The July (2010) Plan needs Pixie Dust: DVC, Minivan & Twins Included

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by disneydreamingdebby, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    Hello! Welcome to my first Pre-trip Report. I have read so many great trip reports; I really should have evaluated them to determine what characteristics engage me as a reader. Then, I might know exactly how to tackle this!

    Also, I almost didn't do this because having so much info on the internet freaks me out a bit. I decided that my need for acceptance and understanding is much greater than my fear of the WWW! Afterall, others really don't "get" Disney the way we do!

    Cast: Pictures in next post
    DH - Gregg 39 (almost 40 :eek:)
    Me- Debby 37
    DD - Hannah 8
    DD- Emma 8

    When: JULY 2010
    Where: AKV Jambo, BCV, and BWV
    Occasion: Okay, really, who needs an occasion? However, it will mark our first DVC trip, as well as DH and my 14th wedding anniversary.

    Chapters (Most Recent FIRST):

    Pin Traders are we! 7/8
    HELP: Road Trip activity to soften the drive home 7/5

    Disney Pin Trading? 7/4

    Items for Trip - PICS 7/1Packing = stress
    6/23 Restaurants- the final cut
    6/19 Embarrassing Tale from 2008
    Life update with a bit of Disney (of course)
    Planning Woes 6/9
    Flashback-A Day of Firsts
    A Little Disney Every Day!
    It is shocking how many times I can bring up/compare Disney at the Philadelphia Zoo!
    Good Mom or Bad Mom?
    Day 5 - Split Stay Resort #2
    Hannah's and Emma's Top Five List
    Summary of Day 4 and more
    Gifts I made for a friend's trip
    An Eight Year Old's Top Five List
    Day 3 PM Plans
    Off Topic Post
    Day 3 AM plans
    Other Gems in Epcot Future World
    Epcot - Innoventions
    Road trip essentials
    Day 2 Part II
    Day 2 Part I Plans
    Walt Disney World Section in B&N
    Advice for neighbor going to Disney
    Arrival Day Plans Part II
    Activities at AKL/AKV
    Countdown idea, finally - with picture!
    Mickey Heads
    Topics for Further Exploration
    Day 2 - Option A/ Option B
    NO DRIVING PLAN Warning: I worked it through on this post
    Ariel and Belle - Halloween Age 4
    Thoughts on the Princess and the Frog
    Arrival Day Dilemma
    The Princess and Stan (The Villain)
    Yo, Ho, Ho, it's the Dining Plan for Us!
    Wait, should we fly?
    GAD Experience
    People look at me differently when I tell them we're driving
    The Plan that Needs Pixie Dust
    How We Fell in Love with Disney World


    I wanted to help you understand my personality with a label. OCD, type A, type B, but after googling to be precise, I really am not any of those...

    In a nutshell, I like to feel in control. Thus, I need a plan and I need routine. I research to help with this. I am Disney World obsessed and listen to podcasts, read websites, participate on the Dis (oh, I guess you know that :) ). I am a high school English teacher. So, essentially, when I am not doing activities with/ or for my family, I am on the laptop reading/ writing about Disney and improving my teaching!

    My husband and I have been married 13 years - we will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary in Disney. We have been together (more or less) for 22 years.

    We have twin daughters who are eight. I was terribly sick in my first two trimesters. One night early in my pregnancy, my husband said, "I think we are having twins." I laughed and said "Bite your tongue!" Not long after, I went to the doctor who said, "No wonder you are sick, there are two of them."

    My mom's response was that if anyone could handle twins, it would be me. (Reread the part above about routines.) That was eight years ago (well, almost nine if we are counting my pregnancy).
     
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  3. MickeyisBeast

    MickeyisBeast <font color=green>Some people just don't understan

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    I'm joining in! We'll also be going in July
     
  4. Shaniyah

    Shaniyah Mouseketeer

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    Im joining in also! I won't be going until may of next year. But I really enjoy the pre pre planning I have been doing. I can't wait to read your report!
     
  5. tinkerbell60

    tinkerbell60 DIS Veteran

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    So glad you are doing this - I love reading Trip reports!
     
  6. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    So, onto our Disney background. Not much to say about my childhood trip. I only remember my father making me go on Space Mountain. Otherwise, I don't really remember the trip. :confused3 DH also travelled to the world as a child. I think he remembers more than I do, but the obsession for him didn't start here either.

    DH suggested a family trip to Disney for Aug 08. I am not sure when we booked it; maybe in March 08? We went all out for the "trip of a lifetime" that would not be repeated until the girls were "ten." We booked the Poly and Deluxe Dining. I lurked on the Dis Boards, read Allears, Mousesavers, Unofficial Guide and Passporter. I made all of our plans and touring plans. We were set.

