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Old 08-24-2010, 03:18 PM   #1
stayhomemom77
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Bust out the pixie dust, cause this time we're flying! A Jan 2011 PTR. Updated 17/11

It's real.

It's happened.

It's BOOKED!!



It started on a wish. A whim. A yearning.

And then, suddenly...it became a reality.

We are going back. For the third year in a row. And I can't wait.

So, without further ado…

Let’s get this party started.

Let me introduce you to the cast of characters:

Me: The DISaholic and Disneyaholic and planner of this and all family trips. I’m 34 and a SAHM.

DH: 35 years old and not as into Disney as I am. Since he loves me and loves the kids, he’s willing to come a bit more frequently than he would really like. He’s a big fan of the dining plan though so our family trip wouldn’t be complete without it.

DD: 7 years old, going on 14. She’s fun, loves getting her picture taken and is going to FREAK RIGHT OUT when we tell her about the trip.

DS: 5 years old. Spends an inordinate amount of time saving for Disney (even when there is no trip planned for the immediate future) and doing extra chores around the house to earn Disney dollars. Will also flip out when we finally spill the beans about this trip.

Let me ‘splain.

Our family has been to Disney together twice so far. In April 2009 off property and again in April 2010. That time we stayed on a DVC reservation, a split stay. We had 2 night at SSR with the DxDDP and 6 days at AKL with the DDP.

In 2009, DH was all…meh! As far as he was concerned, he could take it or leave it. In 2010, DH had A LOT more fun. He was really impressed with the DDP, the Disney resorts and the fact that the kids were now tall enough to go on some of the better rides. Although a long way from a true Disneyphile, he does enjoy our vacations there…as long as they aren’t TOO often.

We live in Ontario and made the 18 hour drive down both times.

When we got back this year, we told the kids not to expect to go again in April of 2011 because it just wasn’t going to happen. They were going to have to wait until 2012 before going back. They were okay with this, and DS still insisted we keep filling the Disney jar (change jar) and kept working on earning Disney dollars in preparation for this distant trip. (I think he’s a DISer in the making, quite frankly.)

You see, next year is our 10th anniversary and we have a vacation of a different sort (read: mom and dad only) on the books so all vacation money is going to that trip.

And then, Disney extended free dining.

So, I did what any self respecting DISer would do. I started pricing out vacations.

And to my shock and amazement…I found we could do a four night stay with free dining for next to nothing at the beginning of January. And it was like the mouse was just challenging me to find the money and “see him real soon.”

So I attacked our budget and with only a few minor adjustments, had the price of the vacation package covered within minutes. Hmm, now we just need to get there…

I DID NOT want to drive in January…so I began looking at flights. For the four of us, out of Detroit we were looking at $920 Canadian. Not bad. But we didn’t have it, unless we tapped into the money for our anniversary cruise.

Nope, no good.

DH was SO not going to go for that. So, what’s a girl to do? I went back to the budget, this time hacking and slashing and managed to find another $400. Okay, we’re getting close.

BUT…

I couldn’t come up with the last $500 no matter what I did. Short of selling myself on street corners, there was no way I was going to be able to come up with that much money by the end of the year.

I was down.

But not out.

I booked the trip anyway for January 1 to 5 (knowing that I could cancel it later if I had to) and mustered up the courage to tell my husband. (About the deal, not about booking it.)

I gave him the straight facts.

I told him I had done something stupid. (Of course you and I both know that I had done something extremely intelligent). I had looked into the deal. I had tried to come up with the money. I had come tantalizingly close. And I had failed to find the last little bit we needed to actually GO on the trip.

He was sympathetic to my plight. He was also quite willing to go. Even if we had to dip into the vacation fund for that last $500. It was almost too easy. He was putty in my hands.

And I get my 2011 Disney fix, after all.

We decided to keep this trip a secret from the kids.

We’re going to tell them at Christmas. A little American cash in their stockings will be a nice hint and we still have tons of time to come up with some other creative things we can do to break the news.

I’m still going to try and get my mom and dad in on the plans also. My mom has 10 grandchildren, so big gifts for the entire family are heaven sent as far as she is concerned because it simplifies Christmas for her. She hates giving money though, so this too may take some creative thinking in order to present it in such a way that she’ll be on board.

