I'm Taking you to Disney World, and That's Final!! - Update 11/16

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by shebaxric, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. shebaxric

    shebaxric Disaholic Since 1980!!!

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    :welcome:I know, the title seems more like a punishment than a treat, but that’s how I had to catch your attention!:goodvibes My name is Sheresa, and I am a lover of all things Disney, and have been ever since I could remember. I grew up in Southern California, so an annual trip to Disneyland was a must (sometimes, there was more than one!). My parents love Disney, and instilled that magic in my sisters and I. Something about the happiness that radiates from most people while you are there, it’s infectious! This is my first time writing a PTR or TR for that matter, so I hope you enjoy it!

    Okay, enough about why I love Disney, let’s meet the cast of this PTR!

    Me – Lover of all things Disney.

    DH – Rick, DH, loves me and all things Disney.:lovestruc
    [​IMG] (Note: I hate pictures of myself, so this will be a rare glimpse of the Sheresa monster).:lmao:

    DSIS – Relly (nickname), 38 and lover of Disney, but never been to WDW!:scared1:

    DBF – My sister’s boyfriend, we will refer to him as Mickey. He has also never been to WDW and is going to be the go with the flow guy! (I will upload a picture of Relly and Mickey shortly, I need to get one!)

    DMIL – will be referred to as Daisy, her favorite character. I don’t think I could’ve asked for a better mother-in-law. We have taken several trips to WDW together.:hug:

    DFIL – will be referred to as Donald, his favorite character, which fits him to a tee! Just like DMIL, we have taken several trips together.
    [​IMG]

    The plan was set in motion after talking about it since we returned from our last trip. DH and I have gone to WDW several times since we moved to NKY (abbreviation for Northern Kentucky that will be used from now on). DH’s parents live in Jacksonville, FL, so it's easy to get to Jacksonville and simply drive to Orlando. I think my sister has always been interested in going, but Mickey was never that enthusiastic.

    Because I’m a Disney Freak, I was trying to plan a trip this year because the last time we went was December of 2007, and frankly, that’s just too darn long for me to go without a Disney fix!:laughing: It started out with just DH, DFIL, and DMIL deciding on a trip. I wanted to try and go the least expensive route because, hey, it’s that kind of climate right now…… I brought up the Shades of Green website to see if they had any availability (this was in JANUARY) and of course, nada. BUT, I did happen to see this:

    [​IMG]


    HUH??? Really, is that possible?? A FREE FIVE DAY TICKET? So, I clicked on the link to check it out. Sure enough, it stated that members of the armed services (and retired service people) were entitled to a free five day ticket, and were able to purchase up to five additional five-day tickets for only $125!!!!! This seemed too good to be true. I read all the fine print, re-read it, and then did it again for good measure.;) The only real stipulation that I read was that the tickets would only be good through December 23rd. No problemo, we usually like to go in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we were okay there. I emailed DFIL with the link to this offer, and I think he almost fell out of his chair! We were really seeing the possibility of this trip coming to fruition!! I would finally get my Disney fix!!! I called DH because I couldn’t contain my excitement, and he was easy enough to convince! DFIL checked with DMIL, and it was in the stars (and the budget) to make this trip a reality! The next step was finding a place to hang our hats while we were down there.

    DMIL and DFIL took us to WDW in December of 2007, which was a wonderful surprise. The only downside to this trip, we stayed off site. Now, I know there are people that feel strongly either way. DH and I are Pro on-site. We just factor in all of the amenities you get, and it makes sense to us. DFIL is all about price. If he can get the best deal, he’ll stay anywhere. I’m really not on board with that, so I said that I would do some digging and make the hotel reservations. As you know this is no easy task. I searched and searched on Disney’s site, but finding two rooms (yes, we need to have two rooms because I’ve done the sharing a room route once and it went terribly wrong) at a decent price was not going well at all. Then, in my quest I came across “The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide” by Beth Haworth, a former CM. I figured I might find some tips in there to help with the room struggle, so I paid the $20 to get the online book. Well, it didn’t turn out to be the fountain of knowledge that I thought it would; most of the information I already knew. The one piece that I did find was on renting DVC points from a member. She has a step by step process for renting points, which I never knew you could do. She also has a link to the DIS boards in her book. To make a long story short (I know, too late:rotfl2:), I signed up on DIS, weeded through the posts on the DVC Rent/Trade board, and was able to rent points from a wonderful woman and her husband. We were very careful, we used a contract, and her payment terms were very reasonable. Hurray!!! We have a reservation for the Saratoga Springs Resort!! We will be checking in November 21st for 5 nights!!

