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Old 07-05-2011, 10:59 AM   #1
spartankid34
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Smile Hey you're a college graduate, let's celebrate...an August 2011 PTR!

Let’s give this a shot…

I’ve read and read many trip reports and pre trip reports here on the DISboards and I’ve learned so much from them, so I figured why not start my own PTR and share some of my own planning and gather ideas from other about my ideas. My trip is getting so close, that I pretty much have everything set to go. 39 days!! I need to do something to keep me busy, so let's try writing a PTR

Let me first introduce the characters in this trip:

First there is me. I am 22 years old and just graduated with a degree in Elementary Education! I absolutely love kids, and I am a big kid at heart. The last time I went to Disney I was 8 years old, and I have been wanting to go back and become a little kid again! The thing that I am looking forward to most this trip is bonding with my mom; she is the strongest person I have ever known, and she is my best friend :

So let’s talk about her now. My mom works so hard, in fact I have to beg her to take vacation time in order to relax. Like I said before, she is the strongest person I know…a single mother who had to put up with me and my older brother! I say that jokingly though, because I know that my mom has been so supportive of us, and has kept this family going for so long. My hope for this trip is that she gets to relax away from work and gets to bond with me after I’ve been away from home for four years!

This trip has been one that I’ve waited for for SO long, and when I say SO long….I mean soooooo long; 14 years to be exact. That’s right, 14 LONG years ago I visited Mickey Mouse with my mom and my brother, I was 8 years old…needless to say, I really don’t remember that much. My brother has been twice in the past 6 years with his kiddos, and I was dreaming of going too. I talked to my mom about possibly going as a college graduation celebration and her birthday, and she said if you plan it, we’ll do it!!!!!

I was so excited, I immediately went online to learn as much as I could about Disney and booking a vacation, and tried to find the best deals that I could in order to make it seem like a no brainer to my mom that I could plan a trip and have it be in budget! This all started in November 2010, since we were going to celebrate my graduation, I thought at first we’d be going in May right after my graduation. This wasn’t going to work because I later found out that my mom had planned to take some time off to help me move back home, and relax at my beach house at school before my lease ran out. The next plan was to go during a spring break I had, but we both wanted something to look forward to during the summer, so we of course chose….HOT, HOT August 14-23!! Haha, we laughed at this choice because we swore we would never go in the summer, but here we go!!!

I decided on a value resort, and had my mom choose which one; we ended up with POP Century! We went with a value resort because we wanted to have more of a budget for the dining plan and fun activites while we are there.

Next up was deciding how to get there…that was a struggle to come up with a final plan! In my next post I’ll share with you how we debated the joys and displeasures of driving, wait…um, flying, NO, train riding?? haha to WDW!

Thanks for reading along!


Here are some links to my posts if you don't feel like scrolling through it all:

The important stuff:

Introductions and background
Transportation dilemma
ADR's
Park Plans and Extras

The random postings:

New Luggage!!
Break in your shoes!
Whales and Countdowns
Our Favorites
__________________
Upcoming Trips:

Past Trips: College Graduation Trip August 2011!!! [POP Century] August 1997 [AllStar Sports]

1st PTR August 2011 - Hey you're a college graduate, let's celebrate!!

Me Mom

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Old 07-06-2011, 01:57 PM   #2
StephaniexMarie
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I'm loving your PTR so far! I really can't wait to hear...um read more about your plans.
Your trip will be extra special since you waiting for so long to go back.
Also, I love how you two are checking in to POP the day after my mom and I check out!
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:20 PM   #3
spartankid34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StephaniexMarie View Post
I'm loving your PTR so far! I really can't wait to hear...um read more about your plans.
Your trip will be extra special since you waiting for so long to go back.
Also, I love how you two are checking in to POP the day after my mom and I check out!


Thanks for joining in!! Can't wait to write more, and read more of yours!
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Past Trips: College Graduation Trip August 2011!!! [POP Century] August 1997 [AllStar Sports]

1st PTR August 2011 - Hey you're a college graduate, let's celebrate!!

Me Mom
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:22 PM   #4
spartankid34
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Hey to any readers, or future readers,

I just wanted to stop in and take a little break in my reporting to let you all know that I just bought my most exciting purchase so far for my Disney vacation….



A SUITCASE, haha…I know, kind of lame, but I needed it, my luggage set from college just ripped, and I need something for my clothes. PLUS, it just means that I get to plan and pack SOON!!


My next posting is two minutes away from being done, so stay tuned! And thanks for reading!
__________________
Upcoming Trips:

Past Trips: College Graduation Trip August 2011!!! [POP Century] August 1997 [AllStar Sports]

1st PTR August 2011 - Hey you're a college graduate, let's celebrate!!

