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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Disney World! Part 1

Current Mood:
CC is listening to: Symphony No. 41 in C Major (Sir Thomas Beehcam)--Mozart: Symphony No. 41

Two years ago Steve and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary at Disney Land and we had such a great time we promised ourselves that we would go to Disney World for our 5th :-).

And that was exactly what we did. From September 13 - 19 we were in Florida visiting Disney World for the first time :-).

Steve is also writing his blog entry as I'm writing mine so you may also want to check out his blog to see what he has to say about our vacation :-).

First of all I'd have to say that planning a trip to Disney World is definitely something that you want to do at least a couple of months in advance. I know that sounds terribly uptight, but there are good reasons for it: you have the opportunity to know about upcoming good deals (Click here to see the latest Disney World deals if you're curious). The deal that Steve and I took advantage of was "Stay at least 5 days and get the Disney Dining Plan for free." Looking back, that was the best deal I could ever have taken advantage of. But I'm getting ahead of myself :-).

The second reason why you want to plan your Disney vacation at least a couple of months in advance is that you need to make your dining reservations as soon as you book the trip.

"What?" you say. "I don't even know what I'm having for dinner tonight and I'm supposed to make dinner reservations for something that's two months away?" I thought the same thing. But it's true. And even then, when I started making reservations for dates two months away, I was getting results of "not available," even after searching for 2, 3 hours earlier or later. The Disney agents actually recommend that you make your reservations THREE months in advance.

So anyway, back to booking the vacation. We booked 6 days and 5 nights at a Disney resort, during a time when the free Disney dining plan would be in effect. The total came to $1,400. That's actually not bad, especially when you consider that that's for two people. So for $700, each of us would get:
There are different types of Disney Dining Plans available, but the one we signed up for included, for each day that we were there:
Now what Steve DIDN'T know was that, as my anniversary gift to him, I was going to upgrade us from the Disney All Star Movies Resort (i.e. a "value" resort) to the Disney Caribbean Beach Resort (i.e. a "moderate" resort).

See a video introduction to the All Star Movies Resort
See a video introduction to the Caribbean Resort

What I planned to do was wait for Disney to ship us the tags that we were supposed to attach to our luggage on the day that we leave. I was planning on surprising Steve by showing him the tags on the day that we were leaving (the tags specify which resort you're staying at so it'll be easier for the Disney luggage team to identify and sort your stuff). I even ordered a customized Lady & the Tramp anniversary card so I could put the luggage tags in there.

Unfortunately it didn't happen that way for two reasons:
  1. The luggage tags never arrived (Disney was having trouble shipping them, and I also think it's because I booked the vacation too close to the departure date for the tags to fully process), and
  2. I spoiled the surprise two days before we left. I couldn't take it. I had to tell him, it was killing me :-). Guess that goes to show you I'd be a TERRIBLE spy :-).
That morning I just went up to him and asked, "Do you want to know what your anniversary gift is?"

"Not really. I can wait."

Awkward silence.

"No really, you wanna know what it is?"

"Sounds like YOU want to tell me what it is :-)."

So I got our customized Disney World map (you can order one after you book your vacation) and asked him to open it.

I put an arrow-shaped post-it next to #13 on the list. He looked at me quizzically: he knew we were staying at the Disney All Star Movies Resort. "What about the Caribbean Resort?"

Then I pointed to map itself, where I put a "My Resort" sticker on the picture of the resort. He looked at it, and then looked at me.

"That's where we're staying?"

"Uh huh :-)."

I love that moment of dawning comprehension :-). He smiled widely and went, "All RIGHT!"

I've posted pictures with captions along with some video for each of the days we were at Disney World :-). Below is a slideshow, but the pictures are too small.

To see all the pictures full size (as well as the video), click here.


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