PTR for the planning obsessed....Updated 11/5 We're home now.

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by MRYPPNS, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. MRYPPNS

    MRYPPNS Practically Prefect in Every Way

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    It's my Birthday and I'll DIS if it want to!
    I thought I’d get into this game they call the Pre Trip Report, or the pre-trippie or even the PTR. For a while I referred to this vacation as the “Mythical Vacation”; the vacation that I was just planning in my head to pass the time and to have something good to think about as I try to fall asleep each night. Every once in a while I would pose “mythical” questions to my DH…”hey honey… on this mythical vacation that I’m just thinking about would you like to eat at O’hana’s again?” Or “honey I was thinking that renting a car for our mythical vacation would be easier with DS, what size would you want to get?” This went on for a few months. Then one night at dinner I was posing another one of my mythical questions…and I heard those magical words from DH… “Stop calling it “mythical”, you know you’ll find a way to make it happen.” I think the next day I bought a binder to organize all my planning …so it’s official…we’re going to Disney World!

    Some background on my little family:

    Location: Central New Hampshire
    The cast:
    Me:-Heidi (35) Today is my birthday and this PTR is a present to myself so I have a place to express all of my Disney musings.
    Job: Currently a stay a home mom and I have a little part time bookkeeping job.
    Education: BS in Tourism Planning and Development
    Prior Jobs: snack bar manager at a water park; 10 race seasons in management at NASCAR super-speedway (can you guess which one?); 11 years in an accounting job at a ski area (and I also have experience at a Go-Kart track…think Disney will hire me?)
    Disney Experience: Went to MK and EPCOT Center as a kid and Disneyland as a teen. 3 times since 2001 to all 4 parks at WDW

    [​IMG]

    DH:John (32)
    Job: Engineer (mostly R&D for medical products)
    Education: BS in Biology
    Prior Jobs: Scuba Instructor; worked with fish in Alaska (think Sea World would hire him?)
    Disney Experience: Went to MK and EPCOT Center as a kid. 2 times since 2005 to all 4 parks at WDW

    DS: Liam (9 months)
    Job: Being the cutest kid on the planet
    Education: School of Mommy & Daddy
    Disney Experience: Went in January 2007 as a ride along (I was pregnant at the time of the trip)
    [​IMG]

    Doggie 1: Bailey (9 1/2)
    Job: Living with a brain tumor for as long as she can
    Education: Local dog obedience class - Passed
    Disney Experience: Wears a Mickey Mouse shaped tag on her collar.
    [​IMG]

    Doggie 2: Riley (8)
    Job: Following me where I go
    Education: Local dog obedience class - Failed
    Disney Experience: Has a toy in the shape of Mickey’s pants

    [​IMG]

    That’s us in a nut shell.

    On to the trip planning-----

    My planning main tools are:
    The Unofficial Guide
    Touring plans dot come
    Allearsnet.com
    The DIS
    Wdwinfo.com
    Passorter deluxe (and I have the Open Mouse one too)
    And spread sheets made in Excel


    Here’s the thing about this PTR…I have nothing booked right now except an internet reservation for a rental car---no deposit on it. I’m free to change this thing up a million times if I want and I will be asking for your advice as we go along. So please post your suggestions. If you are a lurker and have always wanted to join in but never do…now is your chance. Post away my good DIS friends, post away.

    We don’t really have any restrictions on us right now with when we can go on vacation but I have no desire to go to Florida from June to August or anytime around Christmas. I first thought about going in September 2008 if there was free dinning. That’s a big savings even if you have to pay rack rates at a value resort (trust me I did the math). But I decided against it for 2 reasons. 1- it still can be really hot and 2- Liam will be that much younger then if we go later in the fall, he’ll be about 18 months when we go. Let me get it out right now for the “he won’t remember anything” crowd…we’re not going to Disney for my DS…I want to go on a vacation to Disney and he gets to come along. I hardly remember my first trip to Disney and I was 12! I don’t know a better place to go on a family vacation with a little one then to Disney, especially if you have already been there and know your way around.

