A strange thing happened during my visit to Walt Disney World this past November. Unlike previous years, there was no bounce back offer in my resort room. There was a flyer for the free dining program running through September 2011 but it expires before we are due to return. There were no specials to thank us for staying by offering us a good deal to come back at the same time next year. This leaves me in a much different position during this time of year than in the past.
Usually at this time, I have already booked our package for next year’s trip. So that means I am usually investigating all the information about the new resort where we will stay and gathering information for my travel folder. We like to choose different resorts each year so we can experience each of them, although we do have our favorites. Having no idea where we will be staying is certainly a change.
I am going about everything backwards now; researching the resorts before we will book our choice. I am “on hold” for several more months, waiting for next Fall’s specials to be announced. In other words, I am not only suffering from Post-Disney-Trip Depression, or as I like to call it PDTD, but I DO NOT HAVE A WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT RESERVATION FOR NEXT YEAR.
This gives me two options: either curl up under my princess blanket with my Mickey pillow and wallow in self-pity OR make the next several months a full-out adventure — really looking at every resort from every angle and preparing to know exactly what we will book when the time comes. I have to choose the latter option, being the eternal optimist that I am.
There are many other exciting and new things to look forward to this year that will be different from previous years:
1. A December Visit: We have visited during Thanksgiving for many years but this year’s visit will be in early- to mid-December. This will give us the opportunity to experience some new events, such as the Candlelight Processional at Epcot which we have only seen once because the first night it is offered is usually our last night at WDW.
2. Newbie Travelers: We will be taking at least one additional person, possibly two, with us this year – newbies. So I will research 2 rooms at a moderate vs. the Fort Wilderness Cabins with golf cart rental. This is one reason I will have to wait for special offers to come out. I’ve noted that the Fort Wilderness area has many Christmastime visitors who live at the campgrounds during the holiday season and decorate their spaces as well as the golf carts, which sounds like a great thing to experience.
3. Voluntourism: This year will be our first year to stay an extra day or two in order to be able to serve as voluntourists at Give the Kids the World Village. GKTW is a resort for children ages 3-18 who have life-threatening illnesses and their families. GKTW partners with wish-granting organizations, like the Make-a-Wish Foundation, to provide a full week’s vacation for the entire family in Central Florida. The vacation includes accommodations at the Village, all theme park tickets, and all of their meals at no cost to the family. There are almost 1,300 volunteers needed at the Village every week, year round and we are all very excited about being able to add this wonderful opportunity to our trip this year. Each member of my family, as well as our additional travelers, will need to complete a visiting-volunteer application and be approved by the GKTW Volunteer Services Office before we can add this to our itinerary and travel plans.
So this is where I am in my planning. Basically, I am at square one. I have lots of thoughts and ideas and absolutely NOTHING in concrete yet, while I am usually booked on a bounce back offer already. Hakuna Matata, I will make the most of this unfamiliar territory, and will keep you posted on how things progress. Let me know your thoughts, especially if you have a particular favorite!
Brenda is a native Texan born and raised on the Gulf Coast. She visited Disney World twice as a teenager and always dreamed of growing her family Disney. She took her first-timer husband and their three children to Disney World in 2000 and they now spend every Thanksgiving there. Brenda writes with a comedic twist on various Disney topics. She will be sharing tips she has learned during her travels and also hopes to enlighten people on little-known freebies that Disney has to offer. She wishes she could have met Walt Disney and considers herself to be a student of Walt. In parallel to his dream it is her wish that everyone would take at least one trip to Disney World in order to share in its magic with their families.