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Unread 13 Jan 19, 09:39 PM  
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sha9
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If you book it you will go. Disney Sept 19 Pre trip report

I know that title seems a bit obvious but it kind of fits with how we ended up booking this years trip. Im not sure if Ill do a full trip report but more than likely will do a dining one as usual so I thought Id do the pre trip report anyway.

For anyone who hasnt read any previous trip reports of mine we are me, Lisa and my sister Marie, two spinster aunts who have been going to Florida together for more than 20 years now.

Took me some time to decide on the right picture from last year. I had about 3 to choose from.



So this year is a little different than others as Marie has started her own dog grooming business and we werent sure whether we should book or not. We discussed it and booked Disneys Caribbean Beach Resort with free dining when it was released on the basis that Quidco cashback covers more than the deposit so we wouldnt lose out if we cancel.
Im not one for waiting and seeing as Im a terrible saver so need to be booked. My theory is we can stay at a basic hotel with just Disney tickets and eat at cheap restaurants if we have to. Of course Im hoping we dont have to .


I'm now going to update this post with what's actually happening regarding the following! That way anyone reading the final trip report won't have to wade through 12 pages of nonsense .

Flights

We were able to get Virgin reward flights for about 325 each economy out and PE back, money we already had saved. So on the basis that if you book it you will go, we booked it! I managed to get the seats at the back which are just two seats and although its not ideal for immigration I feel a bit more relaxed about it this year.
Edited to say I've since changed the seats to the "bubble". We had to pay 35 pp but we've managed to get the back row and hoping it means an earlier exit from the plane and into immigration. Not likely we'll manage PE on the outbound as we need 20,000 miles and we have about 7500 between us!

Hotel

Well weve been back and forth on this. We booked CBR originally as our preferred resort, Old Key West wasnt released yet. We had upgraded dining as we prefer table service meals. When OKW started showing up on the Disney site I called them and was able to change no problem but with the discounts on OKW & SSR getting less every year it was quite a difference. We reflected on it over Christmas and worked out that OKW was going to be a bit of a push. So at 900 of a difference CBR and sticking with QSDP is the new plan. We did consider the free nights offer but free dining is worth more to us. Plus we would lose the $200 gift card so had to take that into account.

Edited to say we have now settled on Coronado Springs in a preferred room. That was all that was available when we decided to make the switch and the Skyliner was really putting me off CBR as well as the ongoing construction with the Riviera resort. CSR construction will be finished soon and the resort looks amazing. We've also booked 2 nights at the Dolphin at the end of the first week for it's proximity to DHS.

Theme parks

We didnt do Universal last year as we only went for a week and I honestly didnt miss it. Im not sure we can stretch to it this year with the price of tickets and I think Ill be ok with that. Disney at a more relaxed pace is so attractive after rushing about in a week last time.

Edited to say we are now doing Universal . We managed to get the 2 days with 3 free tickets at a good price and thought it would be rude not too!

Food

Well this may be our first time on QSDP, something I never thought Id do. But then things have changed in the quick service dining world. There are loads of places in Disney Springs we keep trying to get to and never manage so this might be the time.

We will do a few table service though. We have a Landry Card each both of which will have a $25 birthday reward when we go so well do Yak & Yeti for sure, maybe twice.
We also have the gift card which wed normally use to cover tips plus another $100 refer a friend one so Im thinking we use the $300 for TS dining. There are loads of restaurants we love though so it wont be easy narrowing it down! At the moment Im thinking Liberty Tree Tavern, maybe Homecomin and then maybe Chefs de France, Im not sure. We paid OOP for Le Cellier last year and I still feel guilty spending that amount so I doubt well do a signature unless we upgrade.

We go during Orlando Magical Dining month and last year did Sharks Underwater Grill at SeaWorld. It was $35 for a 3 course, set menu plus you could stay int the park afterwards. We didnt have many options for what day we could choose being there only a week but well be 15 nights this year so Im hoping we can do this again on a night the park is open later.

