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homebug 07-09-2009 05:08 PM

Another newbie/lurker - my first PTR!! Updated July 26
I'm always scared to post on forums for fear that others will find me *gasp* boring! But, I will take the plunge!!

Here goes:

The cast:

Me: a recent "back to the front lines" TA (spent 13 years in the back office but was front line for 8 years prior to that). Married for 18 years with 4 boys ages 16, 14, 9 and 6. Working part-time as a TA (after being laid off from my full-time back-office position - but that's a whole 'nother story).

DS9 - Andrew - going into Grade 5, loves the outdoors, playing baseball and hockey and playing with his friends

DS6 - Shawn - going into Grade 1, also loves the outdoors, playing baseball, hockey and video games!!

The plan:

I was able to get a good deal on air tickets with Northwest out of Detroit (I live about 2 hours away from Detroit or Toronto, but Detroit is so much less expensive!) for $160 CAD, roundtrip!!

October 15 - we will leave home around 5 PM and drive to Detroit, park the van and take the parking lot shuttle to the Westin at the Airport, where I am able to get a decent TA rate. Surrounding hotels are less, but our flight leaves at 7.05 AM and the convenience of being right at the airport will be totally worth it!!

October 16 - flight leaves DTW at 7.05 and arrives into Orlando at 9.30. We'll take the ME to Disney - I'm not planning on going anywhere but WDW, so no need for a car for us. I'll likely use one of the grocery shopping services recommended here to have some snacks and water delivered to our hotel.

My plan so far is to stay at the Pop Century in a Standard Room. I can get another decent TA rate there and I like the fact that the Disney Transportation doesn't usually stop once it picks up at POP. We will only have 4 days so we won't have a lot of time to waste!!

After we get checked in and have our tickets put on our room cards (or whatever you call them!!), we'll head over to AK. It will close at 5 PM, by which time we will be so exhausted from getting up early and travelling, we will be ready to head back to POP and enjoy the pool and resort and then head for bed early since we will be packing the other three parks into the next 3 days!!

That is as far as I have gotten so far. I am planning to do MNSSHP, it will be on Saturday or Sunday (have to go back to the October hours to check it) and Epcot the other day and HS on Monday. Tuesday morning we have an 11 am flight out of Orlando so we won't have to get up too early to take ME back to the airport.

Things I need to do, other than planning our park visits (I'm using the UG and touringplans . com):

Book POP - just waiting for my TA ID card to do so
Get our tickets - I need the TA ID card to request mine and I'm going to get the kids' tkts through a Canadian wholesaler
Get MNSSHP tickets
Get some decent clothes for the boys!! I want to find them some rashguard shirts and matching swim shorts for those water rides! Not to mention, if we are lucky enough to have some good pictures taken of us by the Disney photographers, I don't want us to look like ragamuffins!! (no offense to any ragamuffins out there ;)
Let my foot heal!! I have plantars fascitis in my right foot - my whole foot hurts! I need to rest it as much as possible so I can make it through 4 days of walking. I also need to find a good pair of shoes (or two) and get them worn in as well.
Save some money/make some money!! My new job is twice as much work with half as much pay, so things are really tight, but thankfully, my boss is letting pay weekly on this trip (and the short cruise that dh and I are taking in August - 1st time away, without the kids, for longer than 2 nights, since....well, since we had the kids!!) So I just need to save up enough for spending money. I figure if I have the air and hotel paid for, the passes purchased, I can probably get away $450-$500 for the weekend. I expect we will maybe do one character dining, but the rest will likely be CS meals plus the snacks and stuff I have delivered.

That's all I have for now!

Any comments or advice are welcomed!!


Angies1274 07-09-2009 09:54 PM

Great start:thumbsup2 I'm looking forward to reading about all your planning.:goodvibes I have two boys ages 9 and 6 also, and they definitely keep me busy. We love Pop Century and have a trip planned next month--- but someday, we would really like to go in October for MNSSHP. I think the boys would just love it!! Anyways, looking forward to more.....popcorn::

homebug 07-14-2009 07:22 PM

Second installment!
Finally! My TA ID card finally arrived and I'm confirmed at POP for October 16-20!

