Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The New Fantasyland!! TONS of pics!

Been home for almost two weeks and finally I have the chance to start writing some blogs about our trip!

It really was a fantastic trip! The kids are both at great ages. My youngest could finally go on almost everything. That was so so great!! So many attractions we can FINALLY enjoy together as a family!! No more making one parent wait while the other goes on with kidlet #1!

We got to experience some pretty cool things on our trip, and one was the new Fantasyland expansion! It wasn't "officially" opened yet...we missed that by one day. We came home on December 5th. But it was all open and we got to experience everything!

The one thing I wanted to experience most was the new Little Mermaid attraction, since it is one of my favorite movies! :) I was prepared to wait in line for it...longer than we normally wait. But to our surprise, since we went there first thing, there was no line! Walked right on!!! And it was so so awesome!!

Eric's castle :)

Inside the queue.

There she is! Not a great photo though :(

Outside the attraction.

After the ride, we checked out the Ariel meet n greet in her new grotto. Waited maybe 10 minutes!!!

We checked out Gaston's Tavern next. Very cool! We weren't ready for a snack but vowed to come back another time.

Inside one of the dining rooms.

We then headed over to Storybook Circus, which was also still dead at this time of the morning. We rode Dumbo right away, and even though there was no wait, we let the kids check out the new waiting area. It was cool, but I think I expected more. It was real nice not having to wait in a long line and I bet the double Dumbos really helps during busy times.

The Dumbo play area.

We lucked out and did character meet n greets, which was really cool to see Goofy, Donald, Daisy and Minnie all decked out in circus wear!

We also met with Pluto and Marie in another tent. We rode the reimagined Barnstormer then headed back into the other part of the expansion for an early lunch at Be Our Guest. The place is GORGEOUS!! Like, unbelievably amazing. I only wish the food would have been as amazing :( We got in line before 11...pretty long already. I think we got in and ordered somewhere around 11:30 ish. The touchscreen was real nice and there were CMs there to help. We sat in the main ballroom and the food arrived shortly after. Nice to have it delivered like that! I had the croche monsieur sandwich, which was just a fancy name for grilled ham and swiss. It really wasn't anything special. And it just came with regular Disney fries. I guess I assumed because the menu said pomme frites it would be something different and special....though I do know that just means friench fries in French. Oh well! Hubby had the steak sandwich, which he said was okay, and the French onion soup, which was pretty blah. He was really disappointed since he is a connoisseur of French onion soup and must try it everywhere. My daughter didn't eat her kids pork meal...and when I tried it, I wasn't overly impressed. But the place was gorgeous. Maybe dinner is better :)

On the bride leading into Beast's castle.

Two of these lions flank the doors.

The hallway leading to the ordering room.

The ordering room.

The main ballroom.

My sandwich.

The blah soup.

The rose room. Kind of a dark photo...but it was pretty dark in there.

The rose!

The third dining room.

Mosaic on the way out.

One thing I noticed that to me made SUCH a huge improvement to the current Fantasyland was the moving of Dumbo. It really was in an awful spot and it made maneuvering through extremely difficult at busy times of the day. Without it, the land feels so open and so easy to walk through. Kudos on the move Disney!

New entranceway to the expansion, where Dumbo used to be.

Our second day at Magic Kingdom, we got some tasty treats from Gaston's and got to meet n greet with him :)

LeFou's brew, giant cinnamon bun, and chocolate croissant, all bought with DDP snack credits :)

So there you have it! I think the changes to Fantasyland are wonderful and I look forward to seeing it when it's all finished later on with the new Dwarves mine car ride :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Starting to worry about everything :(

Our next Disney trip is less than 2 weeks away!!! It feels like it's been forever since we've been and there are so many new things to do and experience. And this trip is going to be so cool because my son is finally tall enough to ride almost everything. We can actually go on roller coasters as a family!!!

