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Old 06-03-2012, 07:29 PM   #1
Halloween Baby
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August 2012 PTR - It's finally here!! (Updated 8/14/12)!

So Iíve decided to dive into the PTR pool and join the party! Iím very late to this game and this is my first PTR, so Iíll be updating everything Iíve already planned and then start going forward with regular updates. Iím VERY excited about our trip and hopefully this will help me find a release!! I think I'm driving my boyfriend crazy with all of the planning!

We havenít been to Disney since December 2009 and a lot of things have changed since then! We got back from the World and just after Christmas we had a wonderful surprise Ė I was pregnant!!! While this was the best of news (EVER!), it put a damper on our next trip Ė my 30th birthday celebration in WDW/IOA. I am a huge Harry Potter fan, so we had planned to go for my birthday that October (Halloween) with my mom and my sister. As the little one was due at the beginning of October, we put the trip on hold.

Aidan was born beautiful and healthy on October 3rd, 2010 and we quickly adjusted to life with a baby. My boyfriend and I had been together for over three years at that point and my stepson, Ashton, was 7 at the time. I was totally used to having a kid around but not a baby. Iím ashamed to admit that before Aidan Iíd never even changed a diaper!! Chris was wonderful about it and helped me out tremendously. He was right there with me for the nightly feedings and changings. I have a wonderful boyfriend.

Of course, I soon began talking about planning our postponed trip. We thought we could afford it in a year, so I tentatively thought we might go August 2011. As Ashton grew older, Chris was less inclined to take him out of school (darn that Chris!), so I thought the last week of August would be perfect. We started saving up again, but soon realized that we were outgrowing our house. We lived in a duplex that I had been in since before Chris and I were together. When I moved in, it was just me and my two dogs (Indie,a lab/pit mix, and Slyder, a beagle/pit mix Ė I LOVE my dogs!). At this point, there was me, Chris, Ashton, Aidan, our three dogs (we adopted Izza, a German shepherd mix in spring of 2009), and a 130 gallon tank with three aquatic turtles (Dobby, Winky, and Kreacher!). All in a 1250 square foot home!

So last year at this time we started househunting and found our dream home! We closed and moved in last July and that wiped out our savings yet again! The house is a 4 bedroom (room for one more!), 2 Ĺ bath in Little Elm, Texas, a small community outside of Dallas. Right now, our subdivision is in the middle of farmland, but civilization is slowly creeping its way towards us! Weíre only about 10 minutes from that rumored location where Disney supposedly bought land and was supposedly going to build another theme park. Oh how I wish that would happen! It would be so awesome to go to a Disney park any day I felt like it!!

AnywhoÖ we adjusted to life with a mortgage and Ashton got used to his new school. At work, we were so busy that they started offering overtime. With our increased cost of living, I was glad to have the opportunity so we could start saving again! Christmas came and went, and I still a little stocked away so I tentatively approached the subject with Chris in February. He is Mr. Responsible, so he had planned to use our tax-return towards stuff for the house (do we really need a new washer and dryer when mine from 10 years ago are still working fine!). I, on the other hand, had Disney on my mind. I convinced him that he didnít have to do ANYTHING for Valentineís Day if he allowed me to plan a trip. He happily agreed to the deal (SUCKER!) and off I went!!

Up next, our Cast of Characters!!
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Last edited by Halloween Baby; 08-14-2012 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:35 PM   #2
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Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Cast of Characters

Purchases

Surprise Revealed!

ADRs

Payments and More Purchases

Day 1 - DS

Day 2 - MK

Day 3 - AK

Day 4 - DS

Day 5 - EP

Day 6 - IOA

A MAJOR Change!

T-Shirts Part 1

Even More Changes!!

Day 7 - US

T-Shirts Part 2

T-Shirts Part 3

Day 8 - EP

Last Minute Purchases

T-Shirts Part 4

Day 9 - MK

Days 10-11 - ????

Counter Service Choices
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Last edited by Halloween Baby; 08-04-2012 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:10 PM   #3
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I'm joining in It sounds like you had a busy few years, it sounds like you're ready and very deserving of a special Disney trip! Looking forward to reading more!
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:30 PM   #4
Halloween Baby
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Cast of Characters!

First up: A little more about who we are!!

Here’s a picture of our family:



On this night, I had met the boys at Cheesecake Factory for dinner, so I was still dressed up from work and they were in their comfy clothes!! This was a couple of months ago… right around the time that I started planning the trip.

