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Unread 3 Nov 19, 05:15 PM  
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Goldia
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Yo Ho, A Disney Life for Me - Summer 2020 pre trip

Yo Ho, A Disney Life for Me

Im back with another pre trip

For those dont know me and for those who like reminders and reminiscing heres a bit of background information.

Im Abby, my husband is David, we have two children Max, who is 15 and is doing his GCSEs this year and Kate, who is 12, shell turn 13 in March.

Weve been to Orlando before We always travel at the same time of year, the first two weeks of the summer holidays so the end of July and beginning of August. This trip will be our 6th to Orlando I cant quite believe it myself if Im honest.

So, first up a little bit of history.

2014

Our first trip was in 2014, Max was 9 and Kate was 7.



We had no clue what we were doing, I didnt know about the Dibb back then . We had not booked up any FP or anything and I happened to be flicking through the Little Big Book of Magic that Disney send with your booking confirmation and saw that we were supposed to book the magical express.

When was this advance planning taking place?

A couple of months before the trip? Nope!

A week before? Nope!

It was 72 hours until our holiday, I didn't know any better and I phoned the 0880 WDW number in the book. The cast member on the other end of the phone must have thought she was talking to a simpleton , well I suppose in terms of WDW knowledge she was. She was so kind and explained about how lots of people like to book up fast passes, she had to explain what they were!

She was being so reassuring and saying it wasnt too late and that we should maybe log onto MDE and make some bookings.

So, what's this MDE then?

Of course she took the time to talk me through setting myself up on the system and linking the booking, then she wished me a happy holiday and ended the call with Have a Magical Day. I was probably hooked from that moment. She was so helpful, I wish I could remember her name.

That afternoon me and Max sat down together and using the daily plan guide at the back of the guide book. This suggested Epcot on day 1 and so that's what we did. No looking at a busy day guide, we just followed the plan in the book. We randomly picked Soarin over California as our first FP. This ended up being our first ride at WDW and it was a real eye opener as we had never done anything like it before and it blew away our expectations as to what this trip and WDW would be like.

The lack of advance planning didn't mean we had a disaster of a trip we even managed to get FP for 7DMT which had only recently opened after the New Fantasyland expansion.

There were some real magical moments on this trip. Max was picked to be the beast in the Enchanted Tales with Belle show. I wont forget it!



We started a tradition of taking photos of the kids with the troll in Norway (as Im sure everyone does). Actually I suppose that isn't strictly true as it wasn't a tradition then! It really was a once in a lifetime trip. We didn't think we'd be back. On our last day we came home and still didn't think we'd return. Our second once in a lifetime trip didn't start getting talked about until over a year later.



We met the characters and bought autograph books for the kids.



The kids look so small in these photos with Spaceship Earth at Epcot, the Mickey Hat at HS and the Tree of Life at AK.







So, how did it become a pilgrimage?

Along with most who travel to WDW we thought it was a once in a lifetime trip and never dreamed we would return. But of course return we did.

2016

Our second trip was in 2016, Max was 11 and Kate was 9.



Wed been on holiday to Turkey in between in the summer of 2015 and it was ok, but it was not Disney . Then we had a short break in Bruges in October and one evening while we were having dinner, I think we may have ordered a 2nd bottle of wine to share

Dave asked what is the best holiday we've had?

None of us hesitated WDW.

And that was it as soon as we were back in the country Id priced it up and after a quick couple of emails to Dave we had booked to go back to CBR the following year.

This time though would be different as I knew what I was doing, well sort of. I discovered the Dibb and I found out about ADRs, character dining and upgrading to DDP and all the other must dos. So, this year we upgraded the dining and had DDP. It was great it was even better than the first trip (if that is possible).

This trip Dave and Kate joined in with Enchanted Tales with Belle as Dave was picked to be a guard and Kate was a plate.





The kids were picked to start the Indiana Jones Stunt Show. They were the ones who went up at the beginning of the show and said Lights, Camera, Action. It was fab I filmed it and even though its only a couple of seconds long I love that memory.

We had the obligatory Epcot, HS and AK photos.







The kids met Lilo again this year at TL. They had really grown compared to a couple of years before.