But now the anxiety is kicking in. I worry about the weather. I worry about crowds and being able to do everything we want. I worry about getting sick while there. 

And now I have to worry about my daughter and her concussion recovery. It happened over a week ago...so when we go, it will have been 3 weeks since. The doctor told us she can resume normal physical activity a week after her last headache. We are pretty sure the concussion was mild- no vomiting or prolonged pain- and she only was a little dizzy that night. Her last headache was the afternoon after it happened, which was over a week ago. She has felt like a million bucks since then. And I'm left wondering what she can and can't ride. The doctor was supposed to call me so we can discuss this...but no call yet.

I know no trip can be perfect, but I have been planning this trip for so long and have been looking forward to it for about two years. It had to be postponed once, due to my dad's health issues (they were supposed to go with us) and then they ended up backing out (for no-health related issues). I can't help but want the trip to be as perfect as it can be.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It's shirt making time!!!

I absolutely LOVE making fun shirts to wear in Disney! The first time we did it was out last family trip two years ago. The plan was to make the Mickey tie-dye shirts and maybe one more. Well, that snowballed into park icon shirts for each park, and TWO tie dye shirts since we already had enough dye for them. So yeah....we had 6 sets of shirts! It was really fun to wear them and we got so any compliments. Hubby loved that! And he loved having outfits for each day already planned ahead of time.

So now it's a tradition! We started talking about this trip's shirts a few months ago. But we weren't going to do as many....maybe 2 or 3. Well......as I'm sure you can guess, that didn't happen. We only have 5 sets though! LOL! I blame Pinterest. There were so many cool ideas and we couldn't pick only 2 or 3!

So far only one set is completely done, and this was our own design :) No borrowing for this one!

We plan on taking lots of pics in them and using them for our Christmas cards! :) These were so fun to make and they came out so much better than we'd planned!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Taking little kids- why you shouldn't wait!

I hear many many parents state they are not taking their children to Disney World until they are old enough to remember it all. This seems kinda ridiculous to me. Kids who are 1 or 2, even 3, don't remember anything from that age, so any vacation they're taken on will be a long forgotten trip. So why not go to Disney?

To me, vacations are all about family bonding, fun, togetherness. Enjoying each other without the responsibilities of home, whether it's an amusement park, a beach, camping, historical sites, museums, parks. The point is to be together and have fun. And young children aren't going to remember playing in the sand or roasting marshmallows either.

My first, and probably the most important reason, to take young children to Disney is that Disney knows how to cater to families. We've done family vacation to other places...not so easy. The restaurants aren't entertaining and the kids get bored. It's not always easy to find a bathroom or somewhere to change a diaper or nurse a baby. People give you dirty looks if your kid cries or throws a little tantrum. Strollers are frowned upon and often hard to maneuver in many places. And if you've ever tried to take a stroller on a sandy beach, you know it's nearly impossible! LOL! Disney makes traveling and touring with kids so easy...effortless. Which allows parents more time to relax and enjoy themselves.

Secondly, compared to other amusement parks, Disney does it right when it comes to families and small children. If you go to any Six Flags park or other similar park, you're lucky if you find 2-3 family friendly rides. Mostly they have thrill rides or rides just for small children. There is rarely anything parents and kids can enjoy together. Well, guess what, the majority of Disney attractions are family friendly. We even took our son on most things when he was only 9 months old. Obviously the roller coasters are out, and a few others, but Disney knows how to make attractions, and Broadway-style shows, that families can enjoy together.

