Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Trip Planning Forums > Disney Trip Reports > Pre-Trip Reports and Plans
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 01-22-2013, 03:48 AM   #1
indimom
Are We There Yet?
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 4,645

They were more like guidelines, anyway...

A Rule-Breaking PTR.

On our first two trips to the World, we followed all the rules. We stayed in an on-site hotel, had the dining plan, tried signature and character restaurants, arrived at park opening, took breaks, used park hoppers, and followed a well-researched touring plan. We discovered that there are good points and bad points to such a well-planned attack on Disney.

If all goes well, in a mere 25 weeks we will be back in our happy place. This was not the way things were supposed to go. We were supposed to be trying new things, traveling to new locations, and exploring new horizons. But, life intervened. Weve hit some hurdles, and things havent turned out quite the way we planned. All of these changes are what led us back around to another Disney trip, but Ill explain more on that later&and what is causing us to break all our hard and fast Orlando rules on this trip.

So&. Lets start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

Introductions.
Me: Hmmm, what to say about me&


I'm Susan.I just turned 40. Yeah, that sucked. And I didnt even get to celebrate in Disney World. Phooey.
I did get to spend a three-day weekend with my sisters. We shopped, we talked, we ate, we laughed, and we had a wonderful time.

I quit my job of 16 years in May of 2012 and went back to school to get my Bachelors in Nursing to become an RN. In order to make this change work for our family, I found a night job in a group home for physically and developmentally disabled adults. I love the work and it is fabulous for my schooling. In a typical 8.5 hour shift over night, I really only have 4.5 hours of work. If that. The remaining four hours I devote to my studies. Its quiet, there are few interruptions, and this gives me a lot more free time with my family than I thought I would have when I started this process.

Up next, is my DH, of seventeen years&Matt.



DH is allso 40. Press operator in a factory that supplies automotive and appliance parts. Hes been there 16 years.
Outside work, DH enjoys local sports, wood working, and is the family taxi driver, managing most of the kids activities and appointments. Hes a keeper.

On a camping trip in Brown County last fall.

Next up is:
Our oldest, and only daughter, Emily. I am very bad about using nicknames for my family so you may also see her referred to as Rose, Rosie, Blonde, Brat, or Girl (yeah, those last two give our extended family fits, but they really are terms of affection. Lol.)



She is a freshman in high school and our academic. She loves school and strives for good grades. She isnt as outgoing as her brother and has to be encouraged in the more social aspects of school, but were working on it. She has a fun sense of humor. (Her fave t-shirt reads Angry Nerds ha ha. A perfect description of my girl and her sense of humor.) She is very typical of her age, loves Twilight and Hunger Games, but she is also a Zombie geek and is currently planning a 16th birthday blowout with a Zombie Apocolypse theme. (Yes, my little lady wants a gorgeous, white, three-tiered wedding-type cake&. with a raspberry-syrup leaking brain on top. FAINT! The grandmothers are both suitably horrified.) Dont ask me where Im going to find a baker to make this monstrosity?? Its going to be a very interesting summer. Lol.

Our youngest, and only son, Garren: (Pronounced like Darren, but with a hard G.) Also known as G, Runt, or Boy (again, its an affectionate term, you just have to know our personality. Lol). Some members of our family call him G-Dog or G-Money, but I refuse to use a drug-dealing name for my precious baby. I may have to disown a few people.

He is in Seventh Grade and is our athlete. He is the opposite of his sister in every way imaginable. He is perfectly happy to just get by in school and only puts in enough effort to keep his As and Bs. We have to push him to apply himself academically. Okay, we actually had to threaten his precious football and wrestling to get the effort we wanted to see.



The kids are very much typical siblings. They have a love-hate relationship. Just last night, I was outside saying goodbye to my father-in-law. I walked back into the house when they were not expecting it and witnessed my daughter breathing on her bother. Literally. She was just leaning into his face, with her head turned up, breathing heavily so that she could blow air in his face.
I walk into the room and DS says to me See! I told you. Whenever you leave the room she turns to the dark side& (Apparently, I never believed him.) (Like Im not well aware he does the same type of thing to her at any opportune moment.) They are rotten, but I gotta love em.

