The Aussies Are Running Wine & Dine 2019

Sinders99

Mouseketeer
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
INTRODUCTIONS
:welcome:

First things first, introductions are in order.

This is me, Jennie. A Disney tragic and big kid at heart who spends way too much time dreaming of and planning our next Disney trip.
Favourite Characters = TIGGER & Mickey Mouse
Favourite Princess = it's hard to pick just one but if I had to it would be Belle, closely followed by Ariel
Favourite Park = EPCOT
Favourite Ride = Expedition Everest
Favourite Disney Restaurant = 50's Prime Time Cafe
Favourite Disney Snack = Dole Whip


Untitled by Jennie G, on Flickr


My partner in crime is Adam, also known as Disney Husband (DH). A fellow big kid at heart who was a hesitant Disney participant at first but then Disney purchased Lucas Films and the stars aligned!
Favourite Characters = Darth Vader & Tinkerbell
Favourite Park = Magic Kingdom
Favourite Ride = Mission Space
Favourite Disney Restaurant = 50's Prime Time Cafe
Favourite Disney Snack = Casey's Hot Dogs


Untitled by Jennie G, on Flickr


Now in our early 40's we didn't receive the blessings of children but we've remained young at heart and consider ourselves fortunate to have good incomes and health which allow us to travel the world on a semi regular basis.

As you can imagine travelling from Australia to the United States is no small undertaking with a flight and transit time of 16 hours to LA and over 25 hours to Orlando, but it's a trip we've made twice before. Our first trip in December 2010 was for a month travelling the West Coast and included a visit to Disneyland in California. Our second and most recent trip in September 2016 took in 2.5 weeks of the Orlando parks including Universal & Disneyworld. We even managed to squeeze in a Disney Cruise.

Before we visited Disneyworld everyone warned us how amazing and large it was but we didn't believe it. Needless to say we quickly realised that our "once in a lifetime trip" to Disneyworld was not going to be a once off and we began planning a return trip almost immediately.

Both of our jobs are fairly demanding so finding time for a trip can be tricky. We would have returned to Disneyworld sooner but in early 2018 we moved from one end of the country to the other for DH's career. A move which has taken us from a small regional area of about 220,000 people to a major city of 4 million. The big city lifestyle certainly agrees with us and we're never bored but it hasn't distracted us from dreaming of and planning for our next trip.

Up next - how we finally chose our dates!!
 
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pkondz

. . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
This is me, Jennie.
Hi, Jennie. Nice to meet you. :) :wave:

Saw your post that you started your very first TR, so thought I'd drop in and say hi. :)

I'm currently writing my 10th (10?!? How did that happen???) TR and I remember hoping people would show up when I started.
(And feel free to visit. Link in my siggie.)

A Disney tragic and big kid at heart who spends way too much time dreaming of and planning our next Disney trip.
You're probably the only person like that.


:rolleyes1

As you can imagine travelling from Australia to the United States is no small undertaking with a flight and transit time of 16 hours to LA and over 25 hours to Orlando
Long. Your arms must be really tired after all that.


Okay... it's an old joke. But I'm an old dude, so... it fits.

Before we visited Disneyworld everyone warned us how amazing and large it was but we didn't believe it.
Did you plan to walk between the parks? That's always my fave.


Just a warning. I don't typically comment much on PTRs, but I'll keep up. :) Good luck with this one!
 
  • Sinders99

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 31, 2015
    Hi, Jennie. Nice to meet you. :) :wave:

    Saw your post that you started your very first TR, so thought I'd drop in and say hi. :)

    I'm currently writing my 10th (10?!? How did that happen???) TR and I remember hoping people would show up when I started.
    (And feel free to visit. Link in my siggie.)
    Awww thanks so much for stopping by! It's so nice to meet you too and I appreciate the support :) I was beginning to wonder if anyone was out there. It's lonely over here in Australia :yay::yay::yay:

    10 Trip Reports?? HOLLY COW!! That's dedication. I've lurked on the pages for a couple of years and learnt so much from everyone's posts, dining reviews and trip reports but I've still got so many questions and so much to learn which is why I thought I'd start a trip planning report. Hopefully all my fellow Disney lovers will help me along the way and impart their wisdom with me :)
     

    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    Awww thanks so much for stopping by! It's so nice to meet you too and I appreciate the support :)
    Happy to be here. :)

    was beginning to wonder if anyone was out there. It's lonely over here in Australia :yay::yay::yay:
    Takes adjusting since you’re upside down and all ya know.