Reason number three is all about money and the money-saving aspects of taking young kids to Disney. This is the only time you can take them and not pay for them. Once the kids turn 3, they need a park pass and if you decide to do the Disney Dining Plan, you need to pay for a plan for them too. When the kids are under 3, all you pay for is the adults. A value resort room is roughly $100 a night, give or take $10-15 depending on the season. In my experience, it's hard to find a hotel or accommodations anywhere else in the country for much less than that. Add on your entertainment, which in Disney is the parks. For two adults, you need to figure roughly $500 for 2 basic park passes for a week, which includes all four main parks and all the attractions and shows within them. Anywhere else you go, you have to pay entertainment costs, whether it be museum entrance fees, mini golf fare, Six Flags entry, etc... Yes, camping is pretty cheap, and the entertainment is pretty much free, hiking and what not, but it is not easy to take small children camping. I can't see how that is a relaxing vacation. And I guess if you take a beach vacation and do nothing but sit on the beach everyday, you can eliminate entertainment costs there too. But, if you're like me and like to do and see things while on vacation, it adds up fast.

Lastly is the memories parents will have. The kids will not remember it...we know that. They won't remember anything from that age. But you as a parent sure will remember it, and remember the smiles on their faces going on fun rides for the first time, experiencing attractions together. You will have pictures of your toddler with Mickey and Donald, excited and happy with a pure joy that wanes as kids get older. You will remember how it it felt to sit in front of the castle at night as fireworks explode above, cradling your sleeping child in your arms.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

We're heading West!!!

The second I read the details for Carsland at Disneyland, I had already started planning a trip out west!! We are HUGE Cars fans here and it's a must do for us. No "someday," no "maybe," no "when we get the chance." It was "we are going...I don't care how much it costs!"

For us, a trip to California involves a long cross-country flight. That is not cheap. The flight itself is not much less than our entire Disney World package for this year, including resort and park passes for 7 nights. (We got free dining, so technically the $2300 includes food too.) But yeah...I priced flights and for the four of us, we'll be lucky to do it for $2000. We will most likely fly home from Las Vegas, which should save us about $400.

So yeah, our vacation will include a night in Vegas. And a night in Hollywood. And a couple more nights in So Cal, in addition to the 5 nights at Disneyland. If we're flying that far for that much money, we're sure making it into a grand vacation!

In the end, the trip will cost almost double what we pay for a trip to WDW. It will be longer though...11 nights versus 7. And we have to rent a car for the second half of the CA trip, which is something we never do at WDW. But I know it will all be worth it to walk down the street in Radiator Springs!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Decided against Be Our Guest for dinner

Everyone in the Disney community was all a flutter when it was officially announced that the new Be Our Guest restaurant in the Magic Kingdom would open on November 19th. We arrive only 9 days after that!!! When I made my original ADRs, I made one for Liberty Tree Tavern with the hope of canceling it for the fancy new place. Not that we don't love LTT, we do. The food is awesome, but since they discontinued the characters there, we haven't been back. There always seemed to be somewhere else that sounded more fun.

But anyway, our ressie at BOG would be the final piece in making this upcoming trip fantastic!!! Until I saw the official menu posted just a  few days ago. It's not all that great, in my honest opinion. Did I really want to give up a good meal for a so-so one? Did I really want to get up early and wait on hold for who knows how long...and possibly come up empty-handed anyway?

After talking with hubby, we decided to skip it. The lunch menu for BOG sounds awesome and much more up our alley. And since it's a counter service place during the day, we can still dine there and see how cool it is. Win win!

I perused the Disney boards to see how my fellow Disney mega fans fared in the great ADR hunt. I read stories of it taking hours to even get through the phone lines, to hold for an hour or more, and not get a reservation. Others had luck, but not without hours of calling and trying to get through.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Importance of Vacations

I think vacations are very important to one's sanity. Everyone needs a break from their jobs and life to relax, rejuvenate, spend time with their loved ones and reconnect. Daily life is so busy, so hectic...it's easy to get so involved in trying to make ends meet and provide our kids with an enriching life that we miss out on truly bonding.

If you're anything like me, you understand how unrelaxing being at home can sometimes be. Don't get me wrong, I love my home and I love being lazy and relaxing here....but the dishes stare at me, the laundry piles, the phone rings.....life interrupts constantly. I cannot truly relax or bond with my family unless we escape our daily lives, and that means getting away from our home and all it's responsibilities.

