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Old 07-25-2009, 01:08 AM   #1
pmama
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Mickey's Very Merry Vacationers Land/Sea! We Are Home (TR LINK)

CAN'T WAIT CAN'T WAIT CAN'T WAIT CAN'T WAIT CAN'T WAIT CAN'T WAIT CAN'T WAIT CAN'T WAIT CAN'T WAIT


WE ARE GOIN TO DISNEY DURING CHRISTMAS TIME!


Allow me to introduce the cast for this trip! Actually, it's my favorite cast of all! It will be just the four of us! Me, DH, DD8, and DD5!


Oh man did we have such an amazing trip to WDW last September. We were worried that it wouldn't live up to our very first trip the year before (Oct. 2007) but it surpassed all our expectations. I think my discovery of The DIS after our first trip really contributed to a fantastic 11 days in WDW with free dining last September 2008. Even with my two broken arms.


Planning really began in it's initial phase for this trip while on our last WDW vacation in September. I really thought Christmas time would be a great time to see our new favorite world. The video we watched on Magic Express on the way back to the airport really helped solidify it in DH's mind. There were a lot of promos on Christmas-time in WDW.

The cruise didn't come into play until I spent far too much time here on the DIS reading trip reports. I read some awesome reports on cruises and suddenly I wanted to go on a Disney cruise too! I began looking into cruises in January and found some great prices for May but unfortunately DH had accepted a position within a new company and felt it was too early to take vacation. So, we decided to try to merge our December WDW trip with a cruise. By the time we sail the cruise will have been booked for nearly a year!

We did have trouble waiting for this trip to come and ended up taking a trip to Disneyland in May. DH could only come up for the end portion because of his new job so my DM joined us. We really enjoyed our visit to Sunny Southern California.


Like most other TRs I read here on the board we've had so many tweeks and changes to our original plan and I'm sure more are to come. When we booked the cruise we always said that if a free dining offer came out that week (the third week of December) that we may cancel the cruise and spend more time in the world. However, since booking the cruise the girls have looked at endless pictures and youtube videos of the cruise. They are SOOO excited. We have a cute postcard from Mickey himself up on the fridge that says he can't wait to see us! So I know there will be no backing out of the cruise.

Our original cruise booked for December is a 4 night cruise. However, we are in the process as of last week in deciding between a 4 night and 3 night cruise. (I do have them both booked.) We are now leaning toward the 3 night even though the four night is a better value. By switching to the 3-night we will be able to do the WDW portion first, then cruise. We will also have more days in WDW at a better resort rate and less crowds.

Who knows, I suppose we could still decide to do a Back to Back cruise. But there is SOOOO much in WDW we want to see. Our flights are booked through Southwest! I love Southwest! Just today I changed our departure flight to a day earlier. I love how they allow you to do this at no extra charge. In fact, if the flight is cheaper you get a credit. With free dining we decided it would be worth it to fly out on a Friday evening after work which would allow us an additional day on the dining plan and an additional full day in the parks.

We also had planned to return on a Sunday. However, with our return flight being the weekend before Christmas prices were pretty high for that Sunday. The best rate we could find was for 6:50 a.m. on Monday. Crazy I know. But in my opinion it is a better option than paying more for a Sunday flight. The money we would pay for a Sunday flight would be more than the cost of an addition night in the hotel and extra day at the theme park. So, we may be tired when we return home but the extra day we got for a cheaper flight will be worth it!

So, as of right now it is looking like 10 nights! (3 of those on a cruise ship). 6 nights before the cruise and 1 after. 6 nights on the dining plan and 6 full days in the park. (Possibly even an additional morning in the parks before the cruise.)


It looks like our official dates are December 11th-21st!!

This trip has almost come to a hault a few times already. DH's company will definitely get through these economic times. However, they decided that for this year there will be no paid vacations. So, he can work a few weekends to try to make up for it but we will most likely lose some money for the week he misses.

