New Single mom taking the girls to CBR 12/2010...a year of planning ahead!

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by Lcaemom, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. Lcaemom

    Lcaemom DIS Veteran

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    Well, it's official, just booked WL, 11/23-12/1/2010!!!:banana: I could have started this PTR months ago...we have been talking and planning and deciding and saving for quite some time! Tonight was the night, that it became official. We are one year out tomorrow...the last time I tried to book WL for Christmas time it was booked solid one year out, so I knew if we were even considering WL, that we had to make a decision. We initially considered BC villas...renting points, then we considered going back to the GF...so beautiful but, not sure I can handle the price tag, anymore...POR, is one of our favorites and definately can't beat the price. But, WL won out because it is just breathtaking...especially for the holidays. Also, this will be a new experience for us...as a one parent family and I wondered if the girls would have too many memories of Daddy, at the resorts we have stayed at prior. I decided our own, new tradition would be best. So, we have had votes and discussions...and I have driven them nuts...trying to make this decision and tonight at dinner, we made that decision and I BOOKED IT!!! So, our year of planning officially begins!
    This will be our 4th trip to Disney...first as a family of 4. My husband and I separated in May of 2009...prior to that we had stayed at POR in Dec2007, GF in Dec 2008, and POR in April 2009. We LOVE Disney but, when we separated I wondered if it would possible to consider another Disney for awhile or even ever. No, it wasn't my top concern but, I won't deny that I thought alot about it. This year, as the week that we have been for the past two years, approaches I will admit that I am feeling extra sad, that we won't be there for Dec 09. However, when we came back in 08, and prior to separating we discussed a huge family trip with my brother and his family for Dec 2010; they have sinced decided that they can't go. So, the 2010 plan has been in the works...sort of for quite some time. However, with so many family changes it doesn't remotely resemble what it started as. I have had to move the dates to overlap Thanksgiving, due to school. But, after much thought and planning and saving...I am 99% sure that it will become a reality. I have until 10/8/2010 to cancel...it will break my heart to do that but, you obviously just never know what a year will bring.
    So, let me introduce us. I am a very busy mom of three very busy girls...ages 13, 12 and 8. I am a nurse and work for a VNA company. I love being a nurse. My girls are VERY involved in soccer, basketball, skating and piano.
    Our plans to date include all that I have mentioned...our saving method includes transferring $20/day out of my checking acct and over to a savings acct that I opened about a week ago and appropriately named it "The Disney Vaca Account." I opened it with all the spare change...and daily withdrawls for "things" that I thought I needed and realized I could do without if it meant being able to add those daily withdrawls to our Disney savings. So, we will continue to add...the plan is daily...with the goal of paying cash for this trip next year with enough leftover to have for Christmas 2010. Other than that...let the rest of the planning begin!
     
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  3. Lcaemom

    Lcaemom DIS Veteran

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    I was too excited to sleep last night...and it's a whole year away. But, I was so excited talking to the girls this AM, as they were leaving for school. I said "next year at this time...you'll be going off to school and your bags will be sitting here (in our kitchen) ready to go so, that when you get home...we'll be ready to leave for the airport. We'll have dinner in Boston...we'll arrive at MCO around 8-9pm...we'll walk by the Goofy with gum on his shoe and we'll see palm trees...then we'll find out ME bus, drive through the WDW gates...walk into the WL and see the giant tree, and the fireplace...we'll check in and hope for a giant upgrade...lol...and then we'll change into cooler clothes because it will still be 75 degrees...right?!? Then we'll jump on a bus to MGM to see the Osborne Lights and do Tower of Terror...and we'll come back to sleep so, that we can be up early to get to MK for the Good Morning song...and we'll leisurely stroll through the gates to Main St. Bakery to have breakfast while we watch hoards of people go rushing by and the Main St parade!!! :cloud9: I am so excited just thinking about all of it...but, for now I need to get ready for work.:upsidedow
     
  4. addictedtothemouse

    addictedtothemouse DIS Veteran

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    There's nothing like Disney with your girls! :goodvibes
     
  5. Charlefours

    Charlefours DIS Veteran

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    Hi! :wave2:

    Found your PTR tonight. Looking forward to reading about all your planning. :goodvibes
     
  6. princess&her4princes

    princess&her4princes DIS Veteran

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    I'm here, I'm here!! :hug: Can't wait to hear/plan with you!!!!:banana:
     
  7. princess&her4princes

    princess&her4princes DIS Veteran

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    I felt like I was with you reading this description!! You better watch out or I might join you!! ;)
     
  8. mebbradley

    mebbradley Patiently waiting for the next trip to Disney!