We take a vacation every year, and it's really not a luxury, it is a must for us. Moneywise, we always make it happen even if it means giving up other things and sacrificing. We keep everything to a minimum and stick to a strict budget so we can make it happen. Last year we went to the beach for 6 days and I was unbelievably proud that we made a $300 food budget and stuck to it!!

Disney is our #1 vacation designation, and even that we manage to do on a strict budget. We stay in a value resort during value season, and luckily the last few years, have been able to take advantage of the free dining promotion. We look forward to these trips, these bonding experiences, the entire year. We can sit back and relax- no dishes to do, no laundry- and have fun with our kids.

Monday, July 9, 2012

FREE DINING!!!!!!!!!!

This is one of my most favorite days of the year! When Disney announces their free dining promotion!!!!!

I knew it was coming. Rumors started a couple weeks ago when people were starting to get pin codes for fall free dining. Then some more solid rumors were circulating last week....Disney was set to announce free dining on July 12th. Well, lo and behold, today while checking Twitter, I found that they'd announced it today for Disney Visa holders!! I wanted to jump and scream and woo hoo! Until I read the fine print......The Little Mermaid section of the new Art of Animation resort was not included.

I was devastated. I have been waiting to stay at this resort since they announced it's plans. It stunk to have to downgrade from the Cars suite, but we were still so jazzed to at least stay at the resort. So glad The Little Mermaid section of standard rooms will be opening 6 weeks early on September 15th.

But hubby said we had to switch. The savings is too good to pass on...just for a room. As heart-breaking as it was, I did agree.

So I got on the phone and called Disney...but I kept my mouth shut. The CM was great. She made the change and upgraded us to free dining promo with an upgrade from quick service to basic dining, since we were staying at a value resort. NOT ONE MENTION of the room being restricted for the promo. We finished up, she said she'd email me a confirmation, and then wished me a magical day!


There must have been some Disney magic sprinkled on us today and I am so so thankful!!!! Now I can relax and just be excited for our trip!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

And we have a flight home!!

I HATE having a flight one way and not the other. I'd booked my fly down for my March 2011 trip and held on the return flight. So nerve wracking to not have that flight booked to come home. So when I did that yet again for this upcoming trip, it once again left me antsy.

I checked all the sites. Repeatedly. For like a week. The prices on the flights I wanted weren't moving in the direction I wanted. And paying $160 each for the direct Jetblue flight leaving Orlando at 6:55 pm just wasn't gonna happen. Paying that much was just ridiculous.

So then I started considering Airtran. They had a direct flight for $110 (same as what I paid for our flight down on Southwest) but of course, there would be checked bag fees. $20 each to be exact. And it left at 5:49 pm. In total, it was $120 less than the Jetblue flight. Was it worth it to pay $120 for an extra hour in Disney???

Most Disney fanatics, including myself, would say "Hell yes!!!!" But my thrifty self said no. I needed these flights to be as cheap as possible. And it was only an hour. The difference would be Magical Express picking us up at our resort at 2:30 ish or 3:30 ish. Usually by that time we are pretty tired and one extra hour would't really give us much. But still......an hour in Disney is better than an hour anywhere else on earth.

But I was done waiting and worrying the flight would go up just like all the others had. So I booked. And I felt relieved. :)

How are you struggling with airfare these days? Like me, worrying about the cost? Or are you lucky enough not to have to fret about those kinds of things? :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Airfare is booked...going to Orlando, anyway!

Southwest opened their fares today and I've been waiting for this for months. Airfare ALWAYS gives me the most stress when planning any trip. You just never what you're going to find and you're kinda stuck. If you wanna get where you need to go, you need to pay the crazy prices. Driving is not an option for us. The drive is just too far.

