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Old 12-30-2007, 05:48 PM   #1
DisneyMom14
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Bringing Mardi Gras to Disney World - Trip Report starting on Post #203

In an effort to NOT drive my family crazy for the next month, I've decided to talk to all my DIS friends who understand why Disney (and this trip) is the first thing on my mind when I wake up and the last thing I think about when I fall asleep.

Cast:
Me aka Mom - 32 and a total Disney fanatic - how I managed to stay away from home (wdw) this long is unexplainable and the reason for my insanity.

DH 33 who likes Disney and thinks its wonderful that we can bring the kids but thinks I am way too obsessed even though he secretly appreciates all the cool info I've found out through my obsessive research and planning.

DD6 A true Tinkerbell - sweet but sometimes with a pixie-ish streak.

DS about to be 3 - would have loved me to put a spiderman icon for him, but he's definitely a little Stitch-in-training.

We've booked a Magic Your Way package with dining for the week of Mardi Gras 2008. For those of you not familiar with Mardi Gras, the dates change every year. I'm not even going to try to explain how to figure it out but basically you work backwards from Easter to Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras day is the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras "season" starts on January 6th with parades and balls every weekend until the end of Mardi Gras day. We live in south Louisiana and try to make local parades. We have on occasion attended a few major Mardi Gras events like Bacchus and Endymion balls, but stay away from crowds when possible. This will be the FIRST time we miss Mardi Gras and the weekend before it. This is a very busy parade weekend and we usually make about 3 parades.

Why miss Mardi Gras? I've always heard that Mardi Gras week (depending when it falls) was a "slow" time in Disney. Several families from our area typically go during this time while the kids are off from school. My husband and I also work in the school system so it is a good time for us also. In the recent years, we've started getting the whole week off. Another really awesome reason for going during this week is the weather. I HATE the heat and the rain. We know humid, hot weather and cannot begin to imagine being around crowds of sweaty people with two fair complected little ones. I pretty much stay inside my air conditioned house all summer ( or the mall, the movies, etc.)

Well now that you know when we're going and why we chose this time of the year, my next installment will be a little of our Disney History. See ya' real soon!

Last edited by DisneyMom14; 02-17-2008 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 12-30-2007, 10:28 PM   #2
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A little Disney history

Hoping I won't bore anyone to death...

My first trip to Disney was when I was 4. My parents took me (I'm the oldest) and my grandmother (mom's mom). She died of cancer my senior year of high school. The trip is a fond memory of her.

Here's a picture of us though not at Disney World.


I went back when my sister was probably 4 or 5 so I was 8 or 9 and then again when I was in the 9th grade with my whole family. (Need to borrow pics from my mom to scan in)

The next time I went back to Disney World was my honeymoon in Dec. of 1994. My husband and I love Christmas and I absolutely HAD to go to Disney for our honeymoon. I've never seen a more beautifully decorated place for Christmas. Here are a few shots. Don't laugh at the mullet and "Mariah Carey" hair.





Notice no wand


From 1994 to 2005, we both graduated college, started our careers, and had 2 kids. No Disney...just couldn't afford it.

In 2004 we had planned to take our DD3 to Disney when I found out I was pregnant with DS. We cancelled our trip. In 2005 my husband decided his middle school band would apply to perform at Disney world. They were accepted. I was so excited but I had just had DS in January. The trip was scheduled for Easter. I had a REALLY tough decision. I always wanted to take DD by herself and really didn't feel like I could handle her and a baby possibly by myself when DH was busy with the band. Please do not send flames because everyone has to make the decision that is right for your family, but I decided that my 3 month old would be just fine staying with DH mom while I took DD on the bus with the band. I cried a good couple hours out and felt really guilty for a while, until I got there. It was such a short whirlwind trip! It was a great short test the waters with DD type of trip. Here are some more pics:







Spaceship Earth WITH the wand


The band performing


I know I left DH's Disney history out. I don't have a lot details or pics, but he did go with his mom and dad when he was 4 and once again when he was 6 or 7. The next time was our honeymoon.