    :laughing:

    10 Trip Reports?? HOLLY COW!! That's dedication.
    It’s a fine line between dedication and insanity. ;)

    I've lurked on the pages for a couple of years and learnt so much from everyone's posts, dining reviews and trip reports but I've still got so many questions and so much to learn which is why I thought I'd start a trip planning report. Hopefully all my fellow Disney lovers will help me along the way and impart their wisdom with me :)
    Ask away and hopefully smarter people than I will show up! :lmao:
     

    Sinders99

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 31, 2015
    HELLO AGAIN FELLOW DIS'ERS

    Before I dive into some of our planning information and how we reached this point in our planning, I think it's important to recognise what we learnt from our 1st WDW trip in September 2016. A lot of the take away's from that trip have shaped how we've planned our next trip. Hopefully we're on the right track but I'd love to hear others comments on things like the Dining Plan, Park Days, How to RELAX at WDW etc.


    LESSON 1 - The Disney Dining Plan Is A Blessing and A Curse
    On our first WDW trip we scored the ever popular DDP as part of an accomodation promotion. For the first 4 days of our trip we stayed at POP and received the Quick Service plan (which we paid to upgrade to the Standard Dining Plan) and for the last 4 days of our trip we transferred to a Port Orleans Riverside Princess Room and received the Standard Dining Plan. Of course we were excited to have free food but we quickly learnt that this blessing could also be a curse. Now this was back in the days when a QS credit included an entree, desert and drink and a TS credit included an entree, desert (which could be substituted for an appetiser at some places) and drink. The plan included the refillable resort mug and there were no snack credits and alcohol was not included.

    18.09.16-185 by Jennie G, on Flickr

    Hubby and I are very much grazers. We eat when we feel hungry rather than at set mealtimes. We typically eat medium sized portions. Deserts are not something we typically eat. We really enjoy soda and drink far too much of it on holidays. My husband is very much a 'beige' eater and doesn't enjoy anything spicy, hot or overly fancy whereas I am much more adventurous in my tastes and like to give new foods a try.

    During our 2016 trip we found the dining plan was:

    • Too restrictive. We under estimated how long it takes to enjoy a TS meal and we were very conscious of how much time we were losing each day sitting down and eating;
    • Too much food. As a couple of grazing eaters who also don't normally eat deserts we found that the plan was just too much food and by the end of the trip we were bemoaning having to select and eat another desert :worship:; and
    • Too inflexible. We found that we were constantly watching the clock and worried about leaving parks and attractions in time to make it to reservations. This was probably the most annoying aspect as we found ourselves really uptight about timing rather than being in the moment and enjoying the experience. Although I was careful to make reservations in the park we were touring that day, we still watched the clock a lot to make sure we arrived on time or were in the right area at the right time. We also found that at the end of the trip we had QS credits left over. I know some of you will be screaming asking why we didn't change some of our QS credits for Snack Credits at Food & Wine but when you're only a group of 2 it's near on impossible to find 3 things at a single Food & Wine Booth that you both want to try.

    LESSON 2 - Park Hopper Is Not For Us
    In order to qualify for free dining, the clever people at Disney made us pay for a park hopper ticket WHICH WE NEVER USED!!

    I'm sure this had more to do with us being first time visitors and touring the parks commando style but we didn't use the park hopper portion of our tickets a single time throughout our visit. We found that each day we'd arrive at rope drop, tour until lunch or early afternoon and then return to our resort for a break. We'd then return back to the same park for evening touring.

