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Old 05-30-2011, 04:34 PM   #1
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Suzy and Perla's guide to skipping lines and pursuing magic:

My name is Perla and I love all things Disney. Well... maybe not ALL things. I mean the Country Bears movie and pretty much any Disney sequel are very stupid. And I refuse to decorate my house in Disney, though my vehicle has 5 Mickey heads on it and a bumper sticker that says "My other car is a monorail." So maybe I should just say, "I love Disney a whole lot." Not nearly as dramatic, but certainly more accurate.

This trip report is actually a continuation of my Year of Disney trip report trilogy. It started out all one, but ended up being ridiculously full of Disney stuff so we broke it up.

Trip One was in September and was broken up into 4 days with my sister, mother, 3 year old daughter, and 2 year old nephew at Port Orleans Riverside. This was free dining and awesome. Then the rest of my family came, my dh, 9 year old & 8 year old daughters, we switched rooms at POR and had 4 more amazing days. This was on kids go free promotion. I bought AP's for the 5 of us on this trip, leaving us with a free 5 day kid ticket and a free 5 day adult ticket. And 5 annual passes. Sweet!

Trip One and a half was in November when my sister, Suzy, also quite famous in these parts, went with her family of six in November to the Poly for a DREAM vacation (free dining promotion) and ended by buying AP's too.

We then used those AP's in March for parts of 9 amazing days, 4 nights camping at Fort Wilderness, 3 nights at the Dolphin. It was super great. Trip Two was an amazing adventure.

And now in just two weeks: TRIP THREE!!! Yup, we have annual passes and we know how to use them!

So before I drop you into all the details of our amazing 2 weeks summer Disney/beach trip extravaganza, the CAST!!!

We are basically 2 families, with a few bonus people.

Here is the Perla clan:


I've decided to use the Wiki definitions of our personalities since I chose our names specifically for the purpose of our matching personalities. Edited, for brevity and for the traits they have most in common, of course.

Donald: Donald's dominant personality trait is his short temper and, in contrast, his positive look on life. Many Donald shorts start with Donald in a happy mood, without a care in the world, until something comes and spoils his day. Donald has proven that he is a Jack of all Trades. Among his personality traits is his stubbornness and commitment.

Perla: ME! One of two, so this will be repeated under Suzy. Two female mice that help Cinderella get ready in the mornings and lead the rest of the female mice to make Cinderella's dress. Though they're both portrayed as kind and helpful, Suzy is seen as being more reserved and calm; Perla is seen as having more sass and is a bit forceful.

Mulan: Mulan is kind, bold, self-reliant, strong-hearted and shows little interest in romance. She is clumsy, outspoken, tomboyish and independent. Early in the first film she is very insecure and self-loathing, thinking that she will only continue to dishonor her family. As the story continues she starts to gain confidence in herself and after saving China, she finally sees herself as the person she always wanted to be, having brought honor to her family and country.

Ariel: She is very kind and lovely, although often naive, and overwhelmed by her emotions, which tends to get her in trouble.

Boo: Boo is a young, naive, curious girl. (Sorry, not a lot on Wiki about her. This definition cracked me up a bit since have you ever met a 3-4 year who isn't naive?)

So that is the Perla clan.

Now introducing the Suzy clan:



Milo: A linguist and cartographer who has studied the Atlantean culture and learned to translate the Atlantean language. He is logical-minded, brave, timid, and always tries to do the right thing. (I just have to add that our Milo is NOT a linguist nor a cartographer but he is a studious, master of the English language. Also, he isn't timid. I don't even understand how you can BE brave and timid at the same time so ignore the word timid.)

Suzy: Two female mice that help Cinderella get ready in the mornings and lead the rest of the female mice to make Cinderella's dress. Though they're both portrayed as kind and helpful, Suzy is seen as being more reserved and calm; Perla is seen as having more sass and is a bit forceful.

Prince Charming (just called Charming): I've given up trying to find a Wiki definition as Prince Charming is too generic. But you all KNOW what this name means. And all that you imagine, that is what our very own Charming is. Kind, helpful, handsome, confident, not afraid to be a hero.

