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Old 02-23-2011, 01:33 PM   #1
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Suzy and Perla Skip the Lines Again: From roughing it to the lap of luxury

Hello all you loyal fans coming from my other thread and welcome to those have never heard of us. I'm not really very witty, no famous movie quotes to guess, and no catchy, intriguing perks. I'm not mushy. Sigh. I'm not a lot of things all the cool trip report writers are.

But I'm well researched and multi-faceted in my Disney choices. So if you want to know about staying in values, moderates, deluxes, Priceline off-sites, rental houses, tent camping, etc. If you want to know how to skip all lines. If you want to know how to do Disney World, and sometimes Land, with a variety of ages, boys and girls, old & young. This is the trip report for you.

And most especially if you don't like to stand in line. Because we hate it.

We are in the middle of a year of Disney and I am in the middle of writing my trip reports but they were getting very cluttered so I decided to start over since our September and November ones are done. So our March one will be here, and I'll do a totally different one for June. To read the first half of this year of Disney and the traumas of deciding to buy annual passes and a little bit about a spontaneous trip to Disneyland, check out my now finished 2010 TR.

If you'd like to hear about our upcoming trip over spring break, then you are in the right place!!!!

And now for the intros.



Ta-Da! That is, from left to right, Mickey, Perla, Ariel, Minnie, Mulan, Boo (in front), Donald, and Goofy

I'm Perla, Disney planner extraordinaire. Long ago I realized my family works better when our vacations are planned thoroughly. Others like to go with the flow. My family pretends to go with the flow, thinks they go with the flow, but really are intense and slightly controlling. So it's WAY better if I just make a thoroughly planned itinerary and keep them all in line while pretending that we are going with the flow. Because I actually CAN go with the flow despite being the only one in my family capable of making a plan. How's that for circular?



And here are: Back row: Charming, Suzy, Jack, Milo, Front row: Buzz and McQueen

Except they are a year older which means Charming is taller than all of us. It's sad but true.

Suzy is my partner in crime in all ways. She calls us twins, despite the 2.5 year age difference and the fact that we are opposites in every way personality wise. She is introverted, mentally organized, and motivated by family. I'm extroverted, only organized through sheer will power, and motivated by the next exciting project. What we have in common is everything else. We quite literally get confused where one of us starts and the other finishes. And we both love Disney.

Her family also would claim to be easy going. But I assure you, the only easy going member of the family is Jack, maybe Charming. McQueen is beyond intense. Buzz has Aspergers. And Milo is only relaxed when reading a book and drinking scotch. At all other times, he's all hands on deck intense.

The Perla clan bought AP's in September while enjoying free dining at Port Orleans Riverside and the Suzy clan did in November while enjoying free dining at the Poly.

And now we are finally at this year's plan.

We leave in just over 3 weeks for Fort Wilderness. That's right, my friends. We are tent camping. At Disney. Yikes!!! So the discussions have been about sleeping bags and bikes much more than Mickey ears.

But more about that and our stay at the Dolphin (yup, we're excited!) later. Lots more. There are details to tell you about and itineraries and packing lists and where we're eating and Pirate's League and BBB. And, and, and! Aren't you excited? Don't you want to know what purse Suzy bought last night for our trip? What stroller with a 50lb weight limit and only $39.00 I bought for this trip?

But you must wait for all that as currently: The matching t-shirts must be made. So we'll be updating that later tonight showing you the first ones that we'll be making as soon as the kids are off school.

Stay tuned....

Last edited by estherhead; 05-23-2011 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:06 PM   #2
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I'm here....

I'm here and along for the ride! Well, I guess I'm not really along for the ride as I expect to be in the driver's seat for most of this along with you, Perla . We are 3 weeks and 2 days away from leaving and I just want to get everything loaded and head south! But there are still things to get and make so I will try my hardest to be patient.

Oh, and that picture of my family is well over a 2 years ago so those boys are all quite a bit bigger. Here's a photo from Disneyland last summer.

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Old 02-24-2011, 06:53 PM   #3
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Joining in. Followed you over from your other trip report. Going back to read.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mommy2BnB View Post
Joining in. Followed you over from your other trip report. Going back to read.
Welcome! I'm so glad to have a reader!!!

