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ZeroToHero 05-17-2009 02:05 PM

If I don't get in, we're going to Disney.. PTR for 8/25/09! Now with Fact of the Day!

That one's a little slow, so here's another (add two hours):

Hi everyone! I said I'd do one of these, and as it is my 100 day out mark, and jenseib's trip report just ended (which I had been living vicariously through), I will start my pre-trip report now!

Table of Contents:
Who's going? (This post)
History of the Disney Trip, Part I. (There is no Part II).
Money, Money, who's got the Money?
"You're scared of WHAT?" - A few planning details.
What we're doing, when, and why, in excruciating detail. Part I. And there is a Part II!
It's right here! Itinerary Part II
My sleep has suffered since this morning - making my ADRs.
Wait, what does that email say!?!?! A drastic, and much appreciated, change in our resort plans!
Less than one month left update!
Fact of the Day - 15 Days
Fact of the Day - 2 Weeks
Fact of the Day - 13 Days
Fact of the Day - 12 Days
Fact of the Day - 11 Days
Fact of the Day - 10 Days
Fact of the Day - 9 Days
Fact of the Day - 8 Days
Fact of the Day - 1 Week
Fact of the Day - 6 Days
Fact of the Day - 5 & 4 Days
Fact of the Day - 3 Days
Fact of the Day - 2 Days
Fact of the Day - 1 Day (!!!!!!)
Fact of the Day - 0 Days

First off - the cast of characters:

Me - Danica (18) year) (this winter)

Boyfriend - Lou (19) (old - but yes, that's Ben Affleck - with stuff on his shirt) (a few weeks ago)

Disney experience:
Lou - Has been when he was a little kid: (him as a little kid - his arm looks mildly broken, but don't worry, it wasn't - that I know of... :scared:)

and then again in August of 2007: (in line for Winnie the Pooh)

which is coincidentally the exact same time my family had a trip planned. Both our families had trips planned before we had even started talking, let alone going out, for the exact same time! It must be fate, right? :rotfl:

My Disney Experience: Multiple times as a little kid at Disneyland, DisneyWorld, and Disneyland Paris (me as a little kid)

Then we didn't go for a while - until 2006. We went in November. Then in August of 2007. Then in November of 2007. Three trips in a year and two days! We maxed out a fluke in our Annual Passes.. we got 2 extra days.. and we used them to the last day!!!! :thumbsup2

In 2006, I had this orange hat that I wore for every single picture, so I'll spare you that (it will probably come back in my trip report though - be forewarned!)
but in August of 2007 I have a few photos:

(Outside the Enchanted Tiki Room - I met up with his family, and then when his family wanted to go see Country Bears Jamboree, we split to go on Tom Sawyer's Island and other FUN things.

When are we going:

We are going August 25th to September 1st. Our 2 year anniversary of being together is May 31st (more on that later) but since we'll be there August 31st, we're celebrating it then, since all our money is going towards this trip.

That's it for now - I'm going to go eat something, do some scrapbooking, since Lou's at work and is coming over afterwards to see everything I bought at the CKC Manchester convention (it's a scrapbooking convention) on Friday and Saturday.

ZeroToHero 05-17-2009 03:33 PM

So now some background:

As I said before, we've been going out since May of 2007. This year is our 2 year anniversary, and we didn't really have anything planned when I started all this.

It all began back in December/January, when I started reading up about the Disney College Program. I was really excited, and made an account here so I could start posting and getting information to apply. End of January, the application goes up - I apply that night, send everything in, and make my interview for the following Monday. Interview goes pretty well, I thought, and then I watched the boards and the mail. People are getting in - only one person didn't. And then I got my letter - my little letter - at work. So I didn't get in. Which was pretty upsetting - rather, very upsetting.

Fortunately, when I had applied, we (Lou and I) agreed that if I didn't get into the program, we were still going for a vacation. I think he only said that because he thought I was getting in, but that's okay.

So I started researching. And at this time as well, I had applied for a job as Orientation Leader at my college. I figured I couldn't get shot down from two things, could I? Well, I was wrong. But in the end, it worked out, because if I had done OL, I don't think I could have gotten the great deals I got later.

I really wanted to go in December, for the Osbourne Lights and all the great decorations, but I knew that we couldn't afford anything but Value season, and our school gets out too late for the Value season right after Thanksgiving. :sad1: Since we're on a college budget, I really had to make things cheap. During the past three trips, we stayed at the Yacht Club and the Swan/Dolphin (I forget which one). I really wanted my interior hallways, but realized I would need a moderate or a value. I was looking at all the moderates when I realized that they were six hundred dollars more than the values! :scared1: That's 1/2 of how much the trip ended up costing us! The only reason this trip is even possible is because both Lou and I have a free ride to the college that we go to - we're both in the Honors Program.

