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Old 12-15-2010, 11:14 AM   #1
ForTheLoveOfDCL
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Disney Weekend on a Budget!! Dec 2010

Welcome to my pre-trip part of my trip report.

Let me introduce myself...I am Michelle and on this long weekend to WDW , the attendies will be myself, DH, DD(10) and DD(6 and 3/4...birthday end of Jan). Normally we cruise with a stop at WDW for a special event before boarding the Magic; however this year we had my oldest DD's dance competition a week in Ocean City(10 hrs away from home--blah) so a cruise was not in the budget. But I just couldn't go till Oct 2011 without seeing Mickey. Oct 2011 is our next cruise(Mexican Riviera). So I opted to find some cheap air and get some good prices on everything to be able to take this long weekend trip.

So far here is what I have scored.. I got airfare Dec 3rd(Friday morning) and returning Dec 7th(Tuesday evening) for $390 r/t for 4 people. So basically $98 r/t per person!! Yeah Me!! Then I recieved a code from Disney and booked the Pop for 2 nts. Well that was the plan to visit some family for a couple days and stay at Disney for 2. So much for planning. My aunt and uncle(in Tampa) decided they wanted to go on a cruise and were no longer available for our stay. So now we are staying at All Star Movies Resort. I got 4 nts there for a total of $345 for a preferred room. I really just wanted the standard like I had had at Pop for $65 a nt but my aunt ruined my plans and I now needed more nts at WDW and Pop was not available for that nor was a standard room at Movies. Well $345 still not bad for 4 nts.

Now I really don't wanna spend much while there, being the holiday season and all and the exxpensive lists my kids have! So I forgot to say I can't do the Disney dining cause I am not buying tickets. We did "Give a Day, Get a Day" and got one free ticket which I think we are using on Monday the 6th(my bday) at Hollywood Studios. And then we wanted to do MVMCP so we are doing that on the 5th. I really wanted to be in the MK on my bday and since MVMCP wasn't going on on my bday, we are doing the next best. Going the 5th and at 12:01am (my bday) we still will be in the MK so technically I will be there on my bday!!!

On those other days we will just hang and visit the other resorts to check out the Xmas decor. I am sooo excited!!! Ok well that's just the start of my pre-planning. I will return after church to tell you how I plan to eat on less then $250 for 4 people for 5 days. TTFN
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:15 AM   #2
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Ok Back!! So as I was saying, I have to make it work on limited funds since I I had to purchase an ipod touch, and other expensive gifts for Xmas...so I am broke...

So decided to pack some duffles that can fit under the seat of the plane with our clothes and paid for one piece of luggage for putting non-perishable things in. I packed poptarts, cinnamon rolls.cereal...that's breakfast. For lunch I am bringing PB&J for the days in the park,I have portable mac -N-cheese to heat up in the microwave in the food court at ASMovies. I also have Raman noodles, my DD loves them, I packed granola bars, fruit cups, apples, snack crackers, pringles, etc. I am packing enough stuff for all our lunches(Sat, Sun and tues) Friday when we arrive at the airport we will catch the Magic Express and will eat at the hotel food court while waiting for a room to be ready.
Then we will take and hang out at DTD and try getting a walk-in at Garden Grove. I got a gift certificate on restraunts.com. A $25 gift cert. for $2. Used a code off of mousesavers.com Unfortunately it has to be used at dinner which of course would cost us 100, but with this will be about 75. That will be our big treat. Other then that we are gonna try and go to Crossroads for a cheaper selection of places to eat. I have been told it's a mile walk from DTD, that's not bad and if it's nice out will be a wonderful stroll before and after dinner...walk it off...LOL
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:16 AM   #3
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Well only 4 days till we leave for DISNEY!!! Yesterday I bought a $50 GC on rest.com for House of Blues for $4. We have to spend $100 so we will eat well for about $60. nice!! Made reservations for Sat at 5:30.

I also found out that Spirit gave us complimentary checked baggage. We purchased 1 piece r/t but they gave us 8 pieces if we want...that was a nice surprise. So I have repacked everything into 2 large pieces and 1 carry on style to check and a small duffle bag to carry on with meds, important papers and our SLR Canon. I have added more clothing in case it's chilly at night. It's nice that I won't be carrying as much on the plane as I had planned and I don't have to hear DD's crying about what they have to carry.