Maybe I should approach my dad…


Last edited by stayhomemom77; 11-17-2010 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:40 PM   #2
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Alright, so here's the current state of things...

I know you KNOW how much a trip can change in the planning stages...

So, in the beginning I had a four night reservation booked with only 2 days in the parks. Partially because my husband teaches at the local university and we would be flying back the night before classes were scheduled to begin. Partially because of the budget...but we all know that the budget is just numbers and with a little fuzzy disney math (and a little pixie dust) things can change in an instant.

And our trip, so far...has been no different.

So we were origionally booked for Saturday, January 1st through Wednesday, January 5th.

Although I booked the trip last Wednesday for the above specifications, I had to wait until yesterday to get the finalized details of DH's schedule so nothing was absolutely confirmed until then. Upon receipt of said schedule, we realized that he didn't have to be back for school on the 6th as we origionally thought. In fact, his first day of classes is the following Monday, leaving that entire first week of January free and clear!!

So, I priced out the package with an extra day added on to it and it was only $120 more for the hotel and the upgraded dining cost. That's Canadian. Well, who can pass something like that up?

So, I mentioned it to DH and he said "go for it." We decided to wait until today to change our reservation (although he thought I was making the reservation today ) as well as getting our flights squared away.

And I was delighted to find that the wait had paid off. Flights had come down a bit since yesterday and now our total cost for flights was going to be $760 instead of $920.

And yes, I did my DIS friends proud and pointed out to my husband that we could use the difference to add on yet another night for a total of SIX (not four) nights and seven days at the resort WITH the DDP and it would only be about $60 more than my origional calculations.

So our short trip is now a regular trip.

And now....

drumroll please....

I give you, the details of our January trip.

Flying with Delta

To Orlando

January 1st

Six nights at POP century

2 days at the parks (for now)

and a departure date of January 7th.

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Old 08-24-2010, 04:37 PM   #3
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Hey hey! I'm here! and I'm FIRST!!!!
You are so funny - don't you love it when they just fall right into our traps!? That was too easy!
And good deal on flights! If I ever get them for $200 or less I have to book right away.

So can I ask, how come only 2 park days?
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:39 PM   #4
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:42 PM   #5
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Here!!!!


You do this momma proud with all that Fuzzy Disney Math!!!!!!

I agree with Sheree... what's up with just two park days?

Don't get me wrong, I loved only going into the park for 1 day last trip. BUT it was in the summer. When park hours were open til 11pm and we had hot temps to swim and stuff.

In January... maybe not the first part of January but when we've been there, parks close at like 7 or 8. Not nearly as much time to get everything done.

Maybe January's warm enough for you Canananananadians to swim but it's not for us!

Just a thought.

Not trying to pressure you into spending more money....

honest.


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Old 08-25-2010, 11:55 AM   #6
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Look at you guys all concerned about me and the two days in the parks.

You love me, you really love me. <Sniff>


Don't worry, that has already been corrected. I always intended to upgrade the tickets but thought that I'd just wait and do it on the trip once we got there. Then, when we were discussing ADR's I realized that I might not really have that option. I knew I was going to have to decide in advance what we were going to do so I could get our dining finalized.

I didn't want to make any of those kinds of changes without having a chat with DH. So, I decided to bide my time and wait for a suitable opportunity...one that came last night while we were...*ahem* in bed. (Told you I was smart!!)

Once again, I laid the facts before him. He agreed that staying a week and only doing parks twice would leave us with far too much time on our hands. He has a holy terror of getting bored on vacation so he likes to keep a fairly busy schedule.

I told him we'd need around $250 to upgrade to four day base passes and asked what he wanted to do about it as I still hadn't gotten a hold of my mom to see if she was going to be an enabler in my Disney addiction.

I did speak to HIS mother, who told me she'd have to think about it. She prefers giving gifts that the kids can open so I'm not counting on any help Christmas-wise from her. I shared this update with DH and to my surprise and joy he mentioned something I hadn't once remembered or considered since this mania began a week ago.

Randy and I both have birthdays in early December. She always buys us a couple of small items and then STICKS A BUNCH OF CASH INSIDE OUR CARDS!!!