2017

Our third trip in 2017 did not include WDW . The previous two were WDW exclusively, we didn't set foot outside of the Disney bubble. But of course Orlando has a lot more than just WDW. This year we did a split stay with 4 nights in NYC and 10 in Orlando.



It was the year of my first trip report.

We visited the Statue of Liberty and of course all the other sights in NYC.





In Orlando we stayed at the Rosen Inn International on I Drive and had Universal and Seaworld tickets.





I didn't miss Disney, well not too much, we didn't even visit Disney Springs. I think only having 10 nights in Orlando I knew we wouldn't have time to fit in Disney while making the most of Seaworld, Discovery Cove, Aquatica, Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios and Volcano Bay.

Plus, the other thing that helped me get through it was knowing I'd already paid the deposit for the following year and that we would be back to WDW

2018

Our fourth trip was the Its All About the Mouse trip and back to being just WDW. We stayed at OKW with DDP again.



It was the year when we had the boat to ourselves on Its a Small World one night in MK, I was ridiculously happy about this.



Of course we got photopass at Epcot, HS and AK.







This year Kate managed to fill her autograph book with signatures. Almost as tall as Lilo now.



Much more sensible photo with the troll this year.



We did the 4 parks 1 day challenge, which was awesome and I'm keen to try out some more challenges next summer.

And at the end of the trip I surprised the kids with a 2 night stay in a Royal Room at POR.



We tried (and failed) to eat the kitchen sink, vowing to return next year with extra helpers.



And on our last visit to MK they had started putting up the Halloween decorations and so we saw some of Halloween in the middle of August.



And, did we know we'd be coming back the following year?

You don't need two guesses to answer this question, of course we were coming back the following year .

2019

Well, Im still writing the Bare Necessities trip report. This year was different though as my parents also came along.



This time it was Dad who was chosen to be part of Enchanted Tales with Belle.



We had our photos at Epcot, HS and AK.







A little less sensible with the troll , Im pretty confident this was Grandads idea, he's a 14 year old in a 69 year old body .



We finished the whole kitchen sink.



And we did our first Orlando combo going to Discovery Cove and staying at Royal Pacific Resort for 2 nights at the end of the holiday and going to Universal.



Did we think this was our last trip?

Did we heck! Of course, I'd already booked the following year's trip.

And because we knew wed be going back to Orlando in 2020 I upgraded our US tickets to annual passes for the princely sum of 0, yes thats right ZERO.



So, if you've made it through the longest prologue and back story to a pre trip ever then congratulations Now I will move on to what you are actually here for...

Planning for 2020


When did I decide we would be going back in 2020?

That's kind of difficult to answer actually, probably it was back in 2017 the 4 park challenge cemented in me a love for WDW. I think I knew I wanted to go every year, I just had to convince my husband

Way back when free dining was announced in April 2019 I promised myself I wouldnt get caught up in the excitement to book the trip straight away as soon as free dining booking went live.

It seemed to take an age for the free dining to finally be announced and the rumours were rife that it maybe wasnt coming at all and we had seen the end of it. Then there was the drip, drip, drip of information and we all rushed to sign up for the extra $100 spending money a $300 gift card would buy a fair few cocktails . I didnt hesitate and got my email on 17th April thanking me for signing up and encouraging me to book my holiday via the activation link, but the extra $100 gift card was only available for bookings made between 25 April and 4 May.

So, given that I had made the decision not to book up straight away and that we hadnt even had our holiday in 2019, how long did my self restraint last?

A week? Hell no!

Maybe a whole 24 hours? Nope!

I couldnt resist joining in the fun. I managed to wait until I got home from work and then I was straight on the laptop

There were so many posts on the Dibb about the queue system that WDW had implemented and I got caught up in the fun, maybe some would say I panicked. Actually, the rational side of me would say that I panicked . Id never known Disney to use this queue system before, maybe they were only releasing a very small number of rooms for free dining and it would be more limited in 2020. Certainly in the past Ive not had problems booking the free dining, our first trip in 2014 was booked right at the end of free dining in October. Our second trip in 2016 was booked the day before the free dining promotion ended. So, I knew it was likely there would be something available, but I just didnt want to wait.

I was in the queue and joining in on the Dibb thread where people were posting their queue wait times and how many people were in front of them in the queue. I told myself I was only in the queue to check things out, price things up and that I definitely wasnt going to book anything .

