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Old 09-11-2010, 10:13 AM   #16
WDWsweetie
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i'm in, can't wait to hear all your plans!
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:34 PM   #17
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Woo Hoo I'm in!! I don't think your crazy for taking him we took Logan in the end of april beinging of may he was only 3monthes!!! And we just took him again for labor day. I think it's easier to travel when their younger then older. Can't wait to read!!
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:22 PM   #18
harleyquinn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blessed_wth_Triplets View Post
what?! I had NO idea you could rent points and get a studio so cheap??!! I need to learn all the tricks from you! This would especially come in handy with 4 kids! We just got back from ASMU family suite...nice size but haven't dreamed we'd ever be able to stay anywhere else
You'll see that my plans didn't work out exactly as I wanted them, but I'll be sure to include all the details!

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Originally Posted by loritemp View Post
Head over to the DVC section. There is a whole section of threads about renting points. And the people over there are so very nice and helpful

I just got a thumbs up from my DH to plan a March trip. And confirmed my dad and his GF want to come. My DS2 will only be 3 months old. I know I will get an earful about it but who cares! Its my money and my trip. DOn't like the idea of travelling with a little one? Don't do it and don't bother me about my trip
Yay!!!
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I'm here too Sarah!


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Originally Posted by moparop View Post
Sweet!! Glad you are getitng started on this one! I didn't realize you guys were renting points. What a value!! I keep thinking we need to look into doing it since our options for 5 people are so limited. Maybe on the next trip...

We'll be there a few weeks before you with a 15 month old, so hopefully I'll have time to try some of the ideas out and post how they went. Are you a librarian in a public library or a school system? Question: My 6 year old (mid 3rd grade reading level) is an animal encyclopedia-aholic (yes I just invented that word!). Any suggestions for good novels to bridge him into? I'd really like him to get back to some fiction again! We have done some Junie B and Magic Tree House but they do not hold his interest for long periods.
There are a bunch of little series's (lol) similar to the length of Junie B and MTH that focus on animals, but 6 is young to be reading those. What grade is he in? Are you reading together? I would try some books on CD. The narration can be good enough to keep them interested.

Many, many boys find nonfiction to be much more interesting than fiction, especially at that age. I would be encouraging ANY reading.

With that said, I would suggest:
Bunnicula
Animal Ark
Puppy Place
Magic Puppy/Kitten
Dinosaur Cove

I don't think anything except Bunnicula is all that great, but they should all be pretty good bridges. Especially Dinosaur Cove.

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Originally Posted by WDWsweetie View Post
i'm in, can't wait to hear all your plans!

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Originally Posted by arubio0801 View Post
Woo Hoo I'm in!! I don't think your crazy for taking him we took Logan in the end of april beinging of may he was only 3monthes!!! And we just took him again for labor day. I think it's easier to travel when their younger then older. Can't wait to read!!
I agree! When they are that young, they are more likely to sleep a lot!
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:58 PM   #19
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coming over for your august TR. i love how you said that your are crazy enough to go twice within four months.. i must be crazy too because we are going in a few weeks for my sons first birthday and again in december
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyquinn View Post
There are a bunch of little series's (lol) similar to the length of Junie B and MTH that focus on animals, but 6 is young to be reading those. What grade is he in? Are you reading together? I would try some books on CD. The narration can be good enough to keep them interested.

Many, many boys find nonfiction to be much more interesting than fiction, especially at that age. I would be encouraging ANY reading.

With that said, I would suggest:
Bunnicula
Animal Ark
Puppy Place
Magic Puppy/Kitten
Dinosaur Cove

I don't think anything except Bunnicula is all that great, but they should all be pretty good bridges. Especially Dinosaur Cove.
He's a first grader and a young one at that (just turned 6 last month.) We do read some together, but his teacher is really pushing independent reading and frankly, I am growing bored of animal facts! Last year, we were reading the Little Animal Ark or Junie B/MTH books and he would read me two pages and I would read one. His comprehension seemed consistent regardless. We'll look into some of other ones. I am hoping we can do one fiction to two nonfictions for a while this year just for some variety!
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:34 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by leshunlenese View Post
coming over for your august TR. i love how you said that your are crazy enough to go twice within four months.. i must be crazy too because we are going in a few weeks for my sons first birthday and again in december
Love the title of your PTR. Great minds think alike! I hope you have an awesome time!

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Originally Posted by moparop View Post
He's a first grader and a young one at that (just turned 6 last month.) We do read some together, but his teacher is really pushing independent reading and frankly, I am growing bored of animal facts! Last year, we were reading the Little Animal Ark or Junie B/MTH books and he would read me two pages and I would read one. His comprehension seemed consistent regardless. We'll look into some of other ones. I am hoping we can do one fiction to two nonfictions for a while this year just for some variety!
That's definitely a little young to be pushing chapter books. Most kids I see don't really push the chapter books until at least the middle of first grade. Just because they can read a book that long doesn't mean they should read a ton of them, you know? It's so hard to walk that line sometimes when you have a higher-than-average student.