Me Mom

Last edited by spartankid34; 07-06-2011 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:32 PM   #5
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So when I last left off, my mom and I had for sure chosen our resort for our August trip; POP Century! The next biggest expense for us to save up for was transportation. At first I thought flying, obviously…but as I looked into flights I was shocked to see that the tickets were almost $600 per person! I quickly thought about driving, but threw that idea away when I realized that I would be doing most of the driving, since my mom isn’t the most comfortable driving at night…and that’s when we could make a lot of progress. We waited, and waited to see if flights would drop, and in the meantime, we booked our vacation. 9 nights at POP, with 8 day MYW base tickets, and the regular dining plan! (I’ll post our ADR’s later on in the report!)

It was now May, and we still had no idea how to get down to WDW. I was starting to get nervous that things would sell out, so I hopped onto the DISboards and looked up traveling by train, just for an idea. It sparked an interest, and I looked up prices, and times, and length of trip. I realized that round trip would still be too much for us, but one way train tickets there and a return flight home would be perfect. So since I decided on only a one way train ticket, I looked up our return flight home and saw that it would only be $80 per person…score!! (They were originally $172)

**A little side note here, when I first booked the package through Disney, I never thought that traveling on a Sunday would be so expensive (flight wise), that is why I think tickets down to WDW are still so high**

The finalized plans for our trip:
  • Drive to our local bus station and take a bus into Boston.
  • Catch 1st train to Penn Station, then transfer and ride overnight into Kissimmee (we did not get a sleeper room because that would have added $400 to our train total).
  • From there we’ll probably grab a cab to POP (it’s not a nice comfy bus, but it’ll do).
  • When we leave we’ll take ME to the airport and head home. Oh, that reminds me, I should probably call to set that up since we didn’t know our plans when booking!!
Seems simple, let’s hope so, haha!

**As a little tip for anyone thinking about the train – try to think about it early! I only got our tickets in May for an August trip, the tickets are definitely cheaper the earlier you buy.**

I’m actually really excited to take the train! I hate flying, somehow I still don’t understand how they stay in the air, lol. I’ve been talking to my mom recently about what we’ll bring on the train, and we’re excited to pack our lunch/dinner and relax by playing card games, etc. Sleeping in a coach seat may be a little uncomfortable, and I’m not exactly sure what to expect, but shhhh, don’t tell Mom that…she’s counting on me being the all-knowing this trip! If anyone reading this can provide me with any tips about train travel I would be very grateful!

All in all it was a long process on deciding how we would get there, but the hard part was over…we booked our vacation package through Disney, booked our train tickets there, and booked our flight home! Next up, making my ADR’s!!
__________________
Upcoming Trips:

Past Trips: College Graduation Trip August 2011!!! [POP Century] August 1997 [AllStar Sports]

1st PTR August 2011 - Hey you're a college graduate, let's celebrate!!

Me Mom
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:20 PM   #6
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Wowwww! You guys got a GREAT deal on transportation. We had to fly Delta because last year on our way home, our flight was delayed for about 5 hours. But on the bright side, they gave us each $50 vouchers for another flight! That's $100 for free - can't beat that.

I don't know how much our plane tickets were all together because my mom does all that...I just do all the rest. I dunno, the flight stuff just confuses me. But I'm guessing about $400 overall? The $600 per person you mentioned if ridiculous! The train should be fun though! The only train I've been on is the Subway and well those aren't too special..

I like your new luggage! I wanted new luggage this year too but it just wasn't in the budget. So I'll be using my trusty Tinkerbell luggage from the Disney Store, haha! I really like it but I wanted one of those suitcases with 4 wheels that do 360 spins..it would be so much easier to roll around the airport. But whatever!
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Caribbean Beach Resort (8/2010)
Port Orleans French Quarter (11/2011)
Port Orleans Riverside (3/2012, 11/2012)
Polynesian Resort (11/2011, 7/2012, 3/2013)
Wilderness Lodge (7/2012)
Art of Animation (3/2013, 11/2013)
Saratoga Springs (7/2013)
Coronado Springs (11/2013, 1/2014)

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Old 07-06-2011, 08:35 PM   #7
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Great start on your PTR!! Congratulations on your graduation!! I am also a fellow graduate, it feels so good to accomplish your goals. By the way, I love that suitcase! Look forward to reading more
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OThopeful35 View Post
Great start on your PTR!! Congratulations on your graduation!! I am also a fellow graduate, it feels so good to accomplish your goals. By the way, I love that suitcase! Look forward to reading more
Thanks for joining in! Graduating was the most amazing feeling ever, so I want to congratulate you as well, we definitely accomplished a great task!! The suitcase is great so much room, if you can't see the brand, it's called high sierra!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephaniexMarie View Post
Wowwww! You guys got a GREAT deal on transportation. We had to fly Delta because last year on our way home, our flight was delayed for about 5 hours. But on the bright side, they gave us each $50 vouchers for another flight! That's $100 for free - can't beat that.

