Hey you guys! I'm Chris (chrisn on the DIS)31 year old wife and mother of 2. I can't believe it's almost here and I thought I would share a little bit of what it took to get us to Disney this year. Hope you enjoy it but please heed the LONG warning. Trip Dates: Jan 30th-Feb 10th 2001 The Players: DH-37 AKA Scrooge McGreedy. General money horder Me-31 AKA Wicked Queen. Just a little wicked DD-12 AKA Princess Preteen. Need I explain? DS-3 AKA Prince not so Charming. Too Cute! DB-24 AKA Knucklehead. But you can call him Dopey DN-19 AKA Tweedle Dee Dumfounded. "Wow Man" Called Dad earlier this year. "Hello Daddio! Going back to Disney. Can we have the Condo?" (Dad owns timeshare at Westgate Lakes). Dad says we can have it for a week. "WHAT?! Only a week? That's not nearly long enough!" what to do? Duh! Find a hotel. You have 2 weeks paid vacation, YEAH! Hotel on the brain kicks in. Don't like to stay in dumps or dives. Like a nice place for good value. Decide on Hampton Inn Lake Buena Vista. $85 first 2 nights $95 last 2. I make the ressie. This is a good thing right? WRONG! Decide I want a more family friendly joint and my thought gravitate toward Holiday Inn Sunspree. $118 a night. I make the ressie. This is good. WRONG! Had a coworker visit the Sunspree on a business trip and he indicated that it was a little old and I may not like it. OH NO! What to do? As it happens, I'm looking through the accomodations guide I got along with the Magic Card and I come across an add for Holiday Inn Family Suites (HIFS). I really like the idea of a Kidsuite and so I call and ask a lot of questions. Found out this is a new joint and I could have a 2 bedroom Kidsuite for $98 a night for 4 nights. Total with taxes is $435. I make the ressie. This is a really good thing! I pull out my "Unofficial Guide" and quickly proceed to Disney on the brain, in the brain, around the brain and everywhere in between. Finished the second reading. It's not enough! I proceed to Media Play and purchase Walt Disney World with Kids, Birnbaums, Universal Orlando, Fodors and Passorter. It's offical. I'm obsessed! Read them all from cover to cover. Getting excited! Making calls. Long distance calls. Lots of them! Ordered WDW and Uescape videos. Thought DS would get a kick out of them. WRONG! "Dizzyweird Mommy, Dizzyweird." ALL DAY LONG! MmmHmm, yes sweetie. Surfing the web at work. Getting lots of cool Disny info. Found "The DIS". "Whats this?...OH MY GOSH! There is nothing wrong with me! There are other obsessive Disney adicts too! THIS SITE IS GREAT! What in the hey is DH, DD, DS?" OK, I got it now. I even know what bump means. I'm a DIS vet! Saving money, saving more money, SAVING LOTS AND LOTS OF MONEY! Ordered Hopper Plus, Uescape 3 Days, Busch Gardens (stressed over this) and Pirate Dinner Adventure tickets through orlandotravel.com. Called to make ressies for Discovery Cove. "WHAT! What do you mean you are not taking ressies for Jan/Feb?" "OH NOOOO! Park may be closed for expansion?!" DD balls. She wants to be a Marine Biologist. "It's ok sweetie, maybe thy will change their minds." Wrote a letter to the powers that be at Discovery Cove. Ordered Disney Mag. Got lots of brochures from Orlando Travel. DS wants to look at them. Wants to look at vacation pictures and watch "Dizzyweird Mommy, take me Dizzyweird Mommy!" ALL DAY EVERY DAY! MmmHmm, yes honey. Getting really excited! Stressing over cost of Mini Van rental. Found deal through Orlando Travel. Reserved Mini Van from Dollar @ $209/week. All right! No Shuttle! Starting to stress over airfare. Airlines are quoting $475 from here (Salt Lake City). "THATS $2000 DOLLARS!" Decide to wait but stressing highly! Calling Discovery Cove every week to see if anything has changed. "Guess What?" They are not closing park! Made ressie! YES! DD is jumping up and down screaming and pulling on me. It's a good thing I called when I did. The Sat after was already booked up. Checking Southwest Internet deals every Tuesday. They havn't extended date out. STRESSING! Time to pull out the big guns! Called Debbie at Murdock Travel. Begged her to find me a great deal. She put a yellow sticky on her terminal with my name and ORLANDO AIRFARE, CHEAP! Kept calling a couple times a week bugging the crap out of her I'm sure. Sitting at my desk sulking and just bout ready to give in. *Phone rings* "Chris, Debbie at Murdock. Have I got a deal for you!" $248 round trip including taxes and fees. I almost faint. There is a God and he loves me! Hurry Debbie, here's my card. "BUY THEM NOW!" I just saved $1000! Aaaahggggg! Tons of stress flys right off my shoulders. GO DEBBIE! GO DEBBIE! Bought 2 more family radios, Misty Mate and Misty Fan for $6 on clearance at Shopco. Reading DIS boards a lot. "CHEERLEADERS! NOOO!". Wait! Need a swimsuit for pools and Discovery Cove. Bought 3 before I decide on one. Thank God for Victoria's Secret! "Dizzyweird Mommy, Dizzyweird!" MmmHmm, yes Nickie. Stressing over whether or not to see Cirque. Found out about the BOGO Promo for HIFS (I love THE DIS!). "Called and spoke to every operator they have. Wanted to make damn good and sure. "Am I eligible for this discount?" OH MY GOSH! I just saved over $200! YOOHOO! Reading DIS boards. Antipirspirant spray for your feet? Learn something every day. Speaking of feet. Stressing over walking sandals. Getting close enough to make PS. Called 120 days out for Rain Forest AK. "Sorry, wer don't have anything availble after 5:00 at all". "WHAT! HELLO! This isn't Cindy's. OK, I'll take 4:45" (I'm starting to feel rather wicked). Stressing over Sci-Fi or Prime time. Finally decided on Planet H, NASCAR Cafe (City Walk), Rain Forest, Pirate's, Poly Luau (Sea World), House of Blues, Sci-Fi, Morocco Chef Mickey's and Cindy's breakfast. Kad to add Kona for Tonga toast and Ohana's for dinner. Parks we are touring are Downtown Disney, Busch Gardens, Universal, City Walk, Animal Kingdom, Discovery Cove, Sea World, MGM, Islands of Adventure, Magic Kingdom Epcot and Kennedy Space Center. Doing Cirque and Maye Disney Quest again. Going on Old Fshioned Airboat ride and Mall hopping on last day before plane flys out. Saving money, living on Top Ramen and I'd kill for a steak. Lst but not least, I have placed a very special order for DD and DS from Gifts of a Lifetime ti present them with from Mickey upon arrival. Thanks to all my DIS pals for all their help and insight. DS is driving me CRAZY! "Dizzyweird Mommy, take me Dizzyweird Mommy." "MmmHmm, yes Nicholas but your starting to sound like Pull String Woody and Mommy is going to string you up by your wee little Mickey Mouse ears in a minute". Stay tuned for post trip report titled: Wicked Queen and her entourage do Disney and beyond! 2/00-Offsite 2/01-Offsite (HIFS) 3/02-7 Day Disney Cruise!