Also, in the Spring I decided to accept a PT teaching position for this school year. DD5 is starting half day kindergarten this fall and my stay-at-home days are now over. I was fortunate to stumble across this position as a part-time 5th grade teacher in the same school where my children are. I will teach while DD5 is in kindergarten. It will be a nice transition year before I return full time. Teachers are not usually allowed to take vacation time right before Christmas vacation. So, of course all you Disney fanatics know what I did right? I put this vacation on my contract. Actually the teacher I am job sharing with wanted to take a few weeks off at the beginning of the year since she just had a baby so I told her I would cover her as long as she covered my week vacation before Christmas break. So, yes, I know all you DIS fanatics like myself would be proud to know this Disney vacation is actually in my contract!

Can't wait to share the rest of our planning as well as the trip!

Last edited by pmama; 12-31-2009 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:12 AM   #2
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So glad you've started PTR!!!!!
I have always wanted to go to Disney at Christmas time!!!
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:56 AM   #3
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I'm definately "on board" for this one!
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:14 AM   #4
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ok, I'm here, subbing for your new Disney adventure
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:42 PM   #5
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Yay! I am in on the 1st page this time!

Your plans sound exciting and I can't wait to hear more! Will you possibly be in WDW for Dis-A-palooza?

I can't wait to hear all about not only the cruise, but also WDW at Christmastime! I haven't done either yet, but plan to do both real soon!

BTW - I have only at this point read 2-3 cruise TRs. Do you mind sharing your favourites? I would love to read them!
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Old 07-25-2009, 11:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneyeeyorefan View Post
So glad you've started PTR!!!!!
I have always wanted to go to Disney at Christmas time!!!
Thanks for joining me here! Me too! I can't wait. Christmas and Disney are two of my favorite things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmillercrew View Post
I'm definately "on board" for this one!
So glad to have you "on board".

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPFamilyMom View Post
ok, I'm here, subbing for your new Disney adventure
Thanks for popping over and subbing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdotla View Post
Yay! I am in on the 1st page this time!

Your plans sound exciting and I can't wait to hear more! Will you possibly be in WDW for Dis-A-palooza?

I can't wait to hear all about not only the cruise, but also WDW at Christmastime! I haven't done either yet, but plan to do both real soon!

BTW - I have only at this point read 2-3 cruise TRs. Do you mind sharing your favourites? I would love to read them!
You know we will be getting in the day before Dis-A-palooza now. Originally we would be flying in the day of and then going straight to the Port. However, since we will probably switch to the 3 day cruise we will be available. I can't wait to hear what it actually entails. Last year's Toy Story Mania sounded like so much fun but it would have to be something that appeals to DH as he's not really into the DIS at all.


Here is the TR that first peaked my interest in cruising:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1976201

And here are a couple of great, informative ones:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1853401
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2207882

Last edited by pmama; 07-25-2009 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:11 AM   #7
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Joining in!! Can't wait to read more! I would LOVE to go to WDW at Christmas time AND go on a cruise, so this will be exciting for me to live vicariously through you!! And I am CRACKING up at you writing in your WDW trip to your teaching contract! What an ideal situation to be at the same school as your girls. Ally will be starting K on August 10th but hers is a full day K. She cannot WAIT!!
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Old 07-26-2009, 04:27 PM   #8
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I'm here too!!! YAY! You started!!!

ps- LOVE WDW at Christmastime, we were there in 2008 (not sure if you remember my TR or not?) and it was my absolute favorite trip by far. If you think it can't get more magical than it already is...you just wait!! Btw, have you thought about doing MVMCP or no?

Last edited by princess&her4princes; 07-26-2009 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 07-26-2009, 08:06 PM   #9
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Followed you over to here.

I was wondering how you were going to get the time off with your new job. Great thinking. DH is a teacher so we know how it is with vacations. We can only go to Disney on school vacations. And since I don't do well in the heat that only leaves Feb or April vacation.
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:22 PM   #10
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Yay! I'm reading! I've always wanted to do a Disney cruise, or cruise in general. But unfortunately, we have some VERY sea sick people in my family! Anyways, I hope you have a fabulous land/sea vacation! I'm sure It'll be beautiful at Christmas time! Happy planning!