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    I'm waiting to read more :)

    popcorn::
     
  9. Lcaemom

    Lcaemom DIS Veteran

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    Thanks to all of you for joining me!!!:worship: It's never fun to have only yourself to talk to! :laughing: Well, the saving continues...that's about all that I have to do for planning, right now. But, we're up to $800!!! With a year to go that is pretty good...I think! Just crossing my fingers that we don't need some new appliance! Every time anything huge...like the fridge, makes a strange noise, I think "oh no...not the Disney $$$." For now, we are getting ready for our first Christmas without Disney. :sad2: Tomorrow is the day, that we have left in years past...the first Saturday in December...and I can feel the feelings that I have had on the day before. I would really, really, really love to be going back...TOMORROW!!! But, instead tomorrow will entail...cleaning up the rest of the house...did a ton on my day off, yesterday...taking inventory of our Christmas decorations...shopping for anything that needs to be replace and snacks...and then decorating ALL afternoon. We'll have a fire...and probably watch a movie. NICE!!!:cloud9:
    Sunday, hoping to have my family over for dinner to celebrate my mom's bday...which we are usually not here for...because we are usually in Disney...so, it will be nice to do that. But, the countdown continues....under one year, now...354 days!!!:cheer2: Still looking for a PIN and/or code...checking on airfare prices to see what they have been doing this year...thinking lots about Ohana...and trying to decide where we might like to eat. So many choices!!!
     
  10. Lcaemom

    Lcaemom DIS Veteran

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    Wow...we are into 2010!!!:cheer2: Down to 326 days! We took the tree down today and put away all the Christmas decorations...suddenly, it dawned on me that we wouldn't be seeing any of them again until around our Disney trip!!!:woohoo:
    Really no more planning yet...other than to keep saving...up to $1400!!! I downloaded some apps onto my Iphone today...WDW wait times, WDW park schedules...and have programmed Lake Buena Vista weather onto my weather app.
    This will be the last year, I think that I can realistically pull the girls out of school. They will miss 3 1/2 days of school for this 9 day trip...which isn't bad. However, once my middle daughter gets into high school...she is a basketball player and tryouts for the basketball team fall on the first three days after Thanksgiving...if it wasn't for Thanksgiving we wouldn't be able to pull off such a long trip before Christmas. So, I think we will be forced to join the bazillions of people who go between Christmas and New Years, if we intend to continue with Christmas time trips.:scared1: Oh well...won't worry about that til 2011. For now...the waiting and the planning and the saving continues.
    Happy New Year everyone!!!:love:
     
  11. princess&her4princes

    princess&her4princes DIS Veteran

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    WOW...good for you and your savings! You're doing great with that!!:thumbsup2 Yay for this being THE YEAR you're going back to WDW! That's a positive start to the new year!! Happy 2010!:hug:
     
  12. Lcaemom

    Lcaemom DIS Veteran

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    We are having a bitter cold day, here in Mass...6 degrees when I woke up this morning. Now, that I have Lake Buena Vista weather downloaded onto my phone...I didn't feel AS bad about 6 degrees when I saw that it was 43 degrees at WDW today...the HIGH!!! Whew!!! Glad actually that we're not there right now...ok, who am I kidding?!? I'd take Disney anyday!!!:thumbsup2

    So, we are continuing on with the savings! We actually found a new way to save...we are all becoming OBSESSED with saving...which is a good thing! I found one of those banks at Christmas Tree Shop. It is a jar with a screw on lid that calculates the total amount in the jar, every time you add a coin. We all now get so excited whenever we find even a penny on the ground, in the furniture, etc. The girls are now getting into the habit of saving every cent and are actually excited about it. Yes, it is great that we are saving like this for Disney...but, if we saved like this all the time, imagine the possibilities!