I've been so busy creating t-shirts and bows I haven't been updating here like I promised. But I will take lots of pictures tomorrow, I promise. It's just so late. But I promise! I'll take a break out of this fun Mickey Mouse creating to update here.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:51 PM   #5
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Let the Crafting Commence!

For our "little" 4-5 day trips we don't craft. But we like to seriously prepare for our "real" trips. We wear matching t-shirts, have full itineraries, watch Disney movies we haven't seen in a bit, or the youngest haven't ever seen. And in general live and breath Disney for weeks and weeks before we leave. Since the Suzy clan came home in November they've been preparing. We spent our whole winter break watching Rapunzel and playing Disney Scene It and other Disney board games. We have a ridiculous amount of Disney board games. Slightly embarrassing amount of them, actually. I sorted out just our cards the other day and had in just cards & Uno cards: 2 Princess decks, High School Musical, Toy Story, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, general Disney.

With three weeks to go tonight (in 3 weeks I'll be driving quickly through South Carolina right now if I'm lucky, North Carolina if I'm not) we are deep into our preparing. Donald is currently reading about topiaries and new floats, pondering the Flower and Garden show and the new parade at DHS.

Boo watched Peter Pan for the first time this week, and Suzy's family watched Dumbo.

We've went out to dinner last week and spent the entire time playing the A-Z game, both Disney Character and Disney World Attractions/restaurant editions. The answer to is there one for X is yes!

But the big preparations are in the crafting area. Matching t-shirts!!! I, honestly, don't really care about matching tshirts that much, despite being the one to insist the first year we had them in '07. I thought it was cool and it'd be easier to keep track of kids. It was both.

But Mulan LOVES them. And this is a real trip with 11 of us. And it is easier to keep track of everyone when they are all wearing matching traffic cone orange shirts. Plus, Suzy and I were feeling dorky as all our WDW shirts, which aren't that great anyway, are getting older and if we have to look dorky, we want our families to look dorky with us. Because then we look less dorky. Right? Because 11 other people chose to look just as goofy. So then Suzy and I look totally normal. Get it? Like our logic?

We started our quest by going to Goody's as Suzy and I cannot wear crew neck t-shirts. Come on, girls, you know what I'm saying. The fastest way to frumpy is a tshirt to the neck. So it's v-necks and scoop necks for us. So we scoured clearence for 2 tshirts that fit us, that were attractive, that matched each other, and cost under $5.00. Ended up finding 6 sets! Brown, navy, green, yellow, orange, blue. We bought everyone else matching ones on Jiffy shirts. Sweet! And almost painless.

The next step to matching t-shirts is to hang out for a ridiculous amount of time on the Disigners thread on this board. Those people are the super bomb! Amazing. They design cool Disney stuff and will personalize it for FREE!!!!!!! Seriously.

But I don't have them personalize mine. I like to do it myself as I like to make things really specific and I don't want to bother other people. But I definitely use their designs and if not, I'm inspired by them.

I also bought transfer sheets from Amy (amymickey). They are cheaper than Wal-Mart and awesome! Plus she ships really fast. Love her. I've used her before and have never been disappointed.

So without further ado, here is Suzy working hard today on t-shirts:


This is my basement crafting room. It's great because it is an unimportant area of my house so we can just trash it and close the door and walk away. So we worked right up till kids came home from school and then shut the door. Sweet!

The first shirt we made was yellow. I watched Gray's Anatomy and Private Practice while I cut them out. It took forever and my hand hurt, but SOOO worth it. They are darling. The boy's say "Mr. Perfect." Suzy & mine say "I found Mr. Perfect." And the little girl's say, "I heart Mr. Perfect."



Here's Mulans. You see those gorgeous bows on that shirt? Oh my goodness! I made them! Yup, you can gush.



Here's what happened, I decided to make the girls a few bows. I've never made them before but I'm pretty crafty and thought I could figure it out. I get to the very limited ribbon aisle of Wal-Mart. Yes, I live in tiny little town, ok? No fabric store. Deal with it. But what do I see in that ribbon aisle? Disney ribbon!!!!!!!!!!! That's right. Disney ribbon. So of course my plans to see if I could make hair bows became a full blown $45.00 splurge of making matching bows for each girl for each day.