    Up next, dragging my sister to WDW kicking and screaming!

    Thanks for reading,
    S
    pixiedust:
     
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  3. onelilspark

    onelilspark DIS Veteran

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    :banana: I'm in!!
     
  4. shebaxric

    shebaxric Disaholic Since 1980!!!

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    HURRAY!!!! My first poster, thanks!! I'm very nervous but excited to write out this PTR. It'll give me the courage to write the actual TR!:lmao:
     
  5. brookelizabeth

    brookelizabeth <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    I'm here too!!! Great start! When I saw that deal for military personnel my jaw dropped and I tried to convince a co-worker he needed a trip since our family doesn't fit that bill. :laughing: Extremely great deal, so glad you can take advantage of it!

    And :yay: for getting the room! You are going to enjoy SSR, it's a beautiful resort. Did you make any building requests?
     
  6. shebaxric

    shebaxric Disaholic Since 1980!!!

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    Hurray!! Welcome Brooke! I agree, when I saw the offer I really did one of these:scared1:! I was glad that my FIL was able to get so many tickets so all of us could go.

    I did make a building request per your recommendations.:worship: We requested the Grandstand since it is the first bus stop, we really like to take advantage of that service!
     
  7. shebaxric

    shebaxric Disaholic Since 1980!!!

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    Kicking and screaming with excitement!!! She has wanted to go to WDW for a while now, and it has never worked out. With all of the research I was doing, she became interested. I told her about the steal on park hopper tickets we were getting, and she became even more intrigued. The problem was definitely accommodations. Mickey’s mom happens to own a timeshare, which can be used anywhere. Because of the timeshare, they were able to get a condo off-site (I know, but it was cheap!) for next to nothing.:banana: The next step was convincing Mickey that WDW was really where he wanted to go! It took a bit of work, but finally he decided to go.:yay: Whether or not he is humoring my sister, I’ll probably never know. But, he said yes, so the trip was a go! My sister is doing her happy dance, I’m doing mine, our significant others are looking at us like we have three heads…. :lmao:

    Is this actually happening? I get to take a vacation with my sister??? We haven’t done that since we were kids, so not only will this be a first time WDW trip for her, it’s a first time sister vacation trip! Can you tell I’m excited?:woohoo:

    Up next, The Plan.

    Thanks for reading,
    S
     
  8. onelilspark

    onelilspark DIS Veteran

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    I've decided that it's a good thing when SO's humor us on trips to Disney.

    I don't care how I get him there any more, as long as he's there with me.

    Oh...I'm sorry if you gagged a little bit...
     
  9. mousescrapper

    mousescrapper DIS Veteran

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    Sheresa,

    :cool1: I am so excited you are doing a PTR and a TR!!!! can't wait to read more and learn more about your family...

    of course I'd come by...;)

    Scrappie (Julie)
     
  10. shebaxric

    shebaxric Disaholic Since 1980!!!

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    I would never gag, I feel the same way about DH!:rotfl:

    Hi there Scrappie, and :welcome: It makes me very happy to have some replies from my DIS friends!:grouphug: When I first started it, I kept looking at the count that tells you how many views you receive, and then I'd look and there would be no posts!:sad2: Now I've got a few and it makes me happy. I know, it's really shallow, but it makes the time go by until my trip much faster!!

    I'll have another update this weekend with "The Plan".
     
  11. ScotsMinnie

    ScotsMinnie DIS Veteran

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    Hi! I'm in! With no trip planned for us I love enjoying others build ups! Plans sounds great so far!
     
  12. shebaxric

    shebaxric Disaholic Since 1980!!!

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    Thanks!:goodvibes It's so nice to just pass the time in between trips this way.

