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cheap traveler
05-28-2009, 10:31 AM
Ok, so Iíve decided to try my hand at a trip report. Hopefully a few years of reading some great reports will help me a bit. I tried to keep notes on my trip last year, but never made it past the second day.
So the cast for this trip, as it stands right now:

Me: :banana:Heather/Mommy/26 turning 27 on our last full day. My first and second trips to Disney were both in 1998 with my Aunt and Uncle. I was 15 for the first trip, and 16 for the second trip. I fell in love with Disney at first sight.
DD: princess:Isabella/Bella/5 and a half. She has a bit of a social delay. Very bright little girl, just has a very hard time with other children. Loves her sister dearly, also loves to torment her. Has never been too fond of characters, though her mean mommy keeps presenting character meals.
DD: princess:Hailey/Bean/3. Has asthma, wasnít diagnosed until December 08, despite her lips turning blue randomly since she was a few months old. Itís awfully funny when a doctor tells you her lips are blue because she is cold....in June....in a overheated, stuffy Walmart:confused3. Brilliant. She is a chatterbox, and loves all princesses, and has a red grape addiction first realized on her first trip to Disney at 14months. All she ate the whole trip was red grapes and cherry tomatoes. :laughing:

There are a few other people that have been invited on this trip. I invited their father, though we are divorced:scared1:. We get along fairly well and the girls would love for him to come. He probably wont go because his new girlfriend might get mad. I also invited an old friend the kids like. He is the father of one of their playmates, but he has a major spending addiction so he will never be able to save enough money to go. The last of the invites is my best friend from the time we were 8. We grew up on the same street, and have managed to keep in touch all these years. She is able to save the money, has no time commitments that will prevent her from going, and would love the trip. Her major problem is her ďboyfriend.Ē I put that in quotes because I have a hard time calling a 40something year old man a boyfriend. He is very controlling and she allows it. Long story, and I get too annoyed talking about it. So it seems as though I will be flying solo.

A short history on my last 2 trips:
September 2007 - Me, both girls, and my boyfriend at the time, Rob. We drove down from NY, stopped in GA for a quick visit with my grandparents. Great weather, normal Florida rain, small crowds, free dining. The major downfall of this trip was Rob had been lying to me about his smoking, and had me thinking he had quit a month before. So his mood was very dark after a few days due to not smoking.
September 2008 - Me, both girls, and my sister Krissy. Again we drove. Krissy was sick our arrival day, but recovered quick. Again great weather, less rain than normal, small crowds. No free dining, trip was sort of last minute. Only problem on this trip was my sisterís bad attitude. When the kids got tired, they didnít want her to push them in the stroller, they both wanted me. She took it personally and got angry with them:mad:. Whatever.

So thatís it for now. Next up: some pre-planning.

cheap traveler
05-28-2009, 11:18 AM
A quick bit of info on this trip. We are flying out of Stewart AFB in NY the morning of August 19th, to arrive in Orlando around 11:30 am. We are staying at POP for 6 nights, leaving on August 25th. My birthday is the 24th, so we will be celebrating!! We have the free dining, and 5 day base tickets.
More to come!!

cheap traveler
05-28-2009, 02:14 PM
So on with the planning:goodvibes. We are 83 days out right now, but I have my detailed packing list (transferred from years past) and some things are in the bag. I live to plan a trip. Itís so disappointing when I donít have a trip to plan. :guilty:
I told my boss (aka my father;)) I would be late on the day I could make my dining reservations. So I get through at 7am, and they say I can expect a wait time of over 30 minutes:scared1:. After 13 minutes, I am crazy enough to move my cell phone so I can brush my daughterís hair. My call got dropped! I was not happy.:mad: So after dropping the kids off at day care, I put the cell phone in hands-free and head to work:moped:. When I got there 15 minutes later, they were just answering. Itís now 8:25am 90 days out. My first reservation attempt - 1900 Park Fare for our arrival night, full. My second attempt, Tusker House for Breakfast on the 20th, full. Itís not looking good. So here are our dining plans:

August 19th - none, hope to trade TS credits for CS credits, and maybe something added.
August 20th - Animal Kingdom. Tusker House lunch
August 21st - Magic Kingdom. Crystal Palace lunch
August 22nd - Hollywood Studios. Hollywood and Vine lunch.
August 23rd - Epcot. Akershus breakfast.
August 24th - Magic Kingdom. Chef Mickeyís dinner.

I tried for a lot of character meals because I am going to buy Bella an autograph book this year. I really hope she will warm up to the characters. I know in the past you have been able to exchange TS credits for CS credits and usually some other benefit, such as a snack credit or merchandise. We would love to have a quiet day at the hotel the day we arrive, just checking out all the sights and swimming, so a CS meal would work best. If not, than we may head over to the campground for dinner.
Up next, more planning...

cheap traveler
05-28-2009, 03:46 PM
http://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww288/hedder882/Disney%2008/100_1558.jpg

Yeah!! I posted my first picture. This is our day one arrival at Epcot last year. More pictures from last year to follow

cheap traveler
05-28-2009, 04:06 PM
Ok, a few more pictures from last year.

Our whole group. From left: Krissy, Hailey, Bella, and me
http://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww288/hedder882/Disney%2008/100_1560.jpg

http://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww288/hedder882/Disney%2008/100_1620.jpg

A favorite shot, Hailey refusing to look at the camera
http://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww288/hedder882/Disney%2008/100_1691.jpg

http://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww288/hedder882/Disney%2008/100_1714.jpg

Ok now enough from me. Hope you are enjoying so far!!

cheap traveler
05-29-2009, 08:31 AM
do I need a hook or something? Made it to the second page in only 14 hours :(

cheap traveler
06-04-2009, 10:18 AM
Ok, I'm back. The dining reservation list has changed only slightly. I made a dinner ressie for our arrival day, just in case I can't exchange TS for CS. After a few failed attempts, the CM offered the Grand Floridian Cafe. I had never heard of it, but I took it. After reviewing the menu on my beloved DIS, it looks like a good place. It will give the kids an early chance to ride the monorail - which they LOVE!