DME is booked.

The kids travel insurance is purchased - I just need to decide what to do with mine. I have a couple of options to consider, but I will make my decision by tomorrow.

I now need to confirm my fridge swap with the swap coordinator (as soon as I get 2 more posts LOL!).

I need to get my TA Park pass request faxed in.

Most importantly, I have to figure out a budget so I can figure out how much $$ I am going to have to save between now and then!!

I've also been saving some of the DISigner's graphics - I'm now leaning towards wearing matching t-shirts after seeing some other Dis'rs trip reports. And I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the idea of sending a package to the resort in advance with gifts for the boys like some others have done (since I'm by myself, I don't think I can sneak anything in without them knowing since they will NEVER be out of my sight!!)

More to come!!

DreaGirl 07-15-2009 01:06 PM

Hi! Followed you over from the October thread! We only live about 15-20 minutes from the DTW airport! Small world!

I am jealous of your NW fare. I'm still looking for something decent. It seems a lot of flights to MCO from DTW have been cut this year. :(

We were going to stay at Pop, so we probably would have run into each other, but we have since switched.

Can't wait to hear more. :)

DreaGirl 07-15-2009 01:08 PM

I was at Old Navy today and they have all their rash guards on clearance.

manntra 07-15-2009 02:45 PM

Hi there Laura! :wave:
I followed you over from the October thread. :goodvibes
This will be my first MNSSHP too and really looking forward to it!
I am flying from upstate NY (Binghamton airport) to DTW then to MCO!!! I know it is not exactly in the right direction but I like NW and DTW has a Fuddruckers restaurant!!! :rotfl:

My2Qtz0205 07-15-2009 03:26 PM

Hi, Laura!

I also followed you over from the October thread. Your arrival date is the same as ours! We will be at MNSSHP on the 18th as well. We are going to do DHS on Sunday, though, and Epcot on Monday (as long as I can get my CRT ressie for Saturday).

homebug 07-26-2009 10:58 PM

I'm back!!

So much planning to be done - so little time!! :)

DreaGirl - Thanks for the tip on the rashguards - I'll check out the Old Navy at Birchwood Mall in Port Huron when I go over the river again next weekend. I did get a couple at Wally World cheap enough - but we are also putting in a pool (yes, this late in the season for here, and a cool summer it's been so far) so they will certainly get some use out of them.

Keep checking for the NW fares - I thought I had lost out on them, but thankfully they were there when I went to issue the tickets at work the next day. Actually, the original plan was to come home Monday night, but the late flights were sold out in the lower fare and it was cheaper to stay another night and come home the next morning. When I told my boss, she just said "that's okay! do that!" I like her! :love:

manntra - I haven't travelled a lot in the past 13 years (being stuck in the back office and all, with no travel perks like the front office agents had :sad2:. But - I digress! I have travelled with Northwest to Chicago about 2 years ago, and other than having to walk a thousand miles to the gate, I had no problems with them. It will be interesting to see what happens with the NW/DL merger.

I can't wait for the MNSSHP either - I'm so excited!!:cheer2:

My2Qtz0205 - I saw you were arriving the same day! I have posted an advice question on the Parks and Attractions Strategies board about which parks to do which days. I hadn't realized that the MNSSHP ticket gets you into the park as well, so I don't really HAVE to do the MK that morning. I also wasn't completely aware of the F&W Festival happening at Epcot, so it may not be the best plan to do Epcot on the Saturday. So many decisions to make!!:confused:

Thanks for everyone's comments!! When I went in '91 (or was it '92? too long ago to remember!) all I had was Birbaum's Guide. Now I've got his updated one, the UG + the online account with touringplans - and this board to help me make it the perfect trip!! :disrocks:

homebug 07-26-2009 11:53 PM

Okay - not a lot of progress in actual planning, but I've done a lot of reading and option weighing! :rotfl:

So, from the beginning:

We're definitely going to stay at the Westin Hotel in the airport. We'll have to be through security and on our way to the gate by 5.30 - 6.00 AM, and I'm so not a morning person!

