As I've mentioned several times, we plan to visit the Florida mouse grounds again at some point during 2014. I thought we were doing it right this time though. We picked our dates so far in advance that I was able, for the first time, to book dining reservations right at the 180 day mark. And I had some good ones too - breakfast at Crystal Palace before Magic Kingdom opens. Keep in mind that I'm doing this for the kids. Although I think breakfast is my favorite meal to eat out so maybe there was a selfish motive involved, but I thought the the girls would be ecstatic strolling down an uncrowded Main Street.
The dates that we decided upon weren't ideal in that our vacation would run mid-week to mid-week, which isn't a productive use of vacation days, and a few days after we returned, I would have to take off at least a half day from work for school stuff. We planned it that way in order for Rich to attend an important work meeting late in the day on Tuesday, leaving us to fly out Wednesday morning. Because we have a Disney Visa, we were able to get in on an offer before it was open to the public. And what a great offer it was. We booked the Contemporary, my dream resort in terms of location. The girls' favorite park is Magic Kingdom and avoiding all public transportation and walking to a park is high on my priority list.
Well, wouldn't you know that Rich's work meeting was moved to the next Tuesday, the day we would be returning from Florida. And then my work situation kind of blew up. More people jumped ship (in this case, not a bad thing), my role shifted, yada, yada. . . I am now responsible for a high profile project that requires a substantial amount of work and the timing falls right when we would be away. This is a project based on dates, which leaves no possibility of a timing shift. We, thankfully, had not booked airfare. One option would have been to attempt to work while on vacation but I can't imagine trying to do that. Vacationing with the kids is completely different from vacationing without. It requires an additional effort that leaves me exhausted and with very little free time. I'm usually asleep shortly after they are.
We ended up canceling that vacation. Letting go of those dining reservations was hard. Think of the children. We came up with new vacation days that fit with my work schedule and Rich's. Hopefully. Unfortunately, it was past the 180 day mark so dining reservations had already opened and almost all the good ones were taken. I did manage to find some decent ones though but man, what a time suck.
Here's my one big tip if you are booking a room or a package with Disney: Check online to see what the cost is and then call to see what they quote you. It won't always be the same. For us, we found a great deal online but when Rich called, he was told that the room category he was requesting was sold out, despite the fact that it was available online. So we booked online, of course.
Our new resort is the Polynesian. The only rooms available at the Contemporary for our new dates were club level rooms and while that sounds nice, I just can't justify the cost. I would stay at the Art of Animation again and Rich probably would too but he would prefer not to. My biggest complaint with that resort was the lack of fresh air. There are no balconies and I didn't like that trapped inside feeling.
I'll leave you with one last tip. If you don't see a dining reservation you want, keep checking. Because you are required to give credit card info to secure the reservation, folks will actually cancel when they change their minds. I couldn't find any open breakfast slots at Tusker House for the entire week. I kept checking and finally one opened up. Yay! I think I'm most excited to stuff myself.
Stayed tuned for some outfits... (I'm really behind. I may have to do weekly progress reports.)