That's all my updates for now. Can't wait to post pics from our trip!

I am so excited about getting out of the cold(29 here today) and going to 75*....YES!!
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:17 AM   #4
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Ok so we left Friday morning...We were soooo excited.
We woke up, had breakfast at the hotel and quickly grabbed the shuttle! After checking our free bags that spirit graciously gave us we headed for security. It was an easy transition!! We got to the gate and set the girls up to get their homework started. We didn't want a lot of time taken from our time together. Well 2 hrs went by and it was time to load up!! Nelia had a project where she had to bring "Foxy" the fox(stuffed animal) for a little report for school(1st grade). So I asked the flight attendent if the girls and Foxy could have a picture in the cockpit. She said maybe when we land and everyone has gotten off...I was like very cool. Well before we started taxing out , she came and said "how fast can you get out your camera?" I said I am there!! So the girls went up and I took a picture.




After a very nice flight, minus the family behind me that needs lessons in flying and not kicking people's seats!! We landed about noon and decided we had no-where to be and Disney was getting our luggage, so we realxed and grabbed lunch before taking the shuttle over to Magical Express. After eating, we hit the Disney store...had to get the girls their traditional pair of Disney earrings at the airport I checked out the Dooney's haunting me!! But I contained myself. We grabbed the Magical Express and headed to our resort...MOVIES!! WELLLLLL, after arriving and waiting to check in, I learned they moved us to MUSIC! Arrggghh It was really no big deal just inconnvient. Though the CM gave us a $75 room credit, so that helped ease the pain...
They still checked us in at MOvies so we didn't have to wait again at Music. Wendel our lovely CM handled everything sooo well!! Got us a shuttle and had us dropped at Music. Lucky for us Somehow, not sure, but our luggage ended up at our room....Disney Magic!! Like I said we had NOOO plans ...this was a very leasure long weekend trip so no big deal about the lost hour! Got to our room and isn't it funny how a little towel design makes your day!




So we headed to DTD!! Had to do a little shopping. Nelia has all the characters but most are in cruise attire since they were bought on our cruises. But she wanted a Daisy. Went into World of DIsney...NO DAISY, went into another sote-NO DAISY, are you kidding me this is Disney right? Finally we went to Once upon a toy and found 3 Daisy's. We grabbed her cause I wasn't risking not having her...LOL We walked somemore and went to the Christmas store and got our traditional Disney ornaments. Sydney got a Jasmine one, Nelia got Cinderella's castle on a bell, and I got mouseketeer disney ears ornament. Well that was some good shopping , now off to Garden Grove to pray we can get a walk in and eat dinner there. Will continue this later!!





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Old 12-15-2010, 03:26 PM   #5
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I had no realized that you ended up staying at WDW for four nights. The last time we spoke about this, you were still thinking in terms of 2 nights WDW and 2 nights Tampa.

It was fantastic that the girls managed to visit the cockpit. I finally got to do this two weeks ago when I was able to tour one of our A380s.

It was a shame so that not only did you not get to stay at Pop, but then were moved again.

Did they have the Disney parks Dooney and Burke wristlets at the airport? I am trying to get my hands on a green wristlet for my Secret Mickey. I am not sure if they will have them at Animal Kingdom Lodge and I won't have time to get to Downtown Disney, but should have some time at the airport before getting on the DCL shuttle on January 6th.

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Old 12-15-2010, 10:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by dolphingirl47 View Post
I had no realized that you ended up staying at WDW for four nights. The last time we spoke about this, you were still thinking in terms of 2 nights WDW and 2 nights Tampa.

It was fantastic that the girls managed to visit the cockpit. I finally got to do this two weeks ago when I was able to tour one of our A380s.

It was a shame so that not only did you not get to stay at Pop, but then were moved again.

Did they have the Disney parks Dooney and Burke wristlets at the airport? I am trying to get my hands on a green wristlet for my Secret Mickey. I am not sure if they will have them at Animal Kingdom Lodge and I won't have time to get to Downtown Disney, but should have some time at the airport before getting on the DCL shuttle on January 6th.

Corinna
Since my aunt changed the plans all up, I decided I wanted to be at MK on my bday and we would just stay at WDW 4 nights and meet her for lunch the tues before we had to head back to the airport.

