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Old 08-20-2009, 02:59 PM   #1
uprivermama
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A Newbie Crew's Daring Do

I guess the time has come...time to start a pre-trip report! Saaweeeet! I love me some good trip reportin'!

First, you'll want to know who we are, so without further ado...

ME: Mama, age 34. Currently a SAHM with a tiny little part-time bookkeeping gig I do from home. This will be my first WDW trip. Sorry, no recent acceptable pictures. Ahem.

DH: Tom, age 39. My hard workin' man, great dad to our boys, and returning to WDW for the 2nd time. His first visit was when he was about 13, and he went with his basketball team for a tournament held in the area. Here's a picture from that era:

or a more recent pic:


DS11: My sensitive, sweet, severely nut-allergic boy. Loves dabbling in stick-figure animation on the computer, loves all things Star Wars and Discovery Channel. This will be his first WDW trip, and only his 2nd trip on an airplane. Here's a recent pic:



DS9: My very busy, very entertaining younger boy. Also loves Star Wars and playing just about anything on his PS3. This will be his first WDW trip and his very first trip on an airplane!


Also traveling with us will be my husband's brother (DBIL), brother's wife (DSIL), their two daughters (DN18 and DN12), my mother-in-law (DMIL) and her sister (DGA, I know, this one isn't used much, but it stands for Dear Great Aunt. Trust me, I know. Because I said so.) If you're counting, that makes a jolly crew of 10! As you can imagine, this will make some things mighty interesting. I've read many threads and reports where families have thoroughly enjoyed vacationing together, and many more who've said, “NEVER AGAIN!” What will I say when we return from our trip? I hope you'll tag along and find out....

General plans to follow soon!
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:13 PM   #2
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Look at me! I'm your first poster! Yeah! Looking forward to reading everything.
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2014 trip report: Disney dangled the visual weinee and Mickeystoontown gobbled it up! Our two week adventure!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post51642226


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Old 08-20-2009, 03:25 PM   #3
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following along from mickeystoontown!

subbing in

Handsome boys! and I love the memory shot of DH! so fun to share in the memories of past and the future...
count me in...
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:41 PM   #4
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Yay! Readers! My heart just did an extra little thump-thump. Thanks for taggin along, guys!

I'm working on my next posting right now. Hope to have it up soon.

DH would just love to know I posted that pic of him from years ago! I'm planning a 40th b-day party for him (It's coming up in September!) and putting a then-and-now bulletin board together to have up at the party. Let me tell you what, I'd like to slap his mama a little for the outfits that boy used to wear. Just a little though. We're actually pretty close. Plus I've noticed that the outfits my boys wore in alot of their pictures are a little questionable too!
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:47 PM   #5
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Well, we've made some of our plans already.

Dates: January 23-February 6, 2010

Staying: Offsite. Obviously, with a crew of 10, this is going to be the most logical option. We are definitely going to be doing some meals at home, and with DS11 being allergic to nuts, it'll be a lot easier to have options for cooking/snacks. We found a lovely 6 BR house in Windsor Hills that will fit the whole crew quite nicely, and we've decided to split the cost in half between our family and DBIL's family (DMIL and DGA get to stay for free), which works out to about $100/night per family. Pretty darn reasonable, especially considering we'll have our own pool! The kids are psyched for this—we don't have a pool anywhere nearby, not to mention that January/February are typically a bit chilly in our neck of the woods. So, the house is all reserved, deposit paid, and half the total cost is due in November.

Flights: Just reserved yesterday. Got a good rate through American. Had an interesting time doing the online reservation last night, wanna hear the story? I thought so...

