2012? No Problem...but when?
After 9 trips to Disney I am finally doing a pre-trip report! I am hoping this will keep me on top of the planning and make me a bit more accountable. Yeah right!
First, let's get the cast of characters out of the way.
Me- Mom of 5; home schooler of one; wife of 34 years. I am a quilter and sewer. In fact, the Dis is what has turned me from a full time quilter to a full time sewer and embroiderer! LOL! I accidentally found the Disboutiquers on here late one night while I was researching some Disney stuff...and the rest is history! If I had my way, we would go to Disney at LEAST once a month!
Hubby- Dad of 5; workaholic; deputy and owner of a stump grinding business. For the first few trips he tolerated Disney. He now is talking all his friends into visiting! A true convert!
Miss B- 11 year old daughter. Loves Disney, but is at that age where she hates spending time with the family! No longer will let me dress her in customs for the trip, but will at least still let me make her T shirts! Straight A student. (I say that just so people will know that when I take her out of school for our annual trip, it doe not affect her grades at all!)
Mr D- 10 year old son. He is my forever 3 year old special needs son. He is the one we home school. We have had a disastrous time in public school, so after the last trip to Disney, we just pulled him out to home school.
So, now that you know just a bit about us, let us discuss the timing of our next trip. See, each and every year I know that I should book the bounceback offer in our room, but every year hubby has vetoed it. This year he not only agreed, he kept asking me each day if I had made the reservation yet! So we booked September 27 through October 6 with free dining at POFQ. Of course, after we booked it, hubby decided he would rather go the first week of December instead.
We are now hoping for a free dining offer to the general public for the first week in December. If not, we will go in Sept/Oct.
Since, historically the free dining offer isn't released for our week until July or August...this is going to be a bit tricky!
It looks like I will have to plan 2 trips in their entirety, including 2 sets of ADRs and two sets of customs...but htat should be easy...since this is the first trip of the last 4 that have been just us... Wish me luck and Pixie Dust!
WAHOO!!!! Nini is starting a PTR!!!!! And I am first! :)
Yeah I am now obsessed with trip reports.
Thought I would take this chance to give a bit more background on our family. We were a 'normal' military family, moving every 3 years (although we actually averaged at least one move a year). I discovered it was the best way to actually clean house! My older kids loved it. They always knew no matter how much they loved or hated a place, we would be moving soon.
The hardest move on them was when we were preparing for retirement and moved back to GA. At least it was back to GA for me, since I grew up here. Hubby grew up in Missouri. My kids all thought this small town in Metro Atlanta was the most 'red-neck' place in the world! They eventually adjusted...
As they started leaving home, one by one, hubby and I started enjoying our new found freedom. Prior to this, I was a stay at home mom. With no little ones around I went back to work. I was enjoying a new life as an insurance underwriter and making pretty good money. We traveled every other weekend. You rarely found us at home. The beach, the mountains, where ever as long as we could make it in a day.
And then...Miss B came into our lives. At first it was only on the weekends. Then we started taking her with us on our trips. It is easy to think that she had traveled more in her first year of life than most people did during their whole lives! In fact, she was with us at the beach when her little brother was born when she was 15 months old.
A few months later, he started joining us on a few of those weekends. It wasn't long before DFACS decided their bio mom wasn't capable of taking care of them and they came to live at our house. Within a year they were added to our family as our (sort of ) forever kids.
Our first trip to Disney was soon after the courts awarded us permanent custody. (there was no fight from any bio) It was right after Miss B turned 3. It was kinda cute to have to pay for her...not so much now!
The planning for that trip went something like this...I won a gift certificate from work for a week's stay at a popular hotel chain. I won the certificate on Monday. By Tuesday we had a reservation in Orlando made, and a trip to Disney was born. On Friday, I had ordered the tickets from undercover tourist, and we left on Saturday morning. Did I forget to mention it was spring break week?
It was crowded, it was hot, we had no reservations for eating anywhere, and it took us an hour to get from the hotel to Disney property!
We never made it to a park before noonish! And we never stayed past 6pm!
But we had a blast!
That started our almost annual expeditions to Disney!
Our next trip involved a bit more planning and a bit LESS money. It still was spring, but we stayed at Shades of Green and got the tickets from there as well. We only had one ADR (Garden Grill) but it was enough. We actually decided one day to stay at the hotel and swim rather than to go to the park. (Unbelievable!)
Our next trip was ill fated from the beginning. I had planned on surprising the family with a trip. We were going in June to celebrate Miss B's birthday and Father's day. She would be turning 5 on Father's Day. For Christmas, everyone was given a stuffed Mickey Mouse (rather large size) and Dad's held a banner saying "We are going to Disney!"