As for the Dooney's...yes they had them there, which ones I don't recall!
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:44 PM   #7
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So as I was saying, we headed to Garden Grove in hopes of getting seated as a walk-in. We decided to take the boat over to the Swan. I hadn't done this before and it was a rather nice ride. Very enjoyable! After disembarking, we headed towards the Swan. We got to Garden Grove just as they were about to open. I inquired about being a walk in and they said after they seated all the 5pm reservations they would let me know.

We waited about 10-15 mins and were seated. The buffet was pricey(in my opinion---$33 adults and $13 for kids). But we had our $25 GC for restaurants.com which required 2 entrees, and would add 18% gratuity automatically. So our waiter came and took our drink orders and offered us ceasar salad. We enjoyed that and then headed straight for the main coarse!! Tonight was Fisherman's wharf, which is why we came. CRAB LEGS!!! The only one who didn't eat that was Nelia. We were gonna get our money's worth. I bet Sydney had 3-4 clusters of them...I have taught her well! After awhile Timon and Rafiki appeared.


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Old 12-16-2010, 05:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForTheLoveOfDCL View Post
Since my aunt changed the plans all up, I decided I wanted to be at MK on my bday and we would just stay at WDW 4 nights and meet her for lunch the tues before we had to head back to the airport.

As for the Dooney's...yes they had them there, which ones I don't recall!
Thanks for the reply on the Dooney and Bourke bags. I had almost given up on the idea. I will still try to get one at Animal Kingdom Lodge. We stay at Jambo House, but will have dinner at Kidani Village so I have two possible shops that might stock them. If not then the plan of action for the morning of the cruise will be checking in for the cruise shuttle and then quickly go upstairs to try to get a wristlet with a quick stop at Starbucks for some Green Tea Frapuccino before going back down and hopefully getting on the first bus to the port.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ForTheLoveOfDCL View Post
So as I was saying, we headed to Garden Grove in hopes of getting seated as a walk-in. We decided to take the boat over to the Swan. I hadn't done this before and it was a rather nice ride. Very enjoyable! After disembarking, we headed towards the Swan. We got to Garden Grove just as they were about to open. I inquired about being a walk in and they said after they seated all the 5pm reservations they would let me know.

We waited about 10-15 mins and were seated. The buffet was pricey(in my opinion---$33 adults and $13 for kids). But we had our $25 GC for restaurants.com which required 2 entrees, and would add 18% gratuity automatically. So our waiter came and took our drink orders and offered us ceasar salad. We enjoyed that and then headed straight for the main coarse!! Tonight was Fisherman's wharf, which is why we came. CRAB LEGS!!! The only one who didn't eat that was Nelia. We were gonna get our money's worth. I bet Sydney had 3-4 clusters of them...I have taught her well! After awhile Timon and Rafiki appeared.


I am glad that you managed to get a walk up for Garden Grove. I have never been to the Swan or Dolphin. Graham tends to spend a lot of time resort hoping when we are at WDW and I know that he has done the boat ride over there a few times.

I am really enjoying the trip report and can't wait for more.

Corinna
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:26 PM   #9
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:28 PM   #10
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So dinner was wonderful. We looked around the Swan and saw this

Chocolate Santa---Yummy!! Someone said how do we know it's chocolate. I said let's taste
We took the boat back to Hollywood Studios and caught a bus back to Music. So far this day we had been lucky catching the buses quickly which was nice! After a long day we decided to make a bag of popcorn I brought with us in the microwave in the food court. I think they are weak cause instead of taking 2 mins to pop like at home, it took 6! We got a table and sat down for the movie of the night(Toy Story 3). It was chilly outside so they were having it in the food court in a corner where the big screen TV was. Unfortunately the girls were tired from a long traveling day and we decided to head back to the room. No worries since I had bought the movie for them for christmas.