Why didn't I think of that?

Not only did he remind me of this fact, but he generously offered up his birthday cash to go towards covering the park ticket upgrades. AND, he said he'd toss some of his spending money into the pot as well. (He hates it when all my money goes to these trips...he thinks it's unfair to me.)

So, I called Disney AGAIN and made the change.

Now it's six nights at Pop with 4 day base tickets and DDP.

I still can't believe my luck.

I've got a couple of ADR's booked already but I'm still working on the schedule (now that we have two extra park days added) so I'm not going to post that stuff until it's all been completed.

I haven't done the countdown yet so that's something to look forward to as well. (For me, at least.)

Oh HOW am I going to keep this secret from the kids? It's so dang HARD!!
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:16 PM   #7
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You call it luck - some might call it manipulating!!

I'm glad you're able to add more days and will have the $$ to do it! I'll look forward to your plans!
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:35 PM   #8
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Okay, so DH just got his brand new $1000 hybrid bike!!

It was a purchase we knew he was going to be making and I believe one of the unspoken reasons why not one SINGLE protest to our January trip was uttered.

He's thrilled (of course) and told me in the car on the way home from the store that ALL of his spending money from September to January could be considered "in the pot" for our vacation.

First I did this:



Then this:



If I'da known earlier we could have stayed one more day. But it's too late for that now as our flights are bought and paid for.

So, I'm thinking maybe we'll head over to CBR and rent something at the marina. It might be fun.

Okay then...128 days...and counting!!

This is the shortest countdown I have EVER done for Disney!!
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:10 PM   #9
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Here's to the shortest countdown EVER!!

WOO hoooo .... I do not want to know what kind of manipulating you did.


AHEM


But that's awesome that you added another two days and got Randy to chip in his pocket money! Gotta love some guilt induced decision making.

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September 2012 PTR - I actually just squealed with excitement!! We are going back! Baby girl's 1st trip!! Nemo Suite at AoA
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:06 AM   #10
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Gelly...



He's actually not as Disney resistant as I used to think. And I knew beforehand that hitting him up for this RIGHT before buying his bike would be the best time, since he does feel guilty about such a large personal purchase from the family budget.

And for the record, I was fine with him getting the bike. I didn't think he had anything to feel guilty for...but I'm not sorry I was able to parlay that guilt into another family vacation in Disney.

I'll put my ADR's in my next post.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:31 PM   #11
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Alllllrightyyyyyy!!

We are now down to 120 days in the countdown...if my math isn't off (which is always possible) but regardless of that we fly out EXACTLY four months from today!

Isn't that a lovely thought?

Anyway...what better way to celebrate this momentous occasion than to begin relaying the itinerary for our trip.

I'll start with day one and then drrrrrraaaaaaggggg it out a bit so it takes up enough time until I'm ready to start the packing and list making process, which won't be for a week or two.

Oh, and please note that I'm prone to making changes...if you read my PTR last time you'll know what I mean so I'll update those (should they happen) as they happen.

So, without further ado...

I give you Day One:

Saturday, January 1st
Departure Day

Flight leaves DTW (Detroit) at 2 pm and is scheduled to arrive at MCO at 4:38 pm.

**Now, I've never flown before (to Disney) so this is my first time using ME but based on the EXTENSIVE amount of research I've done (reading other people's TR's ) I've concluded that we'll need to schedule about 2 hours for disembarkation and transportation putting us at Pop around 6:30 pm.

I've read that Pop is the first stop for that particular bus so if we don't get lost in the airport (which a surprising amount of people do, it seems) we may even be checking in a little sooner.

Once we check in we'll give our room a quick peek and dump our carry on luggage before heading back to Everything Pop for dinner. I've studied the menu on AllEars for quite some time and it's likely I'll be choosing one of the following options:

Turkey Ciabatta
Chicken Penne Alfredo
Shrimp Lo Mein

At the moment, I'm leaning towards the penne because it's HUGE and it's something I can share with DD7. She loves pasta with white sauce and breadsticks and would probably eat some of the chicken as well.

If she wants her own meal, I may try to entice DS5 to share the Lo Mein with me. He's a fussy eater but does like noodles so he might go for this, especially if I bribe him by telling him he can have the majority of dessert to himself.