So I've been stalking all the websites for weeks....praying for some kind of great deal today. And I did get it...on the flight down, anyway. $110 for a direct flight leaving at 7:55 am, arriving in Orlando at 10:40 am. We've done early morning direct flights before, but in the past they have been more like 6:30. That got us to Orlando around 9:30, and that was great, but this extra time in the morning to sleep will hopefully ensure that we won't be as tired once we get there!

But the flights home were not as great. SW had a direct flight home, also for $110, but it leaves Orlando at 2:40. That means Magical Express will pick us up around 11:30-11:45. That means our last day is pretty much a waste. We like being able to have at least half a day in the parks. The later flight, 5:20, cost $175. Yikes! I might book with Jetblue for the home flight...they have a direct flight leaving Orlando at 6:55, but it's $160. Not much better in price. The same flight is $110 the next day..........I'd save $200. The extra night at the resort would be less than that! LOL!

So, the stress of purchasing airfare is not yet over for me. :( Hopefully soon though.

Friday, June 1, 2012

It's ADR day!!!

YAY!! I always love this day, despite walking at 5:40 am to get the laptop booted up and ready to log in at 6 am on the dot to start my reservation process! :)

I have my brand spanking new laptop this time, so that helped. I brought it in the bedroom last night and set it on my night stand, so all I had to do was grab it, prop myself up in bed, and go at it. Worked well until I got in and my first ressie, Chef Mickey's, required a credit card # to book. I thought I was safe....didn't think I had any restaurants that needed one. But nope, both Chef Mickey's and Ohana needed it.

But anyway, I made sure I had my list of restaurants in order of priority beforehand. Chef Mickey's was first, then I moved on to Whispering Canyon Cafe. This one I was nervous about because I needed a table for 7 and it's a MVMCP night. Then I did Ohana and 50's Primetime. Next was Coral Reef...nothing. I tried my other Epcot day...booked solid. Moved on and booked Liberty Tree Tavern and Biergarten.

Coral Reef was the only restaurant hubby requested. So I had to check with him before booking a substitute. Garden Grill would have been mine next choice, but that was booked solid too. I find that to be kinda weird. I looked at the menus for Epcot, trying to find what would be good for us and also for the kids. I try to pick places that are somewhat entertaining for the kids...not just a restaurant. I would love to try Chef de France, but I'm not sure if my 4 year old would sit there nicely. So I suggested Teppan Edo to hubby and he said "yes". We've been wanting to do it...just waiting for the youngest to be old enough to be interested in watching the show.

I'm hoping and praying the Be Our Guest restaurant will be open for our trip, and I can get my hands on a reservation!! Ideally, that would be the day I made the reservations or Liberty Tree Tavern. I chose that restaurant for that day, hoping I'd be canceling it for Be Our Guest. I do love LTT, but since they took the characters away, it's not the same :(

I'm excited, as usual, for all the great food we'll eat!! My only hope is that Disney offers free dining for the late fall, like they have the last few years. It would slice $700 off our bill. Not sure what we'll do if they don't. :(

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Different ways for different Disney Fans

I think all Disney World fans have their priorities. It's fun to try new things and do each trip a little different, but there's some things we won't budge on. And sometimes it's kinda hard to understand why people do what they do. In the end, everyone is happy in the happiest place on earth, so it really doesn't matter! :)

I know out in cyberland there can be some major snobbery when it comes to resorts. I myself stay away from those communities and only visit those who refuse to put up with that kind of rude behavior. It makes me super sad. I like value resorts and I have my reasons, just as those who like deluxes have their reasons, so if everyone's happy, why does it matter?

Would I like to stay in a deluxe resort, all out with deluxe dining plan? Sure! If I had a never ending supply of money!! LOL! But like most people, we live on a budget. I know there are some who would rather only go to Disney every 2,3,5 years, but go all out. I prefer to go more often and keep to a budget.

