Resorts, Relatives & Restaurants - and a 3 day cruise!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Mndisneygirl, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. Mndisneygirl

    Mndisneygirl DIS Veteran

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    Hi everyone!! Here it is - the first TR I've ever done! I hope you'll join me in re-living the fun we had in our December 5-13, 2009 adventure!
    The cast:
    Me - Sheree aka "the organizer"
    DH - Dave
    DD8 - Sarah
    DD6 - Paige
    [​IMG]
    This was our picture from our 2008 Christmas card. There will be lots of pictures from our trip.
    Supporting cast:
    MIL - Elaine, aka "Nanny"
    SIL - Sharon, aka "crash!"
    SIL - Donna
    BIL - Kenny
    Nephew - Ross
    Nephew - Andrew
    SIL - Debbie
    BIL - Steve

    A bit of background: DH has four sisters, all are older than him. Three of them were able to join us on this trip. Here's how it all got started. In January 2009, DH, the DDs and I went to WDW with MIL and SIL Sharon. We went on the 4/3 deal to CBR and really liked it. I met many of my DISer friends on the Jan 09 Snowbirds thread and was hooked!! I even got to meet a couple of them on the trip (Disneymommy3 - Shawna and Dancegrl624- Meghan!)
    Following CBR, we went on a 4 day Disney Cruise on the Wonder. They gave us an offer that was for those who cruised on the Wonder in February and part of March to bounceback for a 3 day cruise for $99 per person. It had to be taken between August and December 15 of 2009. WELL...of course that was a deal that was too good to pass up! As you may have guessed, we live in Minnesota. We did not want to cruise in summer or hurricane season, - we have to cruise in winter!
    So, we picked a week right after Thanksgiving so the kids would only miss a day or two of school. Nope, blacked out. Try the next week. Okay. So we booked a three day cruise. Yeah, a three day vacation from MN isn't enough.
    Hey, we will have to go right by WDW, why not stay there? So we started trying to decide where to stay and for how long. Then we found out that SIL Donna wanted to go on the cruise too! MIL wanted to come again, SIL Sharon wanted to come again (they both could get the $99 deal too!). SIL Debbie lives in FL, so she could come up to WDW easily. And a family reunion vacation was born!!!
    NEXT: Where would we stay? How will we coordinate 12 people? Hey, there's a military deal!!! Can we use it??

    Stay tuned...I had a few other ideas for the title - maybe they should be subtitiles:
    There's a Christmas tree - do you want a picture of that?
    Where are we going to sleep tonight?
    Do we have everybody?
     
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  3. Mndisneygirl

    Mndisneygirl DIS Veteran

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    Reserved for Chapter links (hopefully!)
     
  4. drakes

    drakes DIS Veteran

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    I'm joining !! Glad you started your TR - as we leave soon it will be nice to have a fresh perspective! As well can't wait to hear your impressions of the cruise! :goodvibes
     
  5. Mndisneygirl

    Mndisneygirl DIS Veteran

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    Yay!! My first reader!! I'm so relieved! Of course, I posted the link on about 5 threads, so someone would come!
    I hope to keep up a good pace, especially now with Christmas over, I'll have time. I just have to stay organized! SO many pictures...
     
  6. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! Bring on the report. popcorn::
     
  7. manntra

    manntra DIS Veteran

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    :wave: Hi there! I came over from LL's PTR :goodvibes
    Wow! That was a great deal you had for your second cruise! :woohoo: Looking forward to how it all plays out...:)

    Tracy
     
  8. Mndisneygirl

    Mndisneygirl DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for joining me!


    Choosing Resort #1
    So, once we had a date for our cruise (12/10) we had to decide when and where we would go to WDW. DH wanted to try a new resort this time. I was thinking budget - Pop Century. SIL Sharon, MIL didn't care. They tend to go with the flow. I found out that military could get 40% off deluxe resorts. Plus there was a military ticket deal!! This could be budget and deluxe at the same time!
    MIL carries a military survivor benefit ID from my FIL who was retired military. Because of that, if she were to travel with us, she could get us the 40% resort up to three rooms! Exactly what we needed! MIL and Sharon share a room, the four of us have a room, and Donna and family share a room.
    SIL Debbie drives her motor home up and stays at Ft. Wilderness. Okay. So which resort? DH was really interested in Bay Lake Tower. I wanted to stay at Poly but really wanted to stay there when we had more than a few days. It appeared that we could only be there from Sunday to Thursday morning and that just wasn't enough for me to enjoy the Poly (I have big plans for the Poly someday!)
    So we called BLT and booked 3 rooms - it was BRAND NEW!!! It just opened in August, so we figured everything would be fresh, clean and what a great location!!!
    All set to hit BLT on Sunday 12/6. This was booked in April because we couldn't book the cruise until 4/15, so it was after that. Everyone got their vacations approved and the kids would miss one week of school.
    Did I mention we were planning to DRIVE from Minnesota in December????
    Since the kids were off school on 12/4 and I don't work on Fridays, we figured we could leave Thursday after work and have two and a half days to get there. DH loves to drive and it is definitely cheaper than flying. Plus no luggage worries! We could pack whatever we wanted that fit in our car!
    THIS car:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    In this amount of space:
    [​IMG]

    Sorry the pictures are not all small. I thought I resized them all!

