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Old 01-29-2014, 01:01 AM   #1
DH-2-mamaduck
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Smile POP'n back for a visit - Pre-Trip Report - Family of 7

How it came to be:
It is hard to believe it has been nearly 5 years since our last WDW trip. 5 YEARS! Sure, we have had a lot change since 2009, including the birth of DD Piper and DD Ellie (yeah, that's right, 5 kids, 1 dog, 2 cats). We have also had some other great vacations: Daytona Beach, Black Hills/Devils Tower, Las Vegas, Washington DC / Atlantic City, Chicago, Chicago/St Louis/Nashville road trip...

So here how it started: Extra Cold , Super Chaotic , burnt out from work , and a bit depressing winter so far (I think that's the lack of vitamin D). I was scheduled to go to Houston, TX for an event over spring break. We were just going to drive down and spend the week, get a beach house...but I changed those plans.

Instead, we are going to supprise the kids with a trip back to WDW. DW found great prices for airfare (~$272/ticket). Add in the little WDW Special Offer and we are on the books!

My 3yo, , has been asking to go meet Mickey and I told her when the vacation jar is full, we will go see him. Well, the jug is full enough; about 80% (1 gallon glass jug). She collects coins and puts them in there.




Previous Trips
2009 - Boardwalk Club Level -Trip Report
2006 - Pop Century & the Not-So-Scary Halloween Party which was a lot of fun.
2003 & 2005 - Disney Land


Disneyland 2003



Disneyland 2005



Disney World 2006





Disney World 2009




WDW 2014 - Spring Break

When: March 11 - 18, 2014
Who: Party of 7 (DW and 5 Kidlets)
Where: Pop Century x 2 Rooms
Budget Goal: <$8000


Budget:
Airfare: $1,632.00
7 Night MYW, 2-Rooms @ POP $3,945.38
DDP: Not signing up this time
-------------------
TOTAL: $5,577.38


Weekly Itinerary
  • Tuesday, March 11: - Arrive
  • Wednesday, March 12: Magic Kingdom
  • Thursday, March 13: Animal Kingdom
  • Friday, March 14: Magic Kingdom
  • Saturday, March 15: Epcot
  • Sunday, March 16: Downtown Disney and maybe back to Magic Kingdom
  • Monday, March 18: Hollywood Studios
  • Tuesday, March 19: Depart

Dinning Reservations (TS):
  • Kona Cafe
  • Yak & Yeti
  • Coral Reef
  • Captn's Grille
  • T-Rex
  • HW & Vine - Char

ADR's trying for:
  • Ohana
  • Be our Guest
  • May make a few other mods. Have an open time slot yet.


Change in Temperature:



Hey, a color for everyone!



Crowd Control & More:



...more to come...
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:26 AM   #2
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Question Dining & Stroller

Today's debate:
  1. Dining Plan
  2. Stroller

Dining Plan
$1900 adder for the dining plan. First trip we did not use it, 2nd trip we did, and now we are back to the debate.
$50/person per day x 7 people x 6 days = $2100.
That makes the plan a no brainer and we could eat a lot better, however, it is still only (1) TS, (1) QS, and (1) Snack. There is still OOP expenses for other meals. When we stayed Club Level last time, that comp'd the other meals.

Question: Large families like mine, interested to hear your opinions. I have not taken much (any) time to search and see what others are doing.


Stroller:
We will be one of the strollers as we have the 3yo and 21mo (23mo at time of trip). We are in big debate of which stroller to bring:
  1. Double Stroller
  2. Single Stroller
  3. Compact Stroller
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:34 AM   #3
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Exclamation Dining Plan Debate

In 2009 trip, we did the DDP as it was a great deal. We also stayed at BWI Club Level, which was also good deal. CL gave us the Concigere lounge for breakfast, drinks, snacks...etc. throughout the day. See the DDP link in my signature. We ate very well and ordered deserts, which we would normally not do.

