Last Trip for A Year? Well, We'll Make It Count! - A May 2018 PTR (FP UPDATE 4/12!)

LindseyJo22

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Introductions


Hello everyone!

I am back from a fairly long hiatus from the TR/PTR boards, but I’m feeling the need to get back into the DIS! Fair warning, I am notoriously bad about regularly updating these things, but I am going to give it my best shot :sunny:

I am Lindsey, known as LindseyJo22 on the boards - I grew up going to Disney every few years (pretty good for a family from Arkansas) and it’s always been one of my favorite places in the world. I got incredibly lucky when I met my husband Will that he also came from a Disney family - they are much closer and had gone many, many times over the years. His parents were even DVC members! Disney is our special place and our first choice of vacation destinations - we got engaged at Disney, went to WDW for our belated honeymoon, became DVC members ourselves, and have been to the World a lot over the past three years. We got lucky that Will’s job landed us in Middle Georgia, which is very convenient to Florida!






However, it looks like we’ll be moving this summer, and we had no clue whether our next place would land us this close to Disney or not. Plus, we are planning a big family vacation with my family in 2019, so we have to save up our DVC points. It’s going to be awesome, but all that meant that we really wanted a good trip with just the two of us before our lives go into upheaval again!

May is our usual “big” Disney trip time - Will is a college instructor, so it’s a lot easier to make time for a vacation when school isn’t in session! And we also enjoy being in the university system because we are usually out of school before a lot of people are, which means we can hit Disney in early or mid-May before the Memorial Day crowds get too crazy :P

We both love Disney planning, rides, and most of all Disney FOOD - so there will probably be a lot of that happening on this trip :) So if you’re interested in the shenanigans of a couple of Disney-crazy kids at heart (who also have a spreadsheet for everything), feel free to follow along!


Now, onto the important details:

Dates: May 16-25 (!) This is the longest trip we’ve taken I think :) :cool1:
Resort: Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village
Room: Standard View DVC Studio
Tickets: DVC Platinum Plus Passes (this was a special awesome deal for this year!)
Dining: We tend to pay with Disney gift cards for food & miscellaneous stuff :)
ADRs: Made! Not sure if all of them will fit in the budget, but I’m going to try to make it happen :D
Fastpasses: Happening on March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day - cool!)



We’ve got some exciting stuff planned, and with only 98 days until our trip, I’ve got a lot to tell you about! I hope you’ll join along in the fun :D
 
  • Tenacious K

    earning my beers
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2009
    I’ll be at kidani for most of those days too! Is that your home resort? I was a little unsure about kidani at first.. never been.. but now im stoked!!!
     

    LindseyJo22

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 22, 2014
    Disney Website Drama - Of Course!

    Hi everyone! I just wanted to add a quick update about our trip :)

    When we were looking at our DVC information this year, there was a lot of information about the continuation of Moonlight Magic events at the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. We had gone to one event last February during Princess Weekend and loved it, so we were very interested in when these events would be.

    We got super, super lucky and there is a Moonlight Magic at Animal Kingdom on May 16, the day we are getting to Disney! I thought for sure we would miss these this year! So we quickly made plans to reserve a spot ASAP.

    Yesterday was the day - I had the reminder in my calendar, I was all logged into the DVC website with my Member ID number and Resort Reservation number at 9:00am.

    But of course, I go through the four pages of form, and when I submit the final page, I get this screen:



    So that was fun. Disney, why does none of your technology work????

    So I keep trying - and keep getting server errors for a while. I even tried calling Member Services, and their phone stuff was all messed up. I didn't even get the standard electronic welcome message with the menu, just busy signals (and the one time I did get menu options it was not the department I wanted anyway).

    Thankfully, after about 5 tries and me internally raging at Disney's incompetence with their web systems, we got a confirmation!

    So we'll be attending Moonlight Magic at Animal Kingdom on May 16 - we are going to need to rework our spreadsheet to make sure we have the energy to actually stay up that night :P But in general, we are pretty excited! There's not too much detail about what to expect yet, but I'm hoping we might be able to actually get on Flight of Passage. We rode it a couple of times last May because we were able to snag AP and DVC preview times, but since Pandora officially opened, we haven't ridden it! Our last trip was marathon weekend in January, and it was a complete madhouse - I couldn't even get a FOP Fastpass at all 60 days out from our trip. So hopefully we'll have more success this time!