    I’ve been planning on going in November because the number one thing I look at when picking dates is crowd levels. That usually goes hand in hand with price levels too. I want to miss Super Soap weekend (should end 11/9), and Jersey week (shouldn't get going until 11/12) if at all possible. And since I’m looking for Disney to send me some wicked codes for room discounts I’m looking at Sunday November 9 thru Tuesday November 18th.
    But recently (like in the last week) I have realized that MVMCP might start that week. (But it might not because Thanksgiving is a week later this year then last...Why can't Disney put out it's events schedule a year in advance??) I have no interest in going to the Christmas party. And this trip is supposed to be on the super cheap as well but we’ll get to the budget later. I had thought about going the last week of October but didn’t want MNSSHP screwing up plans that week. But if MVMCP is going to hit my November trip then maybe we should just go Sunday October 26 thru Tuesday November 4th and deal with the Halloween party. Plus I secretly want to go to the party…I have already thought of costumes for us to wear.

    So should we go Sunday October 26 thru Tuesday November 4th
    or Sunday November 9 thru Tuesday November 18th ?? Tell me what you think!


    {Both are 10 days/ 9 nights}



    What I’m reading this week on the DIS:
    Dinsey dinning reviews by Oybolshoi http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1622180




    Here are links to the PTR posts...there isn't a lot of chat on this thread but it's easier to get caught up this way.
    Links:


    $ave it to $pend it!
    Just pick a hotel already!
    Binder!
    Penguin Waiter
    Back to the Budget
    Checking on Rates
    On to the fun stuff… Our Itinerary
    More Details
    Let's Talk Dinning
    Pixie Dust in the Mail
    Pixie Dust continued
    Even More Dixie Dust
    Itinerary Recap
    Days OFF
    Southwest Airlines Infant Fares
    Flight to Orlando
    Mini Update for Odds and Ends
    First ADR
    2 Down...6 to go
    Bingo!
    The paint drying update
    Two more done
    Calling in sick
    OT:Animal Kingdom theme 1st birthday party
    MouseManager plug
    Updated Dinning Plans
    Rental Car Update
    Mini Trip Report from 1984! Part 1
    1984 Part 2
    1984 Part 3 Dinning Review
    1984 Part 4 What did we do before AK and DHS?
    Part 5 Magic Kingdom 1984
    Magic Kingdom postcards 1984
    Part 6 Those other theme parks 1984
    EPCOT Center 1984
    EPCOT Center postcard thing
    Bad 90's Fashion
    It's time to wrap up 1984
    Mini Trip Report to Storyland NH June 13, 2008
    Storyland Continued....
    Even more Storyland
    The never ending Storyland story continues.....
    Storyland...the saga continues....
    Plan of Action for Sunday October 26th
    Park Maps and Times Guides
    Updated Budget
    no tickie for you!
    Airline Carry-on bag size chart
    Quick Mini TR of Disneyland from 1988
    I'm in love...with my new park bag!
    The 7 Deadly Sins of Disney
    100 Days to Disney Countdown Calendar
    Mr. Potato Head Parts
    Under the covers...of my trip binder
    The Art of Disney in my house
    Daily Goals
    Sunday Free Day Action Plan
    The all things Liam update
    Resort ressies
    It's Craft Time!
    Odds and Ends Update
    What I learned at Santa's Village
    My Prince with some Princesess
    We're just 52 days away!
    When Snacks Attack!
    Shopping!
    Little Crafts for the Trip
    Day 28!
    Day 25 Panic!
    Day 21 in the Countdown
    Day 19 T-shirt Pictures
    Vacation Day One
    Day 13
    Halloween Costumes
    Vacation Day Two
    Vacation Day Three
    Vacation Day Four
    Vacation Day Five
    Vacation Day Six
    Vacation Day Seven
    Pictures for Day 7
    A little update at T-minus 3 days and counting
    Vacation Day Eight
    Vacation Days Nine & Ten and a quick note good-bye
     
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  3. stagemomx3

    stagemomx3 DIS Veteran

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    I vote for the end of October and go to the Halloween party on Halloween! :thumbsup2
     
  4. MRYPPNS

    MRYPPNS Practically Prefect in Every Way

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    Thanks for my first (and only) reply! I think if we did go to the party it would be earlier in the week. I would imagine that the party gets sold out on Halloween night.
     
  5. BrittBritt

    BrittBritt Mouseketeer

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    HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY!
    I also vote for the end of Oct.
     
  6. stagemomx3

    stagemomx3 DIS Veteran

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    I actually think the nights right before Halloween would be more crowded, wait never mind I was thinking Disneyland with more locals, I forgot that Disney World isn't like that.

