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Old 09-16-2013, 06:22 PM   #1
mrsabbott
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Because if I make a Pre-Trip Report then we will HAVE to go!!!

Hi Y'all!! Welcome to my Pre-trip report! Not sure how often I will have anything to update, or if you will even be interested, but Hubs absolutely REFUSES to discuss vacation plans with me and everyone else's eyes just kind of glazes over when I start talking about it..

Let me introduce myself.. My name is Mom. Sometimes, Hubs will call me Honey. I work at a private Christian school/daycare. I take care of babies all day! I actually love my job and the people I work with, I just wish it paid a little more! I like reading, spending time with my family, planning all kinds of vacations that we never seem to take, gardening, drinking coffee (i.e. nectar from heaven), eating chocolate, and trying to live healthy! I'm an animal lover, a vegetarian, and am both shy and outgoing at the same time.. go figure! And, of course, I LOOOVE Disney!!



Hubs is, well, Hubs. He also goes by Daddy. He's a former soldier who was medically retired about a year and a half ago. He loves racing, music, fighting, racing, music, fighting, and racing. Did I mention he likes racing? He dreams of being a race car driver but we both know that ain't going to happen! He's currently a full time student and has taken a more active role in parenting and stuff. It's been eye opening for him, I think! He's not the Disney fanatic I am and doesn't want anything to do with vacation planning unless it involves going some where with race cars. He enjoyed Disney when we went in 2009 though, and is open to going back.



Oldest daughter is Punky. She'll be 9 next month and loves school, animals, and collecting stuff! She remembers our trip to Disney and would love to go back!

Middle daughter is Pod. She's 7 and doesn't like school all that much, but does love ladybugs, horses, and being silly. She has very few memories of our Disney trip and would also love to go back!

Youngest daughter is Puddin'. She's 5 and loves school, puppies, and eating vegetables! She was just a baby when we went to Disney and doesn't remember anything about it, but is anxious to go and make some awesome memories!

And baby brother is Buds. He's 2 and is spoiled rotten! He loves cars, food, being loud, and getting dirty! He's never been to Disney, but he likes watching Disney Jr a lot!

My goal is to visit Disney during Spring Break the end of March 2014. That gives me 6 months to raise the money to afford the extreme budget vacation of our dreams! Our current vacation fund has $554 in it! We still have a ways to go..

We will be driving there. I have a Suburban and it's a bit of a gas hog.. The bright side to driving such a huge vehicle is that we have plenty of room to bring bags of food and a cooler with us!

My kiddos do pretty well on road trips. The last time we drove to Florida, we stayed overnight halfway there. I'm thinking that we could probably drive straight through if we took turns driving in shifts. A little birdie told me that grandma is getting the girls a Nintendo DS for Christmas and our Suburban has a DVD player! It will be a long drive (about 13 hours if we didn't stop.. ever. I'm thinking it will take at least 16 hours for us!) but I'd rather not stop and pay for a hotel if I can help it! However, if the money's available to do it, then I will! I'm budgeting $500 for gas. I'm thinking we'll use less then that, but better over budget then under budget, right?

We will be able to get the Armed Forces Salute Water Parks & More tickets and Buds will get in for free since he will still be 2 when we go. So, that is 4 days at the parks, plus 4 days at a waterpark, miniature golf, etc.. for $845!! Not too shabby and, in all honesty, the only way we'd ever be able to afford Disney!!

Now, we will be staying offsite but we aren't sure where just yet! We were invited to stay with BIL and his family, but I just don't think there would be enough room for all of us! I could see it being uncomfortable after awhile.. I've got a $500 max budget for lodging. I just need someplace clean, comfortable, and with a kitchenette. There are some condo options out there that would give us lots more room and maybe even access to a pool!

Of course, there is always money needed for tolls and parking. I've budgeted $100 for that.

Our grocery budget for our family is approximately $100 a week, give or take. So, $100 of our normal grocery budget will go towards vacation food. The plan is to bring food and drinks with us, including special treats that we don't normally have to make it seem more like a vacation! Pop tarts, sugary cereals, fruit snacks, chips, etc.. We will eat breakfast before going. Pack drinks and snacks and definitely lunch if we go to the waterparks. I'd like to do a few counter service meals in the parks for fun. Dinner back at the room at night. Looking at easy stuff.. tacos one night. Pizza another. That kind of thing! So let's say $300 food budget minus the $100 that is our normal grocery budget for the week. So, $200 for food!

