Mommy & Daddy take on HHN 30! - September 2020 PTR - Updated 6/12

vrajewski10513

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Hey Friends!! Welcome!! My name is Tori and I will be your host for this Pre-Trip report!

I’ve attempted pre-trip reports in the past, and haven’t been able to quite finish up with a final trip report for one reason or another. But this time we have a VERY compact trip planned so I’m going to do my absolute best to see this through to completion!

I encourage some conversation around here between readers so feel free to mingle!

As the title insinuates, my husband Jeremy and I welcomed our sweet little lady, Baby K, into the world last September. I may be biased, but she is an absolute joy, and the sweetest little babe I’ve ever encountered. She’s super chill and while I’m sure many parents wouldn’t believe it, she rarely ever cries. This will be an adults only trip, so she will be spending a few nights with Nana and Papa. As a new mom I’m having a hard time thinking about being away from her for even one night let alone three. My husband assures me though that she is in very good hands (she absolutely ADORES her Nana and Papa) and we deserve a few days to ourselves.





OK, enough cuteness, back to the trip plans…

Where: Universal Studios Orlando
When: September 17th - September 20th
Plan: USF, IOA & HHN 30

Now let’s meet the crew for this trip!



Here is me, Tori(31) and my DH, Jeremy(31). This photo is pre-baby, so imagine us the same, just a little more tired looking.

We took our first trip to Orlando on our honeymoon in 2013 and were hooked instantly. I'm one of the VERY lucky ladies whose spouse actually shares in my love for all things Disney and Harry Potter. We’ve been back just about every year in the fall, minus last year because we JUST had Baby K. To say we’re jonesing for another trip (missing HHN last year was TOUGH) would be an understatement. Oh, another fun fact, we became DVC owners and AKV-Kidani back in 2018.

Next up…



My sister Livi(29) and her boyfriend Josh(30). They’ve joined us on all of our Orlando trips since our 2016 vacation. They even went down last year for HHN on their own. They're the night owls of the group. Where Jeremy and I would rather be up and at the parks for early entry, these two would rather sleep in and shut down City Walk. To conserve costs (reasoning to be explained later) we’re going to be sharing a room this trip.

I will be back with more of the specifics on this trip shortly!



 

Welsh_Dragon

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
The good thing about HHNs is that you can do RD have an afternoon nap and then go back to close the night.

With all the frights and scares you will also discover whether all those pelvic floor exercises paid off!😂😉

Your little lady is very beautiful, absolutely enchanting. Enjoy your planning.
 


vrajewski10513

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
The good thing about HHNs is that you can do RD have an afternoon nap and then go back to close the night.

With all the frights and scares you will also discover whether all those pelvic floor exercises paid off!😂😉

Your little lady is very beautiful, absolutely enchanting. Enjoy your planning.
Welcome!! Yes, thats absolutely what we do! Hit the parks early, go back to the hotel for some naps and food then go full steam into the fog!

Gosh I hope those exercises paid off! I AM able to sneeze with no incidents so I guess that says alot :rotfl2:

Thank you very much, I'd say so as well :love:
 
  • macraven

    Proud Redhead
    Moderator
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    Mid September will be a nice time to go.
    HHN will have easy waits as crowds haven’t climbed yet

    Your time will fly by!

    So nice your sis and bf wil join you again for vacation
     

    vrajewski10513

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2013
    Mid September will be a nice time to go.
    HHN will have easy waits as crowds haven’t climbed yet
    Welcome!

    Thanks, I hope so! we've gone at all different times in September and October. The crowds are much more favorable in September.. but I definitely prefer the weather in October!
     

    schumigirl

    It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
    Joined
    May 15, 2007
    You have a beautiful daughter!!! She is a little sparkler.......

    Looking forward to hearing about your trip as a fellow HHN lover.....we’re also similar to you in that we much prefer to be up early.......

    Nice start!!
     
  • vrajewski10513

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2013
    OK guys, before we jump into our accommodations… let me invite you in on some of our future plans.

