Quantcast Four Festivals in One Year... Can I do it? The PTR of PTR's!
 
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Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default Four Festivals in One Year... Can I do it? The PTR of PTR's!

    Who's turning 40 this year and is a newly minted WDW Annual Pass holder?
    Who bought an AP in April but can't use it until October?
    Who decided to start a PTR 6 months in advance?

    It's me, hi. I'm the planner, it's me.

    I am feeling super duper lucky and grateful that I've reached a point in my professional and personal lives that I can buy an Annual Pass and take the time off work and school (going for my Doctorate in Education!) to treat myself to Disney trips in the coming years. I have a very supportive partner, who himself would rather snowboard than visit Disney so he puts his own Epic Pass to good use in the winter months, who tolerates WDW with me. He may make some appearances on my trips in the next 16 months or so, but by and large I'll be solo. Which, frankly, is my favorite way to "do Disney."

    So, now that I have the AP, what am I going to do with it!?! Here's my goal -

    All four EPCOT festivals in a year. There, I said it. I know EPCOT is a polarizing park and she's going through some stuff at the moment. Honestly, it used to be my favorite park out of all the options in WDW but with all the construction, confusion, and identity crisis, I much prefer the vibe in Animal Kingdom right now. Anyway, I am really looking forward to EPCOT reclaiming the #1 spot in my heart once all the work is over. That being said, I have only ever experienced 1.5 festivals in World Showcase.

    Why 1.5? Well because I typically travel to Disney in October, so I've done Food & Wine Fest many times over. In 2010 (I think, it was a while ago!) I visited during Spring Break in March so Flower and Garden Fest was going on but it was nothing like it is now (aka, topiaries but no food stalls) so that's why I feel like I've only done half of that festival.

    I have NEVER been to WDW during the holiday season, and it's been on my bucket list since I was a tiny kid in the 80's and 90's. My parents never made enough money to take us to a local theme park, forget Disney, and could only experience what WDW might be like by watching hours and hours of Disney Channel, ABC specials, and vacation planning VHS tapes. So I'm psyched to finally be able to visit in December now that I no longer work in a job that follows an academic calendar, if you know what I mean!

    But I think I am most looking forward to Festival of the Arts. It seems like the least popular fest, more laid back, and since I am lucky to live fairly close to NYC and get to see Broadway shows kind of regularly I would LOVE to go to to EPCOT to see the special performances by Disney Music and Broadway Legends.

    Even though I won't be activating my AP until October, I still have some Disney-related or adjacent activities planned soon, including the Disney 100 Exhibit in Philadelphia (With some INTERCOT Friends!) and some trips to the NYC Disney Store, and more! Follow along for the next year to see where the road takes me.
    ~Nikki~
    Last Trip: October 2023
    Next Trips: December 2023

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  4. #2
    Join Date
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    Default A Calendar Year of Potential Dates and Plans!

    Spring 2023
    No park visits yet
    April & May NYC trips with family, stopping by The Disney Store in Times Square
    In May I will visit the Disney 100 Exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia

    Summer 2023
    No park plans but stopping by Disney Springs on our way to Port Canaveral for a Royal Caribbean Cruise. Lunch reservation at Homecomin' for thigh high chicken & biscuits!

    Fall 2023
    September 30 - October 7! Finally activating my AP to enjoy Halloween at MK and Food & Wine at EPCOT! 4 days of park time before a conference begins nearby, I plan to spend evenings in the parks at the end of the week. Husband will also join for the first half!

    Winter 2023/2024
    December 9-12! Hitting up the Holidays, I can't wait! Will be solo.
    February 7-9, 2024! A short trip down for Festival of the Arts. My bestie may join me.

    Spring 2024
    April 24-26! Another fast one but just enough time to enjoy Flower and Garden Fest.

    Fall 2024
    September 21-24! Squeezing out one more trip before the pass expires. Halloween is not my favorite holiday but it is my very favorite time of year to visit WDW.

