~~~~ Sew, help me... A bittersweet "Epic Girls Trip"... January 2018! ~~~~ UPDATE 1/7!!~~

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by DMGeurts, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. DMGeurts

    DMGeurts Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac

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    Welcome! For those of you that don’t know me – I am Dorine - but I go by "D~" on The Dis... I subsidize all of our trips to Disney with my sewing of custom items, I love what I do, and I love that I am able to add magic to many trips to WDW - including our own.

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    Most of my days are spent here - in my sewing room... Everything I make and do is done by vintage machine - the newest sewing machine I own is from 1963... I am very adamant about keeping all of my items One Of A Kind (OOAK) – I love that I do, and I love that it adds magic to so many lives! :lovestruc

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    My girls and I are well known for our “girls trips” to Disney. I am very proud of both of my girls for the wonderful young adults that they are becoming. I enjoy spending my time with them, and I believe it shows in every post I write and every photo we take. They are my entire world, their smiles and laughter brighten every single day, I am so very lucky!

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    My DH is Josh… He normally doesn’t play a role in our trips, other than me finding ways to get his blessing for another girls trip... :lmao:

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    Then there is Max… Often referred to in my TRs/PTRs as “MM” which stands for many things… Maxy-Moo-Moo, Maxy-Moose, or Maxy-Moosie… He comes to all of those names – which is sad and sometimes funny. He is a “crazy man” – he is often told, and has definitely earned that title… He does some of the craziest things! But we all love him, and our family wouldn’t be nearly as interesting without him in it.

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    And the newest addition to our family - Cooper... Or Sooper Cooper, if you prefer. When a friend of mine from HS had a litter of puppies in the Spring of 2015, I jumped on it and begged her to let us have one of them... She chose us to be one of the lucky new puppy parents. Our family waited anxiously for Cooper Adam to grow up enough so we could take him home - stalking my friend on FB for any and all puppy pictures we could find. It was a LONG 8 weeks! But, finally, Cooper came home to live with us. He loves his big brother and picks on him constantly... His big brother loves him and allows him to do this. It's been wonderful for our family to add Cooper... and he is just the most adorable boy. :lovestruc

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    D~
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  2. DMGeurts

    DMGeurts Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac

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    So, this trip just sort of “snuck up on us”… As far as we knew, we would not be going back to WDW as a trio, and definitely not any time before 2019.

    This trip is a very happy accident… The last time the 3 of us were in WDW together was in 2014, for the girls’ sweet 16 trip. Let’s just say, we were all very sad that there was no Disney trip together in our future.

    I woke up yesterday, another normal day in my life… I had just woken up from an afternoon nap with Max – where he took over the couch and left me a little corner to sleep in – but we won’t go there. :lmao:

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    I had some time to kill before starting dinner… Surfing through the apps on my phone, I found the newly reinstalled Kayak app… Hmmm… What does everyone else do when they are bored? Well, I look at airfare to Disney – of course. :scratchin I plugged in my standard MSP > MCO +/- 3 days… And what came back to me? Just the lowest r/t non-stop airfare I had EVER seen in my life – and believe me, I have searched A LOT… It was so low, that I went to the actual airline website to confirm…

    And then came the hard part… I had to restrain myself from the purchase…

    I called on all of the people I count on for accountability in our financial journey… Little did I know, each of them would sabotage my efforts… ::yes::

    I yelled for Victoria to come downstairs… She was utterly useless…

    I sent Josh an email at work… Begging for intervention… He called me, and didn’t tell me “no”… :eek:

    I called Allison 3 times… It rang… and rang… and rang… ::yes::

    Before I knew it –my hands were shaking and I was typing in ticket info as fast as I could… Victoria handing me her debit card, so I didn’t have to try to figure out transferring $$ around in a stressful situation…

    And… Now we are going to Disney! :lovestruc

    In January… Brrrr… ::yes::

    For 9 nights/7 days… We land late and we leave early. Sigh. Not ideal – but cheap.