If I get the Turkey Ciabatta I'll pretty much be on my own....does anyone know, will this come with fries or chips or something? I'm guessing the sandwich won't be by itself.

If the kids are hungry enough to demand their own meals, it'll likely be a cheeseburger for DD and DS is pretty predictable...either nuggets or pizza.

I can never say what mood will strike DH...when I think I've got him pegged, he surprises me so I'm not even going to attempt to suggest what he may choose.

So after dinner we'll be exploring the resort. We'll have to at least check out the pools (although we're hoping it'll be warm enough for us polar bear Canadians to take a quick dip) and if we can't swim, we'll probably spend our card in the arcade that night.

We'll likely head to bed around nine so we can be up and at 'em nice and early for the following day. We'll want to be well rested for our first park day on Sunday, January 2nd. Any guesses as to where we are going? Winner gets bragging rights on this thread and the satisfaction that you are an insufferable know it all or a lucky guesser!!
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:37 AM   #12
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Our XBox 360 died earlier this week and it was not salvageable. DH was bummed we would have to wait until after January to get a new one.

I suggested we just buy a new one now.

Even DH couldn't pretend to be reluctant to do that, current finances notwithstanding.

So we got a new one.

And I got carte blanche for January's trip. Pretty much, whatever I feel like spending on the trip is fine with him. He trusts me. He knows I won't sacrifice our cruise for Disney so...we spend what we spend.

I SWEAR I didn't have that in mind when I suggested getting the new XBox...I just didn't want to hear the whining.

Sometimes my good fortune astounds even me.

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Old 09-06-2010, 04:07 PM   #13
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Hah! Our first day didn't remain unchanged for very long, did it?

Okay, so the current plan has deviated only slightly in that we now have and ADR for Whispering Canyon Cafe for our arrival night.

I looked and looked and looked at the lunch menu at Raglan Road and just didn't think there was anything there I was willing to eat so though we had a ressie there for our departure day for lunch (and although I haven't canceled it as of yet) I went ahead and scheduled us a 7:30 p.m. spot at WCC.

We had lunch there in April and I really wanted to try the skillet for dinner. The kids were all over the Lincoln logs and since we were running late didn't get to check out the resort further than the lobby. So, it's sort of another do-over and I am thrilled!

So, we'll check in and dump our carry on luggage in the room and then catch a bus to the MK and then switch to the boat over to WL. The park is open until 11 p.m. so we'll be able to get back to Pop the same way problem free.

I'm still tweaking though...I may switch our Kouzzina ressie to this night and do WCC later in the week. I have to see what time slots are available before I can decide for sure.
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:01 AM   #14
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It's so hard picking just one place to eat !!

I keep switching up our plans for January. Christmas is done... not tempting to change ADRs because mom and sis aren't big table service people anyway.

Give me four nights just me and DH?!

I can't DECIDE where to eat.


Every TR, every DR I read, I change my mind!


UGH!

I'm afraid I'm no help on this one. I haven't eaten at WCC or Kouzzina or Raglan Road. Sorry!!!
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Read all about our special needs, miracle daughter Violet @ http://youjustmightfindyougetwhatyouneed.blogspot.com/





September 2012 PTR - I actually just squealed with excitement!! We are going back! Baby girl's 1st trip!! Nemo Suite at AoA
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:01 PM   #15
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Julie - I just noticed your link! I love getting all the back story on how you convinced your DH to do the trip! I'm going to start taking lessions from you ladies. Since we are DVC members I never look at the deals or the Free Dinning deals, but I may just have to look at them sometime. If we ever don't have the points to use, but feel the need to hit the parks I may have to call you to get some direction on where you go to check out prices.

We've been to both WCC and Raglan Road and I like both. The shepards pie at Raglan Road is FANTASTIC!!! The skillet is really good at WCC. My vote for your family would be WCC because the atmosphere is so much more family orientated and fun instead of more adult orientated with the bar and irish music/dancing at RR. Just my two cents. Plus if you haven't had time to wander around WL you'll have time and it will be more relaxing on your first day instead of wandering around DTD.

Can't wait to read more!!!
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