    Knowing how I pack, this could be tough. As time went on, we found we had to pack even more stuff (mostly because of the cruise), but more on that later!

    Okay
    Cruise booked for all 10 going (all but Debbie and Steve)? Check.
    Resort booked? Check.
    Time off approved? Check.
    Transportation? Check. (God willing and weather cooperating!)

    Next up:
    How is everyone else getting there?
    How can we stretch out this trip longer??
    Meeting new DIS friends
     
  9. kcandbella

    kcandbella DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like fun! Can't wait to read all about your trip!
     
  10. wigdoutdismom

    wigdoutdismom DIS Veteran

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    Hopping in the trunk of that car!
     
  11. Mndisneygirl

    Mndisneygirl DIS Veteran

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    Ha, I just looked back at the car picture and noticed it was taken in April - if you look across the street, that is SNOW on the ground!! See why we go to WDW in the winter? It lasts about 6 months here!
     
  12. Mndisneygirl

    Mndisneygirl DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for joining me! I'm so excited to have readers! HEE HEE!

    Come on along for the ride! It's going to be an adventure!
     
  13. gellybean

    gellybean DIS Veteran

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    I hitchhiked over from LL's PTR!!!
    Holy moly at that Cruise BB offer!! INSANE!!!

    Can't wait to read about BLT!!! I soooooooooo dream of staying in their grand villa with my whole family... WHOLE Family.... mom, dad, sisters, brother, nephews, neice et al.... even though we wouldn't all fit :rolleyes: and then magically making them all disappear with a touch of a button when I get tired of them all and want to take a bath in that huge tub with that two story window view of MK! :goodvibes


    Sorry, got lost there for a moment!! :rotfl:


    Bring on the trippie!! popcorn::
     
  14. Lady Lallie

    Lady Lallie DIS Veteran

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    I'm here!

    What a great bounceback on that cruise! I can't wait to hear about it either, Marc & I have been toying with going on a Disney cruise in the near future.

    I'm super jealous about Bay Lake Tower, I really really want to stay there. It looks so amazing.
     
  15. Mndisneygirl

    Mndisneygirl DIS Veteran

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    :rotfl: Believe me, after this trip, I know what you mean!!!

    Thanks for coming! The cruise deal was such a bargain! I think we knew we'd do it before we got off the first time. I will try to give lots of info on both BLT and the cruise. Hopefully I can post a lot over the holiday weekend.
     
  16. wigdoutdismom

    wigdoutdismom DIS Veteran

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    Very anxious to hear all about your cruise! We are cruising with the mouse in June. I hear the best comments about DCL!
     
  17. 2xcited2sleep

    2xcited2sleep DIS Veteran

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    Hopping aboard from LL's PTR... popcorn::
     
  18. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    Well - while everyone is hopping over from LL's PTR, I am hopping over from Wigd's new TR. So there! :laughing:

    Looking forward to your adventures driving. I drive a honda, so I am used to having little packing room. I have complete faith that you will pull it off. Reminds me of one trip where we rented a mid size car for 4. We got to the airport and rental car agency late (like 9:30pm) and all they had left were minivans. So the girl behind the desk says to DH, "wouldn't you like to upgrade. I'm sure your wife would want a bigger car". He looks at here with a straight face and says, "Obviously you don't know my wife". :laughing: So we ended up with this loaded minivan with satellite radio for $150 for 8 days. How great is that?

    Anyway - I digress! Looking forward to see your BLT pictures and WOW - a $99 bounceback cruise. That's awesome!
     
  19. Mndisneygirl

    Mndisneygirl DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! Cruising is a lot of fun with Disney!!
    Thanks for coming! You'll see I've been sucked into LL's obsession with light fixtures too! There's something for everyone!
    :laughing: wherever you come from, you're welcome here!
    Packing is always an adventure. Are the suitcases too big? Will we have room for souvenirs? This trip was no exception. Unfortunately, I don't think I took a picture of the car all loaded up. :(

    A side note about packing and cars...
    In 2007 we flew to WDW, took ME and stayed at POR. Only for a couple days, because we were renting a car and driving to Miami for a cruise. So we get the rental. It's a Chevy Malibu. DH got frustrated with me trying to help packing and so he sent us off. We came back later and he said, you cannot open the trunk until we get there! It was SO jammed!!! When we got off the cruise and had to rent another car to drive back to Orlando, we lucked out and got the minivan! Way better space!
     
  20. crzyred

    crzyred DIS Veteran

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    From your neighbor in WI I understand the whole snow thing...it's so depressing.

    Great start, can't wait to hear more!!
     
  21. Momto2PrncChrmgs

    Momto2PrncChrmgs DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! I'm here! :yay:
    Haven't had time to read all the way thru~just when I found you, I hear my DH fighting with my kids about brushing their teeth! Is it strange that we have to physically restrain my 3yo on the ground to get his teeth brushed?? :confused3
    I'll catch up in the A.M.!!! :thumbsup2
     

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