View Full Version : It's "burning a hole in my pocket"! (kinda long)

08-25-2004, 12:48 PM
I need advice, or reassurance, or a swift kick in the bottom! :p

Here's the story...we have some friends who were planning to go to WDW in Sept. and asked if we could bid on a villa on Skyauction for them since they didn't have a fast computer. Well, we bid and won a 3 bdrm at Cypress Pointe GV for a week for a great price. They paid for the ressie (and their name is on it), but because we actually won the auction, DH's name is also on the paperwork. Do you see where this is headed? Turns out they cannot go after all...and want to give us this ressie if we can use it! The ressie states it is non-refundable and non-changeable. DH upgraded their computer for them and this would be their way of paying him back (he really didn't expect anything...maybe a batch of brownies :) ). Anyway, we were just there in Dec. 2003 and hadn't planned on going back till Nov/Dec '05...

The temptation is almost unbearable! But it's less than 3 weeks away...DH technically doesn't have the vacation time till January, but they've been shorthanded at work and he's put in lots of OT and has been really flexible...his company is pretty flexible too and may allow him to take some paid time. The budget would be REALLY tight (we just had some maintenance work done on the car), but we would consider doing just Universal this trip as we could get more park time for less $$, and we've been wanting to try US/IOA anyway. I'm a SAHM (so no work-related issues with me) and we have no problem pulling our kids out of school for a few days.

We would drive and eat most meals in the villa. DH thinks we're nuts to even consider this...though he wants to go too! We haven't told the kids...don't want them to be disappointed if we don't go, and it would be a nice surprise if we do.

What do you think??

08-25-2004, 01:02 PM
I say go for it. But maybe I'm not the one to be giving advice beings I would live there (in Disney) if I could and I myself am looking for a way to go and soon (you should read my post;) ).

I know you wouldn't be going to Disney this trip but in respect to the away time with DH and the kids, can you really put a price tag on that kind of connecting?

I think life is way too short and every now and then we need a little surprise to life.

I'm sure if you did some research (as I am trying to do) you will find great tips on budgeting.

Hope this helps.


08-25-2004, 01:13 PM
How is your research going with airfare?

08-25-2004, 01:26 PM
We went to IOA/USF back in 2000 and enjoyed it too. IOA was an easy park to navigate.

Hope this helps some.

08-25-2004, 01:29 PM
Sounds like this is too good to pass up! Even if you cut the budget way back and didn't do any theme parks :eek: , it would be a wonderful trip to free accommodations. I say start packing. :D

08-25-2004, 01:42 PM
I say go!

08-25-2004, 03:49 PM
I have to say go for it. If the $$ is really tight, you could skip the parks and just go to the beach. Family time is so important.

08-25-2004, 03:58 PM
I say stay at home and make it a Blockbuster Night, NOT!! LOL

Why are you on these boards when you should be packing?

Go! Eat meals in, carry snacks with you, go to the beach. Your driving, so there's plenty to do and see. Go to DTD and legoland.

My only criteria for taking off is "will I have a job when I get back?" I work hard but play harder. LOL

08-25-2004, 05:24 PM
It sounds like it was meant to be. I've heard the resort is fabulous.

We never spend much more eating in a condo than we would if we were home. We carry some grocery items with us in the van. Mostly things that are light and we bought cheap on sale and with coupons.

Sounds like your husband deserves a break and since his company is agreeable, I'd jump at it.

Your friends will feel better that someone is using it and you'll have a great time.


08-25-2004, 11:34 PM
...everyone for your input! It's funny, but as I was typing my original post, DH was emailing me that he thought this trip probably isn't a good idea because we could put the money to better use. The logical, practical side of me agrees, but...

...then you guys said to go for it, and I emailed DH to tell him that :smooth: . Next thing I know, he's calling to tell me he's still thinking about it and maybe we can go after all! :hyper: He's away on business right now, and we really need to sit down together and discuss the details (hopefully, Friday). I may be bald by the time we (well, mostly DH) finally decide because all this flip flopping has me pulling my hair out!

Anyway, thanks so much for the support...you guys are great! :wave:

08-26-2004, 08:35 AM
Do it Local Girl,

You will never be sorry.