Senior year, we both applied to colleges. He and I both got into Suffolk University in Boston, but only the college. We were put on the waiting list for the Honors Program - which is a more advanced college within the college - it also comes with a 4-year free ride. :cool1: He picked to go to Suffolk University, because the college itself had given him a fair amount of money, and I picked Lesley University, which had also given me a lot of money, but still not enough. And then Lou got called, and told that he was a recipient of the Honors Program Scholarship - which he jumped at. I was incredibly proud of him, but was still happy that I was going to Lesley, even though we were crunching numbers and trying to figure out how to pay.

And THEN. 5 days before school ended - I got an email. Telling me I was invited to join the Honors Program. I had a lot of thinking to do - we had already sent in the deposit to Lesley. But the choice was clear after meeting with the head of the Honors Program - this was what I needed to do. And so we went. And it's been great, I've loved every minute of it (except for the commute into Boston every day :lmao:).


So we decided on August, after I got my rejection from Orientation Leader as well, and then decided on August 25 to the 1st of September, after I found a great deal on Delta tickets. The entire round trip cost us 360$! So 180$ for each of us!!! That's when it finally started sinking in that we were going. I hadn't booked anything else yet, because I was waiting for free dining, which I was hoping would come out this year. It finally did, and I was up at 5 that morning, waiting to call in.

Then the codes came out, and I ended up booking online - at Pop Century :hippie:. I had wanted to call in to get a request made for a certain room, but I decided that whatever we get, we get, and we'll be happy with. After all, we're only sleeping there. Which is what I keep telling myself, but I hope that we'll get a call at 9 pm the night before, telling us we're upgraded to something better. :rolleyes1

So: our total for the trip (dining, rooms, 8 day park hopper passes, and plane tickets): 1609$! A fantastic price, I think. I was so pumped... free dining made a huge difference (and picking a value over a moderate).

Now - how to pay for this all?

anewmac 05-18-2009 01:34 AM

Just saw you on the POP thread and I need some new reading materal LOL. Love that you scrapbook.. me too.. well I buy the supplies.. maybe someday I will put them to use LOL.

Cant wait to hear more!

ZeroToHero 05-18-2009 01:52 AM

In my case for money, I am all set. I have a steady job that I've had for five years, and have no expenses except my textbooks, bus passes, cell phone, and any extraneous things like clothes, gifts, entertainment, etc. I also have a once/twice monthly job on Sundays helping out at Bath & Body Works with floorsets, which gives me a little extra money, as does selling old textbooks on Amazon (it's amazing how much they can go for!)

For Lou, he's never had a paying job, and his parents pay for everything. He had a few thousand from a car accident he was in a while back, where the other person drifted over into Lou's family's lane after a Patriots game, and although everyone was fine, it was a pretty bad crash - the car was totaled, and he broke his nose. He also got birthday and Christmas money. However, that money had slowly dwindled down (especially after he turned 18) and he only had a few hundred left.

In order to pay for the trip, he had to get a job. But he didn't want to look for one. He's very lazy... :rotfl: a fault which he has to work on. One day in class, our teacher mentioned the census, and that they like college students. So he went (with much prodding) to apply, and to take the test on the weekend. My mother and I took him, and instead of sitting in the car for a few hours, we went to take it too. He and I got 27 out of 28, and my mom got a 26 out of 28. Which was great, considering most people didn't finish. So they called him one day, telling him he had a job. BUT HE TURNED IT DOWN. Because he "didn't want to miss school". Turns out we were only doing presentations, as I told him, so he tried to call back, but in the 5 minutes, they had lost his registration number and everything. They said if they had another opening, they would call him - and a few weeks later, they did.

We were so excited - he had training scheduled for a few weeks out - the week of finals, but we got that sorted out with teachers. Then, the week before training, he gets a call, saying that it has been canceled indefinitely. Meaning he wouldn't be getting the job until after the summer, if at all.

Luckily, he had a backup. His friend works for Boston Harbor Cruises, and was able to set him up with an "interview" of sorts - which was basically him showing up and getting the job. He's an actor/deckhand on this thrill boat Codzilla - it's a cute little tour/spiel/show ride, with this series of fast-paced stunts set to music towards the end. I highly recommend it if anyone's in the area, he and I went last year to see his friend and loved it. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days to go (because he's there - if you do go, freak him out by going up and saying "Hi there! I'm from the Disboards!")

