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Unread 7 Aug 19, 06:30 PM  
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missdopey's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 10
Ok Let's Try This With A Baby - Feb/March 2020 - Pre Trip

We have a new countdown! 194 days to go until our next Florida trip, this time it will be the 4 of us. 2 days before baby number 2 is due and we have just booked our flights for next year.

This trip will be me (34), DH (35), DD (6) and DS (6mo).

Our dates are 17th February - 7th March, so 19 nights of Florida fun! This will allow us time to take things a bit slower with a baby. The weather will be cooler than later in the year which suits us this time and we can get another trip using our annual passes before they expire at the start of April.

We're fortunate enough to have accumulated enough Virgin flying club miles for 3 reward flights, so flights have been booked using 75000 miles and a cost of 727. We can add on the lap passenger when he arrives for a further 2000 miles. Our flights include 1pc of luggage each and seat reservations so we're really pleased with the deal!

Our annual passes are still valid until the beginning of April which means our park tickets are taken care of. This is a huge saving considering it didn't cost us anything to convert our 14 day ultimates we had at Easter to a gold annual pass renewal thanks to a lovely cast member at animal kingdom guest relations. As we'll be staying offsite for some of our trip it will give us free parking too saving us around $250 in parking fees.

The night before our flight we'll be staying at Premier Inn Runger lane South, this cost 29.50. As our flight isn't until 10.40am it will give us plenty of time in the morning to indulge in the premier inn breakfast if we fancy it. Virgin also have twilight check in the evening before your flight at Manchester which will make the morning a bit more chilled too.

Accommodation in Florida has yet to be finalised. It will be a combination of offsite and onsite using our DVC points. As things stand we are planning on staying offsite for the first part of our holiday 17th Feb - 1st March. We currently have 1 night booked using points at Animal Kingdom Lodge on the 27th Feb staying club level. This has ‘cost' 23 points for the evening and is something I've wanted to do for ages but knew the chances of getting a reservation were slim as there as so few club level rooms available using DVC and these are booked 11 months in advance by ALK owners. When I saw a night available on the 27th I jumped at the opportunity and grabbed it! We will pack some overnight cases and head there first thing on the 27th and make use of the club level lounge for drinks and snacks throughout the day and hang out at the pool temperatures/weather permitting.

Our hope then is to do 6 nights at Beach club on DVC points. This may be a long shot due to the popularity of the resort. I have currently managed to secure 1-3rd March and 4-6th March and have waitlisted the 3rd and 6th separately to make this a 6 night stay. If this doesn't come off then we will either keep a couple of nights here and book somewhere else for the other nights, or move the whole reservation elsewhere. Looks like I will be stalking the DVC calendar obsessively for the next few months! 😂 we've stayed at the beach club twice before and absolutely love it, the pool is amazing and the ability to walk to Epcot and hollywood studios really suits us.

So this happened this evening! My waitlist for the 3rd March came through 😀 So we now have 1-6th booked at the Beach club and a waitlist in for our final night to extend this to the 7th.

We're currently trying to settle on our offsite accommodation for 13 nights. We would like an apartment style room with a kitchen and separate sleeping area rather than a standard hotel room. We've got a budget of around 100 per night and so far we've narrowed it down to Encantada, Polynesian Isles or Orbit One vacation villas. They all fit the bill accommodation and price wise, Located around the 192 so handy for restaurants and get decent reviews on trip advisor. Encantada has a private hot tub on the patio/balcony so that may be swinging it for me that moment 😂

169 days to go -
Yesterday was our ADR day for our animal kingdom reservation. We are adding the deluxe dining plan to our reservation for the 1 night, this will cost $286 and will get us 9 table service credits, 6 snack credits and 3 refillable mugs. The mugs will be useful for drinks while at the AKL pool but the real value will come when we check into beach club for 6 days, we love the coke freestyle machines there and get coffee in them every morning so we would buy them anyway, three mugs would cost $57.
Our rough plan at the moment is to check into AKL then head over to chef mickeys for a 9.40am breakfast. This is an absolute favourite of DD and she asks to do it every trip, the cost of this would be $46 for adults and $28 for children. Including tax this would cost $128 but would be covered by 3 dining credits.
We'll get snacks throughout the day in the club lounge and spend some time at the pool (weather permitting). Evening we plan to have a few drinks in the lounge and then head out for dinner, at the moment I have booked Sanaa for 7.30pm so we can walk over to Kidani, this May well change in the future. We plan to use 2 dining credits for the 3 of us as we find with appetiser and dessert it is a lot of food, especially starting with the amazing bread service to share.
Next morning we plan to have breakfast in the lounge before spending some more time at the pool. We'll use our 6 snack credits and the lounge to feed us through the afternoon before heading to California grill for dinner at 6.10pm. This is one of DH and I's favourite places to eat, we'll use the remaining 4 dining credits and pay cash for anything beyond what's covered by these.