    I said in my last post that we were trying to make this trip as economical as possible. Reason being, we have a BIG family trip planned for September 2021. This will be Baby K’s first trip to Disney, and we’re bringing along Nana, Papa, Uncle J, Aunt C, cousin J, Aunt L and Uncle JG. Luckily it will be right after her 2nd birthday so she will still be free by Disney standards.

    We’re doing 10 nights (3 at Endless Summer at UO, and 7 at AKV at Disney). We’re saving and borrowing points to cover the rooms for everyone at AKV. But, we are splurging a bit... HHN with Express passes, Park hoppers for Disney, and the Deluxe dining plan.

    So all in all, it’s going to be quite an expensive trip so we’re just trying to not spend a fortune this year so we have the best time next year without worrying about saving the money for it.

    I haven’t decided if I’m going to make this a joint PTR for both trips, or start a new one closer to the 2021 trip.. So keep a lookout!
     

    vrajewski10513

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2013
    OK! On to accommodations!!

    The original plan was to stick with ol’ faithful…




    We’ve stayed at Cabana Bay 4 times now, and have always had great experiences. Its super affordable and we love the themeing and all the things to do at the resort.

    However, that was before Universal opened their new Endless Summer Resort. Apparently these hotels are supposed to be a step down from Cabana Bay. I’ve done some research and the rooms look small, but sufficient and the themeing is light and airy.

    Since we will have APs, I started nosing around on any AP discounts on hotels Universal is offering for our dates. Once those were released it really was a no brainer for us. We would be staying at




    Universal’s Endless Summer - Dockside Inn & Suites!

    I was able to secure a standard room for 3 nights at the whopping price of $312! It was $79 for Thursday, $99 for Friday and Saturday plus applicable tax and fees. Since we will be sharing a room with Livi and Josh that cuts that price in half still.

    I figure this is a good chance to test out the new lower value resorts since we’re only staying 3 nights. If it ends up being subpar then we will know not to stay there again in the future on our longer trips!
     
  • vrajewski10513

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2013
    New developments y’all!

    Today was release day for Southwest. JetBlue released their dates for September a few weeks ago, but we held out to see what the prices were like for Southwest. I was up with Baby K at 5:45am as per usual, so I hopped on my laptop at 6am hoping flights were released… No such luck. It wasn’t until after 10am they finally posted the updated schedule through 10/30/20.

    In the past the price for EarlyBird with Southwest has been $15 pp/flight. This time around, however, it was up to $25! That would tack on $100 onto the total for our flights. We aren’t traveling with any kids so chances are if we’re lucky we would end up with mid-late B group without it. I’m not a big fan of flying to begin with so the idea of Jeremy not being able to sit with me isn’t appealing.

    So anyway, for the flight down, Southwest would cost is $123pp + $25 EB to fly around 6am. For the flight home, suprisingly, then only non-stop flights they had were at 7am or around 12:30pm for around $106. Usually they offer a late night direct flight from MCO to BUF.

    JetBlue had a direct flight down to MCO at 7:30am that included seat selection for $119. It doesn’t include checked bags, but for a 3 day trip I’m sure we could manage with just carry ons and a personal item.

    Ultimately, we decided that it would make the most sense financially and time wise to fly down to Orlando with JetBlue at 7:30am, arriving around 10am, then fly home with Southwest leaving at 12:30 getting home around 3pm.

    We need to be home fairly early in the day to pick up Baby K, so my mom can get to bed at a reasonable time for work Monday morning.


    One more thing crossed off our to-do list!
     
    Last edited:

    Raeven

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 15, 2015
    In the past the price for EarlyBird with Southwest has been $15 pp/flight. This time around, however, it was up to $25!
    I've noticed that. We used to always get Earlybird, but now I figured I'll just check us in. I usually check the check in right on time because one time we had Earlybird and they forgot to check us in so we probably would get the same seats anyway.

