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Keane and BYPT Jenny's "D23's 2011 Magic and Merriment" Trip Report, Part 1 of 1

Planning and Other Preliminaries

Index (M&M is D23's 2011 Magic and Merriment Event)

Notes:
The text of this trip report is pretty much what was posted to the Usenet group rec.arts.disney.parks on January 3, 2012, with some modifications for clarity or correction. This is an expanded version with pictures and video, which might make the report make more sense in places. No guarantees.

There is a video index at the end of Part 10. If you click on the video links in the trip report, it should start the load of the video in whatever player you're using. (low) is a lower bitrate version of the video. (See the Video Index for more information.)

There are no pictures in this part. If you want to see pictures, go to the next part.

Magic and Merriment
D23's Magic and Merriment was the high point of this trip
Cast:
Who: Me, Keane. Disney junkie, scribe of this report.
     BYPT Jenny. Enabler to said junkie.
     BYPT Cathy. Jenny's help this trip.
     Karen. My GPS. (A Garmin nuvi 1390)
     (BYPT. Big Yellow Penske Truck. In case you needed to know.)
What: Christmastime at Disney World. Again. But different.
Where: Walt Disney World, Port Orleans - Riverside.
Why: It's Christmas at Disney World, and D23's Magic & Merriment event.
When: December 4 to 14, 2011

<Disclaimers>

  1. Much of what is here is fact, mostly fact, or complete figments of my imagination remembered as fact. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
  2. This report contains a lot of innuendo and sarcasm. Anything else is a bonus.
  3. If you take something in this report seriously and get offended, I will laugh at you. I am not Disney. I compensate no one. And just how much did you pay to read this, anyway?
  4. Please remember to take all your personal belongings, and have a magical Disney Day! Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay...

Thank you. </Disclaimers>


Ah, here we go again...

Prolog:

It's Christmastime in WDW again. Only this time, I do something different, again.

Background:

Late October - Well, it's going to be December soon. I usually have a room by now. Seems like I was just there. Oh wait, I was. And I'm planning on going back? Again? Well, yes, I am. It's December. I should be at WDW in December. That's just the way it is.

There are a few things to keep in mind.

So those are my working parameters. Since this will be my fifth trip in the month of December, I've done most of the holiday events at the World. The Magic and Merriment event would be new, so it get's bumped to the top of the list. If I can get tickets...

A trip from Dec 2 to Dec 12 is just too long. I mean, I've been there more than a few times this year. Hard to justify. I mean, it's hard to justify. That doesn't mean I couldn't justify it, it'd just be hard...

Okay, so maybe I plan trips differently than you do. What's your point?


Planning:

October 25 - I finally get on Disney World's website, and get on the passholder's page. 35% off at moderates, 40% at deluxes. Wow. Great deal! Then I read the fine print, and it's for 2012 dates. Bummer.

Current deals are 25% at moderates, 35% at deluxes. Hmmm... Not as good. Joe Public gets squeezed even harder, 20% at moderates (15% at POFQ), and 30% at deluxes (25% at AKL). There's no doubt Disney has noted the increased popularity of the holiday season.

I take a look at what's available around that time. Port Orleans Riverside (aka POR). Port Orleans French Quarter (POFQ). Animal Kingdom Lodge... I need to nail down specific dates.

October 26 - I decide to make reservations until the 12th, just in case Dec 9&10 is sold out, but 11&12 is available.

I've been to the World 4 times in the last 12 months, so moderate cheap is good enough. Besides, I did enjoy my stay at Coronado Springs (CSR) in August, even though it was the farthest room from the elevator and got rained out a few days. So in the past year I'll have done 2BR Villa, a Studio Villa, 2 Deluxes and 2 Moderates. I need WDW to be declared an addiction, so I can deduct my WDW expenses.

I click on moderates, and all sorts of Port Orleans is still available. Even French Quarter. Thinking about the outdated/old tech pictures from 2002 on my web site, I check Caribbean Beach (CBR). No joy. Actually, worse than no joy. Can you say Pop Warner? I knew you could. Pop Warner will be at All-Stars and CBR, December 3-10. The web site can wait...

As mentioned, I was just at Coronado Springs a couple of months ago, so I don't even check. I was at POFQ in 2008. I haven't been to POR since 2003, so Dix... Riverside is definitely a possibility. Learning from my August trip, I note there's a preferred room available from Dec 5 through Dec 12, but not any earlier.

