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Old 11-05-2008, 06:34 PM   #1
*Seanaci*
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The Many Adventures of a 2008 WDW Christmas Trip

What follows is our pre-trip planning rubbish. There are 5 (6 if you count our 1 year old son) of us going total (though one of our party is flying from San Fran to Orlando while the other 4/5 of us are flying from Denver to Orlando). I am sometimes humerous when writing stories...but not always. And having a 1 year old makes it a bit harder to type the humor correctly. :D

Anywho!

The Cast
My Dad (56) this trip will be his 2nd to WDW
My Mom (50) this trip will be her 3rd trip to WDW

My Sister (25)<---she's also the one who will be travelling all the way from San Fran for the maddness ...I believe this will be her 1st trip to WDW

My Hubby (38) this trip will be his 1st trip to WDW
Myself (29) this trip will be my 3rd trip to WDW
and of course our 1 year old son



We'll be travelling to the house of mouse Dec 21st and leaving Dec 27th (it's the first 7 day trip we've ever taken...anywhere together, so it should be interesting).

We have reservations for a Family Suite at the AllStar Music resort. Which, after looking at the pictures, I am extremly excited about staying there. It'll give my son room to run around during downtimes and it'll let us all spread out a little.

The only advance dining reservations we have are for a Christmas Eve Character Breakfast at Crystal Palace. I believe I forgot to mention my mom is a HUGE Winnie the Pooh fan and this was a surprise my dad and I did for her. Plus, she's excited she'll get to share the experience with her grandson. :D

We have no set itinerary, aside from the above mentioned Breakfast. Also, my mom, sister, and myself plan on sending my hubby, my dad, and the baby back to the room one night to relax while we run like school kids from ride to ride at whatever park we choose.

There really aren't any special events per se. It's a family vacation for all of us...as well as a sort of honeymoon for my hubby and I (as we weren't able to afford any honeymoon of any sort after we got married in July of this year; mainly because we were paying for this trip).

Hopefully, this pre-trip report will give me something to do between now and the time we leave. If not, I'm in trouble. :D
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Contemplating when our next trip will be...2014? Mom is wanting to do Disney next year. We'll see.



Me(34), DH(43), DS(6), DM(55), DG(61)

Last edited by *Seanaci*; 11-07-2008 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 11-06-2008, 04:50 PM   #2
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We decided way back in January that we'd be going on this trip...after several former attempts were taken away due to the birth of my nephew 3 years ago, and then the birth of my son last year. (We always managed to ruin the times my mom [aka Grammy] wants to go.)

I suddenly became the planner for the trip (no biggie since I'm a stay at home mom, it gave me something to do). I enjoy planning trips. However, keep in mind I'm not the kind that plans a full itenerary that must be followed every day while we're there. Nope. I'm just the find the room rates, check the dates, decide on passes, get it booked kind of planner. I believe part of the magic in going to WDW is not having a set schedule...having a sort of fly by the seat of your pants time where in you aren't quite sure what you'll do first, next, or last.

The dates were a no brainer. Mom, dad, and myself made a pilgramage (sp?) to WDW back during Christmas of 2003. We LOVED the decorations and the overall Christmas Spirit while we were there. However, we only stayed 4 or 5 days and stayed off property. While the hotel we chose was nice andquite whimsical on the outside, the transport to and from parks totally did us in. We were always the last stop on the pick up route, and never got to sit. I believe it was only 1 trip to the parks and one trip back to the hotel before we decided the rest of the trip we'd take a cab (ate into some of our budget, but it was worth it in the end).

The only difference with this years trek is we'll be in the parks for 5 days rather than 3. We're looking forward to it.

The minute we decided we were going, I went out and picked up a copy of Birnbaums 2008 Guide. I had received a copy as a gift back in 1997 before I went with my high school band and read that thing cover to cover. I can't tell you how many times I've read this one...but let's just say it is starting to show it's wear. :D

It was upon reading the Guide for the first time early this year, that we made our decision to stay on property at All Star Music. Being that there would be 4 of us plus a baby, we decided on a family suite to give us a little extra room to spread out (I know, I know...I've read the reports on the Suites, they aren't THAT roomy, but it'll work for us). Boy was I ever glad when I called and booked our trip in early February and we got the Suite (I was half afraid we wouldn't get it because an aunt of mine warned us sometimes those can be booked a year or more in advance). I was also glad we decided on a suite because about 2 months later, while talking to my sister, I asked her if she'd be able to get time off work to meet us there. She asked...and bam...another peron in our room. Though in reality, we don't mind her. She lives in Cali and we barely get to see her once a year. :D

So, reservations booked for 4 and baby became ressies for 5 and a baby. Upped our total only for what my sisters 6 day park hopper pass cost. Score! She was able to transfer money to me the following week to cover that. So, almost $500 paid, we're in this for good. Right?

Not quite. Shortly after we booked our plane tickets is when the economy started to take a turn for the worse and EVERYTHING became more expensive. Had we not already booked out place tickets, I probably wouldn't be typing this up now. But, things turned around and we got our balance paid a week before it was officially due. YAY!