    Aren’t you all excited that you get to listen to me complaining about the impending cold for the next 3 months? And then for the following 3 months while I write the TR? :lmao:

    So, here’s the scoop…

    I’ve NEVER planned a trip backwards like this…

    Typically, airfare is the LAST thing I purchase – not the first…

    So, I am a little lost…

    We did our trip budget last night… All 3 of us will be paying cash for this trip and splitting everything 3 ways. ::yes::

    We have no idea where we are staying, as of yet… We have a few options available to us… The most promising – at the moment – is our favorite Disney/non-Disney resort, Shades of Green. :lovestruc But we do have other options we are pursuing too. :scratchin I’ll update on that when I know more.

    We will have park tickets… At this time, we are planning to purchase the 5 day PH from SoG… Though again, we have other options we are looking into for this too… ::yes::

    Which leaves us 2 days off to eat at our favorite restaurant (twice)… And do some DS exploring and resort hopping – likely to FQ for beignets… after all, no trip is complete without those!

    I can almost guarantee that there will be NO waterparks this trip. :lmao:

    All I can really honestly say – I never, ever thought or dared to imagine that we would get the opportunity to do one more “Epic Girls Trip” before the girls went on their merry way to start college… And I am beyond grateful and thankful for this opportunity to spend this time with BOTH of them together, in a place that is near and dear to our hearts – again creating magical memories. :lovestruc As you all know – these girls are my world – and as this last year + has passed, some of the relationship difficulty they have had in the past has been overcome – and they are more like the friends I have always wished for them to be… It’s not fairy tale perfect… but they have come a long way. We’ll see how that ends after 9 days squished in a hotel room… :lmao:

    So, join us again, as we bring you along on another bittersweet and Epic adventure, as we share our lives, our joys, our triumphs and most importantly – our magical memories, and plans to make them with all of you!

    Thanks for following along. :lovestruc
    D~
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
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  4. DMGeurts

    DMGeurts Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac

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    Flights

    OK - so our flights are what prompted this trip in the first place... We have those.

    Typically, when we go to WDW, we fly out in the wee hours of the morning, so we usually have to leave for the airport at about 4-5am....

    This time, we are flying out at 6PM... So we have all day to be anxious to leave. LOL This will be very new for us.

    I am thinking that I will plan to go have my nails done that morning, instead of the day before. It will keep me occupied for the day. I may even work a little?

    Our flight back home - leaves at the Crack O' Dawn... We have to be to MCO by 6am. :eek: Sorta sucky... Ahhh, but it's Disney, and we are lucky that our trips are longer than most people's get to be - so I'll just not complain about it. ::yes::

    I've been tempted to change our dates and stay an extra day (or 12)... :lmao: but - you know me, and after 9-10 days of Disney food, I start to get real sick of it, and I am ready to come home... So, this "shorter" trip may be good for us? :scratchin

    On 1/5/18, we purchased and paid for all of our checked baggage fees for our arrival and departure flights... I also purchased one aisle seat for Allison, as we couldn't get 3 seats together.

    Resort

    Well, as of now, we are booked at Shades of Green for 8 nights... I've requested our favorite rooms (#206 or #207), but I found out over the weekend that the Magnolia section of the resort is supposed to be starting a very thorough remodel this fall... And I am not sure how that will affect our room requests?

    I do know this... I am SUPER-DUPER praying, that with this huge remodel... They GUT and reconfigure those bathrooms in the oldest section of the resort - the rooms we like to stay in. Most of their rooms have a separate toilet and shower from the sinks and mirror... But the rooms we like in the old section have a very small mirror and everything is in one room... It's terribly inconvenient when there were 2 of us trying to get ready in the morning... It will be worse this time, when there are 3. So... Really hoping that our beloved rooms are the first to be remodeled and we can stay in them. I know, wishful thinking. I don't even know what their plan is??? :scratchin I sure would love it if they would consult me though. ::yes::

    Tickets

    The new military rates for tickets were released on Friday last week... We've already decided to do the 5 day park hopper - that gives us 5 park days and 2 days off, just how we like it. ::yes:: We really enjoy our days off. :lovestruc

    At this time, we have no plans to do Universal or any other parks. Just Disney this trip. ::yes::

    Because we are *trying* to be financially responsible... We are doing our very best to keep this trip super economical. And just spending this time with the girls will be a treat in itself. :lovestruc

    Town Car

    On 1/5/18, I booked our r/t town car service... I've used this same company for every trip (that we couldn't use ME) since 2003... It's a good company and I've always had a great experience with them. It's a relief to finally have it booked and paid for. We are now officially "done" paying for everything.