    LESSON 3 - Slow Down To Enjoy More
    Don't get me wrong, we had an amazing time at WDW but when we got back to Australia we realised that we hadn't eaten a Mickey Bar or any of the snacks we really wanted to try, (which again comes back to too much food on the DDP), we hadn't done half the attractions we had on our 'must do' list, we'd missed quite a few of the parades we wanted to see and all of our time was focused on being in the parks. We hadn't really spent any time at our resorts, swum in the pools or enjoyed the services we'd paid for.

    LESSON 4 - An On-Site Disney Resort Is A Must

    I know that plenty of people would argue this one but for us an on-site disney resort was a must. We don't drive when we visit the US as we drive on the other side of the road in Australia and it makes me horribly nervous that I may inadvertently cause an accident by straying onto the wrong side of the road or turning incorrectly. I'd rather not deal with the stress of directions, traffic and driving on the opposite side of the road.
    A lot of people complain about the disney transport system but we love it. It takes so much of the stress out of getting around and for those times when time is a factor or we're going somewhere out of the way we call an Uber.
    We also loved being in the Disney bubble the whole trip. I couldn't imagine trudging back to the car, driving back to an offsite resort each day and walking into a sterile, business hotel that you can find anywhere in the world.

    LESSON 5 - The Cost of Your Resort Doesn't Always Increase the Enjoyment of Your Stay
    During our last trip we split our 8 night stay between POP & Port Orleans Riverside. When we chose Riverside we thought it was going to be our preferred accomodation style given that it had more intense theming, an onsite TS as well as a QS, romantic surrey bikes and carriage rides and generally just more facilities. In fact, POP ended up being our preferred stay!!

    We realised that the direct buses from POP were fantastic and visiting 4 stops around Riverside before getting to our stop was incredibly frustrating. Likewise, waiting 25 minutes in the morning at Riverside for a bus to do the loop before we got onto an almost full bus was equally frustrating.

    We never once got on a Surrey bike, took a carriage ride, used the arcade, ate at the TS restaurant, went to a campfire or watched an evening outdoor movie at Riverside. Upon returning to Australia we felt that the additional cost of a Riverside room really wasn't worth it for us. We did really enjoy the theming at both resorts and we did use the boats from Riverside to Disney Springs but overall we would have been just as happy to stay at POP and spend that extra money on experiences.

    We also realised that just because you were stying at POP didn't mean you couldn't enjoy the shopping, theming and restaurants at other, more expensive, resorts. Resort hopping is definitely something we plan to make time for on our next trip.

    I hope that our lessons will help others and likewise, make some of our planning decisions for this next trip a little clearer. I'd love to hear others thoughts on the lessons I've mentioned :rainbow:
     
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    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    We really enjoy soda and drink far too much of it on holidays.
    This is me.

    Too restrictive. We under estimated how long it takes to enjoy a TS meal and we were very conscious of how much time we were losing each day sitting down and eating;
    Hmmm.... I can see that. But when you've been a few more times, you start looking at the restaurants a bit differently. Which do you like. Which do you go back to. Which do you want to try next.

    Too much food. As a couple of grazing eaters who also don't normally eat deserts we found that the plan was just too much food and by the end of the trip we were bemoaning having to select and eat another desert :worship:; and
    Yeah... I know I hit the food wall too. Won't do it again unless it's free... and then won't worry too much about maximizing the food intake.

    Too inflexible. We found that we were constantly watching the clock and worried about leaving parks and attractions in time to make it to reservations.
    Hmmm... Interesting. I've never felt that way. Actually the opposite. I love going and, while the poor tourist who didn't make an ADR is turned away, I'm seated.

    LESSON 2 - Park Hopper Is Not For Us
    Interesting. And totally get that. I do get the park hopper so I can hop... but I don't always.

    when we got back to Australia we realised that we hadn't eaten a Mickey Bar or any of the snacks we really wanted to try,
    Make a list. Keep adding to it as you hear about different things. You will forget.

