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Old 02-10-2014, 09:21 AM   #16
mommy2mrb
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So happy you love the scrapbook! It was created by a lot of ladies here on the scrapbook area of the boards!
Enjoy making the memories to fill it up!!!

You have a beautiful family and so wonderful you get to return to WDW with family and see friends!
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:57 AM   #17
StefaniLyn
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Dining Decisions

With our countdown now in single digits, I feel it's prime time to make some decisions about DINING!

We've managed to rack up about $130 towards our Disney Dining Fund. That is not our entire food budget, lol. so no worries, we WILL be feeding the children on this trip. The DDF is just an 'extra' fund I have accumulated by decluttering our house and selling stuff locally. It has been a great motivation to get rid of some of the old stuff we no longer need. We're not on the DDP this time around, so we plan on a lot of counter services. However, the DDF will be used for a character or table service meal of the children's choice.

I've put together some estimates for the restaurants the kids suggested for our DDF. Please feel free to correct my prices if I'm wrong!!!

DD14's suggestion:
O’hana Breakfast
22.36 X4 = 89.44
12.77 X 1 = 12.77
-----------------------
Total 102.21
Tax (included)
Tip 18.39
Grand Total – 120.61

We haven't been to O'hana since our first trip to the World back in 08.


DD12 Suggested 1900 Park Fare, a favorite of ours on the past two trips especially since we were blessed with Anastasia and Drizella and Cinderella dresses before Bella's Wish Trip and those get the girls LOTS of attention from the characters;
1900 Park Fare
38.33 X 4 = 153.32
19.16 X 1 = 19.16
------------------------
Total = 172.48
Tip = 31.05
Grand Total = 203.53


And not surprising, DD9, the princess, has suggested Cinderella's Royal Table
CRT
53.29 X4 =213.16
34.64 X1 = 34.64
Tax and Tip Included
Grand Total – 247.80



As I expected, I'd have to sell a kidney for CRT. I like my kidneys. I think I might just put the kabosh on that one.

We have enough already for O'hana, but our family's biggest meal of the day is never Breakfast and a continental breakfast is included in our offsite hotel. Sooo....I'm not ruling it out, but I don't think it would be the best use of our DDF.

1900 Park Fare -yes, we love it, but my girls have outgrown (darn them) their Cindy & Sisters outfits and I'm not sure they would find it quite as amusing if the sisters and stepmother weren't messing with them the entire time as they did when my girls showed up in costume.

So I'm looking for other suggestions.....PLEASE! Please bestow your Disney Dining expertise upon us and suggest alternative dining experiences for us to spend our DDF on!

I am not 100% that it has to be a 'Character" meal, but I want it to be a special experience, within the $150-200 range (4 adults and 1 child), and have great food. I'm leaning towards a lunch or dinner because those meals are when our family eats the most.

Of course, all of this hinges on us being able to secure a last minute reservation at whatever restaurant we decide upon, but we have been lucky in that regards historically so I'm hoping that trend continues.

In other news, our Big Give just got BIGGER! Yesterday Bella quickly finished her homework so she could open up the Disney Mail that had arrived in our box!


inside we found three of these beauties:


Three gorgeous Minnie necklaces. THe girls LOVE them. AJ and Kennedy have both decided to wear theirs as bracelets, and Bella will wear hers as a necklace!

Thank you Pixie Twist Designs! Bella was so excited to open the package and she loved the beautiful necklaces inside. I LOVE the necklaces, and of course, I had to make them into a Mickey Mouse because we are just 9 days away!
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:44 PM   #18
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I love the bracelets. They are so fun and Disney!

Have you priced out dinner at Akershus in Epcot? We took my two there when they were 8 and 9. They loved it! It was nice too because there was a salad bar but the main part of the meal was served instead of a buffet.
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:38 AM   #19
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Just 4 More Sleeps Til Disney - What Could Go Wrong?