So there you go. This trip will be our first full family trip. All four of us will DRIVE 12/13 hours to Disney world. It is LONG over due!
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Old 12-30-2007, 11:15 PM   #3
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yay, I will be the first to post on your pre-trip report!!! I'm so excited that all 4 of you will get to go!! Don't feel bad about your DS, my mom and I flew out to CA to see my dad on a business trip and she was 8 months pregnant with my brother and I was 2 and screamed/cried the whole way from Ohio to CA and she said never again.

My parents also took various trips to WDW w/o my brother as a baby bc it was hard to deal with a 3 yr old and an infant. They were lucky to have my grandparents in Ft. Lauderdale so they could leave Dbro for the night to go to WDW.

I love the pictures too!!! I bet everyone is getting excited. Are you planning on taking ur tinkerbell DD to BBB??? She would be the perfect age for that. I'll be working there for the College Program and I leave on Friday.

HAPPY PLANNING!!
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:09 PM   #4
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Yeah! I have a reader!

TinkerbellLuvr7 - I thought I recognized you from the Mommy/Daughter trip report. They are too cute, huh?

Yes, I am bringing my little Tinkerbell to BBB. I'll PM you with details. Maybe you'll be her FairyGodMother.

I'll be posting plans a little later.
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:15 PM   #5
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No need to worry about leaving the baby behind! I always think the people with newborns at the parks are insane!
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:21 PM   #6
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Subscribing!! I was wondering how long before more La people started their PTR's. We are going the week after Mardi Gras. (I have a PTR too. If you have time stop by and check it out! Click the box in my siggie) We will just miss all the cajuns taking over the world. Great start to your PTR can't wait to read more!
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:37 PM   #7
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You'll be there the same time we are.... BlueEyed said to stop by her PTR...you can stop by mine too...don't be afraid about the length of mine...you can just skim through....
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Old 12-31-2007, 03:22 PM   #8
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Let the Planning Begin!!!!

Thanks for reading you guys! You've made me even more excited to work on this! Besides, my DD6 has started rolling her eyes when I say the word Disney.

Last January (when we got our taxes done), we totally decided that between our refund and saving for a year, we could make it to dw the next Mardi Gras.

Exactly 1 year away, I called Disney to make a room only reservation. Yeah I knew that I couldn't book a package and then I would have to call back to rebook when packages came out and the price would of course increase. Can you believe the cast member didn't want to book us at first???!!! She realized she had a crazy person on the other end of the line - one who had done her research - and she did book us. We took the advice of my sister (who is equally...maybe slightly more obsessed) and her husband to stay at Pop Century. They had stayed there for their honeymoom the year before and were really satisfied. I would have LOVED to stay at the Poly (my dream vacation), but we really can't afford to do that yet. Also, I have to remember that we really won't be at the hotel all that much. Since the decision to stay at Pop, I've read a lot of others' opinions and for a value resort, it sounds really great.

It was still a long way away from even making ADR's so I kept busy doing general research on what's new in the parks, what the kids would like, making itineraries, deciding what character meals we would like to go to, deciding if the dining plan was for us, etc. There were so many things to think about but don't get me wrong, I was LOVING it!

By the way, my sister, her husband, and her daughter are going also. After numerous attempts to get them to go WITH us...they are going 2 weeks BEFORE us.
Actually our birthdays fall in the middle of January and she wanted to be in Disney for hers - so she says... Anyway, point of telling you that is we have been planning together. I am organized and a planner but she has beat me. Luckily she loves me and has made stuff for me in all of her free time.

We have made some things to bring with us and I thought you might like to see them.

Homemade autograph books - which I plan to cut up and place in photo albums next to their character's picture. Thanks to a DIS friend who emailed me the pages! I only had to add a few more, print them on 4x6 index cards, and my sister brought them to a copy place to get them binded for a whole $2.17 each. Thanks Sis! Also, the binding is on the right side on purpose. Printer cut off the right border slightly and I'll just cut it off anyway.



Homemade Epcot Passports - I got these from Pat's Disney Designs. I printed them on tagboard, cut them out, and got my sister to laminate the cover and staple them. The only thing else I had to do was double stick tape the backs together.