    All of the above (except October 2023) is tentative, and nothing has been booked yet but I tried to find the pockets of the year crowds are fairly low relative to popular times of the year. I tried to avoid school breaks, holidays, and race weekends as much as possible. You'll notice a large gap in spring/summer 2024. Husband and I are going on an Alaska cruise in May 2024 so the budget will be a bit tight. I'm not entirely sure I can make the April trip work, and if not I will move it to June after the cruise.

    Now, where to stay! October and December will definitely be on property, one because I want to take advantage of early entry in October and first crack at ILL's for certain rides when Husband is with me (its been so busy the past few years in the fall!) and in December I want to stay in the beautifully decorated resorts since I've never seen that before. For 2024 trips I'm flexible! I've never visited WDW as an off-property guest and would be totally fine renting a car and driving since parking is included with the AP. I'll just need to do the (fuzzy) Disney math to weigh my options against on property hotel rates and any available AP discounts. More decisions to make on the way!
    ~Nikki~
    Last Trip: October 2023
    Next Trips: December 2023

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  6. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Sounds like you have great plans...tentative or not! LOL

    Festival of the Arts is nice and at a decent time of year. Not my favorite, but worth the visit.

    Flower and Garden is probably my favorite of the Festivals. Just enjoy all they do with the topiaries and since they added the kiosks (a la Food and Wine) a few years back, it is easy (easier? LOL) to spend multiple days in EPCOT.

    Food and Wine is okay, but not the draw, for me, that it was early on. The best part had been the Eat To The Beat concerts.

    Festival of the Holidays gives Flower and Garden a run for its money. Christmas, and the time between Thanksgiving (US) and New Years was always my dads favorite time and it kind of rubbed off on me. Seeing the holiday tradidtions around the World Showcase and the decorations throughout the park lift my spirits.

    However your plans work out, with family and/or friends or solo, enjoy the planning and making the most magic you can!!! Thanks for the report and look forward to hearing (reading) how things work out for you!
    -Bud

    Walt Disney World:
    9/03 - CBR
    1/09 - BWV
    9/05; 2/07; 12/07; 9/08; 9/09; 9/10; 9/11; 12/13; 12/17; 4/18; 10/18, 4/23 - PC
    5/15 - POR
    1/22 - ASMO
    10/22 - ASMU

    Disneyland: 12/15 - Paradise Pier Hotel

    Next up: ???

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  8. #4
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    A few quick things - love that you are planning... seriously the only way in busy lives to actually get things done. My wife and I sit down about once a year and try to figure out when we are gonna do STUFF.

    I love that you are setting BHAG's - big hairy audacious goals!!!

    Finally FARTS - love it. Best festival despite the acronym. Seriously... if you are a collector, there is none better.
    John - aka. The Master Control Program
    Owner, Chairman & Chief Imagination Officer - INTERCOT

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  10. #5
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    You will have a great time. I love my solo time in Disney.

    We started staying off property a few years ago, and I was surprised with how much I enjoyed it. There's a lot of interesting souvenir shops to go browse in. We did a tour at the chocolate factory. My oldest son and I took a helicopter ride around Disney property. There's so much more to see and do than just stuff on Disney property.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

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  12. #6
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    It'll be interesting to decide, after you've been to all 4 Festivals, which is your favorite. I've been to all four, but not in the same year. And as things change over the years, preferences change. So have fun in your decision!

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  14. #7
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    So many nice things to look forward to!! Can't wait to hear all the details!!
    Linda aka: Faline
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning,Trip Reports and Disney Camping
    [email protected]

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  16. #8
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    My first Fest is coming up soon! Husband and I will be going September 30 - October 4. This will be Husband's first time getting the FULL Disney experience with me. We took our kiddos only to the MK many years ago and he hasn't returned since. I can't wait for him to experience alllll the things!

