Never say Neverland: Easter '18, May/June '18, July '18, Sept '18, Nov '18 TRs (6/24 UPDATE!)

kittylady1972

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Joined
Oct 20, 2003
:laughing: When we tried a non-Disney Universal trip back in 2015 we ended up at MK for a day. We tried getting our fix by going to DS 2 nights but that just spurred us on to a park lol. Good luck staying away!
So it should be easy enough for us, especially for this short trip, since we don't have Disney park tickets or passes. For a minute I was tempted to stay at the Dolphin because we could get a really good rate there...but I think being that close to Disney might be tough and I'm not sure walking around the Boardwalk would be wise. I've been careful planning both of our upcoming Florida trips in March and April and putting us close to Universal parks only. We will most likely get annual passes for those parks and we'll make this year a year of Universal and probably Cedar Fair parks only.

I am probably going to change our flights in March again and just fly out early Saturday morning instead of Friday night. I don't see the point of paying for a hotel and rental car just for a few hours that night when we can easily just fly out early the next morning and save some money. I have a pretty nice hotel booked for Saturday night for us, near Universal, so we can spend Sunday there. We still need to occupy ourselves for a while on Saturday, so we *MIGHT* do Disney Springs for lunch or something...we'll see.

The Easter break trip has worked out well as far as hotel and although I know the drive will be long for us, I am still happy to save some money doing it that way.

I will miss Disney this year, but I won't miss what I expect will be crazy crowds once Star Wars opens. At least when we visit again, most likely in 2020 for my next "big" birthday, there will be lots of new stuff to see and do there.
 

kittylady1972

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Joined
Oct 20, 2003
So speaking of Never say Neverland...I just may have to make a trip to Disney property this month and MAYBE in October also now. So why oh why would I break my "no Disney in 2019" rule? Well I just read that they are removing the bricks at the TTC, and we have one there. I would like to get one last photo with my brick before it is removed...and I'd like to purchase one of the commemorative ones they are selling. As for October...well I'd like to do the Wine and Dine 5K...but I'm not sure if I can convince my DH to go as it would be during his birthday. However we'll see.

Honestly I was actually even looking up park hours and 1-day ticket prices today...for Disney...for March. Maybe the girl and I could spend some time there on Saturday. It's very tempting.

We just can't tell anybody. :)

 

KathyM2

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
Honestly I was actually even looking up park hours and 1-day ticket prices today...for Disney...for March. Maybe the girl and I could spend some time there on Saturday. It's very tempting.

We just can't tell anybody. :)
Ha!! Yeah I can see that being tempting!! It's just insane the cost for a one day ticket though...that's how I always justify going for longer lol
 
  • kittylady1972

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    Oct 20, 2003
    Ha!! Yeah I can see that being tempting!! It's just insane the cost for a one day ticket though...that's how I always justify going for longer lol
    Agreed on the expense. It would be at least $100 for each of us...and that's just for one park. However we could spend a good portion of Saturday at one park for sure. Then again, for less than $200 I'm getting a Universal 4-day 2-park pass that I can use for us. I just hate that the Universal parks are not open as late.
     

    kittylady1972

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    Oct 20, 2003
    I could seriously drive myself crazy looking at hotels in Orlando. Seriously. So I now have 3 hotels booked for the one weekend...and I am still not sure which one to keep. At least they no longer are allowing me to change my flight for free so we are all set on that. I don't think I'll do much better on the rental car either.

    I'm really trying to do this short trip on the very cheap, but then it would e nice to splurge a little bit too. I still can't guarantee I won't book a hotel or resort on Disney property or close to it for one night either. That's still an option.

    Well my eyes are quite heavy and I have a long day tomorrow of taking my DH in for lasik surgery...and then hanging with him while he sleeps for 3 hours! :)
     

    kittylady1972

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    Oct 20, 2003
    So in the land of a million room changes here, I've made quite a few tonight...and I still can't decide. My daughter and I leave in less than a week...and we currently have two rooms booked for our two nights. I still can't decide what to do about our first night. I HATE having to pay a parking fee for where we are staying.

    As for our Easter weekend trip...again so not sure what we'll do there. Part of me says bite the bullet and book one night at a Universal Resort and then book the other 3 nights maybe at a Disney resort for free. That's an option...but the one night I would rather it be at a Universal Resort with FOTL access...and right now that's not what we have booked. I have a pretty good deal on our 4 nights at a hotel near Universal. I just don't know yet.

    I don't have too many days left to make changes to next weekend's resort. I should probably just pick one and go with it.

