“That’s brimstone…we must be close.” Update 07/01 - Finally! An Update!

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by Tink-erin-belle, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. Tink-erin-belle

    Tink-erin-belle DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,156
    Sorry I went MIA for almost two weeks! I need to get rolling on this PTR again and I need to get caught up on all of your TRs and PTRs! What can I say? As usual, work is insanely busy! Gone are the days that I could spend free time (and not so free time :laughing: ) at work on Facebook, Twitter and the most important: DIS!!! Yeah, I can’t really do that at this job. Two weekends ago, the kids were at their dad’s, so I had every intention of finally getting up a post about the Disney on Ice show that the kids and I went to a few weeks ago. The post was all written out, all I had to do was add the pictures, but I was exhausted and I just wanted to veg out in front of the TV… as usual :happytv: I was soooooooo lazy! And it was great! Then on Tuesday, my whole department had a day-long conference. It was supposed to be a day and a half long, but the snow storm that was looming had us shorten the meetings. You guys are probably getting bored right now, but I promise this all has something to do with the vacation! So, anyway, we got what was named Snow-quester late on Tuesday night and most of the day on Wednesday. We were due to get about 8 inches of snow, but I think we only got a few inches and then it got washed away by the rain that we had Wednesday night. So much for Snow-quester and so much for having two snow days! At least I had one snow day and I was able to spend it with my kids :goodvibes

    In any case, you know that feeling you get when someone says to you, “We need to talk” :eek: It’s that horrible feeling of impending doom! Well, last week I gave my boss my vacation dates and he emailed me back, “Let’s talk about this on Friday.” :sick: Oh no! I felt physically ill. I kid you not. I had this awful feeling that he was going to say that I couldn’t go and blah blah blah! Then, I got a chip on my shoulder and I thought to myself, “I don’t care what anyone says! I earned this vacation time! I haven’t taken the kids to Disney in FOUR freaking years! I’m going!” If you knew me in real life, you would know that I am not a confrontational type of person. But after countless cancelled vacations and not stepping foot in Orlando in four years, I was feeling fairly protective of my plans! Friday couldn’t come soon enough for me… but then he had to take the day off! I was freaking out a little because I was prepared for having that conversation with him then. For anyone that doesn’t know my backstory, my boss was someone I knew for about four years at my old job and then I worked for him my last year at that job. About six months after I started working for him, he left to take his current job. Then, after I got laid off at my old job, I was fortunate enough to get hired by him at our current job. Was I adequately confusing when I explained that? :laughing: We have been work friends for about six years now, but we aren’t buddy buddy or anything like that. Basically, I could be frank with him about why I needed everything to go as planned for this vacation, but I couldn’t cuss him out if he disagreed with me :lmao: Thankfully, he knew me well enough to call me on Friday afternoon to discuss my vacation. I really appreciated that he took the time to do that even though he was off from work that day. He probably knew I was anxious to know what he meant by “Let’s talk.”

    I was going to say “long story short” but whenever I say that, it is already a long story! Anyway, we have a pretty big project coming up over the summer and it really is going to be a two person job. He and I are the only two people in our particular department and we act as each other’s backups. I handle the day-to-day operation of things and he is the big-picture guy. Plus, I supervise a call center and he manages, but he is becoming more hands-off so that I can develop more in that area. Plus, he is even busier than I am every day. So when he called me on Friday, he reminded me of the big project that we have coming up. He didn’t say that I couldn’t go on vacation, but asked that I shorten the dates. He said that he could handle everything for a week, but that I was an integral part of this team and that he really needed me. Then he said that he couldn’t do his job if I wasn’t here doing mine every day and that he appreciated all of the hard work I have been doing! :) This may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but to me, it was huge! The job where he and I both worked previously was a place where people got very little appreciation from their managers and little to no recognition. It was all about sales. If you were in customer service (like I was) or technical support (like he was) you didn’t matter. Well, I may be exaggerating a tiny bit :blush: but this was how the majority of people felt. On top of that, I did my best to work my way up in that company, and I was given a lot of responsibility, but I was never officially promoted. So, yeah, I am bitter that the company used my skills but never rewarded me with a better title or better pay! :rolleyes: When I finally went to work for my boss at our old job, I was more than willing to take a pay cut in order to be able to finally do something different. I wasn’t earning commission anymore in that job, but I was learning and had the potential to finally grow within the company. But then he left for this job and a few months later, a few of my teammates and I got laid off. But that same mentality from that old job stayed with me and it wasn’t until I was talking to my boss on the phone on Friday that I realized that I finally had the job I was working so hard to get at our old company! I was finally a supervisor. I was finally able to make real decisions. I was finally able to create policies. I was finally able to make a real difference with my staff. I was finally able to be truly proud of myself and the work I was doing :goodvibes:

    So, I told you guys ALL of that to let you know why I am shortening the trip. So our dates are now Friday, August 23rd to Monday, September 2nd – basically, the dates that I booked at WDW. I’m so glad I didn’t book UO yet! My plan is for the kids to meet me at work on Friday and then take a late flight into Orlando. So that still gives us nine park days. My original plan was to forget UO all together and take another trip to Orlando in April 2014 to do the non-Disney parks, but… now I am not so sure. Let me back up just a bit. My boss said that the company prefers that we take one-week vacations, so it would be OK for me to take this week in August, and then take another week a few months later. My original thought was to take a week in October, but October is the beginning of my department’s busy season. So, April was the next logical thought because my kids’ birthdays are in that month. I just don’t want to wait until April to experience UO with the kids for the first time! I thought about February, too, but that is at the tail-end of my department’s busy season. It’s not totally off of the table, though. But now I am thinking that I can turn three of those WDW days into UO days. I have based the following days on my ADRs and not on any type of scientific process of choosing the days :laughing: There are just certain ADRs that I am not willing to give up! So these are the days – WDW in purple and UO in sienna:

    Saturday, August 24th – MK/HS day: Before Park Opening breakfast at Crystal Palace; early dinner at Sci-Fi

    Sunday, August 25th –AK/MK day: Before Park Opening breakfast at Tusker House; late lunch at T-Rex

    Monday, August 26th –EP day: Before Park Opening breakfast at Akershus; early dinner at Coral Reef

    Tuesday, August 27th – Universal day

    Wednesday, August 28th – Universal day (I want to keep the dinner at Whispering Canyon Café, if possible)

    Thursday, August 29th –EP day: early breakfast at 1900 Park Fare; dinner at Garden Grill

    Friday, August 30th –Universal day (I also want to keep the early breakfast at Chef Mickey, if I can!)

    Saturday, August 31st –AK/EP day: early lunch at Rainforest Café (the AK location); dinner at Le Cellier

    Sunday, September 1st –MK day: early breakfast at ‘Ohana; early dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table

    Actually, looking at this in black and white (purple and white? :confused3 :rotfl2: ) I’m not sure this is the best plan. I might have to rework a few of my WDW days because we aren’t spending nearly enough time in MK or HS for our tastes. I mean, this looks good in theory… That reminds me! I was saying that these new park days weren’t based on any type of logical formula at all, so I was wondering if any of you guys use touringplans.com/Unofficial Guide for UO? I love Touring Plans and I swear by their website for WDW park days. Well, now they have a separate section for UO park days! With a separate fee, of course :rolleyes: I was thinking about subscribing to that part of the site, too, and now it seem essential since I have to squeeze in UO, but I wanted to see if anyone else has used it. I am all about real reviews from real users! But, I’m not sure the UO section of the site has even been up long enough for anyone to have used it. I just noticed it last week. I want to make sure we are going to the best parks on the best days whenever possible. Oh! I almost forgot that Coy still really wants to go to Sea World! He actually brought it up on his own numerous times this weekend, so I have to fit that into the plans as well. I don’t know what made him think of Sea World, because I haven’t been discussing the vacation plans with the kids recently, so I know he must REALLY want to go if he is bringing it up out of the blue. I might take the kids on Wednesday, as originally planned, and just spend two days in UO. I’m so confused! I guess I have to do more research! :surfweb: Please, give me any feedback or tips that you might have! I feel like nine days is more than enough time to do almost everything we want, but I could use some reassurance ;)

    Wait! I just looked at my notes and realized that August 30th is the day that we have a dinner ADR for Be Our Guest! No way am I going to give that up! But ugh!!! What to do? What to do??? :faint:
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. Tink-erin-belle

    Tink-erin-belle DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,156

    The Flexpass looks like a good deal! I hope my kids don’t find out about Legoland before this trip. They both love Legos! My daughter just got into them recently because she started getting the Lego magazine. My son has loved them since he was little, but luckily he hasn’t really gotten into hardcore collecting yet! When I took them to the store at DTD, it was very difficult to pull my son away! This year, I think I better just plan on spending over an hour in that store since they will both be looking around :faint: Have you guys been to Legoland before? It looks like a lot of fun!



