Wanna read My PTR? Your Stunned Silence Is VERY Reassuring. (Finished: 2/10/11)

BigTex71

DIS Dad #536...... Fort Worth, Texas
Joined
Jun 16, 2009
Howdy!

I decided I have been a lurker on these PTRs and TRs too long - it is now time for me to throw my hat in the ring, so to speak.

The cast of characters:

Me
My wife
My son
My daughter

What?! You need more details, you say? And something about how this could be the most boring and/or idiotic PTR ever conceived? Yes, I know. But gosh darn it, I'm going to do it anyway!

The revised cast of characters:

Me - a 39 year-old Disney freak. By day I am an IT Server Administrator, by night - an awesome dad, cook, assistant housekeeper, Rock Band (the PS3 game, not real life) bassist, not-so-handyman, dishwasher, dog sitter, and smart @$$.


My wife – henceforth known as DW. A ## year-old Disney freak in training, very organized, humble, sarcastically humorous, highly intelligent, beautiful gift from God. (OK, she might be reading this one day… I need to get my brownie points in.) (Wait, by me writing that it voids the brownie points I tried to gain by telling everyone I was trying to get brownie points.) (oh, well.)


My son – will be referred to as DS from here on out. He is a ten year old boy. Enough said, right? Well, he likes video games, Harry Potter (we will be going to US IoA one day on the trip for WWoHP), video games, TV, video games, eating, video games, science, video games, movies, and video games. Oh yeah, did I mention he likes video games?


My daughter – DD to you. She will be turning 4 years old days before our trip. She is the most girlie-girl I have ever seen. She loves Disney Princesses, Barbies, dolls, dresses, shoes, playing dress up, and enjoys watching Disney movies. Her idea of ‘slumming it’ is wearing her nice Princess dress from last year. Wow, we created a monster!



I hope anyone reading can manage to hold your lunch down while I take you on a roller coaster of fun, queasiness, uneasiness, white-wine-dry humor, and mind-numbing syntax and way too many commas and those ';'-thingies.
 


BigTex71

DIS Dad #536...... Fort Worth, Texas
Joined
Jun 16, 2009
June 12, 2010

Sadness drifted over me like a heavy fog drifting in as the sun started to rise. The last day of our awesome eleven-day May/June 2010 trip to ‘the World’ had arrived in seemingly impossibly fast fashion. How can 11 days go by so fast?! Why is it that the last hour at work before the vacation started seemed to take days, yet these last ten days in Mickey’s World flew by like hours? It is just not fair… not fair at all.

To combat the dreary numbness of departure day, I spoke with my wife about a return trip - surely that could raise our spirits. We decided a return trip in 2011 would be feasible – especially since we had upgraded our park tickets to Annual Passes. But that meant we couldn’t do the June sweatstravaganza again, as our APs would expire on June 3, 2011. Spring Break! Sure, it will be crowded – but the weather alone would make it worth it. Wait… my fellow server administrator coworker takes his family skiing in Colorado every year at Spring Break. And he has seniority. I send him a text message anyway, just to see if they are doing the skiing trip again. By a stroke of luck, he mentions they are not going skiing next year because his son has a school trip to Washington D.C. that week – and he will not be taking vacation! In the distance, a faint hallelujah chorus rings out.

Now we can finish up our last day touring the Happiest Place on Earth while still managing to be happy. It is not quite as sad a day when you know you will be coming back within a years’ time. I can hardly wait to get home and start planning the next vacation, but I think I can handle the wait – Mickey and friends still have several hours to entertain us before our ride back to the Orlando airport. Is it strange that I get just as excited planning a Disney vacation as I do being on one?

(Will we go for Spring Break? Will we go at all? Stay tuned for the next exciting adventure…)
 
  • Rental01

    DIS Dad’s Club Member #366
    Joined
    Oct 1, 2009
    I'm in! I'd post some smilies to that effect but for some reason they're not working for me right now.

    I can't wait to enjoy your vacation (and planning) vicariously!
     

    BigTex71

    DIS Dad #536...... Fort Worth, Texas
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2009
    I'm in! I'd post some smilies to that effect but for some reason they're not working for me right now.

