Next Week’s Trip Status Would Give Some People a Panic Attack

Whew it’s been a lot of radio silence for awhile as life as been a bit exhausting, but more posts are on the horizon as we head to Disney next week from 11/12-11/20 for our big trip of the year. I just wanted to memorialize the state of plans as of 11/5 though so I can look back later and see if everything fell into place or not. I know some people panic if they don’t get the dining reservations they want right at 60 days out, and I always preach that things open up in the days immediately preceding your travel, so I’m putting my money where my mouth is. Also, for DVC folks who fret about waitlists and getting the room you want, I continue to be the waitlist’s biggest advocate, and my loyalty is really coming down to the wire this time: we are still missing one night out of 8 for this coming trip.

So as of Friday 11/5, we have 11/12 and 11/14 booked in Beach Club studios (we also have 11/14 booked in a boardwalk studio and have rival waitlists to complete the first leg of the trip). We then have 11/15-11/20 booked at Bay Lake Tower in a lake view one bedroom. I really slacked on the advance planning for this trip. I always swear by booking 11 months out if you have the points and know your plans that far in advance. However, this year we had quite a shortage of points and I had to wait to make a transfer and yada yada, so I didn’t start booking this trip until June. Originally in June I planned that our trip would start at BLT and move to Beach Club for the second half, so when I changed that plan on a whim in July I basically had to start over with booking everything. Somehow between then and now, I’ve managed to collect 7 of the 8 nights we wanted. I grabbed one or two as I saw them available online, and the rest were one night waitlists that took between a week and a month to come through. I always have two one night waitlists open and when one matches, I create another waitlist for another night we need. Then at the end, member services merges the nights into one reservation and it’s all fine and dandy. Our BLT stay has been solidly pieced together for the past month or so, but I’ve been waiting on either a boardwalk studio or beach club studio to finally match for awhile. We will see which matches first.

For the first time ever, I’m moderately concerned about that missing night, because at 7 days out from your trip, waitlists deactivate. So I’ll have to just stalk the availability starting this weekend to try to get that last night. I have no doubt that it will open up, but I hope it opens up while I’m watching.

So that’s what’s missing with our room. We are also missing quite a few dining reservations that I was hoping for. Our ultimate favorites right now are Topolinos and Chef Mickeys for character dining, and we really want to try Space 220 since it’s new and my son will like the whole pretend outer space deal. I’m hoping to get Space 220 for lunch one day to avoid the dinner pricing though. No luck so far. I tried the day they opened up reservations, but apparently I’m a fool and logged in at 6am when everyone else knew it was 5:45. So far we have been unable to grab Topolinos and Chef Mickeys as well. I haven’t been checking much because most changes and cancellations seem to happen in the week before a trip, so I’ll start watching more closely this coming week. We thankfully were able to grab Cinderellas Royal Table, Tusker House, Garden Grill, Hollywood and Vine, and a couple others that aren’t as difficult, so if we don’t get the others it’s not the end of the world, but my kiddo really lives for Topolinos, so fingers crossed on that one.

We also haven’t set up anything Genie+ related because we are going to make that decision day by day. I do think we will get it most days, but probably not on arrival and departure day, so we can’t buy it in advance since it isn’t for the full length of our stay (as far as I’m aware).

So the jist is that even an obsessive Disney trip planner like me does not have everything together in advance. I don’t find all the Disney planning stressful because I know that things can come together at the last minute because people cancel and change plans like crazy. There’s a lot of talk this year amongst the DVC crowd saying that waitlists won’t come through and yada yada because of a surplus of points in the system, but that has not been my experience at all. I think this year people are still cancelling and changing plans last minute more than usual honestly, because the world is so unpredictable right now. I’ll provide an update upon check in to see if everything ended up coming together !

Update: before I even published this post, on my daily call with DVC Member Services to check on waitlists (I’m a loon) I was informed that my last waitlist matched. I was waiting on that last one for a few very long feeling weeks, so it’s a huge relief. Just to be clear, that means a Beach Club Studio waitlist matched after a few weeks of waiting, even though it was made only one month prior to travel. This is during food and wine festival. So anyone who says waitlists don’t match or won’t match this year, is full of crap quite honestly. I’m still batting one thousand on one night waitlists (that means every single one I’ve ever made has matched for those who aren’t baseball folks). So if you are ever in a bind and looking for a room well after the 7 month window starts, go the one night waitlist route and piece it together. Patience is a virtue !

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