You can have a great time...and use every budget trick you know of to keep the expenses down. Univeral had a 5 day ticket for the price of 2 a while back so if you could still get that you'd have your ticketing done (although on these kind of trips I'm always glad for the unused "plusses" on our PHPs so we can spend a day at a Disney waterpark). Does anyone know if they are still offering the 5 day option ticket? When I quickly checked just now I only found a 3 day pass through Ticket mania for a reduced 2 day price.

How old are your children?

If you are looking for a bargain day at Disney, I offer 2 suggestions:

1) If you subscribe to Mousesavers, buy some DisneyQuest tickets through their special Mousesavers rates and go for a whole day of DQ and DTD. (If your children are very young they won't appreciate this as much as children from age 4 on up...my opinion)

2) Spend a day visiting and exploring Fort Wilderness. It is free and there is a free campfire each night that starts an hour before dusk with visits from Chip and Dale, a singalong and an outdoor movie (weather permitting).

The first time we did this we were staying at FW...but you should come and sample FW. Disney encourages this (especially in off season when you will be going) because it ends up hooking you! There is something very special about staying in a FW cabin and having all the nature things available as well as direct access to the MK by a wonderful ferryboat ride.

sweet maxine
08-26-2004, 08:44 AM
I agree with Ozymoe, and that's just what I'm doing in Sept.!

I found a great rate on a car rental, airfare, and condo with a govt. rate. My grandson and I will be doing the "FW" thing as we love to go to the campfire program and make s'mores! I think we'll also spend some time just riding the monorail around and maybe going to the Boardwalk area at night. I've been trying to really plan some budget fun things to do on this trip, as it was totally unexpected and planned for. I've just made my mind up to go forth and have fun!

I hope everything works out for your trip. If worse comes to worse, could you call Skyauction and ask for later dates for the auction you have won?

Ozymoe, were those Disney 3 day tickets on Ticketmania's website? I may be interested in buying a couple of them.

08-26-2004, 09:30 AM
Originally posted by sweet maxine
...Ozymoe, were those Disney 3 day tickets on Ticketmania's website? I may be interested in buying a couple of them.

No...they are the 2 day at Univeral/IOA with a 3rd day free.



These are good for 3 days entry. This includes all taxes and postage.

Note: All THREE days must be used within a week of the first use of ticket

sweet maxine
08-26-2004, 09:37 AM
Thanks, Ozymoe!

08-26-2004, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by Ozymoe
...Univeral had a 5 day ticket for the price of 2 a while back so if you could still get that you'd have your ticketing done (although on these kind of trips I'm always glad for the unused "plusses" on our PHPs so we can spend a day at a Disney waterpark). Does anyone know if they are still offering the 5 day option ticket? ...

They still have it:
Kraft/Hulk 5 for 2 Offer (http://themeparks.universalstudios.com/kraft/)
Mastercard Buy 4 5-day Passes, Get the 5th Free (http://themeparks.universalstudios.com/orlando/website/chase_card.html)

08-26-2004, 09:43 AM
I hate to say it..but there is no free trip LOL! You start off with a free room, but then you have air, food and tickets. We are going to Disney next week to get free SW tickets (we needed one more flight). Of course those "free" tickets are costing about $1,000, even though the room is cheap, and the flight is cheap, the rental is cheap and we have AP's! And that's for two. Luckily we have lots of time (retired with a home biz), so we don't have to worry about that, or pulling kids out of school.
I'd have to agree with your hubby on this one.
But when you decide to go..have a great time LOL!

08-26-2004, 09:43 AM
oops..duplicate post and won't let me delete it

08-26-2004, 10:16 AM
Thanks for the links and ideas about what we can do...much appreciated! I would like to spend some time at Fort Wilderness...we might even treat ourselves to lunch at Trails End while we're there! I've heard the food is good and the prices are reasonable.

I've checked out the Universal tickets and the 5 days for 2 runs about $95 per person plus tax...but I can get the 2 days/plus 1 day free ticket from Shades of Green for $95 adults and $80 child (we have a DS10 and a DD8), and they're not taxed. I'm sure that 3 days will be enough at US/IOA, and we'd like to do other things like check out FW, resort hop, and explore DTD and the Boardwalk at WDW.

Again, thanks for the ideas and encouragement :) .