Try Mercy Watson. It's a pig. It's a great transition book, because it still has a lot of pictures.

Can you get him into non-animal nonfiction? Planets, vehicles, history? Those things can bridge into other fiction series too.

You're doing a great job just by being involved!
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:10 PM   #22
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So I put together a little presentation for my tight-wad DH. I wrote down all the expenses and showed that by going for 2 shorter-than-normal trips, we would only pay a little over what we were getting from our tax return.

I had him at "Let me show you what I've been working on." lol At this point it had been almost 2 long years since DH had been. I think I could've talked him into just about anything at that point. lol

We threw a planning wrench into this by asking SIL and her BF if they wanted to come along with us. They took FOREVER to decide and I finally told them that I had to make the reservation so they could stay elsewhere if they wanted to.

I'm going to get pretty detailed in points rental stuff here, so DVC members (you lucky dogs) can just skip over this bit.

So I did my research. I knew scoring the lowest point reservations would take a lot of luck and good timing. I was prepared for a bunch of different scenarios. I knew I wanted either an AKV value studio, BWV studio or OKW studio since they were the lowest point options. What I didn't realize is that they are VERY few AKV and BWV studios at the lowest point levels. I also didn't realize how hard it would be to find someone willing to rent points for $10 per. $11 was much more likely.

Here are the totals I was looking at:

Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas Studio-Value Accomodations 50
Disney's Old Key West Resort Studio 53
Disney's BoardWalk Villas Studio-Standard View 57
Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas Studio-Standard View 61
Disney's BoardWalk Villas Studio-Preferred View 72


I knew I had to find someone who's home resort was one of the above. The home resort allows 11 months ahead for room booking. After that you can begin booking 7 months at other resorts. So I knew I had to find something before the 7 month window opened.

My week isn't all that popular with DVC owners, they much prefer the earlier weeks of December, but points rentals are pretty common and things were booking quickly.

I finally found someone willing and able to rent their AKV points to me at $11 per point, but all of the value studios were gone. So I had gone from expecting to pay $500 ($10 per point for 50 points) for the trip to actually paying $671. Not bad, but naive me thought I could do better. After all I should still be able to find someone at BWV for 57 points and after much deliberation I realized that BWV was by far my top choice due to it's location.

So I focused in on BWV owners. An OKW was only slightly cheaper and not ideal. After a few weeks between the Dis, another site they won't let me type, and TGM, I finally found someone willing to let their points go for $11 per. He quickly got back to me that the only availablity for studios was preferred view. So I went from $500 to $792 just like that. So I had a choice to make. Go for it (it was only about a week before the 7 month window opened) or try to quickly find OKW points and hope they had availability. I rationalized that $158 per night was less than we paid for POR in August and this was BWV!

I decided to pull the trigger. My awesome DVC renter sent me a screen shot of my confimation page! My name next to the Boardwalk Villas!! It was a dream come true (if not a bit more expensive).

So when renting you can't expect to get in at the lowest levels, but if you want to, you have to be ready 11 months in advance and you need a lot of luck.

Hopefully that's helpful!
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:52 PM   #23
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I can not wait to hear how you liked BWV!! We jut bought DVC and that i our home resort but I have never stayed there. Stayed at the Swan and loved the area. The easy access to DHS and Epcot is unreal!! We are hoping to go on our first DVC trip in March ut we won't officially be in the Disney system till Mon so I have no idea where we will be able to book!

Are you doing a dining plan? Ok ok, I am jumping the gun, aren't I? I will wait patiently for more details
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:23 PM   #24
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Thanks for the detailed info on renting points. I am thinking for our next trip after this one we need to give it a shot. Being a family of 5, we are down to so few resorts now. Are you guys paying oop for meals or doing the ddp?

Thanks for your opinions on books too. We'll keep on looking! We did the Tacky the Penguin books last year and the Mercy Watson books really seem to remind me of that. I normally wouldn't push him into chapter books, but he is a CRAZY fluent reader and we are just running out of material!
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:45 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loritemp View Post
I can not wait to hear how you liked BWV!! We jut bought DVC and that i our home resort but I have never stayed there. Stayed at the Swan and loved the area. The easy access to DHS and Epcot is unreal!! We are hoping to go on our first DVC trip in March ut we won't officially be in the Disney system till Mon so I have no idea where we will be able to book!

Are you doing a dining plan? Ok ok, I am jumping the gun, aren't I? I will wait patiently for more details
lol It's okay to jump the gun. Yes, we added the dining plan. I say more later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moparop View Post
Thanks for the detailed info on renting points. I am thinking for our next trip after this one we need to give it a shot. Being a family of 5, we are down to so few resorts now. Are you guys paying oop for meals or doing the ddp?