    Usually they offer a late night direct flight from MCO to BUF.
    Ugh we had a lot less flights to choose from too. But since we were using credits I took what they had. We found a good morning one, but there was only one nonstop a day (when there's usually more), and the one home is much earlier in the day than I would like.
     

    vrajewski10513

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2013
    I've noticed that. We used to always get Earlybird, but now I figured I'll just check us in. I usually check the check in right on time because one time we had Earlybird and they forgot to check us in so we probably would get the same seats anyway.
    I’ve been on to check in the second it opens and got mid-late B! It’s crazy.
    Ugh we had a lot less flights to choose from too. But since we were using credits I took what they had. We found a good morning one, but there was only one nonstop a day (when there's usually more), and the one home is much earlier in the day than I would like.
    Luckily we’re not using points this year so we had the option of different airlines. This year we do need to get home earlier to pick the baby up from my parents so the earlier flight works for us, but my sister chose to fly back with JetBlue because they had a 7pm flight from MCO to BUF.
     

    Raeven

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 15, 2015
    I’ve been on to check in the second it opens and got mid-late B! It’s crazy.
    Yeah, sometimes you do end up further down. Most the time when we check in with Earlybird, I'm on right at the time just to make sure and we get A group so it kind of defeats the purpose of getting it. I didn't get it last trip, because we flew separately there, and we both got A group and had flights that weren't full.
     

    vrajewski10513

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2013
    Hey anyone who is still here...

    I promise I didn't abandon you...

    Life has just been a little.. abnormal? As I'm sure it has been for all of you as well.

    I've been working from home since March 15th. I have a love/hate relationship with WFH.

    I used to have a full time job that I worked from home before we had Baby K and it just wasn't for me, so I got a different job at an office. Now i'm back to working from home, with no other option. The upside is the baby is at SUCH a fun age of 8 months. Shes learning so many new things everyday so I'm happy I'm here to witness it.

    492980492981


    But, finding that Mom/work balance has really been a struggle. I can't even imagine how you moms and dads with school aged kids are balancing parenting, working and being teacher. You da real MVP. I do keep telling myself though how fortunate I am to still be working, period. I've been hearing horror stories of how unbelievably useless the unemployment sites have been. In NY and FL particularly.

    Normal trip planning has been very quiet. Mostly due to the fact that were not 100% sure it will even happen. We're following whats going on in Florida very closely, but nothing has been announced for Theme Parks yet. There have been some general guidelines released, some best practices if you will. But ultimately how they decide to proceed with precautions will depend on the individual parks. I personally believe they will take the recommendations of the Economic Task Force and go a bit stricter. Only time will tell.

    Jeremy and I did decide though that if HHN is cancelled or postponed were going to sit out this year. We don't need to go to just universal for a few days if there is no event, and if it gets pushed back to October then I wont be able to fly unless I upgrade my drivers license or get a passport. Which we weren't planning to do until next year.

    I'm a person who struggles with anxiety on a regular basis, so all of the unknowns and "new normals" of life have really taken a toll. I'm a planner. I don't like "leaving things up in the air", and this is what life has come to be.

    On a lighter note, HHNightmares released v2.0 of their HHN speculation map so its nice to pretend to know the event is moving forward as planned. I think this version is much better than v1.0. However, I really was looking forward to Gremlins so I was bummed when it was missing from the updated version.

    492977

    Its not quite what I expected for an anniversary year, but I'm sure if everything works out I will enjoy them all none-the-less. I'm not a difficult person to please.

    So that's whats been going on in my life recently. I'm hoping that my next update will have some happy news of solid plans and announcements. Until then, stay safe everyone!
     

    schumigirl

    It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
    Joined
    May 15, 2007
    Your daughter is absolutely adorable!!! And so very much like you, in the second picture in particular.

    It is lovely you get to spend so much more time with her, that time is priceless!!

    Yes, we are all up in the air right now with plans, and I can understand why you would postpone if HHN doesn’t take place. It’s tough if you have anxieties and are a planner. I’m not a planner, but I do like certainties, so I’m trying to stay positive in all of this.....right now we don't have much more. Not being patient isn’t a good thing right now......

    But, we’ll keep our fingers crossed we all get our trips.....and I’m glad your work is still going well.......:wave2:
     

    TheLittleKatie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 4, 2014
    Glad you're keeping well Tori :goodvibes sorry your trip plans are so uncertain at the moment :sad2: but it's nice that you're spending some quality time with your precious little daughter! :cutie: She seems like a great age to be on lockdown with. Like you said, I can't imagine how parents of 3+ year olds are managing :scared::laughing: that's a lot of kiddo energy!!!

