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Old 01-08-2010, 11:03 AM   #1
A&Bmama
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"It all started with a whopping price error…” 10/24 The Perfect Storm of Opportunity

I have never done a trip report. No need, we have never had a trip before. I have decided to do a trip report of our Feb 2009 trip. You will see why I didn’t feel like doing it before now as the story unfolds.

The first installment will be picture free. I don’t have as many pictures as I would have liked (more on that later) and I just want to get the first installment written without having to tackle learning how to post pictures. I promise that I will post some pictures in upcoming instalments.

The title is “It all started with a whopping price error…” That’s not really true. It started much earlier. I would like to start at the beginning but I am not sure where that is so please forgive me if I jump around a little bit.

First of all the crew: there is me, Mama 43, Dada 46, DS turning 16 at the world, DD 9

One sunny Saturday morning when DS was about 4 years old Dada and he were talking over breakfast and somehow the conversation turned to Disney World, DS did not know that such a place existed and sat rapturously listening to Dada tell him how much fun it was and all the things he could recall from his sketchy memories of his 2 day trip to MK and Epcot in 1988.

Then it happened. Just like a car accident everything was in slow motion. It seemed like I should be able to stop it but for some reason I was paralyzed. I watched Dada’s lips moving the words were coming out. I wanted to stop them. I tried to say something but somehow I was mute. “We are going to take you there someday.” DS’s face lit up with joy. All I could do was temper it by saying. “It is very expensive to go there so we will not be going for a few years.

You see waaayyy back when I was a kid my father told me that we were going to take a trip across Canada. I was excited!! We grew up in a time and place where if you got in the car to travel 30 minutes to spend the day at the beach it was a BIG FREAKIN DEAL. I couldn’t wait to tell my friends. What I didn’t know was the difference between plans and dreams. This was a dream, one that was never fulfilled. I swore when I had kids I wouldn’t make any promises I couldn’t keep. Don’t get me wrong I don’t bear any ill will toward my Father for this. He didn’t know I would take it so seriously. I was more of a “note to self, kids take these things seriously, be very VERY careful” kind of moment.

To borrow a phrase from Zzub, I am “economically disciplined.” What does that mean? It means that I don’t buy things on credit card. I don’t buy designer when Old Navy will do. When I go to the grocery store I buy whatever is on sale and plenty of it so that I have enough to last until the next sale. Do I use coupons? Why yes I do and am proud of it. In short I try to stretch my dollars as far as I can and above all else I don’t spend money I don’t have. I have been living this way long long before it became fashionable. Problem with a trip to Disney is we don’t have the money!

Worse, I don’t foresee having the money any time soon. At that point we had a vague notion that we would be adding to the family. I had just started a new career. As a newbie without experience my salary was paltry. My salary paid the child care costs, my meagre work wardrobe and transportation (bus). What was left over afterwards was laughable. But I was working hard and learning and I knew that it was only a matter of time until I started making better money.

None of this matters. The words were uttered. The wheels were set in motion. No matter how long it took, we would one day go to Disney World.

So the years pass. We welcome DD into the world. I am making better money but I now have to pay double the childcare so still I am not seeing much more. More years pass and it is decided that since DS is a teen it will have to be 2008 or 2009. In 2008 we decide that we can swing it financially. DH and I (mostly me) excitedly start planning the trip.

Before I book anything we get the news that my Mother will need major surgery. Surgery is scheduled for early December 2007. She will need to spend a few weeks (turned into more than a month) in hospital. In total it will take about 6 months to recover. There is no way I am planning a trip now. My father is older now and very hard of hearing and like many men of that era, completely useless around the house. On top of this I have only one sibling; he is disabled still living at home with my parents. It will fall on me to keep their household as well as my own running. At the same time I will be taking care of my mother’s needs and be the primary family contact for her care at the hospital. On top of this it is Christmas. Santa has to come no matter how busy he is…

As if this were not enough the powerful drugs that they are giving Mom for pain is messing with her mind. She is very anxious and my normally cool calm and collected Mother is highly agitated when I am not there. We fear on several occasions that she will begin to rip out tubes and demand to be discharged. When I am there she feels safe and is calm. Once she is calm she sleeps, since she was too anxious to let herself sleep when I wasn’t there. Somehow we both make it through all of this. My enthusiasm for planning a Disney trip did not…


Up next: The WHOPPING online price error sends my Disney enthusiasm SOARIN!!!!