I don't know how much our plane tickets were all together because my mom does all that...I just do all the rest. I dunno, the flight stuff just confuses me. But I'm guessing about $400 overall? The $600 per person you mentioned if ridiculous! The train should be fun though! The only train I've been on is the Subway and well those aren't too special..

I like your new luggage! I wanted new luggage this year too but it just wasn't in the budget. So I'll be using my trusty Tinkerbell luggage from the Disney Store, haha! I really like it but I wanted one of those suitcases with 4 wheels that do 360 spins..it would be so much easier to roll around the airport. But whatever!

I'm so glad that our flight back home dropped, paying 150ish each for one way was still high for me...I was so used to the old SW $49 deals, haha! Like I said above, my suitcase is soo roomy, I love it...BUT I've also seen those 360 degree ones and they are awesome!
__________________
Upcoming Trips:

Past Trips: College Graduation Trip August 2011!!! [POP Century] August 1997 [AllStar Sports]

1st PTR August 2011 - Hey you're a college graduate, let's celebrate!!

Me Mom
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:13 PM   #9
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Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I'm reading along too! I'm glad you and Stephanie are both here and on the August weight loss thread. Between the three of us, we are pretty much staying at POP the whole month of August!! Stephanie checks out the day before you arrive then you check out the day before my family and I arrive. That's kind of neat! I can't wait to share POP stories in September!

Also, congratulations on graduating! You deserve the best DISNEY vacation after waiting 14 years to go back!

By the way, I've been thinking about doing a PTR. How do you get the link to show up in your signature?

-Tara
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CBR April 1990, Offsite August 2001, POP Century August 2011
(Hoping to increase the frequency of visits to more than once a decade!!!)


My First PTR (Maps are memorized, mommy's nuts! Disney here we come!)http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2754332

My first TR: A Mishap a Day Keeps Disaster Away http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2796231
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:38 PM   #10
spartankid34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewlyDisneyCrazed View Post
Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I'm reading along too! I'm glad you and Stephanie are both here and on the August weight loss thread. Between the three of us, we are pretty much staying at POP the whole month of August!! Stephanie checks out the day before you arrive then you check out the day before my family and I arrive. That's kind of neat! I can't wait to share POP stories in September!

Also, congratulations on graduating! You deserve the best DISNEY vacation after waiting 14 years to go back!

By the way, I've been thinking about doing a PTR. How do you get the link to show up in your signature?

-Tara
Awesome! I'm hoping for the best trip, a. it's been WAY too long, and b. four long years deserves some celebration!! Thanks for joining it's nice to have some readers! Too bad our trips didn't overlap a little, but I agree that stories will be shared in Sept!!!

To get the link in my signature I went to my profile by clicking on my username, and then went to customize profile. From there you can choose to edit your signature (I believe it's on the left side). You'll then get a box like when you type messages, and then you type what you want to link (your PTR name), highlight it, then choose the "insert link" button at the top and finally copy your PTR link in. The insert link button looks like a globe with a chain link in front of it. I hope that makes sense!!! haha

*edit - it looks like you already have a signature set up, so you may already know how to customize it, sorry if you didn't need that explanation! But I hope the linking makes sense...it's really pretty simple to do.
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Upcoming Trips:

Past Trips: College Graduation Trip August 2011!!! [POP Century] August 1997 [AllStar Sports]

1st PTR August 2011 - Hey you're a college graduate, let's celebrate!!

Me Mom
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:07 AM   #11
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Thanks! I tried something in the edit signature but I could only get the link (but couldn't rename it). I will try again tomorrow when I have had some sleep!! Thanks for inspiring me to do a PTR!
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CBR April 1990, Offsite August 2001, POP Century August 2011
(Hoping to increase the frequency of visits to more than once a decade!!!)


My First PTR (Maps are memorized, mommy's nuts! Disney here we come!)http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2754332

My first TR: A Mishap a Day Keeps Disaster Away http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2796231
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:05 AM   #12
spartankid34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewlyDisneyCrazed View Post
Thanks! I tried something in the edit signature but I could only get the link (but couldn't rename it). I will try again tomorrow when I have had some sleep!! Thanks for inspiring me to do a PTR!
It's a lot of fun, it helps to pass the time before your trip, and it helps you remember all the things you've planned so far, looking forward to reading more of yours!
__________________
Upcoming Trips:

Past Trips: College Graduation Trip August 2011!!! [POP Century] August 1997 [AllStar Sports]

1st PTR August 2011 - Hey you're a college graduate, let's celebrate!!

