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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Starting to Get Excited!

We’re about 140 days away from Spring Break and we’ve got a Walt Disney World trip in the works.  Our plans started as a 4 night cruise on the Dream, then we realized that for the same amount of money we could spend a week at the World, so we changed our plans. 

At the 180 day out mark, we made our reservation along with dining ADR’s for our week.  The only thing we didn’t have secure yet was our transportation to and from Orlando.

For anyone who knows me, not having this nailed down 6 months before our trip, was a bit anxiety producing.  This detail is typically handled first and I was having a difficult time getting excited about a trip that wasn’t fully planned yet.

Then, we were able to purchase reasonably priced direct fights—click here to read more.  Okay, feeling better.

It hit me last night. . . we’re going back to Walt Disney World!  Our dining ADR’s were made prior to Disney recently changing its policy about securing a credit card and charging guests a $10 per person no show fee when not arriving for Advance Dining Reservations.

We have a Fantasmic Dining package reserved at Mama Melrose, giving us an incredible meal along with reserved seating for Fantasmic! at Hollywood Studios.  We are trying out Cape May Café for the first time with ADR’s for both breakfast and dinner.  We’re going back to Garden Grill at EPCOT, as we haven’t been there since our very first trip when we ate there on Thanksgiving Day.  We’re trying Les Chefs de France again and hoping to catch Remy this time.  Of course, ‘Ohana’s is on our itinerary.  We are heading back to Biergarten in Germany and Rose & Crown in United Kingdom—this time hoping for a lagoon side table to view Illuminations at EPCOT.  T-Rex Café at Downtown Disney has a lunch reserved for us, too.  We had Nine Dragons booked for our last day, but our flight schedule needs us to return back on Saturday instead of Sunday, so we canceled our Nine Dragons ADR.  Next time!

With all that fantastic dining ahead of us, the only disappointing thing for the boy was no Teppan Edo.  You would think he would be disappointed about not dining at Chef Mickey’s or Crystal Palace, but no, it was Teppan Edo he was going to miss!  I guess that is what 8, soon to be 9 trips to the World will do to you as a discerning diner!

The only way we can accomplish our dining plans is with the Park Hopper option added to our tickets, as we have many ADR’s at EPCOT, but don’t plan spending each day at EPCOT.  For example, the evening we dine at Garden Grill, which is in the Land Pavilion at EPCOT, we will be at Magic Kingdom during the day.  I sure wish Garden Grill would go back to serving lunch, as by dinner time on the days we tour EPCOT, we are well into World Showcase, and I don’t want to double back to Future World for dinner.  That’s why it works great to eat at Coral Reef for lunch on our EPCOT days, but we are not dining there this trip.

We add the Basic Dining Plan to our tickets which allows for a table service credit per person per night of our stay.  We can use the table service credits in any increments and sometimes use 2 per person in one day depending on our dining schedule.  We are staying 7 nights, but made 9 ADR’s for table service meals.  This means we will be paying out of pocket for 2 table service meals.  One will be breakfast at Cape May Café, as breakfast is typically the least expensive table service meal of the day.  The second will be our meal at T-Rex Café, as T-Rex does not accept the Disney Dining Plan even though guests can reserve T-Rex using the Disney Dining Reservation System—a subtle yet important distinction. 

With each trip, planning gets a little easier.  When are we going?  Where do we stay?  Which days will we be at each park?  Dining determined based on where we are each day and whether or not we add Park Hopper to our ticket and reserved at the 180 mark.  Yes, we decide where and when we want to eat six months ahead of our trip.

We also plan in a break day (if we are staying a week) and day to go back and revisit favorites or catch something we missed at a park.  This “catch up” day historically has been Hollywood Studios during the day and EPCOT for the late afternoon and evening—coming in the International Gateway after taking the boat launch between the parks. 

Okay, I’m starting to get excited.  Especially since our plans are more secure and the number of days keeps getting lower!

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