Friday, August 19, 2011

AAA To The Rescue

Wooohoooo!  We are officially booked for Disney for spring break 2012!  I owe it all to my mom and AAA!

After I got the quote last week that was a thousand dollars more than I wanted/expected to pay, I had kind of consigned myself to the fact that maybe it just wasn't in the cards for now.  I do want to take the kids but at that price, I just couldn't justify it.   I toyed with the idea of maybe not doing the dining plan but then knew that we'd be accounting for paying for food out of pocket.  We looked at the value resorts and even the price difference for those was negligible.  My mom and dad have a timeshare through RCI and there was the potential for a condo at Old Key West Resort in Disney, but those were all booked too.  I was losing hope.  I didn't want to tell the kids we weren't going.

But then my mom got an email back from her agent at AAA.  I couldn't believe it.  Did you know that if Disney is running a free meal plan deal, that if you book to arrive on the final day of when the offer is valid that you get free dining for your whole trip - even through one of the black out periods?!?!?!  I certainly didn't.  By altering our travel by one day earlier, we get free dining!  (Or as I like to say, "included dining" because nothing is free!)   By doing that, the price came down over a thousand dollars - right to where I'd thought it would be.  We've also been perusing Southwest for fares and while we can't get them for April yet, the prices for February are doable - here's hoping they'll stay in the same range.

So we are planning to fly down early on a Saturday and return late on a Friday - so 7 days/6 nights.  We will be staying at Port Orleans Riverside in the Magnolia Bend area.  Here's the unofficial website for the resort.   POR is a moderate resort and exactly where we wanted to stay!  I've heard so many good things about it - I'm just thrilled.

We told the kids officially tonight and Bryce almost flipped. (He's hoping to meet Phineas and Ferb!)  Piper was tired/grumpy and was only moderately happy and Caroline pretended not to be excited, but I could see through her bad acting.

We'll be going with my parents and my brother, Kevin and his wife, Kelly.  (K&K are a bit of Disney fanatics themselves.)  Because my parents are going, one of the kids will take turns sleeping in their room while the other 2 sleep in mine and Jay's room.  We're supposed to have connecting rooms too with K&K nearby.   I"m sure K&K will do some venturing out on their own (maybe end up in another parade?)  but I know we'll still spend time altogether.  I hope my parents will get some alone time as well.  We did the park hopper option so we are free to make dinner reservations as we want and not be tied to a particular park on a particular day.  Since we'll be there 7 days, we can take our time and not rush every day.  I think we'll skip the water park too since our resort has a bunch of nice pools.

And now the really exciting part begins, actually planning our visit.  It's still over 180 days before we go so we can't make any dining reservations yet and have time to figure it out.  I've already started a spreadsheet of all the restaurants/character meals I'm interested in based on the unofficial guide book and what I've read on the DisBoards.  I also subscribed to last night and downloaded the app for my phone for park touring guides along with getting up to the minute attraction wait times.  I haven't been to Disney since 1992 so there's a lot I want to do for the first time and again!  (I think we'll skip the Hall of Presidents though, sorry Wax Obama.)

I'm not planning on trying to "do it all" on the trip, I just want to make sure everyone gets to see/do what they want and to do it so that we can ride the rides we want.  But yes, there will be a tentative schedule involved.  Mom told me she'd leave that part up to me since she handled the actual reservation part.

So thanks to my mom and AAA for making this dream come true.  We're going to Disney World!!!


Katie said...

Yes, I did know that about the dining plan! So glad you and your mom worked some Disney magic of your own to get your dream trip. Wooohooooo! (You can also book dining reservations on the first day for the entire trip, so you get up to a week advantage on the later days). Let the planning begin!

Bracken said...

Congratulations!!!! So glad it all worked out. You guys will have a blast!

Laura said...

I'm glad it worked out for you! Enjoy the planning!