    Yes, I’m back! Then I left again for two weeks! :lmao: I need to keep up with everything going on with the DIS, especially since my plans are totally different now! Yes, the big FOUR-O!!! Weren’t we all just in high school a few years ago? :confused3 I went over to your PTR to sub. I’ll have to read it a little later and see how you are planning the days so that maybe I can get some ideas!!
     
  4. coastgirl

    coastgirl DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,464
     
  5. Tink-erin-belle

    Tink-erin-belle DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,156
    I have it figured out, guys! :hyper: A little birdie was able to give me the some information from the UO section of touringplans.com and that made making these plans SO much easier! Thank you, little birdie! I made a brand new chart with the hours for all six parks, plus the crowd level information and the parade/show times. I have been a busy beaver! That reminds me of that song from the Spongebob Movie “I’m a Goofy Goober, yeah! He’s a Goofy Goober, yeah!” Sorry, I am a little crazy right now because I have been up since 6am, and that is unusual for me on a Saturday :lmao: Plus, True decided to stay home with me instead of going to her dad’s this weekend, so we were up until about midnight. So, I am running on very little sleep and I am just a tiny bit excited out the new plans :yay: I should get back to the plans, huh? So, I added all of our ADRs to the chart and I worked out how to rearrange the days. I’m actually really pleased with how it turned out! The kids and I will go to UO, then Sea World and then UO again between August 27th and August 29th. So I had to give up the ADRs for 50’s Prime Time, 1900 Park Fare and Garden Grill. The only one I was really upset about was Garden Grill, so I checked to see if I could move that ADR to another night, and I could! I added Garden Grill on August 31st and I cancelled the ADR for Le Cellier. I’ll just have to plan another trip so that we can go to Le Cellier ;) So, these are the NEW days – WDW in purple and UO in sienna:

    Saturday, August 24th – MK/HS day: Before Park Opening breakfast at Crystal Palace; early dinner at Sci-Fi

    Sunday, August 25th –AK/EP day: Before Park Opening breakfast at Tusker House; late lunch at T-Rex

    Monday, August 26th –EP day: Before Park Opening breakfast at Akershus; early dinner at Coral Reef

    Tuesday, August 27th – Universal day: IoA in the morning, US in the afternoon/evening: lunch at Three Broomsticks; late dinner at Bubba Gump

    Wednesday, August 28th – Sea World day (still keeping the dinner at Whispering Canyon Café)

    Thursday, August 29th – Universal day: IoA in the morning, US in the afternoon/evening: early dinner at Mythos


    Friday, August 30th –MK day: early breakfast at Chef Mickey; late dinner at Be Our Guest

    Saturday, August 31st –HS/EP day: early lunch at Rainforest Café (the AK location); dinner Garden Grill

    Sunday, September 1st –AK/MK day: early breakfast at ‘Ohana; early dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table

    I rearranged the days a bit so that we would have one whole day at MK and two half days, the same at EP, and then two half days at HS, AK, IoA and US. Oh, and the whole day at Sea World. The hours for Sea World that day are 9am to 7pm, so I think I will get the Quick Queue Unlimited passes so that we can do all of the attractions and most of the shows. I think we can be out of there by 5 or 6pm and still make our ADR for Whispering Canyon. Speaking of passes, I’m going to get the Universal Express passes to go with our two-day park tickets. Since we are only doing two days in UO, I want to make sure we get the most of that time. I’m really happy about how the plans turned out. I was worried about nothing because nine park days really is a long time!
     
  6. Tink-erin-belle

    Tink-erin-belle DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,156

    The Lego Friends are cute! I hope you guys have fun!
     
  7. indimom

    indimom Are We There Yet?

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    4,697
    You're plans look amazing! You'll love the express passes. It's so nice to have the ability to just hop in a quick line whenever you are ready. Fast Pass is nice, but express is just easier/less stress. Everything is on your schedule and you don't have to pre-plan every second to get it all in. Can't wait to hear more of your plans!
     