Buzz: Famed Space Ranger known for heroism and bravery. Buzz is a stickler for procedure, but will tell a cover story if he needs to. However, he has little people skills, and at times displays a lack of common sense.

McQueen: McQueen is young, selfish, and arrogant, over-confident that he can win the Piston Cup on his own, without help from any pit crew. However, he is also something of a perfectionist, and will not cease to get something done right even if it wasn't in his best interest to indulge in it in the first place.

Jack-Jack: Initially believed to be the only family member without any powers, he manifests a multitude of superhuman abilities at the end of the film, most of which involve some form of shapeshifting. (Also, he's the youngest of the Parr's. And in our Jack the shapeshifting isn't literal, it is the figurative capability of becoming a character, like he IS Indiana Jones or Captain Jack Sparrow and 100% becomes that person down to getting VERY angry when we call him his "normal" given name.)

Finally, we are adding three people to this TR. Two, have been in my TR before. Generally referred to as Mom and Dad. Yes, I know I got VERY creative in those two names. They are Suzy and my parents. And they aren't going to Disney, just on the beach part.

And we are adding a new friend. This introduction page actually got completely stopped due to my trying to figure out what to name her. I'll just be blunt, she is black making Tiana seem the obvious choice. And my family seems pretty determined. But I didn't choose the other names based on external things. Like Suzy and I, for example are not actually mice. And McQueen is not a car. So it bothered me that my friend is an opera singer and laid back and Tiana is VERY into food and quite intense. To be honest, my friend has more in common with Prince Naveen than Tiana. But that just seems confusing.

When all was said and done I think I've settled on naming her Esmerelda. In real life we shorten her name often and just like I often call Jack-Jack simple Jack, I think I will call her Emmy. Here is her wiki definition:

Esmerelda: She is a fearless and streetwise gypsy with a heart of gold (and is very capable of defending herself). She's also able to look beyond physical appearances. Esmeralda is a wonderful heroine whose greatest wish is to see outcasts like Quasimodo and her fellow gypsies be accepted into society and be treated as people.

And here is a photo of her holding a wet and muddy Boo last summer on a trip we took to NYC and upstate NY:


It's not the best photo in the world of her, but it was the first one I found.

In addition to knowing the cast, you also need to know the basic plan. We intend on staying in a house in Windsor Hills called Disneyliscious. It is paid for! Woot woot! for six nights.

And a beach house for the following 7 nights on Daytona Beach.

Coming up next: How a plan was born. How a friend got invited. How excited are we?
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:28 PM   #2
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:20 PM   #3
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I'm finally near the beginning of a pre-trip report! Woo hoo! Hello Suzy, Perla and the other cast members!
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:01 PM   #4
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I know how to plan a trip to Disney, but how did you find a house to rent in Daytona?
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedijill View Post
I'm in!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkingintheFog View Post
I'm finally near the beginning of a pre-trip report! Woo hoo! Hello Suzy, Perla and the other cast members!
Woohoo!!! First two to join the party.

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Originally Posted by OhMari View Post
I know how to plan a trip to Disney, but how did you find a house to rent in Daytona?
I rent the huge majority of our houses off www.vrbo.com. I search in the general area and any that meet my minimum requirements I email and ask them what kind of deal they can cut me. Then we choose based on amenities and price. I've been doing it for years and have never been cheated nor disappointed. Here is our Daytona place:
http://www.vrbo.com/341905

It is ocean front and we emailed TONS of places up and down the coast from South Carolina on down. It was by far and away the best deal for peak season oceanfront.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:58 PM   #6
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Woohoo!!Suzy checking in. We leave in under two weeks! Seems like our March trip was just yesterday and we get to go again! I annual passes.
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:01 PM   #7
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A trip is born

Part of original plan, when we started discussing our year of Disney last spring (after my other vacation plans fell through) was to do a post-school trip. Our kids are already out of school but Milo has to finish teaching and so it was to be mid-June. I would have preferred the slower early June but I take what I can get.

Once the dates were chosen we wanted to do a different trip than the other 2, making all three trips totally different experiences. We also thought I could donate my extra ticket (I gave the kid one to Suzy for Jack-Jack on their November trip) and invite someone to go along basically for free if we rented a house.

