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Old 10-03-2012, 01:12 PM   #91
Meloramelora
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Subbing and then going back to read everything haha. You have a gorgeous family! I love the name True.

Can't wait to read all about your plans, since you'll be there around the same time as my group.

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Old 10-03-2012, 03:31 PM   #92
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Fuzzy Math

You all that know me are going to think I have gone off the deep end. You all who are just now getting to know me are going to think that this is pretty early in the PTR to be contradicting myself. Trust me, ladies and gents, I have only just begun turning all my plans on their ears!

I hope that you guys donít think it is tacky of me to talk about money here, but I need to work something out to make sure I am getting the best value with my vacation. I came from a family where money was ďthe root of all evilĒ and we were discouraged to discuss money matters with our parents. I actually think that this was the reason why I had so many money issues when I was a young adult. If you canít discuss and understand money, budgeting etc. with your parents, who is supposed to teach you? OK, I wonít start ranting about this, because you know I will!

I was looking at the UO tickets portion of the website again and I was able to see the prices for the days we wanted Express Passes in August. Iím not sure why it seemed that certain days were blacked out when I checked this site last time, but whatever. For all three days for the three of us, the price would be $936.09 including taxes and fees. That would be worth it to me because I like the idea of having front-of-the-line access all day. My kids and I would be able to do most (if not all) of what we wanted and we wouldnít be stuck in the infamous heat of the UO queues! Itís expensive Ė Iím not saying itís not Ė but sometimes I am willing to pay a premium for things that my kids and I really want.

I tried to look up the on-site hotels again, but I wasnít able to build a package with a resort stay plus tickets The UO website and I really donít get along! On Monday, I decided just to go ahead and give UO a call. Let me get the bad stuff off of my chest first: Besides the not-very-user-friendly website, I found that the customer service at UO left a lot to be desired. I called the Portofino Bay resort, not knowing if this was the proper place to contact for package reservations, but it was the only number I saw on the UO website. The woman who answered was pretty abrupt when she said she was going to transfer me to the right number. Admittedly, I thought I may have been calling the wrong place, but she was a little rude. On top of that, she transferred me to the wrong number! The woman who answered that line was a bit rude herself until I said that I was transferred to her. She lightened up a bit and gave me the correct number to call before transferring me to that number. Then things turned around because a very nice man named Lee answered my call and, subsequently, all of my questions. I know I am spoiled by the Disney CMs, but I have been in the customer service industry for years and years, and I know poor customer service when I see it. I wish I was asked to take a survey after I spoke to Lee because, as I said a second ago, he was great.

So what made Lee so great? Iíll tell ya! I let him know up front that I wasnít going to make a reservation today, but that I only wanted to get some pricing. I said that because I didnít want to get that sales pitch and I just wanted the numbers So I asked him how much it would be for me and my two kids (adults by the standards of WDW and UO) to stay at Portofino Bay from August 21st to August 23rd with three day park-to-park tickets. He did a few calculations and said, ďFor August 21st through August 23rd at the Portofino Bay, in a Garden View room, with three day park-to-park tickets, unlimited front-of-the-line access and free early entry to the parks, your total would be $1139.03.Ē

I said in disbelief, ďThatís it? I thought it would be much more!Ē

He laughed as he asked, ďYou did?Ē

I said, ďYeah,Ē and I asked him, just for informationís sake, what the rates were for the other types of rooms. The same package in a Bay View room would be $1206.54 and in a Deluxe room would be $1274.03. What??? This canít be right! Is this right? Iím not sure if these prices included taxes and fees, but still!!! So to stay on site and get the tickets I want would only be a little over $200 more than the three day Express Passes?

I needed to do some comparisons. For a stay at Pop those same nights and with Park Hopper tickets (I didnít include the DDP) it would be $1184.92 before tax. Same thing at Port Orleans French Quarter would be $1341.42. Hmm... Maybe what Lee was quoting me for a two-night stay in UO was rightÖ So then I did the calculations for Pop just staying from August 23rd to September 1st. Then I did it with the free dining plan, since that is a popular promotion for that time of year. To make sure I was really looking at the numbers right, I even calculated the cost for if they offered free dining but I decided to upgrade from the QSDP to the DDP. I should also mention here that I did not do any comparisons with a AAA discount. I just wanted to work in raw numbers. It was looking more and more like it would make a lot of sense to stay onsite at UO for a couple of days!