    I can't wait to enjoy your vacation (and planning) vicariously!
    Thanks for stopping by! My first reader/poster *sigh*

    I sure hope I can keep you entertained, or at least not bore you to death. :eek:
     

    Rental01

    DIS Dad’s Club Member #366
    Joined
    Oct 1, 2009
    I'ma lurker by nature so don't take my lack of response as a lack of interest. :)
     
  • BigTex71

    DIS Dad #536...... Fort Worth, Texas
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2009
    June 14th or so, 2010

    Chapter 2: Dr. PlanLove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Books

    Back at home the excitement is building for our next Walt Disney World trip. The next several days consist of me spending nearly all my free time (and a lot of work time) creating my Excel spreadsheet for the 2011 trip. Disney planning has taught me to become a better planner at just about anything – be it a party, new project at work, taking more efficient showers… you name it. It became clear to me that my passion for Disney planning has evolved me into a *gasp* organized person! I track all my Disney trip research into my spreadsheet, “my precious”. No one looks at my precious except for me. I live for keeping my precious updated with the latest information on resort rates vs off-site accommodations, rental car rates, flight numbers, ADR planning and confirmation numbers, planned park days for each day of our stay, DDP vs TiW cost analysis, how long of a bathroom break is allowed between BTMRR and HM before we get off schedule, etc. Ok, maybe not that last one… but all of that other stuff is in there and more. See why letting this file fall into the hands of the Empire could cause a Rebellion?! (Needless Star Wars reference to prove the nerd I am.)

    I log in to touringplans.com to check the crowd calendars for Spring Break – OUCH! 9’s and 10’s all around. It’s like a Hawaiian Tropic Swimsuit Model contest. Is that going to ruin our fun for our trip? No way – I have my trusty TourGuideMike.com subscription to help me plan my touring! The crowds will be impervious to my Cloak of Ingenuity and Planning (thanks, Mike!) We will be able to get ahead of the general public and masterfully sneak by them later in the day like Harry Potter does to Snape. (Another geek reference… are you keeping track?)

    After a few weeks of planning, visiting AllEars.net, skimming my Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World and my Passporter 2010 books my DW emails me one day while at work. “What if we took the kids out of school for a week and go at the end of January through the beginning of February. That appears to be the lowest crowds and the best weather.” A tear slides down my face. I get choked up. Come a long way you have, young Padawan. Nearly complete your training is. (Geek alert – yet again.)

    After recovering from my stunned catatonic state that email put me in, the excitement factor hits Warp Factor 9. [Do I need to keep pointing out how much a geek I am? Ok, I will stop. But you need to be sure to mark these in the future… there will be a quiz at the end.] Woo Hoo! Now its time to start planning the ADRs I want to get!

    (Will I get the ADRs I want? Do you care? Will I stop these stupid non-thrilling cliffhangers? Find out in the next Chapter – or not.)
     

    olwyngdh

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 25, 2010
    Wow, you not only look like a friend of mine, you sound like him!! You must be his dopleganger who had the children he hasn't. Subscribing just to see if your name is Chris....
     
  • BigTex71

    DIS Dad #536...... Fort Worth, Texas
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2009
    Wow, you not only look like a friend of mine, you sound like him!! You must be his dopleganger who had the children he hasn't. Subscribing just to see if your name is Chris....
    Nope, it is John. But I remember reading a PeterPanicAttack trip report last year thinking, "man this guy gets me. I am not alone!"

    Thanks for dropping in! And you, too, Billy.
     

    hollie1974

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 13, 2010
    Soooooooooo totally subbing for the following reasons!

    I am a total smarta$$ like you
    I am ## years old, like your wife
    My son is 10
    My daughter will be 4 before we take our trip.

    You should go Feb 6 like we are....

    You know what, scratch that.......don't know if Orlando is up to THAT much sarcasm! :rolleyes1:confused3 :lmao:

    Can't wait to read more!
     

    BigTex71

    DIS Dad #536...... Fort Worth, Texas
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2009
    Soooooooooo totally subbing for the following reasons!

    I am a total smarta$$ like you
    I am ## years old, like your wife
    My son is 10
    My daughter will be 4 before we take our trip.

    You should go Feb 6 like we are....

    You know what, scratch that.......don't know if Orlando is up to THAT much sarcasm! :rolleyes1:confused3 :lmao:

    Can't wait to read more!
    That is so wild! We will be leaving the World February 6th in the afternoon - just in time for you to keep the SS Sarcasm afloat. :banana:
     

    MK2010

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 2, 2009
    Quite interested. Perhaps you are in the wrong field. Have you considered freelance writing? I LOVE planning. Anyway I could take a sneak peak at your spreadsheet? I use one, but am not nearly so detailed.You had me when you figured in bathroom breaks!
     

    natebenma

    Beach Club Dee
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2008
    Hi John- Fancy meeting you here! I don't normally check out PTRs, but I came over yesterday to read Drmomof3s report, and I was intrigued by your title. I took a peek. I'm in! Can't wait to see where your planning leads.

    Great call by DW on the trip timing! We did the school pull-out thing until my oldest son entered middle school (age 11) and it was really worthwhile.
     

    BigTex71

    DIS Dad #536...... Fort Worth, Texas
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2009
    Quite interested. Perhaps you are in the wrong field. Have you considered freelance writing? I LOVE planning. Anyway I could take a sneak peak at your spreadsheet? I use one, but am not nearly so detailed.You had me when you figured in bathroom breaks!
    Welcome, and thanks for the compliment! My wife thanks you for feeding my ego! :rotfl2:

    About the spreadsheet... uh, did you not read about my affinity for 'my precious'?! :lovestruc I only have eyes for it, and it me. (But maybe I will manage to leak a few sheets out of the workbook one of these days.) :scratchin
     

    BigTex71

    DIS Dad #536...... Fort Worth, Texas
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2009
    Hi John- Fancy meeting you here! I don't normally check out PTRs, but I came over yesterday to read Drmomof3s report, and I was intrigued by your title. I took a peek. I'm in! Can't wait to see where your planning leads.

    Great call by DW on the trip timing! We did the school pull-out thing until my oldest son entered middle school (age 11) and it was really worthwhile.
    Welcome to the party, and thanks for coming! :woohoo:

    The story behind the pulling out of school: I have been trying to talk DW into it since our 2009 trip. She was initially vehemently against it. The more she started turning into a Disney freak, the more she started thinking my way. When she read a thread (on the DIS, I believe) about how the creation of lifelong, fun family memories in the slow season is worth the week of school missed... I think she started to give it some serious thought. And my son is still in elementary school - so the work can more easily be made up at this level. What put her over the top was when she posed the question to his teacher in an email. She said "Absolutely! Go have fun and cherish the memories you make" or something to that effect. He has been doing great in class since he was diagnosed with ADD and has been on Focalin (last year.) His grades went from C's and D's to A's and a B here and there. So when his teacher felt he could handle the time away without a problem, she was sold on the idea.

    Thanks again for stopping in! :yay:
     

    BigTex71

    DIS Dad #536...... Fort Worth, Texas
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2009
    Now I am armed with the ultimate touring time of the year. Time to start checking out what resort we want to stay at this time. We don’t want to spend too much on the room, to allow for more days of the trip (read: we don’t have unlimited funds, so if we want to stay the whole week we will need to pick which Value resort to stay at.) After realizing that we should get a decent AP discount on the room when they release those rates, we decide we could also include the Moderate-class resorts to our choices. Here is where I sometimes get in trouble – discounts at the resorts. And this is where DW and I differ in opinions. My theory: 40% off a deluxe room would be like staying at a Moderate resort with no discount. My wife’s theory: 32% off a value resort is a lot less than 40% off a deluxe. Guess who wins that battle? :cutie:

    We have never stayed at a Value resort before, but are open to the idea. Our first trip in December 2004 was offsite at a cheap suite hotel. In 2009 we stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort (Moderate) and 2010 landed us at Port Orleans – Riverside (Moderate.) We liked CBR well enough, but POR was really great. We decided to let the kids pick where we will stay – since these trips are really all about the kids and living vicariously through them. We want to create great family memories, and what better way than to let the kiddos be involved in some of the planning? I invite the kids over to the computer to look at the available options for our trip. (Mind you, they still think we will be going for Spring Break – but I’ll save that whole story for another chapter.) Knowing they will love the theme of the Value resorts, I show them the Moderates first. They really like POR, and that is their choice from the available options so far. DW and I loved our stay there this past June and , apparently, so did the kids. Then I show them Pop Century. You should have seen how big their eyes got! Jumping and screaming ensued (and the kids did some, too.) My wife mentions that I should let them see the All-Star resorts also. They went bonkers over All Star Movies – which is understandable, since they have seen all the Disney movies many times. They can really relate better to ASM than to Pop. I mean, how excited could you be over a huge 8-track tape, right?! Needless to say, the kids chose All Star Movies.

    We have determined we will be staying at ASM. The kids are excited. I am excited. DW is excited. How exciting! Now it’s time to start checking TourGuideMike.com and TouringPlans.com to determine which days will be spent at which parks (and add all that info in a convenient location - 'my precious'.) Then we will determine what ADRs will fit best with the parks we choose. All was going swimmingly, until... (to be continued in next chapter)
     







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