    So, that's it for now...317 days...still looking for a PIN/code...:surfweb:
     
  13. elizabethswan

    elizabethswan DIS Veteran

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    love you ptr so far. sadness but a new beginning. isn't it great to have something to look forward to? i have been thinking about planning christmas next year in disney too. your savings plan is a great idea. i may have to try that one. anyway, best of luck and will try to follow along.:thumbsup2
     
  14. addictedtothemouse

    addictedtothemouse DIS Veteran

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    Just checking in to see how the plannomg/saving is going. When is your 180 day mark for ressies? Will you be doing the dining plan? What restaraunts are you wanting to go to? Enquiring minds want to know! :lmao:
     
  15. Raecheal

    Raecheal DIS Veteran

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    I"m in... can't wait to read more about your plans...:surfweb:
     
  16. Lcaemom

    Lcaemom DIS Veteran

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    Well, it's been awhile since I've posted...so busy...work, work, work and still saving...which is coming along...slowly!!! Up to $2200! Our little bank from Christmas Tree Shop has just over $40...just change! If we are going to pull this trip off...we are really going to have to pick up the pace with saving...getting down to 6 months...185 days!!!
    We have actually changed our minds about WL...planning to switch to POR. The girls have decided that they have their hearts set on going back there and that will save us about $800!!! Still looking for that PIN...hoping for free dining. Going to sit down this afternoon and start planning ADRs...need to book those on the 27th!!! Five more days!!! Found a flight on JetBlue for $339...haven't booked it as I want the price to come down but, the times are perfect so, I check it everyday. Waiting for Southwest to post their flights for my dates. Still crossing my fingers that we will pull this off! As we get closer...I have my doubts but, as we get closer to the date, we're that much closer to getting there!!!
     
  17. Melissa79

    Melissa79 Mouseketeer

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    Hello!!!!! I disappeared from the boards for a while but I've been checking in over the last few weeks and found you this morning! Glad to hear you're planning a trip for this year! We're going back this year too - to your favorite place, the Grand Floridian! We weren't planning on going this year due to having a baby last fall but of course that got pushed aside and the Disney planning began months ago :laughing:
     
  18. Lcaemom

    Lcaemom DIS Veteran

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    Hi Melissa
    How are you? Congratulations on your beautiful daughter!!! I remember reading all about your TR and knew you were having a baby. I'm sure you have had your hands full for a few months now! Wow!!! So exciting that you're back in the planning stages again...especially to the GF! My favorite!!!
    We have had many changes too...some not so great yet, unavoidable ones...I am now a single mom. But, we too, are back in the planning stages. I am really hoping to pull off a trip in November. It was booked at the WL but, the girls really have their hearts set on POR...GF is a little out of reach this year. I also noticed that once I booked the WL...at full price...I was no longer getting emails from Disney, regarding PINs. So, I cancelled the ressie for WL...intending to rebook at POR...as soon as I get that PIN...but, nothing yet! So, crossing my fingers!
    So great to hear from you!!! Again, congrats!!!
     
  19. Lcaemom

    Lcaemom DIS Veteran

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    We have had many ups and downs over the past 6ish months...but, we are now OFFICIALLY GOING TO DISNEY!!!!!!!!!!!!! :banana:

    We booked at the WL in November 2009, for November 2010...and have been saving, saving, saving $$$ every day...our Disney account is up to $2500. However, knowing that I had until October to change the plan and get my deposit back made the plan not so official. We have had many obstacles over the past few months, in the way of finances...there is always something unexpected to pay for when you have 3 girls and a house. Also, I was pricing airfare everyday and noticed that it was going up and up and up! The non-stop flights were all over $400pp. So, while the savings was continuing to increase the cost was increasing faster. Also, because Disney had my deposit and was thinking I was willing to pay rack rate for this trip...I have not received a single discount by email since I booked the trip! Lastly, the girls had changed their minds about staying at WL...wanting to go back to POR...a resort that is not as high in demand at Christmas time, as WL. I began to feel that for so many reasons that I should cancel this trip...and I did. About a month ago, I called WDW to ask...AGAIN...if I had a PIN...and was once again told that I did not so, I decided that I really needed to rethink the whole plan.

    Sooooo, everyday I have continued to check airfare and package prices...and FINALLY last week saw free dining!!!! However, it did not apply to my dates. But, I thought "why am I so stuck on these dates?!?" The reason being was school and sports schedules...but, would any other dates work...what was the actual school schedule?!? I went to the school dept website to find out that the girls all have a half day of school on 12/7...basketball season starts on 12/11...so, if we could get a trip in that included the half day of school but, before bball season...that might be feasible. Airfare prices I found were as low as $99pp each way...nonstop!!! The girls would miss an additional day of school but, switching to 12/1-12/8...we could stay at POR, with 8dph tickets, free dining and nonstop airfare to the same cost as just the hotel and tickets, at WL. So, I called back and booked it!!! :cheer2:

    However, there was a glitch...
    POR was sold out of free dining...I was so disappointed...I was still paying full price for POR. But, I booked it thinking that I'd find another code to apply so, that I would not miss the non-stop airfare, at a great price. I ended up with after school flights on 12/1...getting home at bedtime on 12/8...so, the girls can go to school the next day.