Ha, ha, I was lying to myself. In the end I was in the queue for around an hour or two and I just couldnt resist booking something. I went for Caribbean Beach Resort as I love it there, weve stayed there twice.

Our first trip was at CBR, its where the magic started.





We had a pirate room, unfortunately I didnt take any photos of the room. But we did take photos of the resort and its a beautiful place.





Our second trip was at CBR, its where the magic was cemented.

So, I tried to remain somewhat sensible, ok, ok, nothing about it is sensible, but I was a teeny bit cautious. I made what people call a place holder booking. Obviously I didnt have flights booked at this stage and so I booked a 14 night stay just for me in a standard room, I went for a room with a 5th sleeper. The booking came with the 14 day ultimate ticket and the quick service dining and I figured it was sensible to not upgrade anything yet as when the flights came out I may not be able to get the exact dates I needed so I would likely have to amend the booking.

If you dont know amending a booking comes with a fee, unless you increase the value of the booking. So, as I do not plan on travelling alone and will allow my husband and children to come I knew I would have to add on the cost of their tickets and so therefore the fee for amending dates would be waived as the cost of the booking would increase.

My confirmation email from WDW came through at 6.24pm. I was a happy woman! Ahh, wed be going back next year too.

Did I tell my husband straight away?

Umm, nope

Hed think I was mental. It was only a 50 deposit. And he certainly didnt care about whether we were going to Disney in 2020 as he was barely interested in our plans for the 2019 trip which was just 3 months away. I doubt hed even think of it or want to get involved in the planning until maybe the night before we travel. Then he will allow some discussion about what is going to happen and when. Its lucky Ive got you guys to talk to about it all as hes not in the least bit interested.

So, as far as I was concerned the stage was set. We were definitely going back and I was happy.

I think that's enough for now, it's already a long post.

I will be back with flight bookings and whether we needed to change the hotel booking and all that fun soon.
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Abby

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Yo Ho, A Disney Life for Me - Summer 2020 pre trip
The Bare Necessities Summer 2019


Now complete Washington DC October 2019

All my old trip reports are here in one place
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POFQ been and gone, back to CBR
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Unread 3 Nov 19, 05:51 PM  
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eleele
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How lovely to read your backstory!

Its great that each time you went you got so many photos of your kids in the same location so you can see how much theyve grown.

Ive also learnt something new from this post - I didnt know about the placeholder thing or the trick with the booking fee - information duly noted and filed away for future use

We went for the first time in August 2014 and found the heat and humidity really hard to cope with. We vowed wed never go again in the summer but actually this might change as we have such a hard time fitting holidays in around school term dates.

Looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip planning
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DH thinks we're never going back ...haha
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Unread 3 Nov 19, 08:32 PM  
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Goldia
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Originally Posted by eleele View Post
How lovely to read your backstory!

Its great that each time you went you got so many photos of your kids in the same location so you can see how much theyve grown.

Ive also learnt something new from this post - I didnt know about the placeholder thing or the trick with the booking fee - information duly noted and filed away for future use

We went for the first time in August 2014 and found the heat and humidity really hard to cope with. We vowed wed never go again in the summer but actually this might change as we have such a hard time fitting holidays in around school term dates.

Looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip planning
Hey there

Thanks for indulging me! I love looking at all the old photos from past trips. Max is now taller than Dave and so it's so weird to compare the old photos where he is a little boy to now where he is a giant.

I'm glad it was a useful post to. The amendment fee isn't much, but as I booked before knowing the flight dates it seemed best to just book for 1 person.

I know August isn't the best time to travel to Florida as it's either boiling hot or torrential rain, but for us with school dates it's either then or not at all as I'm not sure one week would be enough time for us.

Oh and how funny your first trip was the same time as ours! It's a small world
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Abby

Currently writing
Yo Ho, A Disney Life for Me - Summer 2020 pre trip
The Bare Necessities Summer 2019


Now complete Washington DC October 2019

All my old trip reports are here in one place
Goldia is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Gallery Click to view Members Trip Plans
POFQ been and gone, back to CBR
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Unread 3 Nov 19, 10:50 PM  
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Aw, love your trip reports so great to read the backstory! We are going first two weeks August next year as well- might see you for a cocktail.
We are doing universal too and fingers crossed planning on a 2021 trip with a villa and no Disney so I was wondering about upgrading universal to AP. Can I ask how you got this free? ! Xx
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Unread 3 Nov 19, 11:32 PM  
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Lovely to see all your photos through the years!