Meals actually booked are: QS - umpteen Be Our Guest breakfasts and one lunch, ABC Commissary and Restaurantosaurus both for dinner.
TS - Liberty Tree Tavern dinner, Garden Grill breakfast and The Yachtsman dinner. Well also do Yak & Yeti TS at least once, maybe twice. Sharks Underwater Grill booked.



So thats it so far. Well hire a car but thats not booked yet. Well consider Universal and possibly upgrading to DDP (or switching back to OKW) but itll depend how things go.

Car Hire

Booked in the end with Avis via the British Airways site. When I booked it was 371 for an intermediate SUV. Had I held off I would have got that price from Hertz (our preferred choice) however it's booked now and cancellation is not free. I'm sure it'll be fine.
Update: bit of a debacle as I accidentally cancelled the car hire. Decided we would just hire for a week picking up from the Dolphin and booked Magical Express for arrival. Couldnt settle at not having a car and this is the last year well get free parking so have booked an Intermediate SUV with Hertz for the whole trip.

Edited at 08:58 PM.
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Unread 15 Jan 19, 11:55 PM  
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Looking forward to following along. I had no idea that your decided to give the QSDP a go as I know you really like the DDP, but I really think it's worth trying and paying for a few oop as you've planned. It's definitely our preferred choice now. Let's see if you're still with the QSDP by the time the trip comes around though! That 900 OKW upgrade would buy a lot of meals though, and then some!

Well done on getting the reward seats. I managed to get the same for us - EC out and PE home. Was hard work though as we're going at October half term and they were like gold dust! Having to fly from Gatwick for the first time as just had no luck with Manchester.

We're giving US a miss as it doesn't really do that much for us. Might sound weird, but when I'm there, I feel like I'm at a theme park, like a day out at Alton Towers, but the Disney parks just don't feel like that to me. Even our two teenagers feel the same and I know US is normally much more popular with their age group. I've obviously trained them well I am getting HHN tickets for my husband and daughter though as they're horror fans and have wanted to do this for ages. Hoping to get a night a Cabana Bay using Clubcard vouchers and relax there with my son, who's part fish so should enjoy the pool.

I'll be doing a live food report too - just need to think up a title!
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SSR: 40th birthday trip 2nd - 16th Jan 2014
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Unread 16 Jan 19, 08:44 PM  
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Originally Posted by loves2plan View Post
Looking forward to following along. I had no idea that your decided to give the QSDP a go as I know you really like the DDP, but I really think it's worth trying and paying for a few oop as you've planned. It's definitely our preferred choice now. Let's see if you're still with the QSDP by the time the trip comes around though! That 900 OKW upgrade would buy a lot of meals though, and then some!

Well done on getting the reward seats. I managed to get the same for us - EC out and PE home. Was hard work though as we're going at October half term and they were like gold dust! Having to fly from Gatwick for the first time as just had no luck with Manchester.

We're giving US a miss as it doesn't really do that much for us. Might sound weird, but when I'm there, I feel like I'm at a theme park, like a day out at Alton Towers, but the Disney parks just don't feel like that to me. Even our two teenagers feel the same and I know US is normally much more popular with their age group. I've obviously trained them well I am getting HHN tickets for my husband and daughter though as they're horror fans and have wanted to do this for ages. Hoping to get a night a Cabana Bay using Clubcard vouchers and relax there with my son, who's part fish so should enjoy the pool.

I'll be doing a live food report too - just need to think up a title!
It was a tough decision to go with QSDP! Ive said it a few times to Marie that there are so many new QS places to try though.

Great that you got reward seats! I didnt have to try too hard, they were just available when I looked so I snapped them up.

HHN is too scary for me! You can enjoy the hotel though. Sometimes its nice to just have a chill out.