I've been purposely absent lately, not wanting to turn this PTR into a PTPP - that is a pre-trip pity party. But it's hard. We received some pretty devastating news on Friday. News that I couldn't share with anyone until today and didn't want to share with anyone, especially my girls,....ever.

Let me rewind a little bit. Last Thursday marked the 1 week countdown for our Disney trip. I was floating on cloud nine, high on Big Give pixie dust and gleefully humming Disney tunes as I cleaned the house when DH called. The news he shared was life changing. He had heard a rumor floating around his place of work that was not good news. And I couldn't say a word due to a confidentiality clause.

My husband is the only one who works in our household. We choose to be a single income family for two reasons. First, we both agreed that raising our children, especially when they were very young, was OUR responsibility, not that of a child care center. I do not criticize those who choose child care and working for their family, it simply isn't for us. So since our oldest was a toddler, I have stayed home. Secondly, after Bella (DD9) was born, it quickly became clear that her medical management is a full time job. Many appointments, surgeries and recoveries, and frequent hospitalizations require scheduling flexibility that a job wouldn't allow. So I stay home, even though my kids are in school full time. DH is, and has been, the sole breadwinner for our family. I think you see where this is going.

On Friday morning (Valentine's day - Bella was dressed so cute when I sent her off with a huge smile, even though my heart was heavy as we knew what news was likely coming down the pipeline.

Bella was even sporting some cute heart shaped braids:


Mid morning, the phone call came that we were dreading. It was confirmed that the business my DH works for was closing all 11 of it's stores permanently after 60 years of business. He is guaranteed a job for just 60 more days and then this family of 5 will have no source of income, no benefits, no insurance, and a lot of free time on our hands unless he finds another job. And in this economy, we all know that isn't an easy task.



I panicked a little bit.....okay. A LOT. But we had spoken the night before and both decided that no matter what -

WE
ARE
STILL
GOING
TO
DISNEY . . . . even if DH just lost his job.

That's right, we have already invested too much nonrefundable money in this trip to turn back now. We have been looking forward to this trip since we stepped off the plane from our last trip to WDW 18 months ago. That, and the fact that we have been blessed with the Big Give and I desperately want to show off those awesome outfits in the parks, means we are still full steam ahead and headed towards WDW and now our countdown is down to just 3 (THREE!!!!) more days!

However, being that we are reasonably sane and occasionally attempt fiscal responsibility, we do need to make some changes to our plans.

Here's what isn't changing:

DISNEY TICKETS: We have already bought and paid for WDW 4 day tickets via the YES (Youth Education Series) program.

LODGING: We have already paid for our 1 day onsite and 5 nights off site hotel rooms.

TRAVEL: Our rental car will be the cheapest mode of transportation so we won't be making any changes to that. (DH is great at priceline and our 10 day moderate car rental is just $240). But maybe we'll try some of those wacky internet ideas for improving gas mileage! jk

Here's what IS changing:

Universal Studios PARK TICKETS: No more Universal Studios. 2 day tickets for our family would have run around $600 and we had not yet paid for those yet. So we are nixing Universal Studios.

FOOD: We were planning on doing a combination of continental breakfasts at the hotel, counter services at the parks, and delivery/drive through dinners and ONE Dining Experience that we have been saving up some money we earned by selling old clothes and toys. Our new plan is to carry in sandwiches on park days and possibly eat a light snack there. And we are still up in the air about the Disney Dining dollars....do we split it up and do several counter services or continue with our plan for one more expensive meal. TBD.

PLANS for WED and THURS: These were supposed to be our Universal Days, but now I have to revamp our entire schedule. We had contemplated adding a couple of Disney Days to our tickets, but found a couple of more exciting alternatives instead. Stay tuned for more on this


We could easily let this ruin our trip. The threat of unemployment and no income and no insurance is pretty scary, especially in this economy.

BUT NOBODY, not even Mr. Unemployment, RAINS ON OUR DISNEY PARADE!