    We really enjoyed the MK moonlight magic, even though we really didn't end up doing many rides or anything. We mostly just walked around and enjoyed being in the park with fewer people! I imagine Animal Kingdom will be awesome at night, too - we haven't really seen the park in the evening since they started doing more with it, so I can't wait!

    Hoping to be back this weekend with a rundown of some of our ADRs - for us, basically the most important part of any Disney trip :)

    Thanks to everyone who is reading along!
     


  • LindseyJo22

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 22, 2014
    following along! Can't hear to hear about your trip!
    Awesome! We are super excited - I can't wait :D

    Following along! :wave:
    Yay! Glad to have you :)

    I’m here!
    Woo hoo! I am slowly catching up on your TRs - so many of them!

    I’ll be at kidani for most of those days too! Is that your home resort? I was a little unsure about kidani at first.. never been.. but now im stoked!!!
    Awesome! Our home resort is actually the Poly, but we don't stay there much because it's more points :P Kidani is amazing - we stayed there with some friends in January 2017 and all really enjoyed it. It's not nearly as far from things as it seems, but the resort has a great calm feel to me - plus, you've got great food at AKL in general, and Jambo House is not too far to walk at all :) I hope you enjoy it!
     

    LindseyJo22

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 22, 2014
    I have no idea what Moonlight Magic is... but it sounds amazing! hahah!! can't wait to hear about your ADRs... DEF one of my favorite parts of the any day is FOOD.
    Yep! Moonlight Magic is just a time when most of the park is open late for DVC members (you have to do the reservation thing though). The dates are pretty random, though - so we got lucky that we just happened to be coming down when it was happening. I don't think the dates were announced far enough ahead for the popular DVC booking windows, at least - so I imagine you get a lot of locals, people who happen to be vacationing when the event is happening, and maybe some people who will book a trip just for that (though I have to imagine there are fewer of them).

    I'm really just looking forward to seeing AK at night :D We are curious to see how the lines will be - we didn't end up riding a ton when we went to the Moonlight Magic at MK, but it should still be fun!
     
  • Elevationist

    Princess No-Pants
    Joined
    Oct 17, 2004
    HOW DARE YOU NEGLECT TO SEND ME A PERSONAL INVITATION TO YOUR PTR THAT I PROBABLY WILL NOT FOLLOW AS CLOSELY AS I SHOULD AND WILL OFTEN BE REMISS IN COMMENTING UPON?!?!?! :eek:

    So that was fun. Disney, why does none of your technology work????
    Well, I mean, maybe if you didn't have 54,305 tabs open in your browser. :rotfl:
     

    LindseyJo22

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 22, 2014
    HOW DARE YOU NEGLECT TO SEND ME A PERSONAL INVITATION TO YOUR PTR THAT I PROBABLY WILL NOT FOLLOW AS CLOSELY AS I SHOULD AND WILL OFTEN BE REMISS IN COMMENTING UPON?!?!?! :eek:

    Well, I mean, maybe if you didn't have 54,305 tabs open in your browser. :rotfl:
    Haha, well I vaguely mentioned it in a Facebook comment, but I guess I could have mentioned that I actually started it :P

    And yeah - I have a tab problem - sadly I usually have multiple windows open too! But at least it finally worked :D

    Hopefully more ADR discussion to come soon - I just have to write them up :)
     

    LindseyJo22

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 22, 2014
    88 Days To Disney :cheer2:
    28 Days To Fastpasses :woohoo:


    Okay - so we can't make Fastpasses yet, and we're still working out or concrete park plans after the Moonlight Magic booking. Also, with the official announcement of Toy Story Land opening on June 30, it's looking unlikely that we will be seeing any kind of previews for that :sad1:. I was kind of hoping we would, because the Pandora previews we got last year were amazing (and we haven't been able to get near FOP since). I'll keep my eye out, but I'm thinking we'll just have to make sure we get it in 2019 :)

    But, that doesn't mean we don't have plans! Of course ADR day has come and gone, and we have big hopes for this trip. We have quite a few of them, and I cannot wait :D We may not keep them (will have to look at the budget closer to time), but we are working the Swagbucks and hoping to manage to keep all of this deliciousness in the plan.

    Without further ado, let's head into it!


    ADR Madness!

    So we don't have any ADRs the first day we get to Disney. Traditionally, we have gone to Disney Springs for lunch when we get to the World - but we may end up checking in and eating at The Mara or even just heading to AK or a park. No concrete plans, but we don't like feeling tied to a reservation in case we hit traffic or some other craziness happens, even though we are not too far away.

