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Old 06-08-2009, 09:09 PM   #1
Mickey_Mom
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Smile How Many Sleeps Until Disney Mommy?! August 2009 PTR **WE'RE BACK!!!**

So I thought I’d try my hand at putting a pre-trip report together for our family vacation in WDW this August. I’d been thinking about it and just decided today to go for it. Welcome along any followers and please post any ideas or suggestions as they are most appreciated! I’ve gotten tons of ideas from fellow DISers and there’s always room for more.

My cast of characters:

My boys, Alex who will have just turned 14 when we arrive, and Demetri who is four and a half and the inspiration for the name of my report. He asks me every day, how many more sleeps until Disney World? We have a calendar on the fridge that he crosses off every night and I have a countdown on my internet home page that he follows too.


My daughter, Ariana (the one in the crown on the right ) who is twelve and the inspiration for our trips. She has autism and loves, loves, loves anything to do with Disney. She is a princess at heart and I love seeing everything thru her eyes.


My ever-so-patient husband George, who in this picture is getting a fairly exuberant kiss on the cheek from Ariana. He really is much more handsome than this pic would lead you to believe


Here’s the family together and there’s me, Tracy, rocking the cool shades.

Our travel dates are August 15th to August 25th. This is our fourth trip in four years but it’s the first year we are including the water parks and more option on our tickets so we extended it a few days. Bathing suit…ack!

We’re staying at the POP Century resort this time – our favorite! We stayed there the first year we went and loved it. Our mousekeeper was awesome and made fantastic towel displays that the kids loved coming back to every day.



On our next two trips we wanted to try different resorts and stayed at the All Stars Movies and then the Port Orleans Riverside. While they were great, we loved the POP the most and are happy to be going back.

I mentioned this is our fourth trip in four years. Disney was always something we’d wanted to do, but felt it was way too expensive to fit into our budget. Our daughter has been getting expensive therapy sessions since she was three and we’d always had this figure in our heads a trip would cost six thousand dollars or so. No telling where that number came from, but early 2006 we were lucky enough to be introduced thru a friend of a friend, to a travel agent who herself is a Disney freak . With the free dining promo, she put together an eight day trip for our family of five, flight included (!) that was just over $2K Canadian. The impossible became possible! Our family was taking its first ever vacation and my husband and I were going on our first trip since our honeymoon in 1994. We had the time of our lives and when we came home, I immediately started looking into booking our next one.

This would be a good time to mention that I am a control freak and a planning freak. I knew nothing for our first trip and that has its advantages for sure, but we left that trip knowing we’d missed a lot of things and I couldn’t wait to get back.

But be careful and don’t fall into my trap where I overplanned our next trip and tried to cram too many things into one trip. We ended up spending most of our time running from one event to the next and couldn’t appreciate the smaller things and the little details that go into making a Disney vacation special. And while our third trip was scaled back in scheduling and even had a day devoted strictly to spending it at the resort enjoying the pool, we still didn’t feel like we’d relaxed enough . You know when you come back from a vacation and feel like you need a vacation? Yeah, that was us.

So I re-introduced myself to my family: “Hi, my name is Tracy, and I am a schedule-a-holic.” Is that a word? The first step is admitting it right ? Don’t get me wrong, we still completely enjoyed our trips, but I hadn’t yet found that balance. This year I’m determined to find it.

Still to come: hits and misses from previous trips, ADRs from previous trips, ADRs for the upcoming trip.