Last edited by indimom; 01-22-2013 at 09:35 AM.
indimom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 06:43 AM   #2
lsenquiz
DIS Veteran
 
lsenquiz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Canton, Ga
Posts: 2,701

I'm in. My mom worked in a developmentally disabled adult group home when I was in my teens(many, many, many moons ago). She absolutely loved the work and we got to spend alot of time there also. It really gives you a great perspective.
lsenquiz is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 01-22-2013, 08:43 AM   #3
indimom
Are We There Yet?
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 4,645

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsenquiz View Post
I'm in. My mom worked in a developmentally disabled adult group home when I was in my teens(many, many, many moons ago). She absolutely loved the work and we got to spend alot of time there also. It really gives you a great perspective.
I do enjoy it. We have four women in the house and they are all fun to work with.

Thanks for popping in, Isenquiz. This is my first PTR, so I may not be the most interesting, but I will try my best to not be boring. I noticed your tickers and link. Looks like you have a lot of fun coming up this year!
indimom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 09:48 AM   #4
indimom
Are We There Yet?
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 4,645

And, now a little backstory..


This trip has come about sort of gradually and will be quite different from our past Orlando trips.
Ill give you a little background, just to explain. Hopefully I wont get too long winded.

Our trip to Disney World was a once in a lifetime trip June, 2005.

We it.
We flew, used ME, stayed at Pop Century for 10 days, had 8 day park hoppers, and the Dining Plan. We never stepped foot outside the Disney Bubble.
Our favorite parks were MK and Epcot.
It was and amazing and relaxing and exciting. The kids loved the characters. We all loved the rides. DH loved the food and the buses. I loved the rides and having everything paid for before we left home.

So, many things made this the most amazing vacation we had ever taken. My husband was sooo impressed with how well organized the trip was, how quiet Extra Magic Hours in the AM were, and we vowed we would take another trip someday following all the same rules.



Then, came Christmas 2008 and our first trip to Universal Orlando, with a small side of Disney. We didnt think it made financial sense to pay for park tickets to both parks, so we did a couple character meals at the Disney resorts, enjoyed an evening traveling around the monorail resorts and watching the fireworks from the Contemporary, and a day at Downtown Disney. We also saw the ICE exhibit during this trip.


We fell in love with those parks also. The thrill rides were excellent. The theming at IOA was superb. Mythos and the Grinch Breakfast were tasty and entertaining. And the Christmas events were fun. We stayed four nights at the Doubletree Hotel at the entrance to UO, then invested in two nights at RPR on Christmas Day and the 26th so we could enjoy the Express Passes. The weather was perfect, 80 and higher, during the day. The kids even got to enjoy the RPR pool.
PHOTO

We took DN on that trip with us. We rode everything numerous times thanks to the EP and were thrilled with the perk. We vowed to do UO again, but only if we could stay on site. DS missed out on a few bigger rides because he was too short and kept saying Ill be back& with Terminator intensity& We became official Orlando junkies at that point.



Our last trip to Florida was June, 2010, when we went to Disney again. We considered doing Disney and Universal, but decided that a split trip was a waste of money. You get better value from multi-day passes in one place. Since we had been to Universal more recently, Disney it was. We did all the parks numerous times, and visited the water parks for the first time. We thought they were fabulous and very relaxing after crazy park days.


It was another fabulous trip, but the whole time we were there, DH was asking "Where's the dragon coaster with the blue and red train?" "Which park has the green coaster that shoots you off at the beginning?"
Universal, or course. Sigh... apparently we should have planned that split trip after all.

I decided then and there to plan a UO trip for DH. But, within a month of our return from that Disney trip, our budget took a big hit with some unexpected medical issues that took two years to clear up. Then, I decided it was time to go back to school, nailing our budget yet again.
Time was passing and it was starting to look like Orlando would be out. The kids were getting older and if we did take a trip, we probably should do something different, right? Maybe a camping trip to the Grand Canyon or Great Smokey Mts&

Last edited by indimom; 01-23-2013 at 01:25 PM.
indimom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 09:54 AM   #5
wiigirl
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 15,974

I am in!
__________________
For the love of Disney...
wiigirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 11:04 AM   #6
kittylady1972
Disneyholic
 
kittylady1972's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,531

Great start! I had to LOL about your DH asking about the coasters. My DH and my kids would be the same way as they are all amusement park thrill ride JUNKIES (I am as well) but they still (thankfully) enjoy our Disney trips. However most of the time, for them, it is just all about the RIDES! We did universal in June of 2011 for the first time with the kids and have to wait until they are a bit taller before we return because I know they will want to do it all!
__________________
THE FUTURE: Nov. '14: Thanksgiving with Mickey * Oct. '15 FANTASY Cruise

