Posted by: wildflowerz | February 3, 2014

Disney Planning 2014!

Yay!  Yay!  Yay!

We’re planning a Disney trip.  I’m so excited!  So, I figured I’d go ahead and lay out my plans and such here.  PLEASE, any feedback, tips, hints, or suggestions are welcome.

So, we’re going to attempt a trip during September break.  Our past two trips with Em have been in January during her birthday week (which is also MLK week), so we took her out of school for 4 days.  Em’s a good student and though she was grumpy at making up her work the next week, on the whole it was really not much of a problem.  This time, we’ve decided to try for the Fall Break week so we can hopefully take advantage of Free Dining.  WDW hasn’t announced it yet, but they’ve been doing it for several years at this time, so I’m hopeful.  September is still hot in Florida.  But it’s not crowded.  With this weight loss, I seem to be handling heat better, so we’re going to give it a shot.  I expect to be a sweaty mess most of the time, but hopefully it will still be fun.

We’re also planning on not doing Universal this time, and only going for 5 days.  Usually we do 6:  one day at each of the 4 Disney parks, 1 day at Universal, and 1 day for a repeat Disney park visit.  This time, we’re doing the same, less the Universal day.  I know, the new Harry Potter section should be completed this summer, so we’re likely insane to skip it, but there ya go.  We have an extra day built in there, so we could always change our mind.  Universal is just so damn expensive!  Last time, for one day at both parks for all three of us was about $600.  And that doesn’t include a room!  So yeah.  If you know of any Universal ticket deals, let me know.  Do their tickets still not expire?  If so, buying multi-day tickets is MUUUUCH cheaper.  There’s just not enough for us to do more than one day at both parks.  But if they don’t expire…we could always return.  That’s on my list of stuff to look into.

So, the plan.  We’ll be leaving here on Saturday, 9/13 and coming home on Friday, 9/19.  Here’s our daily plan:

  • Saturday, 9/13 – Travel Day.  We’re going to get an extra day added on to Disney (SUPER cheap) and we may visit a park that evening for a ride or two.  Alternatively, we’ll do what we normally do and do Downtown Disney for dinner and shopping.  We’re trying to do Downtown Disney later in the week so we can shop later.
  • Sunday, 9/14 – Epcot Day.  For park attendance, this is a neutral day for Epcot.  We plan on doing dinner at Via Napoli in Italy.  This is a repeat from our last visit.  It’s a relatively new restaurant at Disney.  It’s pizza.  Em LOVED it and Chris and I liked it a lot too.  We’ll try and do the Fireworks day (when it gets closer, we’ll see if it’s a fireworks day or not).
  • Monday, 9/15 – Hollywood Studios Day.  This is also a neutral day for HS on attendance.  We’re planning on the Sci-Fi Dine-In that evening.  Chris and I went on our first trip in 2001 or so and had a meh opinion on it.  But it looks cool and it’s been ages.  Em’s excited about it.
  • Tuesday, 9/16 – Magic Kingdom Day.  This is a recommended day for MK on attendance.  We’re doing Ohana for breakfast at the Polynesian.  Em’s not as excited about a character meal, but does want to do one.  She’s narrowed it down to this one and 1900 Park Fare.  We loved our breakfast here before, so we’re doing this one.  Any opinions on 1900 would be appreciated.  We’ve done Akershus for the princesses twice now and Em didn’t want to repeat it.  We’ll be trying for Be Our Guest for dinner.
  • Wednesday, 9/17 – Free Day.  This day we’ll do whatever Em wants.  I try and do our free day after we’ve done the other parks, but in trying to get each park on a Neutral or Recommended Day, trying to get the free day and the Animal Kingdom Day later in the trip (more on that in the next day), this was the best I could do.  Alternatively, attendance is supposed to be low the entire week, so maybe we can just ignore that?  Anyway, we plan on trying Spirit of Aloha for dinner.  Em really wants to try it.  This makes me reconsider our Ohana breakfast though.
  • Thursday, 9/18 – Animal Kingdom Day.  This is a recommended day for AK.  The reason we want this later in the trip is that the offering at AK is the lowest for us of all the park.  We like it, but there’s really less to do there for us than anywhere else.  So we were thinking of making an early day of it there and then heading to Downtown Disney for shopping and a dinner.  We’re going to do Sanaa for lunch.  This place is at Animal Kingdom Lodge.  It’s one where you can sit by the windows and see the animals roaming around at lunch.  That’s the big draw for both Chris and Em.
  • Friday, 9/19 – Travel Day.

For our hotel, we’re planning on Pop Century again.  Here’s the thing with us for hotels:  We’re rarely in them.  So, why pay a lot for somewhere you’ll just be sleeping?  Not only that, but the Value resorts are the ones that are more cartoony and kid-appealing.  They’ve got oversized statues and such everywhere.  For the kid-appeal, the only thing the more expensive resorts have is better pools.  Since we’ve got a pool in our neighborhood and plan on spending little time in the pool at Disney, why pay more for it?

For food, we’ll be doing the Basic DDP.  For the Free Dining, you get the Quick DDP free with a Value resort, but can pay the upcharge.  We like sit down meals.  I did the math to see if it would be cheaper or comparable to do a Moderate with a free Basic DDP and it’s not.

So, that’s the plan.  Any comments?  Tips?  Whatever?  We also were considering Kouzzina at the Boardwalk, Raglan Road at Downtown Disney, and Restaurant Marrakesh at Epcot.  Our backup for Be Our Guest is Tony’s Town Square.  There’s just not a lot that’s awesome for food at MK.  I heard that you can get the grey stuff at Be Our Guest, but it’s got to be for an occasion.  But, that you can celebrate an event 6 months before or after a bday.  So we might celebrate Em’s 11th bday there.  Not sure.

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