So my Disney trip countdown says 23 days! It’s hard to believe that by the time we actually get to Walt Disney World for our January trip, it will have been 367 days since we left…but who’s counting….. It’s been a crazy year for us, with trips planned and cancelled multiple times, but it looks like this one is actually going to happen!
After our last trip that had so many changes, I must say that I have really learned flexibility when it comes to Disney vacation planning. Which is a good thing, because with less than a month to go….and Christmas thrown in there…..I still have quite a few things to do before we leave!
Still, most important things have been done. So here’s where we are so far:
- We have a place to stay. In my last post about this trip I mentioned that we were staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Kidani Village….and I am so excited about this I can’t stand it. We stayed in Jambo House a few years ago for 2 nights, and I have always wanted to go back. It is such a serene and beautiful place, that I am really looking forward to having some time to relax and enjoy the surroundings. I know that “relax” and “Disney vacation” are kind of mutually exclusive, but even a couple of hours to explore will be awesome. In fact, I am making that a personal priority.
- We know where we are eating. Well, let me rephrase that: I know where/when our ADRs are….and I’m REALLY excited about some of them!
- Hacienda de San Angel
- Cape May Buffet (Seafood buffet dinner)
- Liberty Tree Tavern
- Raglan Road
- Via Napoli
Now, it is entirely possible that some may change (and I don’t freak out about that nearly as much as I used to lol) due to potential football playoff games that can’t be missed. But I should know that the week before, giving me time to potentially modify so that we can be strategically placed, if necessary, at ESPN Zone at the appointed time.
- We have our flights. Southwest came through once again with the best rates for us, and ya gotta love the free checked bags. Plus, now that they participate in the Resort Airline Check In for the return trip home, it is so nice and convenient to check everything in at our resort the morning we leave, and then head to the parks for a half day of playing! I know finding affordable airfare is a challenge for anyone flying, but every time we travel to Disney World, while I always check all available carriers, it is rare that anyone comes in less than Southwest. Once we took Air Tran….but every other time it has been Southwest. If you live near a Southwest hub to take advantage of their great rates, consider yourself fortunate.
- I reserved our Disney’s Magical Express. I don’t have our luggage tags yet, but can’t wait because when you see those little yellow tags arrive in the mail, you know it’s close!!
So what still needs to be done? Ahem…..well a few things yet, a couple of which I will do this week.
Since we book using our Disney Vacation Club points, we do not have a package. Which means that I have to call to add our Dining Plan (and pay for it lol) and I have to order tickets. This part I have kind of held off on, because we aren’t totally sure how many days we need yet (see below for more thoughts on this), and I am weighing the possibility of getting an Annual Pass for myself. I plan to make at least one other trip this year….either with family, or possibly to meet some Disney friends….so I know I’ll get my money’s worth out of it. Either way….I need to order our tickets from Undercover Tourist this week!
Now….what do we plan to do and see?
First, our DD is running in the Disney 5K on Friday the 6th, and while I am not participating, I can’t WAIT to be her cheerleader! It’s been quite the saga whether this was something that she would even be able to do (subject of another blog post!) but now that she is registered, we are all SO excited for her! Just hoping the weather cooperates for her…and those of us watching lol!
I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that the Osborne Lights will still be up when we get there: the last night is January 7, so we definitely have this on our agenda one night! When I first booked, they were due to end on January 3, so this extension of a few days made us very happy! I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that the Castle Dream lights will still be up too. (*wishing,wishing,wishing*)
We’re really looking forward to the new Star Tours and I am honestly planning to explore some attractions we haven’t done in a long time…in addition to our favorites. And I have to say that I am hoping my family has LOTS of patience with me as I really want to get lots and lots of pictures.
The one thing that is really still up in the air…and the main reason why I haven’t ordered our tickets….is that we have been having a conversation for months about whether we wanted to visit that *other* Park-That-Must-Not-Be-Named. I have actually never been to Universal although DH and DD did spend one morning at Islands of Adventure…and apparently spent the entire time saying that it “wasn’t Disney”. So none of us have ever wanted to give up a Disney Day to go…..that is, until the Boy Wizard took up residence nearby…. We love Harry Potter, so this has now become a pretty serious discussion: will this be the trip where we finally go? Still not sure yet…but as I said….we need to decide soon!
So…23 days to go until I’m back in my happy place. The days can’t go fast enough!