Welcome! We're happy you've found the PassPorter Community -- the friendliest place to plan your vacation to Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland, and the world in general! You are now viewing the PassPorter Message Board Community as a guest, which gives you limited access. As our guest, feel free to browse our messages by selecting the forum you want to visit from the list below.
To post messages and ask questions, join our FREE community today and you'll get access to tools and resources not available to guests, such as our vacation countown timers, "living" avatars, private messaging system, database searches, downloads, and a special PassPorter discount code. Registration is fast, simple, and completely free. Just click the Join Our Community link.
Somehow along the way . . . a tradition has been created in Thom’s family where we alternate between Wisconsin and Disney World as the site of our annual Koenigs Bomb. This year, it was Disney’s turn which also meant that it was my turn to plan.
Two years ago we had stayed in a two-bedroom villa at Bay Lake Towers which was absolutely perfect for our party of eight. This year, however, we had finally managed to convince Thom’s niece, Amanda, to come with us. She had been to our last two Wisconsin Koenigs Bombs, but had conflicts with our Disney trips . . . that is until this year!
The Koenigs Bomb cast of characters includes Thom’s sister, Amy, and her two children, Morgan and Jack, Thom’s brother, Chuck and Thom’s niece, Amanda (her mom is Thom’s oldest sister, Kathy, who passed away when Amanda was a little girl). And us, of course.
Now that we were a party of nine, I decided to go all out and try for the Grand Villa at Bay Lake Towers. The problem was that we only had enough points for a lake view for two of the three nights. I contemplated renting the remaining points, but ultimately decided that I would just book the Thursday and Friday nights at 11 months and try for the Saturday night at 7 months. I do this trick at Hilton Head every year also since DVC members rarely want to spend the high cost of points for a Saturday night Grand Villa stay . . . although I fully expect to get busted one of these years. Thankfully, I was able to snag that Saturday night at 7 months . . . once again proving that I’m the only nut job out there who is willing to spend that many points on one night!
When Bob and Larry surprised us in December with a party in a BLT Grand Villa, I was able to experience firsthand a taste of what our trip might be like. And I could report that it was going to be very, very good.
At some point after we reached the 180 day mark, I made a park plan for us and an ADR each day, but very little else needed to be done until late summer. Once we returned from our Disneyland and Northern California adventure in August, we went into full planning mode for this trip.
Thom booked our train travel while I preordered the Photo Pass Plus (they love ride photos so this new package was perfect), added the QS Dining Plan and bought our MNSSHP party tickets. Once I booked everyone’s Magical Express, I was done . . . or so I thought.
Thom’s sister, Amy, and I talked about a month before our trip and I told her that she wouldn’t need to buy tickets with park hoppers based on our itinerary. She was most happy with this news, but then I received an email within the next couple of days asking to see said itinerary. Easy enough.
After seeing the itinerary, Amy had a few easy questions, but the big kicker was her request not to go to Epcot. Since they would not have park hoppers, she didn’t want to spend the entire day at Epcot. After thinking about it, I could see where she was coming from since her children are teenagers now and Epcot does not have the big “thrill” rides like the other parks. That actually was an easy request, so I just flip flopped a couple of days and luckily was able to replace our La Hacienda ADR with Kona Café (booking a party of 9 at the last moment is not always that easy ).
Our first day at Disney was actually Maddie’s 7th birthday, so I wanted to make that day as fun as possible. That evening was our dinner at Kona Café, so I called the cake hotline the weekend before we left to order a Lilo and Stitch cake for her (after nonchalantly asking her about her favorite characters ). They made it an extremely easy process and made sure that I ordered the right amount of cake!
The day before we left, I suddenly realized that I had forgotten to book a towncar for us. As soon as I got home from work, I called Tiffany Towncar and had one booked within minutes. When I asked if she needed a credit card to hold the reservation, she said no since she recognized our name and knew that we did business with them a lot (sometimes it does help to have a funky name ).
With that last bit of business taken care of, we had an enjoyable last evening before our trip. In the span of a few hours, we took my dad out for dinner, sent the dogs off with the boarder and finished packing. At one point, Amy called to ask if we would have a washer and dryer. I assured her that we would have a laundry room fit for royalty . . . . that is, if they actually did their own laundry.
I must have had a deep couple of hours of sleep because when my alarm went off at 12:45 a.m. I had absolutely no idea where I was, who I was or why I was waking up at this awful hour. I finally woke up enough to realize what was going on and pulled myself out of bed. We got the girls going, but didn’t hurry too much because Thom had discovered that the train was running late on his Amtrak phone app.
Once we reached the train station, we probably only waited 15 minutes before the train blew in. As usual, we were the only people boarding the sleeper car, so we were in our rooms quickly. This was Thom’s first time riding in a roomette and he was immediately impressed (he loves any time that there is an efficient use of space ).
Our rooms were directly across from each other, but we didn’t spend too much chit chatting since it was the middle of the night. Once our bags were stowed, we said goodnight and closed our doors. Mary Devall was sleeping in the room with me and, as soon as she was settled in the top bunk, I snuggled down in the bottom bunk. It did take me a while to go to sleep, but I’m pretty sure that I was out before the first stop an hour down the road.
Registered Message Board Members Get Our Free Newsletter! When you register you'll have the option to sign up for our weekly PassPorter Newsletter. It's chock-full of feature articles; news; tips; contests; photos; and special offers in our online store.
PassPorter's Free-Book to Walt Disney World It’s hard to believe anything is free at Walt Disney World; but there are actually a number of things you can get or do for little to no cost. This e-book documents over 200 free or cheap tips to do before you go and after you arrive. You could save a considerable amount of money following these tips. Perhaps more importantly; you can discover overlooked attractions and little-known details most people whiz by on their way to spend money. Click here to see free sample pages from the e-book! Get this popular e-book free of extra charges when you join the PassPorter's Club for as little as $4.95. A club pass includes access to all our other e-books; e-worksheets; super-size photos; and more! This e-book is also available for separate purchase in the PassPorter Online Store for just $5.95.