Up next...more planning. And twiddling the thumbs till we get our documents.
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Old 11-07-2008, 11:39 AM   #3
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After getting everything book, finalized, and paid for, it comes down to the waiting game.

Waiting on DME info, as well as our park tickets and confirmation that we did indeed pay our balance on our room.

It's also kind of the exciting part. In fact, my tummy is doing little bitty flips right now because we are actually going. And I can hardly believe it. And you have no idea what it's like right now to not be able to do anything. Seriously.

I told my hubby last night that I wanted to go to storage already and bring the suitcases home; vacuum them off (they are filthy just from sitting in a storage unit) and then start packing. But, I can't. Why? Because, we don't even leave for 44 days. Gah! Waiting truly is the hardest part.

And I don't even want to think about what Dec 20th is going to be like around here. What with all the last minute packing, getting the dog to the boarding place, not to mention TRYING to sleep that night. Heck. I don't ever remember getting a decent nights sleep the night before leaving for a WDW trip. It's like a little kid on Christmas waiting for Santa. You just wanna get up, get dressed, and sit on the couch till the clock strikes time to leave for the airport. :P And not that I mind...but I'm already thinking I'll be the one to get up with Keegan that night should he fuss. I won't be sleeping anyway, so it won't matter. :P

I can't believe everything is final and we are GOING to the House of Mouse in just 44 days. I'm so excited I could just scream (but I can't because my son is napping).

Up next...more countdown excitement...
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Contemplating when our next trip will be...2014? Mom is wanting to do Disney next year. We'll see.



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Last edited by *Seanaci*; 11-07-2008 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 11-10-2008, 01:39 PM   #4
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I had to call Disney yesterday and give them my sisters arrival and departure info (she flies in a day after us, but departs the same day as us) so that she can make use of DME. The CM was really nice. And had to confirm that she was listed as being in our room etc etc. He also asked if I was aware of the set up of the Family Suites.

...

Ummm...yeah. Of course I was. When we first started looking at booking rooms, we were giong to get two connecting rooms. Then I learned about family suites, and priced a suite vs two connecting rooms. Price was so close it made more sense to just book a family suite.

Anywho. The CM acted as though we were nuts for having 5 adults in a family suite. *shrugs* I dunno. I did my homework and research before we finally booked and a family suite will work just as well (if not better than) two connecting rooms. I know I've said it before on these boards that when picking a hotel, consider how much time you'll actually spend in the room...are you really going to be in there enough to feel cramped or use all the amenities? We weren't. So that's why we chose the family suite. We all have beds, there's a kitchenette w/fridge (that we don't have to pay for), and there are 2 bathrooms. What Diser could ask for more?

I got to talking to my mom about it last night and it worried her..."What if there aren't enough beds?" Umm...if there aren't enough beds for 5 of us, then why are they advertising that it sleeps 6? So, I had to hop on the DISer boards and show her the thread for the ASMu FAQ's. She felt much better after that. :D

I also sent my sister an email last night with the info on DME and where she needed to check in and all that. Oh, and to make sure she has her ID as that's what she'll need when she checks in. (Again, one other thing the CM said during the call "All she needs is her ID. So make sure you tell her to have it with her." Ummm...last I checked, any airport requires you show your ID at least 2 times before getting to your gate for your flight...when you check in with your airline, and the security line. *shrugs* This CM must have been having an off day.) I never got a response to my email...though I haven't checked my email in a few hours.

Oh, last night after I got off the phone with Disney but before I had talked to my mom, I got on Excel and created a spread sheet with all our flight info. Hopefully I won't have to update the times anymore. (Backstory on that, since we booked our flight, they've changed the times of our flights like 4 times. Crazy.)

Guess that'll do it for today. I need to go get a Word doc going with all our resort and our one ADR organized.
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Old 11-13-2008, 11:12 AM   #5
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I think today we're at 37 days until we leave for our Christmas trip to the House of Mouse. It seems that some days go faster than others. And taking your 1 year old off the only bottle they're still on makes the days longer at times. :P

I'm surviving though...by posting and reading here on the DIS. Still haven't made a trip to Home Depot for my LGMH to pin to our stroller while we're there next month. I'll get there though.

Ugh. Gotta leave this one short today. Need to go get my son out of bed and get him dressed so we can go pick my mom up and take her to lunch!
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:49 PM   #6
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WooHoo!

Checking the mail was like CHRISTMAS for me today. Seriously!

Two envelopes from Disney...and I spy on one in the bottom left corner a little mickey head...so I know it muse be something official. :D

Got our DME stuff today. Though, I seem to be missing tags for my sister. She flies in on the 22nd (not the 21st like all of us)...so I'm hoping we'll get tags and stuff for her soon. I'll tomorrow and see what they tell me.