The past:*Sep '14: SOG*Jan'14: DCL MAGIC*Sep/Oct'13 DCL WONDER*Aug'13:DLR*Jan'13: POP/SSR*Nov'12:VWL/DCL DREAM/THV*Jun'12:SWAN * Mar '12:BDWLK * Jun'11:BLT * Dec'09:SSR * May'09:BC&AKV *Oct'08:BCVDINING REPORT*Jun'08:POP* Nov'07:OKW&SSR*Oct'06:AKL*Jan '06:CR*Feb'04:BDWLK *Oct'03:POLY*Sep'01:CR*Oct'99:POR*Feb'97:ASM
kittylady1972 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2013, 03:40 AM   #7
indimom
Are We There Yet?
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 4,645

So nice to "see" you here! I'm getting so excited about this trip and can't wait to get everyone's input on the final plan....which will be coming up shortly.

Yeah, kittylady, for DH is it all about the rides...AND the food. lol. This trip should fulfill all those requirements nicely so I hope he enjoys it. I'm the planning guru in our house, and I love it when a plan comes together and everyone has a great time.
indimom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2013, 04:09 AM   #8
indimom
Are We There Yet?
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 4,645

How this trip happened.....

During the last 2.5 years, I used my Disney Visa for all our monthly bills, medical bills, groceries, anything and everything I could… and have earned quite a few rewards. I was planning to take a sisters trip to Disney for my 40th birthday in December (I have three sisters and we like to do something for each major birthday). It seemed like an ideal way to pay for it without burdening my family budget.

But then I started a new job and school and didn’t have any vacation time accrued for a trip on my Birthday.

Anyway, I had amassed about $800 in rewards and once my birthday passed, I started to wonder what I would ever use them for. DH and I are both aching for some sort of vacation this summer (since we haven‘t had one in a couple years), and I started researching camping trips. We love to camp. We like sleeping in a tent. We like cooking over the fire. We enjoy hiking and fishing. On top of that, campgrounds are cheap.

The only problem. We also like to “do things” when we camp. Visit a local theme park, zoo or aquarium, go putt-putt golfing, or zip-lining, or canoeing. But all of those things can add up. Day passes are NOT cheap. When I started pricing out camping trips to some of these locations, and adding in activitites, it started to look pretty expensive. Too expensive. Leaving us with the option of a "boring" camping trip.... or something else.

At some point this winter, I mentioned to DH that I had enough rewards for a super cheap, slightly shorter, trip to Disney. Nothing like our prior trips. It wouldn’t be long, four park days max, and we wouldn’t be able to do the dining like we had on prior trips. We may even have to stay off-site. But it would be much more fun than just camping. (I can paint a pretty picture when i want to. lol.) He was instantly game. Told you he was a keeper.

I started pricing it out and realized that my rewards would cover a bit more than I thought. In fact, it would cover a camping trip at Ft. Wilderness and two-day passes with WP&M. We would only have to pay for food and gas from our budget. NOT BAD. I was starting to get excited about how cheap we could pull this off. I'm all about a deal. lol.

Then, DH mentioned his own stash (he always has a stash… ha ha) and suggested adding a couple days at Universal. (Remember, he really missed that place on our last Disney trip...)

I was excited by the idea, but also worried. I wasn’t sure we would enjoy Universal in July if we had to stay off-site. It would be crowded. And hot. And they don’t have a free FP system like Disney. What to do?

Then, an awesome thing happened.
I got a rewards offer in the mail from American Express. Once you use the card for $500 in purchases (pretty easy for us since we use CC for all our bills), you earn rewards worth $400 for any hotel, flight or rental car.

SIGN ME UP!

I got cards for both DH and I. With the $800 rewards, we can afford to spend two nights at RPR for FREE!

I purchased three-day park-to-park tickets and our plans are now set.

We’re doing a split trip. Something we swore we would never do.

We’ll be eating on the cheap.

We’ll be sleeping in a tent. In Orlando. In JULY.

We won’t have park hoppers and we may drive to the parks instead of using Disney transportation.