Not big souvenir people here.. We'll take lots of pictures, maybe buy a coffee mug or magnet. Kids will have allowance/birthday money to spend on stuff if they'd like. So, we'll say $100 or less budgeted for that sort of thing!

Money goal: $2245
Money saved: $554
Money needed: $1691

Wish us luck!! WE CAN DO THIS!!!
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:53 AM   #2
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So, I informed Hubs yesterday that we were going on vacation during Spring Break NO MATTER WHAT!! He looked at me a little strange and said, "Why are you so obsessed with going on vacation?"
Really? Did he just say that? I just shook my head and said, "honey!! It's DISNEY!!"
Needless to say, I don't think Hubs is as determined as I am about going. He mentioned something about a couple of Brazilian Jiu Jitzu places there he'd like to try in Orlando, to which I said had nothing to do with vacation. He mumbled a few other things that I'm pretty sure were just to drive me up a wall.
I put my foot down and said he was either with me or against me and we could always go on vacation without him. (Okay, it's an empty threat.. I'd like him to come.)
One thing you need to know about Hubs.. He gets focused on something and becomes obsessed. Currently, it's MMA. We've gone through this phase before. Prior to that, it was go karting (which is why we didn't get to go to Myrtle Beach a few years ago but that's a long story) and prior to that it was music. I don't mind his interests except when they negatively effect the family, usually financially. But when Hubs gets into something, he's pretty one dimensional and won't want to do anything unless it involves his current interest. Hence the insane idea that a family vacation to Florida should involve visiting various dojos. Although, he probably thinks my Disney vacation obsession is a little one dimensional. LOL!
Anyhoo, I digress.. Hubs isn't exactly as motivated as me to take a vacation but I do have the kids excited!! We spent some time last night comparing several different lodging options. I am thinking that I may have to raise my lodging budget to at least $600 for the week. Between taxes, resort fees, cleaning fees, and hot tub usage fees (???) my great finds always seem to be end up over budget.
And while I am pretty sure Hubs will come with us, he may not. He doesn't handle crowds or public places very well. He's got some PTSD issues that can cause anxiety. Sometimes he us fine, other times he isn't. If he doesn't come, getting something with a separate bedroom won't be an issue. Maybe I should wait awhile on securing lodging. I just feel like if I made reservations then it will make it more REAL that we are actually going to Disney!
I wish I could afford a value suite onsite so that the kids could really get the full Disney experience! But I'll be happy to just get to go!!
I also talked to someone at work about putting in my request off work. They seemed to think I was a little strange to be planning a vacation 6 months in advance. Is it just me or does it seem like 6 months isn't nearly enough time?
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:14 PM   #3
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I'm following I don't have any good advice but I think you can do it
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:50 PM   #4
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I can not believe it!!!

Several weeks ago, I'd applied to an organization called Wounded Warriors Family Support, to try and get a vacation to Orlando. Because of my husband's medical retirement and disability status, we were told that he would be eligible. Granted, when I think of a Wounded Warrior, I don't think of my husband.. but not all wounds are visible.. you know? So, I figured it was worth a try..

We hadn't heard back in quite some time, so I thought we weren't chosen..

BUT..

WE GOT THE EMAIL TODAY!! OUR RESERVATIONS WERE CONFIRMED AND WE ARE GOING TO FLORIDA FOR SPRING BREAK!!


I'm a little excited.. can you tell??

We get a FREE week's stay at Bahama Bay resort! We also get FREE 2 day tickets to Universal, tickets to Sea World, and tickets to Wet n' Wild waterpark! I'm a total WWoHP NERD (so is DH!!) and I'm over the moon about getting to go there!

The down side.. I just don't think that we will be able to squeeze in any time at Disney while there.. My initial plan was to go to Disney and NOT go to Universal or Sea World (we loved Sea World the last time we were there!!) but plans have changed..

I would still like to get some Disney magic in though. I know that I could get the tickets and squeeze in a couple of days, but I do want some time to relax and visit with our family there. We are gifted 4 full days of theme park entertainment and I think that is about the MAX our family can take!