Thanks for your opinions on books too. We'll keep on looking! We did the Tacky the Penguin books last year and the Mercy Watson books really seem to remind me of that. I normally wouldn't push him into chapter books, but he is a CRAZY fluent reader and we are just running out of material!
I totally understand. One day soon the switch will flip and he will totally enjoy fiction.

The Time Warp Trio is another good bridge series, but it's more for history than animals.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:32 AM   #26
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Joining in--I'll be there the same time as ya'll (only I'll be at POFQ). Thanks for the lesson on renting points. I need to look into that sometime--I'd probably rent at OKW, but the problem with a family of five is that there are few places where a family of 5 can still get into DVC as well.
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:05 AM   #27
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Joining in--I'll be there the same time as ya'll (only I'll be at POFQ). Thanks for the lesson on renting points. I need to look into that sometime--I'd probably rent at OKW, but the problem with a family of five is that there are few places where a family of 5 can still get into DVC as well.
Unless you get a 1 bedroom, which are so tempting, but sooo expensive. I didn't realize that FQ had rooms for 5, I thought it was just POR. Cool!
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:23 AM   #28
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So the room was booked, and we began the waiting game.

Should we get the dining plan like we ususally do? It depends on how she handles it in August...

Should we drive again or spend an arm and a leg on airfare? It depends on how she handles it in August...(even though I really wanted to just book it, because of the weather worries).

So everything else went on hold until after we got back in August.

We knew a few things when we got back:
1. Yes to the DP, though I wonder if we could actually do better with the TiW card instead.
2. Yes to flying, but I can't find airfare that I can swallow, so we're driving again.
3. We needed more time.

So we thought about staying the night of the 23rd somewhere outside Disney or maybe moving to an all star with our AP discount.

I emailed my DVC renter and told him to add the DP for us (we pay for it at check in) and while I was at it, I went ahead and asked him if he could try and add the 23rd for us if he had the points.

Now I had thought about doing this as early as the day after I booked it, but we were trying to get 2 trips in under a certain budget. That budget was totally blown when I forgot to cancel the first day of the August trip.

If you've read that report you know that that extra day was a HUGE difference to us. It wasn't that we really felt like we wanted to do a lot on Christmas Eve, but rather that we wanted to do things on the 23rd and that wasn't going to happen if we had to drive home that day.

So my super awesome owner wrote back that he did indeed have just enough points and that the room was actually available. I was shocked. I was also doing the Donkey Dance of Joy (Sesame Street reference, sorry )

So, I figured we'd be doing the Dining Plan, so I made my ADRs when the new online system was glitching and letting you make them early.

I changed a few around once we got back and I had a better idea of what she liked and what times were good. SO here are the plans:
12/18-- Arrival day. This one is tough since we don't know when we'll arrive
Coral Reef 5:50
12/19--
Le Cellier 4:20 (I was going to rebook this as a CP package, but there is no way I'm using 2 credits on something that only I care about)
12/20--Garden Grille 4:25
12/21--50s Prime Time 4:30
12/22--Crystal Palace at 3:30pm
12/23--Ohana 4:30
12/24--Cape May 9am (in case we don't make the Coral reef on the 18th)

I originally had a CP breakfast, but I know DD won't want to get up for it, so I changed to a late lunch.

I'm not sure why I opted for 4:30 instead of 5 like the last trip, but hopefully it won't matter. I wanted to do more Character meals after the experience at GG, but there are so few dinners that appeal to us.

And the park touring plans:
12/18-nothing unless you count walking to CR.
12/19-MK morning; EP evening
12/20-EP--probably late morning unless we decide the character spot is worth getting up early for.
12/21-Ak morning; DHS evening (basically only to see the Osbourne lights. Anything else we might do is cake)
12/22-MK
12/23-AK
12/24-MK maybe, or we'll just eat and leave.

I'm really hoping to see holiday Wishes on the 22, so AK on the 23 would be a later day. We're really hoping the lack of heat will let us hang around longer than we were able to in August, but I fear the ginormous crowds will end up having the same effect.

We're planning 2 AK days since we totally skipped it in August and this time we can actually see some animals, which Lily loves.

Lots of EP nights to see the storytellers. I'm a librarian and I would really love to see a few of them.

We're not interested in braving the TSM dash, so DHS isn't all that important to us.
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:27 AM   #29
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Unless you get a 1 bedroom, which are so tempting, but sooo expensive. I didn't realize that FQ had rooms for 5, I thought it was just POR. Cool!
Ha--it is only POR. I'm going by myself in December.
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:40 PM   #30
harleyquinn
Wishes she could take photos of the castle as well as the photos DALE (of Chip & Dale) takes.
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Ha--it is only POR. I'm going by myself in December.
Ooooo! Lucky ducky!!
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