    We are staying at POP Century. I've had many, many stays at POP and looking forward to returning for the first time since 2012 or 2013. It's been a while! The last time I was there the Skyliner didn't exist so I'm excited for this newer mode of transportation to Studios and EPCOT.

    On our arrival day, if everything goes well, we will land at MCO by 10:30 a.m. We will Uber to POP and head to the room, or leave our bags if the room isn't ready. Then we'll hop a bus up to the MK! It's a Saturday, so I'm expecting it to be busy. Not sure if we will get G+ yet but since we won't be park hopping I anticipate I'll buy Individual Lightning Lanes for 7Dwarves and TRON at 7 a.m. I don't think we will be in the park in time for the 1 p.m. virtual queue drop. It will be tight, but if we are able to get in the queue then that will be a nice bonus ride.

    The next day, Sunday, we will head to AK in the morning so Hubs can see Pandora, Everest, and the Safari. He hated the Indiana Jones ride in Disneyland so I'm not sure I will force him on Dinosaur but if the wait is short (which it usually is) I may go by myself because I love that ride!

    After hitting the AK highlights we'll head back to POP for a midday rest before getting ready for Mickey's No So Scary! I haven't been since 2018 and it's such a fun event. We are thinking of dressing as Donald and Daisy. I'm excited for some of the spooky treats, seeing the Hocus Pocus Spooktacular again, and the new fireworks. I was a Hallowishes forever fan so I will really miss that one, though the clips I've seen of the new show with the Jack Skellington puppet look really nice.

    Monday is our EPCOT day. Since the night before will be a late one, we will likely take our time getting to the park this morning. I know it's not usually needed in EPCOT but I do plan to buy G+ this day to make hitting everything we want to do just a little easier and free up some time for festival booths. I'll buy Guardians and then join the 1 p.m. virtual queue so we can get 2 rides in. I rode this twice my last trip and it's so much fun, I know Hubs is really going to like it. Even though we will take it easier in the morning I'll still be on the app at 7 to get Remy and then keep stacking LL's from there. For F&W Fest we will do the cheese crawl and get one drink in each country. Not going to go overboard for budget and dietary reasons, and I will be coming back solo to EPCOT in the evenings after my conference days are over later in the week. My only 2 must-dos in World Showcase this day is seeing Boyz II Men for Eat to the Beat, and see EPCOT Forever. I know people don't like it, but I haven't seen it and I love nostalgic EPCOT.

    Tuesday, our last full park day together, will be at Hollywood Studios. I will absolutely buy G+ and pay for Rise today. Again, just to maximize our time there since we only have this day to experience all the heavy hitters. I imagine we will arrive as early as we can to do as much as we can. We have a lunch reservation at 50's Prime Time and happy hour at Oga's. We may take a midday or evening break and come back to Fantasmic! depending on how we are feeling.

    Wednesday we have breakfast at Topolino's before we head back to MCO. I am PUMPED to go to breakfast here, I've wanted to do it since it opened but couldn't ever get a res. After breakfast we'll check out and Uber back to MCO. Hubs is flying home and I am picking up a rental car, turning around, and heading back down I-4 to Rosen Shingle Creek for my conference.

    In the evenings from Wednesday to Friday I'll likely pop back over to EPCOT (so happy to have a car!) for dinner and sunset strolling around World Showcase. On Saturday I am presenting a session in the morning, then taking myself to AK to enjoy a luxurious afternoon and then hitting Disney Springs for some shopping and dining. I will drive back to MCO to drop off my car and staying the night at a nearby Courtyard. I'm flying out on Sunday around 7 p.m. back to NY. It will be a long but so much fun week!

    Next trip for the Holidays is already planned in December!
    ~Nikki~
    Last Trip: October 2023
    Next Trips: December 2023

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  18. #9
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    Looks like your own your way to fulfilling your Disney goals for the year!!!
    Linda aka: Faline
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning,Trip Reports and Disney Camping
    [email protected]

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  20. #10
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    It's after Thanksgiving, so you know what this means... it's Christmastime at Disney World! I am about 12 days out from my first ever holiday time trip. Here's what I have coming up!

