Walt Disney World is definitely the location that best represents us. Me being the selfish one, I was slightly leaning towards the WDW option, while Sarah was leaning towards the other option, a wedding at our college, which is also conveniently halfway between Indianapolis, Sarah's hometown, and Plainwell (Michigan), my hometown. When we went on the August 2008 trip, we met with a Disney Fairytale Wedding planner, which sealed the deal. Although there are options priced for all budgets, the value for our money we could get in Valparaiso far exceeded Disney's comparable offering. Thus a Valparaiso wedding it would be.

The only other planning detail to which I can speak is the photographer, as that was my main task. My requirement here was that we find someone better than me. While that might sound arrogant, there are a surprising number of terrible wedding photographers out there. It seems these days anyone who buys a DSLR immediately fancies themselves as a professional. That is not the case. (Let this be a word of caution to any of you about to get married...make sure you do your homework and get an actual wedding photographer, not some cheap-o fly-by-night hack). It took a little while, but I ultimately found a great guy, who also happens to be a stunning photographer. Certainly miles above my ability, so I have no worries there.

If you have other questions about the planning details (I know that stuff might appeal to girls, and I suppose is a proper subject for a pre-trip report!), pose them here, and maybe Sarah will stop out of the shadows of lurkerdom, and post to answer them. Anything else you want to find out about the wedding can be found at our Wedding Website, AyresBricker.com.

Okay, enough actual wedding details--after all, this is a pre-trip report! Let's get discussing that minor detail that seems to follow the wedding...THE HONEYMOON!

Since we couldn't do a WDW wedding, we decided we had to do a WDW honeymoon! We started planning this at around the same time wedding planning began, with the fitting resort destination being the Polynesian. After all, it was where we got engaged, and our "dream" resort. Then we saw the price tag. Unfortunately, being a student doesn't pay as well as it might seem, so that was difficult to stomach.

Still, it would be our honeymoon, and we thought we deserved a little luxury. I started tossing around ideas, and one that I kept coming back to was Disney Vacation Club. We had already done several DVC tours (mostly for the free swag) both in WDW and at the Doorway to Dreams store in Chicago, and were subscribed to several resale emails, so much of the homework there was already done. I began pricing it out, and for only about $1,000 more than it would cost to stay at the Poly (assuming a reasonable discount on the Poly for our stay) we could buy a DVC contract that, if we banked all of our 2009 points and borrowed all of our 2011 points, would be enough to stay at Beach Club, BoardWalk, or Bay Lake Tower (three other "dream" resorts) for the duration of our stay. Even though the contract would cost $1,000 more, it was much more palatable given that it would have a great amount of residual value after our honeymoon. So we did it. It cost a substantial amount of the money we make with our summer jobs, and since we've made a lot of sacrifices during this school year and have been on a tighter budget, but we are both pretty happy about that decision.

With DVC, as you may know, you may book your non-home resort 7 months in advance. This meant that early one morning last December, we both got up and made the call to DVC at exactly 9 a.m. to book BoardWalk (first choice), Beach Club (second choice), or BLT (third choice). Sarah got through first. I watched with much eagerness. I saw her eyes light up. They BoardWalk! Woo hoo, 7 days at BoardWalk!!!

Our excitement at that point probably couldn't be much higher. Until a couple of days later, when Sarah convinced me that we should stay 10 days. I was reluctant about this at first, as I will be taking the Bar Exam in July, and I should be studying for long portions of the day everyday from May until July. Taking seven days off already has me a little nervous. But like I said above, it's our honeymoon--what the heck...and it's Disney! I can always retake the Bar! :ROFLOL:

Unfortunately, we did not have enough points to book the additional days at BoardWalk, nor was there any availability even if we did, so Sarah booked the additional three days at Old Key West. Not too shabby!!!

Around that same time, which was my finals time for the Fall semester, Sarah undertook the massive task of making our Advance Dining Reservations. Massive task is not an understatement. Since the park hours were not yet posted, Sarah made many reservations, most of which will be canceled when we get closer to the date of the actual honeymoon. Below are the ADRs we have currently. The ADR in italics is one we likely will use, bold is ones we'll definitely use, and regular font are ones likely to be canceled.