So next, my worrying mind. DD3 was diagnosed with asthma in December, like I mentioned. I have no idea how she will do in FL heat and humidity, her dr says some people breathe better in that weather, some people breathe worse. So every day we will carry her "puffer", as she calls it, along with the "ducky" aka spacer.
Next worry isn't mine. DD5 has been asking for months if she can wear her bathing suit on the plane. Why? Because she heard about the plane that crashed into the Hudson. That was close to home, so she also saw it on news commercials. This was her reaction the first time she saw it:
:scared1:
:eek:
:idea:
"Mommy, i case our plane lands in the water, can I wear my bathing suit? And my Crocs. 'Cause I don't want to get my regular clothes all wet."

I keep reassuring her that our plane will not land in the water (I mean really, how often can that miracle happen?). So about a month ago I found these really cute matching dresses on clearance at the children's place. First thing Bella says when she sees hers is "It feels like a bathing suit. I can wear this on the plane because it will be OK if it gets wet!!":rotfl:
Of course she realizes this, and not Mommy. But it has been decided that she can wear this on the plane, just to put her mind at ease. She has only flown once round trip - her first trip to Disney before she was 2. She is really worried about loud noises, so anything to help put her mind at ease is fine with me.
The final big worry - as my title says, this is my first trip without another adult to help out. They are getting older now, so we will be fine I'm sure. We have joined a great double stroller swap, and they are mostly too afraid of being lost to leave my side.

Up next...first day plans

Disneychix
06-04-2009, 10:33 AM
I"m here! :)

I wanted to say the picture of your daughter turned backwards is the cutest picture ever! You must get a good laugh everytime you look at that!

How smart your DD is to suggest wearing her bathing suit on the plane. At least she's not scared. She'll just be ready to swim!

GOod luck taking the girls by yourself. What a nice mom!!

cheap traveler
06-04-2009, 10:35 AM
Ok, arrival day. We land in Orlando at 11:30am, barring any troubles. We have magical express, and the POP bus has always gone straight there, so we should be on-site by 12:30pm.

First stop, check in desk. I plan to give the online check-in a try, hope it will save us some time.

Second stop is food. My kids are very set in their ways when it comes to meal times. It really makes ADRs hard to get. They expect to eat within an hour of waking up, again at noon and 6pm. Snacks are more flexible.

So food in our favorite food court, then off to our room if it is ready. Ready or not, next stop is the pool, where we plan to be parked for most of the remainder of the day. I am packing bathing suits in my carry on, so we won't have to wait for magical express to bring our bags.

Once our room is ready, we will pick up our fridge and stroller, both from DIS swaps:cheer2:

Right now dinner involves a bus ride to Epcot, a monorail ride to the TTC(? correct me if I'm wrong), and another monorail to the Grand Floridian. With any luck this will change to a short walk to the food court. Crazy, I know, but I am not concerned with getting the best bang for our DDP buck. It is free, so I don't really lose anything by eating cheaper food. All I lose is the stress of years past of trying to hurry to our ADR. Dont get me wrong, I do have meals planned, I am just going to try not to sweat the small stuff this trip.

Day one will end with a bath, an episode of Hannah Montana in the room (DD5 never gets to watch at home - only basic cable), and early to bed.

cheap traveler
06-04-2009, 10:37 AM
I"m here! :)

I wanted to say the picture of your daughter turned backwards is the cutest picture ever! You must get a good laugh everytime you look at that!

How smart your DD is to suggest wearing her bathing suit on the plane. At least she's not scared. She'll just be ready to swim!

GOod luck taking the girls by yourself. What a nice mom!!

Thank you so much - my first response!!
The picture of her back is my favorite from last year. I think she was just in awe of the castle. Couldn't be bothered to look at me:rotfl:

Hope you enjoy!! Any questions or comments, please feel free!!

crocko
06-04-2009, 10:47 AM
I'm here as well. Your two girls are very cute and I also find that picture of her turning her back on you very cute.


Also, I can understand your frustration about your sister's response on the last trip. As a parent, I've learned to just deal with those scenarios. Both my kids, especially my daughter, can tend to have Mommy days where my presence is not "appreciated." [I understand...have just learned not to take it personally...my wife takes it harder than I do] In fact, my daughter doesn't like me to give her bedtime kisses...she always wipes them off. So, now when she does that, I tell her "Oh, you're rubbing it in more, how sweet" and she cracks up and asks for another so I can say it again. A silly routine but it keeps us both happy.



Anyway, excited to hear about your plans leading up to the big trip.

cheap traveler
06-04-2009, 10:59 AM
Yea!!! I have 2 readers!!:cheer2: Thank you!!

Another chapter, the days are flying by. 76 days from now, we will be almost there!!!!:cool1:

First a quick word on how I chose where to go each day. I go against the grain of so many Disney fans, and try my best to avoid EMH days. We like to hit the park at rope drop, and leave when we are ready. Sometimes we go back to the hotel for lunch, sometimes we donít. Depends on our moods and energy levels really. So this year the only EMH we wont be able to avoid is day 3 at MK. It is a late EMH, so I hope we will be out of the park before the crowds get too big. I try to get the kids to bed close to their normal time most nights, it really helps for the next day.

So Day 2

This is our AK day. We LOVE AK. DDs love animals of all kinds, and the Lion King show is a must-see every year. I like that the park has shorter hours, it makes the evening easier for us. So on our must see list for AK are:

Festival of the Lion King
Finding Nemo the musical
many animal walking trails
Dinoland
If DD3 is tall enough - Kali River Rapids
Parade

Anything extra beyond that is just a bonus. I donít know if we will see Itís Tough to be a Bug this year. The kids arenít crazy about it, and it seems to be one of those that we can skip for a couple of years and not miss.

Our TS meal that day is Tusker House for lunch. I tried for breakfast, but they were full. The menu really looks interesting, and I know there are a few standards that the kids will eat even if they donít try anything new.

Dinner is still up in the air. We will have the voucher for Planet Hollywood, but I really donít like the place. This may be another POP food court night. There are certainly enough choices to keep us happy. I would like to avoid downtown Disney this year, as it is always a major budget-buster for me.:lmao: Money is very tight this year, so being restricted to park shops will be good for me.

If time permits, we will head for a quick swim, baths, and early to bed.

Next up...Our first trip down main street USA in 2009.:dance3:

cheap traveler
06-04-2009, 04:10 PM
possible change of plans for dinner on our AK day. After reading up on the new picnic in the park, I'm wondering if I can pick it up on our way out and have it for dinner at the hotel. Looks tasty, just not sure of the serving times?? Anyone know?

crocko
06-04-2009, 04:15 PM
Brochure (http://www.themouseforless.com/tripplanning/menus/wdw/images/AK/PicnicInThePark.pdf).