These plans are subject to change on a whim (like they just did ) but I have decided to stay at the Portofino Bay for the first two nights of the trip so that we can have the Express Passes all three days. Not to mention the early entry all three days! OK, Iíll mention it! I think we will go to WWoHP each of those mornings to make sure we can really do it all. Then we can focus on the rest of the parks Weíll probably leave the parks around lunch time on August 23rd and go check into Pop, then go back to UO for the rest of the day. That way, when weíre in UO, we wonít have to worry about transportation back and forth between there and WDW and we wonít have to leave UO in order to make an ADR at WDW. Plus, once we lay our weary heads down at Pop that first day in WDW, we wonít have to leave the Disney Bubble. Iím worried that Iíll spend a lot of time comparing UO to WDW and vice versa if we stay in WDW while we tour UO, so that takes care of that! Also, as I do more research on dining in UO, there are a lot of restaurants that I want to try and that I think the kids will like. Itíll be easier to plan meals if I donít have to worry about using up DDP credits. Iím sure I could use up those credits somehow (my kids and I are hardly ones to pass up a meal!) but this will make things flow a little smoother, I think. On top of all of this, I wonít have to use up WDW low-attendance days in UO and I can plan my days at WDW accordingly

So why Portofino Bay? I have wanted to stay there ever since I saw Samantha Brown on the Travel Channel stay there a few years back. The rooms look really beautiful and I love the Italian theme! Also, this is the only onsite hotel that I researched Maybe Iíll change my mind once I look a bit more at the Hard Rock, but I donít think so. Iím curious about eating at Kitchen, though. The Royal Pacific Resort looks cute too, but I donít know much about it. Believe me, I was tempted to just go ahead and book the package with Lee, but I was able to keep my credit card safely tucked away this time! I have to redo my plans for WDW before Iíll feel comfortable making any deposits, but since I have slept on this for two nights, I really do believe this is the best plan so far

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Old 10-03-2012, 03:34 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meloramelora View Post
Subbing and then going back to read everything haha. You have a gorgeous family! I love the name True.

Can't wait to read all about your plans, since you'll be there around the same time as my group.


Iím glad another Aug 2013 tripper is here! Thank you for the compliments on my kids and on my daughterís name! I have found that people either love the name True or hate it!
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:03 PM   #95
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Oh, Ann, this is just what I let a privileged few see! If you could really see the inner workings of my mind, you would be terrified!
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:14 PM   #96
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Okay, seeing as we are planning a trip to Universal ourselves, I read it through twice and it sounds like a great plan. Since Toby will only be able to ride two of the Harry Potter rides and that is the real reason we are going I still don't think I want to commit to three days yet but your kids are older so it will be perfect! I wish I knew of some sort of cost savings on the tickets, one day at the park is so similar to three days at the park! Plus with going three days, you are even more likely to get chosen one of those days for the wand ceremony you wanted to do (Oh, right, I mean the kids are more likely to get chosen! ). And the hotel looks just beautiful!
Great job!
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:25 PM   #97
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Thanks, Alysa! Youíre right, Universal is hard when you have little kids. I wanted to go way back in 2008 but True was still too short for almost everything. When we went to Hershey Park a couple of years back, she was heartbroken when she was too short for most of the coasters. Now that she and Coy are tall enough to do everything, I think we will need that third day just so that they can ride everything more than once. And yes, I might get chosen for a wand! I mean the kids! The kids! Really I do. I know I am a grown up and I donít need a wand to choose me So are you thinking of just doing two days when you go?
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:34 PM   #98
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Staying on site for two night seems like the perfect option for your family- and with such an affordable rate it really seems like the best choice.