Me Mom
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:28 PM   #13
StephaniexMarie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewlyDisneyCrazed View Post
Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I'm reading along too! I'm glad you and Stephanie are both here and on the August weight loss thread. Between the three of us, we are pretty much staying at POP the whole month of August!! Stephanie checks out the day before you arrive then you check out the day before my family and I arrive. That's kind of neat! I can't wait to share POP stories in September!
-Tara
That's too funny! We're all taking over Pop in August.
I'm excited to write my first real trip report. It'll make time go by really quick for my November trip!


Quote:
Originally Posted by spartankid34 View Post
Awesome! I'm hoping for the best trip, a. it's been WAY too long, and b. four long years deserves some celebration!! Thanks for joining it's nice to have some readers! Too bad our trips didn't overlap a little, but I agree that stories will be shared in Sept!!!
Too bad they don't overlap! I told my mom about both of you and how we're all reading each others PTR's and she thinks it's neat.
Also, thanks so much for writing the step by step of how to change your signature. I just fixed mine up!
__________________
POP Century(Summer 2006,2007,2008,2009,2011)
Caribbean Beach Resort (8/2010)
Port Orleans French Quarter (11/2011)
Port Orleans Riverside (3/2012, 11/2012)
Polynesian Resort (11/2011, 7/2012, 3/2013)
Wilderness Lodge (7/2012)
Art of Animation (3/2013, 11/2013)
Saratoga Springs (7/2013)
Coronado Springs (11/2013, 1/2014)

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Old 07-07-2011, 09:51 PM   #14
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The Train. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by spartankid34 View Post
So when I last left off, my mom and I had for sure chosen our resort for our August trip; POP Century! The next biggest expense for us to save up for was transportation. At first I thought flying, obviously…but as I looked into flights I was shocked to see that the tickets were almost $600 per person! I quickly thought about driving, but threw that idea away when I realized that I would be doing most of the driving, since my mom isn’t the most comfortable driving at night…and that’s when we could make a lot of progress. We waited, and waited to see if flights would drop, and in the meantime, we booked our vacation. 9 nights at POP, with 8 day MYW base tickets, and the regular dining plan! (I’ll post our ADR’s later on in the report!)

It was now May, and we still had no idea how to get down to WDW. I was starting to get nervous that things would sell out, so I hopped onto the DISboards and looked up traveling by train, just for an idea. It sparked an interest, and I looked up prices, and times, and length of trip. I realized that round trip would still be too much for us, but one way train tickets there and a return flight home would be perfect. So since I decided on only a one way train ticket, I looked up our return flight home and saw that it would only be $80 per person…score!! (They were originally $172)

**A little side note here, when I first booked the package through Disney, I never thought that traveling on a Sunday would be so expensive (flight wise), that is why I think tickets down to WDW are still so high**

The finalized plans for our trip:
  • Drive to our local bus station and take a bus into Boston.
  • Catch 1st train to Penn Station, then transfer and ride overnight into Kissimmee (we did not get a sleeper room because that would have added $400 to our train total).
  • From there we’ll probably grab a cab to POP (it’s not a nice comfy bus, but it’ll do).
  • When we leave we’ll take ME to the airport and head home. Oh, that reminds me, I should probably call to set that up since we didn’t know our plans when booking!!
Seems simple, let’s hope so, haha!

**As a little tip for anyone thinking about the train – try to think about it early! I only got our tickets in May for an August trip, the tickets are definitely cheaper the earlier you buy.**

I’m actually really excited to take the train! I hate flying, somehow I still don’t understand how they stay in the air, lol. I’ve been talking to my mom recently about what we’ll bring on the train, and we’re excited to pack our lunch/dinner and relax by playing card games, etc. Sleeping in a coach seat may be a little uncomfortable, and I’m not exactly sure what to expect, but shhhh, don’t tell Mom that…she’s counting on me being the all-knowing this trip! If anyone reading this can provide me with any tips about train travel I would be very grateful!

All in all it was a long process on deciding how we would get there, but the hard part was over…we booked our vacation package through Disney, booked our train tickets there, and booked our flight home! Next up, making my ADR’s!!
Awesome idea about the train. I've never taken that long of a train trip but my father has done it a lot of times. He seems to think that it's no big deal. He made sure he had some food and magazines and he was fine. I bet the biggest thing will be the anticipating of getting there. 9 nights - AWESOME!

Looking forward to hearing more!!
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:26 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Sappermont View Post
Awesome idea about the train. I've never taken that long of a train trip but my father has done it a lot of times. He seems to think that it's no big deal. He made sure he had some food and magazines and he was fine. I bet the biggest thing will be the anticipating of getting there. 9 nights - AWESOME!

Looking forward to hearing more!!
Thanks for joining!! The train will definitely be an experience, why not! haha.
__________________
Upcoming Trips:

Past Trips: College Graduation Trip August 2011!!! [POP Century] August 1997 [AllStar Sports]

1st PTR August 2011 - Hey you're a college graduate, let's celebrate!!

Me Mom
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