Doesn't say specifically, but looks like something that you would be able to simply take with you if you wanted.

I guess a question would be is if "food" is allowed on the buses.

cheap traveler
06-05-2009, 10:29 AM
Brochure (http://www.themouseforless.com/tripplanning/menus/wdw/images/AK/PicnicInThePark.pdf).

Doesn't say specifically, but looks like something that you would be able to simply take with you if you wanted.

I guess a question would be is if "food" is allowed on the buses.

Thanks for the link!! I think they are ok with food on the busses, especially if we aren't eating it. We had breakfast on the bus a few times last year with no trouble. Definitly no 5 second rule in that situation:eek:

maroo
06-05-2009, 02:58 PM
I am here, too!!

I love the pic of your daughter looking backwards at the castle!

And the bathing suit idea for the plane ride is just hilarious!

Looks like your plans are great! :thumbsup2

cheap traveler
06-05-2009, 03:53 PM
Woo-hoo!!! Three readers and two pages:yay:

Where did I leave off? Oh yeah, we are sleeping on Thursday night, end of day 2.

So day 3:

Today is the big walk down Main Street USA:cheer2:
As you can see from the picture of the back of Hailey, the girls love the castle. We are getting the photopass this year, so I am going to try for a few different shots by the castle. Hopefully with everyones faces:lmao:

Our only ADR today is Crystal Palace for lunch - a first for us. We always do breakfast there, but decided on lunch this year. Our breakfast will be something easy in the room.

As far as rides go, I'm sure we will head to Fantasyland first. If we can get these rides out of the way early, we can save some time versus the crowds that gather later on. There is no rush here for us, because we will be back on day 5, so it will be a go-with-the-flow type of the day.

Side note: anyone familiar with the beautiful pavilion off to the right of the castle, surrounded by roses, on the water? Nice quiet place to sit and rest. Two years ago we were getting out of the rain, just relaxing down there. The girls were watching ducks swim by, they LOVE ducks. I turned away for one minute, and when I turned back my DD5 (then 3) was crying, with one shoe. She had seen a spider web in the railing, so she decided to knock it down with her shoe...and lost her shoe into the water. Really funny now, not so funny then when we had ADRs in an hour and she needed shoes for the restaurant. So that was the introduction of Mickey Crocs to our family. $35 later she had shoes on her feet and a new addicton.

We now have 4 pair in our entry way. Even in the winter.

So the moral to this story, we stay away from pretty resting spots that overlook water.:upsidedow

Our day will end whenever everyone gets tired. Dinner can be CS in the park or at the hotel. A swim? Maybe. Fireworks? Maybe. Trying not to stress this year. I have no adult to relieve me if I'm overwhelmed, so I am just going to chill.

If we do stay for fireworks, we will watch them from the bus stop. Learned last year you can see them fine, without the crowds. We couldn't hear the music from where we stood near the train station anyway, so no loss there.




Thanks everyone fo reading. Keeping my hands busy so I'm not online shopping for Disney "stuff".
:love:

crocko
06-05-2009, 03:57 PM
Side note: anyone familiar with the beautiful pavilion off to the right of the castle, surrounded by roses, on the water? Nice quiet place to sit and rest. Two years ago we were getting out of the rain, just relaxing down there. The girls were watching ducks swim by, they LOVE ducks. I turned away for one minute, and when I turned back my DD5 (then 3) was crying, with one shoe. She had seen a spider web in the railing, so she decided to knock it down with her shoe...and lost her shoe into the water. Really funny now, not so funny then when we had ADRs in an hour and she needed shoes for the restaurant. So that was the introduction of Mickey Crocs to our family. $35 later she had shoes on her feet and a new addicton.


Haha

Great story. I'm sure it was a tough situation at the time, but looking back it is those crazy stories likes those that end up being some of the best memories.

Sounds like a great day you have planned out. Although, really any day in Magic Kingdom is a great day. :thumbsup2

cheap traveler
06-08-2009, 09:15 AM
Quick update on the weekend before I continue the planning.

A bit ago I had decided to order trading pins online to save some big money. The girls really got into pin trading last year, even Hailey. It's just too cute to watch them approach a CM and ask to see their pins. Our focus this year will be to complete our collention of full-body princess pins - meaning not just their head:lmao:
S what does that have to do with this weekend? The pins arrived!!! I paid $1.28 each, free shipping. I was a little worried that they may not be "real", but they are. So we have 20 new pins just to trade - but the girls don't know. I think I will put them in the airplane bags, or maybe an arrival gift.

The other thing we did was our "theme dinner." Saturday night we rented Bedtime Stories. The kids liked it, and afterwards we went outside and made s'mores like they do in the movie.
Then Sunday night we watched Lilo and Stitch. We ate Hawiian pizza (cheating, I know) and used the dvd extras to learn about the islands of Hawaii and how to hula dance. It was a lot of fun, and I will be working on the ideas for the next few weekends. I will probably have to sneak a Hannah Montana theme in there somewhere.

Ok, still to come:
day 4, and a little more detail on our dining times - I brought my planner with me today so I have the details
Hope everyone had great weekend:cutie:

cheap traveler
06-08-2009, 10:50 AM
So first up a little more detail on the dining plans. I finally remembered to bring my plans with me.

Our arrival day we have reservations at the Grand Floridian Cafť for dinner at 5:20pm. As I said, I hope to switch this to CS.
Day 2: Tusker House lunch at 11:45am
Day 3: Crystal Palace lunch at 11:50am
Day 4: Hollywood and Vine lunch at 12:10pm
Day 5: Restaurant Akershus breakfast at 9:15am
Day 6: Chef Mickeyís dinner at 5:35pm

The only one that is a bad time is the princess breakfast, but I will take what I can get to eat with the princesses. We usually like to eat breakfast around 7am, and spend the entire morning hitting our top rides in the park. Hailey wonít be tall enough for most of the rides in Epcot, so this shouldnít mess up our morning too much.

Now on to day 4.

