Hello to you all again! Hopefully you all remember me, I don’t blame you if you don’t. It has been a long, dark hole of absence from me. All I can say is that spring finally sprung and gardens needed to be planted, yard needed to be tended, and work was a MEAN, time consuming, and selfish monster for awhile.
But I come to you all with great news. The greatest news a Disney blog author can have… We are going to Walt Disney World!!!!!!!!
This upcoming trip is rapidly approaching – next month in fact! It is nearly a complete surprise to be telling you all that I am going. This trip is the best kind – unexpected. And full disclosure here, while the short notice, unexpected kind of trip is awesome, it is also the most difficult to plan when you’re approaching WDW peak season. So should you find yourself in our shoes, let me share with you how we are conquering this challenge.
About a week or so ago I got a call from my Mumsy. She and my Padre are celebrating 35 years of marriage this year. Whoa. To celebrate they decided to take a lengthy Florida vacation and of course Disney World was among their stops. While on the phone chatting about this anniversary excursion she asked if hubs and I would like to join them for the WDW portion of their trip. I don’t think I need to tell you how enthusiastically I agreed. That was the easy part. Next, came the hard work.
As you know from my many rants, staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel is absolutely essential to having the best possible Walt Disney World vacation. For us, there is no other option. So we were terribly frustrated to learn that the original dates my Mum had selected proved to be overly popular at WDW. There were no moderate resorts available. None. Additionally, availability was incredibly limited at the Deluxe resort hotels as well as the Value resorts. Disheartened, Mumsy called to fill me in on how booked up everything was. She spent 2 days on the phone trying to get in to any of Disney’s moderate resorts with no luck. We now faced three choices:
- Keep on trying for our originally chosen dates. Things happen – people cancel vacations, guests over-book and cancel certain dates, wedding room blocks are being held that won’t all be used, and so on. If you keep calling morning and night, it is very probable you will eventually land some sort of reservation with which you’ll be satisfied. Persistence does pay. BUT, there are several drawbacks. Firstly, there is no guarantee – something may not open up and you’d be forced to be in a hotel outside of your budget or without all of the amenities you want. Secondly, it is time consuming. Not everyone has time to spend constantly checking Disney’s website or calling to check availability. Thirdly, without booking you can not move forward with making FastPass+ reservations, etc.
- Change our dates. This option is the most logical. Adjusting your dates means that you get more choice of where you’ll be staying. More availability means slightly lower crowds – which means better pickings of dining and what not as well. But in our situation this was difficult because my parents had reservations at other places in Florida since they plan to travel throughout the state. There were also forced to factor in our work availability.
- Cancel the trip. Fortunately this was a completely last resort option that wasn’t really an option. We are just not quitters. We will triumph! We would rather compromise than not go.
In the end, with an egregious amount of juggling, phone calls, and trial and error my amazing Mum was able to tweak the dates and find reservations for us at Disney’s Caribbean Beach. She wins the newly founded Walt Disney World Blog award for Successful Vacations Reservation via Patience and Flexibility. Congrats Mum.
Over the next few days I’ll share with you my planning strategies for scheduling dining and FastPass+ reservations. I’ll also give you a peak at my WDW vacation countdown calendar. So much to look forward to!