PS. If you would like to hear more could you please post a reply. I feel like I need the encouragement.
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A trip report of my family's first visit:
It all started with a whopping price error
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2366773


Me, DH, DD12, DS 19

Last edited by A&Bmama; 10-26-2010 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:24 AM   #2
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i must hear more. I myself am the opposite of you. i spend like there is no tomorrow, and it quickly caught up to me after i grad. college. I cannot find a job, and yet the student loan companies still want their money back. go figure.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:40 AM   #3
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Your title sucked me in. I am very curious to hear how your trip goes, because of all the teasers you put in the first post.

Great start!
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:15 PM   #4
A&Bmama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneymoon09 View Post
i must hear more. I myself am the opposite of you. i spend like there is no tomorrow, and it quickly caught up to me after i grad. college. I cannot find a job, and yet the student loan companies still want their money back. go figure.
Thanks for reading.

The "econically disiplined" thing is both a blessing and a curse.

I know many would love to be walking around in my debt free shoes. At the same time all the lessons and habits you form that get you there are hard to let go of. I have a hard time spending a lot of cash on non necessities. Once I do spend the money there is always a little bit of guilt in the back of my mind that maybe it would have been more responsible to put that money in our retirement fund or the kids education fund or home improvements. I would love to be able to turn the resposible part of my brain off every now and again and just let go and enjoy.

And sometimes I do just that as you will see later in the trip report.
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A trip report of my family's first visit:
It all started with a whopping price error
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2366773


Me, DH, DD12, DS 19
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:17 PM   #5
A&Bmama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hucifer View Post
Your title sucked me in. I am very curious to hear how your trip goes, because of all the teasers you put in the first post.

Great start!

Thanks for reading.

Now that I know I have an audience I'll get to work on the second instalment.
__________________
A trip report of my family's first visit:
It all started with a whopping price error
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2366773


Me, DH, DD12, DS 19
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:27 PM   #6
hucifer
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The Van Halen song "Running with the Devil" was about my parakeet!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A&Bmama View Post
Now that I know I have an audience I'll get to work on the second instalment.
Please do! And once you get a few more installments in, you'll get more readers. Don't worry.
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:11 PM   #7
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I'm in! You are great at this! I too am economically disciplined but on a scale of 0 being no discipline and 10 being you, I probably fall at a 4

Can't wait to hear more!
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:08 PM   #8
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Love your title! Got me hooked. Can't wait to read more.

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Old 01-08-2010, 02:41 PM   #9
A&Bmama
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The WHOPPING online price error sends my Disney enthusiasm SOARIN!!!!

When we last left off our 2008 fizzled when my Mom got sick. In March of 2008 I spotted a fantastic one day anniversary seat sale with WestJet from Halifax to Toronto (we’re Canadian in case you didn’t pick-up on that already). I called DH at work and asked what he thought of taking the kids to Toronto for a few days and going to Canada’s Wonderland (similar to 6 flags) and Niagara Falls. I figure this will give them something to look forward to and be a good dry run for Disney. He says sure. Due to our “economic discipline” we are due to pay off our mortgage in July that year so I plan a 4 day 3 night trip to Toronto at the end of June as an early celebration. We had fun and I learned one very valuable lesson.

My family is too big to fit comfortably in the average hotel room! Since my son is 15 and my daughter is 8 they do not want to share a bed. Who can blame them. This leaves me sharing with DD and DH and DS in the other bed. Even though I made sure that I booked a hotel with 2 queen beds rather than 2 double, no one was exactly pleased with the sleeping arrangement. Also we had too many clothes not enough space to keep them. What would I do when I was packing for 7 nights? None of us liked that it had to be lights out at DD bedtime. We didn’t want to go to sleep. So decision made. I would book a suite (offsite I can’t/won’t pay for a suite onsite) when we went to Disney.


I start researching accommodations and there are a few places that I am interested in but nothing has me that excited. Then I see an ad for the Disney buy 4 get 3 free deal. Maybe we will stay onsite after all. I check WestJet vacations for a package to Pop Century for a week and the prices are really reasonable. Quite a bit less than what I had been budgeting for the trip. And we will be going during the dates that they are offering the bonus $200.00 gift card.

In the back of my mind the whole space issue kept nagging at me. I know this resort has double beds. We didn’t like having to share Queen beds. But then I would think we will just be sleeping there. We will be spending all of our time at the parks. Then it dawns on me 1) I can afford to spend more due to the deal. 2)If I book 2 rooms I am paying for 8 room nights and getting 2 gift cards to boot. It more than makes up for paying for one extra room night. This promotion is making it possible for me to stay onsite with all the space I need and stay on budget. I am stoked!