Today is on to Hollywood Studios. We skipped this park last year. We only had 4 park days, so 2 days in MK was better for us. We are looking forward to the new Toy Story ride, and that will be the first order of the day. If the wait is over 30 minutes, we will fastpass. The kids really have never been big fans of most of the shows, but with them getting older we will try again:3dglasses. I have never seen the Beauty and the Beast show, so we are trying to see that this year. Again, Hailey is too small for the bigger rides, so today is no-stress. They do like the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground, so I will let them run off some steam before lunch.
The day will probably end early, so it will be another good pool and hotel dinner night. We really donít like many of the CS places at HS anyway, so no big loss here.

Up next:

Epcot, and our chance to get up-close and personal with some princesses princess:

cheap traveler
06-08-2009, 10:52 AM
I just made my final payment on the vacation package!!:banana:

I could have waited another month, but I want to be sure I have enough time to get my rewards card all loaded up. Only around $38 this year, but every little bit helps.

They said I should receive mmy packet in 7-10 days:cool1:

Now I will patiently stalk the mailbox:lmao:

crocko
06-08-2009, 11:06 AM
Who did you use to get your pins from?

cheap traveler
06-08-2009, 11:17 AM
Who did you use to get your pins from?

I used bibbidi bobbidi boo colectibles. Between each word is an underscore, but it doesn't seem to show up on here:confused3

They are down to $1.10 each right now!! Must be getting low.

crocko
06-08-2009, 11:40 AM
Awesome....I've been planning on doing this and $1.10 per is a GREAT price!

Just ordered 20 :cool1:

cheap traveler
06-09-2009, 09:20 AM
So I've been reading my old 2007 Disney Guide. It is called something along the lines of "Disney World with Kids 2007." It was really helpful...in 2007. I want to get a new guide, but I'm not sure which one to get. I am open to reccomendations.

I don't actually get the guide because they tell me anything new, just because I don't have internet access at home so I need to immerse my self somehow:goodvibes

I've been realizing lately that there are a lot of great things at our favorite hotel - POP Century - that I have never even seen. I never spend any time in the lobby, so all the shadow boxes on the wall have been passed by. I have never walked over to the Generation Gap bridge. Looking at pictures recently I see that you can get some really great pictures there. And to my amazement I have never seen the twister game!! I love twister!! I still don't actually know where it is, but I will defenitly be seeking it out this trip.

We will really have a full arrival day, with all these little explorations on my to-do list;)

I will get a new installment up today - should be on to Epcot. Despite the ages of my kids, this is a huge hit with our family. The kids love fish:love:

cheap traveler
06-09-2009, 10:26 AM
Day 5: Epcot

We love Epcot. There are a lot of things we wonít be able to do this year with only one adult, but we still love Epcot. Isabella loves Soarin, likes Test Track, and tried Mission Space last year. All 3 of those are out this year, unless Hailey grows 3 inches in the next 71 days:rolleyes:

The park opens at 9am this day. We will plan to be there before rope drop, because our breakfast in Norway is at 9:35. I donít know if they will let us through early, but I will certainly try. It is great to have a quiet moment in the park, almost completely alone:cloud9:. We will miss the opening show that way, but no big deal.

After breakfast, Spaceship Earth will probably be our first stop. The kids were nervous at first on this last year, but really loved it by the end. In reading my old guide book, I realized I have never been to the Universe of Energy. Iím wondering if it is only open seasonally, and thats why I have never been there. If it is open, we will head there at some point. A good portion of our day is spent with the fish. Nemo ride, Turtle Talk with Crush, and the many viewing areas of the aquarium.

I hope to be able to push lunch back to about 1pm, since we will be eating breakfast so late. We always head to Sunshine Seasons in the Land pavilion for lunch. The choices are great and the portions are huge, allowing us to share.

The world showcase will be our destination after lunch. I always head clockwise around the showcase, so this year I want to go counter-clockwise:upsidedow. There are a lot of shows and rides in world showcase we usually skip, so with any luck the kids wonít be so tired they pass out.

Last year we got caught in Japan during a downpour, and it was the best hour of our day. We wandered inside and found the pick-a-pearl area. I bought one for each girl, and my sister bought one. The whole thing was just great. I want to get myself one this year. After the pearls, we headed outside and had a chance to see the ďcandy ladyĒ doing her thing. She is amazing, I really hope to catch her again this year.

We wonít be staying for the fireworks, so we will head for the gate before the show starts. If we leave before dinner, the hotel food court will welcome us again. If we stay in the park until we are ready to eat again, we will just wing it. Iím sure I can find something acceptable for the kids in world showcase, and it would be fun for me to get something with some flair for dinner. We are really boring people when it comes to food.

Next up:
Our final park day:sad1:, spent in Mk.:goodvibes My Brithday:cool1::banana:

cheap traveler
06-10-2009, 12:01 PM
So this morning I had to take a trip north for work. I took my parent's GPS with me, as I do when I go anywhere new. The first time it spoke my directions I broke out into a HUGE grin :D

Last year we drove to Disney, and took the GPS. Today was the first time since that trip I heard that voice and it brought me right back. Of course I had to dodge the bad memories of my sister driving on the way back, but it gave me nearly 45 minutes of Disney bliss.

So worth it.
Wonder where I can go next?:rotfl:

cheap traveler
06-11-2009, 09:24 AM
Ok I finally got some pictures of the pins I bought on E-bay. The first is how they came packaged, the second is out of the packages.

http://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww288/hedder882/pins%20plus/DSCF0132.jpg

http://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww288/hedder882/pins%20plus/DSCF0148.jpg

As you can see, they didn't come on the normal black hangers, but they were in perfect condition. They must all be discontinued or something. There are a lot of pirates, a lot of muppets, and a few others.

I also ordered some pin lanyards with little zippered pouches attached to the bottom. Hannah Montana for Bella, Princesses for Hailey. The seller is away for a few weeks, but I have plenty of time. 69 days to be exact, but whos counting?:rotfl:

Ok, last thing before I get on to our last day. I went online to get an updated flight cost for my friend Jenelle. She asked for a total price so she could decide if she was coming with me. When the info came up, I found out the flight times had changed. Our outgoing flight leaves 20 minutes early, no big deal. Our return flight leaves nearly 2 hours later:scared1:. If I had never checked, as I am known to do, I would have been sitting at the Orlando airport 2 hours early!