Update - 141 days to go!
Last night I managed to secure the 6th March at beach club to complete our 6 night stay. I had a waitlist in for it but had been checking regularly just in case and there it was available last night so I booked it. Serves as a reminder to check availability and not just rely on the waitlist system as they are clearly released as available before the waitlist system grabs them. Just need to contact member services and get these individual reservations combined into one. Especially excited for this part of our holiday as the dates for the flower and garden festival have been released and the festival starts on the 4th March next year.

127 days to go (18 weeks tomorrow) -
DS's passport arrived this week, only took 8 days from submitting the application!
Tonight we have finalised a few details. Booked our accommodation from 17th feb - 1st March. We settled on a 2 bedroom apartment at mystic dunes for 989. I think this is an absolute bargain and was very impressed with what I saw of mystic dunes when I met a friend staying here a couple of years ago.

Booked our car hire aswell. We've got a standard SUV for 473 for the 19 nights/20 days so very pleases with this price considering it was 600 for the same think a few weeks ago.

102 days to go -
This morning we finally got round to adding DS to our flight booking, quick phone call, 2000 miles and 60 later and he's officially coming with us! 🤣
We've requested a skycot for the return journey which wasn't a problem so hopefully that will make the return flight abit less stressful.
We decided to book seats in the bubble on the way out, 35 each so total of 105 but it means we'll be one of the first off the plane and get a head start to immigration and also the extra space and storage bin by the window will be welcome with all the baby admin we'll have.

Booked our 3 weeks of car parking at Manchester airport, we normally use VIP meet and greet but found the Manchester airport official meet and greet cheaper at 55 for our dates. Never used them before but seems more convenient than VIP so that's a bonus!

3 days until double digit day!

77 days to go -
Been finalising a few plans with fastpass day coming up at the end of the month. We've decided to book Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for Dd at the magic kingdom on Sat 22nd Feb. We've never done this before and will decide nearer the time which package to go for and whether to take our own princess dress etc.

Discovery cove have some really good offers on at the moment. We'd been planning on visiting seaworld as DD loved it when we went last year and spent an evening there after a meal at sharks underwater grill on the magical dining month offer. So we've booked 3 tickets to discovery cove with dolphin swim, and 14 day tickets to seaworld & aquatica with Floridatix for 481. DS will be free as he's under 2 and we'll book 2 different swim times for DH and I so one of us can stay with DS. We've decided to do DC on the 29th Feb. The day between checking out of animal kingdom and checking into beach club. Hoping the weathers good leaving it later into the holiday! We've never been to aquatica so will give us the opportunity to get to a water park as our gold annual passes don't allow access to the water parks.

We got moonlight magic tickets!
Disney put on a small number of after hours events for DVC members at each of the theme parks. We are fortunate that there are 2 events while we are there. Members can sign up for 1 event at each park. Ymir you have a hotel reservation you get priority booking opportunity 2 weeks before all other members without reservations. Unfortunately the first even at animal kingdom is when we are staying offsite so we had to wait for general booking to open today. You are out in a virtual queue at random when booking opens, I had my phone, 2 iPads and a laptop all waiting to queue and was lucky to get 140th place on one of the iPads. 5 minutes later we were confirmed as attending the 25th February! Sooooo excited about this!
Fingers crossed we have such good luck with the booking for the magic kingdom event on the 3rd March when booking for that opens on the 8th January 😊

50 days to go -

Today was fastpass day 1. Bit of an anticlimax compared with previous fastpass days. We're 60 days out from our night and AKL club level so can boom fastpasses for 27th and 28th Feb. We're not planning on going to a park on the 27th as we hope to be making full use of the resort. 28th we may head to magic kingdom after we check out buy before our dinner at California grill, so with that in mind I've booked fastpasses for Mickey Mouse meet and greet, big thunder mountain and splash mountain, there was no availability for seven dwarfs mine train unfortunately.
Our better fastpass day for our beach club stay is on Wednesday hoping to secure slinky dog, flight of passage and seven dwarf mine train for the days later in our stay.