Chapters Links (if you'd rather not read all the extra stuff)
67 Sleeps - The Trip That Almost Wasn't
66 Sleeps - Previous Trips Hits & Misses
ADRs Past Trips
65 Sleeps - Random Fun Stuff
Finally! August ADRs!
Oh and a Bonus Pic!
Random Past Trip Pics
64 Sleeps - The Lost Photos - Part I
64 Sleeps - The Lost Photos - Part II
62 Sleeps - Snow White and the Faulty Camera
59 Sleeps - Day 1 Plans
58 Sleeps - Day 2 Plans
56 Sleeps - Day 3 Plans
55 Sleeps - Father's Day Surprise!
53 Sleeps - Paid Off Trip with Two Bonuses!
Favorite Organizing Tip
49 Sleeps - To-Do List as of June 27th
49 Sleeps - Day 4 Plans
47 Sleeps - Day 5 Plans
45 Sleeps - Day 6 Plans
41 Sleeps - Day 7 Plans
41 Sleeps - Day 7 Plans cont.
36 Sleeps - Part I - Mickey Mail!
36 Sleeps - Part II - Day 8 Plans
36 Sleeps - Part III - Parade Mania at MK
36 Sleeps - Part III - Parade Mania at AK
36 Sleeps - Part III - Parade Mania at DHS
36 Sleeps - Part III - Wrapping up Parade Mania with Spectro Magic
34 Sleeps - Day 9 Plans and a Few Minor Changes
11 Sleeps - Oh Yeah... an Update!
1 Sleep!! - Thank you and Goodbye Everyone!!

Last edited by Mickey_Mom; 08-25-2009 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:57 PM   #2
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Andddd - here I am! I just saw the thread in the list.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:12 PM   #3
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Just found your report. We stayed at Pop in 2005 and loved it. We will just miss you in August. We will be there 8/2-8/9. Cant wait to hear more.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:20 AM   #4
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67 sleeps!!

I’m such a nerd, I was so excited to see all the views my PTR was getting and that I have a few followers now…. Hi Zero to Hero! Hi MinnieNurse! You guys will have to tell me how to put my PTR link in my signature

So this August 2009 trip was almost the trip that wasn’t. We had gone three years in a row and my DH was pretty clear we should put the brakes on it for a while and maybe go back in about five years around Christmas time. While I was initially at peace with that, (sorta-not really) when February of this year rolled around and I would normally start anticipating the free dining to roll out….. I had to do it. I had to start planning again! (Did I mention I am a planning freak??)

So I started talking to my DH about going again and we “compromised” by saying we would have a backyard summer, save up, and only go if the free dining happened to get extended into Christmas time. Ariana LOVES Disney and the next best thing to her is Christmas time. She loves everything about it – she’d have a tree up year round if it were up to her, she loves the presents under the tree, the Christmas carols, making snowmen and snow angels, any sort of Christmas movie, all the lights and decorations she loves with wide-eyed wonder…. you get the idea So imagine my excitement to possibly take her to her favorite place on earth at her favorite time of year!! I would look at any photo I could find of the Magic Kingdom decorated for Christmas and just friggin cry thinking about taking her. I showed her a video of Cinderella’s Castle lighting up with all the tiny Christmas lights and ….. whew!

But alas, all signs were pointing to the rarity that is free dining at Christmas time for us Northern folk, and my DH started recognizing the signs in me of Disney Withdrawlism. He took pity on me and shocked me by suggesting we go in August! I love, love, love my husband. Really. Love. Him.

So back to the DIS boards I went with a new spring in my step! We were going back!! I had already subscribed to the free dining thread and honestly, I don’t know how you guys do it, but someone found out the day the promo was being offered and I called my travel agent to warn her I’d be making the arrangements. She hadn’t heard when it was coming out and I could tell she wasn’t convinced I knew either, but was a believer when it actually happened! She wanted to know my source . She said her daughter was on a similar site and always talked about how great it was and all the information that was shared. She wasn’t sure which site it was but looked it up when I was talking to her and yep, you guessed it! It was here!

Originally, we made our reservation at the POP for August 16th to the 23rd for just four of us. My older son is going into his first year of high school this September (ack!) and was hesitant about going with us on the trip. The hubby and I talked about it and then told Alex he could ask a friend to come with him and he was back on board As much as he adores his sister and little brother, there’s just something different about having a friend come along. He would be the one showing them where everything was, and would be experiencing everything brand new again thru their excitement.

So we bumped up our reservation to two rooms and let his friends know they had two weeks to decide if they were coming with us. Southwest Airlines was opening their scheduling dates for August and if they were coming, we’d have to reserve their seats. Unfortunately, none of his friends could come and he was back to deciding if he was going to go with us. I didn’t want to force him to come, I wanted him to want to come. The hubby and I talked about it again and decided to add Disney Quest to our itinerary. We’d never been and it looked like fun… I could see him wavering.