The good thing is both of these changes give me more time in Disney:woohoo:. It is now number one on my list to re-check flight times the day before we go.

So the final word is Jenelle can't go, so it is indeed 2vs1 as my title says.

I will try to get the plan for our final day up today. I also have some great pictures of the kids from this weekend, so expect that coming up too.

crocko
06-11-2009, 09:29 AM
Awesome....those are fun pins that you received

Excited to see if I get the same or different.


AND YES!! Definitely keep an eye on those plane reservations. Ours have had slight changes a couple times already.

cheap traveler
06-11-2009, 11:20 AM
Day 6:

Our final day :(

As always, we decided on a second day at MK. There is just so much in this park to do that we like to take our time and spend 2 days there.

Our first MK day should have started in Fantasyland, so today will probably start the other direction in adventureland or somewhere over there. The jungle cruise is a must. I stumbled on this ride quite by accident 2 years ago and I think it is hilarious :rotfl:. Especially when we are told to take small children by the hand, because any children left behind have their feet stapled to the floor in ďItís a Small World,Ē are taught how to sing the song in 24 different languages, and sent home in a few years when they have gotten too tall to blend in.
:lmao::rotfl::lmao:

Ah, the simple little things that crack me up.

A few things that, on 5 past trips, I have never done:

Liberty Square Riverboat
Swiss Family Treehouse
Tom Sawyer Island
Enchanted Tiki Room
Country Bear Jamboree

All of these are on the ďif we have timeĒ list. We usually visit in September, so I think the treehouse has been closed. None of these are on the ďmust seeĒ list, actually there is no ďmust seeĒ list this year.

We are going with the flow.

We are. I swear.

I think there is a chance I said this the last two years also.

But this time I mean it.



Weíll see.

Breakfast this day will be in our room, like most other days. Lunch is up in the air. We really like Cosmic Rays, but I would like to try new things this trip. The menu for El Pirata Y el Perico Restaurante looks pretty good. The kids have been liking tacos this year, so we might give it a try. I think we will just see what is nearby when we get hungry.

I am disappointed that the TTA will be closed for my trip. The schedule says the last day of the closure will be August 24th, which happens to be today. We like to ride this to relax and cool off, and sometimes the kids even fall asleep. Keeping fingers crossed it will open back up early.

A ride on Buzz Lightyear is always in order, so we will try to sneak that in as well.

Another thing we will try to fit in this year that we skipped last year are the parades. The kids really like parades, so it is on my list. Along with any stage shows going on. This year is really all about taking it slow, seeing what we want, and not stressing anything we miss.

Why, you may ask, is my attitude so laid back? Because I plan to book a bounce back offer if there is one. I have already made up my mind, we are going back next year:banana:. This year I pushed our trip up to August to avoid taking Bella out of Kindergarten her first month. It will be a big adjustment already for her. But next year, I think we will go the last week of free dining.
Cooler weather
Smaller crowds
Free dining

Itís all good.

So thatís it. Our days in the happiest place on earth are just about over.
I will post some general plans for our last day, which is really only a morning.

cheap traveler
06-11-2009, 04:10 PM
So we had some nice weather this past weekend. We live near a lake, but it isn't quite warm enough for that yet:scared1:
So I broke out the sprinkler.
The girls had a blast, and I was able to get a few pictures before they lost interest in posing for Mommy.

http://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww288/hedder882/pins%20plus/DSCF0128.jpg

http://i728.photobucket.com/albums/ww288/hedder882/pins%20plus/DSCF0130.jpg

Onto our last day.

Now that our flight time has been moved back nearly 2 hours, we have NO rush on our last morning. We leave just before 2pm, so I figure we will have to leave about 11-12??

We will def sleep in, after a full week we will need it. I will probably have everything packed up already, so when we wake up we will roll down to the food court for a relaxing hot breakfast.

Ok relaxing might be pushing it in a loud, busy food court:rotfl:

Most of our breakfasts on this trip will be eaten in our room, so a hot breakfast will be welcome. The kids love cereal, don't get me wrong, but waffles win hands down. Especially ones with Mickey's face on them.

By this time, we might have some time for a stroll around the hotel one last time before boarding the Magical Express for the most depressing ride of our year.

Planned arrival time back in NY is 3:49pm, so we should be home for dinner with any luck. We are using a small airport this trip, since it is pure **LL getting in and out of NYC, so getting home will take a fraction of the time. I am so glad Jet Blue has added this airport to their arsenal.

So, thats it. Trip over. I am currently on the hunt for a small notebook to take notes in this trip. Last year I had a tiny one with the spiral binding at the top, and I just didn't like it. This year I am looking to double the size and get a side binding. I know I have seen them before, I just have to find it now.
And of course decorate it:laughing:

cheap traveler
06-12-2009, 10:06 AM
Well, it's official. Barring any huge roadblocks, we are going to see up this weekend.:banana:

We won't go 3D, because the kids won't keep the glasses on, but regular old 2D is good for us.

I have heard the movie is sad, but the kids are begging to go see it. The last 2 weekends, we had plans to see it, but something keeps coming up. Friend's birthday party, family visit, illness. Keeping my fingers crossed.

On another note, I have been trying to lose some weight before our trip. It will really be easier on my feet and legs if I am a little lighter. My starting weight is 16 pounds heavier than I was before my kids came along:scared1:. I have finally gotten serious about this, and I am down 2 pounds in 10 days. Not bad. Only 5ish more to go. I don't really have a target number, I just want to fit comfortably in my clothes.

So sitting here writing my trip report, has been helping me not eat out of boredom. So thank you all for reading!!

crocko
06-12-2009, 10:56 AM
Yay for going to see UP!!

It is great. I think the sad parts get to adults more than kids. I don't think my little ones fully understood the "sad parts". But they both really liked the movie and Joshua was ready to go back the next night.

Hope you have fun!

cheap traveler
06-15-2009, 09:58 AM
So we finally got to see "UP" this weekend. We almost didn't, because the weather was just so wonderful. But Sunday afternoon we decided it was time to go.

The troop was me, the girls, and my mother. It's so much more fun to play when Grammy pays;)

Before the movie started, they had that cute little "short" with the clouds. As the credits rolled for that I told the kids "that's it, movie is over!"

They didn't believe me:confused3

So about ten minutes into the REAL movie, my mother pipes up with "well this is a crappy way to start a movie."

