04 March 2011

Y3W | Disney!

EEEKKK! I'm so excited to share this with you...

Bob and I are going to Disney World!!!!!!!

Yep, just us. No babies. By ourselves. For our 5 year wedding anniversary. And we are like giddy little kids just thinking about it!

While trying to decide what to do for our 5 year anniversary {which also happens to be our TEN YEAR dating anniversary AND 11.11.11... pretty cool huh?} a few ideas came up:
  • St. Lucia- We stayed at Sandals Grande in St. Lucia for our honeymoon and just LOVED it. I can not say enough good things about this place. It was wonderful!
  • Bahamas- Another all-inclusive and it's a new place that neither of us has ever been too. This would be very relaxing and has a somewhat short {direct!} flight, which St.Lucia does not have.
  • Mediterranean Cruise- My God, would we love to do this.
  • Disney World- Cause.... well, it's Disney World!
So, after researching all our options, it came down to two things: (1) the length of the trip and (2) budget {doesn't it always??} Because we're going to OBX in late August/early September with our family, this anniversary vacation is in addition to that. So it came down to cost. And Disney world, though still expensive, is the cheapest option for us. Also, and this is important because we're leaving both kids for the first time, I thought staying busy at Disney vs. sitting on a beach somewhere all day, would help us miss the kids a tiny bit less. A teeny tiny bit.

Once we settled on Disney World {and trust me when I say that we both feel kinda guilty about not taking the kids with us... but they're just too young and this is suppose to be a time to spend together, just us} I started researching the best Disney Park Resorts that aligned with our budget. Disney has great all-inclusive packages that, when purchased together, really saves you a lot of money. Here's what we {finally, as of yesterday} decided...
  • Pop Century Resort- This is one of Disney's "value" resorts. It's in the park and has it's own shuttle service to all the different parks & shows that Disney has to offer. We weren't too keen on staying here, but after reading a ton of reviews {GREAT site!!} and recommendations {thank you Twitter and FB fans!} we decided that this was the best option for us. We plan to spend very little time at the hotel, and due to it's single designated shuttle service to the parks, it was rated the #1 value resort at Disney.
  • Disney Dinning Plan- This was a no brainer... every single person I talked too, recommended that we add the dinning plan to our package. Basically, you pay for your food ahead of time and can use your room key to "pay" for all of your food and snacks in the parks. Bob and I are each able to have one "quick service" meal {likely breakfast at the highly-rated food court in our hotel} one snack {there are a ton of options, but can use it for a snack in any of the parks!} and one "table-service" meal {at over 100 restaurants in the parks, Downtown Disney & any of the hotels} for each day that we are there.
  • 4-day Park Hopper Pass- Again, a no brainer, since we plan to spend as much time as we can at the parks.
  • 1-day park-to-park pass to Universal Studios- Because I refuse to go to Disney World without seeing The Wizarding World of Harry Potter {EEEEEKKKKKK!!!!!} Not sure how the heck we're going to get to Universal without a car, but we'll figure it out {any suggestions Disney experts??}
  • Direct flight from Philly to Orlando {which I found for $380 round trip for both of us!} at the earliest possible time that they will fly us out {a.k.a 7am ;}
  • Total for the 5-night/6-day trip: $2200 {just $200 over our original budget!}
Lastly, {and this is the most exciting part if you ask me} we'll be there during Disney's Wine & Food Festival!!!! After looking through our work schedules, there were very few options as far as timing of this trip. As it turns out, the first week of October was the only time we were both able to go... we'll be there from Saturday October 1st - Thursday, October 6th. So even though our anniversary is a month later, it's still our anniversary trip. And we can not wait. =)

Next up... dinner reservations {which I can make 180 days in advance- it's April 4th... I counted ;} Any recommendations for anything we MUST do/see/eat???

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Jill @BabyRabies said...

FUNNN!! I'm jealous. We're going on a cruise around that time, and I briefly considered a Disney cruise... and then I thought maybe we should just bring the kids with us... and then... no. I scratched all that. Maybe we'll do Disney next year when Kendall is 4 and has a small chance of remembering it :) Have a blast! I'm so glad you did all this great research. I'll be hitting you up when we finally do get around to going.

Unknown said...

How fun, I'm jealous! We stayed at the Sandles Grande in St. Lucia also for our honeymoon. A-MAZ-ING!!

Steph said...


Sarah said...

So happy for you and a little (ok a lot) jealous! That is such a great idea and it looks like you guys are going to have a great time!

Steph said...

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE you're in my backyard.

Steph said...

Oh, food?