    Nothing else to report for now.
     
  • kittylady1972

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    Oct 20, 2003
    I'll be there in October, what dates are you thinking? Mine are the 23-either the 27 or 28th
    I thought I responded to this...but looks like only the quote showed up? Anyway looks like we will have to bail on the October trip since the 5K is sold out and there's no way I can run a half marathon. Unlike a 5K, I'd have to train...and honestly I barely get through those 5Ks even with minimal training.

    We may do Universal in the fall though, at least for HHN again. I just don't know when, but most likely Sept but could be October.

    REALLY trying my best to avoid Disney this year...but it's tough.
     
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    kittylady1972

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    Oct 20, 2003
    So a quick update from here, as we count down the hours until we visit sunny Florida again.

    I've made a final decision on our hotel for this trip...and since the deadline to cancel is today it's likely going to stay. Since I'm trying to do this on the cheap, we simply can't afford a resort room on Universal property so we'll stay in one of the places across the street. I hope it all works out for us. I haven't purchased tickets yet, but will most likely get the Military Salute 4-day P2P tickets for Universal. I am debating adding Volcano Bay but not sure we really will have time for that. I think reasonably we could do Universal both Saturday and Sunday and without use of Express Pass I'm hoping we still get quite a bit done.

    Then there is the return to Orlando for Easter. It was supposed to be girls only, but we are allowing DH and DS14 to go along, mostly because it will be nice to have somebody else share in the driving. I just know with that being Easter weekend we will NEED to have Express Pass, but adding it to the tickets will just be so expensive for just one day. I finally managed to snag a room at Royal Pacific Resort and for that one night we would get two full days at the parks with Express Pass for cheaper than one day. It just made sense...but I don't know if we'll use the room. We are debating possible booking a "free" room at a Disney Resort using our DVC points at least for Saturday and Sunday night, but would it be torturous for us to be there and not be able to go to a Disney park? I just don't know.
     

    ariane37

    Dis veteran
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2012
    REALLY trying my best to avoid Disney this year...but it's tough.
    If you manage the whole year I will honestly be shocked. And proud!

    So if you book the room at Disney for Sat/Sun Would you cancel RPR? Because I totally say keep RPR for the EP, it's going to be nuts and you'll be happy to have the EP. It'll be miserable without it!
     

    kittylady1972

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    Oct 20, 2003
    If you manage the whole year I will honestly be shocked. And proud!

    So if you book the room at Disney for Sat/Sun Would you cancel RPR? Because I totally say keep RPR for the EP, it's going to be nuts and you'll be happy to have the EP. It'll be miserable without it!
    Whew...we shall see. I can't help but look at some of the special events...like DVC Member Nights...and think it would be fun to do another one of those. Maybe even do the Halloween party this year. :)

    We are only keeping RPR for the ONE night...Friday night...allowing us to use it Friday and Saturday. As much as I know DH hates hopping from room to room, I agree that having EP during Easter weekend is CRUCIAL. We just need to find somewhere to stay Thursday night and then book various DVC rooms Saturday and Sunday night. Honestly part of me is tempted to not even book anything Sunday night, maybe just have a nice dinner together in Orlando for Easter and then start our drive home late that night because I know Monday traffic will be insane. It would be nice to get a bit ahead of it. We can always stop at a hotel that night somewhere during our drive if necessary.

    Just over 48 hours and we'll be in Florida! :)
     
  • kittylady1972

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    Oct 20, 2003
    So we are back...from a great little weekend trip...sucked to have to deal with temps just above freezing this morning after basking in the sun yesterday at the parks!

    I did manage to avoid Disney...for the MOST part. Was it my fault that on the way to Give Kids the World we had to take the Disney Springs exit...so of course it was also easily on the way back to our resort...so we did stop there and walk around and grab some dinner after our orientation. Noelle's request was Ghiardelli for chocolate shakes and we split a sandwich from Earl of Sandwich. It would not have been my first choice, but it was good and it was cheap. We didn't stick around there for too long, didn't even shop. :)

    I have to say, I really WANT to like Universal but I just find that two days is more than enough for me...and even without Front of the line Express Pass we did all the stuff that we wanted to do in just a few hours at each park. That included a ride on Hulk, 2 rides on Rip Ride Rocket, both of the major HP rides (but we didn't do the train this time), Men in Black (one of my faves), Mummy and Jimmy Fallon and Jurassic Park River Adventure. We did have lunch at Chocolate Emporium which was on my list this time...it was okay.

    Really the best part was our 2 hour orientation at GKTW...what an amazing place and we can't WAIT to volunteer for real next (actually this) month.

