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It’s that time again… I’m going to Disney World! This time around I’m heading down for a long weekend mostly to participate in the Tent Fest events put on by the guys at the wdwtoday podcast. They have some fun events planned for all of their fans and I can’t wait to hang out with my fellow Disney geeks, er enthusiasts. So what’s on the docket for my latest journey to the mouse?
I’m experimenting with my travel schedule on this trip. I’m going to work for part of the day on Thursday March 4th and have my dad drive me to the airport midday. I’ll enjoy a few fabulous days in the parks with my Disney geek friends and then head home on the first flight back to Newark on Tuesday morning and head straight to the office. I’m not sure how well its going to go, but I’m trying to squeeze out as much time in WDW as possible this year with the fewest days off from work.
The main focus of this trip is the activities the guys at wdwtoday have planned for Tent Fest. Some of you may be wondering why the weekend has been dubbed Tent Fest. Well, several people have signed up to spend a night at the Fort Wilderness Campground. Yes, I have agreed to spend the night at Fort Wilderness with the group. My friends and family have been shocked to hear me say “I’m going camping.” I’m not exactly the camping and hiking type so they all think it’s hilarious that I’ve signed on to do this. I promise to take lots of photos of me making a sad attempt being one with nature. Other Tent Fest activities include a meet at La Cave del Tequila and an opportunity for annual passholders to take advantage of an offer to try The Richard Petty Driving Experience free of charge. The weekend should be a blast!
Also on the agenda are some restaurants I have not tried before. Shortly after I arrive on Thursday my friends and I are heading to Jiko. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this signature restaurant, but I’ve never been there. As an added bonus we’ll be celebrating my friend John’s birthday with this special meal. We’ll also be trying Trail’s End a buffet at Fort Wilderness. This eatery is said to be a good bang for the buck and many people don’t realize it is available. I’ll let you know if it lives up to the hype after I give it a try. And lastly we’ll be eating at Tokyo Dining in Epcot’s Japanese pavilion. This one is known for its sushi menu and other Japanese culinary treats. Expect to see blogs on all of these table service restaurants in the future!
Aside from my night in the woods, I’ll be staying at Pop Century to try to keep the budget under control. I’m sharing a room with my buddy Tom and have taken full advantage of annual passholder discounts. We’ve elected not to get a car this time (although we strongly considered it) in order to save our pennies for another trip. With so many of our friends in town and the bus service, I’m sure we’ll never be left stranded. This means we’ll also be making use of Disney’s Magical Express which will be picking me up at approximately 5 a.m. on my departure day! Ouch! Saving money on lodging and transportation means we’ll have more money for fun. I’m sure my friends and I will be spending plenty of time in Epcot between the Flower and Garden Festival and wandering around World Showcase with drinks in hand.
I’m really excited for this trip because it is an excuse to see my Disney friends. Though not all of them could make it this time, the ones I’ll be hanging out with with be a riot. When you go to WDW as much as I do you form a bond with the people you travel with and meet along the way. To share a weekend of Disney magic with people who love it as much as I do is always a great time. I’m also really looking forward to having dinner with my favorite Unofficial Guide and touringplans.com staffers at Kouzzina on Saturday night. I really liked Kouzzina on my last trip and to dine with such fun companions will be a blast. Hopefully I’ll also be able to cheer for some of the touringplans crew who are running in the Princess Half Marathon. Good luck guys!
As always when I’m traveling, you can follow my adventures on twitter (@khelmstettter) and I’ll try to blog while I’m away as well…