At first, we chose a family that never gets to do anything like this as the father has health problems and limited funds. We decided we would contribute for the rest of their tickets and invited them. But after MUCH family discussion on their part, they turned down our offer. They just felt health wise it might set them back and might not be worth it in the long run.

So then we invited my best friend in the world (other than those already in this TR) who actually had been to WDW with us before. But through much confusion and discussion and trauma, that didn't work out either.

Then Donald, who had been saying this for a bit, INSISTED that we take Esmerelda. Suzy and Milo know her, but not as well as us. So they just weren't sure. But in the interim of Donald mentioning it the first time and bringing it up months later she had begun going to Suzy and Milo's once a week to take guitar lessons from Milo and as they got to know her better they realized it was a genius plan.

Part of the genius is that Charming will be old enough to perform on American Idol at DHS this trip. But since he is only 14 it would be better if a true adult were with him. Milo could do it as he is an experienced performer and musician. However, what if Milo won and Charming didn't? That would be AWFUL! So what if Esmerelda were to come with us and audition with him? She is a trained opera singer.

And thus, a person was chosen. And finally we got someone to say yes to a free WDW trip. You wouldn't think it would be that hard, would ya?

Emmy is THRILLED. Seriously, beyond excited. She went to Disney World when she was two. And even though she said she doesn't like any thrill rides she is going to everything as she feels it would be a crying shame to go to WDW and not ride Tower of Terror and all the rest it has to offer. There is only one thing which we agree to differ on for the time being. She is TERRIFIED of characters. Yup, just like Boo a few years ago. That afraid.

She goes with us from time to time to the local college ball games and FREAKS out when the mascot comes over. We've told her she doesn't have to go up to them but Boo will have to meet some. She really is afraid she may not even be able to see them. How can she see Fantasmic? We've assured her no character will touch you if you do not want to be touched but I have this vision of one of those pop-up parades they have at MK now and Woody coming over to high five Jack-Jack and her just having a Boo like melt-down. Oh dear. She's 27, by the way. So you can imagine the scene of her running down Main Street screaming with a parade of characters chasing her.

I already gave you tips with her name and that she can sing really well. The other things to say about her is she has an amazing sense of humor. I got her giggling at a wedding last night by talking to this 25 year old guy about training bras and 13 year old girls starting their periods. He blushed BIG time and the rest of the conversation she kept giggling. She'd pull it together and contribute to the conversation and then suddenly, minutes later burst into hysterical laughter and choke out, "Training bras, you just walked up and started talking about training bras."

Things like that just crack her up. The bizarreness of the human condition.

She is up for absolutely anything. She and I have run a few races together. She loves healthy food and exercise but isn't uncool about it. And a really important thing is, she loves our kids. All seven.

Once it was decided that she would go, we had a lot to discuss. Most importantly was matching t-shirts. I was really afraid this would be a big deal. It takes a special kind of person to want to go with a family of 11 and match them in their super dorky tshirts.

But I explained my main worry. We're all white. She's black. We're all in matching tshirts. She's not. What are the chances that the people in charge of rides are going to think she is with us? We'll go to the front, hand in our FP's. All get arranged and she'll be left behind. Or my worst fear is that someone will think she is trying to take one of our kids.

This is not unfounded either. Donald was in Lowe's a few months ago with Boo. Emmy saw Boo before she saw Donald and was like, "Hey, Boo, what's up?" Boo goes up to her and takes her hand to show her something. and a lady in the aisle called security. So Donald made a big show of his love for Esmerelda and walked off with her. But if she is in matching tshirts, then all the trouble will go away as it will be quite obvious the kids belong with her.

Anyway, I thought it would be a hard sell. So I broached the subject carefully. And she immediately said, "Let me see them." So we went downstairs. She loved them. Discussed how to make hers done at a different time match. And then she spent an hour designing a special one for the 10 of us to wear while she and Charming do AI to support them.

It was then I knew, she was the perfect choice.

