Sandi 16 Dec 2006 Sandi's Dec Trip Report Part 1 Background - travel day I haven't been to WDW since March of '02 when I went with DD on Spring Break from her boarding school, and DH hasn't been since Jan. of '98, the last time our family of 4 went. DD, 20, is now a sophmore in college on the west coast, and DS, 23, has bought a house and is on his own, though still nearby. I had some big surgery last winter and decided a trip to WDW was just the carrot I needed to get me through the long rehab process and back to normal. It will be a first trip to WDW for DH and me without children. We considered going in September, but both of us detest the humidity abd heat, esp. while touring, so we ruled that out and decidec on what was always one of our 2 favorite times to go, early December (the other is mid/late Jan.) We also considered, for about 20 miniutes, staying somewhere other than the Poly which has always been our favorite. DD and I had stayed at ASMusic in '02, but really didn't like it, esp. having to bus everywhere. The Poly has really spoiled us, both for its wonderful transportation options and the serene, lush grounds, so we decided the Poly it would be! We decided to buy annual passes in order to take advantage of the AP room discount. In August I booked 10 days, Dec. 4-14 with an AP rate. We took advantage of the hidden discount Rodney found on AP's to save $94 on our 2 passes by ordering 10 day no expiry hoppers and then upgrading on property. We also decided to buy the DDE card once we had APs in hand. I got very anxious about dining AR's and tried to book some ahead with a dreadful experience as some of you might remember. I tried again later with better success, and a friend here on the Cape, Tracy, passed on 3 ARs she wasn't going to use, so things were looking better! then rebooked with a Ding fare 3 days later for $284 roundtrip with all fees for both of us. Not as cheap as I have ever seen it, but we've noticed that Providence seems to be growing in popularity, esp. with all the issues with Logan/Boston/tunnel access, so I suspect Southwest hasn't had to discount as deeply to fill planes. We reserved a room at the Best Western at the airport for Dec.3, with the Park/Fly option. When you factor in what 10 night's parking at the airport was going to cost us, the room was nearly free! When DD's flight plan's were finalized for Xmas break from Stanford, she returning to Providence on Dec. 14th, so we decided to stay that night also in Providence so we could meet her flight and bring her home to Cape Cod with us. So since we were flying on 12/14 and faced just a 3 minute shuttle ride back to the hotel, without an add'l 2 hour car ride some add'l park time and an 11th day in the parks since we had annual passes. We left Cape Cod about 1 pm on Sunday Dec.3rd. The Best Western has been newly updated, it was a Master Host Inn previously, and it was lovely and clean with free wifi, free airport shuttle and continental breakfast for the morning and the great park/fly program. We checked in and DH finished watching the Patriots game. Later we did a bit of local shopping and had dinner at Legal Seafood, just across the street from the hotel. The next morning we were up at 5, (I had barely slept 3 hours, too excited) with a wet, slushy snow falling. We had a quick cup of coffee in the lobby before leaving on the shuttle. The airport was crowded and we checked our bags, then had to wait while they were sent through the x-ray machine, something we didn't have to do at MCO. After seeing our bags cleared we headed for a fairly lengthy security line, where I had to be wanded, patted down, etc. Bought coffee and headed to our gate, where we watched the snow falling and start to pile up. In the end we were delayed 1.5 hours, leaving de-iced before take-off, but at last we were on our way!