The ones above are red ribbon with Mickey ribbon and a Mickey head crystal in the center. I made 6, for pigtails.

Here's where I break the internet parenting code and you see our kid's real names. But I HAVE to show you t-shirts. Plus, you'll see them in our pictures of the trip anyway. I found these little Mickey heads on disigns. They are by Milliepie. Boo is so excited to be the alien from Toy Story. It think that's hilarious. Ever since I got the design done with our names Boo tells people, yes even strangers in the bread aisle, "I'm going to Disney World to be an alien."

Yeah, we're weirdos.



The bow is Tiana ribbon.

The next shirt we got done was our Fort Wilderness shirts. I can't remember who I got this from but I didn't change it at all. So thanks disigner!





The last shirt we didn't get all the way done. We had to cut each number which took forever. So we're not done with these. But I'm pleased with the way they turned out. I'm not really an orange person but these will be really easy to keep track of the family in and they are cute.



The loopy bows are orange and zebra print. AK day, people! They are for pony tails. They were pretty easy. The ribbon is wired on so it was much faster than sewing. The Mickey bows took my over 2 hours for just the 6.

We had a great time. Disney crafting is the best kind.

Do you think matching socks with Disney ribbon sewed on is over the top? Or did I already cross the over the top line? All I know is I love it. So I guess my poor kids will just have to be crazy Disney decorated. That's what I'm doing, I'm decorating my kids like the Disney billboards they are.

Last edited by estherhead; 02-25-2011 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:13 PM   #6
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These are by far the best shirts we've ever made for our Disney vacations. I'm excited for my family to see them. And Perla your hairbows are amazing . I just wanted to point out the Lion King video buried under the piles of shirts and let everyone know that it wasn't a plant.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:58 PM   #7
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The Tshirts are fabulous!!! I am in awe of how much you have gotten done. I would make one shirt and think, "this is too much work, I'm done!". I think I like the green ones the best. The hairbows are adorable, too. I have made several (with my mom's help) for the princess residing at my house. No Disney or Princess ones though. Yours are great.

Suzy, I didn't even notice the LK video and had to go back to look. Guess I was too busy checking out your shirts.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by houseful of boys View Post
These are by far the best shirts we've ever made for our Disney vacations. I'm excited for my family to see them. And Perla your hairbows are amazing . I just wanted to point out the Lion King video buried under the piles of shirts and let everyone know that it wasn't a plant.
I haven't showed Donald yet either. I'm really excited. I think we may even wear them places other than Disney World.

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Originally Posted by Mommy2BnB View Post
The Tshirts are fabulous!!! I am in awe of how much you have gotten done. I would make one shirt and think, "this is too much work, I'm done!". I think I like the green ones the best. The hairbows are adorable, too. I have made several (with my mom's help) for the princess residing at my house. No Disney or Princess ones though. Yours are great.

Suzy, I didn't even notice the LK video and had to go back to look. Guess I was too busy checking out your shirts.
Thanks! The green ones were the ones I was most worried about because I didn't want our iron ons to just look like pieces of paper glued on our shirts. But they turned out super cool and not at all like tacky paper.

Suzy and I have day jobs, but our side job (and passion) is as wedding planners. So almost no craft project is too hard of work for us. Wedding invitations, wedding cakes, floral arrangements for the reception and bridal party. Bring it on.


And I didn't notice the Lion King video either. VHS too. Disney old school style. Like I said, we have an awful lot of Disney stuff in this house. I do try to draw the line at decorating my main spaces with Disney. Gotta have a line somewhere.
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:04 PM   #9
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Camptown ladies sing this song, doo-dah, doo-dah...

As Milo says, we have two parts to our vacation: the awful part and the real vacation. We agree on the two parts. We disagree on the awful part: camping at Ft. Wilderness.

Let's be honest about this, perfectly honest. Suzy and Milo bought a tent first. I just want that said. They bought the tent first. What they didn't know was that I LOVE camping. And Donald doesn't. Or, should I say, really had never tent camped ever in his life. He has 4 sisters and they would stay in the tent while he, the only boy, got to stay in the cushy camper with his parents. So for the first 10 years of our marriage we was anti-tenting.