    An On-Site Disney Resort Is A Must
    ::yes::

    I know that plenty of people would argue this one but for us an on-site disney resort was a must.
    No argument here. I want to be in the bubble. I have zero desire to stay off site.

    A lot of people complain about the disney transport system but we love it.
    Again, no complaints. Then again, I've lived a charmed life when it comes to Disney transportation, so...

    It takes so much of the stress out of getting around
    ::yes::

    Likewise, waiting 25 minutes in the morning at Riverside for a bus to do the loop before we got onto an almost full bus was equally frustrating.
    We always exited the bus at the last stop... But we stayed in Magnolia so it was closest to the bridge and therefore always went to the main stop to catch the bus... unless it was in the middle of the day (had small kids so mid-day break was a must) and the busses were empty.
     
  • petals

    Irish Princess because Cinderella said so!
    Joined
    May 18, 2010
    joining in.

    Re your lessons. We get park hoppers and usually only use them in the last few days to finish off what we didn't get done in parks.

    Staying on site I would agree with as well. We've stayed on international drive on previous trips and it made getting to and from the parks a tad more difficult. The hotel we stayed at had a shuttle bus but you never got their for park opening and the last bus would leave from Epcot before the fireworks in some parks so you'd end up paying for taxi's back to the hotel. Staying onsite makes it so much easier to get to and from the parks as you please!
     

    Sinders99

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 31, 2015
    joining in.

    Re your lessons. We get park hoppers and usually only use them in the last few days to finish off what we didn't get done in parks.

    Staying on site I would agree with as well. We've stayed on international drive on previous trips and it made getting to and from the parks a tad more difficult. The hotel we stayed at had a shuttle bus but you never got their for park opening and the last bus would leave from Epcot before the fireworks in some parks so you'd end up paying for taxi's back to the hotel. Staying onsite makes it so much easier to get to and from the parks as you please!
    Hi Petals :welcome:

    Great to see another follower joining in. The more the merrier.

    I'm pretty sure on this next trip we'll do much more park hopping but I'll get onto that in my next couple of posts :yay:
     

    Sinders99

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 31, 2015
    CHOOSING OUR DATES

    It's been quite some time since my last update and it's been a busy time in our household! We're very quickly approaching Christmas and are weeks away from our first real holiday in almost 2 years!! We're off to visit the very beautiful Adelaide and the Barossa Wine Region in South Australia. It's a trip that hubby and I have spoken about for many years but living at the other end of the country has always made the trip too expensive. Because of our move earlier in the year to Melbourne we're now only an 8 hour drive away! We're so excited and I hope to share some pics with you all once we're back :yay::yay::yay::yay::yay:

    But enough about that holiday .... I'm still planning a WDW trip!!

    10.09.16-305 by Jennie G, on Flickr

    Even though we're still a little over 12 months away from our trip one of the most difficult things we've found is selecting a date. I'm sure that everyone struggles with this and there are so so many variables to take into account. One of the biggest challenges is finding the time to fit a 3 or 4 week trip around the demands of our busy careers.

    After researching over and over and over and debating a number of options we narrowed down our potential trip dates to:

    • 1 Nov - 28 Nov
    • 30 Nov - 28 Dec
    • 21 Dec - 11 Jan
    As a runner I've always wanted to participate in a Run Disney event which is why we selected dates that ran over Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend and Marathon weekend but after checking 2018 flight costs for these same travel dates we quickly struck out 21 Dec - 11 Jan for a couple of reasons:

    1. The flight cost over mid Dec-mid Jan was eye watering
    2. The very highest crowds of the year would make at least 1 week of our trip insanely frustrating
    3. Accomodation costs are insane and it'd be easier to fly to the moon than find availability
    So that really leaves us with 2 options:

    1 Nov - 28 Nov
    OR
    30 Nov - 28 Dec

    We're not entirely settled on a date yet but here's the pro/con list for each as we see it:

    1 Nov - 28 Nov

    PRO
    Cheaper flights
    Reasonable crowds
    Great weather
    Wine & Dine at EPCOT
    Wine & Dine Half Marathon
    Festival of the Holidays at EPCOT (assuming it begins mid month as it did this year)
    Our first Thanksgiving Experience

    CON
    Busy over Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend/week
    Busy over Thanksgiving week
    Good chance that we'll miss out on seeing the resorts in full Christmas spirit
    Christmas office shut downs only 3 weeks after we arrive back so we'd have to take 2 weeks (11 days) unpaid leave

    30 Nov - 28 Dec

    PRO
    Cheap flights still
    Great weather
    Low crowd levels for the first 2-3 weeks of December
    Christmas is in full swing at all parks
    Festival of the Holidays at EPCOT
    Good possibility of Star Wars: A Galaxy's Edge being open (Hubby's a massive fan)
    All resorts in full Christmas spirit
    Christmas is our very favourite time of year
    Public holidays over Christmas & New Years will reduce the amount of leave days we need to take
    Option to stay with our wonderful Orlando based friends from 21 Dec-28 Dec

    CON
    Would need to take 4 days unpaid leave - but still better than the 11 days for the November option
    Insane crowds at Hollywood Studios thanks to possible opening of Star Wars: A Galaxy's Edge

    I know which dates we're leaning towards but I'd love your thoughts and input on which you'd choose??
     

    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    are weeks away from our first real holiday in almost 2 years!!
    Nice!

    We're off to visit the very beautiful Adelaide and the Barossa Wine Region in South Australia.
    oohh… that sounds nice. Can't wait to see some pics!

    The very highest crowds of the year would make at least 1 week of our trip insanely frustrating
    yes and...

    Accomodation costs are insane and it'd be easier to fly to the moon than find availability
    ...yes.

    I know which dates we're leaning towards but I'd love your thoughts and input on which you'd choose??
    The earlier ones. I guess I just want to be home for Christmas.
     
  • Sinders99

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 31, 2015
    OOPS!! CHANGE OF PLANS!!

    So, I know I've been quiet of late but that's because my DH and I have been hatching a new plan for our Disney trip.

    I've been a keen runner for around 18 months now and the whole reason I started running was because I set myself a goal to run a Disney Half Marathon on property. I'm part of a Disney running group called the BOGP (Be Our Guest Podcast) LIZARDS and after the recent Marathon Weekend I was determined to make it happen.

    DH and I sat down and ran the numbers and a shorter, 10 night stay for Wine & Dine 2019 weekend worked a lot better for us financially and work wise.

    WE'RE RUNNING AT WINE & DINE 2019!!

    I'm so excited!!

    I won't bore you with all my running stuff but I have started a Run Disney Training Journal here where you can read the back story and my challenges as a runner:

    https://disboards.com/threads/an-aussie-on-a-wine-dine-2019-mission-comments-very-welcome.3731727/

    We've amended our POP Century booking and our new dates are 26 Oct - 6 Nov 2019

    My DH isn't a runner but I've explained to him the generous 16 min pace requirements for these races and he's even going to join me. Registrations don't open until 19 March but we're hoping to secure entry for all 3 distances, the 5km, 10km and Half Marathon.

    Better sign off for now. It's long run morning tomorrow and I need to get some sleep because I'm running the Wine & Dine!!!​
     

    ozliz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2013
    So excited to see another Aussie. I’ve been twice myself and that first time really started my addiction. I ran the wine and dine 10k in 2018. Was a lot of fun although very crowded. I stopped for the loo and some photos which took ages (didn’t check my time, didn’t want to know how slow it must have been with those breaks! I’m not a runner but trained a bit and then found I was weaving around everyone to run fast enough to stop again later if I saw another photo I wanted. It was a very strange race with the breaks but I would do it again if my trip lined up with a race in future. It’s always good to have a fitness goal. I’m looking forward to hearing how your plans develop.
     