    Sooooooo...I booked the airfare...once that was done...it was official we are going to Disney but, still with some work to do!!!

    UP NEXT: DID I GET FREE DINING?!?!?!?
     
  20. Lcaemom

    Lcaemom DIS Veteran

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    I was so disappointed to be told that I could not get free dining. It has been such a hard decision to make about whether or not to go back to WDW. Realistically, there are so many things that the cost of a trip could pay for, instead. However, this is really the last year that I could make a trip work for all three girls at Christmastime...next year, I will have two girls in high school...one trying out for basketball which are the M-W after Thanksgiving weekend. So, if we do not go this year...don't know when we would go back. I really felt that the free dining would make the trip so much more feasible and to be told that while there is availability at POR...that the free dining rooms were sold out. :headache: I get the rules...but, I feel like I am jumping through so many hoops, as a single mom to make this work...it just felt so much more disappointing than it probably would have felt in the past. I was told that there was availabilty of free dining rooms at CBR and CSR but, we switched from WL to stay POR...so, I felt like I didn't want to start thinking of changing the decision on that...AGAIN!?! The CM was so nice...told me to keep calling back...to see if the code would apply but, that was that...there was nothing he could do.

    I hung up and went to Mousesavers.com...I found another free dining code...different than the one that the CM gave me...I called back and was told that the same thing!!!:sad2:

    I went back to Mousesavers...and paid a little more attention the Disney Visa free dining. So, I applied for that. I was instantly approved...and called back with yet a third code...and told again...no, no availability!?! ARGGGGHHH!!!!

    So, I went to bed...my head was spinning. I didnt want to pay almost $1000 for something I could get for free...BUT, I really did not want to switch resorts. I got up at midnight and got out my books...went to the website...and really did some research on CBR and CSR...both resorts are beautiful...for different reasons. However, I think the problem was that...we are creatures of habit...and didn't want to veer from what we know...almost like fear of the unknown?!? So, something snapped in my brain and I thought "am I crazy?!? I'm going to pay all the extra $$$ just to stay at POR?!?" So, I called back in the morning...and switched the ressie...yet, again...to CBR!!!:thumbsup2

    We were now OFFICIALLY going to Disney...for 7nts, 8dph tickets, free dining, nonstop airfare for a grand total of $3300!!!! That is less than the cost of only the hotel and tickets for WL. This is doable...I can save another $1500 over the next 5ish months...and the trip will be paid for in cash!!!

    I also could not figure out how to use this new instant Disney visa card. The website kept telling me I had this new credit card to use instantly...I picked my castle motif...but, where was it?!? I decided to buy tickets for the MVMCP...picked Tuesday 12/7...the only non-discounted, non weekend night.(I'll get into that reasoning another time.) I purchased 4 tickets and at the end of the check out it asked if I wanted to apply my purchase to my new Visa...I clicked yes, and voila...there was my new visa. Not sure how worth it is to have it...but, that should be here any day...we'll see if there are any other offers that I can take advantage of.

    Lots more planning to do now...ADRs to make, park hours to check out, countdown to make...half the fun is the planning...so, we're down to 142 days of planning!!!:yay:
     
  21. DevonsDisneyMom

    DevonsDisneyMom DIS Veteran

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    I'm in!!! So glad you got everything figured out!!! You are going to love CBR!!! My favorite moderate resort is CSR thou! :goodvibes I have to be honest, I think that it is better that you are not staying at POR... I'm not sure if you are aware of this but POP Warner Football and Cheerleading championships are held at WDW the first into the second week of December, basically the time we will be there! Away, mostly all the teams stay at the All-Star resorts, but once they fill up, which they always do, the spill over of the teams that couldn't get rooms at the All-Stars all stay at POR! Meaning it will be super crowded with football and cheerleading teams and the buses to the parks are packed! So when you think about it, I think it worked out for the best for you. :goodvibes
     

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