And there are others who like to stay deluxe, but bring all their own food and save money that way. Seems like a another good plan. It's something we have thought of before. But in the end, we spend very little time at the resort. We've done upgraded trips before and stayed at a moderate with the plan to spend more time there and take more advantage of the resort's amenities...but no. We still spent the same amount of time in the parks! LOL!

And honestly, I love food. I lot eating!! I don't think I could give up Disney food in order to stay deluxe!!

But that's me. I know everyone has their priorities. Some couldn't care less about food and are all about the ambiance of where they stay.

Disney has so much to offer every person with every size budget and taste. That is the great thing about Disney.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Almost ADR day!

As any Disney planner extraordinaire, I have been thinking of my dining reservations almost as long as I have been planning this trip! Dining is a HUGE deal for us. Part of the Disney experience is splurging on the fabulous food. For us, the restaurants are an attraction! So many fun character meals and awesome experiences!

My 180 day marker is next Friday. I had a huge list of possibilities. But when it came down to choosing which park for which day, and therefore, which restaurant for each day, I had some trouble. Problem is, we arrive November 28th and stay til December 5th. Disney has only released the calendar for November. December's calendar won't be available until a few days into June. Which doesn't help me right now. My ADR day is June 1st!

I did manage to find a website listing December's hours, and usually these sites are pretty accurate. Either way, I tend to follow Touringplans.com's advice anyway.

My other snag...I am REALLY hoping the new Beauty and the Beast Be Our Guest restaurant will be open for our trip. Disney is saying "holidays" for an opening date. Fingers are crossed. But in the meantime, I have to make my ADRs. If it's announced that the new restaurant will be open, I hope to be one of the lucky ones to secure an ADR for one of our Magic Kingdom days. I have one day planned that I hope will work. I chose a restaurant we like, but are okay with canceling if the new restaurant opens.

We debated on a dinner show too. But ultimately decided to skip it. We will be on the dining plan and having to use two credits for the show didn't seem like a good plan for this trip.

So here are our plans:

Chef Mickey's, Whispering Canyon Cafe, Liberty Tree Tavern (to Be Our Guest if it's open), Coral Reef, Beirgarten, 50's Primetime, and Ohana.

Yum yum yum! Can't wait!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Baby and Toddler Tips!!

I've traveled to Walt Disney World many times with babies and toddlers. My oldest, now 9, we took as a toddler twice- when she was 2-1/2 and 4. My youngest, now 4, has gone at 9 months, 20 months, and 2 months shy of 3. And honestly, it really wasn't that big of a deal! But as I've always done with any trip we take, I plan ahead and plan smart. Go with flexibility and common sense.

First of all, taking a child under 3 is great because they are FREE! Who doesn't like free??? If you do the dining plan, children can eat from your plate or if it is a buffet, they eat off the buffet for free. We always brought food for the kids- things like fruit cups, pb crackers, dried fruit, trail mix, breakfast bars, etc.. Things that had nutritional value and they could eat as meals. That way we weren't limited on what we could order. This upcoming trip will be our first paying for our son, which stinks on some levels. (Yuck...over $200 for his park pass!) But it will be nice to not have to bring tons of food with us and he gets all his own counter meals like his sister.

WDW is THE MOST kid-friendly place on the planet. We've taken other vacations with the kids and it's not as easy. In Disney, there are kid care centers in each park. A place for parents to feed, change, play with the little ones if they need a break and some quiet time. A large percentage of attractions in the parks are suitable for kids of all ages. Try going to a Six Flags or other amusement park...there's very little for parents to do with small children. And most of it the parents cannot also ride with the children. The cast members who work at WDW know how to deal with children. They aren't uncomfortable around little ones. They know how to speak to them to make them smile.

I know many people use the argument of "the kids will never remember." Yeah, probably not. But the kids sure have a blast while they're there. The parents have fun and have memories of the fun had. Family time is very important for our family, and vacations are too. It's very hard to completely relax and forget about bills and responsibilities while at home. So for us, leaving home is a big part of complete rest and relaxation. We enjoy doing fun things with our kids and so what if they don't remember. We do. And I have the photos to prove it.

