Saturday, July 16, 2016

Saturday Surprise

Ya'll, today took an exciting and unexpected surprise!!  After a morning run to the grocery store with Eli, I started browsing the internet for vacation deals.  Eric and I have been planning an anniversary trip to Disney World, and if I've learned anything through all of our visits, it's that you have to check their website frequently for updates.

Today I was just browning, not expecting to purchase a package until a deal popped up that I just couldn't believe.  We were able to book a trip adding the kids for only $200 more than it would have cost for Eric and I to go alone.  Naturally, we had to take advantage of this offer.  

Between gift cards and our traveling rewards points, we already had a credit of around $500 for a future trip, so that was HUGE!!!  We will be traveling later this fall and staying five nights and four days.  Of course I will blog a lot throughout the planning process, but we already know a few things.

1. We will not be doing the Meal Plan: We did the meal plan last year and loved it.  This year, the trip was a "spur of the moment" idea, so we are trying to save as much money as possible since this is the cherry on top of our cake!  We plan to dine at Disney in the parks, but we will do Quick-Service meals and eat breakfast in the room. We anticipate about a $300-$500 savings depending on the Dining Package we would have selected.  If you are going for the first time and wanting to eat with characters, I would recommend the Dining Plan because the sit-down meals are so costly.  However, if you're trying to do Disney on the cheap, this is the way to go.  There's a time and a place for everything, and this just makes the most sense for us this year.

2. We will not be Park Hopping: Everyone raves about Park Hopper Passes, but with younger kids it's just not an expense that I can justify.  Had Eric and I gone by ourselves, I would have paid the money but not with the kids.  Instead, we will pick one park each day to visit.  When we get tired or the crowds get too high, we will return to the room for a break/swim, and then head back to the same park in the evening for more fun. This is a $200 savings.

3. We will not be visiting all four parks: Since we are going for four days rather than five and not adding the Park Hopper option, we had to make a decision about how we would plan our visit.  We know that we love having two days at Magic Kingdom, so that meant we had to ax one park from our list.  We decided to forego Animal Kingdom.  While we enjoyed it last year, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios were the kids' favorites.  We felt like we missed a lot in Epcot, so we want to try again.  Plus, they have redone Soarin! and Frozen Frenzy just opened!  When I blog next month about our Fast Pass options, I will explain more about our intermarry, but for now here are the loose plans:

Saturday: Travel Day / Disney Springs
Sunday: Hollywood Studios
Monday: Magic Kingdom
Tuesday: Epcot
Wednesday: Magic Kingdom
Thursday: Checkout/Travel Day

4. We will stay at Disney's All Star Sports Resort: This is considered a Value Resort on Disney property.  Last year we stayed at Pop Century, which is also a Value Resort.  The difference is that the All Star Sport Resort is part of cluster of three hotels (All Star Sport, All Star Music, and All Star Movie) that sometimes share transportation services.  The particular package that we purchased, required a stay at one of these hotels, so we started researching them.  Although I would have preferred All Star Movie, this option was the most logical choice because it is the first stop on the Transportation line which is imperative during peak hours. 

In the upcoming weeks, I will be blogging a lot about our trip, preparations, outfits and a few tips.  Obviously, this will not appeal to everyone, but I love reading Disney blogs and find them most helpful when making plans.  I am NOT a Disney expert…just a fan!  So I hope not to come across as a "know it all,"  I just want to share my thoughts and hopefully help myself and others planning future Disney vacations! 

Ps- Ellie is not expert either…at least when it comes to wearing goggles.  Haha!  She's over the moon excited!

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