    Memory Maker

    Since the last time we were there (Oct 2016) - Gosh, it's been almost exactly 1 year! :eek: Disney has started offering a discount for the Military on MM! :woohoo: This didn't matter much to me over the last trips, as I had an AP... So this is the first time I will need to actually purchase MM in quite a while... This discount is huge for us - making it $98... Split 3 ways, a very economical purchase of $33 each. ::yes:: Niiiiice! We have to purchase this on our first day at one of the guest service ticket windows... So, rather than do it right away in the morning and waste prime park time... We will purchase it on our way back to the resort for our regularly scheduled afternoon nap. :lmao:

    Universal Studios

    Ahhh - my girls - they are both such HUGE Harry Potter fans! All it took this time was for Allison to buy a Harry Potter cardigan at Box Lunch and they decided to take one of our days off to take a side trip to Universal. LOL They are paying for this portion themselves, and I am not going with them. I think it will be good for them to go off on their own alone together... At first I was a little nervous - but then I remembered - both of them have traveled extensively on their own - in foreign countries, no less... So, they will be FINE. And I will enjoy a day to myself. :lovestruc

    Other Stuff

    I've figured out our budget for this trip and how to track each of our financial contributions, so no one gets shorted... I was a little nervous about how to track it, but I think I got it fine tuned. :scratchin As we were booking airfare and I was booking the resort and making deposits - I had to find a way to track all these contributions so we were all taking care of our fair share. :lovestruc

    Detailed Daily Plans

    Departure Day - AKA: Disney Day!!!!!

    Magic Kingdom Day 1!!!

    Magic Kingdom Day 2!!!

    Epcot Day!

    Hollywood Studios Day!

    Animal Kingdom Day!

    Day Off #1

    Day Off #2

    Customs!!!!

    UP! Carl and Ellie set

    Dumbo set

    Toy Story set

    Goofy set

    Aqua Mickey and Pluto set, red and black Mickey and Pluto set, Steamboat Willie I set

    That's all I have to update about at the moment.... :)

    D~​
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
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  5. DMGeurts

    DMGeurts Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac

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    Reserved for my healthy living updates...
     
  6. DMGeurts

    DMGeurts Never open texts with the "Hand Sewn Button" attac

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    Reserved for anything else I may feel the need to talk about. :lmao:
     
    luvpoohandcompany likes this.
  7. amccu18007

    amccu18007 DIS Veteran

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    So wonderful that you are getting in some more girl time!!! Can't wait to read more about your trip :)
     
  8. dnllmz

    dnllmz DIS Veteran

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    Following along! A trip with your girls sounds lovely. Can't wait to hear more.
     
  9. tinkbell13

    tinkbell13 Mouseketeer

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    How awesome is this! I am so happy for you and the girls! I know what it is like to not know when you are going back home. And the good feelings you get when you are actually able to book your next trip.

    I've had those good feelings for the last couple of months. Right now DH and I are getting ready to do the single digit dance shortly! We are so excited for this special birthday trip with so many new things we have never done before. We only have a few ADRs, but all of them are places we've never eaten at before. I think I am most excited for CRT that DH somehow scored! Even better, it is on my actual birthday! We are also doing MNSSHP that night, so excited for that too! That reminds me, I have to finish my costume this weekend and get the final pieces for it. We also can't wait to eat around the world at F&W a couple of days. DH has been watching every YouTube video from this year that he can find and planning what he is going to eat. In addition to finishing my costume, I need to work on a couple of shirts for us and a new bag for me this weekend. I better get busy!

    Again, so happy for you and the girls! Can't wait to hear your plans!
     
  10. luvpoohandcompany

    luvpoohandcompany DIS Veteran

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    Joining in and excited to hear your plans. I love, and am in awe of, your amazing sewing skills! :worship:

    :rotfl2::rotfl2::rotfl2:
     
  11. Chicago Mo

    Chicago Mo DIS Veteran

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    Joining in.. I will come back to read!