    Your right Halloween would probably be the most crowded. I still vote for the end of October though. :flower3:
     
  7. winkers

    winkers <font color=blue>I was stuck in that position and

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    I don't have any experience with that time of year, so they both look great to me! I know, lots of help!:rotfl2:
     
  8. MRYPPNS

    MRYPPNS Practically Prefect in Every Way

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    Thanks for the birthday wishes...I had a really relaxing weekend.

    Hey Winkers! Thanks for stopping by...I need to get over to your England PTR soon
     
  9. MRYPPNS

    MRYPPNS Practically Prefect in Every Way

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    I just noticed your ticker....have a wonderful time in the world!
     
  10. Charleston Princess

    Charleston Princess DIS Veteran

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    I have no experience with that time of year either -- I might lean towards right after Halloween though -- that November 4 start date! Any time at Disney sounds fab to me! :thumbsup2

    Happy Belated Birthday!
     
  11. DisMomAmy

    DisMomAmy DIS Veteran

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    Hi Heidi!! So glad I stumbled upon your new PTR! :goodvibes

    Early October was good - we loved MNSSHP - I'm not sure how the crowd levels would be at the end of October though. If I had to choose between the two times for myself (and didn't have school schedules to deal with) I would go later so I could go to MVMCP - just because we haven't gone yet. So sorry I can't help you... But I can tell you that you will definitely enjoy MNSSHP if you go to it.

    Can't wait to read along as you plan your trip!

    PS - As far as rental cars go - the rates seem to be all over the board - we re-booked our rental car about 10 times before our October trip - just keep watching the rates. Also check out the Dis threads on rental cars. I think under transportation.
     
  12. jordanyosh

    jordanyosh DIS Veteran

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    Okay Peepns I'm here.
     
  13. jordanyosh

    jordanyosh DIS Veteran

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    I would go end of October. Also remember the Food and Wine is going on at Epcot....
     
  14. MRYPPNS

    MRYPPNS Practically Prefect in Every Way

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    Thanks for the b-day wishes! I'm a little OCD about picking what I think is the best week to go. I've put it on the back burner for now until I have more info

    Amy I've missed you posts (I've seen you mostly on KathyRN's TR...) Us grantite staters have to stick together! I have an update on the rental car coming up...let me know if you think I can do better.

    The Grand Master Peep was here...how cool ;) Yes F&W...I'll need to work my plan to go to Epcot on a weekday.

    An Update is on it's way today.
     
  15. MRYPPNS

    MRYPPNS Practically Prefect in Every Way

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    Part 2 Section A: $ave it to $pend it!

    Finding time to write is turning out to be harder than I thought. With an active 10 month old and a dog with a brain tumor the days seem to slip away. But I really want to do this so with Diet Coke at my side; let’s chat about the vacation budget.

    In a way I have been planning this vacation for years because I knew money would be hard to come by once we had DS and I stopped working full time. On our last 2 trips I brought us each 10 day, water parks and more with no expiration tickets. Last year Disney upgraded them to hoppers for free…just like the promo that is going on now. We had the money then and I knew we would be tight on $$ now so by planning ahead we each have 2 park days without hopping and 9 days with hopping and DS will be free because of his age. I don’t even remember how many “plus” tickets we have but we won’t be paying for a water park for years! So the line item for park tickets is $Zero, Yahoo!!

    Have I mentioned that we are planning an 800 square foot addition to our house is summer/fall? Yeah we are and that’s why there is no extra money. But we need a vacation too. I’m my family’s CFO. It’s my job to squirrel away cash for this trip. My birthday gift money, spare change (which by the way was $150 so far!), hopefully some of that tax rebate money…you get the idea. Saving where we can. Oh and we both have Disney visas. We buy everything with them to get the points…so far for this trip we have over 200 points. You should only do this if you have the cash flow to pay off your credit card each month. If you don’t, you’ll be paying a lot of money in interest for the rewards and that just doesn’t make any financial sense.

    At first I thought we could do this for $2000…not gonna happen. I’m the type of person that can’t seem to do anything on the real cheap. I wish I could. We probably would have just as much fun bringing our lunch and eating dinner at a counter service restaurant every night. I can’t bring myself to stay off site…I’m too afraid of not having the magic the whole time. So the budget is closer to $3000 now.

