Hello all! I have been reading MiceChat for a while now, but have only recently joined. I have been meaning to post this Trip Report since we got back 2 months ago! Oh well, better late then never I suppose. Here goes!
This was my husband's first trip to WDW ever and I had not been since 1996 (I was 10!) so I might as well never have been either since so much has changed (AK didn't exist!) and his first trip to Disneyland was this past November. So he's still in little kid, first visit mode. Every trip we take, he starts planning the next one while we're still there, which is great!
This was a very last minute, spur-of-the-moment trip for us. We decided about a week before hand that we were going to go. We currently live in North Carolina and are in the process of moving back to San Diego, CA so we felt it was our duty to take a trip to Disney World before we moved back to our home park/coast (We were both born and raised in San Diego and DLR is our first love.) So since we were trying to stay on a budget and only had three days in the parks we stayed off property at a Holiday Inn. It was super close (around the corner from DTD) and we got a great deal on it through Hotwire. We also brought a ton of snacks with us to save money on food (Cliff bars, trail mix, water bottles with purifiers built in) and that worked out great for us! We essentially ended up only paying for one full meal per person per day and we shared a lot of food, too.
Since we only had three days, and one park per day tickets, we had to decide on which park we wouldn't hit. We decided to eliminate DHS since the #1 thing he wanted to do was Everest and I wanted to do AK since I'd never even laid eyes on the place! (HUGE Thank You and shout out to Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor of Communicore Weekly for your help and advice in making this decision! We really appreciated you taking the time to help us out!)
So not only was this our first trip to WDW together, and his first ever, it was also our first time being there for rope drop. I cannot say enough how much we both absolutely LOVED being some of the first people through the gate and doing the mad dash! If I hadn't gotten addicted to MiceChat a number of months before hand, we would have missed out on this key strategy! Our trip was Saturday, June 29th through Monday, July 1st. For it being the middle of the busy season, the crowds were super light. Plus, since we're Disney pros, we took full advantage of Fast Passes. I still cannot for the life of me understand why so few people utilize them at WDW under the current system (traditional Fast Pass, no plus), but that was just fine with us!
Up next, Day 1, Animal Kingdom!