It, of course was a hit on Christmas Morning. It was the most notice we had ever had for a vacation. That alone gave Hubby problems!
Unfortunately, that trip never materialized. ( Thinking about it now, I realize I don't think I ever got the money back from that cancelled trip.) On April 22, 2005, my family was involved in a horrific automobile accident. My mother, who lived with us, always picked the kids up from day care. She took them in the morning and then picked them up around 3 or 4. That way she had her own life during the day and they didn't have to spend too much time at day care.
On the way home that afternoon, she pulled out from a stop sign into traffic coming at her at 55 mph. She was killed instantly and Mr D, sitting directly behind her was seriously injured.
At that moment my life changed. My mother was gone, but I had no time to grieve for her. My son and daughter were taken to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. We had conflicting reports from EMS. One report said that both kids were deceased, an another said that one was deceased and the other had cuts and bruises.
I believe that drive into Atlanta was the longest drive of my life. I only remember bits and pieces of the next 6 weeks. I do know that the emergency room at Eggelston Hospital is the greatest! They treated us like we were the only patients there. The parking lot was covered in Walton County Sheriff's Department Cars. The waiting room was filled with family and friends. I think almost everyone of our church family was there. People I hadn't seen in years was there. We had at least a hundred assorted people waiting to see what the results were.
Luckily, our 4 year old, Miss B, only had a few stitches to her forehead from flying glass. Unfortunately, she never lost consciousness during the accident. She knew her grand mother was dead and she heard the original EMS saying her brother was dead. She saw the helicopter come and take away her brother. She told me the helicopter was an angel and was taking her brother and grand mother to heaven.
After all this time she still has the emotional scars from that accident.
Her brother, who was three at the time, suffered from a Traumatic Brain Injury and a collapsed lung. He was clinically dead at the scene, but we were very fortunate that an emergency room doctor was across the street and witnessed the accident. She was first on the scene and started working on him. She had already called for a life flight for my son before the rest of EMS got there. He coded many times before they got him to the hospital.
He was in a coma for a week. When he finally came out, there was concern that he would never regain anything. He was paralyzed, he could not speak, and his eyes were blank.
We spent another 6 weeks in Rehab. I never left his side. He had 8 hours a day of extensive rehab. The original goals for him were to get him off the feeding tube (he couldn't swallow) and to have him make a purposeful movement. They set a time frame of 6 weeks for that. Meantime, they were teaching me how to do his feeds and take care of him.
A week into the rehab, he made his first purposeful movement. He reached for a toy.
On Mother's Day...he spoke! I had left the hospital and my older daughter spent the night with him. When I arrived back that morning, he smiled and said "I love you" . Those were the best words I ever heard!
His progress from then on was steady, but it was clear he was not going to be 'normal' ever again. Within 6 weeks, he remembered he was potty trained, started being able to eat small bits and got off the feeding tubes, regained the use of his right side, and started talking in a strange monotone voice we called his monster voice. The only good thing to come out of the accident...his asthma was completely gone!
It has now been 7 years since the accident that has defined our lives. Miss B is still as smart as ever and consistently scores perfect on her standardized testing (CRCT) and is in middle school. Mr D is still unable to read, but is starting to grasp some math concepts. He loves Science and history and loves to be read to. He has regained partial use of his left side, and is no longer in a wheelchair. In fact, he barely walks it is usually a run! He is emotionally and mentally a three year old. Disney is his favorite place in the world!
Sorry this was so long! I do tend to get wordy!
I promise to be more upbeat on future installments!
On to the planning!
Seriously, how hard can it be to plan two trips at once...right?
Horror of horrors!
I can't locate any pictures of a single Disney trip prior to 2009! I know I had several computer crashes in the last few years (I now have an external hard drive) but I was positive I had saved all of the older photos on a disk and was continually moving them to the new computers....but evidently they missed this last computer!
So, I will post a picture of our 2009 trip. This trip included our oldest son and his wife, my one and only beautiful grand daughter and a foster child they were taking care of when we went...don't worry...he is also my DIL's nephew so it is ok that I post his picture here.
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6053/...4a452a9fc6.jpg Image0357 by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/65844280@N04/]
Those that know me know how much trouble I have posting pictures here on the Dis. I don't seem to have as much trouble posting in other places, so I'm not sure how it is going to turn out...
Nini it was great to read more about you. I am still waiting for I love you from my little guy but I know I will get it some day.
My heart breaks for all you have gone through but love how positive you are.
Don't worry...those words will come.
