1. Follow the DIS on Instagram! www.instagram.com/the.dis

The Darling Family June 2011: A Last Minute Budget Vacation

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by dismagiclover, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    3,072
    That sounds like such an incredible trip! We've never stayed at the values because of the 5 people thing, but they look fun! You will have a great time! And all of those extras will be perfect for Christmas time. Do you think you'll do a trip report?

    :welcome: I'm so glad you came out of lurkdom! And :woohoo: for the princess in February! That looks like such a fun race. And yes definitely factor into your plans enought time for a few pictures. That is what make the Disney races so much fun! This trip wasn't near as exciting as the marathon trip, so I hope the report doesn't get too boring.
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    3,072
    This day began bright and early. We actually had things to do before we headed South. First up was a 10K race for me. I’m running the Disney half marathon in January and I needed to get a time I could submit so that I wasn’t in the last corral. My neighbor was running the race with me so we headed out at 7:15 for the 8:00 start time. (Gotta love that we don’t have to wait around for hours for the local races.:cool1:) We picked up our bibs and made it to the start in plenty of time. Here is a picture of the start.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture of where I was at the start. I lined up at the back.:rolleyes1

    [​IMG]

    The race was hot, but my time was good enough to submit to Disney so I was happy. Best thing about this race was who was waiting at the end.

    [​IMG]

    My other addiction is Chick Fil A. So I have to say the next best thing to Mickey Mouse greeting me at the finish line was the Chick Fil A cow.:laughing: Plus they had chicken biscuits for the runners. So we headed back home; I took a shower and then we headed out for Michael’s last t-ball game. DH is the coach so we figured we shouldn’t miss it. Here are a few photos.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After the game we headed home. DH packed the car; the kids had lunch and we finally hit the road around 1:00. Nothing too eventful to report about the ride. My kids actually do really well in the car. A little whining now and then, but they do that when they are at home too. We made it all the way to South Carolina and checked into our hotel around 9:30. Tomorrow we’d be at Disney!:yay:
     
  4. ZFamily5

    ZFamily5 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Messages:
    860
    Wow! A half marathon the day you leave for Disney! I want to do a Disney half marathon, though I'm not sure if that will work out just yet because of school...

    The pictures of Michael at his game are so cute! And that's great that the kids are so good in the car. One of my sisters tends to get car sick!
     
  5. Angies1274

    Angies1274 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,376
    Aww...thanks!:goodvibes I love reading your TR's....I wouldn't miss it!:thumbsup2 Yes, I finally have a ticker!:laughing: It's been too long! We are planning to head back in April again for a week. We just love the F&G Festival..I'm sad that we missed it this year.:sad2:

    Anyway...back to your TR! Wow! I'm always running around trying to finish things on departure day and here you were running a 10K and going to a t-ball game as well.:worship: Glad the drive is going well so far and the kids are doing so good in the car. I'm not sure how my boys would do on such a long trip...although we have thought about it. It would definitely save us a ton on airfare. Maybe someday.....
     
  6. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    19,488
    Wow - running a race on departure day. That's pretty impressive. Glad your time got you out of the last corral!!!!! :thumbsup2
     
  7. lynn46356

    lynn46356 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2001
    Messages:
    1,151
    Now that's a way to make the day go fast.................running a 10K and a t-ball game. I miss those t-ball games (our boys are grown or two out of three are) and we really enjoyed cheering our oldest when he ran x-country in high school! I'm also envious of runners (I'm old and out of shape). :rotfl: I can't talk the youngest into running anymore. He's trying 8th grade football now and he's already injured. Boys will be boys. I can't wait for the Disney portion of your trip to begin!!!!!!
     
  8. schmass

    schmass DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Messages:
    721
    Hi Jenny! I read your report from this past January and really enjoyed it! I'm glad to see that you are back with another report!

    Way to go on the 10k on departure day - that is ambitious!
     
  9. emmakatbaby

    emmakatbaby Proudmomof3

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    239
    Wow!! A 10K race on travel day! That is awesome. I do a lot of running on travel day too-grabbing this and that for suitcase, packing the ice chese, packing the car, last minute errands--but nothing like a 10K race :rotfl:!! I am thinking about doing a trip report this time as I am finished graduate school now :woohoo:. I just might have time to devote to the "fun" things in my life like my addiction to "Dis" :rolleyes1.
     
