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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Can We Swing Another Trip in 2013?

From our 2008 adventure
I must confess. . . I am a family vacation planaholic.  I love planning trips, vacations, and getaways.  It gives me pleasure, expands my mind, and keeps me dreaming of all the possibilities.  That is why I wasn’t surprised when I emailed our travel agent yesterday.

I had seen this on wdw.info.com:

Free Dining with a Universal Partner Hotel Package!
Book a package with a minimum of 4 nights at a Universal Partner hotel and get 2 days of the Universal Dining Plan free!  Dining Plan is valid in both Universal Orlando theme parks and select locations at CityWalk.  Travel must been completed between 8/15-11/24/13 and 12/2-12/19/13.
Package must be booked by 8/29/13.  Package includes 4-night accommodations at a Universal Partner hotel, 3-day base tickets, 2 free days of the Universal Dining Plan (per person), and Early Park Admission for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Subject to availability, room type, hotel, and travel dates selected.  All discounts are subject to availability, certain restrictions apply.

I asked her to check on availability and cost for a long week-end in November.

Then I headed over to Southwest Airline’s site to check flight prices.  They weren’t too bad. . . the times of the one and only return flight was going to make for a late night.  And, I have enough My Coke Rewards points for a promo code on “Wanna Get Away” fares for a bit of a discount.

Next stop, Kayak.com.  I set price alerts for two nearby airports for the travel dates.  (Southwest flights aren’t included on Kayak.)  I set the alerts to come daily via email.  Kayak is like having a personal shopper working for your 24/7!

Then it was time to plant some seeds with the husband.  “Hey, honey, I did this today. . .”  He listened politely.  It isn’t the first time he has heard me ramble on about tentative plans.  He’ll know I mean business when the deposit is made, flights are booked, and leave from work is secured.

So can we swing this?  Maybe.  I will know more when I get the price quote from our travel agent.
In 2008 we made our first trip to Universal and Islands of Adventure.  I then promised that we would be back in 5 years—thinking long term about travel.  Well, 2013 is here and almost half gone.  If we don’t make it  in 2013, a visit is definitely in the works for 2014. 

What is also interesting is that Universal is trying to compete with Disney with a “free dining” special.  Disney currently has a “free dining” offer for September, which coincides with some of the dates for Universal’s offer.

Oh, and my email to our travel agent also included a “P.S” asking if any Mickey mail had arrived for us yet.  Her first reply said not yet.  But a second reply indicated that she had spoken too soon.  Our Disney documents had indeed arrived and will be in our hands next week.  How weird is it that they were delivered on the same day I was thinking about them and inquired?

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