So we come to Saturday 1st November 2014 and it is two days to go
Yes the Washington Family trip to the World officially begins in just two days time, but it began for us nearly a year and half ago.
We booked our hotel back in July 2013, due to being offered the free Quick Service Dining Plan at the time (we took this due to the fact we aren’t a family for fancy food, though we do have a few ADRs booked over the course of the holiday, which I will get in to later on in this post)
We went for the Caribbean Beach resort, mainly cause we really like the look of it. We aren’t ones to be fussy over our rooms, we love theming of all the hotels, but we don’t spend an over abundance of time in the room to be overly worried. It was also partly chosen as it seems to be in the middle of all the parks, which we intend to spend time in every park at some point.
The time of the year was chosen as I will be (for my sins) running my first half marathon in The Wine and Dine Half Marathon. We would have been interested in going a little earlier and visiting during the Halloween season but due to my job getting time off at the end of the month is quite difficult.
So the choice was made that we would go at the beginning of the month, to include the early Christmas season. The last time we visited Florida was over Christmas and New Year, something that I don’t ever plan on doing ever again, due sheer number of people that visit at that time.
We worked out when Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties would begin and planned around that and the Half Marathon and took our dates from there.
When it came to flights, we are doing something I have never done before, we are flying from Manchester Airport in the North of England. I am originally from the outskirts of London, but moved to Nottingham 6 years ago, but have still always flown from either London Heathrow or London Gatwick. It was decided that Manchester was better this time due to the flights being slightly cheaper and also that my brother lives just half an hour away from the airport and we can stay with him the night before.
We booked those flights right at the beginning of 2014 and knew that would give us a chance to plan what we want to do when and how long we had to do it.
Also it was decided at this point we were going to tag on two days at the end of the holiday, to spend at Universal, where we will still at a partner hotel, due to us being Harry Potter fans.
Then was the wait for ADR booking day to come 180 days out from arrival. We had already made our mind up that we would be going to 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian Hotel for breakfast. Being a huge fan of Mary Poppins this was a meal that was first choice on our list. We had also decided, on a recommendation from a friend, Beaches & Cream would also be on the list.
We then thought about what else we would like to book, when we booked this holiday my Son had only just been born and obviously didn’t know how he would be by the time we went. By the time this booking slot came round, we knew what he liked, and what he liked is Mickey Mouse, so Chef Mickey’s was a no brainier.
And lastly, my Wife and I like old movies, and just liked the idea of watching those films while sitting in a convertible car, so Sci-Fi Dinner was also included.
Hen it came to the 60 day mark for Fastpass +, I won’t go deeply into what we have book, but just to say that with a 20 month old child we haven’t gone for a lot of the big rides. Instead we are doing meet & greets with characters and some of the more genteel rides, as well as parades and shows. We did get very lucky and managed to get a booking for the Anna & Elsa meet and greet which I feel grateful for.
Later on we decided that on our first night, I would visit the Magic Kingdom by myself, so that my son could get some sleep after the long flight. Due to to deciding this with only a month before departure I didn’t expect to get a lot, but I was lucky, I got two of the mountains (Splash and Big Thunder) and Haunted Mansion. I had hoped I might get really lucky, and get the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train but no it was fully booked that day. I kept trying but to no avail.
That was until Disney changed their opening hours and added an extra hour to that day and extra fastpasses we added and I managed to change to the Seven Dwarfs.
The other extra thing we are doing is visiting the Harmony Barbers Shop, for my son to have his first haircut, as well as me having a beard trim (!!)
As previously mentioned, we are attending a MVMCP, not the first one on the Friday but the second much quieter one, early the following week
Hopefully this gives you an insight into our planning and what we are going to be doing.
Cheers, and see you at the Happiest Place on Earth