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It’s that time again! I’m taking another trip to the most magical place on earth, Walt Disney World. My posts for the next few works will center on
my upcoming trip to WDW from August 12th to 16th. I don’t usually go to WDW in the heat of the hot summer months, but I wanted to see the end of Summer Nightastic, and my friend who will be joining me this time around is a teacher and had to go when school wasn’t in session. We will be going for the weekend when resort rates switch from summer season to value season. We’ll save a little money, but still get to see the Summer Nightastic festivities which end on August 15th. I’m especially excited to see the Main Street Electrical Parade. My mom says I saw it when I was little, but I have no recollection.
While every Disney vacation is wonderful, I’m particularly excited about this one. As a testament to the greatness of the Disney community about 27 (I’ve been keeping the official headcount) of us are heading down to WDW this time around from August 12-16 for a ton of fun. Among this massive crew is one of my friends from home, Erin, who is not a Disney geek, but we’ll do our best to convert her. I will write more on preparing her for the trip next week. As you can imagine, planning a trip with this many people can be a challenge. Plancast has been a great tool along with a shared google calendar to keep us all up to date on park hours, events, and night time entertainment.
And let me tell you, we need organization for this vacation because my schedule for this trip is jam packed! First, there are the official Touring Plans meets. Katie, our social media guru, and I have been hard at working planning some great events for our readers to enjoy. Our other fantastic bloggers, Caroline and Todd, will also be on hand for some of these meets. Some if you will be in the area during these dates please come say hello and meet some great Disney folks who will be attending! In addition to our TouringPlans events, our group will be hitting up Typhoon Lagoon, extra magic hours, and several of our favorite resort bars.
Including our advanced dining reservations (ADRs) for our group in our plancast and shared calender has also been helpful. Let me tell you, it’s not easy to make reservations for a group over twenty people! At several locations we actually have two separate ADRs to accomedate our huge group. So what is in our dining line up? We’ll be having dinner at Whispering Canyon which should be a blast with so many people. Lunch will be served at Le Cellier. Most of us will be heading to Chef Mickey’s for breakfast one morning and it will be my first time there. We’ve also made an ADR at the 50s Prime Time Cafe where I hope at least one of us will have to stand in the corner. And finally we’re going to say farewell to what is sure to be a wonderful trip with a character breakfast at O’Hana.
If you have been following along on my Disney adventures through these posts you may remember that I was having a lot of trouble finding a reasonably priced rental car. Well persistence has paid off and I finally made a reservation with Avis. I have never used this company before so I’ll be sure to report my experience with them. Our original thought was to rent an SUV or minivan for the trip since we have several folks traveling together. However, after scouring the internet for the best deal, I discovered that renting two standard cars was actually cheaper than renting one of those other vehicles. So if you are willing to split your party into two cars you might save a little money, gain a little flexibility, and save a ton of time over using Disney transportation. As an added bonus, after we land in Orlando my friends and I can stop at a grocery store to stock up on bottled water for the parks, snacks, and whatever adult beverages me might fancy.
Where will I be resting my head on this summertime stay? I’ll be returning to a tried and true favorite, Pop Century. This value resort offers the Disney magic at a small price tag. I often stay here when I’m trying to stick to a budget. Rooms are not huge, but they are comfortable for two adults and they are always clean. With spending so many hours in the parks I like to keep costs down by staying here. A bunch of us will be staying at Pop for this trip, so it’s sure to be a blast. If you have your eye out for us just look for the a big group laughing even early in the morning for breakfast at Everything Pop or having a night cap at Petals Pool Bar.
So those are the basics of my upcoming trip to WDW. As always you can follow along at home on Twitter at @khelmstetter. As I said, I’m really excited for this trip. It is going to be a ton of fun and really, really exhausting. I hope to meet some of you readers at our meets! Don’t be shy and come out and say hi and meet a group of great people. And if you are taking a trip to WDW this summer I hope you have as much fun as I’m going to! Let me know what your summer plans are and if you’ll be on Disney property at the same time as our crew.
Next week I’ll take a look at planning a trip with a Disney rookie…