His first day of acting work was today, actually. He said he did pretty well, but he came over completely sunburnt, so I sent him home with sunscreen. He's working with his friend one day, so I'm happy he has a job he should like, and that ends right around when school starts up again. He already told them he won't be there for the last week of August. Smart guy. :love:

He's now making more money than I do a week (but less an hour, he just works more hours). So he said that for our anniversary, he would take me out. I paid last year, I took him to the aquarium and then to Durgin Park for dinner. Unfortunately, it was the day after our prom, so we were really tired, and didn't have as good a day as we could have. He didn't get me anything, so I was a little mad, but he's making up for it this year.

Here he is at the aquarium (his favorite animal is the penguin):

And here we are at prom:

(Oh gosh, I just closed the window out - but luckily, I was able to open it again and it was still there. I would have cried if I lost this entire post!)

So since he's making more money than I am now, and I've paid for him for a long time, he wants to take me to the Top of the Hub, but really, I'd be fine with Texas Roadhouse. I loveee Cactus Blossoms!

He's also writing me a song - he wrote the melody the other night, and now has to do the words. He's a great singer, and can play guitar as well. He went to Boston Archdiocese Choir School, so he was professionally trained, but hasn't been practicing as much as he used to.

He would kill me if I showed it, but he dressed up as Axl Rose from Guns n' Roses at the high school talent show to sing Sweet Child O' Mine with his friends - I even made him a kilt. When I start getting readers, maybe if you ask really nicely, I'll post a photo or two. :lmao: There's your incentive for joining!

So that's how we're going to pay! I thought for the longest time that he was never going to get a job - his mother offered to pay for the trip for him - just goes to show you how different his family and mine are... I would never think of asking my parents to pay for this trip for me, his parents offer. ...Wonder if they're accepting adoption applications? :rotfl:

And now I will go to bed... tomorrow will begin the posts on the plans
(and I hear online dining might go live tomorrow, so I'm going to check that first!)

ZeroToHero 05-18-2009 01:54 AM


Originally Posted by anewmac (Post 31871431)
Just saw you on the POP thread and I need some new reading materal LOL. Love that you scrapbook.. me too.. well I buy the supplies.. maybe someday I will put them to use LOL.

Cant wait to hear more!

Yay! I'm so glad you joined - at least I know I have one person!

And I didn't start scrapbooking until recently - I take a lot of photos, but I hate printing them out from my digital camera to put them in plain photo albums I know I won't look at. I realized that if I scrapbook them, not only do I look at them more, but I actually print out my photos to use them!

I've joined a bunch of Disney swaps over on the Creative Communities board, so I have a feeling when I get back from Disney I'm going to have about 5 books filled with our trip. :rotfl:

I just think of it as I'm stimulating the economy.

Pikester 05-18-2009 07:26 AM

Can't wait to hear more! We'll be at Pop in Nov/Dec; our 3rd time. :thumbsup2

ZeroToHero 05-18-2009 10:06 AM


Originally Posted by Pikester (Post 31872577)
Can't wait to hear more! We'll be at Pop in Nov/Dec; our 3rd time. :thumbsup2

Thank you!

See, that's the thing that makes me feel better - almost everyone who goes to POP loves it, even when they come from other resort levels. I don't know if it's the same for the other values, but at least I know that there are a lot of people who swear by POP. And I figure any place that has that many funny photo opportunities can't be that bad. :goodvibes

mickeystoontown 05-18-2009 12:13 PM

Joinin' in for more!

smarsha4455 05-18-2009 02:27 PM

Subbing! Looking forward to hearing about your trip plans. We are going to POP Sept 13th -21st. We are celebrating my DD's High School Graduation!

jenseib 05-18-2009 03:23 PM

I'm in!
I love your name. I never knew it before.
And I didn't realize you guys were so young. You sound like you are very mature though.

ZeroToHero 05-18-2009 03:58 PM


Originally Posted by jenseib (Post 31879743)
I'm in!
I love your name. I never knew it before.
And I didn't realize you guys were so young. You sound like you are very mature though.

