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Vacation Planning Update

July 17th, 2015

First day of our Staycation and I was wide awake at 5 am. At least I got the house cleaned early before I wasted a lot of time online and on the phone with Disney getting our old tickets set up in their new system.

Completed Prior To This Week:
Booked hotel and paid down payment
Booked flights and paid for them
Reserved rental car

Completed This Week (more details below):
Bought some things for the vacation
Converted our old Disney tickets to their new ticketing system
Started building an itinerary for each day

Outstanding:
Finalize our itinerary
Book Fastpasses (can’t start doing this until 7/22)
Call Enterprise to see if we can use a cash back bonus certificate from Discover before purchasing it

Items Ordered
Last night I ordered two crossbody bags from ebags.com because I want something to carry around Disney World that isn’t too big or too small and despite the plethora of bags I own, nothing was up to the task other than my Kipling backpack but I think it would be a little too big. In any case, I had been looking at bags for awhile and narrowed my choices down to two. Since they offer free return shipping I’ll just send back the one I don’t like. For once those little code finder extensions in Firefox worked and I got like $15 off my total order which was nice. Plus with my trial Shoprunner account I got free two-day shipping.

I also ordered a camera from Amazon – Canon SX700 HS. I went onto chat and asked the Amazon rep if they could give me a deal and they gave me a $15 promo code which was nice. Plus I had a $10 promo code in my account from Prime Day when I ordered $45 of gift cards. So my $279 camera cost $254, plus I used the $45 gift cards toward the purchase (they shipped in 1 day) so I only had to spend an additional $229 or something once you factored in taxes.

I tested the camera, albeit briefly, at the dreaded Best Buy near our house (the only time I’ve set foot in one in years) and it seemed decent. I know it’s not going to rival my SLR but there’s no way I want to lug that or my lenses around on our trip; they are too bulky and heavy. I know the photo quality will trump my shitty iPhone 6 at least! If I get pretty decent photos and nice videos (it shoots in HD) I’ll be pretty happy. The zoom on it is impressive which is why I spent a little more than just going for a $100 camera (and the reviews on this model were better than most).

Disney Tickets Converted
I called Disney today to get our old tickets linked to my Disney account. It took a little while, but it worked! And the rep confirmed we have 7 days left, they are still part hoppers with no expiration, and we don’t have to use all 7 days in one trip. Whew! Plus they were able to update the name on my ticket (it was in my maiden name). So relieved to get that hassle out of the way ahead of time! Now we’ll also be able to reserve our Fastpasses later this week.

Touringplans.com
I also signed up for an account on touringplans.com where you can build an itinerary for each day at the parks and it tells you the best order to visit the rides to keep wait times to a minimum. I plan to keep playing around with it. It’s cool because it even tells you which rides you should get your Fastpass for and what times. It’s kinda insane to me to be planning all this two months in advance but if it prevents me from standing in line half the day, so be it! Right now my current touring plan for Magic Kingdom is still anticipating a grand total of nearly two hours standing in line, and that’s on a day where the crowd level is only a 2 out of 10! Can you imagine during the summer when it’s super crowded?

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