Trip Booking Panic

Trip Booking Panic

Ever have expectations in your head and then have them turn out so completely wrong that you can’t believe you ever thought that in the first place?? Well, that just happened to us when planning our trip for this November.

Throwback to Catastrophe Canyon on the old Backlot Tour attraction at Hollywood Studios

When I say that, I mean this: We know Disney often announces special deals for certain booking dates and travel dates, so while we’d already booked our flights, we were holding off on hotel and park tickets and whether or not to buy the Dining Plan. We heard rumors Disney was going to be announcing free dining on Monday and it would include our travel dates, so we knew we were going to book then. I figured I’d just wait til I got home from work that afternoon to book. No biggie.

My husband and I had plans to stay at a different hotel from my parents, sister, and niece, so both my mom and I were planning to be doing separate bookings that Monday morning.

Fast forward to the morning on my way to work – I got a text from my mom that the rooms with free dining at the resort they were planning to stay at were already gone.

Of course, when I got to work, I immediately jumped on to see if I could book our trip. Tried our first choice (Beach Club) – no rooms with free dining. Tried our second choice (Boardwalk) – no rooms with free dining. Shoot. Now what?

Paint splatter in the Toy Story Mania queue pretty much summed up my mindset at this point

Thankfully, I create and reference spreadsheets for pretty much everything when I’m planning a trip to Disney. I had a spreadsheet where I calculated out pricing for hotel, park hopper, dining plan, and flights for 6 different Disney resorts. We had already mentally eliminated the other 4 from that list, but I opened it up to reference for pricing comparisons as I figured out what to do next.

I decided to check some of the other Deluxe Resorts that had been too expensive to consider originally (before we knew about the free dining offer) and found that a Savanna View Room at Animal Kingdom Lodge with free dining cost less than whatever the least expensive room at Beach Club would have been if we were paying for dining. Score! *happy dance*

The Boardwalk’s Dance Hall

I’m super excited because Animal Kingdom Lodge has always been on my list but my husband is even more excited because it’s always been at the TOP of his list! Total wife win! I can’t even express how lucky I feel that this initially very worrisome and stressful morning of booking our trip resulted in us staying at one of the most beautiful resorts on Disney property!

My lesson and advice from all this is to always plan backups (and backups for your backups, which I wasn’t prepared for) and be flexible. I mentioned this same advice in my post about planning your dining reservations but it rings true with so many aspects of Disney planning. Lots of people want to visit the happiest place on earth at the same time you do. 🙂

Don’t phone it in (see what I did there??) just because you don’t get your first choice

In case you were wondering, my family actually managed to get a great room at Saratoga Springs and the free dining made that less expensive than their original plan of Art of Animation + paying for dining.

I promise my next post won’t be this stressful. See ya real soon!


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