    Sinders99

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 31, 2015
    So excited to see another Aussie. I’ve been twice myself and that first time really started my addiction. I ran the wine and dine 10k in 2018. Was a lot of fun although very crowded. I stopped for the loo and some photos which took ages (didn’t check my time, didn’t want to know how slow it must have been with those breaks! I’m not a runner but trained a bit and then found I was weaving around everyone to run fast enough to stop again later if I saw another photo I wanted. It was a very strange race with the breaks but I would do it again if my trip lined up with a race in future. It’s always good to have a fitness goal. I’m looking forward to hearing how your plans develop.
    OOOOHHHH!! I'd love to hear more about your experience!! It's so hard to know what to expect and there are extra challenges us Aussies have when travelling so far!! If you don't mind I'd love to hear the following:

    Did you have any issues with Jet Lag arriving in Orlando?
    How long would you recommend - we're worried 10 nights is too short?
    Did you submit a proof of time and if so, which corral did you end up in?
    Did you spend time in the parks prior to your race day?
     

    lvcourtneyy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2012
    Joining in. We'll be at WDW for very similar dates (10/24-11/9) and are running our first 5k during Wine and Dine!
     

    Sinders99

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 31, 2015
    UPDATE TO PLANS

    Oh my goodness!! I really need to make my updates a far more regular thing!!

    So in my last update I mentioned that we're going to be running the Wine & Dine races this year. I'm glad to report that we successfully secured registrations for the following races:

    5km = DH & myself
    10km = DH
    2 Course Challenge = me

    So basically I'm running all 3 distances over 3 days and hubby will be joining me for the 5km and 10km.

    There's also been another change to our dates LOL!!

    We're now arriving Sat 26 Oct and departing on Wed 13 Nov.

    And finally, because there haven't been enough changes to our original plans, when we added an additional week to our plans we also booked in a Deluxe Studio at Saratoga Springs renting DVC points. This will not only be our first experience renting points but it'll also be our first deluxe resort experience. We rented through DVC Rental Store who have made the whole process really simple.

    So we made all these decision before the opening date for Star Wars Galaxies Edge was announced and although initially we freaked out, like most people, and considered cancelling but we decided against it. We figured that we have the luxury of time on our side and if there are crazy crowds like they're predicting we have time to weather the storm.

    I'll provide a more detailed update over the coming weekend when I have more time but I'd love to hear everyone's recommendations for non-park based activities that they recommend :)
     

    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    So basically I'm running all 3 distances over 3 days and hubby will be joining me for the 5km and 10km.
    :faint:

    I'll sit and watch the races, okay?

    we also booked in a Deluxe Studio at Saratoga Springs renting DVC points.
    Nice!

    We rented through DVC Rental Store who have made the whole process really simple.
    Oh! I've not heard of that. Good to hear that it's simple. I'm going to have to look into it.

    I'd love to hear everyone's recommendations for non-park based activities that they recommend :)
    Stroll the Boardwalk
    Try one (or both) of the mini-golfs (I haven't. Want to, though.)
    DTD of course.
    Leave da world and explore somewhere else.
     

    Sinders99

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 31, 2015
    :faint:

    I'll sit and watch the races, okay?
    LOL That's totally OK and I understand. Funny enough 3 years ago I was strictly a non runner.

    I love the idea of the Boardwalk stroll/tour. I actually read recently about a DTD food crawl and have included that in our plans - more details to come - so maybe I need to include something similar for the Boardwalk area resorts?

    Our tickets include the mini golf and although we've not played a lot of mini golf I love this idea.

    As far as 'out of the world' activities go we were hoping to catch an Orlando Magic basketball game as we're big basketball fans and we're also planning on heading to a Walmart and the Disney outlet to pickup Disney march without the inflated park prices. Us Australian's have a real fascination and love affair with Walmart. We don't have anything like it in Australia so walking in and finding absolutely everything you could imagine under one roof is absolutely fascinating.
     

    bearybubba

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2007
    My husband and I will be at POP from 10/28-11/5 and we are doing the Wine & Dine races as well. Hubby does all 3 and I do the 5K.
    I'm enjoying your report....
     




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