    A few quick photos:

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    upload_2019-4-1_18-45-21.jpegupload_2019-4-1_18-45-33.jpeg

    So we had PERFECT weather, warm and sunny and in the 80s with zero humidity and zero rain. So great. Again so hard to leave!

    I'm still not sure how the boys will occupy themselves with many more days there next month, but I expect the crowds will be much worse then.
     

    kittylady1972

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    Oct 20, 2003
    We definitely enjoyed our short trip to Florida, always way too short for me. The bright side is we are back in just over two weeks!

    Right now the plan for that Easter weekend will be to be resort nomads. We have one night at RPR because it's soooo expensive but I know we need to two days of Express Passes so we will splurge. So to save money for the rest of the trip, I have used our DVC points to book a room at SSR for Saturday and Sunday night, perfect since this puts us closer to GKTW than Universal and we have an early morning shift on Easter Sunday to attend. As for Thursday, I'm still not sure what we'll do that night because I don't know what our Thursday plans will be and we haven't ruled out Tampa for that day, maybe to visit BG or maybe to visit some friends who live there.

    So this next trip should be pretty cheap, with the only remaining cost being the Thursday night hotel. I used some travel points for our Friday night hotel stay so that reduced that cost. It would be nice to have somewhere fun to stay on Thursday night, but so far no Disney resorts have DVC rooms available at the level where I want to stay. I'd love a Beach Club, Boardwalk or Polynesian stay for Thursday but not holding my breath on that.
     

    kittylady1972

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    Oct 20, 2003
    Ahh...Resort Decisions. So yesterday an opening popped up for Easter weekend for Polynesian. (((SIGH))) Oh how I love the Poly! However we are only doing 2 nights there, and it's on the heels of two days at Universal parks, and part of me thinks it would be cruel and unusual punishment for DH and my son to stay at the Poly and not be able to go to any Disney parks. DD and I will have the car, so travel to other areas even within Disney will have to be by bus for them, which they can manage. I guess I figure they will have more things to do perhaps at Saratoga (like head to Disney Springs and see a movie, go bowling, go to the Void). So as tempting as it was to change resorts...it just didn't make sense and in the end I think they agreed. Sad though. It's such a lovely resort.

    And so our plans remain right now, the only unknown is how early will we be able to hit the road for this trip. Hoping the kids can escape from school a little bit early on Wednesday, but if not we'll just have to deal with traffic and hit the road that night and get as far as we can get. I have an off-site hotel booked near Universal for Thursday night, and then we'll move to RPR for Friday night so we'll get Friday and Saturday with Express Pass. Saturday night we check in to SSR and we'll be there through Easter Monday, then make the drive home early that morning.

    Definitely looking forward to this trip, even if we have to stay at a Disney resort with no Disney Parks. It's our chance to experience so many other activities around the Resorts that we don't have time for whenever we are doing the parks.
     

    Mopedmom1

    DIS Veteran
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    Feb 21, 2017
    Ahh...Resort Decisions. So yesterday an opening popped up for Easter weekend for Polynesian. (((SIGH))) Oh how I love the Poly! However we are only doing 2 nights there, and it's on the heels of two days at Universal parks, and part of me thinks it would be cruel and unusual punishment for DH and my son to stay at the Poly and not be able to go to any Disney parks. DD and I will have the car, so travel to other areas even within Disney will have to be by bus for them, which they can manage. I guess I figure they will have more things to do perhaps at Saratoga (like head to Disney Springs and see a movie, go bowling, go to the Void). So as tempting as it was to change resorts...it just didn't make sense and in the end I think they agreed. Sad though. It's such a lovely resort.

    And so our plans remain right now, the only unknown is how early will we be able to hit the road for this trip. Hoping the kids can escape from school a little bit early on Wednesday, but if not we'll just have to deal with traffic and hit the road that night and get as far as we can get. I have an off-site hotel booked near Universal for Thursday night, and then we'll move to RPR for Friday night so we'll get Friday and Saturday with Express Pass. Saturday night we check in to SSR and we'll be there through Easter Monday, then make the drive home early that morning.

    Definitely looking forward to this trip, even if we have to stay at a Disney resort with no Disney Parks. It's our chance to experience so many other activities around the Resorts that we don't have time for whenever we are doing the parks.
    That sounds like a good plan staying with SSR. What a nice getaway you have planned. GKTW is such a great charity!
     

    kittylady1972

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    Oct 20, 2003
    So we are just over a week away from our next non-Disney mostly trip. I still don't know how early we will hit the road, which means I don't know when we'll arrive, which means I don't know what we'll do on Thursday. Friday is a given with volunteering and Frank and Noah hitting USFIOA without us, and hopefully us going back later with them. Saturday is more USFIOA and then we head over to SSR for checking in...AND I booked a character meal for us.