  10. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    3,072
    It wasn't actually a half marathon, only a 10K (which is 6.2 miles.) You should definitely try a Disney half sometime. They are so fun. The January one is on Saturday. So you could fly down Friday after school and fly back Sunday and you wouldn't even miss a day. I did that a couple of years ago. Actually Michael does get carsick. We've got it down to science these days though. He has a container with a lid so he just throws up in it, we put the lid on, and then dump it and clean it at our next stop. He is amazingly good natured about it.

    So exciting you are going for F&G again! I definitely want to make it sometime, but it might have to wait until the kids are all grown up. Now that Wendy started middle school I don't see us pulling the kids out of school. Are you going to do a PTR?

    I wouldn't have normally run a race on departure day, but the race was on the schedule before the trip was planned. We had to stay for the t-ball game so I figured I might as well run it.

    This was our last year of t-ball. Next year Michael starts coach pitch. He is excited, but I'm dreading it a bit. I think the games end up way longer because the kids actually have to make outs. I'd love if my boys did x-country. I guess we'll see.

    I'm glad you made it over! Though this report won't be near as exciting as the last one.

    You should definitely do a report. It is always fun to relive the trip and all of the great DISers can help you.:goodvibes
     
  11. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    3,072
    We were on the road bright and early headed to my favorite place. We made decent time and by 3:30 we were here.

    [​IMG]

    That is the tram from the parking lot at Hollywood Studios. It was the last day of Star Wars Weekend. June 2009 we had an absolute incredible time at Star Wars weekend and we knew we wouldn’t be able to top that, but we still thought it would be fun to pop in for a few hours before we headed to the hotel. Here are the rest of us on the tram.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Can you tell John is a bit excited?:goodvibes I just love walking up to the DHS turnstiles during Star Wars weekend. The Star Wars theme song was playing and it feels like fun times ahead. I couldn’t resist a couple of pictures of the Star Wars posters.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    First thing we see is of course the hat.

    [​IMG]


    Next thing we see is a Photopass photographer. Initially I thought we would have to skip the photo pass this trip.:sad2: (Remember my strict budget.) Luckily I decided to look into a photo pass share which worked out great. All of my pictures only ended up costing $20! Good news for me and good news for my trip report.:cool1: Anyway, of course I insisted we stopped for the photo pass guy. Here is what he took.

    [​IMG]

    He told the kids to do Jedi moves.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now we had to figure out what to do. The plan was to meet some Star Wars characters. So we wandered over to find some. We spotted some.

    [​IMG]

    The boys decided the lines were too long. This became the running theme of the afternoon. In fact we walked through pretty much the whole park and looked at the Star Wars characters, but didn’t meet any of them. I even asked the boys if they wanted pictures of anyone and they said, “No. We have pictures of them from last time.” I think they may be getting a bit jaded.:rolleyes1 So since I don’t have many pictures of the Star Wars characters from this trip, I’ll show you a few favorites from our 2009 trip.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After wandering around looking at characters for a while I saw one I wanted to meet. It was Queen Amidala. My boys would not be meeting any girls this trip so Wendy and I hopped in line. DH took the boys over to Star Wars store where they amazingly all came out empty handed. (This budget thing was really working.) Anyway here are the shots of Amidala with Wendy and I.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    She was a great character. She talked in that completely expressionless way. No way she was going to crack a smile. She did like Wendy’s manicure though.:laughing:

    [​IMG]

    By this point everyone was a bit hungry. The boys wanted pizza, but I didn’t feel like going anywhere near Pizza Planet. That place is just too crazy. Luckily I’d done my research before the trip and discovered there was a place called Catalina Eddies over by the Beauty and the Beast theater that served pizza. So we headed over there for dinner. It was the typical Disney pizza, but without the lines of Pizza planet. This is the only picture I have of the meal.

    [​IMG]

    So we hadn’t even been in the park two hours, but it was hot and the consensus was we’d rather be in the pool.

    Next up: We check in at Hilton Bonnet Creek
     
  12. DrMomof3

    DrMomof3 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    4,696
    I really want to take Nathaniel to Star Wars weekend. :love:
    Hopefully I'll finally get to meet you during marathon weekend!!!