Ohh! I read your Sept. 08 TR and LOVED it! I have to go back now and read your disneyland TR!
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Old 07-27-2009, 06:25 AM   #11
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How exciting!
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladybugmom View Post
Joining in!! Can't wait to read more! I would LOVE to go to WDW at Christmas time AND go on a cruise, so this will be exciting for me to live vicariously through you!! And I am CRACKING up at you writing in your WDW trip to your teaching contract! What an ideal situation to be at the same school as your girls. Ally will be starting K on August 10th but hers is a full day K. She cannot WAIT!!
Wow, Ally is starting very soon! I kind of wish our school had full day kindergarten but at the same time I am thrilled to spend at least 1/2 a day with her. It's a good transition year for us both. Thanks for hopping on over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by princess&her4princes View Post
I'm here too!!! YAY! You started!!!

ps- LOVE WDW at Christmastime, we were there in 2008 (not sure if you remember my TR or not?) and it was my absolute favorite trip by far. If you think it can't get more magical than it already is...you just wait!! Btw, have you thought about doing MVMCP or no?
I love re-reading trip reports to get pointers. You had such a great time at MVMCP. I will get into it a little more in my PTR. We had originally planned on going to MVMCP when we didn't have much time in the parks. Now, with our new cruise we will be back in WDW for one day when they start doing the Christmas parade, fireworks, etc. with regular admission. I hear it's basically MVMCP without the free cookies and hot cocoa. But VERY crowded. We think it will be worth it though to try to catch the parade, fireworks, and perhaps a show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miprender View Post
Followed you over to here.

I was wondering how you were going to get the time off with your new job. Great thinking. DH is a teacher so we know how it is with vacations. We can only go to Disney on school vacations. And since I don't do well in the heat that only leaves Feb or April vacation.
I know, I am super bummed about future WDW trips fitting in with school schedules. I am lucky that I can make it work this year but know it will be our last. (So might as well take full advantage of it.) February is an interesting vacation time. At least it would be less crowded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smiley1 View Post
Yay! I'm reading! I've always wanted to do a Disney cruise, or cruise in general. But unfortunately, we have some VERY sea sick people in my family! Anyways, I hope you have a fabulous land/sea vacation! I'm sure It'll be beautiful at Christmas time! Happy planning!

Ohh! I read your Sept. 08 TR and LOVED it! I have to go back now and read your disneyland TR!
Hi smiley

I hope we are not sea sick people. We've never cruised before. That might be one good thing about changing to a 3 day. At least if we are sick we can get off sooner.

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How exciting!
Thanks
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:52 PM   #13
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This morning I decided that I better make our room only reservation for the day after our cruise. We still have not decided if we want to spend that night at the Hyatt or in the airport or at POP. Obviously the Hyatt would be super convenient since it is IN the airport and our flight is super early. However, we are thinking we might want to leave some luggage behind at Pop so that we don't have to take it all on board. Having a res. when we return would make this possible. It would also give us a place to park our rental car while in MK, and DTD that day without paying for parking.


Anyway, this morning I paid the $135 rate for that night which came to $150 after taxes. I just love The DIS! I saw that there are now codes for room only reservations. I called back and saved $47. I know, that's not a lot overall but everything counts. We were able to take advantage of free dining for before the cruise and room-only discount for after.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:47 PM   #14
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YAY for the FREE dining and room only discounts!!!
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmama View Post
This morning I decided that I better make our room only reservation for the day after our cruise. We still have not decided if we want to spend that night at the Hyatt or in the airport or at POP. Obviously the Hyatt would be super convenient since it is IN the airport and our flight is super early. However, we are thinking we might want to leave some luggage behind at Pop so that we don't have to take it all on board. Having a res. when we return would make this possible. It would also give us a place to park our rental car while in MK, and DTD that day without paying for parking.


Anyway, this morning I paid the $135 rate for that night which came to $150 after taxes. I just love The DIS! I saw that there are now codes for room only reservations. I called back and saved $47. I know, that's not a lot overall but everything counts. We were able to take advantage of free dining for before the cruise and room-only discount for after.
Woohoo!!!! Great deals!! Don't you just love the DIS!
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