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Old 05-06-2013, 01:10 PM   #1
MommyLove
The sleep-deprivation is causing low mental bandwidth
Did someone say TURKEY LEG? yum!
 
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Sac area, CA
Posts: 539

After a four year drought, we FINALLY get to go! Last minute trip TR:

Hello fellow Disneyland lovers! We just got back at 4am from a glorious week at Disneyland! We'll start with the prologue which includes the cast of characters (6 of us!), the saga of how we haven't been able to go for years, how we bought our AP vouchers LAST YEAR in May, and how we decided to go and packed and left within three hours. Here we goooooooo.......

Me: I'm Kathleen, mom to four, and in love with Disneyland since I first got to go at age 5.

My husband Ron: Grew up in So. Cal. and got to go to DL plenty. The one who suggested in the plane on the way back from our honeymoom (a 9-hour flight which was in decent to LAX) that we spend a few days at Disneyland. And we did!

DS (15): A freshman in high school and too cool for most things. Except for Disneyland.

DD (13): 7th grade, full of joy, and always ready for fun.

DD (5): Last time she went when she was a baby. So we absolutely treated this like it was her first time. And our plan was to try to surprise her!

DS (18 mo's): Taking a toddler to DL is always challenging, but he took it like a champ.


Here's the last time our family was at Disneyland:


We're still just a family of five. DS is still shorter than me. And DD #2 is just 17 months old and has no idea what's going on. I can't believe how little they all look and how things have changed so drastically since then!


So, how has it been nearly four years since we got to go to Disneyland?! Mostly just a lot of hard luck financially after DH lost his awesome job in the mortgage industry during the housing crash. Also due to trying to have baby #4 which took three pregnancies to actually make happen (you don't want to go to DL when you're pregnant)! But Ron got a great job in Feb of last year and were were done with pregnancies. So we started planning to buy Premium AP's to have a "Year of Disney".

Then how come we weren't able to follow through? Most of that is explained in this sad thread here. That thread also explains how we bought Premium AP vouchers in May of last year (to take advantage of getting them before that huge price increase) and planned to start a "Year of Disney" in October. And then how we didn't get to go in October. And how we didn't get to go by December 31st either to activate them in time to take advantage of the old pricing. And how I asked you DIS'rs advice as to what to do (try to sell them? try to get down there by Dec 31st simply to activate them?) and how I got great advice (and it also maybe shows that I was a little overly-sensitive at that time thinking I was getting flamed when I was in fact, not getting flamed, lol).

I actually did try to sell them (Craigslist), but was resolved to get somewhere in the middle of what we paid ($500 each) and what they would be worth taking the price increase into consideration ($650) but I didn't get that. So we just held on to them hoping that we'd be able to go soon and be able to afford the total $750 difference ($150 x five AP's!) when we went to activate them. I then called and talked to a CM who said we "might or might not" have to pay the difference when we finally got to go. And based on what I'd read here on the DIS about this predicament, I got the impression it was really up to whatever CM you got as to whether you'd be charged the difference. But you can't go unless you're prepared to include that in the budget since it's a hefty sum and you don't want to get caught not being able to afford that while you're there!

Every now and then I'd check the DIS to see what was up (and to see if ANOTHER price increase would be coming!) but it's hard to visit when there's no chance of going. Then... a situation arose when we could see the light at the end of the tunnel and start planning in earnest again. I started checking out the DIS more often and started planning again. We were trying to find the right balance between actually having enough $$, Ron being able to take the time off work (he got a new job just this March!), choosing days that wouldn't be too hard for the kids to miss school...

We started trying to go in April. But between it not being right for one reason or another (not the least of which was trying to find a hotel room that would fit all of us on such short notice within walking distance; we have little ones and a stroller and need to do the mid-day-break thing on the long days), we couldn't make it happen.

And then the day came. And on that day, Monday April 29th, we decided to go THAT DAY. And I called hotels. And BWPPI had availability on a room that would fit all of us! So I booked it! And I started doing laundry and we entered into a frenzied whirlwind of packing... all while trying to keep it a secret from the 5 yr old.


Coming up next...

Were we able to keep it a secret and surprise the 5 yr old?

Did we get charged the $750 difference when we went to activate our AP's?

What did we think of the BWPPI? (our first time staying there)

What was it like for a PLANNER like me to not get to fully plan before we left?

What did we think of all the differences at DL and DCA since the last time we were there?

Did we get to hit every attraction and see every show on our list? (We spent 6 days in the parks).



That and more when I return. Might be a day or two... there is a LOT of other stuff for me to catch up on since we left in such a rush and didn't know we'd be gone all week!
__________________
DH .. me (Kathleen) .. DS(16) .. DD(14) .. DD(6) .. DS(2)
Been going to Disneyland since I was a kid! DH and I spent part of our honeymoon there! 1st time taking our own kids: Oct '03
Subsequent family trips: Sept '05 (Tropicana), Aug '06 (HoJo), Sept '08 (Park Vue, DLH, GC), Jan '09 (DLH), Feb '09 (HoJo), Aug '09 (HoJo),
April '13 (BWPPI), May '13 (BWPPI), July '13 (Stanford I&S), Oct. '13 (BWPPI), Dec. 29, 2013 - Jan. 4, 2014 (BWPPI), April '14 (HoJo Kids Suite)
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