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Old 04-14-2013, 10:47 PM   #1
bellebookworm9
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I'm going home, to the place where I belong! Two PTRs in One: May & July 2013

Hello everyone! So I'm back, and going to the most magical place on Earth once again. It's been what, about 4 1/2 months since I was there last? That's like some kind of record at this point!

I decided I'd like to take my two best friends at school, Kaitlyn & Matt, down with me to experience the magic. And after doing some pricing I figured it's literally cheaper for me to go down in May and work for a few days to get my Main Entrance Pass (free tickets) reinstated than it is to pay for tickets for them, even with a cast member discount. I think that's a little sad, but hey, whatcha gonna do? Plus it's twice the magic for me!

So I will be going down solo May 7-10, staying at Pop Century (first time!). The three of us will be traveling from July 24-30 and staying at Art of Animation (also a first!). Stay tuned for how these dates and resort choices came to be, as well as park/dining/transportation plans. Let's just say it is TOTALLY different planning a trip with friends than it is when it's just me, or me and my mom!
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*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/15-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23, 2015-Coronado Springs *10/20-26, 2015-Boardwalk Villas 10/26-28, 2015-Vero Beach *10/28-11/1, 2015-Disney Cruise Line (Magic)

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Old 04-15-2013, 03:34 PM   #2
bellebookworm9
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Hotels/Dates

Let's see. I found out I would have a little extra money laying around and in my book, that always means a Disney trip!

Kaitlyn is 25 years old, from Long Island. Her family owns DVC so she's been quite a few times. Matt is 28 and from California. He went to Disney World once when he was 12 and Disneyland a few times, but the most recent trip was still 8 years ago! We are all Au.D. students at the University of Buffalo.

I knew July or August would be the only time we could go, because we have a whopping four days off in May, but are off most of July and August. Matt works in the lab, literally with lab rats, so we had to make sure he could coordinate with his partner to get a week off. Our original dates were July 18-24. If Matt couldn't go, Kaitlyn and I would stay at the Boardwalk. If he could, we would stay at Art of Animation. (Technically we could have still stayed at Boardwalk, but I felt it might be cramped, there's only one bathroom and it added an extra $200 or so to the room cost for more than two adults!) Then we got our summer class and clinic schedule, and we need to be up here through July 19th. Booooo.

So I rearranged and booked July 24-30. We cleared it with Matt's lab partner, so he's good to go! As I was looking at theme park hours and figuring out our plans, I found the cost of two tickets for them was about $514 for five day base tickets. So I started looking in to how much it would be to take a short trip by myself to go work for a few days to get my main gate pass renewed and get what would essentially be six day park hoppers. Cost for flights on Southwest/AirTran and a stay at a value? $367. No brainer! I decided to take advantage of those four days off in May, and booked myself a trip.

I chose Pop Century because that and All Star Movies are the only two values (not counting AoA) that I haven't stayed at, and I'm trying to stay at every resort. All Star Movies was $224 for a preferred room at 50% off (the only room category available), and Pop was $204 for a standard room. Then I was able to get an additional discount and bring the cost down to $167 at Pop. Sold! My last final is May 6th, and I'll be leaving bright and early on May 7th, returning super early on May 10th.
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Gretchen
*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/15-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23, 2015-Coronado Springs *10/20-26, 2015-Boardwalk Villas 10/26-28, 2015-Vero Beach *10/28-11/1, 2015-Disney Cruise Line (Magic)

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Old 04-18-2013, 09:55 PM   #3
bellebookworm9
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Transportation

Whenever I'm booking a trip, I always check JetBlue and Southwest. For my trip in May, Southwest flights came in waaaaay cheaper. The catch: Southwest bought AirTran. So now when you book on SW, allllll the flights for both come up, which is a bit overwhelming. My flight down is on Southwest, departing at 6am and arriving at 8:40am. No early bird check in for me-I have a final the day before I leave at 8am, so I may as well get up at 6 and check myself in!

The flight home will be a whole new bag of fun. First, the flight leaves Orlando at 6:35am. That means Magical Express will pick me up at like 3:30am. It's also an AirTran flight. When booked through Southwest, that has it's pros and cons. Pros: You get two free bags. Cons: No way to check yourself in early or pick your seat ahead of time. You're in the last boarding group and are stuck with whatever is left. And to top it off, I have my first ever layover! In Atlanta.

Annnnd while I was writing that I went and looked at prices again. I'm keeping my arrival flight (went down in price) but changed my departing flight to a)later in the day and b)fully Southwest. Still a layover but this time it's in Baltimore and closer to two hours than 50 minutes. And the total extra cost was a whopping $8, bringing the actual total to $227. My slightly better peace of mind is priceless.

Whoo! So yes, flights for May are all straightened out. Still using Magical Express and Disney transportation for this trip, as always. I got my tags today! And now I need to call them and update them on this change.

For the July trip, I was waffling. Southwest was a bit cheaper (not really anymore), but again, one leg would have been AirTran and there was no hope that we might be able to sit together. I weighed pros and cons. I talked to Mom. The conversation went something like this.
Mom: How much more would JetBlue be? We loved them last time and I would 100% fly with them again.
Me: $200
Mom: TOTAL?!
Me: Yes
Mom: What are you even discussing this for? Book JetBlue!

My mother has never, ever in her life told me to take the more expensive option, so you better believe I booked JetBlue. We're non-stop there and back (my favorite!). We're sitting together on the return trip and mostly together on the trip down (Kaitlyn will be across the aisle-3 people between us). Total cost was $790, I think.

We've also decided to rent a car. We are going to Universal one day (I feel guilty even writing that) but it' so much easier to get around the property with a car, particularly now that I know where exactly I'm going. I had a great deal from Dollar for our original dates of July 18-24 of $200 for the week. When I had to change, using the same code, it was a total of $339. And then I was re-reading the Unofficial Guide cover to cover and found a Dollar code in there that saved me an additional $86, bringing that cost to $259. I can live with that. We're getting a Dodge Avenger or comparable car. Mostly I just want to say "Avenger Assemble!"

And now I'm exhausted and rambling so good night, dear readers.
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*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/15-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23, 2015-Coronado Springs *10/20-26, 2015-Boardwalk Villas 10/26-28, 2015-Vero Beach *10/28-11/1, 2015-Disney Cruise Line (Magic)

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Old 04-23-2013, 03:55 PM   #4
bellebookworm9
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Flight Updates

I was bad. I caved. I purchased Early Bird Check In. Both ways.

For the trip in July, JetBlue changed our flight times. And didn't tell me until a week after it happened. But it's okay, the change is for the better. We're now departing 20 minutes earlier (and arriving in Orlando 20 minutes earlier), so we'll be landing in Orlando around 11:11am. And our flight home is also leaving 20 minutes later, so we won't take off until 7:03pm. Not bad!
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*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/15-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23, 2015-Coronado Springs *10/20-26, 2015-Boardwalk Villas 10/26-28, 2015-Vero Beach *10/28-11/1, 2015-Disney Cruise Line (Magic)

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