I am confident that DH will find a job - he's awesome and very hard working. I hope it's in this same area, but we are willing to move if necessary. In the meantime, we're putting aside the thoughts of living in a cardboard box or moving in with the in-laws and are simply going to drive away from the disaster for 10 blissful, beautiful, and memorable days in the Happiest Place on Earth. Hmm....maybe DH should bring along his resume just in case they are hiring!
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:15 AM   #20
THiiNKTiiNKx0
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Oh no!! Im so sorry to hear the devastating news...im hoping and praying that job opportunities open up and hes able to start a new job, maybe even a better one, as soon as the current one shuts its doors. But I dont think Disney could have came at a better time. Instead of sitting at home dreading whats coming and worrying, you get to let all your worries slip away at the happiest place on earth! Im so glad you are still able to go. Have fun and I cant wait to hear all about it!
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:47 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dianemom2 View Post
I love the bracelets. They are so fun and Disney!

Have you priced out dinner at Akershus in Epcot? We took my two there when they were 8 and 9. They loved it! It was nice too because there was a salad bar but the main part of the meal was served instead of a buffet.

They are adorable, aren't they?

Unfortunately, my kids are not adventurous eaters and end up virtually eating nothing at Akershus because it is, according to them 'weird.' With our new changes in plans, we're considering Be Our Guest too. I wish there was an easy to use Dining calculator!

Quote:
Originally Posted by THiiNKTiiNKx0 View Post
Oh no!! Im so sorry to hear the devastating news...im hoping and praying that job opportunities open up and hes able to start a new job, maybe even a better one, as soon as the current one shuts its doors. But I dont think Disney could have came at a better time. Instead of sitting at home dreading whats coming and worrying, you get to let all your worries slip away at the happiest place on earth! Im so glad you are still able to go. Have fun and I cant wait to hear all about it!
Thank you for your prayers. And yes, the timing is going to be perfect for us! Just two days until we leave and guess what?!?! My brother's wife just had a baby girl today so we're headed up to see them tonight. Talk about crunch time......I need to get my butt in gear and get things done around here!
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:37 PM   #22
kellygirl2
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Hi Stephanie-
I am so sorry to hear about your bad news but happy you are going to still be able to enjoy your trip! I will keep your family in my prayers.

Did you receive a package from me on Friday or Saturday - with some clothes for the girls? I just wanted to make sure you got it because the post office tracking shows it was delivered. It is two skirts and a shirt.

Hope you really enjoy your trip!
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:43 AM   #23
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2 Sleeps Til Disney and Running Short on Time

I can't believe we are just 3 days (2 sleeps) away from the beginning of our trip. So much to do, so little time.

Today, rather than packing our toiletries, medications, and DD9's tube feeding supplies as planned, my brother's wife decided to have her BABY! Now, I'm definitely not complaining that little miss Adelaide Anne arrived 3 days early because it means we got to meet the sweetest little princess in our family before our trip to WDW, but it also meant I got nothing done! Seriously, how cute is SHE?!!? I think Auntie Stephanie will be buying her first pair of mouse ears next week!


I did manage to finish packing clothes for our trip before heading to the hospital. And I finally uploaded the last couple of pictures from our BIG GIVE! A few days ago, we were blessed with even more BIG GIVE packages which included these beautiful skirts (one for DD12 and one modeled here by DD9). Bella was so excited to open it up!


Minnie Skirts!


A wonderful DISer named Kelly made these as well as a super cute shirt for DD14 which has a peace sign, heart, and mickey on it. Too bad I never see the kid anymore (teenagers are so busy!) so I haven't gotten her to model it for me yet. Thank you so much Kelly! You may be a novice seamstress but your creations are incredible and we love them!

and then to top it all off, THIS arrived for Bella (Thank you Jeanne!!!!) and her American Girl doll, Crystal, who must accompany us to WDW according to Bella. I am absolutely, positively in LOVE with this gorgeous set. It has the perfect twirl factor! Bella will certainly catch the eye of every true Disney lover in the parks wearing this ensemble!


