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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Monday, January 26, 2015

Random Thoughts As We Get Closer To Our Summer 2015 Disneyland/Legoland Vacation





I sort of have this running check-list in my head along with other random thoughts and questions leading up to our summer Disneyland/Legoland vacation.  In addition, I’m keeping an eye out for anything we might need for our next Disney Cruise in December.

While our vacation is booked (and even some portions paid for) I have yet to figure out transportation.  I logged into Super Shuttle’s website to inquire about costs—it’s going to be expensive—only to have my e-mail inbox ding with a 5% discount message from Super Shuttle.  That’s a start!

Good thing that Disneyland has a 60 day window to make Advanced Dining Reservations as we are not ready.  Oh, I’m sure we could be ready.  I remember pulling together a twelve day Disney World vacation right at the 180 day mark and very quickly compiling a list of restaurants.  So far, we’ve printed the list of restaurants from the Disneyland website and have selected ones we would like to try.  Interestingly, some of the restaurants we want are part of special dining packages such as World of Color and Fantasmic.  And, we’ve added character dining to our reservation—prepaying for vouchers that include the meal, tax, and gratuity. 

Packing is another random thought.  I know, we’ve got PLENTY of time.  First, we needed a new suitcase—one with wheels!  Each year, we’ve added a new suitcase/duffle to our arsenal and I just ordered and received a new rolling duffle to complete the checked luggage.  Our luggage takes a beating and the wheels are the first to go—though the suitcase we acquired two years ago is still going strong!

Another packing issue is that we are flying with a new-to-us airline this trip and there checked baggage weight limit is 40 pounds.  Every other airline we have flown with has a 50 pound limit.  And, I’m pretty good at estimating when we are close to or have hit the 50 pound limit (to .8 of a pound!) so I’m going to have to readjust my “scale”.  And, I may also employ the same type of packing we did last summer which was a bag for all of us for each “leg” or portion of our trip.  That way, the other bags can remain closed until the contents are needed for their portion of the vacation.

Also, this trip, no rolling carry-on bags.  Again, this new-to-us airline charges for carry-on bags!  $15 per bag per way--$30 round trip!  That would make it $90 for each of us to take a carry-on rolling bag with us and there is a weight limit for those, too!  Historically, I have packed at least one rolling bag full of shoes.  So with a reduced weight limit on checked luggage and no carry-on bags, I told the husband that each of us would be carrying a pair of shoes in our “personal” carry-ons, which are still allowed free of charge.  I’m actually looking forward to navigating the airports without the rolling carry-on bags—just not the packing challenge.

As far as the December cruise goes, I’ve got alerts set for Kayak to notify us of flight price changes.  Since our sailing includes a formal night and is over New Year’s I’m looking at dresses and have added several to my Amazon “save for later” cart.  My goal is to get the dress for FREE using gift cards earned through Swagbucks.  Speaking of free and wardrobe for our winter Disney vacation—I snagged a new denim jacket for the boy on Amazon for free.  I had the jacket in my “cart” and noticed that the price was reduced dramatically—over half—so I used gift cards already in my account and it is on its way along with a new rash guard.  I told the husband that I was already working on the wardrobe for our December trip.  He just smiled, knowingly.  He’s well aware of the running check-list!

6 comments:

  1. This sounds like so much fun! We visited Disneyland for the first time in May...we definitely appreciated the character dining vouchers (and that they include the tip--made things so easy). Our favourite dining experience at Disneyland was Goofy's Kitchen, the assortment of characters was terrific (and hilariously random). We had an early breakfast reservation (7AM) on our departure day, we were one of two families in the restaurant and got to spend a ton of time interacting with the characters. Baloo even danced for us! We also loved Ariel’s Grotto, and the Blue Bayou Restaurant is incredible. We also had a delicious lunch at Cafe Orleans. I look forward to hearing what restaurants you end up choosing!

    I wanted to thank-you so much for all the terrific advice you give on your blog! I am in the process of planning our first-ever whole family visit to Disney World. Initially, I had our family booked into a Lion King Family Suite at Art of Animation—I was a bit nervous about us being too crowded and the sleeping arrangements being less than ideal as we are six adult-sized people. As the time for the trip is drawing closer I was spending significant amounts of time worrying about overcrowding. I then remembered that in one of your blog posts you mentioned that it was frequently less-expensive for large families to get two rooms at a value resort, rather than spending a fortune on deluxe or villa accommodations or squishing into a smaller “sleeps five” room. I found myself wondering if it could work in reverse since Disney had just released some awesome room discounts for moderate and deluxe resorts. After pricing it out I was able to switch us to two rooms at Coronado Springs for $100 LESS than it cost us for one family suite at Art of Animation!!! I would never have even thought of checking if it weren’t for your blog! Thanks so much, you definitely helped to create some pre-Disney magic for my family!

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    1. Oh, Rachel, your comments made my day! I'm so glad you are feeling more relieved about your upcoming trip!
      Blue Bayou, Ariel's Grotto, and Goofy's Kitchen are all on our "short list" for restaurants so thanks for the input!
      Thank you for reading. . . and commenting! Wishing you a magical trip!

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  2. Your concern about luggage weight reminds me of a funny story. Last March we were headed to France and the couple way up in front of us at the airline checkin was over the weight limit. So they started rearranging all their luggage right there in front of everyone. They had every bag spread out, underwear flying everywhere, but they were determined to redistribute the weight and get each bag within the limits. The funny part was that they were loud and obviously not the type to get embarassed, its almost as if they were making a show out of it. It made for some entertainment to pass the time while waiting. :-)

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    1. Unfortunately, that has been our family--once--at Resort Airline Check-in thankfully with no one else around to watch other than the Cast Members. Eeek! Though, I would probably do the same in the middle of the airport to avoid the fees--underwear and all! Your story made me smile--thanks!

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