Hard to believe, based on the lack of planning for my first few trips, but I am an over planner extrodinaire! I plan everything down to the second! I use some tips I learned from TGM, some info from Easy WDW, and some just from experience. Based on the info from this year, I have planned our days for our next trip(s). They are pretty closely related, just one has an extra day built in, because we don't like to travel on Sunday.
For our current dates of September 27 through October 6 our plans include:
Thursday Travel day. Leave around 3am and arrive at Disney by noon. Go to Epcot and have dinner at Garden Grill.
Friday Hollywood Studios Day with CS for dinner
Saturday Animal Kingdom Day with Boma for dinner
Sunday Magic Kingdom day with CRT for dinner
Monday pool/DTD with Chef Mickey's for dinner
Tuesday Hollywood Studios day with Sci Fi Drive In for dinner
Wednesday Animal Kingdom day with Coral Reef for dinner
Thursday Epcot day with Biergarten for dinner
Friday Magic Kingdom day with Tony's for dinner
Saturday travel day
The above plan has already changed. We have decided to do away with CRT and go to Akershus instead. Of course, that means a shuffling of ADRs around to make them work easier, and I have to decide on another place to eat.
The Nov/Dec trip will go as follows Nov 24 through Dec 3
Saturday Travel Day/Epcot Day with Garden Grill for dinner
Sunday Magic Kingdom day with Biergarten for dinner
Monday Hollywood Studios day with Sci Fi Drive In for dinner
Tuesday Animal Kingdom day with Coral Reef for dinner
Wednesday DTD day with Chef Mickey's for dinner
Thursday Epcot day with Akershus for dinner
Friday Hollywood Studios Day
Saturday Animal Kingdom day with Boma for dinner
Sunday Magic Kingdom with MVMCP
Monday a travel day
As you see, I still have a few bugs to work out on this one as well.
(and I guess you noticed I don't have any dates for the Nov/Dec trip. I have a calendar for next year, but it doesn't have the dates for Thanksgiving on it. I have looked it up online...on two different sites...and there are two different dates...so I decided to fill that part in later! LOL!)
Now that I have my days figured out...sort of...I can get on to the burning question of what shirts we will wear on which days...ok, so maybe not such a burning question for you. Maybe I'll work on the burning question of how I plan on paying for this trip...or maybe I could work on the burning question of ...or more likely, I'll work on the burning question of how come it is 8:30 already and Mr D has not gotten up for school!
Yuppers...I think that is what I shall work on!
I am so excited to have another PTR to follow. :lovestruc And I just love your family picture above! :lovestruc
I have Thanksgiving next year as 11/22/12
Hope that helps
Thanks Chiara...of course, now I wonder exactly when the Christmas parade is going to be filmed. It is usually the first Friday of December...
As you can see, I would REALLY rather go in Nov/Dec rather than Sept/Oct! I am not a big fan of Halloween, so the Halloween party doesn't mean much to me. However, I am a crazy fanatical type person about all things Christmas! I really want to go to the Christmas party again...and not be on pain pills so I can enjoy it a bit more!
Later today, hubby and I will discuss the idea of putting another vacation on reservation for the time we really want to go. Of course, that brings up which moderate do we want to stay at...We've stayed once at CBR, once at POFQ and three times at CSR. I prefer either POFQ or CSR simply because of the queen size beds. Since we drive, we will have a car so using Disney transportation is not a problem. Guess I need to look into that a bit more.
After talking last night about our options, we decided we really want to go in Nov/December. I won't have the disposable income to make the additional reservation until Jan 1. It is now on my calendar to do that the last week of December this year.
If Free Dining isn't released for Nov/Dec next year, we will probably use the military discount instead. The savings won't be as great, but it will be better than rack rate!
Now, I wonder if I will get lucky enough to have one of the new restaurants in Fantasy land opened up by the end of November? I have a couple of spots available for ADRs in my plan.
(wonder when I will get brave enough to actually cancel my current reservation?)
I sure do want to go at Christmas time... :worship:
I am glad you decided to change your dates, so you can go when you really want to go. Which resort did you choose? Or is that a secret? :surfweb:
I would hold on to those reservations for a while longer, just to be safe. :thumbsup2
If I know me like I think I know me...I will hold onto the Sept/Oct reservation until the 46 day mark! It is really hard to let go of 'something' for the 'unknown'. At least with the new reservation system it will be easier to cancel the ADRs for the unused trip!
Last night, hubby was looking at the budget. He is going to pay for the room, dining, and tickets, and I pay for the incidentals...like tips, stroller, and gas meals and trip down... He decided I should add the MVMCP tickets to his part of the budget! I really like that idea...that is 250 I can add to the t shirt budget!
You will have a fabulous time at that time of year.
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