I wish I could say I will be able to finish the packing tomorrow, but I don't know if that's the case. Bella has an appointment at 8:30am and its expected to last anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. Let's hope it's closer to 4 and gives me some much needed time to finalize plans and finish packing.

After making the necessary changes to our plans due to DH's sudden and unexpected loss of employment in the near future, here's the new game plan:

Thursday, Feb 20 - depart, drive to Indiana
Friday, Feb 21 - finish drive, arrive approximately 10pm - stay with BIL in Orlando
Saturday, Feb 22 - Downtown Disney - DD9 (Bella) has an appointment in the afternoon at BBB, stay overnight at BILs house again
Sunday, Feb 23 - early morning check into All Star Sports (one night), Disney Park Day 1 @ Animal Kingdom
Monday, Feb 24 - Check out of All Star Sports, DD12 and DD9 Yes Classes at Epcot (DD14's got cancelled ) and Disney Park Day 2 @ Epcot, check into offsite hotel
Tuesday, Feb 25 - Disney Park Day 3 @ Hollywood Studios
Wednesday, Feb 26 - AM - DD12 Richard Petty Driving Experience Junior Ride Along, afternoon ????, PM - DD14 & DH Pro Soccer Classic game at ESPN Wide World of Sports
Thursday Feb 27 - travel to Clearwater Beach, kayaking with manatees (DH's aunt owns a condo in Clearwater and offered to take us kayaking after we nixed the plans for Universal)
Friday, Feb 28 - Volunteer day at GKTW
Saturday, March 1 - Disney Day 4 - Magic Kingdom
Sunday, March 2 - drive home

Days to Disney: 2
Dollars to Disney Dining: $150 (location still TBD)
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:14 AM   #24
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First, Im sorry your husband lost his job.. I hope he finds something quickly..

Second, that baby is so adorable! How lucky you all are that she decided to make her grand arrival before you left!

I hope you can get everything you need done quickly over the next two days. Enjoy your trip!
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:35 AM   #25
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I am so glad you liked the skirts and shirt! Bella looks adorable!
I hope you have a super MAGICAL trip!!!!
Kelly
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:13 AM   #26
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So sorry about your husband's soon to be unemployment. We definitely understand that here. DH is currently job searching too. I hope he finds something very soon. It sounds like your Disney plans haven't changed too much. You are smart to still go since you have already spent a lot of non-refundable money on the trip. I love the new outfits that have arrived, especially the patchwork one with the matching doll dress. And congratulations on your new niece. BTW, your DH should check some of the job ads in Orlando. Wouldn't it be fun to live near Disney????
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:32 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatoMany
First, Im sorry your husband lost his job.. I hope he finds something quickly..

Second, that baby is so adorable! How lucky you all are that she decided to make her grand arrival before you left!

I hope you can get everything you need done quickly over the next two days. Enjoy your trip!
Thank you so much. We are so happy we got to me the baby before our trip. the past two days I have been busy packing and cleaning but I got everything done and we hit the road today!
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:36 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dianemom2
So sorry about your husband's soon to be unemployment. We definitely understand that here. DH is currently job searching too. I hope he finds something very soon. It sounds like your Disney plans haven't changed too much. You are smart to still go since you have already spent a lot of non-refundable money on the trip. I love the new outfits that have arrived, especially the patchwork one with the matching doll dress. And congratulations on your new niece. BTW, your DH should check some of the job ads in Orlando. Wouldn't it be fun to live near Disney????
DH is a great guy and any company would be lucky to have. Disney does sound like it would be a great job opportunity. I personally think he would make a great Prince Charming!
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:10 PM   #30
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I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your pre trip report AND Bella's MAW trip! I hope that you had a wonderful time and are all well and healthy and have wonderful news regarding your DH and work!
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