    The next night, we have a 5:30 PM reservation at Boma

    Where I imagine I will inhale about a bajilion of these lovelies (photo from Disney Tourist Blog):



    And also probably a ton of other food. The only other time we have eaten here was I want to say January 2017 when we came to Disney with some friends and also stayed at Kidani. We were all incredibly impressed with the variety of food. They had amazing soups, salads, meats, and not to mention sides or desserts.

    We thought there was a ton of interesting food too, so it definitely is one of the more diverse offerings at Disney for more adventurous eaters.

    Just from the listings on the Disney website, here are some things I am hoping to try:

    South African Curried Lobster
    Seafood Gumbo
    Chermoula-chilled Shrimp

    Tunisian Couscous Salad

    Pap and Chakalaka (I remember this being amazing)
    Plantains (yum, yum, yum)!

    Spiced Sweet Potatoes
    Mashed Potatoes
    Bread Pudding

    And of course as previously mentioned, probably as many zebra domes as I can manage (though there is a ton of stuff to be eaten)!

    On Friday, May 18 we made a reservation for Homecoming - this one has been a long time in the making! I wanted to make a reservation over Marathon Weekend, but by the time we decided we wanted one they were totally booked. It ended up being good, since honestly I wasn't in the mood for a ton of huge eating before the races anyway - but I am so glad to be doing this in May!

    I think we will probably try to split something and get dessert - I'm torn between the

    Art's Famous Fried Chicken

    Buttermilk-brined for 24 hours then perfectly fried and served with creamy mashed potatoes, a cheddar drop biscuit and love


    (from Chip & Co)

    or

    Fried Chicken & Doughnuts

    Two pieces of Chef Art Smith's famous fried chicken served with house-made sugar doughnuts and creamy mashed potatoes


    (from Tripadvisor)

    or, if we decide to do seafood

    Shrimp & Grits

    Pan-seared shrimp with tomato gravy and Tasso ham served over creamy Bradley's grits


    (from EasyWDW)

    Really, all of these sound amazing! I'm already thinking that we are going to have to come back a few times to really try everything out :D But hopefully if we split an entree, we can decide on a dessert to share, too. I can't find much info on the Disney site about their dessert selection, so if you've been to Homecoming, I'd love to know what they have!


    And, rounding out the first half of our ADRs we have the king of all our reservations - on Sunday, May 20 we will be going to California Grill for Brunch!!

    We actually did this for the first time last May, and it was easily the highlight of our trip. The brunch was extremely relaxed, the service was attentive but not overbearing, and the food was absolutely outstanding. If they have the same things they did last time, I am planning on at the very least having:

    Lobster Eggs Benedict






    And this is just a variety of the things on the buffet part of the brunch - they had delicious sushi, fruit, charcuterie, and some really great salads. I'm planning on lots of sushi if possible :D

    I think we actually decided we would both get the lobster eggs benedict, because it was that good! And probably another side of bacon - because bacon :D

    But really, we are super looking forward to this brunch. I may try to find a few recent reviews just to see if anything substantial has changed, but it was well worth the steep price tag for the amazing experience and food!



    And that concludes the first half of our trip ADRs - most of our other ones are not nearly as fancy as these, but we are very excited with all of the things we have planned!


     

    LindseyJo22

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 22, 2014
    I love your ADR selections! We're doing all of those too :rotfl:
    Honestly, I could have added a ton more (and this is just the first part of the trip)! We keep kind of half thinking of adding some, but then we remember that we don't have unlimited money to spend on this :P
     

    LindseyJo22

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 22, 2014
    55 Days to Disney :sunny:

    0 Days to Fastpasses (Update Coming Soon)! :cheer2:

    Hello everyone! Sorry for my long absence (I really am bad about updating these, but I love making them :D) - school has been a little crazy, and we're hurtling ever closer to the end of the semester and our Disney trip! My Spring Break was fairly busy, and now I'm actually finding some time to update this.

    We are getting more and more excited about Disney, and I've gotten into that mood where I watch people's Disney vlogs on YouTube all the time to get in the mood, and I've been listening to all my Disney podcasts!

    Anyway, I left off with the first part of our dining reservations, and I wanted to complete that part of the PTR before I talked about our Fastpass booking experience last Saturday.

    So, on to ADRs - Part 2!

    After our crazy brunch, we didn't really want to have any big reservations the next day, so we'll just be playing it by ear with counter service and potentially Flower and Garden booths. I'll update you guys on the park plans, but I need to get our spreadsheet on my computer first!