A fellow DISer suggested if I was going to go to Disney Quest, I might as well add the water parks and more option to our tickets because it included Disney Quest and then we could go to the water parks too. Same price…. Sold! See? Such helpful advice! So I pulled out the Disney Vacation Planning DVD we order every year (my daughter has been watching them for years!!) and watched the part about the water parks. We’d never considered going to the water parks because we assumed we’d get all the swimming in that we wanted at the resorts. Um, yeah… its kinda a different experience at the water parks and now I can’t wait to go!! The hubby suggested we add a few extra days to our reservation to give ourselves enough time to enjoy everything but not be rushed about it so then our trip became August 16th to August 25th.

When it came closer to Southwest releasing their scheduling dates, I was going on their site frequently trying to get a heads up on which days would be cheaper to go. Last year when I was booking our flights, I went on their site the morning the dates were released and I had a particular flight up on my screen going thru the purchasing process. I couldn’t get ahold of the hubby on the phone to discuss it with him and in the ten minutes it took me to reach him, the flight price was gone! Ten minutes! So this year I made sure to scope out which days would potentially be the cheapest and we ended up adding another day to our trip, this time at the start. Another recommendation by a fellow DISer was to add a travel day, room only reservation night at the start of our trip. This would allow us to fly in late, spend the night at the resort and wake up the next morning all ready to go. It cost next to nothing to add on the extra day and it would give us more flexibility in our flight arrangements…. Sold! Our trip then finalized at August 15th to August 25th and the morning Southwest released their flights we got great rates.

The trip that almost wasn’t …. was!

I’ll add some pics when I’m home later today…. my work blocks them, grrrr.

Next up…. I never talked about the hits and misses yet but I will… ADRs then and now.
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:27 AM   #5
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Disney at Christmas time is my favorite time too! Even though the snow is fake.
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Old 06-09-2009, 07:50 PM   #6
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Hi!! I'm in We are going August 24-27 and staying at Pop Century also. We can't wait!! We love it there!! Looking forward to reading more of your report!!
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:38 PM   #7
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Hey! Just found your PTR...we are going to be there at the same time as you!
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeystoontown View Post
What a cutie patooie family you have! I love looking at pictures and reading reports. They are what keep me sane until our next WDW vacation
Thank you! I love looking at pics too. My son bought me a digital picture frame for Christmas two years ago - perfect gift for me! It sits in my office and I loaded up all my pictures and set it to change every 15 seconds. I could sit and stare at it all day!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Lallie View Post
Those are beautiful photos! I love the one of the kids in front of Everest, so cute!
Thanks! It was soooo hot that day, I think we went straight to the river rapids after this pic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wdwgirl03 View Post
Hey! Just found your PTR...we are going to be there at the same time as you!
Watch for me, I'll be the one taking pictures! Oh....., wait.
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Old 06-13-2009, 01:16 PM   #9
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Love the pictures. Thanks for sharing.

I imagine if I had ever gone as a child I would have been so into the tiara thing. So I love that almost every picture of your DD she has on a tiara. I still want one.

Which store were you in when you took the "I'd like to thank the Academy" picture?
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieNurse View Post
Love the pictures. Thanks for sharing.

I imagine if I had ever gone as a child I would have been so into the tiara thing. So I love that almost every picture of your DD she has on a tiara. I still want one.

Hmmmmmmm Since we now have the Tink hat, there is suddenly a tiara up for grabs!


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Which store were you in when you took the "I'd like to thank the Academy" picture?

I'm not positive but we were in Hollywood Studios and it was in one of the shops that are closest to the main entrance on Hollywood Blvd. I looked up what stores are there and it may be "Crossroads of the World" or "Mickey's of Hollywood" based on the descriptions of what they sell.

One of our favorite things to do is clown around in the stores taking silly pics
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Old 06-13-2009, 08:35 PM   #11
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I love all the pictures!!! Such a great picture of your daughter and her "prince". Thank you for sharing!!!
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Old 06-13-2009, 08:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey_Mom View Post
Hmmmmmmm Since we now have the Tink hat, there is suddenly a tiara up for grabs!




Grab it! Grab it!!!!

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