45 days to go -
It's coming round so fast! I finally got round to ringing dvc member services to combine/link my 3 separate beach club reservations. 1st-4th was booked with one of our dvc membership numbers and 4th-6th and 6th-7th was booked with another. They were able to combine the latter two to make a single reservation but it's not possible to combine across memberships. What they do so though it link them together so that when allocating rooms we won't have to change rooms and will be treat like a single reservation in that sense but we will have to check in twice on the app.

Fastpass day for our beach club stay was on Wednesday, managed to get flight of passage/slinky dog x2/seven dwarfs mine train x2. As we have an annual pass we can only book as many days of fastpasses as we are booked at Disney unfortunately, so when we reach 30 days out from our arrival I can book 2 further days of fastpasses as I haven't bothered with any for our animal kingdom lodge first day or our final day before our flight. This will enable me to then book fastpasses as we use a day for the first week or so. We'll be fitting in seaworld and aquatica so not sure of where we will be on which day at the moment.

Next Wednesday reservations open for the DVC moonlight magic event at magic kingdom on the 3rd March so fingers crossed we're successful for that!

41 days to go -

Managed to successfully get signed up for moonlight magic at magic kingdom on 3rd March. Very excited to be able to attend both the animal kingdom and magic kingdom events, I've made us some fastpasses in magic kingdom for big thunder mountain (5.15-6.15), meet Mickey Mouse (6.30-7.30) and seven dwarfs mine train (7.30-8.30) before the event starts at 9pm.

35 days to go -
Came across a thread about Alamo Brit prices dropping today so had a check of the price for our dates and managed to modify our reservation to an intermediate SUV for 361 from 473 for our initial car hire reservation. Great saving 👍

25 days to go -

Disney have released fastpasses for smugglers run starting from 19th Feb. So I have managed to amend some of our planned fastpass days and secure a fastpass for smugglers run!
They also changed the tiers for some rides at HS, o my slinky dog and smugglers run are tier 1 with the other toy story rides, tower of terror and rock n rollercoaster dropping to tier 2, so I've been playing h around with our Hollywood studios fastpasses adding in ToT/TSM/ASS instead of the original tier 2 rides we had booked. I've also been able to bring forward some of our fastpasses to earlier in the day as slinky dog/soarin etc were available at earlier times due to others switching fastpasses to accommodate smugglers run.

11 days to go!

Fastpasses have just been released for Mickey and minnies runaway railway, managed to grab some for opening day.

10 days to go -

Over the past few weeks/months I've booked a number of ADRs, all of which are old favourites of ours.

18th Feb - lunch at Be our guest
22nd Feb - lunch at Be our guest
24th Feb - dinner at Ohana - managed to snag a 4.20pm reservation a few weeks ago after DH decided he wanted to eat here.
27th Feb - breakfast chef mickeys - dining plan
28th Feb - dinner California grill - dining plan
1st Mar - brunch California grill - this one will probably be cancelled as much as it upsets me, I can't really justify the $300 that it will likely cost.
3rd Mar - lunch Beaches and cream - kitchen sink
4th Mar - dinner Via Napoli - huge pizza and wine

We will hopefully add in homecoming while at Disney springs one day and breakfast at ale and compass while staying at beach club.


ASMo, ASMu x4, SSR x2, BLT x 3, CSR, POLY, AKL, BC x 2, BWV, CC, OKW
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Unread 12 Aug 19, 11:39 AM  
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Exciting plans. Fingers crossed for the last Beach Club night becoming available for you.

Good luck with the birth.
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Unread 1 Sep 19, 12:17 PM  
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Ah looks like a lovely trip! Hopefully you get your extra night
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Unread 25 Jan 20, 04:17 PM  
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It all sounds wonderful, and very organised! 🤞 you get your last Beach Club day.
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Unread 7 Feb 20, 09:27 AM  
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New Photo Added by missdopey - 7 Feb 20 8:27 AM.
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Unread 7 Feb 20, 11:54 AM  
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Just caught up on your updates. The Moonlight Magic events sound great and youve done well getting your Smugglers Run and Runaway Railway fast passes-looking forward to read what you think of the new rides.
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