Chris and I actually met at the Cheesecake Factory. I used to work there and he still does! He says the first day he met me, he knew I was the one… Me? I had no clue! I was living with another guy at that point in my life and obviously wasn’t looking anything other than a friendship out of him. About a year and a half after I started working there, I broke up with the other guy (he was a bad egg!) and Chris was there to help me move past that awful relationship! He told me that he was interested in more but could wait until I was ready, if I ever wanted anything more… I made him wait seven long months until we became a couple. Now, five years later, we’re going strong!! Technically, we’re still boyfriend and girlfriend as we’ve never tied the knot, but we refer to each other as more than that. The way I see it is we have children and a mortgage and that’s just as big of a commitment as a marriage! We’ll get there one day… we just keep finding more important things to spend our money on – like Disney!! I did hint, however, that I’d be more than happy to have a proposal in the World, but I sincerely doubt he has the money put away at this point for a ring…

Anyways, here’s a bit more about each of us:



Maureen (31): I am a Disney addict!! I love anything to do with Disney! I am also a type A personality that thrives off of planning and organizing. I found the boards a couple of months before our second family trip and couldn’t have been more excited! I knew there were people like me out there since I had read the Unofficial Guide for the first trip and I was a member of touringplans.com, but I didn’t know there was a community where we could talk about our obsession!! I work in the Medicare fraud field and am currently in graduate school for criminal justice. Working full time and going to school full time keeps me super busy, but I always seem to squeeze in time to keep up with the boards!



Chris (31): Chris is the most loving and caring person I have ever met. He’s also a wonderful dad! When we met, he had his son, Ashton, almost fulltime and thrived on being a dad. Since then, Ashton’s mom has almost disappeared from the picture… both a good thing and a bad thing. Chris was more than willing to take on being a single dad and made sure that I realized they were a package deal when we first started dating. He still works at the Cheesecake factory as a bartender. This allows us to keep the little guy at home in the daytime with him and at night with me. We only get two nights a week together and Saturday during the day to spend time as a family but it’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make to save on the daycare costs! Eventually, he’d like to get into the electrician/home repair business.



Ashton (8): Ashton is the sweetest boy I’ve ever met. When Chris and I started dating, he was only 3 years old, so he doesn’t remember life without me. We’re very close and I love him so much! I am so glad to have him as my stepson and appreciate him every day. He is the best big brother ever! He loves having a sibling and Aidan just adores him. Aidan calls him “Baba” and loves to cuddle with him! Ashton is a perfect example that who you are isn’t based off of genetics. If I didn’t know better, I would think he was my son by birth! He is also an uber-organizer and LOVES Disney. He doesn’t know about our trip and we’re trying very hard to keep it that way until the day we leave. In fact, he thinks I’m working on homework right now!! We’ve had a couple of slips and he’s very bright, so I’m wondering if he has a clue… I wouldn’t be surprised if he does and he’s just not saying anything! He loves Star Wars, Spongebob, and playing video games (like any 8 year old!).



Aidan (1): Aidan’s actually closer to two now, but who’s counting! He’s my little cuddle bug. He is so sweet and caring and such a good boy. He learns more and more every day. This is such a fun age! Aidan is OBSESSED with Mickey (or Dickey as he says!). If he hears the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song or Mickey’s voice, the world comes to a stop! I can’t wait to see how he reacts to the characters in the park. I’ve read that little ones can go either way, but he’s so laid back that I’m really hoping that he takes to them. We’re going to do a few character meals, so hopefully he can adjust to them okay. I can’t wait for him to see Disney… Every time I’m on the boards, he loves looking at everyone’s tickers and pointing out Dickey!!

Here are the dogs, just for fun!!

Indie:


Slyder:


Izza:




And that's our family!!
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Last edited by Halloween Baby; 06-23-2012 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:31 PM   #5
Halloween Baby
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I'm joining in It sounds like you had a busy few years, it sounds like you're ready and very deserving of a special Disney trip! Looking forward to reading more!
Yes, we are soooo excited! As I'm sure you guys are too!! I subbed to yours too! Less than 2 1/2 months to go!

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Old 06-03-2012, 11:09 PM   #6
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Less than 2 1/2 months to go!


What a cute family! Can't wait to see what you have planned!
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:55 PM   #7
Halloween Baby
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Just for Fun!

Thought I'd post a couple pics from our last trip!!







What a magical time we had! I can't wait until August!!
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Last edited by Halloween Baby; 06-23-2012 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:55 AM   #8
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Can't wait to hear more. You have a lovely family. We are also going in August so I look froward to your pre-planning.
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Old 06-04-2012, 02:19 PM   #9
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What a cute family! Can't wait to see what you have planned!
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Originally Posted by MSierra123 View Post
Can't wait to hear more. You have a lovely family. We are also going in August so I look froward to your pre-planning.
Thanks!! I'm excited about all of the August trips! We're going to have the best time!
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Last edited by Halloween Baby; 06-23-2012 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 06-04-2012, 02:31 PM   #10
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Purchases

So I've really been getting the Disney fever lately and I've been stocking up on stuff for the trip. I decided to get each of the boys a rolling backpack. We were in Kohl's one day and they had the best time pulling them around. Aidan was so funny because he was playing with the princess one!! I bought these yesterday on Amazon and can't wait for them to arrive:





Aidan's is a toddler-sized bag so I'm hoping he's big enough to pick it up or pull it. I'm sure we'll actually be doing the carrying part but I'd like for him to enjoy having his own bag! Ashton's is bigger... he may even be able to use it for school next year. I've been picking up little items at the dollar store or the dollar bins at Target to put in the bags: glow sticks, crayons and coloring books, silly bands, notebooks, pens... anything Disney that can be used on the plane or during the trip!