I know for some families, a Disney trip is a once in a lifetime event, so yes, it is smarter to wait until the children are old enough to fully take advantage of everything the parks have to offer and be old enough to remember it. If that is the case, I think 5-7 is a great age. They are still young enough to "get" the magic and still believe, but should be tall enough to ride most rides. They'd still have to skip some though. Our daughter has always been a peanut, so at 9, she is finally tall enough for Rock n Roller Coaster (minimum height requirement is 48"). And if we'd waited til she was this age to take her for the first time, we would have missed out on all the memories she's made, playing with the characters, still believing that she was meeting the REAL Mickey and Cinderella. She's past that now...she knows there's someone inside the costume. She knows they're actors. I wouldn't have wanted to give up the memories of her smiles and the excitement in her eyes meeting them when she was 2-1/2 and 4.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Updated Scrapbooking Page!!!!

I've FINALLY finished my Disney Scrapbook from our big 10th Anniversary trip in 2008. Yeah...only took me 3-1/2 years. but it's done and I uploaded a bunch more pics today. I have a bunch more but for some odd reason I'm having trouble uploading the pics to my computer from my phone. New computer...still figuring it out! :)

Check out the new pics here!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Officially changed our reservation today.

I'm sad my parents are not going (well...they still haven't given a 100% no..but 99.9%) but it sure was exciting talking with the Disney reservations lady on the phone to change our reservation today!!

So what I did was this: I took my parents off the reservation and switched it to a standard room at Art of Animation...since The Little Mermaid section is opening earlier than planned! Yippee!! If my parents decide they are in, all we gotta do it make a new reservation just for them in a standard room. It is cheaper for us to stay in standard rooms anyway, even with us splitting the suite (Those things are awesome, but way pricey! Two standard rooms is cheaper...but a good amount.)

But I did change the dates too. Unfortunately, my parents places of employment make it kinda difficult. My dad can only take M-F...so that means we had to go Sat-Sat...and flights will be more $$. And my mom can't take any vacation in December. But she wanted to go at Christmas time. So we were going Nov 10-17th. Parks are all decked out by then, so it was good. Hubby did not have that vacation though. He can probably get it. At his job, vacation is assigned...you get it when they give it to you...and his vacation is actually the last week of Nov and first of Dec. So since it's just us, we switched it to then..and a Wed-Wed to save on airfare. If my parents can go..we'll just switch the dates back. No biggie. (Hopefully)

So anyway, if you made it through all that babbling, thanks! We're pretty excited. I am in total Disney World withdrawal here. Our last family vacation was Nov/Dec 2010, and then me and DD took a short trip in March 2011. It's been a LOOOOOONG time since I've gone a year without a trip, let alone a year and 8 months.

And we already have our 2013 trip semi-worked out! We're heading West!!!! Yep! DISNEYLAND!!!! And most importantly, the new Carsland!! I was at Disneyland when I was a kid when my mom and step dad lived in San Fransisco. I am so eager to get back..and see the place as an adult and appreciate the park Walt created and was there to see finished. The plan is 5 days at Disneyland and then another 5 touring So Cal! :) Doing it in August, so I hope that will be a good time to visit! :) It will be way pricier than we're used to paying for...but hopefully we can swing it!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tried not to act disappointed, but I am.

Talked with my mom yesterday. I am trying real hard not to talk about anything Disney World, but as you all understand, it is damn hard! I don't want to talk cause I don't want to push. I've known since June that them talking this trip with us was iffy. But I'd been hopeful the last couple months. Well...not anymore.

My mom pretty much told me they are definitely out. There is a minuscule chance, but it's not looking good. My dad is too afraid he will have an episode and doesn't want to chance it.