Ohana at the Polynesian resort. YOU MUST CALL RIGHT AWAY AT 8 A.M. ON APRIL 4TH, OR GO ONLINE AND SEE WHEN YOU CAN BOOK IT!!!! Seriously, it's awesome, awesome, awesome.

If you like German food, Biergarten is NOM at Epcot.

The Plaza at the Magic Kingdom is a nicely hidden little place with some yummy tuna melts and the cutest sundaes.

Trail's End at Fort Wilderness. You'll take a boat (or bus, but the boat is fun) from the Magic Kingdom to Ft. Wilderness to get to this one. Yummy BBQ.

Tusker House at Animal Kingdom. HOLY CRAP I think this is my official favorite place to eat. It's another buffet but man oh MAN. Delicious on all levels.

Victoria said...

you guys are going to have SO much fun! Ohana is my absolute favorite restaurant followed by the California Grill.

We're at Disney all the time, maybe we'll see you there :)

molly said...

So fun! Congrats on booking!

molly said...

So fun! Congrats on booking!

Jeannie said...

How fantastic!! What a great place and a great idea :)

sara said...

I bet you guys will have a blast!!

Stephanie said...

Breakfast at the Crystal Palace with Pooh and Friends is really good. I think you'll also be there for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party/Parade. You and your husband can get dressed up for Halloween and trick or treat around the Magic Kingdom one night and get pics w/the characters dressed in costume. It's an extra cost/extra ticket but sooo worth it! Have FUN!

kiaarmstrong said...

There's a shuttle that picks up at Pop Century (That's where I stayed for my honeymoon) that will take you straight to Universal Studios. I think its $5 to ride. Just talk to the hotel when you get there to find out what time it comes! Have fun!!!

Ashley @MamaOfAllTrades said...

I'll be down there at the same time to run in the Wine & Dine Half Marathon!

I could go on for years about where to eat. LeCellier is amazing, but it is now a Signature Restaurant and uses 2 Table Service credits per person, as does California Grill. Artist Point at Wilderness Lodge is another amazing Signature. If you want one romantic meal, I would splurge and go for one of those.

If you havent' yet, you REALLY need to check out touringplans.com. They will tell you which park is best to visit on each day and estimated wait times. There is a charge, but it is well worth it when you see how much time you'll save waiting in lines.

Enjoy the planning!! It's one of my favorite parts of the trip!!

Team Davis said...

SO FUN!!!!! We went with my family a couple of years ago and had a blast!! It was my first time ever and I was an adult but had as much fun as a kid. Dining pass was a GREAT choice. You probably won't even use half your snacks, but you can get a bunch at your food court before you go home and eat them on the plane! ha! Ok, I have a couple of recommendations....

-Crystal Palace with Pooh and friends in Magic Kingdom
-Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary hotel
-There was a great breakfast place at Animal Kingdom but I can't remember the name of it. They had characters too (Donald, Goofy, Mickey.) Also, we totally underestimated how great Animal Kingdom was. We just loved it. Be sure to do the safari, Mt. Everest, Bug's Life show, Lion King show, and dino ride (can't remember the name.)
-Don't forget to use the fass passes to your advantage!!! :)

Have fun!

Olivia's Mommy said...

Disney is AWESOME, however, I love Universal too! The nightlife is fun too! Awesome restaurants there too.

Anonymous said...

Aw Jenni you should have considered a trip to Las Vegas! So much to do there, and you can really get some good travel deals! Probably a lot cheaper than Disney.

jenni from the blog said...

Thanks for all the ideas ladies, keep 'em coming!

@ Kiaarmstrong- I must hear more about this shuttle! Can you email me??

@ Anonymous- we thought about Vegas, but neither of us really care about going there, so it got crossed off the list pretty fast. Maybe one day! =)

Yuliya A. said...

I'm so so so jealous! Granted, we just came from a cruise with a stop in Florida, so we did Disney for a day, but man, I would've loved to spend more time there!! You're going to have such a blast. And the Wizarding World of Harry Potter too? This is like the perfect vacation! Enjoy!

Jenna said...

I'm so jealous! We just got back from a trip to Disney and Universal Studios and had SO much fun! No resturant advice because we stayed in a condo.

But for Harry Potter World - get there EARLY! And if you want to go to the Castle do that first because the line only gets longer (but beware of the ride if you get motion sicknesses - even my hubby was queezy after the ride). And while you're there make sure you each lunch at the 3 Broom Sticks - they take reservations!

Becki said...

Sounds amazing! I'm so jealous!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to second (Third? Didn't read all the comments, haha) O'hana & Crystal Palace. AMAZING.

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