Well, 5 years later, we are now a group of 7 and DDP rates have increased some. See ages of my kids in my Signature.

For our upcoming 7 night stay in March:
QS Plan ~$1330
Disney Dining Plan ~$1900
Delux Plan ~$3351

Quick Service
Issue I have is it is (2) QS and (1) snack. Don't most eat 3x a day (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)?

Disney Dining Plan
Ok, so now (1) TS, (1) QS and (1) snack. Again, for $1900, I'm still having to buy another meal OOP

Delux
(3) meals and (2) snacks - covers all but $$$$

I have yet to crunch the numbers for my family but see the $1900 for DDP + still having to buy one more meal per day OOP and not feeling so well about it. If we decide to do TS/Char and eat well, then i'm sure we will come out ahead. We are there for 6 days but have 7 nights, so we have an extra days worth of TS and QS, which really helps. Another issue is DD, Ellie, is only 23mo at the trip and will eat a kids ration but is not included in the plan. $1900 for 6 days works out to be $45 to $53/person per day (depends on if you use 6 or 7). I could see adding $300-$400 on top of that $1900.

I'm analytical and will do as many of you did, start crunching the Frugal #'s and the All-out #s and decide from there.

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Old 02-02-2014, 08:45 PM   #4
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The Schedule

I didn't sign up for Park Hopper this time, still time as it is always very handy. +$388 for the week.

Here is the Calendar/Park Hours. Thinking 3 days at MK.

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Old 02-03-2014, 08:07 PM   #5
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My Disney Experience

Working on the schedule and getting ADR's and FP+ done. The MyDisneyExperience app works pretty well on the iPad. Has a few qwerks, just like it does on the PC, but much better than how I had do make ADR's in 2009.



Previous Dining (TS):
  • Tony's Town Square
  • 50's Prime-Time
  • Crystal Palace - Char.
  • Hollywood & Vine
  • Sci-Fi Dine-In
  • Big River Grill
  • Jiko's
  • Akershus - Char.
  • Coral Reef
  • Chef Mickey's - Char
  • Kona Cafe
  • Rainforest Cafe
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:52 AM   #6
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Oh NO! Bummer of a DDP

So we are coming at the start of the peak of the season for Spring break - the DDP appears to be a loser.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3233210

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Old 02-25-2014, 01:02 PM   #7
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I see we will be at POP together for a few days! My wife and I are ditching the two kids this year!! Have been the last two years with them. We arrive on the 16th of march and stay till the 21st. As with you I have crunched the numbers on the dining plans and this year we are not doing it. I think the two of us can eat for under $300 for the week. My wife doesn't eat breakfast and she is a light eater too. We enjoyed our couples only trip in 2009 at POP and it is our favorite resort. I can't imagine doing it with that many kids!! You are either a saint or crazy!!! It is magical with the kids and I do enjoy every minute of it all, but it is very relaxing when we just go as a couple. As for the weather we live in maine and I can't wait till I see palm trees and anything over 60 degrees !!! Well enjoy your family trip and the warmth!! Hope it won't be too busy!!!
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsnyfireman View Post
I see we will be at POP together for a few days! My wife and I are ditching the two kids this year!! Have been the last two years with them. We arrive on the 16th of march and stay till the 21st. As with you I have crunched the numbers on the dining plans and this year we are not doing it. I think the two of us can eat for under $300 for the week. My wife doesn't eat breakfast and she is a light eater too. We enjoyed our couples only trip in 2009 at POP and it is our favorite resort. I can't imagine doing it with that many kids!! You are either a saint or crazy!!! It is magical with the kids and I do enjoy every minute of it all, but it is very relaxing when we just go as a couple. As for the weather we live in maine and I can't wait till I see palm trees and anything over 60 degrees !!! Well enjoy your family trip and the warmth!! Hope it won't be too busy!!!
DW and I talk about going w/o the kids some year! Maybe. This is our 15 year anniversary and we are going to WDW, with the kids

The kids do well with traveling and when at the World, they are so excited, they go an go and go, then sleep all night and do it again the next day.