I get it. I understand. But the rest of me is wondering, "So you're just gonna sit home and do nothing...not live your life...be careful because of what might happen?" "You want to miss out on something special with your grand kids because of your fear?" But I don't say any of those things. My new life mantra: It is what it is. I can't force people to do anything and putting them on a guilt trip won't help either.

So...now I sit back and wait and make plans for a trip without them, just in case.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Maps are ordered!

I've done the free custom maps through Disney's website a few times. They are super nice and cool to have. I've never actually used them at the park. I think you're better off grabbing a map the day you're there, as it has up to date into on them with showtimes and what not. But the customized ones are fun to have!

This set I ordered for my parents actually. I'm hoping they generate some excitement for them. They still haven't given a definitive "yes" or "no" for the trip this November. It's all booked and all that's left is to make the dining reservations in May and book airfare at some point. And pay for the trip, of course. But it's all planned. Been planned since this time last year when we were supposed to go November 2011.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Today felt really nice!

For the first time in a while I got to do something today that made me really happy! Disney trip planning!!!

It's been 8 months since my mom gave me the definite news that they needed to cancel our trip that was supposed to be November 2011. That day I stepped away from trip planning and haven't opened my computer file since. We decided to postpone the trip instead of cancel...for November 2012. My mom really wants to go when the parks are all decked out for Christmas. It's felt really weird to not be planning a trip....I'm almost always planning a Disney trip! The trip was 80% planned out and everything will pretty much stay the same. Normally I am always making some kind of Disney plans...so it's been a weird 8 months.

But on Saturday I was at my parents house and my dad put in for the vacation time in November of this year. There is still a chance they will have to cancel again (dad's health issues) but I am feeling pretty confident. He's been doing well. Knock on wood...fingers super duper crossed. Today I was running errands with hubby and we started chatting about the trip. We may shorten the trip by a day, which would mean we need to change some things around, but wow did it feel good to talk about it!!!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Boy do I need to get away!

This pic was taken while waiting in line for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Hubby recently told me we really need to go on a vacation alone again. I couldn't agree more. I think back to this trip in April 2010, just the two of us, kids at home with Grandma and Grandpa, and I remember how peaceful it had been. So relaxing. Just us...recharging.

I have days too where I wish I could just go away by myself or a few days...no one asking me to do this or that, no household chores, no responsibilities...a few days to be completely selfish and worry about no one but me. I never used to think I could take a solo Disney trip....but I so totally think I would love it. Taking time to explore the things only I want to do. No one asking me to hurry so we can go do something. Being able to just sit and relax if I want, when I want.

It's been a rough few months around here and some days the stress just gets to me. Wish i was in Disney!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The trip is still a go! For now, at least

Well, me, hubby, and the kids are most definitely going. It's just my mom and dad I am not sure of.

We were all supposed to go this past November, but because of some medical issues, my parents had to back out.Instead of canceling, I just postponed the trip a year. My mom really wants to go when the parks are decked out for the holidays and we have to go in November because she cannot take time off in December.

Anyway, so I rebooked at the new art of animation resort...a Cars suite. so looking forward to it!! But I've had the sinking feeling that they were gonna back out again. My dad's health issues are somewhat better, but it was more than that. i really just had a feeling they did not want to go anymore. Or at least, my dad didn't want to go anymore. I need to know though. And semi-soon. If they're not going, we would probably switch our dates and we'd need to stay somewhere else. We can't afford the suite all by ourselves. Plus, dining ressies will be mid May.

So I chatted with my mom about it the other day. My dad still has concerns, but as of now, they are still in. But they want to shorten the trip by two days, 6 instead of 8. Hubby wants to stay a couple extra days just us and I so want that too...but when I told my mom we might do that, she seemed like she wasn't happy about it. I think they want us to fly with them, there and back, so they have guidance. But I'm sorry...by the time we go it will have been a LOOOOOOONG time since our last trip and I don't think 6 days will be enough. I could make it enough...but will I want to???