    Hope you get some news soon and you can solidify your plans! Stay safe out there!
     

    vrajewski10513

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2013
    Your daughter is absolutely adorable!!! And so very much like you, in the second picture in particular.

    It is lovely you get to spend so much more time with her, that time is priceless!!
    Thank you! It changes almost daily if she looks more like me or her dad lol

    Yes, we are all up in the air right now with plans, and I can understand why you would postpone if HHN doesn’t take place. It’s tough if you have anxieties and are a planner. I’m not a planner, but I do like certainties, so I’m trying to stay positive in all of this.....right now we don't have much more. Not being patient isn’t a good thing right now......

    But, we’ll keep our fingers crossed we all get our trips.....and I’m glad your work is still going well.......:wave2:
    It definitely helps to just try and keep a positive mindset during all of this. I'm trying to be optimistic but at the same time realistic about how things are progressing.


    Katie- So funny, I was commenting on your TR while you were over here :thumbsup2
    Glad you're keeping well Tori :goodvibes sorry your trip plans are so uncertain at the moment :sad2: but it's nice that you're spending some quality time with your precious little daughter! :cutie: She seems like a great age to be on lockdown with. Like you said, I can't imagine how parents of 3+ year olds are managing :scared::laughing: that's a lot of kiddo energy!!!
    Thank you, Katie. I hope you and Jamie are doing well and staying healthy! Yes, I'm really enjoying all this time with her. Shes just now starting to crawl and lift herself to stand so I cant imagine how parents of toddlers must feel chasing them around 24/7 :rotfl: Trying to keep K from falling onher face is tiring enough for me lol
     

    DisneyLifePapioNe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2017
    Hey anyone who is still here...

    I promise I didn't abandon you...

    Life has just been a little.. abnormal? As I'm sure it has been for all of you as well.

    I've been working from home since March 15th. I have a love/hate relationship with WFH.

    I used to have a full time job that I worked from home before we had Baby K and it just wasn't for me, so I got a different job at an office. Now i'm back to working from home, with no other option. The upside is the baby is at SUCH a fun age of 8 months. Shes learning so many new things everyday so I'm happy I'm here to witness it.

    View attachment 492980View attachment 492981


    But, finding that Mom/work balance has really been a struggle. I can't even imagine how you moms and dads with school aged kids are balancing parenting, working and being teacher. You da real MVP. I do keep telling myself though how fortunate I am to still be working, period. I've been hearing horror stories of how unbelievably useless the unemployment sites have been. In NY and FL particularly.

    Normal trip planning has been very quiet. Mostly due to the fact that were not 100% sure it will even happen. We're following whats going on in Florida very closely, but nothing has been announced for Theme Parks yet. There have been some general guidelines released, some best practices if you will. But ultimately how they decide to proceed with precautions will depend on the individual parks. I personally believe they will take the recommendations of the Economic Task Force and go a bit stricter. Only time will tell.

    Jeremy and I did decide though that if HHN is cancelled or postponed were going to sit out this year. We don't need to go to just universal for a few days if there is no event, and if it gets pushed back to October then I wont be able to fly unless I upgrade my drivers license or get a passport. Which we weren't planning to do until next year.

    I'm a person who struggles with anxiety on a regular basis, so all of the unknowns and "new normals" of life have really taken a toll. I'm a planner. I don't like "leaving things up in the air", and this is what life has come to be.

    On a lighter note, HHNightmares released v2.0 of their HHN speculation map so its nice to pretend to know the event is moving forward as planned. I think this version is much better than v1.0. However, I really was looking forward to Gremlins so I was bummed when it was missing from the updated version.

    View attachment 492977

    Its not quite what I expected for an anniversary year, but I'm sure if everything works out I will enjoy them all none-the-less. I'm not a difficult person to please.


    So that's whats been going on in my life recently. I'm hoping that my next update will have some happy news of solid plans and announcements. Until then, stay safe everyone!
    I’m still hopeful it’s just as it says in the corner “speculation” being an anniversary year I had hoped it would be some very big headliners.
     

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