Also got an invoice for our package (room and tickets). Am hoping we get tickets soon. I'll be twiddling my thumbs till we get 'em. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe. :P
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:47 AM   #7
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So rather than edit my previous post last night to put this, I ignored it and kept reading some TR's (some really good TR's).

Anywho. Shortly after I made that post last night, my dad comes up stairs and grabs my trip organization folder (I'll have to take a pic of it) and comes into the nursery/computer room to look at our DME stuff. It was truly cute and so unlike my dad. I've NEVER seen him so excited to be going on a Disney trip.

Ahhh...Disney Magic...before we even leave. :D
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Old 11-18-2008, 06:46 PM   #8
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Well, here we are. 33 days from our trip. Although, according to my countdown clock on my computer it's 32. *shrugs* I dunno.

I'm in a kind of ho-hum mood. Why?

Because it seems every time I bring up something regarding the trip (today is was t-shirts for the whole crew to wear while we're there), my mom becomes Disney Downer. Know, don't get me wrong, I know she's got a stressful job, and she doesn't like her job etc etc. But, it seems to me that she's just not allowing herself to look ahead to where she'll be in 32 days (less if you just count her work days and not the weekends). And when she gets down, it gets me down.

Back to the t-shirts. She's been saying ever since we got the trip mostly paid for that she wanted to look into getting shirts made for all of us. Cool. I can research and figure out pricing and all that. Well, last night, I showed her a design on the DISign board and she loved it. Then proceeded to ask "how much is that going to cost...and will we be able to have t-shirts made in time?" The design is totally free...DISers are designing because they love to do it. Second, I'll have to research how much it'll cost.

So, I get the design back today, and LOVE it. And then proceed to a site that was recommended. I make 5 adult shirts (in the correct sizes) and one toddler shirt. Total comes to less than it would have been had we been able to order Disney's Magical Gathering t-shirts for all of us. What does she do though when I tell her this? Shoots me down...in a manner of speaking. Asks if everyone will be paying for their own shirts (yeah, that's fine with me, that was the plan if we were able to the MG shirts, why would this be any different), asks how long it'll take to get the shirts (7-14 buisness days).

*sighs*

I just don't get it. :/ We're all supposed to be counting the days now...and excited that everyone will be off of work for a week (or two in my moms case). No work stress in a matter of 33 days...answer to yourself and do what you want...you're going to be in the happiest place on earth.

I hate to say it...cause I don't want to jinx anything. But, I hope mom isn't planning on bailing on all of us and staying home that entire week by herself. :/ I'd cry and scream and throw a 2 year old fit if she did. We didn't all scrimp and save to go only to have her back out and her and dad lose out on her plane ticket not to mention the cost of her park pass.

I try so hard to keep everyone upbeat and counting the days till they'll be away from the stresses of work and all that. To hang in there, we're almost there. And for my hubby, it's working (don't have to work hard on my dad, he's pretty much as excited as I am to be going)...not so much for my mom. And it breaks my heart. Everyone else is feeling the Disney Magic...except mom.

I just hope that when the 15th of December comes and she starts getting the emails from me counting down till she's on winter vacation, she'll start feeling the Disney Magic.

Sorry for the downer post tonight. Just had to post my feelings.
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Old 11-19-2008, 05:42 PM   #9
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So, after last night's post. I'm feeling a wee bit better.

Especially since I did my favourite thing and Googled for promotional codes for Zazzle.com. And guess what?

We went from a total of $106 for 6 t-shirts with the following logo/picture

to $84.53 for 6 t-shirts with that logo/picture.

How'd I do you ask? Well, if ya google for zazzle.com t shirt coupons you'll get a ton. First I found a Free Shipping code...score, $7 less on the order. Then I found a 15% off code...score, another $7 off the order...for a total of almost $15 in savings. I played with ordering them last night when I realized I could pay via Paypal and save 10%, then got the bright idea to go google for coupons. That saved me more in the end. Yay! I did have to ask DH if I could put it on our CC...and he enthusastically said yes.

Now, I'm sneaky because I am not telling my mom that I ordered them. And I hope to GOD they come during the week when it's just me and my son (or my dad) home and not on a weekend when we're all home. I can't wait to get them and surprise me mom. Heck...maybe DH and I will just say Merry Christmas...and not make my mom and dad and sister pay for their shirts. We'll see though. :D
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:34 AM   #10
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Feeling fantastic today.

Decided last night after talking to DH that we would pay for t-shirts and tell everyone Happy Christmas. We had planned on spending about $20 a person in WDW anyhow for a little something for Christmas, so $14 a piece is fantastic.

I told my mom last night that I had ordered shirts and that it was her merry christmas from us. To which she replied "Aww...thank you. I'm getting excited now." Ahhh...Disney Magic. I believe it's back in the air. :D

She also caught me cutting out BIG Mickey Heads out of the poster board I bought to make her countdown signs for her last week of school. She asked where the Bright Green one was going "On our door or what?" I told her I hadn't quite figured it out yet. We'll see. :D We may be able ot use them for the doors and windows...I'll just need to erase my pencil trace marks from the back side. :P
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