SATURDAY-- 12/4/10

We woke up and decided to raid our drawer of things I brought for breakfast. Poptarts, danishes, cereal(got milk at food court $1.60 for a small little carton--fed 2). We relaxed with no where to be!! It was rather nice!! We decided to go back to DTD and have a look around. On the way to the bus we were approached by DVC. We have been kinda interrested in it but really didn't understand it. We set up a 1pm meeting time to hear more about it. So left for DTD. We just kinda hung out. We headed back to Music to grab some lunch before our meeting. I had taken tons of mac-n-cheese so I heated some of that up and we ate it. After going back to the room to drop somethings, we headed for our shuttle pick up to head to Saratoga Springs for the DVC meeting. Our driver was right on time and loaded us in and headed for SS. She pointed out the new Value Resort being built next to POP. Also informed us that there were 4 families that lived on property because when Walt bought the land and they wanted it to basically be it's on running city, you had to have 4 voting memebers. I would love to live there and do that since they don't pay for utilities and such. DH said he will offer to transfer and deliver mail for Disney...Hmmm I like that idea! So we arrived, got our name tages, welcomed home and offered juice and cookies. Which the kids took them up on of course. The girls didn't want to go to the kids club area so we had brought their DS's to keep them busy while we talked. We had a wonderful DVC rep. He explained everything to us and we are definately considering it. Hoping for 2 yrs to do so. The girls got ice cream and that made their day. We also recv'd $60 in Disney GC, which was a pleasant surprise and very nice!
After that we headed to the pool. Only Northerns were swimming at 70 degrees. They loved it!



It was 3:30 and we had a reservation for 5pm at House of Blues. Del had gotten a $50 GC in his name. The girls got dressed and we went to catch the bus at 4pm. An hour, you would think that would be enough time Umm NO!! After waiting 45 mins, I called the desk and asked if the bus forgot us. No there is one coming...oh sure there is. After an hour waiting, a bus FINALLY came. We loaded up and drove it seemed like forever. I called HOB and said we would be late since our bus was late. They kindly said they would still hold our reservation. So after all the bus riding we finally made it there at 5:45pm We were seated and had a wonderful waitress. I showed her the GC from restaurant.com before we ordered and she said "oh I love these" Well of course she did cause for a $50 one I had to spend 100 and then she also recv'd 18% gratuity. Who wouldn't love it, that's guaranteed decent tip! So we didn't hold back. We had the crab and spinach dip $15 I had the full rack of ribs $26, DH had a steak$25(can't remember which kind), one DD had hot dog and DD (10) had chicken fingers. Should have gotten her a half rack of ribs cause she ate my ribs instead of her chicken. Ribs were fantastic!! We then ordered the bannana bread pudding--I think thats what it was called--it was huge. Dh and I split that while the girls ordered cookies for themselves. Dinner after tip came to $130, then minus $50 GC so $80. Not bad! We would definately eat their gain if we have the GC.

So we decided we wanted to hit some of the other resorts and see the decorations. So we went to the Contemperary, and then to the Grand Floridian. Was gorgeous!! will post pics tonight There we took the monorail to MK to catch our bus back to Music...Oh no AGAIN we waited forever!!!!!!!!!! Got back to our room and went to bed!
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForTheLoveOfDCL View Post
So dinner was wonderful. We looked around the Swan and saw this

Chocolate Santa---Yummy!! Someone said how do we know it's chocolate. I said let's taste
We took the boat back to Hollywood Studios and caught a bus back to Music. So far this day we had been lucky catching the buses quickly which was nice! After a long day we decided to make a bag of popcorn I brought with us in the microwave in the food court. I think they are weak cause instead of taking 2 mins to pop like at home, it took 6! We got a table and sat down for the movie of the night(Toy Story 3). It was chilly outside so they were having it in the food court in a corner where the big screen TV was. Unfortunately the girls were tired from a long traveling day and we decided to head back to the room. No worries since I had bought the movie for them for christmas.

SATURDAY-- 12/4/10

We woke up and decided to raid our drawer of things I brought for breakfast. Poptarts, danishes, cereal(got milk at food court $1.60 for a small little carton--fed 2). We relaxed with no where to be!! It was rather nice!!
After that we headed to the pool. Only Northerns were swimming at 70 degrees. They loved it!



