Those are some pretty big decisions that are already made. There are a ton more things we will have to figure out over the next few months, such as where to eat and what parks to visit each day.
But first things first - we had to come up with a hotel option for the stay. This always causes lots of discussion amongst the family members. My husband and I like staying at new and different places, but my BIL has one or two resorts that he loves to stay at and doesn't like to switch it up.
When we were trying to decide the dates of our trip, we thought that we might do a split stay. That means we would check into one hotel for the first part of the vacation and then at some point we would check out of that hotel, move our luggage to a new one, and check in there for the rest of the trip. This is relatively common in the hard core Disney community of fans so we've heard a lot about it through blogs and podcasts. We were eager to try it and this was the perfect opportunity!
Back in my first trip to Disney since childhood, we stayed at the All Star Spots. This is a value resort (read: cheapest) and there are LOTS of people who stay there due to the price and number of rooms available. Since husband and I are going to pay for this trip on our own, we told the family we needed to stay in this category of resort this time around.
My BIL requested the All Star Sports instead of the music or movies themed version of the resort. So that was settled - All Star Sports for 11 nights was booked.
However, we have another option. The in-laws purchased a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) membership a few years ago. This is Disney's version of the timeshare. They have a certain number of points that they can use each year, plus move some points around one year in either direction. The DVC resorts are a bit nicer than the others, more expensive, have more amenities, and are usually bigger rooms. You don't get housekeeping each night but you do have a mini kitchenette which makes the stay very nice.
We didn't have enough points to do the full 11 nights at one of those DVC resorts, however. We're going at high season which means increased crowds (so no availability) and increased prices (don't have enough points). We also needed three rooms - MIL/FIL plus cousin's family, me and my husband, BIL and family. That's a lot of rooms for the whole stay! So we decided that 5 nights at a DVC resort might be a bit easier to get.
My MIL is still on the waitlist with DVC, awaiting confirmation on three rooms for this family. DVC has told us they are hopeful in us clearing the waitlist sometime soon-ish. We can only hope for a little bit of pixie dust!
In any case, we have a place to stay, albeit not so fancy. This may change as we get closer! But at least we have a hotel. :)