I had called DBIL to have him book at the same time to get the same rate and reserve our seats all together. He has an internet connection via HughesNet (DirecTV), and mine is DSL through the phone company. My connection is significantly faster, (not to mention my typing), so after each page, I'd wait for him to catch up and we'd progress through the steps together. Well, when we finally got to the confirmation part, where you click the button and reserve the seats, I clicked it, got my confirmation, and printed the info, but DBIL got the message “The price of your itinerary has changed since you began booking...” and it turned out that his reservation was going to end up $600 more than what I booked at (and what his originally said). Whoa, nelly! He stopped and said, “What do I do now?” Uh, uh, well... I didn't even know that could happen! So, he decided to hold off and see in the price dropped back down in the next few days. The flights were all basically empty still, so no big hurry, I guess. I just wanted this process to go smooth and get done, but alas, it was not meant to be.

My main worry with all the reservations we have to make has been the flying. You see, we don't fly much, we're more a road trip kinda family. We've done three 22-hour driving trips to Disneyland—and we enjoyed it! I plan our stops, estimate fuel consumption, pack snacks, set up the rig with Playstation and DVD's—I'm a road trip queen. Flying, not so much. Once again, the nut allergy makes this so scary for me. Logically, I know that if I do everything to prepare (pack our own food, wipe down seat area, alert flight crew, pack necessary meds), DS11 should do just fine. But the anxious, over-protective Mommy in me fears the unknown and the worst case scenario. We had planned to reserve our seats on the flights so that the nine of us (DGA is meeting us in Orlando) would form a three-row pack surrounding DS11, so as to insulate him from other people around us who may be eating nuts. But with DBIL having his little issue last night while reserving the flight, our plans are potentially screwed up. I'm hoping this all works out – I'll keep y'all posted.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:12 PM   #6
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This is a non-update posting. I found our pictures from our last Disneyland trip in 2007. I love seeing how much the boys have grown and changed since then! Anyway, I thought I'd post a couple pictures from that trip:

This one's a good example of the boys' personalities: DS11 smiling sweetly, DS9 stealing the show!


Here's one I found of me that I'm OK with posting. I'm mostly hidden!


I felt like the world's worst mom on this trip, because I never got any pictures of DS11 doing the Jedi Training Academy. Both boys got picked the first time we went, and the second time, only DS9 wanted to participate. Guess which day I didn't carry my camera around? Yep, the first one. D'OH!
Waiting patiently,


Pick me! Pick me!
Seriously, I wouldn't let the boys act obnoxious to get chosen. If I was the CM picking the kids, I would choose the well-behaved, polite kids as a way of rewarding them for their good manners. 'Cause that's how I roll.


I'm sure you've all heard about the Jedi thing, but I just wanted to reiterate that this is definitely worth doing. It was the highlight of the trip for both the boys, and of course, we had to go buy the dang jedi robes for some ridiculous price right after, because we just had to commemorate the event. My favorite memory of the show is about halfway through all the kids "battling" either Darth Vader or Darth Maul,they chose DS9 to be the one to do a "force slam" on Darth Vader, and I swear, it was like he had rehearsed it! They didn't even have to tell him how to do the force slam, he just acted like he'd finished his Padawan training last week and it was a tool in his repertoire for fighting the dark side! I faintly remember being close to tears, so proud was I....

We also went to Sea World in San Diego for the day. Here are all my men waiting for the Shamu show:

I'm not sure who invited Grizzly Adams to sit in the picture... Just kidding, it's just my husband's rather unfortunate foray into facial hair. We've since trimmed away all but a goatee.

This trip took place during early December, so everything was decorated up for Christmas. I loved the lamp post decorations in New Orleans square:


I loved going at this time of year. It was cool but comfortable during the day, and brisk and chilly at night. I immensely dislike sweating while vacationing. Unless I'm on a beach somewhere, sitting in a chaise lounge, sipping something fruity and cold. Then, a little sweating is acceptable.

Anyway, that's it for now. Next posting: the exciting world of rental car reservations. (I know, it's just not fair to leave you on the edge of your seat like that!)
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:24 PM   #7
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Your boys are so cute! Look forward to reading more!
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:49 PM   #8
uprivermama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneysRedhead View Post
Your boys are so cute! Look forward to reading more!
Thanks, Red. I'm partial to them myself!