  8. Tink-erin-belle

    Tink-erin-belle DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,156
    Hey, guys! Let’s get back into some trip planning, shall we? I have been thinking a lot about the t-shirts I want to create for the trip. I headed over to the DISign boards and lurked over there for a good portion of Friday afternoon! It is dangerous over there! So many cute ideas!!! I plan on making not only t-shirts, but also autograph books, passports, M&M and Mentos tubes for penny pressing, tip envelopes and maybe even a Cupcake Crawl booklet! :yay: but :faint: but mostly :yay: For right now, I want to focus on the shirts. There were so many adorable designs over on that board, but being an artsy type myself, I wanted to try my hand at making them. I have had all of these grand ideas about different shirts for a long time now, so I was excited to read the tutorials on name fills over there on the boards. I decided to try name fills first because they seemed to be the most difficult. I think I can do the other types of graphic designs I want fairly easily… but then again, that was what I thought about the name fills! :laughing: Yeah, that isn’t as easy as it looks! I followed the tutorial for creating them in Word and although they were great instructions, I didn’t get the name fills to turn out quite like how I wanted:

    [​IMG]

    Yeah, they pretty much suck :lmao: Well, actually, I think they are a good first attempt. They just need a bit more finesse! I don’t like how a lot of the characters’ eyes are cut out due to the shapes of the letters in Coy and True’s names. I think all I really have to do, though, is crop the picture a little so that I can select where exactly to put the picture behind the name :thumbsup2 I might even fill each letter in the names individually instead of using a large picture. I’ll try again once I get home. I did these today during lunch, so I didn’t really take my time with them. I am pretty pleased with them – I am just super critical of my own work! I have a whole new respect for the DISigners over on that board because name fills are not easy! The other designs I have in mind are mostly ones that will be pictures with things written over them, so I think they will be much easier.

    I started out with Pooh and Friends because our first meal of our trip will be at Crystal Palace. I think most of our WDW t-shirts will be based on places we will visit each day. I think that will prompt a little character interaction during meal times ::yes:: As far as UO, I am thinking of a Harry Potter shirt and a Dr. Seuss shirt. I don’t think I will do a shirt for Sea World… We’ll see.

    So I was at Wally World last week (Wal-Mart :rotfl: ) and I saw these transfers:

    [​IMG]

    As I was posting that picture, I just noticed that this is $11.97 for a 5 pack! Is that even a good price? If I make 5 shirts for each of us, that’s $36 right there before even getting the t-shirts! Speaking of t-shirts, I have heard a lot of good things about jiffyshirts.com. I heard that they run big or run small, but I don’t remember which :rolleyes: I might just end up going to Michaels because I can make sure they are the right size and color. Anyway, back to the transfers, has anyone ever used them? How do they hold up? If you used something else, then what? A long time ago, I read that someone on the design boards sold transfers (light and dark) but I don’t think I have the link to her site anymore. Would anyone recommend those transfers (I want to say her name is Amy) because I can look for the link if hers are good. I welcome any tips on the transfers! I want to make sure our t-shirts last! I have also been looking on the boards and Pinterest for tie-dye techniques. I don’t think I am adventurous enough to try the Mickey Head tie-dye, but I do kinda want to try. I might just end up doing a tie-dye and putting a transfer on top. Will that work? Or would the dye somehow interfere with the transfer? I’m excited to get going!

    Is anyone suffering from the late afternoon munchies like I am right now? Want to see a completely non-Disney related picture of epic yumminess? There was a food truck outside of my job and they were selling hot mini donuts! They were apple cider donuts with a raspberry preserve!

    [​IMG]

    Good God they were delicious!!! The guy selling them said that I had to eat them hot, so I had three of them while they were still nice and warm…AND THEY WERE FANTASTIC!!! I had to save the other three for after lunch, so they were just room temp by then, and they were still scrumptious! OK, I need to calm down :lmao: I’m just having a sugar crash, so don’t mind me :rolleyes1
     
  9. Tink-erin-belle

    Tink-erin-belle DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,156

    Thanks! I’m really looking forward to the convenience of the Express Passes!
     