I also bought these items:



This cooler's just big enough to fit in the bottom of our stroller comfortably and still be easy to carry when we need to!



I bought two of these... one to blow on Aidan in the stroller and one to blow on whoever's pushing the stroller. I also bought two of those spray fans for the boys!



We've never had one of these, but I've read here on the boards that they are priceless when it comes to keeping track of sippy cups!

And last but most exciting I bought:



I've always wanted a laminator and I thought it was the perfect excuse! Now I can use all the wonderful DISigns for luggage tags, stroller tags, and more!! Totally excited to start playing with this!


Anyone have any other good tips for items to bring/buy? We've been in July so I know the heat can be horrible. I'm mostly worried about the baby since he won't know to tell us when he's thirsty or overheating... I've looked at some other cooling items but would love recommendations!
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Last edited by Halloween Baby; 06-23-2012 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:19 PM   #11
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Can't wait to hear more. You have a lovely family. We are also going in August so I look froward to your pre-planning.
When are you going? And a fellow New Jerseyan
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:35 PM   #12
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And last but most exciting I bought:



I've always wanted a laminator and I thought it was the perfect excuse! Now I can use all the wonderful DISigns for luggage tags, stroller tags, and more!! Totally excited to start playing with this!


Anyone have any other good tips for items to bring/buy? We've been in July so I know the heat can be horrible. I'm mostly worried about the baby since he won't know to tell us when he's thirsty or overheating... I've looked at some other cooling items but would love recommendations!
You will love your laminator! I finally broke down and got one after going back and forth to the teaching store to get my laminating done and it's perfect for small things that I need laminated for my classroom. But it's really been great to have to laminate all of my need-to-have items for this trip! Good purchase!

I just got my cooling bandanas in the mail, they are called Chill-Its bandanas. They aren't so big, like the Cool Downz with the gels inside, and you can wear them around your wrist, head, or neck. I also got my mister/fans with them. They are pictured on my PTR. I hope they do the trick when we're down there!
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:37 PM   #13
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Maureen,
You have an adorable family, including your dogs I just love the names you picked out for your turtles. I'm a HP fan too.
We'll be staying at the All Star Music from 8/20 to 8/31. Maybe we'll see you there
Looking forward to reading more of your PTR !
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:06 AM   #14
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You will love your laminator! I finally broke down and got one after going back and forth to the teaching store to get my laminating done and it's perfect for small things that I need laminated for my classroom. But it's really been great to have to laminate all of my need-to-have items for this trip! Good purchase!

I just got my cooling bandanas in the mail, they are called Chill-Its bandanas. They aren't so big, like the Cool Downz with the gels inside, and you can wear them around your wrist, head, or neck. I also got my mister/fans with them. They are pictured on my PTR. I hope they do the trick when we're down there!
I've already printed out our luggage tags and their just waiting to be laminated! I'm totally excited about having one!

I was wondering about those bandanas... I saw them on Amazon and thought about getting them. I too have wipes to carry around but it'd be nice to have something to wet and hang around your neck when it's really hot! I'm sure I'll do another order before Disney and maybe I'll end up getting some!


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Maureen,
You have an adorable family, including your dogs I just love the names you picked out for your turtles. I'm a HP fan too.
We'll be staying at the All Star Music from 8/20 to 8/31. Maybe we'll see you there
Looking forward to reading more of your PTR !
Thanks! I just love Dobby so when we got our first turtle I knew I wanted to name him that... then when we got the second and third it just made sense. It's too funny because Dobby's the sweet one, Winky's kinda spacy and Kreacher is mean and tries to bite everyone! They totally fit their names... the only thing is that our Kreacher's a girl!!

I bet we will see each other! I'm making t-shirts for our trip so I'll post them later and you'll be able to keep your eye out for them!
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Last edited by Halloween Baby; 06-23-2012 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:59 PM   #15
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When are you going? And a fellow New Jerseyan
Hello in NJ We are going from August 26 to Septemeber 1st and will be staying at CBR. This is our first trip so I am doing as much reading as possible since I have no clue what to expect.

I just need to figure out how to get there. I can't believe how much flights are to Fl.
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