I'm debating trying to do no checked baggage and have each of us use a acceptable size roller-board type carry-on, plus my purse and each boy can have a small backpack. That would save time and money. Hopefully we can manage that. I know the boys just love those rollerboard suitcases and we already have three of them...little boys clothes don't take up THAT much room!!

I've been confirmed for a fridge swap, so the money I save on checked baggage, I can put towards a grocery delivery and get some breakfast/snack stuff delivered. I've been flip-flopping on this - debating whether to buy stuff before we go and bring it with us and just buy some milk when we get there. But, if we can get all our clothes in our carry-ons, this may be the way I go - then I can get the case of water (because I was debating bringing my brita filter jug) and everything else just delivered. Decisions, decisions!!

I ordered and received a baggallini messenger bag - what a neat bag!! It's going to be hard not to use it before we go!! I have one of those Acer One netbooks, which fits perfectly into it!

I finally got a good pair of shoes that are supposed be better for this foot of mine! They seem to be pretty good, but I'm still worried about whether it can take the stress of Disney. I may talk to my dr about whether or not he thinks a cortisone shot might help me get through the weekend.

I need to decide on costumes for the MNSSHP. I'm leaning towards Cinderella (for myself, of course!), have ds6 be the mouse (Rufus? I really need to read the story again!!) and ds9 be my prince. Ds6 thinks this is a good idea, but then again, he thinks a lot of things are good ideas, when in reality, once he does them, he discovers they are not (like pushing his 16 year old brother's "buttons"). No matter what we decide, I'll have to make the costumes, especially mine, as I am quite fluffy or "pooh-sized" and won't (even if I could) pay big bucks for a plus-size costume. The local fabric store is moving at the end of August, if I'm lucky, I can get some great deals on fabric for costumes - so I guess I need to make a final decision!!

I faxed my request in for my park ticket on Friday -- hopefully it gets approved!

Oh, I got an ADR for O'Hana's for breakfast one morning (have to look it up!). And I got a pretty pink binder for my planning binder and picked up my ink cartridges for my inkjet printer to make my planning binder and to make some t-shirts for us.

Well, that's all for tonight - I've already stayed up too long and morning will come way too quickly!!

Thanks for reading!!


DreaGirl 07-29-2009 01:52 PM

You have got a lot done. I want to get the Bagallinni, but I'm afraid it would be too big for me. Have you worn it yet? Does it tug on your shoulder at all?

I like the costume ideas! I hope you can find a deal on fabric. :)

I would order groceries if I were you. You don't want to have all that extra stuff if you are only doing carry-on bags, JMO.

My2Qtz0205 09-04-2009 01:46 PM

My mother has plantar fascitis, and she has had one shot, and that lasted her about 6-7 months or so. Her foot is acting up again, so she will likely get another shot soon to get her through our trip. There are also gel inserts you can get to put in your tennis shoes, but I have read that you cannot wear them or take them onto the plane. You have to check them in your luggage.

BlueBayou 09-17-2009 01:04 AM


Originally Posted by My2Qtz0205 (Post 33444495)
My mother has plantar fascitis, and she has had one shot, and that lasted her about 6-7 months or so. Her foot is acting up again, so she will likely get another shot soon to get her through our trip. There are also gel inserts you can get to put in your tennis shoes, but I have read that you cannot wear them or take them onto the plane. You have to check them in your luggage.

Your mom is lucky the shot worked on the first try. My first shot lasted a day. The second lasted about a week. The third and 4th lasted a couple weeks. I got the orthotics (inserts made for me) and a brace at night. I was told I probably needed surgery. But I held off wearing my orthotics every day - even around the house, and sleeping with the brace. It got MUCH better.

I have flown with the orthotics - you just have to take off your shoes and put them through the x-ray machine. Maybe the gels are different - since it is a liquid.

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