  10. ksdave

    ksdave DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Messages:
    1,172
    Just got back from a long weekend. WWOHP is amazing. We decided to do Studios our first day, then went to Jimmy Buffett's for dinner. It rained while we were there, so IOA basically emptied out. We went into IOA about an hour and a half before closing. It was already dusk and was pretty much dark by the time we got to WWOHP. Seeing it for the first time with all the lights on was awesome!!! The snow looked so real and Hogwarts castle seemed huge! We took a real slow walk through the entire queue of FJ, stopping to enjoy all of the sites, and then my wife and son rode the ride with absolutely no wait. My motion sickness prevented me riding it, but I got to stand on the load/unload platform and watch the reactions of those coming off the ride.
    Another tip: the "people dryers" are a novel concept, but a bit pricey ($5.00). The restrooms in IOA now have really powerful Dyson hand dryers. After my son and I rode The River Adventure ride in the first row, we were drenched! We went to the restroom and were able to dry our shirts completely in the hand dryers in about 3 - 4 minutes!
     
  11. coastgirl

    coastgirl DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,464
    Erin, meant to reply earlier but got busy...Love the ideas for the shirts, again you leave me in the dust! I was thinking one matching set... The name fills are really cool, well done!! I think I could play with that indefinitely, so I am better off just waaaalking away slowly...:confused3

    I was thinking I'd order Amy's transfers. (Yes, you remembered right. I have her site bookmarked, I think she's not allowed to talk about it anymore! :ssst:) I couldn't tell you which brands I've used, but long term the results are only meh. I used them on a stretchier fabric for dd and I, more of a fine rib like a ladies' t would normally be, and they cracked like crazy. (I know I have purchased them both at Wal Mart and Michael's.) I'd be surprised if I haven't used Avery brand but I can't remember the details! But they are fine for use and for, you know, the length of a vacation. Most of my "vacation" shirts are now my "housecleaning" shirts, as it's hard to find a suitable occasion to wear them at home!!

    The first couple of times I bought the shirts at Michael's, and the quality is fine, but for dd and I the cut is just weird. I hate those really high necks and totally square cut bodies. Last couple of times I cruised Wal Mart and Zeller's (Cdn chain, somewhere between Wal Mart and Target) for cheap ladies' t's in a better cut. I can usually find a plain t for around $5. Last time we all did white, it will be harder to find matching colours when I am buying regular cut for the guys and ladies'/girls for us. Dd is a tall 10 now, so I should be able to buy her a ladies' small at least rather than searching the girls' dept as well.

    Anyway, don't forget to post your results when you get them done!
     
  12. Tink-erin-belle

    Tink-erin-belle DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,156
    Sorry I fell off of the face of the Earth for a week, guys! It was that time of year for me again: Birthday time! True turned 10 on Wednesday and Coy turned 14 yesterday! So I’ve been busy planning, shopping, decorating, and eating cake! :faint: The kids had good birthdays, though, so that is all that matters. I’ll try to post a few pictures soon, but first I need to post some replies and get caught up on some PTRs and TRs!



    :welcome: I’m glad you joined in! It sounds like you and your family had a great time at UO! I can’t wait to see WWoHP at night! It sounds gorgeous! That’s good to know that the hand dryers seem to work as well as the “people dryers” :laughing:



    Thanks, JoAnne! Yes, it is easy to lose a whole afternoon doing these designs! It’s too late for me... Save yourself! :lmao: You and someone else verified that it was Amy’s transfers that were on the boards before, so I got the link and I will have to order some. The person who used Amy’s transfers said they were the only ones that didn’t crack on her shirts :thumbsup2 Oh, do the Michael’s shirts have a high neckline? Ugh! I always feel like I am choking when I wear shirts like that! Thanks for the tip! Yeah, I’ll have to check out Wal-Mart or Target to see if I can find some matching shirts for the three of us.
     
  13. coastgirl

    coastgirl DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,464
    You may have a better selection at Michael's in the US. Here they have a full range of sizes and colours in the "unisex" style, which is the high ribbed crewneck ("man t's"). They also usually have a baby-doll style that's more fitted with a scoop neck, but here you're lucky to find the ladies' style in white. Thanks for the feedback on the transfers, glad to hear from someone who's used them that they don't crack. That seals it, I'll order some from her.

    Happy birthday to your kids! No more single digits. My dd turned 10 in February, and it kinda made me sad...:sad1: Lovely to see the young lady emerge, but sad to see the little kid drifting away. Maybe I'll have to make her ride a carousel with me while we're in Orlando. ("Mooo-ooom!")
     