As for changing plans, well... That's half the fun! If you knew exactly what you were doing from the beginning what would be the point of the PTR, right? Yep, just remember that when I'm changing my mind for the eleventy-billionth time.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:22 AM   #99
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I have no idea why I lost my subscription to your PTR Erin. I'm here and loving all of your posts! Fuzzy Disney Math is the best Math around!!
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:43 AM   #100
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Sorry I have been MIA from the boards for a while! I didnít mean to be gone for this long! I have a good excuse, though. We moved!!! I had been looking for a new rental for about two months and I finally found one about a month ago. I got everything finalized about two weeks ago and we finally moved in on Saturday, October 6th. Actually, that isnít true. I signed the lease and started moving stuff in on Wednesday, the 3rd and we basically did a marathon move for four days straight! We are still living out of boxes for the most part because it takes FOREVER to move a whole house! Ugh! The kids and I love it, though, so it is totally worth it! You know how on The Incredibles when Helen calls her hubby and says, ďItís official! We are finally moved in,Ē because she just unpacked the last box? And remember how he says something like they moved two years ago? Yeah, Iím afraid that is going to happen to me! Iím doing my best not to let it be two years until I unpack the last box! Although, we lived in my last house for a little over three years and there were a few boxes that were still left from the last move! That was mostly because we didnít have the space to put out some of my stuff, though. We had a good sized house but it still wasnít big enough for the three of us. I actually considered buying the house because my kids and I loved it so much, but it was becoming clear that we were outgrowing it. So I did something crazy and I started looking for houses that were even farther out into the suburbs than we already lived. We moved about 45 minutes away from our last house and it has made all of the difference! We still have three bedrooms and three levels, but the square footage is bigger, the deck is bigger and the back yard is WAY bigger! There is even a little plot where the kids and I can start a little garden Iím going to have to ask my mom for help with that because I am horrible with keeping plants alive! True is actually pretty good, so maybe I can have both of them teach me how not to kill plants The best part about the new house is that it is $200 cheaper per month! Oh yeah! Bigger and cheaper? Mama likes the sound of that! My commute is a little bit longer Ė surprisingly, it is only about 15 minutes longer Ė but I can still take public transportation. I also have to talk to my boss when he gets back into town and see if I can telecommute. A lot of the people at my job telecommute because ďthe greenest commute is no commuteĒ It would be great if I could telecommute a few days a week. That would allow me to spend more time at home with the kids and it would take some of the pressure off of my mom to be with the kids every day.

Anyway, I planned on updating over this past weekend, but I got sick and I missed two days of work! The kids were at their dadís over the weekend, so I used the opportunity to rest. I think it was the combination of the stress from the move and the fact that I wasnít getting much sleep that caused me to get sick. I slept so late on Saturday and I ended up feeling a lot better by Sunday. Then when I got to work yesterday, I saw the piles of projects that I had to get caught up on from being out two days! So no DIS for me yesterday! If I can get approved for telecommuting, I will be able to work from home on days that I am sick, so I wonít get so far behind and I wonít have to burn a sick day. Anyway, Iím almost caught up with everything at work now, so I figured that I could at least reply to your posts!

BTW, there should be a new Disney World post coming soon! I know you guys are probably sick of me posting about Universal!




Quote:
Originally Posted by -Hope- View Post
Staying on site for two night seems like the perfect option for your family- and with such an affordable rate it really seems like the best choice.

As for changing plans, well... That's half the fun! If you knew exactly what you were doing from the beginning what would be the point of the PTR, right? Yep, just remember that when I'm changing my mind for the eleventy-billionth time.
I think it will work out well too. I havenít told the kids yet, but I think they will be excited about trying a new hotel for a couple of days Yeah, changes are the best part of trip planning! It gives me something to do while I wait FOREVER for our vacation to come!

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Originally Posted by Lovemy3babes View Post
I have no idea why I lost my subscription to your PTR Erin. I'm here and loving all of your posts! Fuzzy Disney Math is the best Math around!!
I got unsubscribed to someoneís PTR once too! It was so weird! Well, Iím glad youíre back! Am I reading your ticker right? Did you leave to go to WDW just YESTERDAY??? I havenít been on here or on Facebook for almost two weeks now, so I feel like I am so left out! I hope you are having a wonderful trip and I canít wait to hear all about it when you get back!
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:28 AM   #101
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Wow!!! A new home. You do like to shake things up a bit, don't you? I'm happy for you --- a bigger place! Awesome! It's fortunate you can still do public transportation. I can't here. There's like a little community bus system, but there's not many stops. It's so much easier to take the car. You will have to show us pictures. I would love to see the deck and garden area! That would be great if your telecommuting gets approved! Sometimes I wish I could do that! Yes, we need to hear about Disney!!!
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:07 PM   #102
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A new home, that's so exciting!