    The next reservation we have is on Tuesday May 22 at Be Our Guest Restaurant!

    This has to be one of my favorite restaurants on property. I know it's gotten some worse reviews since it opened, but we have never been disappointed by a meal here. We usually sit either in the gorgeous ballroom:



    Or in the music box room, which I think is actually my favorite!


    (thanks to Google for the images)

    I am sure we will do our usual and split the Roast Beef Sandwich and also get dessert. Will also usually gets an order of the French Onion Soup, which we really like! I will definitely get the Strawberry Cupcake, which is one of my all-time favorite desserts at Disney. Not sure what Will will get - he is a little more adventurous than I am, but he has gotten a few of the different dessert options in the past. I am excited for this one, because we actually haven't eaten at Be Our Guest in our past few trips, so it seemed like a good time to go back!

    Also, definitely make sure you preorder for this reservation! You can even do it the day of, before you go into the restaurant if you're worried about changing your mind on what you want to eat. But this saves an absolutely insane amount of time - we have seen crazy lines for the actual ordering kiosks, so we always preorder. We even told a guy behind us in line about it once, and he ordered while standing in the lobby of the restaurant and was able to skip the giant line! So that is my biggest tip for BOG in general - don't go through the line if you don't want to wait for quite a while :P

    That is our only reservation for this day, which will be a heavy MK day. I can't wait!

    On Wednesday, May 23, we are spending the morning at Hollywood Studios or perhaps Typhoon Lagoon, I can't totally remember. But either way we are returning to Epcot for the evening, and we have made a reservation at a new to us restaurant, and that restaurant is Via Napoli.

    This is one of those reservations that we aren't completely sure we'll keep. We are both really excited about this reservation, but are also open to cancelling it in case it just doesn't work with the schedule for the day. However, I'm pretty sure we will end up splitting some kind of pizza and maybe an appetizer - the pastas sound really good, but I have heard so much about the pizza that I feel like I absolutely have to get one here!



    I mean seriously - so yummy! (Thank you Google / Disney Tourist Blog again).

    The next day, on Thursday May 24, we have one more reservation in the Epcot/ Resorts area that I am thrilled about. We made a noon reservation for lunch at Beaches and Cream!

    We absolutely love this place :D It's tiny, but the food is so so so good (plus of course the ice cream)!

    We will probably do what we have previously done and order the Patty Melt Sandwich to split. I will most likely get the small sundae with peanut butter to make a mini version of a No Way Jose :D


    Will doesn't like pickles, so I get his :D

    And my sundae! This past time, they accidentally gave me caramel instead of peanut butter, so I got a huge thing of peanut butter on the side. I'm seriously contemplating asking for it this way next time, because it was so delicious to be able to add peanut butter as I went :P Can you tell I have a bit of an obsession?

    Before peanut butter:



    After:



    This is such a great dessert, and honestly it's already plenty of ice cream. I like this option just as much as the regular No Way Jose personally, and it's more affordable and I can actually eat it all :P

    Again - we may not keep this reservation, but I'm hoping we will be able to (because hello, ice cream)!

    Sadly, Friday May 25 is the last day of our trip :( We have to head home, but because it will be summer vacation, we won't be as pressed for time as we often are on a trip during the school year. We don't have work to go to, and this summer we don't have a wedding to attend in Missouri right after our trip, so we'll have time to rest and recuperate from the craziness that is Disney! Because of that, we decided to go a bit bigger with our traditional pre-departure breakfast and made a reservation for Tusker House before Animal Kingdom opens!

    I cannot wait for this breakfast! We did lunch at Tusker House this past May, and it was a huge hit with everyone - I somehow can't find any pictures, but the food was so good! And I have heard wonderful things about their breakfast, so I cannot wait for this one. Pretty sure they have plantains at breakfast, and I plan on eating lots of them :D

    After breakfast, we will do our fastpasses and hang out a little, and then head back home, probably to start packing to move :(


    However, I am super super excited for this longer trip, and I can't believe we're already so close!

    I am planning to be back this weekend with Fastpasses, but it may be longer (because I'm a bit slow as I said previously). Thank you to those of you who are still with me!
     

    LindseyJo22

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 22, 2014
    35 Days Until Disney!

    0 Days Until Fastpasses (!)


    Fastpass Update

    Hi everyone! This is going to be pretty short and sweet, because I apparently can't keep up with a PTR to save my life - but we got our Fastpasses made recently, and it went pretty well! There were a few things that I was surprised not to be able to get the times we wanted for, but I'm still checking every once in a while to see if I can rearrange them to suit us a little better.