  14. Tink-erin-belle

    Tink-erin-belle DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,156
    I just made another ADR change. For our Sea World day, I made an ADR for breakfast at Whispering Canyon Café. “But, Erin,” you may ask, “Don’t you already have a dinner ADR at Whispering Canyon Café for that day?” Yes, I do, but I was having one of my famous sugar crashes and I was looking at a TR where the family had breakfast at WCC and I just HAD to get an ADR there!!! Just like you shouldn’t go to the grocery store when you are hungry, you shouldn’t read TRs when you are hungry! You might just see something that will turn your plans upside-down! So, the plan is to go to WCC at 7:30 am, get to Sea World as close to 9am as possible and go from there. I was feeling uneasy about the combination of not having a substantial breakfast before going to Sea World and being unfamiliar with the lunch options there. If we have a good breakfast, we will be full for most of the morning and we probably won’t feel rushed to pick a place for lunch in Sea World. A hungry mommy is a cranky mommy, and no one wants that! :lmao: Wait! I mean the kids are cranky when they are hungry! Yeah, the kids! Not me! OK, we are all pretty bad when we are hungry, but I am by far the worst! :laughing:

    I am almost positive that I will cancel our dinner ADR there. It would be crazy to have breakfast AND dinner there, right? :confused3 Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I realize that I should probably cancel the dinner ADR. It’ll also make it so we are not as rushed to leave the park to get back for dinner. Plus, it’ll leave our evening free. I’m going take the weekend to think about it because I don’t want to be an ADR hoarder! I don’t want to keep an ADR that someone else might need!

    In other news, I’m going to Vancouver in September!!! I have to go to a conference for my job, so I will be in Vancouver, B.C. for about four days! I’ve never been to a conference with this job, so I have no idea how much of my day will be scheduled, but whatever free time I have, you can be sure I will be checking out the city! I am so excited! I love Canada! I have been to Montreal, Toronto and the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, but Vancouver is clear across the country, so I have never been there. So, my DISbuddies, can any of you tell me what you would do if you had a couple of evenings to tour Vancouver? Any restaurants? Any museums that might be open a little later? Any places to see great architecture? Any places to meet hot Canadian guys? :lmao:

    Of course, this means I have to get a passport. The last time I traveled to Canada, a passport wasn’t required. The only other time I have been out of the country was when I went to Jamaica about 16 years ago. So, no, I don’t have a passport :blush: I’ve always wanted one because I have always wanted to travel internationally, but it just hasn’t happened yet. So I am going to get mine and I am going to get passports for the kids, as well. No, they aren’t going on this trip (and, boy, are they jealous!) but I wanted for us to all get our passports at the same time so that we can all renew them at the same time. Considering that they are 14 and 10, it seems kinda silly because they will be grown before they need to renew their passports, but I am OCD in that way where I like to do things all at once :laughing: BUT…bringing it back to Disney, as always, once the kids have their passports, we will be free to travel anywhere we like! Maybe we can take a Disney cruise! Coy has always wanted to, but True doesn’t want to do this because she has a thing with boats now. It’s understandable, though. Her dad took her and Coy fishing one day last summer and they got caught in a storm. Why he would take them fishing on a day when bad weather was forecasted, I will never know. Thank goodness everyone was OK. But now she doesn’t want to get on a boat. Her dad was even supposed to take them deep sea fishing this summer, but she already told him that she doesn’t want to go because she doesn’t want to get on a boat. Poor thing! I’m going to try to ease her back into feeling comfortable on boats this summer, but we’ll see. I’ve also started talking to her about a cruise and telling her a cruise ship isn’t exactly a boat and more like a floating city, but she isn’t buying it :rotfl:

    I have also looked at Adventures by Disney. You guys are probably like, “Why is everything Disney related?” Wait. No you’re not. This is the DIS so you understand! :disrocks: I think Disney is a wonderful travel brand, so I think that the first time we travel abroad, I’d want to do it with them. I looked into one of their tours once that covered parts of England and France. It looked amazing! English men and French food! Oh, wait, I’ll be travelling with my kids… Harry Potter and French food :rotfl2: Those trips and flights are a bit expensive, though, so it might be a couple of years until I can really plan one. For now, I might be able to look into a cruise for next year or maybe I can drive the kids up to Canada next summer. I’m just excited about all of the possibilities!
     