The beginning was very sad, and that theme really carried through the movie.

The kids loved it, and really loved "Dug." I loved the great messages in the movie - love nature, love your family, keep your promises, stay loyal to your friends...

The kids, even though they are little, really got the messages. They talked about it the rest of Sunday and I was amazed how much they really absorbed the messages. They don't remember any of the character's names, but they remember that you should stick by your friends no matter what.

Overall, such a great movie. The girls already have it on their Christmas list. To quote Bella, "if we buy the movie we can watch it all the time. Well not all the time, but on weekends."

Ah, got to love those kids. They know better than to ask for TV on school days. I'm such a mean Mommy:lmao:

Hope everyone had a great weekend!! 65 days until the best week of our year! Thats only 9 weeks from wednesday!!:dance3:

crocko
06-15-2009, 10:37 AM
Glad they enjoyed the movie....

and yay for getting closer to your trip. 9 weeks....not too much longer. :thumbsup2

cheap traveler
06-16-2009, 08:48 AM
I forgot to mention the other movie I watched this weekend - "Haunted Mansion" with Eddie Murphy.

That was so funny, with so many parallels to the Disney attraction. Every time I recognized something in the movie from the ride, I just laughed. The hitch-hiking ghosts were the best.

My kids tolerate the ride because I like it, but it isn't a favorite. The movie was on after their bedtime, and I think parts of it are too scary for Bella anyway.

I never even knew this movie existed! Definitly worth the hour and a half

cheap traveler
06-24-2009, 03:51 PM
So I haven't mentioned that I am part of 2 DIS swaps for this trip. The first is a fridge swap. The organization of that swap is great, and everyone always responds quickly. Love it :lovestruc

The second is a stroller swap. I was SO excited to find a sit-n-stand stroller available for our stay. We have one at home, but after spending a few months in the basement it got a bit moldy. Bella is allergic to mold, so it is headed for the trash.

Well it hs been a few months since I climbed aboard that swap, and it seems to be falling apart:headache:.
I just got a PM from the swapper who will have it this weekend, asking for my info since she and I seem to be the only people paying attention. I have 56 days left!

I am trying to get into another swap, but things just aren't looking good. I'm going to keep my eyes on yard sales I guess, just in case. My two are not up to the challenge of walking the parks. Not even the 5 1/2 year old.

I have PM'd the stroller swap leader letting her know if I hear nothing by Friday I will be pulling out of the swap. I am very nervous about winding up with no stroller, but trying not to panic yet.


Easier said than done. I live to worry.

Keep your fingers crossed for me:scared:

crocko
06-26-2009, 03:54 PM
Good luck! Hoping something works out for you....I considered a stroller swap, but we're just going to end up bringing our own single strollers.

Toystoryfan32
06-26-2009, 05:32 PM
Hi! I am late starting your pre trip report but I just got caught up. :surfweb: You daughters are so cute. My youngest daughter is named Bella too. We love the Haunted Mansion at our house. Its such a fun movie. Your PTR is fun I'll be tuning in. popcorn::

cheap traveler
06-30-2009, 11:39 AM
Down to the 50 day mark today:yay:

I have gotten an update on the stroller swap I am in. As of last weekend the stroller was in good shape and passed on. This swapper has it until July 5th, so we will see.

I also mentioned I have the same stroller at home. Well I dug it out of the basement this weekend, and it is in really good shape!!:woohoo:

Bella (5.5) is allergic to mold, so I was worried about the shape of the stroller. It turns out that the majority of the mold was confined to the buckles of the front seat, and the handle. So I washed off what I could and just cut off the buckles. Hailey (3) doesn't need to be buckled anyway, she prefers to get in and out herself.

We used it for a walk on saturday, and I have decided this will head to Disney with us if the stroller swap falls apart before I head down. My only worry, and I hope someone can tell me, how big of a stroller can you gate -check? We are flying Jet Blue, and the last time I flew I only had an umbrella stroller. This thing is a little bigger-folded-than a standard Graco you would use for a baby, like the ones that come as a "travel system."


So that crisis has been averted, and all is well. Hailey has asthma, as I have mentioned, and her Dr was worried about how she would be breathing in the summer heat. It isn't as hot and humid as FL in August will be, but we did have some 90 degrees and humid up here, and she has not had a single breathing problem:yay:!!

This means that she is probably more affected by cold than hot, and our trip should be just fine.

That is two major worries just off the table.

Now what will I worry about?

I know I have to have something, it's just the way I am.
Seems to be a requirement of a single mother:rotfl:

So 50 days until Disney means about 71 days until first day of school!! Bella is super excited to start Kindergarten, and I am super excited to start back-to-school shopping!! Crazy, I know. It was always my favorite time of year as a kid. I loved school, and really loved getting all that new stuff. Now my favorite part of the shopping is getting all those super deals!! Staples 1 cent sale should be starting soon, and there is a Staples about a mile from where I work. You better believe I will be there every day to get more than the limit of free and almost free stuff!! And weekends will be spent at Walmart to get their crazy-cheap stuff!!

Happy 4th to all my (very few) readers!! Stay safe, don't lose any fingers or eyebrows with home fireworks ;)

crocko
06-30-2009, 11:44 AM
Am interested to see what happens with your stroller situation.

We've decided to take with us our two individual strollers. They are fold-up strollers, but a little bit bigger than a normal umbrella stroller. Hopefully it won't be a problem.

cheap traveler
07-06-2009, 03:39 PM
Ok, so I think we have determined I tend to go MIA once in a while. It's only been 6 days this time:lmao:

So I am trying my best to straighten out our stroller issue. I have sort of Hijacked the thread. Hmm, bossy much:confused3;)

But everyone seems to be taking it well. I have been in contact with a lot of my fellow swappers, and they seem grateful that someone is running the show. I have filled a few gaps, and updated our list. There is a link in my Sig. if anyone wants to check it out.

As for trip planning, I really don't have anything left:sad1:
If I plan any more, I will make myself crazy. So now, I'm on to making my parents crazy:idea:

They decided to take a trip down in October, starting on the last day of free dining. So yesterday was their 90 day mark, and I made their dining reservations. I have to trickle the info to them, so as not to overwhelm them:rotfl:

The last time they went to the world was 21 years ago on their honeymoon. They have NO idea about the place these days. That was a time when you could just walk up to a restaurant and get a table. They almost didn't even make reservations, because "How do I know what I will want to eat 3 months from now?"