    [​IMG]

    Once we arrived, we had a surprise guest. We didn't invite Tropical Faye, but she joined us none the less! The girls were 6-1/2 and we had a blast. We weren't discouraged by Faye - she cleared the parks for us. We waited very little throughout the week.

    [​IMG]

    At Downtown Disney one day, my husband visited the DVC Kiosk.

    [​IMG]

    I actually called his cell phone to get him to break away...Towards the end of the trip, DH mentioned wanting to return soon. How soon?

    I can't leave you hanging; you can easily see in my signature that we returned only 6 months later. DH wanted to go away for a winter get away. We planned it for the weekend of our twins birthday. (Disney gave them each $68 dollars to spend.) This time we stayed at CSR. My one daughter was quite upset about the difference in the room size, but I loved the feel of the resort.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Fast forward to summer 2009. Suddenly, I was home after two great vacations in Ocean City, Maryland, and I realized that I had the rest of the summer to enjoy. Relief washed over me. Then, a few days later, an urge replaced the relief. Vacation didn't include Disney. Oh, no! I began to experience a sense of withdrawal. Listening to my favorite Disney podcasts, reading the wonderful websites, and lurking in the finest forums wasn't enough. I craved more.

    So my obsessing all summer and planning for next summer's trip (which is now less than four months away:yay:), somehow led us to seriously investigating DVC. We were analyzing finances to purchase a beach condo in the next year or two, and somehow changed focus to DVC. It happened quite quickly, and honestly, I am not sure how... I certainly know the why... we LOVE Disney. My husband loves it as much as I do, but I wear my Disney love on my sleeves. He hides it in his heart. :love:
     
  7. tinkerbell60

    tinkerbell60 DIS Veteran

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    First of all, your daughters are adorable. I am so glad you posted pictures - now I can look for you in the parks in July. Speaking of which - don't forget to post your ADRs on the July board!

    I love the pictures of Coronado Springs - that is a place I would like to stay someday. I don't think the room size would be a problem since we have stayed value.

    Where do you own with DVC? We were on the verge, but having kids that are a little older, and a son & daughter - we would have wanted a bigger place, add up the dues and the points for a 2 BR, and it was just more than we wanted to spend. I wish we had bought when they were younger. Anyway - we just go and try new resorts every year!
     
  8. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    We own at 100 points at BCV. We will add on as we can. I think we will be able to stay in studios for a long time. My family tends to be able to manage close quarters. I liked that BCV offered multiple rooms to "hang out in" on rainy days.

    We stayed at the Hilton in OC one year with my parents in a reg hotel room. DH, girls, and I on the pull out, my DB and SIL in the second queen in the bedroom with my parents. I think the size of it would be smaller than the size of a one bedroom at Disney. :rotfl2: (This past year we stayed in a 3 bdr condo - much better...)

    I loved CSR. I am surprised when people don't like it. I didn't care if people were in suits; I didn't really notice. The pool area was very nice. Part of the problem with the room is that they refurbed with queen beds (supposedly the same as in the Poly) and the rooms were designed for doubles. We don't spend a lot of time in the room.

    Soon, you will see that we will be trying multiple resorts this trip. Our intial plans have changed and changed and changed. :sad2:
     
  9. tinkerbell60

    tinkerbell60 DIS Veteran

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    I like the Beach Club a lot. It is so hard to decide where to stay, they all have their pros and cons!
     
  10. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    My husband asked if I was titling the PTR "The plan- we hope."

    Initially, we joined DVC in Sept and booked our vacation as a split stay for June with our arrival at BCV and moving halfway to AKV. He hadn't locked in his vacation (he is a mail carrier with the USPS) and we went with last year's dates since he couldn't imagine that anyone would want them this year. :lmao: Surely, this didn't pan out.

    So, once he had new options, we looked at the school calendar. :teacher: I am out of school a week before my daughters. If they didn't use snow days, they would be out earlier. Also, it wouldn't have bothered me to pull my two second graders out of school for the last two half days. :rolleyes1. This plan was nixed as the trip would be rushed with the close of school, and the girls and I would have the rest of the summer without anything to look forward to. We decided on his two weeks to be in July.

    I called MS and was able to book AKV first and BCV second for our dates. (I really liked the order the other way. I don't think I will be relaxing much at SAB.) Oh well. I was thrilled that we were still able to book our top choices!

    Then I started creating the "new" plan. I cancelled the June ADR's and made the July ones. I actually made "The Plan" (an adorable journal with tabs) pictures to follow. (So that everyone knows, I also have spreadsheets...there is just something about writing in pen or pencil...)

    Now, this is where the pixie dust is needed. :upsidedow This past Wed. my father (61) went into the hospital to have a whipple procedure. His MRI revealed a tumor in his pancreas that looked contained. During surgery, the doctors discovered that the cancer (heck, I was still holding out for the 3% chance it wasn't cancer) had spread into his liver. This means stage IV pancreatic cancer - no cure. :sick:

    Our vacation is planned over my father's birthday. (This had caused me mild concern before he was ill. We are a close family, and birthdays are important.)Now, I thought that we should be home for his birthday. My husband reminded me that my father's bday is a Wed. Everyone will be working. So instead, we decided to change the beginning of the plan. :idea:

    We were going to attend a cousin's wedding and leave after. Now, we will attend the wedding. My mom said we will celebrate my dad's and grandmom's birthday on Sunday. Then, we will leave for Disney!

    So, the plan needs to remain. If the plan changes, it means my dad isn't okay.

    That said - this isn't going to be a sad trip report. (I will do my best to keep it upbeat!) Disney is my happy place afterall!
     
  11. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    Welcome! Did you join the July Board? If not, be sure to add your dates over there...fun bunch!:dance3:

    Hello! I have been planning this trip in my head since last June...on paper planning since Aug. :woohoo:

    Wendy, I am glad you are joining me for this new adventure. I am a bit relunctant for people to know exactly where we will be at a given time. Not sure how I will handle ADRs in this PTR. popcorn::
     
  12. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    DH and I discussed the possiblilty of driving. We analyzed the cost involved and he was sold. I, on the other hand, determined that we would drive if I couldn't get the four of us airline tickets for under $200 each RT. I watched the flights for a bit. We told our DDs that we were driving. They were on board. They fly well, but don't enjoy it.

    As a child, we drove to Mississippi to visit my great grandparents at least every other year. I don't remember the rides much. I only remember being able to sit in the front when my dad napped in the back and never having to wear a seatbelt. We were such lucky kids!

    We decided we would leave at 6pm; the girls would fall asleep after a couple hours and we would drive through the night. I will drive through PA, DE, MD and see about VA. I think I can drive about 5 hours. Then DH will take over.

    [​IMG]

    Not our picture - but it is what my ride looks like. (PS -I think the soccer mom look IS cool.)

    I am very excited about driving now. I can pack whatever in the minivan. I don't have to stress over if we get stuck on the tarmac. (The tarmac is probably a mom's worst fear. If we just sit, the plane gets hot, my kids get cranky...I have no control :scared1: ...you get the picture.)

    Also, driving gives me something else to plan for our trip. Car bingo, Disney trivia, etc...but that's for a later post.
     
  13. tinkerbell60

    tinkerbell60 DIS Veteran

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    Debby, I will send pixie dust:tinker: and prayers for your dad, and a :hug: hug for you.

    We like driving too. Well, the kids are less thrilled, especially DD, but I love not having to worry about how much we pack etc. We take snacks and sodas, and water. Are you driving straight through? We usually stop for an overnight - and it is still cheaper than flying.

    I am enjoying your trip report!
     
  14. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    [​IMG] (Taken from photobucket search- Mrs. Danvers)

    I was super excited when the Give a Day Program was announced! I am the advisor for my school's Leo Club (a community service club sponsored by our local LIONS International.) I thought it would be terrific if the kids volunteered as a group and those who wouldn't be able to use their tickets (about 98% of the group) could donate them to an organization!

    Once I investigated, though, I was disappointed. A group situation doesn't work, just families. So, I went on to pursue other options for the group.

    Then, on MLK day DH said that he should really volunteer one of these MLK days. His comment combined with all of the Give a Day promotions prompted me to look for a volunteer experience for our family. As involved as I have my high schoolers' volunteering, I really haven't begun that process with my own little ones.

    Through the Disney site I located the Million Books Project and registered for it. I immediately had my daughters create a flyer for their classes and requested permission from the teachers and principal to have them incorporate their classmates. My daughters were excited and wanted to go to our neighbors.

    It was an amazing experience for my girls. They took turns giving the flyer to a neighbor and had to actually speak to the neighbors to explain their cause. Both of my girls are shy- one more than the other.

    To give you an idea of how shy...the one cried and ran to us when Crush started speaking to her at Turtle Talk. Then, Crush began to talk to her sister who quickly hopped up to follow her twin's lead. (Thankfully, DH didn't do the same when Crush spoke to him.:rotfl2:) (These are the girls who rode on EE three times the day before...)

    They both spoke to their respective classes to explain the project. Their classmates brought books to school and stopped by the house. Since, the project requires cataloging of titles and authors, my girls had practice typing reading, and locating authors and titles. (Which oddly enough, they would wake up early to work on before school - and we leave at 7 am).

    Utimately, they collect over 450 books. We drove them to Philadelphia and dropped them off to the woman who began the project. They so enjoyed doing this project and even were awarded the weekly Badge of Courage at their school!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I didn't tell the girls anything about the tickets for the work. We will use apply our vouchers to our Annual Pass purchase.

    I loved the opportunity to have my daughters participate in something that was not connected to my club; something that became theirs!
     
  15. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    Wendy, thanks for the prayers, pixie dust, and the hugs! We plan on driving straight through to get there. Certainly, we will stop on the way home; not the same incentive to keep going. :rolleyes:

    How old are your kids? Is there a reason your daughter dislikes it so much?

    Thanks for reading. I hope to improve my writing as I go. I feel like I am simply getting out info without spending time on the style. I also hope to pick up some additional subscribers...otherwise, I will just write to you and my other two friends. (I have resisted "advertising" my PTR on a new thread...)
     
  16. tinkerbell60

    tinkerbell60 DIS Veteran

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    With the drive down, just be careful you are not too tired to enjoy the parks! We did the drive home straight through one time, and we were zombies the next day.

    My DD is 16 and DS will be 13 in June. DD loves to travel - but she likes to fly - she has no patience for the car trip. She has always had a harder time entertaining herself. DS on the other hand, commented that he likes the "journey". Which is a good thing - especially since we are driving down next Friday for spring break!


    I think your volunteer activity was great! Ashley's (DD) girl scout troop did something similar several years ago. I am all about recycling books because I love to read! I had just found an activity for our family - at an animal shelter, but they closed the program, I really think it should not have been a limited thing - because there just was not enough time. Our school district requires volunteer hours, so the kids do it anyway, but unfortunately, nothing was "Disney" sanctioned yet.


    I think your writing is great - just have fun with it!
     
  17. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    I wouldn't be surprised if they opened it back up. Tons of people might have signed up, but it doesn't mean they will complete their service. The same way people registered for the birthday promo.

    I am so excited for you for your trip in ten days...I can't see your ticker, but I think it matches the PSSA 40 day dash poster in my classroom - we are down to 10 days! I actually looked at it and thought - this is Wendy's countdown to Disney.:cheer2:

    Let me know if you like the hotel you stop at on the way there and home.
     
  18. tinkerbell60

    tinkerbell60 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for thinking of me with your PSSA countdown! Although PSSA is a bad word around here!!! My kids have them after spring break. It is hard to focus coming off spring break.

    That is a good thought on the GAD - I was really amazed they ended it so soon. I think they did reach a million and are just letting people finish who already signed up - but I don't know why they did not just go for another million. In the big picture, a park ticket or fast passes will not break the Disney bank.

    As far as where we stop. Last summer we stopped in Walterboro, SC. It is on 95, about 30 minutes after where we get on from I26. They have a lot of hotels and most of them get very good reviews. We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express and it was beautiful -free breakfast which was very good. We had a mini suite. That is our goal - but it is about 10.5 hrs from home. Since we are not leaving till close to noon next Friday, I don't know if we will make it that far. But, I would look it up - Walterboro - Exit 53 on I-95.
     
  19. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    Wendy, PSSA isn't a great word for us either, but I also try to say it with a smile. ;) Our kids have the tests after break too. This year will be extremely hard for PA kids - reading and math, writing, and science all in consecutive weeks. ugh! Wow, I hope they aren't offering an SAT in April. I will include my travel research in the trip report as I complete it. I do have a folder in favorites marked traveling to Disney.
     
  20. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    This morning I opened my email and saw a message from airfarewatchdog - $98 RT Phila to Orlando - 330 day travel period. So we could fly for $400? This would be cheaper than driving (and certainly faster.) I suggested to my one daughter, Hannah who doesn't like to fly because the pressure changes really do a number on her ears, hey we might fly to Disney. Should I call my DH and ask if he cared? Nah...if it saves money - he won't mind. I quick went to Delta's site to see. Sure enough, our dates were there $98 - one stop- total time ranged from 5 + hours to 7+ hours... hmmm...not in love with the layovers...then I look at flight times...depart at 5 pm arrive at MCO at midnight...yuck - not liking that...look at some others; nope no better. Then I read the price column more closely. $98 plus $42.08 in fees....huh...now I am at $150. The $400 just jumped to $600...gas and snack stops comes in under $400...

    Hey Hannah, we are still driving to Disney. :car:
     
  21. tinkerbell60

    tinkerbell60 DIS Veteran

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    The fees just really do a number on airfare don't they. SW used to be the cheapest, but even though they don't charge for baggage, the fares are higher than they used to be. There is little difference between SW and AirTran - and sometime AT is cheaper, especially if you can consolidate your bags. Back in summer 2006 I got a SW fare of $39 each way - I think my flights for Thanksgiving 07 were $59 each way but those days are long gone. That is why we drive now too. Just cannot justify the cost with four of us.
     

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