We’re breaking all of our cardinal rules... But, I could care less about all those Orlando vacation “rules” right now. There were more like guidelines anyway. DH and I are soooo excited! And we just can’t wait!!!

I know tent camping in Orlando in July sounds crazy, EEK! But I also think it sounds fun and super relaxing. We should be able to manage the heat in the tent. It’s well-ventilated and we’ll have a couple fans. It’s just a matter of fitting everything in for the drive to Orlando. We’ve used our car for camping trips before and it’s a tight squeeze fitting all that gear and a growing family too. Top that off with a 16 hour drive. we’re now considering the purchase of a car carrier to make it a little easier and more comfortable, so we’ll see…. We’ve got plenty of time to work on that little issue.


Sooooo, this is the final picture of our trip:

Five nights at Ft. Wilderness with Two-day base tickets with the Water Parks and More add-on. We plan to visit Epcot, DHS, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.

We love MK and AK, but when considering our wants for this trip: Epcot and DHS suit us more and we just couldn’t pass up water park days. They were a highlight of our last vacation, and I think they will make a camping trip a bit more comfortable/manageable. We won‘t be sweltering for every minute of our entire stay.

We’ll miss visiting the other two parks, especially AK, but I think it’s the right decision this time. We are looking forward to our down day at Ft. Wilderness and taking a much slower paced trip to Disney than we have ever experienced. It’s going to be very different not hopping from park-to-park and running to resorts for sit-down meals, but it will also be nice to take it at a more leisurely pace.

We are then booked for two nights, three days at RPR in Universal Orlando, with three day park-to-park passes.

I think this is just enough time for us to really enjoy everything these parks have to offer. This is going to be such a nice pampered ending to what may be a hot and sweaty Disney camping trip. We may even find enough time to fit in some pool hopping to the other on-site hotels. It’s going to feel like a real Rags to Riches type of vacation. I’m really looking forward to both portions of this trip for very different reasons.


So, what do ya think????

Last edited by indimom; 01-23-2013 at 04:38 AM.
indimom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2013, 08:35 AM   #9
lsenquiz
DIS Veteran
 
lsenquiz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Canton, Ga
Posts: 2,701

My cousin tent camped at Fort Wilderness for two week in July(July 4th week and the week after) every year for her entire childhood. She has such amazing memories of that time.

She mentioned them to my DS8 and he is begging to be able to tent camp at Disney for our September trip. Since that is a park/cruise/park trip with just three park days at the end we are actually considering it and I have never tent camped in my life!

Also if we had to choose just 2 of the 4 parks our choices would be DHS and EPCOT also.
lsenquiz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2013, 01:22 PM   #10
indimom
Are We There Yet?
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 4,645

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsenquiz View Post
My cousin tent camped at Fort Wilderness for two week in July(July 4th week and the week after) every year for her entire childhood. She has such amazing memories of that time.

She mentioned them to my DS8 and he is begging to be able to tent camp at Disney for our September trip. Since that is a park/cruise/park trip with just three park days at the end we are actually considering it and I have never tent camped in my life!

Also if we had to choose just 2 of the 4 parks our choices would be DHS and EPCOT also.
That is wonderful to hear that your cousin has tried and enjoyed summer camping at Disney. Most people look like this when I mention tent camping in late July.

Tent camping is not bad at all. Ummm, let me rephrase that. At this point in my life, tent camping WITH an air mattress is not bad at all. I definately cannot sleep on the ground anymore.

I suggested getting twin sized air mattresses for the kids this year and they looked at me like I had two heads.
I guess I've forgotten what it is like to be young. They could sleep on pile of rocks.

Epcot will always be our absolute favorite. Even on our first trip, when the kids were 5 and 7, we all agreed it won, hands down. The countries make up for the concrete. The space is a huge plus, we never feeling like we are falling all over other vacationers. And, of course, the rides! Just an awesome place!

DHS is somewhat tied with AK for our family. (I actually prefer AK, I like the atmosphere better. Tree lined paths, the animals. It just feels more relaxing to me than the concrete jungle at DHS. But, since AK has shorter days and fewer rides; and DHS has a couple "new" additions since our last trip, we're going to go there.