:headache: This is why I had to take over.

My mother has wanted to come with me and the kids a few times, but she really just can't handle the summer heat, so I keep saying no. Plus, my kids tend to drive her nuts, which results in her driving me nuts. Not a good time.

Hope everyone had a great 4th. I will try to update more regularly, but you have seen how that is working for me so far:)

crocko
07-06-2009, 03:41 PM
Planning vicariously through your mom.

LOL! :rotfl: Very good.

So, sounds like stroller situation is looking better. What's the current status on how you will get it when you arrive?

cheap traveler
07-06-2009, 03:55 PM
I have not been able to contact the swapper before me. I have PM'd, but with no response. The "plan" is for the stroller to be waiting for me at POP, but I would really like to hear from her to be sure. Today was my second PM.

At the worst, if nobody hears from her, the last swapper before her has the stroller through Aug 3rd. If she leaves it for me, It isn't that big of a gap where the stroller would get lost (I hope). I have been in touch with that swapper.

Man, who would have figured this could be so hard? I think it would be easier if I had started the swap, instead of coming in 4 months late.

cheap traveler
07-15-2009, 01:15 PM
5 Weeks to go today!!

Can I do a little happy dance?

:cool1: :banana: :cool1: :banana: :cool1: :banana:

:woohoo: :yay: :woohoo: :yay: :woohoo: :yay: :woohoo:

:dance3::dance3::dance3::dance3::dance3::dance3:

:cheer2::cheer2::cheer2::cheer2::cheer2::cheer2:

35 days seems a bit far off to start packing, but that is exactly what I am doing. Making more of my many lists, wasting paper. I know exactly which of my clothes I am bringing, and once I get the last load of laundry out tonight, I will go through the kids clothes and figure out what they are bringing.

We placed a grocery order throught Garden Grocer. I spoke with the lady, and she seems very nice. I have delivery scheduled for 5 pm on our arrival day. This will give us time to get our room, and let the fridge cool down. She even brings the order straight to our room! I ordered water, juice, milk, bagels, cream cheese, and some other stuff. I figure the order should be about $50 with the service fee. Not bad, should save us money. We will be able to eat breakfast in our room almost every morning. That saves us a lot of time.

The girls are crazy excited. They ask a few times a week to see where the trip is on the calendar. We covered our arrival day in stickers, so it is easy to pick out.

crocko
07-15-2009, 01:35 PM
Yay for 5 more weeks. Getting so close.......for me, since the 10-week mark, time has gone to stand-still mode. LOL -- feel like it has taken 3 weeks just to get 6 days knocked out.

Glad you got food supplies figured out!

cheap traveler
07-15-2009, 02:03 PM
Oh, I almost forgot. I have been looking in every store I go into for sunscreen wipes. I have read great reviews of them, even in parenting magazines, so I would love to try them out.

I finally found them, thanks to a tip from someone here on the DIS!
Amazon.com has them! I paid almost $19 for a box of 25 wipes, so they cost about $.75 each application. I figure that the aresol sprays I like so much have 6 ounces in the bottle, and they cost at least $6. So that is $1 each application, if you use the full ounce recommended.

Even if it didn't save money, the convience on vacation will be great! I always spray us all down in the morning when we get dressed, and now I can just throw 3 wipes in our bag to re-apply after lunch! Much smaller and lighter, and they are individually wrapped.

Ok, thats it for today.

crocko
07-15-2009, 02:20 PM
Great tip!

Would you be able to provide a link for the ones that you purchased?

cheap traveler
07-15-2009, 03:24 PM
http://www.amazon.com/SPF30-SCREEN-INDIVIDUAL-WRAPPED-TOWELETTES/dp/B0006GBEYE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1247685792&sr=8-1

These are what I bought. Look really good

Iluvmickeymouse!
08-04-2009, 03:06 PM
Hello!! I am coming in a little late!!! I followed your link on your siggie after I saw your update on the stroller swap. Your vacation is getting so close!!!! I think you will do a great job with just you and the girls.


Right now dinner involves a bus ride to Epcot, a monorail ride to the TTC(? correct me if I'm wrong), and another monorail to the Grand Floridian. With any luck this will change to a short walk to the food court. Crazy, I know, but I am not concerned with getting the best bang for our DDP buck. It is free, so I don't really lose anything by eating cheaper food. All I lose is the stress of years past of trying to hurry to our ADR. Dont get me wrong, I do have meals planned, I am just going to try not to sweat the small stuff this trip.


If you are staying at POP, you can ride the bus to Magic Kingdom then get on the monorail there and ride the resort loop. I think that would save you some time!! Have you tried calling and switch your ressies to the ones you want? I know if you keep calling a spot may open up on the original ressie that you wanted. Even better, you could try the new online ressie system for dining and see if there is anything open.


Today is on to Hollywood Studios. We skipped this park last year. We only had 4 park days, so 2 days in MK was better for us. We are looking forward to the new Toy Story ride, and that will be the first order of the day. If the wait is over 30 minutes, we will fastpass. The kids really have never been big fans of most of the shows, but with them getting older we will try again:3dglasses. I have never seen the Beauty and the Beast show, so we are trying to see that this year. Again, Hailey is too small for the bigger rides, so today is no-stress. They do like the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground, so I will let them run off some steam before lunch.
The day will probably end early, so it will be another good pool and hotel dinner night. We really donít like many of the CS places at HS anyway, so no big loss here.



I kow your kids don't watch much tv, but I think they may enjoy Playhouse Disney at DHS....we are going to do that this year with my little ones!



The park opens at 9am this day. We will plan to be there before rope drop, because our breakfast in Norway is at 9:35. I donít know if they will let us through early, but I will certainly try. It is great to have a quiet moment in the park, almost completely alone:cloud9:. We will miss the opening show that way, but no big deal.



My guess is they will not let you in early because 35 minutes is plenty of time to get to Norway......but I could be wrong. I totally understand the wanting to get in before the park opens...i am trying to figure out how to do that this year!!