I am keeping all my ADR's, but pretty confident we will be under the price of the DDP. I'm going to keep all my receipts and see.

Well, with 5 kids, we are out numbered, but also have 14yo and soon to be 12yo daughters who help. Even 9yo DS helps out. The crazy part is we have all 5 of them in activities. Club volleyball, Club Gymnastics, Hockey, Gymnastics and Gymnastics... 14yo plays the Saxaphone, 12yo plays the violin.

We too are looking forward to the warm weather. It has been colder than normal this year and started way too early. Sub zero right now, 3ft of snow out there... It will be the end of May before all the snow disappears!

Maybe we'll bump it to you. If you see a group of 7 with 4 girls, 1 boy where the two youngest are littler girls, say "Hey Cameron"

Maybe we will get lucky and a blizzard will hit Minnesota on the 17th/18th and I'll have to get a rental car and go spend a day or two at Universal Studios.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:39 AM   #9
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Sounds good! Our two kids are, son almost 7 and daughter is 4 today!!! It's a lot of work with kids that young but it is so much fun to see their faces as they meet characters and see the parks! They wanted $440 for the quick serve plan for the two of us and we looked over the menus, we ordered what we would want and usually order. We came up to about $290. Then we have snacks but still way under the $440! This will be a low budget trip!!! I hope!! We have about three feet of snow left after some melting, I think the news said 73 inches so far and we aren't done yet!! Well if I see ya I'll say hi and enjoy your selfs!! Can't wait to wake up to no snow and no jackets!!!!
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:58 AM   #10
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-13F outside this morning, but hey, the sun is shining! Just a bit over a week to go! We will be ice fishing in April at this rate!





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Old 03-04-2014, 11:41 AM   #11
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1 week to go!
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:53 AM   #12
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Following along!
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:40 PM   #13
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I'm enjoying your PTR so far
We recently had our fifth child and will also be a family of seven on our next Disney trip (planning to go back next year). My kids are 2 months, 5, 7, 12, and 12 (twins). If you have the opportunity, please report back on how your trip goes and your stay at Pop as a family of seven. We are considering the option of getting two rooms at Pop for our next WDW trip. I agree with you about the cost of the dining plans. I love the idea of prepaying for the convenience, but since they have eliminated the second snack from the quick service plan along with raising the price of the plan quite a bit, it definitely isn't the value it once was; and the cost of the regular dining plan has also gotten rather high, especially if you have kiddos that are now at "adult" prices

You only have one week to go! It is also freezing cold and snowy out my way so I know you are looking forward to that Florida sunshine Have a magical trip!
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Pirates2Princesses View Post
I'm enjoying your PTR so far
We recently had our fifth child and will also be a family of seven on our next Disney trip (planning to go back next year). My kids are 2 months, 5, 7, 12, and 12 (twins). If you have the opportunity, please report back on how your trip goes and your stay at Pop as a family of seven. We are considering the option of getting two rooms at Pop for our next WDW trip. I agree with you about the cost of the dining plans. I love the idea of prepaying for the convenience, but since they have eliminated the second snack from the quick service plan along with raising the price of the plan quite a bit, it definitely isn't the value it once was; and the cost of the regular dining plan has also gotten rather high, especially if you have kiddos that are now at "adult" prices

You only have one week to go! It is also freezing cold and snowy out my way so I know you are looking forward to that Florida sunshine Have a magical trip!
yeah, I'll work on the trip report when I get back (maybe some when there). Last time we went, we loved the DDP. You can read the debate and results here: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....&highlight=ddp

DDP changed, rate increase and no deal on it for this visit. Not going to do it this time. I'll save all my receipts and see what it did cost us.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:15 PM   #15
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Spoiled the Suprise

Well, I would have to say I did pretty good. Held back all this time, nearly spoiling it a few times. We broke the news to the kidlets tonight:

Click on the Image for Video:
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