    Yes...a Disney character meal. I may or may not keep it, but we have the Storybook Dining at Artist Point booked for something fun. It's a somewhat late dinner so we can still spend some time at Universal that afternoon after our volunteer shift. Right now we are done volunteering at noon on Friday and Saturday, giving us time to spend family time afterwards. We still have two shifts on Sunday though, back to back, and I have Easter dinner booked for Turf Club since it's at our resort.

    I stalk the DVC site still...I'm not sure why...I don't see me making any changes but you never know. I stalk the dining reservations also...again not sure what we'll do there...but just to see our options for Saturday and Sunday.

    Now I need to read some more recent reviews of this Storybook dinner. I am looking forward to meeting some dwarfs though...seems like fun...IF we keep it. I have not shared this plan with my family.
     

    kittylady1972

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    Oct 20, 2003
    UPDATE: I shared my plans with the family last night regarding the character meal. DH says he is onboard with it if that's what I want to do. We'll see what happens.

    We also modified Easter Day dinner from Turf Club to Flying Fish. We haven't been to either in a long time, but DH and I did FF many years ago by ourselves and loved it. I may still keep checking for other options, but part of me would love to spend Easter having dinner at Flying Fish then maybe catching fireworks from somewhere. I just wonder if we can get anywhere near Bay Lake Tower by car on Easter night because that would be great. I still have a brunch booked for DH and DS14 on Easter Day, but they will have to do that without us as DD16 and I will be service breakfast at GKTW around 7:15am that day.

    I am so looking forward to our trip but really wish I could figure out what to do on Thursday. We have the whole day together, the only time the entire trip. I'm tempted to do a day at BG Tampa, but honestly don't want to cough up more money for tickets. It will be warm enough to just do a pool day and maybe other resort activities...but do we do that at a Disney resort, Universal Resort or other location? I can't decide. We have a placeholder hotel booked for Thursday night near Universal so we'll see. We *could* do the Universal parks but that would mean that DD and I would have to NOT do Universal parks on Friday OR Saturday...since we only have 2 days left on our tickets. Decisions, decisions. We also have friends in Tampa that we might want to visit, and Thursday would be a good day for that.

    Ugh...and I thought planning a DISNEY vacation was tough!
     

    ariane37

    Dis veteran
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2012
    I did manage to avoid Disney...for the MOST part. Was it my fault that on the way to Give Kids the World we had to take the Disney Springs exit...so of course it was also easily on the way back to our resort...so we did stop there and walk around and grab some dinner after our orientation. Noelle's request was Ghiardelli for chocolate shakes and we split a sandwich from Earl of Sandwich. It would not have been my first choice, but it was good and it was cheap. We didn't stick around there for too long, didn't even shop. :)
    No, you still avoided Disney! DS doesn't count against you lol. That's what we did on our "we tried to avoid Disney" trip in 2015 to start, 2 nights at DS. Of course I think I told you we ended up doing at day in MK but we tried our best so I'm proud of you!

    have to say, I really WANT to like Universal but I just find that two days is more than enough for me
    ::yes::::yes::
    This is me exactly. I don't say it often since I sell it, and I think there are some really good things about Uni. The resorts are awesome. I really enjoy some of the rides like the Mummy and Gringotts and the Macy's parade during the holidays was really cool. But I don't see any need at all for more than 2 days unless maybe you're HUGE HP fans? Or you want to do Volcano Bay one day. I also have no strong desire to go back and will only do so - for like a day at a time - if one of the kids asks. However many of the Universal Partner hotels are nice, and I assume that's where you're booked now?

    We did have lunch at Chocolate Emporium which was on my list this time...it was okay.
    While I will continue to spend $60 on their macarons any time I'm in the area and their other desserts are really good, I did not enjoy my dinner there a few years ago either

    We also modified Easter Day dinner from Turf Club to Flying Fish.
    Nice! I'm trying FF for the first time next month on our Girls' Trip :)
    Hmm for Thursday: something not park related and not too expensive like Gatorland or Madam Tussaud's was museum? Just thinking off the top of my head lol. The Orlando Eye (they recently changed the name but can't remember it)? SeaWorld is relatively inexpensive compared to other theme parks if that interests you. So much to do, you'll find something fun!
     

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