Happy packing!!!! Can't wait to read more! :dance3:

cheap traveler
08-05-2009, 11:45 AM
Welcome to my pre-trip report Iluvmickeymouse! :flower3:

My magical express packet came yesterday:yay:!! We got very excited at the mail box last night. With the Mickey mail came the letter from school detailing Kindergarten orientation and DD's teacher's name. :woohoo:

We got 3 ME tags, one for each of us. As of right now, I only plan to check one bag. I will (mostly) finish my packing this weekend, so I will know for sure if I need another bag. I really hope not to, because the less I have to drag into the airport the better.

The last time I used ME was in 2005. I can't remember what time we landed, but I know it was about 4-5 hours after we got to the hotel when we finally went down to luggage services to pick up our bags. I wasn't smart enough to pack pajamas in our carry-ons, so we needed the bags.

This year we *should* arrive at the hotel by 12:30pm. I have groceries being delivered at 4pm, I am meeting a fellow DISer at 5 to pick up the stroller, and dinner is at 5:30 at the Grand Floridian. I only hope that when we return from dinner (7pm?) our bags will be there. Either way, I am packing everything we need for our first AND second days in a carry-on.

Bella is finally super-excited about the countdown. She can count backwards from 20, so now she can participate in the count:teacher:. Hailey has no concept of time, so it is all the same to her. She feeds off of our excitement. :cool1:

Now, back in the beginning I talked about all the worrying I was doing. Add one more to the list:headache:. I mentioned Hailey has asthma, and we finally found a medicine that works really well for her. Well, since April she has lost over 2 lbs. She just turned 3 last month, and this is not an age where she should lose any weight. She has gotten taller by a little bit, but I am worried. We don't go back to the Pulmonologist until September 10th, so I won't have answers until then.

I have looked up the side effects of her medicine (advair), and weight GAIN is a noted side effect, never weight loss.
Her doctor has mentioned maybe she feels better so she is moving more, but I don't know... She has always been a very active girl.

But on the Disney front, this will not affect us much. We have the stroller, so she can rest as much as she wants. Since her first trip (where she ate nothing but red grapes), she hasn't been a big vacation eater. I will have to push more food on her, all high in protien as per Dr's orders. No big deal, Mickey Ice Cream bars must have a bunch of protien:rolleyes1. We will always have her inhaler. Am I forgetting anything? This is our first vacation since her diagnosis, I am not used taking care of all the details away from home.

Well, 14 days to go. This time two weeks from now we will be in Orlando International Airport. If you see this in the airport: :dance3:, its just us. Say hi!

I hope to get back for at least one more per-trip update, but in case I don't - you've seen my track record - I will def be back after the 25th!

cheap traveler
08-10-2009, 01:59 PM
So we are down to 9 days! I am almost all packed, all but those last minute items.

I had planned to check one bag, have 2 carry-ons, plus my personal item of my backpack. After getting everything packed, I was able to cut out one of the carry-ons!! This makes me VERY happy. It frees up a hand to hold on to the kids. Bella should be able to pull the carry-on herself, leaving both of my hands free to hold both of them.

Now you may wonder what I have cut out to be able to do this?

NOTHING!

Ok, well snacks have been eliminated. I usually pack a lot of snacks, but I have finally talked myself out of it this year. I am also getting groceries delivered this year - Thank you Wegoshop! This is mostly drinks and breakfast foods to save time.

The kids are super excited now. Back in April when I booked the trip, Hailey would ask where we were going every time we got in the car. When my answer was not "Disney World" she would start crying.
Well, she has started this again. Mostly just whining when I say "the grocery store" or "school" but still not happy.

I am thinking about getting Bella her own camera for the trip. My hold ups: she will probably lose it, she would use it up in one day, or I would end up carrying it around all the time. I think I will ask her about it this week, and we can pick one up at walmart if need be.

So basically, we are ready to go. All I have to do now is clean the house right before we go, and relax a little. I am not a very happy flyer, so a bit of pre-trip relaxation is in order. Maybe I should learn to meditate?

crocko
08-10-2009, 03:34 PM
Yay!!!

You're in single digits. Me = jealous.
Hope this last week goes great for you...... (fingers crossed) for no last-minute hiccups.

cheap traveler
08-11-2009, 10:17 AM
So I just re-read my whole pre-trip report, for the first time.

Wow, I am too excited to work now!

We have one - yes only one - new dissapointment. Bella has been in "summer camp" this year, still at the same daycare she has gone to for 3 years. Their last official week of camp is next week, while we are away. I had planned to send her somewhere else Monday and Tuesday, so I don't have to pay for a full week of camp, but I have nowhere to send her.

This is really only bad because the theme next week is their play - The Lion King. She is SO upset that she can't participate. But I keep telling her, we get to see the REAL lion king show in AK!

This does not make her feel any better :confused3

I think my era of magical fixes (ex: kissing boo-boos) is coming to an end. This is sad :guilty:

Why do they have to grow up?


But, on with the good. I have decided we are keeping our reservation at the Grand Floridian Cafe on our arrival day. It is the easiest way for me to get the stroller. I am meeting the swapper before me at the hotel at 5pm.

Then I will leave the stroller for the next swapper on the afternoon of our last park day, and we will go without it the rest of the day.

All in all the stroller swap has been operating smoothly lately. Dates are filling up, and our big gaps are much smaller now.

As for the fridge, it should be waiting in luggage services for me when I arrive! Everything is falling into place on these last days!

Left to do: re-fill Hailey's prescription, clean the house, teach someone how to do my job :headache:, and pack the last-minute things

Easy-peasy.

Everyone have a great week, and thanks for sticking with me. I will try for a day-before update, and I will be back online around the 26th.



:dance3:

Iluvmickeymouse!
08-11-2009, 01:12 PM
only 1 more week to go....woohoo!!!! I am sooooo jealous!! :rotfl2: But, I know I will get there eventually! Have fun on your trip!!! :banana:

cheap traveler
09-14-2009, 03:52 PM
Yes, I know, we have been back for 20 days already. Life is crazy at this time of year. Busy at work, and Bella started kindergarten on the 8th. Smooth transition there.

I am working on my trip report. When I post the first installment, I will post a link. I like to write it in word, then cut and paste it over here. Works better on my computer.

Here is a quick preview of our departure day - our plane was scheduled to land in Orlando at 11:16am, and we finally landed at 5:55pm!! Luckily, that is the worst part of the whole trip.

More soon.

crocko
09-14-2009, 03:53 PM
Welcome back!!

Look forward to hearing your trip report!