August 2016 Pre-Trip Report

Check out our trip reports! : Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

My next trip to Walt Disney World will be next month, August 22-30, 2016. Unfortunately, Chaz will not be able to make it this time, although we will probably go for at least a couple of days again in January if not sometime this fall.

For my August trip, I will be traveling with Theresa, my roommate from college who you may recognize if you’ve followed my August 2013 trip on Instagram/Facebook:

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Waiting for Illuminations during our last August Walt Disney World trip together (2013)

We will be staying at All Star Music. Was it our first choice? No… but we’re on a budget so the All Stars it is! Or the cheapest of the All Stars to be exact, because for whatever reason All Star Music still happened to be the cheapest. There were still standard rooms available at Sports too, but Music was still cheaper– I assume it was because of the annual passholder discount. Since there are only so many rooms allotted to each discount, the less expensive rates for the other All Stars were probably already sold out by the time I booked the trip.

In case you’re wondering though, we really don’t have a preference for which of the All Stars we stay at. I have nothing against the All Stars, they’re perfect for a budget trip to Walt Disney World, however to be honest nothing about any of them really stands out to me that would make me choose one over the other. I might look at the order that the buses stop at the resorts, as being the first one picked up is more convenient in my opinion, but even this isn’t enough to make or break a stay at an All Star.

Also with regards to this trip having a tight budget is our flight to Orlando, or flights I should say. I have the Jet Blue Mastercard, that I was hoping would have enough miles for round trip airfare to Orlando, but unfortunately this did not turn out to be the case for our flights in August. We kept watching the airfare prices, as they went down, when they suddenly went back up and we decided to book the cheapest flights we could find then and there.

Sadly this means we’ll be flying Southwest, which I’m not a fan of. The only thing I enjoy about Southwest is how cheap the flights are. For our trip next month, our flights on Southwest are about half the price of the next cheapest option (which was Jet Blue but departing and arriving at odd times). Since Southwest does not fly non-stop from Boston to Orlando, we’ll be stopping in Columbus, OH both ways.

My other gripes about Southwest are the seating arrangements and the lack of in-flight entertainment. Since I travel fairly often, I enjoy when airlines offer some kind of in-flight entertainment because it typically means I can pack less in my carry on and still have something enjoyable to do on the flight. I know this might sound like a first world problem, but for someone who travels a lot, I actually really hate flying, and Wi-Fi or an in-flight movie can be a good distraction while on the plane.

Southwest’s seating system of forgoing assigned seats annoys me because the last two times I have flown Southwest my seat has been moved. In those instances I was traveling along, and asked to move by other passengers who wishes to sit together. I felt like I had no real reason to say “no,” and doing so would only make me look like a jerk since it was very obvious that I was traveling alone, and my seat therefore didn’t really matter. In both instances however, I ended up in less desirable seats than the ones I started in. I know there are pros/cons to not having assigned seating, but if I could have explained that I chose the window seat in row 7 when I booked my flight, I think I would have had an easier time getting out of that situation.

Like my last two trips, we’re planning on seeing a bunch of my friends who still live in Orlando/work for Disney, since I really only get to see them now when I go down there. Even though we are on a budget this trip, we’ve made some room in our budget for a few table service reservations that we’re really looking forward to: Grand Floridian Cafe for breakfast, San Angel Inn for lunch, Ohana for dinner, and Yak and Yeti for dinner. Theresa has only been to the Grand Floridian Cafe before– it easily became a favorite breakfast spot for us during our last August trip, and I have never been to Yak and Yeti before. I’m definitely excited to try Yak and Yeti though since every time I walk by it while visiting Animal Kingdom I make a mental note that I need to try the food there.

I have some things in mind that I’d like to try for quick service restaurants (for review purposes) but I’m in no rush to get those done so I can always go back to them later. We’re also planning on seeing all of the nighttime events at Animal Kingdom for the first time this trip. In contrast to how I usually handle new events in the parks, I’ve actually been closely following reviews on the new entertainment offerings, which means I’ve seen the negative reviews about the Jungle Book show. I’m going to go with an open mind and hope for the best, and also knowing that it isn’t permanent. I’m also being optimistic in thinking that some of the negative reviews about the nighttime safari are just because it is still a recent addition to the park, so they might still be working some of the bugs out of it.

Theresa is also planning on going on Rock n’ Rollercoaster for the first time, which should be really exciting. And I’m excited to be going to Hollywood Studio with someone else who has absolutely no desire to ride Tower of Terror too. Oh and I’d like to go to either Jellyrolls or Trader Sams this trip, if not both, but I know we should make time for Disney Springs since so many new locations opened, so we’ll have to see how much free time we have once we’re down there.

That’s all for this trip report! Check back in the coming weeks for new posts on the end of our January trip report, and the start of our March/April report.

And as always, live updates from our trip next month can be found on Twitter and Instagram using the links on our home page.

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