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Old 13 Jan 19, 09:39 PM  
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sha9
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If you book it you will go. Disney Sept Ď19 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. Iím not sure if Iíll do a full trip report but more than likely will do a dining one as usual so I thought Iíd do the pre trip report anyway.

For anyone who hasnít 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 werenít sure whether we should book or not. We discussed it and booked Disneyís Caribbean Beach Resort with free dining when it was released on the basis that Quidco cashback covers more than the deposit so we wouldnít lose out if we cancel.
Iím not one for waiting and seeing as Iím 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 Iím hoping we donít 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 itís 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 weíve been back and forth on this. We booked CBR originally as our preferred resort, Old Key West wasnít 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 didnít do Universal last year as we only went for a week and I honestly didnít miss it. Iím not sure we can stretch to it this year with the price of tickets and I think Iíll 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 Iíd 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 weíll do Yak & Yeti for sure, maybe twice.
We also have the gift card which weíd normally use to cover tips plus another $100 refer a friend one so Iím thinking we use the $300 for TS dining. There are loads of restaurants we love though so it wonít be easy narrowing it down! At the moment Iím thinking Liberty Tree Tavern, maybe Homecominí and then maybe Chefs de France, Iím not sure. We paid OOP for Le Cellier last year and I still feel guilty spending that amount so I doubt weíll 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 didnít have many options for what day we could choose being there only a week but weíll be 15 nights this year so Iím 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. Weíll also do Yak & Yeti TS at least once, maybe twice. Sharks Underwater Grill booked.



So thatís it so far. Weíll hire a car but thatís not booked yet. Weíll consider Universal and possibly upgrading to DDP (or switching back to OKW) but itíll 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. Couldnít settle at not having a car and this is the last year weíll get free parking so have booked an Intermediate SUV with Hertz for the whole trip.

Edited at 08:58 PM.
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Old 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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Old 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! Iíve 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 didnít 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 itís nice to just have a chill out.

My trip report will probably not be live. Iím too lazy! Good luck with yours!
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Old 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 itís fantastic but the Skyliner is a big eyesore as far as Iím concerned. Itís really put me off CBR but CSR has no standard rooms and the PO resorts are so expensive weíd be just as well back at OKW. I hadnít 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 thereís 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 donít 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 weíve switched to preferred at CBR.

Happier but still hoping for that windfall to get us back to OKW!
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Old 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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Old 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! Iím looking forward to having a more relaxed trip than last year! Itís part of the reason Iím on the fence about Universal.

I really feel we should stick with QSDP this year but I suspect we wonít. Every year we say we want to try D-Luxe Burger and Blaze Pizza and still havenít 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. Itís not that I have an objection to the food on offer. On the contrary, itís usually right up my street! My plan is to book ADRs as if we have DDP and cancel the extras if we donít upgrade/change hotel.
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Old 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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Old 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).
Iíve seen lots of those places on dining reports and weíve done BoG several times so thatíll definitely be on the list. I think the pre ordering will help with the downside of QS too. Weíve never tried any of the QS in World Showcase so thereís a whole world out there!
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Old 20 Jan 19, 01:00 PM  
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Looking forward to following along. We've also booked a moderate but upgraded to DDP as I also like a sit down meal on most days. I think if we were only staying a week the QS plan would probably be enough for us, like others have said there are some fab QS places to try now. We love Blaze and BOG but also fancy a lot of the Epcot restaurants like Lotus Blossom or Katsura Grill. However, if we were staying 10 days or more I would upgrade.

Glad you managed to bag yourself some reward seats, we managed to get some from Manchester PE both ways. We've never done the whole rewards thing before so I've been saving points on my Virgin CC and AMex gold card like a mad woman! 😂 I was so chuffed!

Kat
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Old 20 Jan 19, 01:51 PM  
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Originally Posted by Kat11 View Post
Looking forward to following along. We've also booked a moderate but upgraded to DDP as I also like a sit down meal on most days. I think if we were only staying a week the QS plan would probably be enough for us, like others have said there are some fab QS places to try now. We love Blaze and BOG but also fancy a lot of the Epcot restaurants like Lotus Blossom or Katsura Grill. However, if we were staying 10 days or more I would upgrade.

Glad you managed to bag yourself some reward seats, we managed to get some from Manchester PE both ways. We've never done the whole rewards thing before so I've been saving points on my Virgin CC and AMex gold card like a mad woman! 😂 I was so chuffed!

Kat
This is the first time weíve managed to get reward seats both ways but I do feel bad that all my miles are gone .

I reckon weíll upgrade the dining plan in the end. Itís definitely my preference but it will all depend on finances nearer the time.
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