P.S. Does anyone know about the Orlando Science Center? It would cost roughly $50 +tax for our family...is it worth a day? TIA

08-26-2004, 10:17 AM
You could compare the cost/time of driving vs. renting a car and flying. Put your entire budget on paper and see if it seems doable to you. If you will not be able to pay bills, don't do it. If you have $ put aside, and can spend the money and time with little or no effort, then take the opportunity. Sometimes a few days away can help you recharge, and help you get more focused when you get back.....(and help you deal with life until your next trip!). I am still cringing over the fact that when I went to visit my company in FL (for Wed & Thursday, to fly home Fri) last Dec, that my DH didn't join me, rent a car, and drive to WDW for the weekend. We had APs, credit for one airline ticket, and could have come home Sun or Mon. I was all for it, but DH had a volunteer firehouse "thing" to go to that weekend. The irony is that he didn't get to go to the firehouse anyway, because there was a major snowstorm in NY, and I was stuck in FL (no flights took off).
:rolleyes: :( Don't be stupid like us! Go if you can!

08-26-2004, 12:53 PM
P.S. Does anyone know about the Orlando Science Center? It would cost roughly $50 +tax for our family...is it worth a day? TIA [/B]

We went with our children when they were 9,9 and 10. It was ok. We've been to a LOT of museums. This one is very nice and has many interactive exhibits. We went because it was "free" for us. We had bought a pass to our local museum (family pass, $25 at the time) which entitled us to a year's worth of admission for our family at our home museum...and a year's worth of admission at free or discounted prices for other museums all over the US. They provide a list of all the participating museums...and they are many and wonderful

I'd look into this today so if it is still in effect and applicable so you can join.

The IMAX events were extra (although reduced).

It was a great value for us at the time...and continued to be a wonderful value for us at home with our own museum.

08-26-2004, 01:20 PM
,,,one other note for your Universal experience. Our family REALLY liked MIB (Men in Black), We went on it once through the regular line (long)...and then 6 times in an hour going back through the "single rider line".

When you are in the single rider line you will not be seated "side-by-side", but most probably behind each other in 2 cars (if there are 4 of you) 2 in each car. This was not a problem for us since the cars were right behind each other and we all got off within a minute or two of each other on the same platform.

lol...if you have Buzz Lightyear type lovers in your family...MIB is Buzz on steroids! Adventurous 10 year olds really like this ride, especially if they are into their scores...ummm...so do dads...who even if they don't admit it are ALWAYS into their scores. lol

See if you can score high enough to "get the suit" at the end of the ride (instead of being told to "try again". It's a rush!

You won't go see the part of the ride that "fits you for your suit" unless your score is high enough.

LOL...my family has been known to do this ride for 3 hours in a row when they were on a competitive mission.

Also...if you have the chance, don't miss doing "Jaws" at night. It is an extra wonderful ride then (to some it seems kind of hokey or tame in the daylight although we love it anytime)...and if your family has never been on it before...it is even worth fixing your schedule so that you experience this ride for the first time at night...but only if you are brave!

Don't pass up "Exterminator 2" because of the violent content. It is violent (but probably no more violent than the average computer game in this style), but in my opinion these are some of the best effects I have ever experienced...way better than anything at Disney. (sorry, but I have to be truthful as much as I love the mouse).

Shrek is good, but Philharmagic is just as good if not a teense better...just my opinion...but that still makes Shrek wonderful!

...and whatever you do, don't miss Poisidon's Adventure Journey in IOA...and take your time examining the fountain outside of this attraction before you go in. It might be worth it if it still does what I remember...but don't say anything to your family beforehand...just let it happen if it does! lol

...and the Ghostbusters Revue (street performance) is worth scheduling in...our kids thought this was sooo funny.

Haven't been on the Mummy ride yet so I can't say anything about it except I've heard that it's good. OH! And the Animal Planet Show near the ET ride is fabulous...it has been a high point for my family as well as all the adult guests I've hosted these past 2 years! And as long as you're in the AP/ET area don't miss the Woody Woodpecker children's area...the teens loved this...as well as all the little kids...actually, my 20-somethings remarked upon how much fun this interactive play area was!

OK...I'll stop. Sigh. I need to go back NOW! lol