    I'll be on my own for the majority of this trip with a couple guest appearances from a local FL area friend or two. If you're in the area and want to get a couple rides in together, feel free to DM me on Instagram. My Disney travel account is @nikki_at_disney.

    I'll be arriving in Orlando around 3:30 p.m. and before I leave the airport I will need to stop by the Clear office to finish setting up my Clear+ account. I learned my lesson last trip that pre-check is great but not nearly as fast as Clear+! Once I can head out, I'll Uber over to Animal Kingdom Lodge. I can't wait to see my first ever Disney Christmas tree in the beautiful lobby. I don't always love going to a park on arrival day because I usually don't like using a day ticket for just a couple of hours but the AP is a game changer. I hope to get over to Studios for the evening to soak up some retro Christmas vibes, eat dinner, and see the 9:30 Fantasmic.

    The next day I will get up early and head to the MK for rope drop to enjoy low crowds on a VMCP morning. Around 11 or 12 I'll go to Disney Springs for lunch and the tree stroll before heading to Animal Kingdom for the afternoon. I will finally get to see it at dusk and enjoy my favorite park at night. It's been since 2008 for me to experience that and I've never seen Pandora at night.

    The next day I'll get to HS mid-morning for some shows, a couple rides, and more Christmasy vibes and then walk/boat to EPCOT while stopping in at Boardwalk, Yacht Club, and Beach Club to check out the resort holiday decorations and gingerbread houses. I'll spend the afternoon in EPCOT enjoying the Festival of the Holidays eats and entertainment, saving some of the e-ticket rides for extended evening hours. It will be a late night but worth it!

    The next day I plan to "sleep in" and have Boma breakfast at 8:45 a.m. After I eat, I'll hop a bus to the MK and then get on the resort monorail to explore the resort loop hotel decorations and gingerbread houses. I may or also may get a beverage at a lounge at each resort, too! Once 3 p.m rolls around I'll get into the MK because I'm attending MVMCP this night for the first time! Some of my priorities are the ride overlays at Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Speedway, meeting the Seven Dwarves and probably some princesses with their princes, getting cookies and cocoa, and seeing the fireworks and parade from Main St. with the snow!

    My last full day will start with waking up and packing. I am doing a resort transfer to All Star Music this last night. I'll then get to EPCOT to do more Festivaling and then that evening have a CP dining package reservation for Garden Grill dinner and the last CP of the evening narrated by Brendan Fraser. I'll stay for Luminous and then head back to ASM.

    I don't need to be up super early for my flight home, but don't have quite enough time to hit up a park before getting to MCO, so I'll take my time getting packed up this morning, get some breakfast at the food court, and then Uber back to the airport.

    When I first made these plans back in August it felt like I would have so much time to experience all the holidays had to offer at WDW but now I'm realizing I will need more next year! After this December trip I'll be halfway through my gial and have February and April to go. Stay tuned for more!
    ~Nikki~
    Last Trip: October 2023
    Next Trips: December 2023

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  22. #11
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    Sounds like you have a great plan for your 'Christmastime/Holiday' visit. That is one of my favorite times to be in the parks. Enjoy your trip!!! Look forward to reading your trip reports!!
    -Bud

    Walt Disney World:
    9/03 - CBR
    1/09 - BWV
    9/05; 2/07; 12/07; 9/08; 9/09; 9/10; 9/11; 12/13; 12/17; 4/18; 10/18, 4/23 - PC
    5/15 - POR
    1/22 - ASMO
    10/22 - ASMU

    Disneyland: 12/15 - Paradise Pier Hotel

    Next up: ???

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  24. #12
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    Enjoy all the things Disney offers at this festive time of year!!
    Linda aka: Faline
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning,Trip Reports and Disney Camping
    [email protected]

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