As previously mentioned, my family and I (aka my mother and me) are starting to look ahead to May of next year for our next trip to Disney. It's almost a year and a half away and while that may be discouraging for some, it's still exciting for me. Anticipation is half the fun! Plus, I've recently started a little home business as a cloth diapering consultant that is already providing us with some extra funds for our trip. Bonus!
There isn't a whole lot we can do to get ready at this point. No reservations to be made, park schedules to glance over or activities to look up. But I've already begun thinking through things.
Carsland and the new Buena Vista street will be the biggest change. Last time we travelled to Disneyland we missed the opening by all of two months, not that I would have wanted to be there during opening. But I am hoping that by next year things will have calmed down a little and we can avoid some of the craziness.
Since we will be travelling off season the likelihood of a major refurb or two is to be expected. However, since Indiana Jones just finished it's major overhaul I'm feeling pretty confident that my favorite ride will be good and open. The only thing that would really disappoint me is if Splash Mountain were to be closed. In all my many trips to Disney it has only ever been open twice. We somehow always hit the refurb time slot. We also be looking at shorter park hours and quite possibly shows only on the weekends. Not a big deal really, but something to keep in mind.
Our family is expanding this year from three to four, so we will be travelling with two children under the age of three. That on its own will take a little more planning (or a little less, depending on your perspective.) Nap/rest times back at the hotel will be a must as well as a shift in our thinking from, 'What rides do mom and dad want to get to' to 'What things would our toddlers enjoy?' We will absolutely be getting a five day pass as to allow as much down time as possible and we will for sure be doing our usual full week trip.
One big change we are looking at for this vacation? We are hoping to get into the Grand Californian. For those who are unaware, this is like the Mecca of Disney hotels. We are timeshare owners and have access to the 2 bedroom Villas at the Grand which can hold up to nine people comfortably. We always travel with my parents and two brothers, which would take our numbers up to eight people. The tricky thing is managing to get a reservations, as it fills up so quickly. We will hopefully be looking at booking it this coming fall as soon as availability is open.
If we can't get in, we will plan to stay at our usual and perfectly comfortable Staybridge Suites.
Another hopeful change? We'd like to fly into John Wayne airport instead of LAX. Cuts down on about half the travel time between the airport and the hotels and the price difference is very minimal. Hopefully ticket prices continue to be similar.
That's really all that is on the brain for now. I will be eagerly anticipating the release of the latest Unofficial Guide to Disneyland so I can soak up any new information and will continue to keep an eye on flight and ticket prices!