The Countdown Chainlink - This one is all my sister's. She made herself and us one. She typed Disney sayings and inserted character pictures to each strip. We made our chain right before Christmas (had 40 links). As of today, we are at 31!!!



Coming next: They do what to their windows??!!!
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Old 12-31-2007, 03:40 PM   #9
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They do WHAT to their windows??!!

So one day I was reading the Dis boards and I came across a thread about decorating your resort room/window. Hmmm - that sounds like FUN!!! So another project begins - well, we are bringing Mardi Gras to Disney World...

Here are my window decorations so far:



Thanks to more Dis friends who mailed me the cricut designs!

Up next - You have a disney binder...
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Old 12-31-2007, 04:37 PM   #10
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WOW you've got great stuff!! Love the window decorations! Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!! Sounds like fun to go during Mardi Gras. If I was going I'd bring beads to hand out but then again I bet 90% of the people there will be from La. Can't wait for the binder! You will notice there are a few of us (myself & Jordan included) who are obsessed with our binders.
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Old 12-31-2007, 05:02 PM   #11
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You have a binder??

So my sister shows up at my house with a binder... a disney binder. At the time I'm thinking...ok she's getting way too into this.

Not even a month later: Meet binder #1




It had really cute (& expensive) 3D Disney stickers at one point. This binder has general information about the parks, the packages, the restaurants, menus, tips, articles, etc.

Now meet binder #2



This one has important information pertaining to this particular trip like packing lists, iten, maps, tips for this time of the year...

I'm so sorry I laughed at you, Sis.

Now in addition to the binders (cuz I am NOT carrying either one of them into the parks), we have also made "Park books."

Here they are:


These "mini-binders" are small photo albums that contain park specific and trip specific information that we may need in that particular park. I don't plan to park hop so I should only be carrying one of these with me per day.

I also have a notebook. Ok more than one, but anyway...
In the notebook(s) are all of my thoughts and workings. For example, before I decided to pay so much for disney dining plan, I had to decide where we would eat for each meal each day. Then decide what we probably would order and calculate how much we would spend. Add in character meals and snacks. The total cost compared to the cost of the DDP was very close. I had to then show my husband so that I had his support that paying for meals in advance would be sooooooo much more convenient even if the savings weren't tremendous. At least we wouldn't stress out for under budgeting the cost of eating. Oops sorry honey we spent all of our money. We can't eat today. I also worked out my iten in there.

Maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow...ADR's and special events!
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Old 12-31-2007, 05:32 PM   #12
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I stand corrected. I think you are obsessed with your binder much more than we are. Or maybe we are all just obsessed with them in different ways.
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Old 12-31-2007, 05:41 PM   #13
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oh my goodness you are organized!!!! I wish my mom was crafty and creative like that!! I guess that way it keeps you excited and motiviated to go. Maybe I should make my mom a little binder when they come to visit me in Feb lol. Right now she has everything in a blue folder and that is depressing lol.
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Old 12-31-2007, 06:08 PM   #14
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We'll Be There Too!

Leaving Mardi Gras behind to go to the WORLD. Flying in on Feb.2 and leaving on the 9th. Can't wait!!!
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Disneyland, Calif. - 1979, WDW-Offsite-1984&1989 Mardi Gras- Carribean Beach - 1999 Christmas - All Stars - 1999 Disney Magic Feb. 2002 Thanksgiving-The Movies Nov. 2003 Summer2004/Pop Century and Animal Kingdom Lodge
Feb. 2006- Crusin on the Magic? Had to Cancel, Hurricane Katrina Dec. 2005 - The Movies, a well needed rest! Feb. 2007 - Mardi Gras on the Wonder!! YEAH, and a few days at thePOP!! Feb. 2008 Mardi Gras- Back to The Music!!
April 2009-One More Time!! WOO-HOO!!!! Back Again in 2010!!! Mardi Gras w/the mouse
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Old 12-31-2007, 06:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueyed Girl View Post
I stand corrected. I think you are obsessed with your binder much more than we are. Or maybe we are all just obsessed with them in different ways.
I think she's got us beat....

Nice job on the binder....or binders
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