    PROMISE.
     
  12. rdkeim

    rdkeim Mouseketeer

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    I'm IN! Commented on your other PTR. So exciting! Looking forward to seeing how you piece things together going backwards :rotfl2:
     
  13. OregonMomToWDW

    OregonMomToWDW DIS Veteran

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    I came to work today hoping to find a new PTR after the fb post. So excited for you! Pandora is pretty amazing. We were able to ride FoP twice. Once with a FP and once without. They aren't kidding when they tell you to get to AK early if you don't have a FP. We arrived about an hour before park opening. We didn't bring bags that day, because we didn't want to deal with bag check and we were still near middle of the lines when they let us in 30 minutes early. Then we were held near Tiffins. Some woman asked me to save her spot because she had to go to the bathroom. I told her that if they let us into Pandora early, she would be out of luck. She decided to risk it. The line moved 2 minutes after she left. The kids and I got separated. We were all pushed in different directions. So, I latched onto Chelsea and Jacob and Marissa stuck together. We all made it on, but at different times and we were off the ride by 5 minutes after park opening.

    We finally tried Tusker House. It was one of our favorites of the trip.

    It is nicer to plan a trip when your kids can finally help pay. Jacob pays for his share. Marissa paid a little, but not her full share. I am trying to be debt free next time we go (even though I never let our Disney trips add to our debt.)

    Are you sure you want to skip the water parks in January? Ha ha. We skipped them this year and it was hot and there was grumbling before we got there about skipping it, but once we were there, we didn't miss them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  14. absolutmey

    absolutmey planning epic 2020 trip!

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    following along! We'll be there in January as well :)
     
  15. Llobal

    Llobal Mouseketeer

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    Ahhhhhh!!!!! How exciting. I'll be at universal with my sister for a few days in January!! I'll message you! Hopefully it'll be at the same time and I can pop over for a quick meeting!! How awesome. I can't imagine such a sudden trip. Although we are going to Disney in 2 weeks for 4 days and we really only decided 4 'months ago.
     
  16. krysenchips

    krysenchips Mouseketeer

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    Sounds like fun! I'm in and following along!
     
  17. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet DIS Veteran

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    I’m so excited for you!

    I’m getting ready to figure out our tickets for our December trip. We need to have them purchased before our fast pass date. Im leaning towards an annual pass to get memory maker, plus I’m hopefully going to have exciting news to share that would make it very easy to use the ap.
     
  18. micandminforever

    micandminforever DIS Veteran

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    Joining the January fun. I love the Donald purse.
     
  19. Born 2B a Princess

    Born 2B a Princess Where's my tiara?!?!

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    I am SO excited for you!!!!! I'm barely starting to work on out Disneyland plan for next year...trying to figure out dates....
     
  20. Ladyfish77

    Ladyfish77 DIS Veteran

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    So exciting! You are a bad influence! I just checked flights around the same time as your trip and I could get round trip tickets for less than $70 per person! How is that possible? I've never seen prices that good either. Can I convince everyone to go? Can I get time off work? So many questions! :) Not sure I'll be there, but it sure is tempting!
     
  21. Wood Nymph

    Wood Nymph DIS Veteran

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    I have the hardest time not booking airfare the moment I see the low price. I always have a fear that it will go away before I make the purchase. And with Southwest, sometimes it does disappear. I've seen a low price that was gone in a few hours.

    We did our 4th of July trip somewhat backwards, too. I was messing around on the SWA website and found really cheap airfare for the 4th of July weekend. I checked with the TA to see if they had discounted rooms, then talked to DH, then booked the airfare first. :) The airfare never dropped, either.

    The non stop flights are worth it, right?

    I vividly remember that. ;) For what its worth, we have done many trips to WDW in January and some of them have been warm. The warmest trips have been early in the month. At least this time you are prepared. :)

    I know that Victoria likes POFQ but they never have discounts. Have you tried a travel agent who has exclusives?. They can give you cheap prices. We use them when we can't get a good bounceback or annual passholder discount.

    The Military discounts for 2018 were released today. You have good timing. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017

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