Thank you! For the longest time, I didn't like it, but I've grown to love it - it's unique, and for that, people remember it. (Or mispronounce it, but that's okay :lmao:)

Thank you also about the mature comment, Jen. I try... it doesn't always work. :goodvibes I think it comes from being a librarian. And being older sibling to a 11 year old sister and a 9 year old brother - I feel like Mom #2 sometimes. :scared:

sassysasha 05-18-2009 04:12 PM

I'm in....popcorn::

ZeroToHero 05-18-2009 09:34 PM

So as I said, we booked our plane tickets before free dining was even released, but it ended up working out really well (for multiple reasons).

Reason #1- At first we were only going to go for 6 days, but I slowly pushed it up to 7, and then to 8. :lmao: Lou kept going "WHAT? I thought we were staying for 6!" and then "What?! I thought we were only staying for 7!" I would have pushed it up to ten, but luckily, I didn't. Because I forgot about when park hours are released - and that you need them to make ADRS. This way, I don't need to wait for September hours to come out, since we're only eating Counter Service the last day.

Reason #2 - Free dining starts the week before! I was really scared that free dining would start later than we arrived, and that we would have to do two reservations. But it all worked out.

Reason #3 - SDV (Scrapbooker's Dream Vacation) is the same weekend as we're going, which was totally a coincidence! And hopefully, as you'll see, we can drop by to visit some of my DIS friends while they're cropping at the Contemporary. Perhaps in shirts I designed.... :rolleyes1

Now, this is where I tell you that we both cannot drive, so even if we wanted to, we couldn't. Even though it's a straight shot down I-95 the whole way pretty much. And I also tell you that Lou is scared of flying. He thinks we're going to crash. It doesn't help we're going on Delta, and he's sure, for some reason, that just because the tickets were cheap means that we're going to die. :confused3 At least we'll die together, I told him.

For some reason, that didn't make him feel better.. :rolleyes1 He wants to not go to bed the night before, so he can fall asleep and sleep through his death, but I told him that he won't fall asleep, and he'll be a grouch and ruin the vacation. And if there's one thing I won't tolerate, it's him ruining the vacation. :laughing:

As I also said, I booked POP online, with the free dining code, the minute it came out. We'll be taking the Magical Express to and from the airport, since we can't drive. I'd love to go to SeaWorld or Discovery Cove, but maybe next time, after Lou gets his license (he said this summer, but HA. I won't believe it until I see it) and we can get a rental car. We also got 8 day park passes with hopper (which I think we will only be using one night, but that's fine, because it's still cheaper than paying for dining!)

I signed up for a Photopass share that will hopefully still occur, because I really am not looking forward to spending 100$ on photos of us. I also bought a camera off Amazon at 3 am the other morning - it's a Kodak C913, I think? I have a really great Nikon Coolpix that I love, but it's HUGE and I don't want to carry it around the parks with me. I want to be able to take some photos when I want to, and then leave the rest up to the Photopass people. If things go how I want on one day, we'll have at least 100 photos of Lou (more on that later. :cool1:) When I get my camera either this week or next week, I'll test it out and let y'all know how I like it.

Next up: The Itinerary!

ZeroToHero 05-18-2009 09:47 PM

I feel like this is so wordy compared with other trip reports that I've read - and I don't have as many photos. But I don't know how many photos you want of he and I - we're not that great! :rotfl: I'm trying to spare you all...

I do want to tell you, before I talk about the itinerary, what I've been getting Lou for his birthday (4/6) and our anniversary (5/31).

For his birthday, he got a 25$ Disney giftcard and a personalized Jack Skellington pin, since Nightmare before Christmas is his favorite movie. He seemed to like them, especially the Jack pin. I understand that he can't use the 25$ for another few months, which doesn't make it as exciting, but hopefully he remembers to bring it on the trip.

For our anniversary, he's getting two Jack Skellington shirts. One I already gave him because he came to my house after it was raining, and he was soaked. This is the image on the one I already gave him:$full$

I hope that works.. anyway - the shirt itself is no longer on the online disney store, and nor is the other one I haven't given him. I'll post a photo of that one later. I also had people on the creative DISigns board make some iron-on transfers for matching shirts, so I'll post those when I find the shirts again - I don't know where I put them. :scared: I also made myself a DIS shirt, if anyone is going at the same time, don't be afraid to say hi!

I have another plan for our anniversary, but it's a surprise, so I'll tell you about it in my trip report, in case he reads this before we leave. I'll take pictures though, don't worry! I'll just tell you it has something to do with the GF and Pat - if anyone knows what that means. ;) Don't say it!

Now I promise my next update will be about our itinerary!

jenseib 05-19-2009 11:40 AM

I'm clueless on what or who Pat is. LOL! The opnly Pat I can think of is a hammer? Am I any where close? LOL!

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