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Old 05-18-2012, 10:43 AM   #31
QueenDoOver
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There have been some changes in the plan…no surprise there, right??
Nathan and I are now going to arrive on the 11th, thanks to my achieving the companion pass status on Southwest. Even though we will have to pay $150 to redeposit our reward miles on Alaska Airlines, we will make part of that back because, since we will now arrive before the Hogans we won’t have to pay the $60 guest check in fee to RCI, and we will be able to bring 4 checked bags on the airplane for free. We knew we would likely have to pay to check at least one and maybe two bags on Alaska. So that is another $50, so really it is only costing about $40 to redeposit! I love doing vacation math! Anything to add a few days on…It did seem a shame to have that beautiful Bay Lake Tower room sitting there, that we were paying for and not using I also think it can only help us if we get arrived and start adjusting to the humidity.

Let me just say, as a long time Alaska Airlines fan, I am loving Southwest! Their program is so flexible. With award travel, you can book it, cancel it, rebook it, change it etc as many times as you want with no penalty! Add to that the free bags, and now the ability to bring someone with me for free for the next 1.5 years and I am a huge fan! Oh and did I mention that you can book any seat at any time! As long as you have the points, which are a direct correlation to the airfare being offered, you can book it! I LOVE it!

But I digress…My sister also has had a change of plans. As I may have mentioned, she is a corporate travel agent. She just recently received a new account to manage which is going to have her traveling right before our trip, helping pay for her airfare and allowing her to arrive in Florida earlier, although the first week she will still have to work all day from her hotel room. So, she received a special offer from Disney to stay at the new resort, Art of Animation, and allowing her to add the dining plan! So she booked it for 5 nights, we put 6 of us in the room and bought dining plan for week one for 6 of us. Woo Hoo! And that is how I ended up with the changed itinerary that I have! I have to say that if we did not have the multiple rooms and the ability to book the dining plan without buying tickets and without buying for all 11 of us, there is no way that we would want to spend that much on the dining plan, nor have that much food and dining commitment. Even with what we have, it seems like a lot! But I am looking forward to it, and I love that it is all paid for ahead of time.

OH, and Capri, you had asked what YES class my kids were taking, and it is the same one your guys did. The Energy and Waves one. It really was the only one that fit our schedule at the time. Although, now that we are arriving a bit earlier, it is possible that there is another one that Nathan could do, so I guess I could look into that.

So I am now ready to move into the “what other experiences do I want to have” phase. Any suggestions??? Just pretend like budget is no matter…

Thinking of Wishes cruise. They say maximum of 10 people, but we have 11, so not sure we could pull that off. Is there any flexibility in that?

What else have you done that has been super memorable?

We are also sort of thinking about canceling our cruise! It is just such a long vacation for us that it seems okay to shorten it up, but then I know we would miss those beaches and the snorkeling…
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:10 AM   #32
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My other exciting news is that my sister has booked the last two nights of our trip for us at CBR. I am so excited about that. It looks really pretty!
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:49 PM   #33
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Okay... How do you get a free Companion for 1.5 years on Southwest?!?!

Cool you get to go for a few extra days!!
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:09 PM   #34
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My family of 7 went the last 2 weeks of August last year--about the same time you'll be there. We planned for the heat and humidity (misters, fan/spraybottles, water bottles) and we were fine. I'm an anal planner, so everything, and I mean everything was planned. I would suggest going to TouringPlan.com and look at their calendar. They have the parks they would recommend you go on any particular day and the parks to avoid on any particular day (like never go to Epcot on Fridays because so many people go there for the restaurants on Friday). We used their recommendations and it worked. I also used ridemax.com to plan each day's itiniary in the parks. You can customize your touringplans for what you want to do. For instance, we wanted to go on Space Mountain more than once but didn't care about going on Dumbo (our youngest was 10, and as DL AP's we wanted to experience attractions that were different from DL). We were there for 10 days and the only time we waited for more than 10 minutes for any ride was TSM. That is the hottest ticket in all WDW--strange for a DL veteran. When you go in DHS, there's a mad rush for TSM fastpass. We were told the queue is way cool compared to DL for TSM, so we bipassed the fastpass, which doesn't let you see the queue, and got right in line, while one of my teenagers ran to get Rock-N-Roller coaster FP. We waited 20 minutes, which was fine because we were having so much fun taking pictures of the cute queue. That was the ONLY ride we waited for for more than 10 minutes, and we NEVER felt rushed. My husband and son even took a moment to rock on porch chairs in MK while the rest of us went on BTMR again.