My trip report will probably not be live. Im too lazy! Good luck with yours!
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Unread 20 Jan 19, 09:17 AM  
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Well I had a bit of a wobble about the hotel. I know lots of people think its fantastic but the Skyliner is a big eyesore as far as Im concerned. Its really put me off CBR but CSR has no standard rooms and the PO resorts are so expensive wed be just as well back at OKW. I hadnt paid attention to where the Skyliner would be and assumed it was at the main entrance to the resort but having looked at various images theres a station near Jamaica which is where we hoped to stay.
I considered the option of CSR which would have meant a standard room with a king bed which we dont want or a preferred room which was going to be dearer. The preferred at CBR look to be away from both Skyliner stations, the pilons and the dangling people so I called Disney and priced up all options. Preferred at CBR is only around 90 more than standard, CSR around 300 more so it was an easy decision and weve switched to preferred at CBR.

Happier but still hoping for that windfall to get us back to OKW!
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Unread 20 Jan 19, 09:39 AM  
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It sounds like this is going to be a fun trip.

I agree it could be really interesting trying out the QSDP. We had it on our first trip, but we didn't really know what we were doing then! Now I've watched so many DFB you tube videos and I'm always keen to try out all the snacks they rave about but just too stuffed from all the food on the DDP. Maybe one trip we will follow your lead.

The Seaworld dinner was a great bargain for you last time, good idea to do it again as a break from WDW and a chance to wander around Seaworld afterwards without forking out for tickets.

I hope the skyliner at CBR doesn't bother you too much. The preferred room upgrade seems like a good choice and much cheaper than switching resorts by the sounds of it.
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Unread 20 Jan 19, 10:40 AM  
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Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
It sounds like this is going to be a fun trip.

I agree it could be really interesting trying out the QSDP. We had it on our first trip, but we didn't really know what we were doing then! Now I've watched so many DFB you tube videos and I'm always keen to try out all the snacks they rave about but just too stuffed from all the food on the DDP. Maybe one trip we will follow your lead.

The Seaworld dinner was a great bargain for you last time, good idea to do it again as a break from WDW and a chance to wander around Seaworld afterwards without forking out for tickets.

I hope the skyliner at CBR doesn't bother you too much. The preferred room upgrade seems like a good choice and much cheaper than switching resorts by the sounds of it.
Thanks! Im looking forward to having a more relaxed trip than last year! Its part of the reason Im on the fence about Universal.

I really feel we should stick with QSDP this year but I suspect we wont. Every year we say we want to try D-Luxe Burger and Blaze Pizza and still havent managed. My issue with QS is that I like to have something planned/booked and just go in, sit down and have someone take my order, bring my food etc. Its not that I have an objection to the food on offer. On the contrary, its usually right up my street! My plan is to book ADRs as if we have DDP and cancel the extras if we dont upgrade/change hotel.
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Unread 20 Jan 19, 10:58 AM  
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Looking forward to following your trip. We paid out of pocket on our first trip as it was Easter so no free dining, and ate mainly at qs. We enjoyed these but last year we had free qs dining at POFQ which we upgraded to ddp. We loved the ts meals and for any further trips, if finances allow, we would prefer ddp to the qs one. However, on saying that, we were really impressed with how the standard of qs meals have improved in the two years from our first visit. It was perfectly fine on our first visit but this time some of our qs meals were as good as the ts ones. Some of our favourites from our two trips were Flame Tree BBQ, BoG lunch, Earl of Sandwich and Sunshine Seasons (loves the Mongolian beef there).
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Unread 20 Jan 19, 11:18 AM  
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Originally Posted by DisneyDaffodil View Post
Looking forward to following your trip. We paid out of pocket on our first trip as it was Easter so no free dining, and ate mainly at qs. We enjoyed these but last year we had free qs dining at POFQ which we upgraded to ddp. We loved the ts meals and for any further trips, if finances allow, we would prefer ddp to the qs one. However, on saying that, we were really impressed with how the standard of qs meals have improved in the two years from our first visit. It was perfectly fine on our first visit but this time some of our qs meals were as good as the ts ones. Some of our favourites from our two trips were Flame Tree BBQ, BoG lunch, Earl of Sandwich and Sunshine Seasons (loves the Mongolian beef there).
Ive seen lots of those places on dining reports and weve done BoG several times so thatll definitely be on the list. I think the pre ordering will help with the downside of QS too. Weve never tried any of the QS in World Showcase so theres a whole world out there!
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