Sunday June 13, 2010:
Dinner - Kouzzina
Dinner - Garden Grill
Dinner - Kona Cafe
Dinner - 'Ohana

Monday June 14, 2010:
Lunch - Sci Fi Diner
Dinner - Sanaa
Dinner - Coral Reef
Dinner - Yak & Yeti

Tuesday June 15, 2010:
Dinner - Yak & Yeti
Dinner - Le Cellier
Dinner - Biergarten
Dinner - Coral Reef
Dinner - Sci Fi Diner

Wednesday June 16, 2010:
Breakfast - Cape May Cafe

Thursday June 17, 2010:
Dinner - Le Cellier
Dinner - 'Ohana
Dinner - Kona Cafe

Friday June 18, 2010:
Breakfast - Crystal Palace
Dinner - Victoria & Albert's

Saturday June 19, 2010:
Lunch - Beaches and Cream
Dinner - California Grill


Sunday June 20, 2010:
Dinner - Kona Cafe
Dinner - The Wave
Dinner - 'Ohana

Monday June 21, 2010:
Dinner - Sci Fi Diner
Dinner - Coral Reef Cafe
Dinner - Yak & Yeti

Tuesday June 22, 2010:
Dinner - Le Cellier
Dinner - 'Ohana

Wednesday June 23, 2010:
Breakfast - Crystal Palace

In the original post, I also had our tentative touring plan, but I think I will hold off on reposting that (it's almost bed time!) until a later date when I can be a little more thorough with it. Plus, I want to give you something to look forward to! :p We have been planning on a daily basis, so I will keep updating as more details are decided upon. Until then, thanks for reading and giving me something to do as I count down the 73 agonizing days (well, 72 agonizing days since the day before should be pretty fun!!!) until the Honeymoon!
 

WDWFigment

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Ugh...I don't know what happened, but the last hour worth of work I spent typing up the rest of the post didn't appear. :(

Back to the drawing board...
 

fyn

Member
Friday June 18, 2010:
Dinner - Victoria & Albert's

Tom, have you considered doing the Chef's table? The few reviews I've found for it have been glowing. I certainly appreciate the student budget constraints, but this seems like one of those experiences that fits quite well with the occasion.

Also, I'm not sure Sarah would need to pull out the seductive charm to get it. She could simply say "Baby, think of all the great photos you could get." ;)
 

blackthidot

Well-Known Member
Well all I can really say is I can't WAIT to see the pictures. I looked at your wedding page and the church is stunning along with the reception venue.

You should give me the password to the bridal party page.:shrug:
 

lebeau

Well-Known Member
Congrats!

I can't wait to read the trip report and see all the pics.

I'm also interested in any more details you have about your DVC purchase. Any time I run the numbers, I can never make DVC make financial sense. I've been curious if a resale is the way to go, but I've never seriously looked into it.
 

corey154

Active Member
Yeah! I've been reading your trip reports on here for some time so I'm super excited to see your pre trip report up! I've said it before, i'll say it again... you take the best pics! Also, congrats on your upcoming wedding! :sohappy: i'll be watching for the rest! (any count down of any sorts this time? i'd think you'd be way to busy, just wondering though)
 

harveyt0206

Well-Known Member
Okay, so I know you and I have never met and probably never will, but I have to tell you that I feel like I have a vested interest in not only your wedding but your upcoming Disney honeymoon as well. :ROFLOL: I have been following this story since your Poly proposal (when I was a mere lurker on these boards) through your most recent trip report. I show your photos in the Daily photo thread to anyone who will stop and pay attention to me. My poor husband thinks I have lost my mind. But, I really can't wait for this pre and post trip report. We did a Disney honeymoon and it was one of the best decisions I made. Maybe even better than the actual decision to spend my life with my better half.

Best of luck to you both and looking forward to the next installments.
 

WDWFigment

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Tom, have you considered doing the Chef's table? The few reviews I've found for it have been glowing. I certainly appreciate the student budget constraints, but this seems like one of those experiences that fits quite well with the occasion.

Also, I'm not sure Sarah would need to pull out the seductive charm to get it. She could simply say "Baby, think of all the great photos you could get." ;)

We actually did give a lot of serious thought to the Chef's Table (even started a thread here asking about it), but ultimately decided against it because we heard it was more of a foodie experience than a romantic experience. Since we want it to be more romantic, we went for the main dining room. We'll probably do dinner at the Chef's Table in a couple of years once we have steady streams of income.