After that we headed to get ready. We had a reservation for 5pm at House of Blues. Del had gotten a $50 GC in his name. The girls got dressed and we went to catch the bus at 4pm. An hour, you would think that would be enough time Umm NO!! After waiting 45 mins, I called the desk and asked if the bus forgot us. No there is one coming...oh sure there is. After an hour waiting, a bus FINALLY came. We loaded up and drove it seemed like forever. I called HOB and said we would be late since our bus was late. They kindly said they would still hold our reservation. So after all the bus riding we finally made it there at 5:45pm We were seated and had a wonderful waitress. I showed her the GC from restaurant.com before we ordered and she said "oh I love these" Well of course she did cause for a $50 one I had to spend 100 and then she also recv'd 18% gratuity. Who wouldn't love it, that's guaranteed decent tip! So we didn't hold back. We had the crab and spinach dip $15 I had the full rack of ribs $26, DH had a steak$25(can't remember which kind), one DD had hot dog and DD (10) had chicken fingers. Should have gotten her a half rack of ribs cause she ate my ribs instead of her chicken. Ribs were fantastic!! We then ordered the bannana bread pudding--I think thats what it was called--it was huge. Dh and I split that while the girls ordered cookies for themselves. Dinner after tip came to $130, then minus $50 GC so $80. Not bad! We would definately eat their gain if we have the GC.

So we decided we wanted to hit some of the other resorts and see the decorations. So we went to the Contemperary, and then to the Grand Floridian. Was gorgeous!! will post pics tonight
I love the photo of the Christmas decorations at the Swan. I am so hoping that the Christmas decorations will still be up when we are staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge in just under three weeks time.

That was bad luck with the bus. I have often found that the Downtown Disney buses are the worst. I normally get a bus quite quickly, but I have waited over an hour for a bus to and from Downtown Disney. It was a good job that they held your reservation.

Corinna
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:55 AM   #12
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Here are the pics at the Grand Floridian.



And here is the Contemperary



I had more pictures but I am having a hard time converting them from Raw files to JPG!
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:07 PM   #13
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Wow S&D has a great santa display. We were at the Y&B Christmas of 2006 and never made it over there. Wish we had now. Sounds like this is going to be a very relaxing trip, can't wait for more.
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Old 12-19-2010, 05:41 AM   #14
dolphingirl47
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I have always been too worried to use the pillowcase
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForTheLoveOfDCL View Post
Here are the pics at the Grand Floridian.



And here is the Contemperary



I had more pictures but I am having a hard time converting them from Raw files to JPG!
Thanks for sharing the photos. I love them.

Corinna
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:55 AM   #15
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So after all our checking out the GF and Cont. we headed back to the MK to catch our bus to our hotel. Ok I hate to say it but another BAD experience, just so frustrating cause even I could set up a bus rotation bette then this. What makes it worse is your standing there and other resorts have 4-6 buses come and go and your STILL waiting. We again waited about 45-an hour.

Sunday-12/5/10

I woke up excited already....I was going to MVMCP!! Usually most yrs we hit a special event but normally it's MNSSHP. We haven't done MVMCP since 2007 and it's my favorite. Love Cookies and Cocoa much better then trick or treating. Really to be honest when we go to MNSSHP we really don't T/T. So back to now...
We got breakfast. Basically just the danishes, cereal and such I brought with us. Then we were going to DTD for the morning cause a past friend(met in 2006 on our 1st cruise)was going to meet us there. They live in FL so why not meet up. So we walked around awhile and then headed back to ASM. Was glad that didn't last long but that's another story.
We decided to eat lunch in our food court. The girls had kids meals. Sydney had pasta and Nelia had hot dog. We really didn't know what went with the meal so after reading I had to send my DH back for the carrotts or grapes we were never given. Dh and I got the Bacon-mushroom-swiss burger and fries. Took it back to our room and sent Sydney down to refill our mugs. I LOVE those mugs. So easy! Well DH and my burgers were great but huge and I personally can't eat that much. No bad I think $7 each. Sydney didn't care for the kids pasta, it was very dry-not enough sauce. Nelia's hot dog bun was hard as well. I will say the kids wanted the carrots but I forgot to see if I could get some ranch. Kinda surprised they don't offer some sorta dip. Kids are more likely to eat something with dip. haha The grapes they got were mushy, and really didn't taste well. We learned this was consistant everywhere so we stopped ordering them.

The girls and Del went swimming. This mama only goes when it's bath water.
they loved swimming knowing we were coming home to teen degrees. Plus with it being cooler the kids were the few in the pool.


I just recieved by prints from Photopass today which are from MVMCP so I will continue with this day after I go scan and download them to a CD.. TTFN
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