I was logged into Disney Holidays at midnight on the 25th, and I fully intended to make a placeholder booking too - but after being in the queue for over 2 hours once I finally got through to the booking, I found a room at CBR for the dates I wanted I panicked and booked for us all! I was scared they'd take the room away from me if I only booked for one person.

This will be our second time at WDW and our second stay at CBR, and the family didn't want to risk staying anywhere else as they had loved it so much. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip
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Unread 3 Nov 19, 11:47 PM  
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eleele
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Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
Hey there


Oh and how funny your first trip was the same time as ours! It's a small world
Ive checked through your photos incase any of us were in the background! (We werent). Whenever I come across any trip reports from this time I always have a look as you never know!

Does anyone else do that or is it just me?
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Unread 4 Nov 19, 08:37 AM  
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Hey

Glad to see your writing another trip report! I read your previous one where you did the 4 parks challenge and enjoyed reading someone elses view in their day! Look forward to your next pre trippie and reading along the planning! We go again next year too!
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Unread 4 Nov 19, 08:50 PM  
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Originally Posted by jojo_3596 View Post
Aw, love your trip reports so great to read the backstory! We are going first two weeks August next year as well- might see you for a cocktail.
We are doing universal too and fingers crossed planning on a 2021 trip with a villa and no Disney so I was wondering about upgrading universal to AP. Can I ask how you got this free? ! Xx
As I was writing it I knew I was being majorly self indulgent, but I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed reading about it. I love sharing our Disney story and I'm grateful there's people like you who keep on reading.

I really hope we can get together for a cocktail you know I don't need an excuse

The universal APs for free was probably because I over paid when I originally bought the tickets, so not really something to brag about basically this time last year I was eagerly awaiting the black Friday sales but there weren't any good universal ticket offers that I found. So at Christmas I ended up just wanting it sorted and didn't want to wait so I went to the amercian version of the universal website and bought 3 day 2 park passes, with the park to park hopper thing. This was around 220 each. Then a few months later when it was very close to travel day I was browsing the site and saw there were annual passes for both parks for the same price I paid so she we got to the parks I asked about upgrading and they checked and the price was still the same hence it was free.

Originally Posted by ravenwing View Post
Lovely to see all your photos through the years!

I was logged into Disney Holidays at midnight on the 25th, and I fully intended to make a placeholder booking too - but after being in the queue for over 2 hours once I finally got through to the booking, I found a room at CBR for the dates I wanted I panicked and booked for us all! I was scared they'd take the room away from me if I only booked for one person.

This will be our second time at WDW and our second stay at CBR, and the family didn't want to risk staying anywhere else as they had loved it so much. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip
I love your story and I'm glad I'm not the only one who got caught up in all the excitement. It was a very funny day. I hope you were able to sort your flights out ok for the dates you booked. I think you can't go wrong at CBR it is a beautiful resort, well it was pre skyliner, but I'm optimistic about that too and I can't wait to use it to go to the parks.

Originally Posted by eleele View Post
Ive checked through your photos incase any of us were in the background! (We werent). Whenever I come across any trip reports from this time I always have a look as you never know!

Does anyone else do that or is it just me?
You're definitely not the only person that does this. I love looking at photos of people who've been at the parks the same time as us. I'd love to see us in a photo in someone else's report.

Originally Posted by Elsa42 View Post
Hey

Glad to see your writing another trip report! I read your previous one where you did the 4 parks challenge and enjoyed reading someone elses view in their day! Look forward to your next pre trippie and reading along the planning! We go again next year too!
Hi, I've been eagerly watching the vlogs by Molly at AllEars.net she has done some great challenges at the parks. I really like her trying to get on all the attractions using FP for each attraction videos and I'm thinking we've got to give this a go next year.
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Abby

Currently writing
Yo Ho, A Disney Life for Me - Summer 2020 pre trip
The Bare Necessities Summer 2019


Now complete Washington DC October 2019

All my old trip reports are here in one place
Goldia is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Gallery Click to view Members Trip Plans
POFQ been and gone, back to CBR
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