The heat and humidity doesn't seem so bad when you only wait in line for 10 minutes I recommend TouringPlans and Ridemax to everyone going to WDW, who want to have a plan and not waste time--unless you want to waste time by relaxing. That can also be put into your schedule--even picture taking times

Teppan Edo was one of my family's favorites, so it's good you're going there. Don't miss the amazing Napoleons in the French Pastry.

The one thing that was impossible to plan was the weather. Every morning, I would look at the forecast and it had the percent chance of rain at about 2pm be at 40% onto 60% at 4pm. I mean EVERY SINGLE MORNING. On these days with the exact same forecast we experienced clear and sunny days all day to 4 hour downpours all afternoon. Unfortunately most of the days we had set aside for the water parks were the days we had a downpour with lightening starting at about 2 or 3 pm. The pools all have to be cleared if there's any chance of lightening. On the days when it was sunny ALL day (there were only 3) were days we were staying in the Theme parks the whole day. Oh well--best laid plans

Overall it worked out amazingly well and even my DH didn't complain
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:06 PM   #35
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Checking back in to your plans, and saying hi!
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:07 PM   #36
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Lovin the shirt design! Sounds like an AWESOME trip. Wanna plan mine? LOL
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:51 AM   #37
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Hi Everyone! Thanks for dropping by I have actually tried to do a response several times and darn if I could not get things to work. My laptop is having a problem with overheating which causes the darn thing to freeze up. Probably going to have to send it in, which I am not excited about at all!



Anyhoo...
Rose, so glad to hear that with proper preparation, you survived the august heat. I am hoping it will be bearable. But hey, if I am going to be hot and miserable then where else would I do it??

Hi Molly!

Lisa! I would gladly plan your trip, but I know you wouldn't really want me too

Don't you just love Southwest!

So latest news is that we are definetly cancelling the cruise. Oldest has decided to do showband again, and he will miss camp but if we go back on the 27th, he will still have a week before school starts to attend the last week of band meetings, learn his music and his steps. Good news is that now not only are Nathan and I arriving on the 11th, but Bill and Andrew will too!

Geesh, does that mean I need to rethink my ADR's and my park days??? We will still have our last two days at CBR, and I am thinking those would be great days to just relax and not go to any parks, so we may use our last day to make our first day sooner. Geesh, I never thought 8 days wouldn't seem like enough! And I am sure it will be plenty once we are there.

Though I am super excited about this trip, I have to say I am sad about DLR and missing the familiarity and wanting to see carsland and DCA.


OH, and I am using Touringplans. Haven't messed with it a ton yet though. I have used Ridemax in the past, but found I really didn't need it once I got the lay of the land.

A couple of other things I am excited for the kids to experience are the Agent P thing at Epcot. I think that will be a fun adventure. And then both my boys are excited to check out the new thing at Magic Kingdom.


Note to self: Read the Kingdom Keeper books. I bought them for my son a few years ago and he read them all, and thought they were ok. I tried the first one, but sort of lost interest and put it down. Hm....my youngest my be ready to read those too. He is heavy into reading Harry Potter right now, but it would be great to get him to switch it up!
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:24 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smile4stamps View Post
Okay... How do you get a free Companion for 1.5 years on Southwest?!?!

Cool you get to go for a few extra days!!
Ok, here's what I did:

Apply for credit card when it had 50,000 point bonus. Immedietly also apply for the business card also with 50,000 point bonus. I was denied on the second one, which is typical. I called the reconsideration line and explained why I wanted a business account (I am a Realtor and wanted to track my business expenses seperately. Husband called for himself and said he traveled on business and wanted to track expenses seperately. They don't really care, if the credit history is there, and the income to support the credit) In my case, I have been out of work for a year and half, so they used my projected income based on my 15 year history in field, and then the did not grant me new credit, rather they adjusted my current chase credit lines, which was fine with me.

