Friday, 16 March 2012

WDW 2012 - Let The Planning Begin

Yay!! It’s that time of the year again!! We are 7 months away from the next trip to Walt Disney World and thus it is time to start planning so that we are all ready to book restaurants when our 180 day window opens.
Now usually, while complex, there is usually a pattern and standardisation to what and how we plan our trip; but this time is different. And that difference is Gage; or in this case, lack thereof. For Tara and I, this will be our first trip to WDW without Gage since 1999 which was before we really appreciated all that there is to do at the parks. So for us, this will be a chance to do things that we normally wouldn’t; be it eat at restaurants we normally wouldn’t (due to his picky eating; yes he has had just a plate of fries at Le Cellier and a plate of rice at Teppen Edo before), go to places that are 18 or over that we couldn’t, or just burn the midnight oil a bit because we don’t have someone who wants to go to bed and is literally falling asleep on us (as long as I keep Tara loaded up on Redbull). While we will obviously be missing our Gagey, this is going to be a great trying new things experience.

Also to complicate things a little, this time of the year has both the Epcot Food & Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Parties in full swing, so extra planning will need to be built in to allow us to not only enjoy both of those, but also work around the Magic Kingdom being closed most nights. We are staying at the Contemporary and have free Disney Dining Plan (which I wasn’t going to pay for this time), so that also incentivises us to use the credits as much as possible.

So what is on our list this time?

Well, restaurant wise, we want to try both California Grill and Artist Point for dinners; Pecos Bills for lunch and Kona Café for breakfast; these will all be new experiences. The two dinner choices are both places that would be a nice meal for two that Gage wouldn’t really appreciate. As we are staying at the Contemporary, eating at the Cali Grill seems natural and we plan to match it up with the fireworks viewing; although not sure it will be Wishes or Hallowishes that we see (not that it matters). We usually visit the Wilderness Lodge on each trip, but usually for the Whispering Canyon Café; it will be nice to try something different there. I may have eaten at Pecos Bills during a visit pre-1999, but I do not remember doing so (we usually ended up at the Village Haus); so that is mostly just because we can eat there on this trip as Gage wont eat a burger but Tara and I love a good one. And Kona for breakfast is a matter of ease as we will be on the monorail resort loop which means we can finally try Tonga Toast (although it may be a little too cinnamon-y for me).

Another big question will be whether the Be Out Guest restaurant will be open by that time as the date for that part of Fantasyland is still slated as “late 2012”. We may need to make an unfortunate cut at a later date if we want to make it a table service meal or just experience the counter service this time and build it in for the next trip (although that may not be until 2014)

Other first time experiences on our list include closing the Magic Kingdom as we have never gotten to see the Goodnight Kiss; and this time hope to at the end of the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on Halloween night. We also want to see the later Yehaa Bob show at the River Roost as we so enjoyed the earlier show on a couple of occasions last time but were never able to stay out for the second set. And at last there is a night at JellyRolls on the cards as that is somewhere we have wanted to try for years but obviously couldn’t with Gage. I have long been a fan of duelling piano bars since discovering Howl At The Moon while travelling the USA in 97; so I am really looking forward to this. Our last new experience will be to partake in the Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom which looks awesome and gives us a reason to visit AK other than for autographs and the Yak & Yeti.

And then of course there will be all the new things in the park that have or will have come about since our last visit in August ’11. There is actually a lot more than usual this time, as a good portion of “New” Fantasyland should be open to some level by then so we can check that out. Kim Possible will have changed to Agent P by that time so we will probably play that while we are experiencing Food & Wine. Test Track may have undergone its changes so we will see what they do there. And Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom will be played, so I am going to have to build a bit more Magic Kingdom time into the schedule to play that (which is again complicated by the MK closing for parties in the evenings).

A few old favourite restaurants will also be sneaking in, the Yak & Yeti, Prime Time 50s Café and Chef Mickeys are all bound to end up on the final plan and I wouldn’t mind giving Ohana another go for dinner as we were too tired to enjoy it the last time we ate there. We have also shortlisted Hoop De Doo as something we could try for a first time, and I would like to experience the Hollywood Brown Derby as well; but we will have to see how everything works out.

So, that’s our current situation, a lot of wants and ideas and no plan as of yet of how to make all the pieces of the puzzle fit; that’s the next challenge and I’ll let you know how we get on later.

Speak Soon :)

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