Anyone available to offer technical assistance? I want to make the name of the PTR in my signature the actual link to the PTR instead of having the link follow the name of the PTR. Can someone lead me through this?
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uprivermama View Post
Thanks, Red. I'm partial to them myself!

Anyone available to offer technical assistance? I want to make the name of the PTR in my signature the actual link to the PTR instead of having the link follow the name of the PTR. Can someone lead me through this?
Let me know how you do it when you get a tutortial on how to do that w/th link!!

Your boys are so cute!!!!
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:43 PM   #10
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Well, I have good news! DBIL called last night to say he booked their airfare, because prices went back down again. He got seats right with us, and everything is just fine and dandy. Dandy except he couldn't book DMIL's ticket with his four, because it made everyone's ticket prices go up to $164 each way instead of $99. Wha??? Oh well, he's going to keep working on it and finally said he'd just pay the difference himself if he can't get the good price for her ticket by itself. The plan is that DGA will hook up with us in our stopover city, which is basically halfway for all of us, and then we'll proceed to MCO together. AIRFARE=DONE

So, we've already reserved a rental car with National for our dates. 14 days for about $400 for a mid-size crossover (supposedly like a Pacifica or something). Not a stellar deal or anything, but not completely poopy either. Wait, can I say poopy? Let's just take it out for a ride and see how she runs. Wait, maybe that's not the best metaphor... Moving on...

So now we've got our lovely rental home, our great airfare, our non-poopy rental car, and we just need to buy our tickets. Since we've already missed the cutoff for the annual WDW ticket price increase, I really don't care when we get these ordered. I'll use the Mousesavers link to Undercover Tourist whenever I get around to it.

As for theme parks, we're thinking 10 day MYW PH Water Parks & More plus Universal/IOA for a day or two and Busch Gardens for a day. I'm sure we'll have more admission than we need for WDW, but as most of us are newbies, and those who aren't have rather significant long term memory gaps, we'll take our time and see as much as we can without going commando..er, going gung ho!

And now, for your viewing pleasure, a picture from our 2007 DL trip. In this one, Grizzly (AKA DH) Adams and my boys are going on Grizzly River Run for approximately the 7th time in a row. For some odd reason, not many people were standing in line for this ride...in December. Huh, wierd.
Notice, I'm not in the picture. Hello! It's December! That ride has shooting geyser which gets every 3rd or 4th raft completely drenched, and that didn't really fit into my plans for that day.

Here's one of the great things about visiting in December: The Haunted Mansion Holiday Overlay, The Nightmare Before Christmas. This ride is so much neater when it's more than just the regular old Haunted Mansion, IMHO.

Alright, that's it for now. Hope everyone has a good weekend!
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:10 PM   #11
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Yep, I'm in! Followed you from Mickeystoontown's TR

Oh yeah, I think you can say poopy here, cuz you said it
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:34 PM   #12
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Hi Lisalonglash! Thanks for popping in to say hi! I believe we're almost neighbors! We're about an hour south of the Blaine border crossing! Nothing like being as far as geographically possible from WDW, eh? (note my uncanny Canadian impression there?)
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:11 PM   #13
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Cute boys!! I bet you have your hands full!

I love your DLR pictures! I too like the Nightmare Before Christmas version of the haunted mansion, but I also love the original.

Look forward to hearing more.
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uprivermama View Post
Hi Lisalonglash! Thanks for popping in to say hi! I believe we're almost neighbors! We're about an hour south of the Blaine border crossing! Nothing like being as far as geographically possible from WDW, eh? (note my uncanny Canadian impression there?)
Hi backatcha! Yep, we probably drove past your area on the way to/from the Mariners game a few weeks ago! Oh yeah, uncanny impression - you fooled me! I'm looking forward to reading more of your report!
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:24 PM   #15
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The force is strong in your son, LOL!

That airfare debacle is crazy. Your rates should be locked in when you start the reservation process
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