But then Suzy bought a tent. And for a whole year I teased and I made valid points and I shimmied to the left and shimmied to the right. And then found a super gigantic, amazingly awesome tent for half price. And bought it.

Then what could he say? Well, I'll tell you. The girls and I have gone on 4 "trips" (most in backyards) with our tent. Donald has spent one night in it. So he said, "Sure, I'll go with you." But he meant, "Almost never."

So when I suggested tent camping with our super cool tent at Disney World he was less than enthusiastic. But again, I twisted and turned and jumped around a bit to confuse him and then just went ahead and booked it. And Milo from the very start was against it. Again, a cushy camper guy. And really their last trip was at the Poly so tent camping is a pretty giant step down.

So to persuade them we said we'd do half the trip at the Fort and half at the Dolphin. Turns out getting a 2 bedroom suite was cheaper than separate rooms so we go from our little tents ($35.00 per night cause we're splitting a site) to an executive suite ($252.00 per night cause we're splitting.)

And then we added the DDP, so we don't have to cook anything, and what could they say? Well, I'll tell you. They can say a lot. Lots and lots. But they still are camping with us at the Fort for 4 nights.

And you know what? It's gonna be AWESOME! Our kids are going to absolutely love it.

But now in addition to Mickey ears, pin lanyards, ponchos, etc. etc. we have added 3 tents, too many sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets to count, clotheslines, 22 towels, and bikes to our packing list.

Really, it's ridiculous. We each have a car top carrier. Donald and I are going to buy a 3 bike rack. We have mini vans. And we're worried about space. But that doesn't keep us from adding REALLY important things to our lists constantly like dressers and rugs

You all SAY you bring every thing but the kitchen sink to WDW. But Suzy and I are truly bringing everything AND the kitchen sink. Really. There are hoses at the sites. What if we need water? We need some kind of sink device, right?

So here are two of the tents we are bringing.



And here is my van (no car top carrier this trip) all packed up with 4 bikes and all the gear for these tents:



And here is half of the inside of my tent:


Come on, admit it. You wish you were staying with us instead of your Contemporary theme park view room. Admit it!!!! Ok, if you won't admit how awesome it is to tent camp at Disney, how 'bout this. $35.00 vs. $400.00. It's peak season, people. This isn't September. So it's this onsite or Priceline Comfort Inn on 192. Admit it. Suzy and I made the right choice.

The other thing that went down, and this is a long ago story, is I needed a new stroller. Several trips ago I bought "the last stroller we'll ever need." A very expensive McClaren. It had a 50 lb limit, a big basket, fold up quick, was pink and brown and trendy, and I LOVED it.

From the moment Donald set eyes on it, he hated it. By the end of the week (the first 7 days we ever used the thing.) He broke it and threw it in the trash (even though it was under warranty) without telling me till we were too far away for me to save it. Am I still bitter? Yes, yes I am.

So for the next trip I bought a very cheap stroller at a used children's clothing store. Don't even get me started about the Ariel umbrella I had to carry around because it didn't have a sunshade.

So this trip I need a new stroller, yet again. And I opted for the $39.99 The First Years- Jet Lightweight stroller in red from Wal-mart. Free shipping to the store. And I bought a cup holder thing for the back for $18.00. Turns out they sent me the more expensive stroller that had 4 cup holders so now we have 6! It has a 50 lb weight limit, a big basket, and folds easily. I am in love with it. We'll see if I feel like that at the end of this trip and if THIS is the "last stroller I ever buy." If Donald hurts this stroller in any way.... Yeah, don't get me started!

Suzy has decided she doesn't want to carry a backpack this year. So her big purchase for trip was a purse. I'm not gonna tell you about it, but I AM going to put this little reminder in here to have her tell you about it. I am not taking my old standby Mickey backpack. I'm just going to take a small leather bag and a cloth tiny backpack we bought for Disneyland. Hopefully it all works for us!

I also got on e-bay a new Mickey iphone case! Woohoo! LOVE it.

I am ready for my adventure. Sign me up. Have Mickey iphone, will travel.

