First time board contributer, First time Disney visitor since 1994

Discussion in 'Welcome to the DIS' started by karenLBuf, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. karenLBuf

    karenLBuf Earning My Ears

    Jan 2, 2013
    My name is Karen. I'm a wife and mother to 4 sometimes wonderful children.

    My oldest child is my 10 year old daughter, follewed by my 9 year old son. Next comes my 3 year old daughter and 1 year old baby boy. I also refer to my husband as my 5th child but I can do that because we've been friends since we were 12.

    When I was 9 my parents took us to Disney for a week. It was completely awesome. Even when we left the place to visit a friend and I threw up my corn pops in the rental car on our way to a beach in the Gulf. We stayed at the Carribian Beach resort. Everything about that place was awesome. Especially the pools. When my mom and 5 year old sister were too tired to go to the parks I had some daddy/daughter time at MGM and Universal. Got to watch What Would You Do. Tasted some green slime.

    When I was 10 my Elementary school held a program for the 5th graders. They announced it at the begining of the year. If you signed up you would have from September until the end of March to raise money for a school trip to Disney. Well it was more of an educational trip. So it consisted of Kennedy Space Center to see a launch. Discovery Island. and Epcot. We also wen on this boat thing with a giant fan where I'm pretty sure our tour guide was a little bit racist because he kept refering to the black birds with the "n" word. Regardless it was awesome that only about 25 kids ended up going to.

    For the past 4 years my husband and I have been talking about taking our kids to Disney. But Everytime we started to plan instead we were welcomed with the surprise of an addition to our family. Now that we are positivly done with more babies we have decided to actually make it happen.

    Now I know so much has changed. I remember when I was there the first time Tower of Terror was in construction. But I still feel I have somewhat of a base knowledge of the place to plan a successful vacation. I'm really big on the planning part of traveling. Even when we go on mini vacations I like to make vaaction books that have directions, confirmation emails. Iteneraries. resturant menus, ect, ect, ect. Its something I love doing and has definately helped us out when certian things like iPhones and GPS stop working.

    So while I'm not really writing this so that I can ask for the help of you seasond vets to plan my trip. I love reading all of the ins and outs that this place has mastered. This place is a haven for researchers like me.

    What we have decided so far is that we are going to opt our of a room or two at a resort and opt into the camping. Our tentitive plan is to drive our van down and then rent an RV in Orlando to bring to the Wilderness campsites. Reason for this is while my family is absolutetly no stranger to camping, we sttend several music festivals each summer as well as some state park camping and some camping at Darien Lake(our local amusement park) we want to have a little luxury if we are making the trek to Disney.

    We also want to stay for a while. I remember when I was there as a child for a week and then 5 days that everyhing was very rushed. Eventhough I like to research and plan for things I also know that with four kids under the age of 12 there has to be room for change and resting. So I think we want to stay for at least 10 days. That way if we need to take a day to relax at the pool we won't miss anything important.

    I think we are going to go in late September early October. Reasons for this are the prices are cheaper. Kids are in school. And we live in Buffalo NY so the weather will be a little bit more mild.

    Obviously I'm just giving a quick run down on our plans for October. And obviously there are things that I've overlooked. So any information or tips that you Disney crazy people can offer will be well appriciated.

    I look forward to reading your responses.

    Thank you and happy vacatoining.

    Karen & family.
  2. Metro West

    Metro West Nothing to see here...move along.

    Apr 12, 2005
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  4. magicaldisney

    magicaldisney DIS Veteran

    Sep 8, 2005
  5. karenLBuf

    karenLBuf Earning My Ears

    Jan 2, 2013
    Thanks guys.

    I've also decided last night while talking with the husband that it's going to be a surprise for the kids.

    This will be fun and usefull. This way they wont be bugging me for months. :P
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc DIS Veteran

    Jul 2, 2007
    Oh, what fun you'll have!!!

    Keep an eye on the promos-- in the past, Free Dining has been offered in September. If you can feed your family for free, it may free up some serious money. Take a look here: to see some of what has been available in the past. Also, take a look at the family suites in the All Star Music resort... see how the pricing compares with your current plans.

    Plan on at least one or two Character meals-- Chef Mickey's is a great place to start. Your kids can get photos and autographs with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy, and the food is good.

    What many of us do is plan to be at the parks for Rope Drop-- the opening of the parks each day. We get so much done in those first hours while much of the population is sleeping in! By lunchtime, we're ready for a swim.

    Also, learn the ins and outs of both Fastpass and Photopass. We love getting a Photopass-- you can preorder the CD at a discounted price. This year's Christmas card was a Photopass picture of the 5 of us in front of Cinderella's Castle.

    Something else that works well for us: every single holiday and celebration for a year or so leading up to a Disney vacation includes gift cards. Christmas, Easter, birthdays, Mother's and Father's day, birthdays-- each includes a gift card (or 2 or 3.) They really add up, and spending money isn't as big an issue. While you're planning to keep the trip a secret, you can still purchase the gift cards, just keep them aside.

    Consider letting the kids know at some point before you go. My kids love being part of the planning, and having some say on things like the restaurants.
  7. mel&me

    mel&me DIS Veteran DIS Lifetime Sponsor

    Nov 15, 2003
  8. karenLBuf

    karenLBuf Earning My Ears

    Jan 2, 2013
    Thank you for the warm welcomes!

    I like that idea of gift cards. I've already informed my family of my plans so they will help with cards for the kids spending.

    Tonight I decorated a shoe box to put at the fornt door for people to throw their loose change in to help with the cause. I'm also going to start putting away money I save each week from coupons when I do my weekly food shopping. And my husband has agreed to save the money from cans and bottles too.

    So while the kids know that at some point we will be going to Disney I'm going to try to keep the actual departure date a suprise. This way They can save their own money from allowence as well.

    Any other tips and tricks are always welcome.
  9. jesswindsor

    jesswindsor DIS Veteran

    May 3, 2011

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