Disney World Trip 2014 Pre-Trip Report

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We are less than a month from our next family trip to Walt Disney World.  At this point, the plans are mostly finalized.  As I write this, Disney has just opened up FastPass+ availability for their latest attraction, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  I was able to make a couple of FP+ reservations for the ride early this morning before the demand for FPs crashed Disney’s system.  So with those FPs taken care of, there isn’t much left to do but wait.

For our 2012 trip (pictured above), I shared an extremely detailed step-by-step plan in my pre-trip report.  I did so in the form of a countdown from Day 50 until Day 8.  I stopped at Day 8 because readers who were not interested in the details of my trip complained.  Here is a quote from the comments section:

Dude, after you finally go on your trip and come back from it, do you promise never to write about Disney trips, ever again? I am an avid reader of your blog (I especially like the Walking Dead reviews and WTHH series), but the constant OCD-style posts about Disney are flooding – and shifting attention away from – an otherwise VERY interesting blog. These are not interesting to anyone NOT going on the trip.

I decided to spare my regular readers the “OCD-style posts” this time.  Instead, all of my pre-planning will be contained in this one post.  Also, my plans are a lot less detailed this time around.  Last trip, we were squeezing in all four parks in 5 days.  It required a tight schedule to see and do everything I had planned.  This time, we have 4 full days at the Magic Kingdom.  So we can afford to be spontaneous.

Before I get started on the details, let me re-introduce the players.  I of course am your humble narrator, lebeau.  I am the planner of the party.  My wife, Mindy, typically tolerates my Disney obsession.  Although frankly, this trip would not have happened this year if she hadn’t pushed for it.  She denies it now, but this trip was her idea.  For reals.

Then there’s our two kids.  Josie is our oldest daughter.  She will be nine at the time of the trip.  Perfect age.  Disney charges 10-year-olds as adults.  This will be Josie’s fifth trip to Disney World.  She’s a veteran at this point and will ride almost anything.  Kara is our youngest.  She’s recently turned 5.  This will be her 3rd trip.  Plus 1/2 credit from the time we went while Mindy was pregnant.  Kara is really in this for the princesses.  She has told us repeatedly she will not do anything that has villains.  And she means it.

In 2012, my mom came along for the ride.  This year, unfortunately, she can’t join us.  Which is a shame because having her along was a big help last time.  Hopefully it works out next time.  Last time, since we were a party of five, we stayed at Disney’s Art of Animation in one of the Lion King suites.  But since we’re back down to a family of four, we’ll be returning to the moderate resorts.

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Posted on May 2, 2014, in Epcot, Fantasyland Expansion, Fastpass+, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, theme parks, Walt Disney World and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. daffystardust

    post a photo of a unique T-shirt acquisition and just watch the comments section turn green!

    It sounds like you’ve got a more laid back approach to this time around, with only a few ‘musts’ going in. Sounds pretty great, actually.

    What is the official Lebeau family line on the Enchanted Tiki Room? I have an unreasonably soft spot for the show, and while I know many do not share it, that just seems wrong to me. My advice is that if you hate it, try it again and again until you love it instead! :-)

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    • The approach is definitely different this time around. Last time, we were trying to squeeze more parks into fewer days. Also, from what I can tell, we should benefit from FP+ assuming the system works as it is supposed to. We rarely used more than 3 FPs in a day because we don’t ride a lot of headliner attractions due to height restrictions or scared kids. Having FPs for minor attractions and meet and greets definitely works in my family’s favor for now. As does not having to run all over the park to get them.

      I know I saw the Tiki Room when I was young. But my memories of it are hazy at best. So I really don’t have any nostalgia for it. I like the song quite a bit. But I don’t know that I would want to sit through the show unless it was to escape the heat. No one else in the clan has ever seen it. Mindy doesn’t especially like audio animatronics and has resisted the idea of ever sitting through a show where that is the primary appeal. She has never seen Country Bears or Carousel of Progress either. I have my doubts the kids would like Tiki Room. There are scary effects and darkness. So its pretty low on my list of things to do. Possibly dead last to be honest. I figure we’ll try out Country Bears or Hall of Presidents if we need to escape the heat. We’ll see how those shows go. Then if there’s an appetite for more, we’ll check out Tiki Room. But honestly, it will probably wait until no one in the group is afraid of the dark and loud noises.

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      • daffystardust

        There is no doubt that part of my love for the Enchanted Tiki Room is based on nostalgia.

        the original WDW version was much scarier than the version that premiered in Orlando and the one that is currently in the MK. There used to be a large vengeful tiki god that rose up out of the middle of the show area because guests were having too much fun. That has been deleted now, but there is still some mildly ominous weather-related darkness and sound that lasts about 12 seconds.

        I’m sure they’ve seen the video before, but as long as we’re discussing it, why not post if for the readers?

        I’m really hoping that FP+ turns out to benefit a wide range of visitors and touring styles.

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        • If I have my way, we will experience all the attractions the Magic Kingdom has to offer this trip. I mean, we’re there for four days! So I hope to get an updated answer on your Tiki Room question. We’ll see.

          When the system works as intended, I think FP+ will be beneficial to all but a small minority. Is it worth what they spent on it? Time will tell. The problem is, the new system is more likely to glitch than the relatively fool proof paper tickets system. Yesterday, the whole system crashed because thousands of people were trying to get 7 Dwarfs Mine Train FPs at once. I checked availability this morning. There’s still plenty left. So the mad rush was entirely unnecessary. I feel bad for anyone who was in the park yesterday and was impacted by the outage caused by a ride they couldn’t even enjoy.

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          • daffystardust

            A dream of mine is to hit the MK during a slower part of the year a few days in a row and investigate each area and land fully, with as little thematic crossover as possible, seeing almost everything.
            Maybe:
            Tuesday-Main Street & Tomorrowland,
            Wednesday-Adventureland/Frontierland, and
            Thursday-Fantasyland/Storybook Circus.
            most kids would probably never allow this approach, but maybe another adult would.

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            • When you’re there with kids, it’s a completely different experience. You’re there for them. Their needs dictate pretty much everything (as is the case in day to day life as well). You have to be prepared to scrap everything you had planned based on the whims of a five-year old. To do otherwise is to invite disaster. As much as I would love to deep dive into the Star Wars Weekend events, for example, it would be pointless to even try. I would have a revolt on my hands immediately.

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  2. Loved reading this, as for the comment you posted from before, I’m of the opinion that people can skip reading content they are not interested in. I simply LOVE a well written trip report and that includes the planning stages and other reflections. Still putting the finishing touches on the Vegas report and really have no idea how to upload it.

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    • My critics had a point. Posting daily leading up to the trip was a little obnoxious on my part. The idea was to build excitement leading up to the trip. Those articles really were written for myself, those of us going on the trip and a couple people like you and Daffy who are interested in the planning stages. I took the criticism to heart and decided instead to consolidate the content into one post this time.

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  3. If I can just figure out how to insert the pictures, can you advise? I was able to copy images into a Word document but not into WordPress.

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  4. I’m with Mindy- I have always hated Winnie The Pooh. I’d like to punch the stuffing out of the guy, then pour his precious honey all over his remains.

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    • lol

      Mindy calls him a “fat, selfish bear”. It should be interesting finally seeing them meet face to face.

      She has also harbored an intense dislike of Tinkerbell for years. Although that seems to have softened a bit since the girls like her.

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