Next chapter: Where are we eating?
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Suzy has decided she doesn't want to carry a backpack this year. So her big purchase for trip was a purse. I'm not gonna tell you about it, but I AM going to put this little reminder in here to have her tell you about it.
A couple of years ago I decided I was done with diaper bags and wanted a bag to carry into the park that would hold 2 diapers, wipes, sunscreen, water, snacks, capri sun, cameras, and various other things. So I bought a baggalini messenger bag and loved it.



And the front



Do you see the zipper pouch on the front strap. I can keep all my tickets and fastpasses and kttw in there safe and sound. Very convenient!!!

But it's a little bulky and I don't need to carry diapers and as many snacks now that the baby is 3. (We'll still have a stoller with a basket for ponchos and water bottles) Not to mention, we have made all these cute T-shirts and this year I don't want to have that thick gray strap across my chest. So I've been in search of a smaller bag but I need quick access to my tickets. (We gather lots and lots of fastpasses). So I've settled on a Sherpani Pica.
http://www.ebags.com/product/sherpan...herpani%20pica

It will be arriving this week. I hope I am happy with my choice. So much pressure to have the perfect bag!!!
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:31 PM   #11
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I grew up tent camping and love it. Hubby did not so he isn't keen on it either. Oh well. Hope your four nights in the tents are rain free. I noticed an air mattress in one of your pics. Does it stay inflated? I haven't had much luck with air mattresses lately. I briefly considered camping at Disney when making our plans, but hauling all of the stuff.....well.

Suzy, I love the bag you chose. Which color did you go with?
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:15 PM   #12
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I noticed an air mattress in one of your pics. Does it stay inflated? I haven't had much luck with air mattresses lately. I briefly considered camping at Disney when making our plans, but hauling all of the stuff.....well.

Suzy, I love the bag you chose. Which color did you go with?
I got the blue one. I'll post a pic of me wearing it when it gets here.

3 weeks ago I hauled our three air mattresses to my living room and made my family "camp out." I wanted to make sure that the beds had no holes in them and that we fit comfortably. I put Milo on a twin (I've not had much success sleeping with him on an air mattress), the two big boys on a full, and the two little boys with me on a queen. Well, everyone had such a great time that we slept there a second night. Even DH!!!! Here's a picture of us "camping"

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Old 02-27-2011, 03:54 PM   #13
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I grew up tent camping and love it. Hubby did not so he isn't keen on it either. Oh well. Hope your four nights in the tents are rain free. I noticed an air mattress in one of your pics. Does it stay inflated? I haven't had much luck with air mattresses lately. I briefly considered camping at Disney when making our plans, but hauling all of the stuff.....well.

Suzy, I love the bag you chose. Which color did you go with?
I thought it was supposed to be men trying to get their prissy wives to camp. When did the men turn in to the prissy ones? Donald & Milo are both guy's guys, into sports and alcohol and rock n roll, but NOT outdoorsy. Which is odd since they both spend their entire summers outside enjoying their land and their kids. So they are outdoors, just not with the "y". They don't own a single piece of camouflage clothing.

We blow our mattresses up really really full. It's awesome. It's like a bed, not an air mattress. You do have to re-blow them up every night before bed.

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I got the blue one. I'll post a pic of me wearing it when it gets here.

3 weeks ago I hauled our three air mattresses to my living room and made my family "camp out." I wanted to make sure that the beds had no holes in them and that we fit comfortably. I put Milo on a twin (I've not had much success sleeping with him on an air mattress), the two big boys on a full, and the two little boys with me on a queen. Well, everyone had such a great time that we slept there a second night. Even DH!!!!
I still need to do this. We'll probably do it the last week so I don't have to put them back away. On our last camping adventure one of the mattresses did have a hole in it and the girls spent their first night in a bizarre pile in the middle of a half blown up mattress and I spent my first 8:00 am morning at Wal-Mart replacing it instead of enjoying my leisurely morning. Not having that happen on this trip!
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:58 PM   #14
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Count me in..Camping at Fort Wilderness sounds like fun..
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:09 PM   #15
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Count me in..Camping at Fort Wilderness sounds like fun..
Welcome. And I could not agree more!
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