    Here’s what $3000 will get us for 9 nights/10 days:

    Airfare $500
    Hotel $900
    Rental Car $225
    Food $900
    Souvenirs $200
    Tax/Tips/Misc $275


    Airfare
    : Here’s hoping that I can score cheap tickets with Southwest. I decided that I have to get a seat for DS for 2 reasons. DH gets motion sickness so he can’t help with DS in flight. And after I did some reading about having babies under 2 sit on your lap for a flight I reasoned that it wasn’t really fair to the child not to be belted in for safety. We’ll take his car seat for the plane ride and rental car. Waiting for my DING!

    Rental Car: This is actually a done deal (at least for the November dated trip). I tried dozens of codes from mousesavers.com (you have to go to this site…it’s really good for saving you money) and coupons from BJ’s club. I had narrowed it down to only renting from companies located in the airport. I don’t want to take a shuttle. DH had said that he wanted a mid size SUV. I ran all the dates and codes with Alamo, Dollar and National. And Alamo was the cheapest by far. But then I got to thinking about the size of the car. Do we really need a mid size SUV? I don’t think so; we can make a compact work. I re-did all the numbers again and Dollar won this time. We are getting a compact for 10 days for $220.86. (This may go up by $12.50 because of another “tax” to pay for upgrades for the rental car terminals at the airport). I think that price is great…but I will be re-checking prices again to see if I can do better. By the way the code I used for Dollar was oi1054, it’s from the Magicard promo.

    Souvenirs $200: This one makes me laugh. Do I really think that I will only spend $200 on souvenirs??? Not likely since I’ve been known to spent $50 in Basin (DTD) on soaps alone!

    I’ll get to the rest of the budget in more detail in the next post.

    This week's must read is Mike & Suzy's Honeymoon Photo Filled Food Adventure by MikeR. A fun dinning review done in the 3rd person. http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1696485
     
  16. jordanyosh

    jordanyosh DIS Veteran

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    I take it your staying at a value if your budget is 900......Pop? All Stars? I love Pop....FYI...if you didn't already know that....
     
  17. BrittBritt

    BrittBritt Mouseketeer

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    Is Basin not the best store? Love it, love it, love it!
    You are so great with your budget. :thumbsup2 I, on the other hand, tend to wing it in the budget department. I think I'd be sick if I added up all of the vacation expenses.
     
  18. DisMomAmy

    DisMomAmy DIS Veteran

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    I think your car is a pretty good deal - just don't get a compact if you have mroe than 3 people. When we went in March 06 with my mother (DS4 wasn't with us yet) we had luggage piled on our laps going to and from the airport. Compact was good for our day to day travels, but we kind of forgot about transporting the luggage...:headache:

    Getting a ticket for DS is a great idea - I've never carried a baby on a flight - it's safer that way and easier. I don't know about your DS but once they hit a certain age, they want to move around. The car seat was the only way I could get them to sit still. Just keep your eye open for a Southwest Ding fare!

    Can't wait to hear more. popcorn::
    Amy
     
  19. Charleston Princess

    Charleston Princess DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a good budget -- you're like me though -- there is no way I could budget just $200 for souvenirs -- shopping at WDW is one of my favorite things to do!
     
  20. ssmerdel

    ssmerdel DVC Member-AKV

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    I'm onboard. :thumbsup2 I cannot wait to read more. :surfweb:
     
  21. MRYPPNS

    MRYPPNS Practically Prefect in Every Way

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    You like POP? I had no idea! [wink wink] I never said that I was going to stay on budget, just that I have a budget.....I'll explain my hotel plans in the next update.

    It's the bookkeeper in me. You should have seen the budget for my wedding in 2006. I had special software and everything. I can even tell you how much I spent on my flower girl's shoes (it was $52 by the way).
    I'm planning on doing laundry 1/2 way thru the vacation so that should cut down on the amount of luggage we take. Plus I'm going to mail down a box of stuff to the hotel so we don't need a Sherpa in the airport.
    I usually plan a whole day in DTD just for shopping. Last January we brought so much stuff for the baby. Onies, bib, sweat shirt, plastic dinner set, his first Mickey stuffy, his first teddy bear from the shop in Germany.
    :welcome: and please keep your head inside the tram at all times...don't want your mouse ears to get smooshed!
     

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