  15. Tink-erin-belle

    Tink-erin-belle DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,156

    I’m going to Michaels tomorrow, so I am going to take a look at their t-shirt selection :thumbsup2

    Isn’t it so bittersweet when the kids reach double digits? My baby has been a “diva” for a long time ( :laughing: ) but now I can see she is also becoming a young lady. I think the carousel is a must!
     
  16. Tink-erin-belle

    Tink-erin-belle DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,156
    Hi, guys! :wave: It’s surprising to hear from me on a Monday, huh? Today is so crazy, but I had to find a moment to update since I finally have SOMETHING to update! :laughing: Well, it isn’t so much as an update as it is a confirmation that WE WILL BE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD IN AUGUST!!! :yay: I am so happy that I didn’t have to cancel! This is what happened:

    On Thursday, I was talking to my boss’ boss during our normal one on one session and she asked me when I was taking vacation. I told her that the plan was to go the week before Labor Day, but I was concerned that I would have to cancel because of the big project that we have coming up and the fact that my boss may or may not be in the office. Long story short, she basically said that there was no way she was letting me cancel my vacation! :thumbsup2 She asked me to give her a little bit of time to see what she could do to make sure that it would work out, because she didn’t want to see me give up on something so important. First thing Friday morning – and I mean literally as soon as she walked in the door – she came up to me and said that she worked it out so that I could go on vacation as planned! :cool1: Yes! So I am officially 53 days out from our vacation! I put the countdown app on my phone, I renewed my subscription to touringplans.com – the Disney World side and the Universal side – and I got the Touring Plans “Lines” apps for Disney and Universal as well! THEN when I got home on Friday, I had my $150 American Express gift card that I was waiting on from upgrading my family’s Sprint phones! THEN when I was going through some mail that I didn’t really look at before, I realized that I also got my Landry’s gift card from My Points! This was shaping up to be a good weekend!

    So, since I had my “free money” in my hot little hand, I thought I would finally talk about tip money! Since the dining plan covers everything but the tips for the wait staff, I need to budget for them. Plus, I need to budget for tips as well as the full cost of the meal for any meals we are having at Universal. I like to over-budget. Does anyone else do this? I’ll look at the menu and pick out the most expensive thing on there so that I know that anything on the menu is within our budget. The exception is if the most expensive thing is something none of us like. For example, the most expensive appetizer on the Mythos menu is the shrimp cocktail for $9.99. Well, the kids and I don’t like shrimp cocktail, so the next most expensive app is the tempura shrimp at $8.99. I do it this way so that I don’t have to plan our meals out in advance :lmao: More than likely, all three of us won’t be eating an appetizer, a main course, a dessert, and a specialty drink at every meal, but I budget it out in case we do. This includes meals that are on the dining plan – like our meal at Sci-fi – that has things on the menu that we might like to try even if they aren’t on the dining plan – like the cool drinks with the light-up ice cubes! Then I calculate the maximum tip I will give based on that – so 20% of the total cost of the meal. I’ve never paid for a meal at Universal, so I don’t know if each server will earn the full 20% tip, but I have always given a 20% tip to each server I have had in Disney World. I think I am just generous when I go on vacation! :rolleyes: But I was a bartender in my life before kids and I was a waitress for a whole three weeks (I couldn’t take it! :laughing: ) so I know how hard waiters work, so I usually tip well. Anyway, I created this spreadsheet:

    [​IMG]

    This is a screenshot from my phone. I think that I need to make a few more charts and keep them on my phone! It’ll be an easy way to keep all of my ADRs in one place! In any case, I have to fill my tip envelopes with cash for all of the tips I need, and I need to make sure I have enough gift cards for the meals at Universal. I’m sure that sheet looks excessive, with $16 drinks and things like that on it! But, considering that we haven’t been on an Orlando vacation in so many years, I think we deserve to splurge! And if we don’t splurge, the extra tip/meal money will just be going into the souvenir budget!
     
  17. coastgirl

    coastgirl DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,464
    Oh, wow, I'm impressed! :worship: I have a general budget but I tend to (looking vainly for a "see no evil" icon...) um, overlook some of those details!

    Great news on the confirmation from work. I started a new job a few weeks ago, and had a bit of a tremulous moment when I submitted my request (in the past I've cleared that up at the interview stage! :rolleyes:), but thank goodness I didn't have to wrestle anyone for the time off!

    And found money, woohoo! Gotta like that.
     

Share This Page