    I've got a surprise that I'm going to share with you all.:yay: Stay tuned!
     
  13. mousescrapper

    mousescrapper DIS Veteran

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    know the feeling, nice to know you are not just writing to yourself :goodvibes
     
  14. coltink

    coltink 2 Mouseketeers

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    I'm here...so you aren't talking to yourself (like I am over on my pre trip report)
     
  15. shebaxric

    shebaxric Disaholic Since 1980!!!

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    Welcome!! I will definitely come by and check it out, thanks!!:goodvibes
     
  16. shebaxric

    shebaxric Disaholic Since 1980!!!

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    Okay, so before I reveal my super duper surprise, I promised I'd put up a pic of Relly and Mickey. No Disney pic since they've never been!
    [​IMG]

    Now, I know that I said I'd upload the plan this weekend, which I may still do later. But, I wanted to let you know about a wonderful surprise that I got. I'm going to borrow from some other formats that I've read and give you the breakdown of the conversation.

    Me: I want to go to San Diego to visit my cousin in April for my birthday.
    DH: Okay.
    Me: Well, while I'm out there I'd like to do something fun, you know, to celebrate.
    DH: Okay, like what.
    Me: Well, I told my cousin that I'd like to spend a couple of days up at Disneyland. . . . .
    DH: How much is that going to cost??
    Me: I'll do some research and let you know.

    So, I did the research, and wow, is Disneyland EXPENSIVE!!! I know it's California and all, but geez. I priced the Grand Californian for two nights and it would cost almost as much as my whole room cost at SSR for my November trip!!:scared1: Then I thought, can you use DVC points for Disneyland hotels??? I looked it up, and sure enough, you can! I priced the two nights that I wanted, and it came up as 34 points. I told DH and he said that would be doable. Now, the only catch was would I be able to rent the points from the same couple that I did before. We traded emails back and forth and
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    She had the points!! I now have a reservation at the Grand Californian April 11-13th!!!! I'm going to Disneyland for my birthday!!! I haven't gotten the contract or the confirmation yet, but that should be here by sometime next week. My cousin and I have talked about going several times since she's only 90 minutes away. It hasn't happened, and I haven't been to DL since 2000 right before I moved from San Diego. This is going to be a short trip, but long enough to where we get to go to both parks! I have absolutely no planning done for this one, so anyone out there that has recommendations for DL, let me know.

    Thanks for sharing in my happiness!
    S
     
  17. mousescrapper

    mousescrapper DIS Veteran

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    That is GREAT!!! how exciting that you were able to rent the points for that too...

    I've only been to DL once when I was about 13, I remember standing in line for Star Tours it premiered there, POC and the entrance for IASW was outside and very pink! My unlce was then stationed in Long Beach Ca (navy) and we got to go w/ them. The last thing I remember is losing our car...my parents couldn't remember for the life of them where we parked...;)

    I'd check out the DL specific threads for some good trip tips :thumbsup2
     
  18. shebaxric

    shebaxric Disaholic Since 1980!!!

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    DL's parking structure has changed so much, I'm kinda glad we aren't going to need the car!!
    My dad was in the Navy, too. He was stationed in San Diego, that's why I grew up there. I really loved going to DL when I was a kid. I didn't know that there were DL specific threads, I guess I'm spending way too much time on the PTR and TR threads!!!:lmao: Thanks for the helpful suggestion, I'll check them out.:surfweb:
     
  19. shebaxric

    shebaxric Disaholic Since 1980!!!

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    This plan has evolved a couple of times already. Firstly, DH, DMIL & DFIL were supposed to check in on Monday, 11/23 and stay for four nights. Well, Relly and Mickey are going to be able to check into their condo on Saturday, 11/21. We (or I more accurately:idea:) thought that because we were driving down together we should try to check in around the same time. So, I emailed my DVC renter and asked if we could sneak in one more night. It was available, so a four night trip turned into five!!:banana: We will drive down early on Saturday, check in with Relly and Mickey, stay the night in their two bedroom, and then check in to SSR on Sunday.