Woohoo! Team Esmerelda. We get to introduce a newbie to the glories of WDW. Should it be the word introduce? Or corrupt?
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by houseful of boys View Post
Woohoo!!Suzy checking in. We leave in under two weeks! Seems like our March trip was just yesterday and we get to go again! I annual passes.
I know! Crazy, right? I'm gonna order the AmyMickey tshirt iron on stuff tomorrow and Wednesday we need to order the shirts. I'll ask Emmy tomorrow to look at Jiffy shirts for a color and we can decide for sure tomorrow night. She said tomorrow is the day she switches to go mode. Time to get our game faces on and get everything in order!!!

Look, everyone! Suzy is on board. That's when you know it's official.

Side note, we went to see POTC 4 tonight and I found myself getting butterflies in my tummy every once in awhile. And Boo said when the castle came on in the beginning with the pirate flag on top, "Can we take Emmy to see the castle soon?" And I said, "How about in two weeks?" She has no idea what that means but I knew it was exciting!

We all rated POTC 4: On Stranger Tides to be 9 out of 10 stars. Not as good as 1 but better than 2 & 3.

Oh, another hilarious thing for those of you that have seen it, or those who haven't I guess, in the mermaid scene Boo looks us at me and says, "Those girls are like Ariel only mean. They are very mean Ariels." What could I do but agree? She had summed up the scene perfectly.
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:53 PM   #9
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Before the plans, the trauma

Ok. I WILL get to all the good stuff, like the mental process of choosing where to stay, where we're gonna eat, what we're gonna do. And, of course, EXACTLY how to use FP's. This is the stuff you expect from a Suzy/Perla TR. But first, I have to tell you about the month of May.

Suzy and I work for my dad. He started a heating company in 1977. It was successful and a few years later he joined up with his best friend as a partner. My dad, mom, and BF (best friend) spent the next 30 years turning it into an amazing business with a great reputation and 30-40 employees.

Suzy and I have each worked there for most of our adult lives. And Milo and Donald for a lot of theirs. Yes, even though Milo is a college professor, he still works at the family business.

A few years ago my dad had a health scare and ended up in the hospital. This made all of us sit up and take notice and realize that time is passing and none of us are getting any younger. Mom retired for real. And Suzy and I agreed and became vice president and sectretary-treasurer. But really Dad still made all the decisions.

For the last two years his health continued to fail and this leads to confusion as some days he is as he has always been, an amazing administrator, a force to be reckoned with. And some days he cannot remember any conversations he's had in the last 24 hours. His partner and us had to forge a new relationship together which takes time. And our general manager had kind of lost interest in holding up the whole venture all on his own.

So basically, lots of people were talking about things, but no action was taken as it was difficult to make any move in the midst of it all.

This leads us to the end of April when, because of the economy and mild temperatures, our business died down to frightful lows. Through fighting, crying, and pushing, Suzy and I (along with our mom) got dad to agree to have a massive, temporary lay off. We would absorb all the work ourselves. Since we were slow, it wouldn't be bad.

Though we didn't ask, our general manager volunteered to be laid off. And I agreed to take over the majority of his responsibilities while Suzy and my mom ran all the office jobs.

The first few days of this arrangement were fun. They were chaotic, but fun. Jack-Jack and Boo were there watching cartoons and we were all playing shop.

But then the weather broke. And things got busy. And busier. And busier. And then we had the first 90 degree day. In our business of installing air conditioning that is the signal for things to get busy. And all of the people who had been waiting to buy, bought.

We doubled this May what we had sold in May the previous years. Doubled. With a staff half the size and little old me holding down the ship.

Not a great plan.

So basically I had a total meltdown last week. Mom and Donald saved me and I've had 4 days off to think and ponder. Our staff is all back but the general manager and he is going to stay off for at least the summer. And we have two weeks to get a new plan of action up and running so we can all leave the business, not in shambles, and head off to our vacation.

In addition to this my parents have had some very disappointing news in our extended family. And my father has been forced to face his new limitations both at the office and in other areas. This has been VERY hard on him.

As for Suzy's May: she has bought a new house and prepared her current one to sell. Charming is going to home school and go to college next year so she's had to deal with preparing for that too. In addition to all the above stuff I already mentioned.

Milo has also had huge and emotional things going on and Donald has been assisting me and working about 60 hours a week. And yes, Boo has been with him and I through all this as we don't have a babysitter nor preschool since there hasn't been a need before this month.