I am in a full on planning frenzy. I am online with WestJet Vacations all day playing with different scenarios dates types of tickets etc. I don’t actually book though because I want 8 day tickets and for some reason you can only book the 7 day tickets. I call WestJet and they tell me that due to the promotion I can only buy the 7 day tickets. I still don’t book because I want to see if there is anyway I can upgrade the tickets.

I find one thing really irritating about the WestJet vacations site. When I am booking one room I get all of the resorts options sorted in order of cost, least expensive first. When I switch to 2 rooms it keeps giving me Animal Kingdom Lodge first with the “add on” cost for it. Surely they must have thought that if you have enough cash to spend on 2 rooms you don’t mind blowing some more on upgrading the resort. I was having none of that, 2 rooms at Pop would be fine for us Thank You Very Much.

My curiosity got the better of me. I decided to check out what the total cost would be for AKL with room tickets and all. I knew it would be high, come on 2 rooms at AKL… But lets just take a look at it.


HOLY GUACAMOLE BATMAN!!!!!!!!!!


UMMM the “add on price” that I looked at wasn’t the add on… It was the cost… It kept “irritatingly” coming up first because it was the cheapest option. For some reason when I switched from one room to two rooms the price for AKL went down. A LOT!

Ok the price they are quoting me is $3800.00 CAD (converts to about 3300.00 USD during that time frame) Here is what I am getting for that price:


February 24th to March 3rd
Direct flights from Halifax to Orlando for 4
Full size rental car for 7 days
2 Standard view rooms at AKL
2 X $200.00 gift cards
7 day base tickets for 4


You are kidding me. That is phenomenal. It would have cost me more for the same thing at POP. You. Know. I . am booking that. I run for my credit card it is getting close to midnight on a Friday and I don’t know how the sales work but I am not taking any chances that this is over today. I am shaking as I fill everything in and book it. Since I am getting such a deal I decide that I will upgrade my tickets to park hoppers which adds almost $300.00 to the bill when you factor in taxes and exchange. Then I notice that, NO WAY, It says something about the quick service dining plan. I wasn’t planning on booking a dining plan, it is already cheaper than POP for a deluxe resort it can’t include the dining plan too…

BUT IT DOES. I am just about throwing up I am so excited at this point. I finish the transaction just as quickly as my shaking fingers will allow and note that I got in before midnight with 3 minutes to spare,

There is some mistake here. I don’t know what kind of glitch they have in their system, but I know it has got to be one. I dread getting a phone call tomorrow telling me that I can’t have the trip for that price because it was an error so I try not to get too excited but it isn’t working. I go to my e-mail to read the confirmation that they sent it lists everything that I am getting including the dining plan and then I see the magic phrase “paid in full”

The deal doesn’t disappear at midnight. And I never get that dreaded phone call.



I run upstairs and wake DH and tell him that I booked the trip and that I got an awesome deal. He barely wakes up and doesn’t get it fully he just says “that’s great” and goes back to sleep.

I can’t come down off my high and sleep doesn’t come for me for many hours.



Up Next: When the deal is this good of course you will have company.
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A trip report of my family's first visit:
It all started with a whopping price error
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2366773


Me, DH, DD12, DS 19
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:59 PM   #10
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Stop teasing me, I want to know!!!!:woohoo:
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:04 PM   #11
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I'm hooked!
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:41 PM   #12
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I AM IN!!! That is a great deal!!! I just started my first TR as well. Mine was from last May and I thought I was way late starting it now. I will be learning about the picture things with ya! It sounds like you had an exciting trip! I can't wait to hear more.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:10 PM   #13
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OK so I'm hooked but when does the whopping price error come into play?

Are you about (sorry a boat) to crush us with "Well I really didn't get what I thought I was getting I really got two rooms at the Animal cingdom (no thats not a typo) motel 6 and the dining plan is a Rice crispy treat and all the water out of the hose out back.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:19 PM   #14
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I am onboard! That is a fantastic deal!
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:21 PM   #15
A&Bmama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girlfriend View Post
I'm in! You are great at this! I too am economically disciplined but on a scale of 0 being no discipline and 10 being you, I probably fall at a 4

Can't wait to hear more!
See 4 on the economic disipline scale is awesome! Just enough restraint to make you responsible but not so much that you are living your life devoid of all frivolous pleasures.

Thanks for reading and dropping a line.
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A trip report of my family's first visit:
It all started with a whopping price error
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2366773


Me, DH, DD12, DS 19
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