I could still thoroughly enjoy MK, but my kids are at an age where it all (except the three mountains) seems corny/babyish.
And DH simply cannot tolerate the crowd level at the MK. It drives him nuts when we can't get through Main Street without weaving around people. The other parks never seem that tight. (Someday, maybe post retirement, we're going to have to visit during the slowest day of the year so that I he can see what I see there. )

One thing I AM NOT missing on this trip is Illuminations. We were there for TWO WEEKS in 2010 and I never made a show. Grrr. Mom is going to get her way this time.
indimom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2013, 01:26 PM   #11
indimom
Are We There Yet?
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 4,645

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiigirl View Post
I am in!
indimom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2013, 01:30 PM   #12
indimom
Are We There Yet?
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 4,645

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsenquiz View Post
I'm in. My mom worked in a developmentally disabled adult group home when I was in my teens(many, many, many moons ago). She absolutely loved the work and we got to spend alot of time there also. It really gives you a great perspective.
And to you too.


I never did welcome you properly. I'm a terrible host.

And for anyone else who shows up....


The are on me.

is also welcome. I have no pride.
indimom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2013, 02:58 PM   #13
LadyBeBop
DIS Veteran
 
LadyBeBop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Northern Kentucky, right outside Cincinnati
Posts: 1,530

Quote:
Originally Posted by indimom View Post
And for anyone else who shows up....


The are on me.
Good. I'm thirsty.

Quote:
is also welcome. I have no pride.
And hungry.


Don't know whereabouts in Indiana you are. I'm in Northern Kentucky, near Cincinnati...and three Indiana riverboat casinos. Don't gamble too often, but I do get into Indiana every once in a while.

Regarding tent camping in July...never tent camped at the Fort. However, we camped last July at Mammoth Caves, KY. During the height of the heat wave. When the daytime temps were over 100 degrees. With a three-year old. So I wouldn't worry about it. Just make sure your air mattress has no pinholes or anything like it. I can't sleep on the floor either.

And don't forget pillows. We did, and after the 2nd day, I made a trip to the dollar store for a pillow.
__________________
Next trip: When my next grandchild turns five. Probably around the turn of the next decade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BC1836 View Post
What? 2019 or 2020? Say it ain't so!

You must "sneak in a day" next year. That's an order!
LadyBeBop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 07:56 AM   #14
indimom
Are We There Yet?
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 4,645

Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyBeBop View Post
Good. I'm thirsty.



And hungry.


Don't know whereabouts in Indiana you are. I'm in Northern Kentucky, near Cincinnati...and three Indiana riverboat casinos. Don't gamble too often, but I do get into Indiana every once in a while.

Regarding tent camping in July...never tent camped at the Fort. However, we camped last July at Mammoth Caves, KY. During the height of the heat wave. When the daytime temps were over 100 degrees. With a three-year old. So I wouldn't worry about it. Just make sure your air mattress has no pinholes or anything like it. I can't sleep on the floor either.

And don't forget pillows. We did, and after the 2nd day, I made a trip to the dollar store for a pillow.
I'm not too far away from you. It's about a 40 minute drive to the riverboats from where we are. Cincinnati is our prime shopping location (well, for anything other than groceries) so we're out that direction at least once a month.

We camped at Mammoth Cave over Fourth of July back in 07 or 08?? (Must be getting old, I can't remember which. lol). But, it wasn't that hot, in fact it rained for at least three days. Still, it was fun!

Our air mattress is getting a bit old these days. We usually have to add air every two days, but I'm too cheap to spend $50 or $60 on a new one, so we'll just keep this one limping along.

You made me think of an idea that has been festering in my brain this week. Obviously, we have a long drive, in a smallish car. Sleeping bags and pillows take up a LOT of space.

I was thinking about getting those space bags so we could smoosh them down more compactly.... But, we would have to use the air mattress pump to suck the air out (our pump works both ways) at the end of the trip. The nozzle is small and I have no idea if this would work.

If anyone has these things, do you think they would work with something like that, or am I out of luck?? Maybe I should post this on the camping board... hmmmm.
indimom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 09:39 AM   #15
indimom
Are We There Yet?
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 4,645

Look, I have a ticker......





This is a real feat for the technologically challenged. Everything technological that I know, I've learned from the Dis. lol.
So, how do I put a trip report link in my Signature line????
__________________
Looking forward to:
A tale of four sisters: A mid-life celebration.

January 2017.
indimom is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:36 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

You Rated this Thread: