The Can I Coupon the Family to Disney World

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by bookmama, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. bookmama

    bookmama Mouseketeer

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    Hi Y'all,

    My name is Leah long time lurker, some time poster here at Disboards.My first trip to Disney was when I was ten. Worst trip Ever. Just think freak cold spell, no long pants or shirts. Anyway, more about me. I am 35, I think and am a single parent. So I am a SSAWM (Single Stay at Work Mom):rotfl:. I am an Student Services Assistant in Philly. Basically I help out in the school where needed. I generally work with 7th graders.:eek: They're not that bad once you get to know them. I love and hate working at a school. Love the summers off and hate when kids choose not to learn because it's boring and not all that important. :headache: I am an avid beginner scrapbooker, photography nut, book lover, social nerd and coupon lover. In fact, I'm cheap. You know the rhyme, "make a dollar out of 15 cents." Well that's me, trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents. If I could squeeze a penny into 4 and use each quarter I would.
    So here's me. This was at Wildwod last year, on my favorite ride, the Ferris Wheel. You won't see many pictures of me because I'm usually the one holding the camera.
    [​IMG]

    Next up is my baby boy. Devin 14 but will be 15 when we go next year. General Mama's boy, football and basketball lover. Eats like a horse. He's caring and funny but sometimes selfish and idiotic. Most people call him Dev, or DevyDev
    [​IMG]

    Next up is Mom. She's 55, I think, and works as a Social Worker at the Phila Prison Sytem. She's great. Somewhat a best friend, I'm still scared of her, flashbacks from my teenage years when she showed me how grown I really was.
    [​IMG]

    She has custody of my niece and oldest nephew because my middle sister can't take care of them. So first up is Albert. He's 12, he'll be 13 when we go. He was recently diagnosed with Aspergers. Which kinda made sense after all the things he's done. He is a computer genius and an avid cyclist. He'll be entering 8th grade in September.
    [​IMG]

    And my sugah momma. Adrianna. She is 5 but will be 6 when we go. She was tentatively diagnosed with Aspergers but it can't really be confirmed because she is so young and a girl. She can be as sweet as sugar or as mean as a rattlesnake. She is a hater of all princesses except Tiana. The first time we went she called the princesses posers. But when Tiana came out in the movies she said, "She is a real princess, she looks like me." Thank you Disney :worship:
    [​IMG]

    I started a PTR last year when I hoped we were going but stopped because the whole trip thing fell apart--bad. I think I'm jinxed whenever I think about writing about our plans to the World it goes wrong. I also think because I promised my mom that I would finish the scrapbook before we go again. Our last trip-2007, scrapbook still not done. Almost, but not done.

    In my next post I'll introduce the rest of the fam and the plans.
     
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  3. bookmama

    bookmama Mouseketeer

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    Okay next up is the baby of the family. My sister Anita. She's 22, I think. Can you tell how bad I am with keeping up with ages. Hey after 21, it's all a wash for me. You're another year older and you've beaten the odds. Well Nita has two kids. Somewhat of a lacksidasial parent but she tries--sort of.
    [​IMG]
    She's the shorter one. Next to her is her BFF. I wish that her BFF could go with us but we can't afford to take her along. She is a sweetheart and deserves a trip to WDW. Maybe I'll ask.

    So here's the first of Nita's kids. My Wellster. Joell, yes it's spelled with two L's. Nita said so that he wouldn't be called Joel. He is our gentle giant. Can't hurt a fly. Heart as big as the ocean. He is 4 and will be 5 when we go.
    [​IMG]

    Finally, Elijiah, or Eli as the rest of us call him. He's 7mos now but will be 18mos when we go. Same age as Sugah Mama when she went. Unreprentant flirt, smart as a whip and a severe asthmatic.
    [​IMG]

    Update: Nita's BFF said she wants to go!:banana::cool1::cool1:

    Thank you Facebook!
    So her name is Chantal, everyone calls her Channey.

    The Plan:
    Leave after school gets out for me. June 21-28. Stay at ASM. Three different rooms; one for each family. 6 day tickets with park hopper. 2 day ticket at Universal Studios but stay at WDW. Our second time without DDP because it is just too expensive especially with the changes. We're not doing the water parks because when we bought the WPAM we only went to one water park and only for a half day. Waste of Money!

    I decided to do everything a la carte because it came out cheaper than MYW. You'll also notice I do most of the planning. Okay, all of it. Mom wanted to see WWoHP we're all HP fans so we're kinda excited to see it. But like I said I'm the planner. And for once use our Union for tickets, we've paid into the Union for 10 years we might as well get something out of it. We're going to pay the hotel deposit first and then start working on the tickets. One by one.

    So how does all of this fit in with the title of the PTR. Well I plan to find every coupon I can that will eat away the cost of the trip. Every ding fare, everything. The money we save at home from coupons gets deposited into the disney fund. Restuarant coupons for in and out of Disney.


    Next up: The heroes (or how to keep everyone focused on the trip)
     
  4. cam&phoebsmom

    cam&phoebsmom counting down the days until our next trip...

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    My New Year's Resolution was to save money through couponing. I am no extreme couponer, but i have been much more mindful of cutting coupons and following sales.

    Restaurant.com often has 80% off sales and I know House of Blues in DTD participates in restaurant.com. I think i have also seen coupons listed for 99cent kids' meas in Rainforest Cafe or T-Rex.

    Good luck with your planningI love your niece's comments about Tiana, LOL.
     
  5. bookmama

    bookmama Mouseketeer

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    Thanks. I liked the show, used some of their techniques to save more money; but I hate the excess & the greed.

    Sugah Mama is a trip. Wait til you get to know her.
     
  6. cam&phoebsmom

    cam&phoebsmom counting down the days until our next trip...

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    I told my friend the day I hide condiments under the kids' beds is the day she can toss my coupons out for me, LOL!
     
  7. ZFamily5

    ZFamily5 DIS Veteran

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    Too cute! Subbing! I can't wait to read more about your plans! :thumbsup2
     
  8. bookmama

    bookmama Mouseketeer

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    :rotfl2: Mom said she would 302 me if I got anywhere close to this.
     
  9. bookmama

    bookmama Mouseketeer

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    Hey everyone,

    So when we last left off I told you that there were some heroes responsible for this upcoming trip. So first up is our Disney Pig. All the change that we have left at the end of the day goes into the pig for their spending money. It's split between the four kids.
    [​IMG] Here's our conversation:
    Me: Everytime change is put in the pig it is your spending money for Disney? Do you want a fat pig or a skinny pig?
    Sugah Mama & Wellster: FAT PIG!:yay:
    Me: Good keep putting money in and at the end of the month we'll count it up and you can put the amount on your pigs.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    they colored the pigs themselves. the boys felt too old but they do contribute. The pig has gone through some pillaging which I blame on both boys and they will pay for it. See Devin is still recovering from a debilitating disease, ABMS (Angry Black Male Syndrome). This disease begins about 13-14 and hits young african american usually from single parent and low to middle income families. It involves the boy not taking responsibility for his actions and blaming it on the "white man". "He is holding me down." If caught early it will save a boy from an early death and a miserable life. The prescription is a swift behind kicking literally and figuratively. Usually by a positive male, in my case my godbrother. Enough of my ranting, I'm getting off my soap box and putting away my megaphone. Back to the heroes.

    Wait: I just gotta tell you this. A couple of weeks ago mom called me in tears. Adrianna was upset she tells mom she can't wait til she gets bigger because then she can find dollars. Dollars are never on the ground only coins.
    The two them will turn my mom's purse upside down for change, empty out the coin cup in the car and go through pockets and purses from both mom and Nita. Every bit of change is for the pig.

    You'll notice that Adrianna talks a lot, she speaks for Joell because he has a speech impediment and she usually interprets for him. Mom and I are working on teaching him sign language. He gets frustrated that people can't understand what he's saying and he is so smart.
     
  10. bookmama

    bookmama Mouseketeer

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    So how do we get the children to understand that they are not going to Disney when they have no concept of time. Here's how: How many Birthdays til Disney. [​IMG]
    They understand birthdays and how everyone has one. Every time some one has a birthday their name is covered with Mickey Ears. Devin's is first, his name is covered because his birthday was in May. Albert was told by Wellster to hurry up and have his birthday so they can be closer to Disney.

    Next up: What does the extra stuff cost. I made this one to show how much each of our going out and impromptu shopping. They really like this one
    [​IMG]

    The last set of heroes is our goal chart. It's no Picasso but everytime we accompolish a goal the kids get to decorate the circles, plane, rectangle or meal plate. Circles of course, represent the days we stay.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  11. LutheranChick82

    LutheranChick82 I love Disney!

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    I love all the charts that you've made! It will really help the kids feel as though they're a part of the planning process for their trip to WDW.

    I can't wait to go back to Disney, but DH and I can't afford it right now so I'm reading everyone's Trip Reports to get my Disney fix :lmao:
     
  12. bookmama

    bookmama Mouseketeer

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    That's how I did for the last few years. It really helps soothe the cravings.
     
  13. cam&phoebsmom

    cam&phoebsmom counting down the days until our next trip...

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    Great charts! We also have a spot for change. We jsust went to the bank and got $125 to put in a seperate account for Disney:thumbsup2

    The guy after us in the coun counter line had a huge water bottle jug full of coins-$1,300 worth!!!:scared1:

    My son was incredibly impressed!
     
  14. bookmama

    bookmama Mouseketeer

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    Me too. I can't ever find empty bottles. Those big jugs are always recycled at the store.
     
  15. bookmama

    bookmama Mouseketeer

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    Well it's been a couple of days and I just wanted to let y'all know that there have been more people added to our love trip. My SIL is coming with us. Well she's not really my SIL but I call her that. She's Dev's aunt and one of my most favorite people. She told me when Devin was born, he was her first born and she's spoiled him ever since. Anyway she and her two daughters are coming Beyonce (13) and Taylor(7mos). Taylor was born one month before Eli. We are so excited that they are coming.:dance3: Also Hazel, Devin's Gmom is coming too:banana: This is Tanya's and the crew's first time at Disney.

    When I find pics of the gang I'll post them.

    Also I found this great book on Amazon and it is about planning a trip to the Mouse with preschoolers.

    Beyond the Attractions: A guide to Walt DisneyWorld World with Preschoolers
     
  16. rpbear

    rpbear DIS Veteran

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    Hello, I am joining your thread. I love the charts and the piggy bank. Can't wait to hear how much money you save for your trip using coupons.

    Lucy
     
  17. fax290

    fax290 Earning My Ears

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    Hi Leah! I never post, never feel the need, but I really like your PTR so I thought I'd say hi :).

    I love the enthusiasm your family has planning your trip. I am going in September with my sister to celebrate our graduations (hers from high school, mine from college) and I also started saving over a year (and a half) before to be able to go. It is hard but worth it. I have my own version of the pig. Her name is Penny. She's pretty fat right now :thumbsup2. I am as addicted to finding coins as your family. Everyone knows not to let their change sit around the house cause I'll help myself. If I get questioned as I'm scooping it into my hand I just remind them that Penny is hungry :laughing:.

    By the way, we are nearby neighbors ;). And something I like to do when I'm really itching for Disney is visit the Disney store. The one at the Cherry Hill Mall got the fancy makeover. I haven't been there yet, I'm saving it for a day I just can't let the withdrawl pass. If your closer to Bucks the one at Oxford Valley Mall is the older style but still magical enough. Maybe on a rainy day you could take the kids to have a look around and hold them over until the trip... modivate them to keep coin hunting!

    Also, I know you've got a tough job there! My friend is a special ed teacher in the philadelphia school district, well was... she is currently one of the casualities of their budget crisis. Anyway, she was trying to talk me into applying for a TSS position.. after the stories she tells, no thank you! You know how it is. I'm working with children now basically one on one and that is enough for me. Plus they are younger. 7th graders are near impossible!

    Please tell Adrianna that Tiana is my favorite princess as well and please, keep us posted on your planning progress!
     
  18. bookmama

    bookmama Mouseketeer

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    Okay so it's the beginning of our third heatwave in Philly and it of course made me think Disney. So here's our goals for our time at Disney:

    1) Manage to eat not one french fry the entire trip. See when we went in 2004 we knew nothing about eating around the World. So we pretty much stuck with whatever we could find cheap. Mostly everything came with a fry or potato. By the time we left we got physically ill at the sight of a fry. This made it a little hard because at the time I was working at Burger King.:sick:

    2) This one is for me: Not letting the adults tick me off. I'm talking about the ones in the family. The ones that don't know how much planning it takes to get everyone to Disney.

    3)See Finding Nemo. We missed this the last time; but we saw Festival of the Lion King and loved it. In fact, there are some things we definitely missed in AK that we will be seeing this time

    4) Hit Universal Studios, definitely to see WWoHP. We liked Harry Potter.

    5) Relax and worry not about the little things but enjoy the joy of being in Disney.


    So far I got the schedule down, keep your fingers crossed that we don't have too many snow days and we'll be able to leave on June 20th or 21st (whichever has the best deal for airfare)

    Day one: MK
    Day two: AK
    Day three: Universal Studios
    Day four: Epcot
    Day five: DHS
    Day six: Islands of Adventure
    Day seven: Epcot
    Day eight: MK

    Plans are subject to change.


    Our Piggy took a hit today: Mom's car broke down, she needs a new radiator. But she's taking it in stride she's on Septa, which is ok because there are no kids so the ride to work is faster than driving.:rolleyes1

    The kids can't wait until we go, they keep complaining that they wish Disney would hurry up. So mom and I talked and we're instituting Disney night once a week; movie and theme night. I got this idea from disboards. Thank y'all very much.:thumbsup2

    On Saturday I think, we're going to the bank to empty the pig, see how much we saved so far.

    Next time: Food spots
     
  19. bookmama

    bookmama Mouseketeer

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    Fax290: Thank you for reading. I'm so excited that people are reading my PTR. It will keep me writing.
    We will definitely go to the store in Cherry Hill. It will give everyone a boost. Have fun in September. I hope you write a TR. I would love to hear about your adventures.
     
  20. bookmama

    bookmama Mouseketeer

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    Okay, first I said that we were staying at ASM, now I'm thinking about FW. We LOVED FW when we stayed last time. We also liked ASM when we stayed the first time. So now, I'm flip flopping like a fish on dry land. Here's the breakdown

    ASM (3 in a room)
    1076.89 w/tax
    Deposit is $145.18

    FW(6 in a cabin)
    2723 w/tax
    Deposit is $382.90

    We would buy the tickets separately. Now here's the problem, do we take the cabins because it breaks down into $907.66 per family or do we stick to ASM. We would have to rent a refrigerator in ASM but there is a full kitchen at FW. Devin says he doesn't want to stay at FW because he would be in a cabin with all girls and taking the ferry is no big deal.

    Also I keep toying with the idea of doing the QSDP. It is a little convienent but it is not as great as the DDP was in 2007. Here's the breakdown do note that tickets are separate:

    ASM 1919.30

    FW 4407.38

    The cost for FW would be divided into 3 which would give me 907.66 per family without the DP and 1469.80 with QSDP.

    Anyway i'm budgeting on $40 a day for food per person, well except for the kids because Adrianna, Joell & Albert just don't eat that much. They have their quirks and refuse to eat certain foods. Adrianna doesn't eat corn niblets, Joell doesn't eat corn on the cob. So you see the problem and Albert puts no condiments on anything.:headache: Can you imagine what it is like to order out? Applesauce with cinnamon is out because Adrianna and Joell thinks it's dirty.

    I know we're going to do a couple of TS but not enough to even think about the DDp. Not a good bargain at all. No gratuity, no appetizer, not worth it to us. I think we are spoiled from our last DDP trip.

    Oy!
     
  21. ZFamily5

    ZFamily5 DIS Veteran

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    Personally, I like the idea of FW because of the extra space, but ASM seems like a good option too. Let us know what you decide! popcorn::
     

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