I like the idea of telecommuting, I hope that works out!

I completely understand about being behind with the updates- I keep meaning to do it but just not getting around to it...
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:36 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Victoriasmom98 View Post
Wow!!! A new home. You do like to shake things up a bit, don't you? I'm happy for you --- a bigger place! Awesome! It's fortunate you can still do public transportation. I can't here. There's like a little community bus system, but there's not many stops. It's so much easier to take the car. You will have to show us pictures. I would love to see the deck and garden area! That would be great if your telecommuting gets approved! Sometimes I wish I could do that! Yes, we need to hear about Disney!!!

Thanks, Ann! Itís funny that I used to hate public transportation so much, but now it is a MUST for me The kids and I actually looked at a house in the country Ė the kids loved it but I had to turn it down because there was no bus system and no high speed internet! I have my priorities in order! It was too bad, though, because it was on an acre of land. I couldíve gotten a chicken! Oh well. Keep your fingers crossed for the telecommuting! Iíll try to take some pictures of the house on Saturday. Iíll at least get some of the outside. The inside is a wreck with all of the boxes! Maybe Iíll shove a few to the side so you can get an idea of what the inside of the house looks like. Disney is coming soon! I am reworking my park days


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A new home, that's so exciting!

I like the idea of telecommuting, I hope that works out!

I completely understand about being behind with the updates- I keep meaning to do it but just not getting around to it...

Thanks, Hope! Iím so excited about our new place I am sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting to see if I can get approved for telecommuting. The majority of my work is done via email and I only have one meeting set in stone once a week, so I really think telecommuting two or three days a week is feasible I want to get an update done by tomorrow. Isnít it annoying how real life gets in the way of posting?
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:25 PM   #104
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I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that it all works out! And yes, I'm finding that real life is quite annoying right now and interrupting all of my fun!

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Old 10-18-2012, 04:21 PM   #105
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Real Life Update: Boston Trip Booked!

I just booked our room for our Boston trip in November! Weíre staying in the same area as last time, but we are staying in a different Marriott. When I finally went to book today, the Marriott where we stayed in March was sold out! I should have booked it weeks ago, but I was not happy with the price, so I guess it all worked out in the end This hotel is a little cheaper than the other one, but not by much. I checked the reviews and everything was favorable, so I hope we will have a nice stay there.

I am considering driving now, for two reasons. Coy is feeling lukewarm about taking classes at MIT this year. One day he is excited about it and the next he has no interest in it at all. I donít want to buy plane tickets while he is still flip-flopping about going. Weíll see how he feels when he has to register for classes in a few days. He wants to go to Boston just to visit (and so do True and I) but Iím not going to Boston in November for no reason You know how I feel about the cold! If heís not taking classes, then this trip can wait until the summer! The other reason I might drive is because this hotel doesnít have a shuttle to MIT! Ugh! So, instead of renting a car or getting a cab, it might be easier to just drive. Plus, itíll save me $1000 since I wonít have to get flights. Yes, Iíll have to get gas and the time to get there will be much MUCH longer, but the kids and I havenít done a road trip in a while. I donít really know. I might change my mind and book flights. I really have no idea I feel so unprepared for this trip! At least the room is booked and I know of two places where I want to go out to eat.

Maybe I should just wing it! That was what we did for our trip there back in March and we had a good time. I looked up a few things that I wanted us to experience and a few places where we could go out to eat. We only did a couple of those things and spent the rest of the time just exploring. I think that I am so in the mindset that everything has to be planned out because I always have a specific plan when we have little outings Ė and you KNOW how much I plan for our Disney trips - so I feel a little uneasy when I donít have a plan in place. Oh my gosh, Iím a control freak! Yeah, we already knew that, right? So I really hope that we do still go because itíll be fun to wander around Harvard Square again, discover some new shops and restaurants, walk Freedom Trail, maybe take a Duck TourÖ Oops! It sounds like I am planning again!
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