    Next, the food situation. DH and I have always done the TS Dining Plan, and we’ve absolutely loved it. Well, this was up in the air from the beginning this time. I pushed (ever so gently:rolleyes1) for TSDP instead of CSDP because hey, the TS restaurants at WDW are good!!! When we made our reservation, I told our renter to sign us up for the TSDP. DH’s biggest complaint is that the tips are no longer included in the plan, and it would be an extra $50 for the week. Once you add in the tips, you’re looking at $100 or more than CS, which I was willing to pay. DH, not so much.:sad2: I waited until the last possible minute (like a day before ADR’s would need to be made) to push the issue one more time. I’m sad to say that DH won. I do understand the money issue, but it would’ve been worth it to me. DH also pointed out that it might be a little sticky with Relly and Mickey staying off-site, no dining plan, if we ate at a bunch of TS places, they weren’t going to be able to afford it. That point stuck with me, and I have made my peace with it. On the bright side, I was able to convince DH of a couple of TS OOP reservations.:cool1: Here’s what we have so far:

    Day 1 – 11/22 – Arrive officially at SSR. We have decided that this will be a non-park day. DMIL and DFIL will be driving down from Jacksonville to meet up with us later in the day. Relly and I are going to do some shopping for breakfast foods for the week. Afterwards, we’ll hit DTD and enjoy SHOPPING!! If there’s one thing I know how to do well, it’s that!! It’s in my blood, passed down from generation to generation!:lmao: We haven’t decided where to eat this day (our meal plan officially starts), anyone have any suggestions?

    Day 2 – 11/23 – AK day! EMH in the AM and Relly and I may possibly do the Backstage Safari Tour. I still haven’t decided if it’s worth the money or not. Any opinions? We have decided to do Yak n’ Yeti CS (thanks onelilspark for the review:thumbsup2) for lunch or dinner. EMH at HS, perhaps we’ll sneak that in.

    Day 3 – 11/24 - Epcot!! I’m very excited to drink my way around WS with my sister!!!:dance3: The Grey Goose Slushie is a must since I’ve heard so many yummy reviews of it. CS is going to be very hard to pick here. So many choices, so little room in my tummy! And, we’ve also got a ressie at Chefs de France!!! Okay, so here’s another conundrum. I was sneaky and made two ressies, one for 5:20 and the other for 8:00 p.m. Illuminations starts at 9:00, will we be able to see it from the restaurant? If not, then the 5:20 will win out!

    Day 4 – 11/25 – HS. We will try to make it for rope drop to get those coveted TSM FP’s. We haven’t decided on CS for this park yet either. I have a feeling it’ll be Backlot Express since we’ve eaten there before. This is a Fantasmic night, so I will more than likely sacrifice my own riding time for everyone else and wait in line to get some decent seats. I know, I’m a saint!:angel:

    Day 5 – 11/26Thanksgiving!!! This is a MK day, and I just know it’s going to be super crowded, but they have EMH in the morning, and I want to take advantage of those. We don’t have any ressies this day, DH was very adamant that a turkey leg must be consumed on this day (That is his all-time favorite meal in WDW)! We’ll play the rest by ear.

    Day 6 – 11/27 – Check out day…..:sad1: We have a very early 7:20 ADR at Chef Mickey's. This day is penciled in for Epcot, but this may change, depending on what everyone wants to do that we may have missed

    Okay, huge post, sorry so long! And honestly, I really don’t think I’m that planned out. DH would strongly disagree, though.:lmao:

    Up next, must see’s and rides everyone wants to go on.

    Thanks for reading,
    S
     
  20. MomsOf2boys

    MomsOf2boys <font color= deeppink ><marquee>Has obsessive fing

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    Sounds great so far! I will be down there the last 2 days of your trip! :thumbsup2

    Don't forget to plan a resort tour to see some of the Christmas decorations in them. I hear they are beautiful!

    :surfweb:I'm ready for more now.
     
  21. GreatBiscuit

    GreatBiscuit Golden but never flaky

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    Just found your PTR! Excellent start so far. Losing the TSDP had to be a tough one. Glad you get at least a couple of meals though. As to watching Illuminations from Le Chefs, I've never been in there so I'll defer to my fellow posters.
     

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