With less than 3 weeks to go I am officially calling an end to the trip planning and moving on to trip enjoying! This trip began as an extension of the crazy idea we had last December of taking each child to Disneyland on their birthday. We had purchased Annual Passes in December for a trip with the extended family and decided to do APs so we could come back in the fall of 2009 to enjoy the Halloween season. Since they were offering the Birthday Gift Card we figured it would also be fun to come down for 1 night just me and the birthday child. The last of three birthday trips was in March.
My wife and I decided to take a slightly different approach. Since both of our birthdays are in May we decided to take the big flight to Orlando instead (We are from Seattle). In February we started looking at the various deals that were out there and came across the 25% discount on the Platinum plan. I had read about this before but did not think it would be possible to justify the price. With a 25% discount and if you use as many of the plan features as possible it just about adds up to a good deal.
To further save on the expense we decided that we would use the Platinum package on May 13th-May 17th and add-on a day to the beginning and end, this would give us 5 full days of benefits for the least expense. We booked the Wilderness Lodge for the main stay, Pop Century for the first night, and Coronado Springs for the final night.
To make the most of the package we really took advantage of the tours and activities. We have both been to WDW several times so hitting the parks is secondary this time.
Tours and Activities booked:
Day 1: Dolphins in Depth tour at EPCOT, Illuminations Cruise at EPCOT
Day 2: Backstage Magic Tour (7 hour tour, includes lunch), special viewing area for Wishes fireworks at MK
Day 3: Backstage Safari Tour at AK, Cirque Du Soleil
Day 4: Magic Behind the Steam Trains at MK (May switch to Segways at EPCOT, we’ll see), Aqua Seas tour at EPCOT, Behind the Seeds
Day 5: Personal Watercraft, Parasailing, and massage
and we also tried to maximize the dining. We wanted to book as many new locations as possible so skipped a few favorites (Although we have been to Coral Reef so not sure how it snuck in to this list)
Supercalifragilistic Breakfast at Grand Floridian
San Angel Inn
Whispering Canyon Café (Breakfast)
Cinderella’s Royal Table (Dinner)
Donald’s Safari Breakfast at Tusker House
Yak and Yeti
Victoria and Albert’s
Chefs de France
Hollywood Brown Derby
One of the best things about booking the Platinum plan is that you are able to use the itinerary planners at the resort. It is so nice to be able to just email back and forth making arrangements. A perfect example of this came up a few weeks ago when our grand plan came a part a bit. I received a call that the Seas Aqua Tour was no longer being held on Sundays. It took quite a bit or rearranging to get the Seas Aqua tour rescheduled for a different day and still keep everything else in place. Having the itinerary planners to help work through it was very helpful.
On Monday I realized that we would be having a nice evening the day we arrived to spend at the resort, we won’t have out package inclusions yet so will be taking it easy. It hit me that I should have booked the nicer resort for the first night and Pop Century for the final night since we are just going to sleep for a bit on the last night but actually be hanging around the resort the first night. Luckily they had rooms available at the same rate and were able to swap it so we are now arriving at Coronado Springs and departing from Pop Century. I think that makes more sense since we will not be getting to the resort that last night until midnight or so and need to be off to the airport by 6:00am.
The last piece of planning was to purchase a new camera. I ordered a Canon Powershot sx200is. This is a point and shoot camera because I really want something that can fit in the pocket but still offers a 12x zoom. I am hoping to get a week or two to break it in before we leave. I will certainly post up some pictures upon our return.
I did receive some good feedback from people here during the planning and made several adjustments to the plan based on it. Thanks!