    Amanda
     
  13. lynn46356

    lynn46356 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2001
    Messages:
    1,151
    Great pics! We have never been to Star Wars Weekend. Having boys all I can say is they would all love that. Me, well I'm not into it. I like to watch Say Yes to the Dress which they don't want to even set eyes on. :rotfl: Perhaps I should check out the dates for Star Wars Weekend next year. I'm not sure we can plan our trip around it or not. As for a PTR. :scared1: That pretty much sums that up. :) I think I'd rather read others. ;) Looking forward to more of your TR! Thanks for sharing!
     
  14. MagicShell

    MagicShell DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,505
    i would love to go to Star Wars weekends sometime. How exciting that you got to catch a little of it this year. I love your husband's Star Wars shirt. Can't wait to hear how you like your hotel.
     
  15. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    3,072
    Oh I hope we get to meet! Once it gets closer we'll have to compare schedules. Have a great time on your trip!

    My boys love SWW. I'm not even much of a Star Wars fan, but I think it is fun too. Just a fun atmosphere! I definitely understand not doing a PTR. I debated quite a while before starting the report. It is a bit of a commitment.

    You should try SWW. We didn't do much this year, but we had such a fabulous time in 2009! That is when DH got that shirt.
     
  16. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    19,488
    Great start to your arrival. Love the PP pictures - this years and 2009!

    I did not know that about the pizza. Good tip!

    Looking forward to seeing your Bonnett Creek pictures.
     
  17. ZFamily5

    ZFamily5 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Messages:
    860
    Great Star Wars Weekends pictures, even if some of them are from last year! We went for the first time in June and had a blast, though it was pretty crowded. In response to your response to my response (that's confusing!), I think I should try and convince my parents to go down for marathon weekend sometime!
     
  18. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    3,072
    I was very happy to discover that pizza. Pizza Planet is always such a madhouse. It's nice to find another option.

    SWW really is fun! I'm not even a huge Star Wars fan, but I just like the energy that is there!
     
  19. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    3,072
    We headed out of Hollywood Studios and made the quick drive to Bonnet Creek. It really was a quick drive. It was almost right next door.:cool1: We were impressed with the area as we pulled in. In the area is a Wydham timeshare resort as well as the complex with the Hilton and the Waldorf Astoria. We checked in and were told we’d gotten an upgrade. We had a theme park view!:banana: This place was looking better and better. So we headed up to the room. The room itself was nice. Pretty typical Hilton or Marriott décor.

    [​IMG]

    Our picture window was exceptional though.

    [​IMG]

    This is the view of the golf course

    [​IMG]

    Here is the pool looking straight down.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the view looking right.

    [​IMG]

    I don’t have a great camera, but we could see Epcot, Hollywood Studios and even Expedition Everest in the distance. Too bad there was no balcony. I would have loved to sit out there at night and watch Illuminations. We could see it, but only through the window. So the kids were chomping at the bit to get into that pool so we headed down for a swim. What did we think? It was an awesome pool.:love: The lazy river went all the way around and it was shallow enough that even Michael could touch the bottom. We had a great time! There was a decent slide too. It was comparable to the slide at OKW. I didn’t take my camera to the pool, but here are a few pictures from other threads.

    [​IMG]

    This is the pool bar. They also served some light fare such as sandwiches.

    [​IMG]

    This place offered tube rental. We rented tubes the next day for the Lazy River and it was awesome!

    [​IMG]

    There was also a couple of firepits by the pool and they were selling s’mores packets. So we bought some overpriced s’mores. (I think a packet with fixings for 3 s’mores was $10.)

    [​IMG]

    They were yummy and it was a fun way to end the evening. After our snack we headed up to the room to get some zzzzzz. Tomorrow was our first full Disney day!
     
  20. cdotla

    cdotla Trish

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,907
    Yay...another Darling TR! Bonnett Creek looks great. I also can't wait to see the 1 bedroom at OKW as we will be there shortly ourselves for the 1st time!:goodvibes

    Yay to you for planning and organizing such a last-minute trip!:)
     
  21. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    19,488
    Bonnet Creek looks very nice. I think its probably a great deal when you've run out of DVC points and don't want to downsize to a regular room.

    Thanks for posting all the pix. The pool looks great. I will definitely keep it in mind for when I need a "big room" to stay in. Cool theme park view.

    Yummy smores!
     

Share This Page