So I've cried a lot in May. But I'm optimistic about the future and feel that now more than ever Donald, Milo, Suzy, and myself are ready to carve out our next niche. And what better way to kick off the next 20 years than Disney?

And yes, I WILL be drinking quite a little bit on this vacation. Don't judge.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:23 AM   #10
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Yay! Another Suzy/Perla clan trip report is coming! I can't wait!
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:58 PM   #11
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Yippee! Another Suzy and Perla trip

I so need to figure out how to make matching shirts. And I really need your "We have annual passes and are not afraid to use them" one. I am already planning trip number three - and that is just in the next 6 months!
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:01 PM   #12
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What a lot of stresses in your family and for you this past month. I think you all sound like such great people, and you really deserve a nice vacation! But you're so upbeat and optimistic that I know all the stresses will turn out OK in the end. My family is actually going to be at Disney at the same time as yours and we've even got the matching T-shirts (well, at least my kids will--still don't have buy-in from the extended family). We've also got my Dad in tow with health challenges that sound similar to what you're dealing with...which will make touring in the parks interesting. So if you see another family waving at you supportively, that is us!
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:47 PM   #13
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I'm here and looking forward to following along! Sounds like May was extremely challenging for your family! I hope this upcoming trip is exactly what you need and all goes well with the business.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:37 PM   #14
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Welcome everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by knitster View Post
Yay! Another Suzy/Perla clan trip report is coming! I can't wait!
And coming fast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kat in GA View Post
Yippee! Another Suzy and Perla trip

I so need to figure out how to make matching shirts. And I really need your "We have annual passes and are not afraid to use them" one. I am already planning trip number three - and that is just in the next 6 months!
We have another set to make and Emmy needs hers so I'll try to take some photos and make you a tutorial. Although we kind of cheat and that will be hard to replicate. We have an iron press at work so I don't have to slave over an iron forever.

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What a lot of stresses in your family and for you this past month. I think you all sound like such great people, and you really deserve a nice vacation! But you're so upbeat and optimistic that I know all the stresses will turn out OK in the end. My family is actually going to be at Disney at the same time as yours and we've even got the matching T-shirts (well, at least my kids will--still don't have buy-in from the extended family). We've also got my Dad in tow with health challenges that sound similar to what you're dealing with...which will make touring in the parks interesting. So if you see another family waving at you supportively, that is us!
Thanks. I told my mom today I feel like I just got plunged into being an adult this past month. She agreed with me that maybe 37 was as good a time as any. Here's my question? When did I get to the point that I'm the wise authority on things? I'm just the idiot girl finding her way in this world. And suddenly people speak to me as if I might actually know the answer to their questions. And bizarrely, sometimes I do know the answer. How did this happen?

Anyone?



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I'm here and looking forward to following along! Sounds like May was extremely challenging for your family! I hope this upcoming trip is exactly what you need and all goes well with the business.
I hope it goes well too! Today was much better work-wise and the guy who is gonna take my place while on vacation met with Milo and I this morning and it was a great meeting so that made me more comfortable about everything.

I have to tell you a story, though. One of the contractors got nervous to have little old me in charge of his account. I discovered he just took his 4 year old granddaughter to WDW and decided to asked him about it and he spent well over 15 minutes schooling me on how to do WDW properly. I just listened and asked questions and let him advice me up and down. I really wanted him to like me and figured asking him how to do a proper Disney trip would be a great way to bond.

His TSM advice was to go first thing in the a.m. so I can avoid the 85 minute line he stood it! I said not a word about FP as it was a better vibe for me to take his advice. He's a very nice guy and I did crack up when he said he told his wife there better be 2 playboy bunnies and a margarita at the end of an 85 minute long line.

And I did tear up a bit when he told me the story of his granddaughter meeting Cinderella and falling completely speechless in awe of meeting a real princess. He said it was worth all the money and effort and lines just for that moment.

Just thought it would amuse you all that I got a Disney education today.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:27 PM   #15
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Hi! Just wanted to say that I'm sorry May has been such a stressful month. I'm glad that things have gotten a little better recently for you. And lol about your client "schooling" you on Disney... That's really sweet about his granddaughter meeting Cinderella for the first time.


I'm looking forward to reading about your next trip
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