They dutifully bought and studied the Unofficial Guide to WDW. Trawling through the DISboards for information is a given. Next up we subscribed to Fred Hazelton’s site for access to the crowd calendar and touring plans. To not employ the services of a statistician for planning what seemed to be a strategy for battle would be sacrilege. Thanks to Fred, we re-arranged the days that we would be at WDW. The original trip schedule was much shorter. It consisted simply of 2 weeks at WDW prior to the Panama cruise. However this would put us smack bang at WDW around Christmas and New Year where crowd ratings were the worst for the whole year. Although we dearly wanted to experience the atmosphere WDW at Christmas, we didn’t want to spend hours just waiting in line. Time is precious! Besides, airfares just before Christmas are ridiculously priced.
So a solution was put together. We will leave in early December so as to avoid peak season airfares. We’ll spend around 12 days in WDW before having a 2 week hiatus before the cruise. This will mean that we get to experience the WDW Christmas cheer just before the peak crowds appear. As it turned out, our 2 week hiatus became a trip to New York and Washington DC. Christmas in New York has always been a dream. And as everything remains open on New Years day in Washington DC, it appears that end Dec/early Jan is a good time to visit! Things appear to be falling into place until the announcement came that family Y was unable to get enough leave. This was a big disappointment. The Canadian leave system was not as generous as the Australian. Dad will only get to join the gang for WDW. Nonetheless, mum and baby will come back for the cruise.
I digress…back to WDW! We’re booked into Port Orleans Riverside (the only moderate that will fit 5 into a room), our park tickets purchased and we’re all paid up in light of the recent strength of the Australian dollar. Our park days are mapped out complete with rest breaks, dining, tours, shows and parades pencilled in. A rough touring plan is in place for each day, and contingencies also drawn up incase the parties are required to split up (whether by children’s age or gender preferences). We’re squeezing in the Candlelight Processional with Steve Curtis Chapman, Spectromagic, Illuminations, Fantasmic, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party with Mother Hen “M” also doing a solo backstage tour. There will, of course, be no time wasting. We have the evening of our arrival day to recover (we arrive at 5:43pm on Dec 9). We will then hit the ground running with a scheduled character breakfast to meet Winnie The Pooh and friends at the Crystal Palace at 8:15am the next day, right before exploring the Magic Kingdom. In an attempt to pace ourselves, we will take a short afternoon rest before heading toward Downtown Disney for our evening meal. Then we are likely to crash from exhaustion. We are hopeful that this will be a cure for any jetlag that we might encounter.
We will end our time in Orlando with a visit to Harry Potter World and Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. We farewell Family Y and fly off to New York on Dec 21. I would show our spreadsheet but fear that you may stop reading my blog...