    I've got our handy dandy trip planning spreadsheet now, so I can actually tell you what our plans are for the trip days! It's not as fancy as @Elevationist's stuff, but it works for us pretty well :)




    We also have our specific times for the reservations down below this, and also a more detailed list of stuff we want to try and do off to the side :)

    So our original plan for Fastpasses went mostly okay, except for a few things - first off, booking Flight of Passage was way more difficult than I thought it would be! Originally, we wanted to do this early in the morning, hit up Na'vi River Journey, and maybe catch an early lunch at Satu'li before we went off to other sections of Animal Kingdom. But, even with booking at 7am on our 60 day mark and going straight to our AK day, the earliest I could get a Fastpass for FOP was 1:45 PM!!! So I did that, and we'll work around it. But man, that is an insanely hard to get Fastpass! I had thought that last time it was just because we were going down for Marathon Weekend and it was completely super crowded (which was true) - but apparently it's just super hard to get in general I guess (especially at an early morning time).

    The other thing that I hadn't heard was that there were not going to be any Toy Story Midway Mania fastpasses! The original announcements had said they might be starting FP back up in early May, but so far I haven't seen that happen (or they just went really fast) because there were no FPs available for this ride at all! So we had to change our plan a bit to make sure we can ride that - we were going to try to take advantage of the fact that most people head over to Toy Story at rope drop and go to Rock 'n' Roller Coaster instead, but looks like we'll be following the masses to ride Toy Story this time! Unless of course we can snag a Toy Story Land preview (though I'm not thinking that will happen with it opening so late in June).

    Oh well, it worked out! The only other ones I changed a little bit were our times for Seven Dwarves Mine Train and Frozen Ever After, which we had to shift just a bit to make it work. I was able to change Frozen to an earlier time a few days ago though, so it's closer to when we originally wanted it. So now, our FPs officially look something like this:

    May 16 - MK Afternoon, Moonlight Magic at AK in the Evening
    2:00 - Peter Pan
    3:00 - Big Thunder
    4:45 - Seven Dwarves

    May 17 - Rope Drop Epcot / Flower & Garden
    9:20 - Spaceship Earth
    10:40 - Living With the Land
    12:00 - Frozen Ever After (going to try and change this to 12:30ish)

    May 18 - Blizzard Beach, but made MK Fastpasses just in case
    9:55 - Pirates
    10:55 - Jungle Cruise
    11:55 - Buzz Lightyear

    *Of course, the day we probably won't use our FPs they work out perfectly!

    May 19 - Big Animal Kingdom Morning, Studios Evening
    10:30 - Everest
    12:20 - Kali
    1:45 - Flights of Passage

    *I wanted to do Kali last just in case we get soaked, so we could immediately head back to the room - but such is life. Still looking for alternative FOP times, but that's probably a long shot!

    May 20 - Brunch! And MK Evening
    5:25 - Jungle Cruise
    6:30 - Winnie the Pooh
    7:30 - Buzz Lightyear

    May 21 - Studios Morning, Epcot Afternoon
    9:15 - Tower of Terror
    10:20 - Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
    11:20 - Star Tours

    May 22 - Magic Kingdom Day
    9:50 - Seven Dwarves
    11:00 - Space Mountain
    12:35 - Splash Mountain

    May 23 - Typhoon Lagoon planned, Epcot Evening
    4:30 - Journey Into Imagination
    6:00 - Living With the Land
    7:05 - Soarin'

    May 24 - Potential alternate day for water parks if necessary, Studios evening
    5:55 - Tower of Terror
    6:55 - Star Tours
    8:20 - Fantasmic!

    *This will be our first time doing the Fantasmic! Fastpass, which should be interesting!

    May 25 - Last Day :( AK Morning
    9:20 - Safari
    10:25 - Dinosaur
    11:30 - Na'vi River Journey

    *We are already joking that the Shaman song will be in our head all the way home! We may also grab lunch on the way out, just so we don't get like 20 minutes down the road and need to stop - but it will be super nice to be able to do a few things on our departure day instead of just heading out early!


    So that's it for our Fastpasses so far! I'm hoping to be back with my goal list of Flower & Garden booth items and Disney snacks to try on this trip soon :) But I hope you have enjoyed this sporadic PTR! I am getting so excited about this trip!!!
     





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