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A Bit Of This & A Bit Of That DVC Trip 2009 – Pre-trip

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by wickesy, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. wickesy
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    wickesy Earning my ears

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    Dad and I were bitten by the Disney bug in April 2007 and after falling in love with the savannah view rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge in April this year we decided to buy into Disney Vacation Club. One of the incentives for purchasing was an offer of 160 ‘developer points’ to be used at Saratoga Springs within one year of purchase, so in our case by 22nd April 2009.

    Initially I had decided that we would use the points in the week before Easter as I like getting back to the UK on the Thursday and having the whole bank holiday weekend off before going back to work. As the 7 month window for booking approached I got to thinking that maybe the eight nights on points wasn’t really long enough and maybe we could add on a week somewhere else for cash. So while I was at work over the late August bank holiday weekend and the printers were whirring away happily I started hunting around on the internet and working out figures.

    We were originally going to fly out on 31st March and return on 8th April 2009 but there were no miles plus money flights available for those dates so we would have been paying cash. By bringing the departure date forward by a week to 25th March miles plus money flights suddenly popped up saving us a few hundred pounds. The money we saved there would pay for the extra week’s car hire and go towards paying for a week at Saratoga Springs (which we would get at a discount by being DVC members). In addition there was an offer on for 14 day ultimate tickets for the price of 7 days so we wouldn’t be paying any extra for park admission.

    I got home and ran the idea past Dad, who goes along with anything I say anyway, and as bringing the check-in date forward had also brought the booking window forward I was able to phone and book the following day. So using miles plus money, plus DVC points, plus cash we had put together a two week trip for a couple of hundred pounds more than a one week trip would have cost us. Flights are booked with Virgin (PE both ways), car hire is with Alamo through USRentacar who were offering a free upgrade to the next size up (we booked a compact with upgrade to Intermediate and have registered for Direct To Road) and park tickets we got through Attraction Tickets Direct and got them to price match the official Disney website saving us £40.

    The full itinerary will have to wait until TourGuide Mike releases his April Least Crowded Park charts but initial plans are to do all of the Disney parks, a couple of shopping mall trips and this year we are going to try Gatorland for the first time plus I want to do the MK monorail loop from the front of the monorail at some point.. Dining wise Le Cellier, Golden Corral, Sweet Tomatoes and Artist Point will all be in the mix somewhere and I was thinking of throwing a couple of new ones, such as Sci-Fi Diner in there somewhere as well. For evening entertainment we will definitely be doing Wishes, Spectromagic and Illuminations but I am thinking of giving Fantasmic a miss this year now that they have cut the number of shows down.

    So that’s where things stand at the moment and I will give you an update once I’ve got the final itinerary worked out.
     
  2. wickesy
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    wickesy Earning my ears

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    So now TGM has finally published his least crowded park charts for April I have sketched out a rough itinerary which looks like this:

    24th March - Spend the day at work :guilty: before rushing home to travel down to Gatwick for twilight check-in and overnight at the Sofitel. :cool1:

    25th March - Virgin flight to Orlando, pick up the car and check-in at Saratoga Springs.

    26th March - Disney Hollywood Studios in the morning, leave after the first Lights, Motors, Action show and take a trip to Wal-Mart to stock up on goodies.

    27th March - Magic Kingdom

    28th March - Rest day but hoping to get tickets for Atlanta Braves v. New York Yankees baseball game at Wide World of Sports when they go on sale in January.

    29th March - Animal Kingdom

    30th March - EPCOT (Future World section)

    31st March - Rest Day

    1st April - Magic Kingdom

    2nd April - Probably start off with the Around The World Segway tour and then stay at EPCOT to do World Showcase.

    3rd April - Rest day but Spectromagic and Wishes in the evening.

    4th April - Rest day

    5th April - Disney Hollywood Studios with lunch at Sci-Fi diner (I know reviews are mixed but I want to try it for myself).

    6th April - Rest day but Le Cellier (one of our favourites. Love the pretzel bread!) for dinner followed by Illuminations.

    7th April - Free day but Artist Point for dinner to round the holiday off.

    8th April - Downtown Disney check-in and potter around until it is time to return the car and catch our flight home. :sad1:

    Plans for the rest days are shopping malls, Gatorland and Tampa but we'll decide which to do when we are out there and we may slip in some extra park days. Eating wise, Sweet Tomatoes, IHOP, Golden Corral and Nascar Grill are all on the list and I may try one or more of Ponderosa, Sizzler and Texas De Brazil plus see if we can get a walk-up at Boma as well.

    So all I have to do now is wait until they update the ADR/tour reservation system or push the opening back so far that our dates open up for booking.
     

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