What do you think?? I don't remember Downtown Disney all that well.. Do you get enough of that "magic" experience?? I am saving Swagbucks to eat at either T-Rex or Rainforest Café.. Suggestions??
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:14 AM   #5
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No advice on DTD....but you mentioned your hubs likes racing. I know it costs $$, but have you looked in to the Richard Petty driving experience to get him a bit more excited about a vacay?
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:31 AM   #6
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You know, I completely forgot about that being in Orlando! I will look into it!

I'm happy to say that Hubs is showing some excitement, especially since we get to visit WWoHP! I caught him on the website, looking at matching shirts for him and Buds!!

It just doesn't seem right to be in Orlando and not experience the Disney parks.. I wish we could stay longer and just do it all (or better yet, become millionaires and just live at Disney all the time!) but I am beyond thankful for what we get to do!
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:16 AM   #7
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What about saving up for a character meal at the Comptemporary (Fab 5) or the Grand Floridian? (Cinderalla character dinners, Alice, Pooh, etc for Breakfast).

You could have dinner at the Chef Mickey's and then watch wishes from the Poly Beach one night!
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:46 AM   #8
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Following along!
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:47 AM   #9
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If you are not going to the Disney parks I would not go anywhere near Disney. I think going to DtD or a character meal at a resort might make your kids feel bad they are not going to the parks.

Maybe since now you don't have to worry about budgeting for the whole stay you could splurge a little and get a night or two at a value resort suite (or rent DVC points). You can check out Undercover Tourist (especially through the Mousesavers link) to get a better price for Disney tickets. Do one day at MK and one day can be at the resort and DtD.

I do Swagbucks as well and love earning points towards Landry's restaurants. MyPoints also gives out Landry cards as rewards
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:23 PM   #10
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I explained to the kids that we wouldn't get to do Disney this time.. we've spent quite a lot of time looking at the Universal and Sea World websites and they are SOO excited to visit Universal! They love Dr. Seuss, Scooby, Minions, Spiderman, etc.. They haven't seen HP, but know who he is and are excited to see it (and to visit Honeydukes!!).. Actually, most of the movies and stuff they haven't seen because they are too young, but they know who the characters are.

Anyhoo.. they aren't going to feel bad about not going to Disney because they said we would just visit Disney "next time"! I'm probably a little more bummed about missing Disney then they are simply because I'm a Disfanatic!

Maybe a character breakfast during our "non park day" might be the ticket! Isn't T-rex in DTD though? The kids voted there instead of Rainforest. I've got enough for $10 gift certificate now.. hoping to have more swagbucks saved up by the time we leave! I don't know.. I'll talk it over with them and see what they want to do!

BTW.. since I'm actually not doing a Disney trip this time, I started a different trip report in the Universal section.. If you want to follow along with my crazy vacation planning ramblings! I just can't help myself, I LOOVE planning vacations!
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:54 PM   #11
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First of all- THANK YOU for your family's service and sacrifice to our country. I truly believe that you deserve every moment of happiness and I'm so glad that you were given the chance for this vacation.

YAY for a trip to the "other" parks!! I actually think going to a character meal would be better, because you get some special disney love without the whole paying for the parks thing! Your older kids will understand that there is more, but your two younger kids won't- and I'm sure you'd like some magical moments with Mickey or Pooh! We LOVE the character breakfast at 1900 Park Fare(in the Grand Floridian!). It has Mary Poppins, Alice and the Mad Hatter and Tigger and Pooh! Or if you do a dinner at the Poly you could get to watch Wishes from the beach! They pipe in the music!
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Old 09-21-2013, 07:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsabbott View Post
...Hubs absolutely REFUSES to discuss vacation plans with me and everyone else's eyes just kind of glazes over when I start talking about it...
I'm so happy to know that someone else out there has the same problem that I have!
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April 27-28, 2009: All Star Music Resort - Country Western Area
This was our quick-take-a-Disney-vacation-to-get-a-feel-of-what-it's-like-before-we-have-kids-to-drag-along trip.
Planning in Progress:
May 4-10, 2014: Coronado Springs Resort
This is our the-kids-are-only-little-for-so-long-so-lets-make-this-as-magical-and-as-awesome-as-possible trip.
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:26 PM   #13
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Thank you Francis! We are considering a character meal.. I will see what there is available for when we go!
This has given us all something to look forward to! Even Hubs has, out of the blue, mentioned some vacation ideas!!
Kalyn, I think there are several of us on here who have that problem! LOL!
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