That gave me 100K points and I needed 110K for the companion pass. So I saw a Marriott Credit Card bonus for 70,0000 bonus points, and I knew that Marriott points converted to Southwest. I applied, called the reconsideration line again, was approved again. 45 days later had my Marriott points, 5 days later had the additional 10K points in my Southwest account, and had qualified for the companion pass. It did cost me $160 in annual fees, which I happily paid!

My pass came in just in time to rebook my trip to Vegas. Both of us went roundtrip for 20k miles. It had been only 14,000, but the smoke was bothering me a lot and so we rebooked our airfare last minute to come home early.

I can't tell you how excited I am about the next year and 1/2!
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:58 AM   #39
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Tracey, I found your PTR.
2 weeks in Disney, so jealous!

So great about where you're staying, too.
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:44 AM   #40
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Welcome Cristabel! I'm terribly excited! My planning feels way out of control though...
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:47 AM   #41
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Quote:
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Welcome Cristabel! I'm terribly excited! My planning feels way out of control though...
Mine too and I am just planning for 2 people!!
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:11 PM   #42
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Hello! How is the planning going?

I see that you cancelled the cruise. And while reading about how you got the companion pass, I learned that you're a realtor. I did not know that!

How is your summer going?
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Old 07-21-2012, 01:22 PM   #43
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Hi Molly!
Geesh I am sure bad about checking in Summer has been crazy busy! I am truly back to work and the real estate business is just nutty right now. Tons of great buying opportunities if you were to ever decided that you wanted to jump into the home ownership business. (just sayin...)

I actually just found the most marvelous home for Scott and Carrie and family. Timing was perfect since they were able to make it happen financially, but timing was not perfect in that the transaction will close while Carrie is still out of town and just a few days after Scott and the rest of us get back from Disneyworld. So in addition to planning and packing for our trip, we are also packing up Carrie and Scott's house!


So we are at 20 days to departure day! I can't believe how fast it has gone by!

I think we are all set, with just the right amount of ADR's planned. I have not booked any of those many $300 extras that I have been tempted to do. No firework cruises, no cabanas, etc. But I sort of think with where we are staying that everything is going to be plenty special anyhow. The big boys may do surf lessons, but that is up in the air and not reserved so may or may not be possible. I looked at pirate league and it seems to young for our 8 and 9 year old. Has anyone done that? Also the idea of makeup in that hot weather seems unbearable!

I do have multiple rental car opportunities booked. I am struggling though because I really want to pay about $100 and have the car just for the 2nd week and pickit up at the car center. I can't really find that deal.
So not sure if we will do a rental or throw ourselves into the disney transportation system.
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:43 AM   #44
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A couple of bits of news. The YES program opened up new classes, and thanks to the dis I saw that they had added the Captivating Images class. So I called Dave, the CM that answers the YES phone and he managed to add that class for my 16 year old and I get to be his chaperone. It was $28 fo add his second class, and since I am not going to his first class as a chaperone, he didn't charge me for this one at all. I mean seriously, how cool is that!


Secondly, after two weeks of shooting pains in my foot, I finally took myself into the doctor where I was diagnosed with a stress fracture. I am now the proud owner of a knee length walking boot. I have to admit, after 4 days my foot feels so much better! I go back to the doctor on Aug 10th for another xray and evaluation. I am praying that I won't have to wear this thing while at the world! But seriously, I have to admit, maybe someone is sending me a message. I do tend to go hard while on vacation, and that wears me and my family out. So maybe this is a bit of a message, if you know what I mean? Anyhow, I am sure that I won't be up to my usual pace no matter what....
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:25 PM   #45
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We're doing Pirates League at DLR this Fall. Works into being a pirate for a Halloween party. Makes things easy. Robert and Eamon will be doing it. I would too, but they don't have the mermaid at the (new) DLR Pirates League, and that's what I would have wanted to do.

For the best; I would have sweat off that makeup in 15 minutes.


Yay for YES programs.

Boo for stress fractures! In case you haven't done so already, check out the DISabilities forum and get a few phone numbers for wheelchair/scooter rental sites. If you find yourself tiring too much, it would be cheaper to rent from them than from WDW!


I hope you have a terrific flight and an amazing trip!

Oh, and congrats on the house sales! Very exciting.
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