Travel Tuesday Tales: Our Disney Vacation Accommodation Situation

Thanks for stopping by to read the next chapter of my Travel Tuesday Tales, where I am documenting my experiences planning our next Disney World vacation. For the story thus far, check out the Prologue, where I described who is going on the trip and when we will be at Disney.

And now, for today’s episode:

You know, one of the things I have struggled with my entire life is the conflict between my natural tendency to PLAN everything….and, well Life. As in, Life very rarely follows a plan. You think I would know that by now.

When last we spoke, I mentioned that Sunday, May 30 was my day to book our Disney vacation accommodations, since we would be using our Disney Vacation Club points and the earliest I could do it was 7 months out from our check-in date. I also mentioned that we were going to be driving home from western PA at 9 a.m. that morning, when the DVC phones opened, so I was hoping that I would have good reception in the mountains when it was time to call.

Well, the good news is that phone reception was not a problem. The reason for this is because I was not in the mountains. In fact, I was not anywhere near western PA at 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 30. I never went to PA with DH at all.

Like I said, Life has a way of doing its thing, in spite of my plans. And Life presented us with a sick dog last week. And a sick dog at home meant someone needed to be with said sick dog at home…which meant me. OK, no problem, I could still call DVC at 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 30. And, I could even go to church Sunday morning too, which was a good thing. Because it doesn’t hurt to have the Lord on your side when booking your Disney accommodations. 🙂

The only teensy problem with this plan is that our church services start at 9:15. OK, no problem, so I’d call DVC to book first, and then run into church when I was done….because I DO have my priorities. And the Lord would understand.

So I left early for church, and arrived just at 9 a.m., so that I could call DVC from the comfort of my car, when the lines opened. (I’m sure the rest of the congregation who passed me in my car on the phone with DVC thought I was doing some Very Important Business if I was on the phone in the car before church…which of course I was.)

At the stroke of 9 a.m. I was on the phone with DVC, and explained that I was looking for four nights, in a 2 bedroom, starting Thursday, Dec. 30. Wherever they had room. (In the Prologue, I noted that “Given a choice though, we are going to request Animal Kingdom Lodge or Boardwalk Villas…but I know from experience, I’ll need to have an open mind, and that’s ok too.”) So that’s where we started.

I found out that neither of those two options were available, no big surprise actually. Old Key West and Saratoga Springs were the two places available, and since we just stayed at Saratoga Springs last October, I opted for Old Key West: nowhere close to my first choices, but I was frankly grateful that anything was available.  While on the phone with DVC, I then asked to be put on the Waitlist for both Animal Kingdom Lodge and Boardwalk Villas. And I also asked about the possibility of doing a “split stay” where you stay in more than one resort, the thought being that starting with Jan. 1 we would have more options as people start to head home once New Years is over…and so could perhaps get in one of the resorts that we REALLY wanted, at least for a couple of nights. The very nice castmember said we could do that…but I would have to wait until June 1 (7 months out again) to request a different stay for the 2nd two nights.

Right. Forgot about that. OK, well that gave me a couple of days to now discuss the situation with DH and DD to see if they wanted me to try for a split stay. Feeling pretty pleased with myself for accomplishing what I did, I then went to church and thanked the Lord for there being any 2 bedrooms available at all for our vacation, and to pray for our Waitlist to come through. (Please…..I AM kidding here. Sort of.)

So DH arrived home from PA  later that afternoon, and I very happily described for him and DD my conversation with the nice castmember at DVC, explained our options, told them what I had booked, our Waitlist, and asked if they wanted me to try for a different place starting on Jan. 1.

DH said no, he didn’t really want to change resorts.

DD said she would love to change resorts.

Thanks guys for the help here.

So we talked and discussed and weighed the pros and cons, and finally agreed that I would give it shot for a different resort on Jan. 1. Maybe try Boardwalk again, maybe Wilderness Lodge.

Cool. I LOVE Wilderness Lodge at Christmas time so that would be worth it to me to switch.

And THEN, DH let me know that he was not too thrilled with Animal Kingdom Lodge and really did not want to stay there AT ALL, and did not understand why I had Waitlisted there and that it is probably the last place he wanted to stay.

Really? Wow. So did not know that. And yes we talk. Apparently not often enough it would seem.

OK then. Tuesday morning June 1, back on the phone I went with DVC to try again.

Availability for two nights starting January 1?  How about Wilderness Lodge said the new nice castmember at DVC? You Betcha! said I.  Love the location for Boardwalk, but Wilderness Lodge at Christmas is tops in my book.

And happily, DH and DD concur. (DD’s friend doesn’t get a vote here. Sorry. 🙂 )

So despite my plans that changed not once but several times, we’re all good now. We will be staying at Old Key West for our first two nights (unless our Waitlist for Boardwalk Villas comes through for the first two nights…which I’m not holding my breath for.) Then we will move to Wilderness Lodge for the second two nights. And we are no longer Waitlisted for Animal Kingdom Lodge so DH is happy.

Even the dog is better so it’s been a good week all the way around.

What’s Next?

I am scheduled to book our ADRs on July 3 (but maybe doing it a few days earlier). So in advance of that, there is a lot of discussion going on right now about where we want to eat, and when, and just a tad little negotiating and bargaining as well.

My daughter even has made a spreadsheet. 🙂

I have taught her well, don’t you think?

Stay tuned!

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