Another option offered is Animal Kingdom Lodge, for only $400 more than the preferred room at POR. That's suspicious. I click on it, and it's a parking lot room. A savanna view is $1K more. Pass. I used to have a new resort every trip unless it's Animal Kingdom Lodge rule, but that somehow got thrown out the past two trips. So I book Dec 5 through Dec 12 at a preferred room at POR. I figure I can always try to get it changed.

Done, right? No. I look over the reservation and it sez "Water View". Damn. That's not what I reserved. I hate water view rooms at moderates, worst sort of room for me. I call up... whatever they're called now, to get it changed to a preferred room, and pay off the bill. I play the number punch game on my phone for a while, and get to the point where robo-disney wants a credit card number and I punch pound a few times. Dis-bot figures out I have a problem, and gets me a live human in literally seconds. I was expecting to have to wait.

No problem, but the reservation change has to complete before I can pay the room off, even though they're the same price. I even stay on the line for the marketing... uh... quality survey.

The changes are on the web site before I get the confirmation e-mail.
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October 27 - Magic and Merriment goes on sale at Noon (central time).

Noon - I have my D23 number ready to be pasted, and refresh the D23/M&M page until I get a ticket link. I enter my name and D23 number, and am allowed access to the order page. I select December 9&10 and I pass inspection and am allowed the privilege to pay. I have my confirmation by 12:05. (No, not extreme, I talked to a number of people who did the same thing. Heh.)
12:30pm - the December 11&12 event was waitlisted.

October 28 - M&M on December 9&10 is still available, but December 11&12 is no longer listed.

October 29 - M&M on December 9&10 is still available, and oddly December 11&12 is back and is being waitlisted again. Did Disney cancel those who reserved for both dates? By midnight, both events were waitlisted.

October 30 - 6:00am, both M&M events are no longer waitlisted.

October 31 - Both dates are available, but Dec 11&12 is once again, waitlisted.

November 1, 4am - Option to attend event on 11&12 is gone again, 9&10 is waitlisted.
8am - 9&10 is no longer waitlisted.

November 2 - 11&12 is back as an option, and both events are waitlisted.
Evening - 11&12 is gone again.

Nov 3 - December 9&10 is still available, but waitlisted.

Nov 4 - Sold out. What drama.
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Backing up a bit before the Magic and Merriment drama. Jenny does not know about Magic and Merriment. I'm getting it for her Christmas present for helping me out with Miss Marie (aka Mom) in September.

October 30 - Jenny asks if I want to go to a Candlelight Processional dinner with her and Cathy. Hmmm, not only do I have to decline, but I have to ask her to cancel her plans if Cathy agrees. I'll make it up to them. (And I will.) But now she knows something's up...

Cathy agrees, so I send e-mail asking where she'd like to eat dinner that night, and if she wants to know why I'm asking to cancel, I'll tell her, but she can't tell Jenny.

Nov 2 - Hear back from Cathy on where she'd like to eat for her cancelled CP plans, and has no preference, and she doesn't want to know my plans. Jenny would eventually get it out of her. I check Narcoosee's, but once again, get no joy. But I can get reservations at Citricos for 5:40, December 7. That should be a worthy replacement for the CP dinner they'll miss...

Nov 9 - Set up a meet with Laura in Tomorrowland. Rocky and Bashful will also be in attendance.

Dec 2 - Dreslaine wants to meet up. She'll be in MK on Dec 9, but that's the first day of M&M. We'll be in Epcot until 5:45, then will monorail to MK for the MVMCP, and might get to MK after the park closes to regular guests. Dreslaine and I finally decide to meet on Sunday the 11th in MK.

I am also to meet up with Jenny in Lebanon, TN, to give back her animal carrier and cooler. (See my Peaceful Pastures kind-of-a Trip Report.)

I will then meet up with Lisa and Andy for dinner in Georgia.

Ah, the best laid plans...
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End December 2011 Trip Report - Part 1.

Jump to: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10

Revisions:
  • 01/14/2012 - Page Added
  • 08/25/2012 - Updated to v3
  • 12/31/2012 - Update to v3.1
  • 09/01/2014 - Update to v3.2