Well all I can really say is I can't WAIT to see the pictures. I looked at your wedding page and the church is stunning along with the reception venue.

You should give me the password to the bridal party page.:shrug:

I will post pictures in the TR as soon as practical once we return. Since I'm going to really have to study for the Bar aggressively once we return, I don't know how that will allow for writing the trip report. I normally write it in full in Word and get it posted all at once, but I might actually take the drawn out approach, just because I don't think I will be able to get it posted until Mid-August if I go the post-in-full route.

Congrats!

I can't wait to read the trip report and see all the pics.

I'm also interested in any more details you have about your DVC purchase. Any time I run the numbers, I can never make DVC make financial sense. I've been curious if a resale is the way to go, but I've never seriously looked into it.

It doesn't make financial sense if you purchase directly from Disney, nor does it work if you finance it. Even purchasing resale with cash, it barely makes financial sense given the time value of money (which Disney, for obvious reasons, never includes in its calculations of your purported savings). For us it was as much a planning device for future vacations, and because I know I wouldn't have made financial investments with the money we used to purchase DVC. I think it varies for each person. If you view it strictly as a financial investment, the only way for it to be better than an alternative financial investment is if you do fuzzy math.

Yeah! I've been reading your trip reports on here for some time so I'm super excited to see your pre trip report up! I've said it before, i'll say it again... you take the best pics! Also, congrats on your upcoming wedding! :sohappy: i'll be watching for the rest! (any count down of any sorts this time? i'd think you'd be way to busy, just wondering though)

Thanks for reading the previous TRs. I will be making a countdown calendar (which I'll post here), but nothing with Flickr this time.

Okay, so I know you and I have never met and probably never will, but I have to tell you that I feel like I have a vested interest in not only your wedding but your upcoming Disney honeymoon as well. :ROFLOL: I have been following this story since your Poly proposal (when I was a mere lurker on these boards) through your most recent trip report. I show your photos in the Daily photo thread to anyone who will stop and pay attention to me. My poor husband thinks I have lost my mind. But, I really can't wait for this pre and post trip report. We did a Disney honeymoon and it was one of the best decisions I made. Maybe even better than the actual decision to spend my life with my better half.

Best of luck to you both and looking forward to the next installments.

Thanks for the extremely kind words; glad you've liked the TRs and the pictures!

I wish the two of you the very best as you prepare for a life together.

Thanks!

Normally...doesn't Tom sit on Sarah's lap?

So nearly a day after your original comment, and without me making any responses in between, you come up with this? Seriously, how many monkeys did you have working 'round the clock to come up with that one? :p

Great Pre-Trip report!

Your profile picture amazes me! How did you get that shot?

Thank you! The profile picture required much patience, luck, and knowing what camera settings would likely work for the situation.
 

lebeau

Well-Known Member
It doesn't make financial sense if you purchase directly from Disney, nor does it work if you finance it. Even purchasing resale with cash, it barely makes financial sense given the time value of money (which Disney, for obvious reasons, never includes in its calculations of your purported savings). For us it was as much a planning device for future vacations, and because I know I wouldn't have made financial investments with the money we used to purchase DVC. I think it varies for each person. If you view it strictly as a financial investment, the only way for it to be better than an alternative financial investment is if you do fuzzy math.

lol - that's exactly why I never looked into it too seriously.

Invariably, I keep coming back to this thought: Even if I save up the money, I'm better off putting it aside for the girls' educations than pledging it to Disney for future vacations.

As an emotional purchase, I'd love to do it. But as a financially responsible dad of two, I can never justify it.

I look forward to reading all the details of your trip!
 

Todd L

Well-Known Member
Big fan of your pictures and trip reports..you offered some good advice to me last year for my first trip to wdw in more than 10 years and I was greatful.........Congrats and much happiness.
 

pjulie75

Member
Just had a peek at your wedding page, it looks amazing, Sarah you will be a beautiful Princess Bride (can't wait to see the dress) and Tom a Prince Charming I am sure. Congratulations to you both xoxo:kiss:
 

diddy_mouse

Well-Known Member
I have followed your trips reports and I'm always amazed by your photos. I can only imagine how hard it would be to have someone else take pictures on the biggest day of your life. :lol:

A WDW Honeymoon is a wonderful experience (I'm part of the club) and I wish the best for both of you in your future together! :D
 

Register on WDWMAGIC. This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.

Top Bottom