Our Pink Christmas Trip Updated 4/23
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November 30 Ė December 9, 2011
We are only 17 days away from Disney vacation, so ...
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Our Pink Christmas Trip November 30 Ė December 9, 2011
We are only 17 days away from Disney vacation, so I had better get this pre-trip report started or itís never going to happen. I love hearing about all of your Disney trips and getting to know your families and wanted to share mine with all of you.
Who are we? The Cast of Characters:
Me: Brandy, 30 (newly 30, itís still pains me a little to say it ).
Iím a stay at home mom full time and a part-time Mary Kay Consultant. I love both of my jobs and wouldnít trade them for anything. This is my 7th Disney vacation. I am a major planner. In fact, I get as much enjoyment out of planning our Disney vacations as I do when weíre actually on them. It extends the joy out for longer than just the trip. And since weíre only able to go about every 3 years, I have to have something to keep me going. Some of my favorite WDW things are: Mickeyís Philharmagic, Soariní, Mickey bars, Boma, Wishes, and lots more.
Hereís a pic from my 1st Disney vacation when I was 2. Iím at the top of the stairs with my cousin and grandpa. We stayed at the cabins at Fort Wilderness.
My DH: Shane, 34.
Shane is the Associate Pastor at our church. He leads worship on Sunday mornings and is the Youth Pastor. He loves his job. Heís not a morning person. At all. But on Sunday mornings, heís very quick to get out of bed and I donít have to give him his normal 15 minute grace period before I start talking to him. He is a wonderful daddy to our two kids and a great husband. However, his passion for Disney doesnít quite run as deep as mine. He does enjoy our trips while we there, but doesnít so much enjoy the months of lead-up conversations. This is his 4th trip to WDW, and they have all been with me. (No surpise there. ) Some of his favorite WDW things are: Toy Story MM, Buzz Lightyear, and Chinese food from China
Hereís a pic from Shaneís 1st Disney vacation, the 1st year we were married. My mom took us on vacation to see my cousin who was in the college program at the time. Now sheís a full time CM.
My DD: Bethany 4 & ĺ. The ĺ is very important to her.
My sweet, lovable girl. Bethany loves princesses and superheros Ė the girly ones. She goes to preschool every afternoon and loves to play and spend time with her friends. She is now 40 inches tall without shoes, which gave us a big sigh of relief. She may be terrified of lady bugs, flies, spiders, dogs licking her and various other things, but she LOVES roller coasters. Since Goofyís Barnstormer is no more/in transition, our only hope of a roller coaster for her is BTMRR. Luckily, sheís tall enough. She has no fear when it comes to amusement park rides. Sheís my partner in Disney excitement and is looking forward to everything we are doing on this trip. Iím excited to experience it with her. Some of her predicted favorites at WDW are: the characters, BTMRR, Splash Mountain, her princess makeover.
Bethanyís 1st Disney vacation three years ago. She had just turned two.
My DS: William 2.
Williamís nickname is Rascal. And he definitely lives up to that. William loves to be outside and he love to wander and wander and wander. If we donít force him turn around, he doesnít. He loves exploring new places. He doesnít stop and pick things up and mess with them. He just walks and takes in the sites. It makes me very nervous for WDW. He doesnít know the meaning of stop and stand still. And heís becoming very headstrong and asserting his independence as two year olds are known to do. He LOVES Mickey Mouse Clubhouse above all else. His dream day is spending the whole day watching episode after episode of MMC. He also loves letter and numbers. He taught himself all his letters using one of his toy laptops. Heís one smart cookie which can be dangerous with his propensity to wander. This is his 1st trip to WDW. I have no idea what his favorite things will be. Iím hoping it will be the characters. Despite her fears of anything and everything, Bethany had no fears of the characters and loved them when she was 2. Iím hoping he takes after his sister.
I donít have a picture from Williamís first Disney trip since this is the 1st. Technically I could post a pic from our last Disney trip because I was about a week pregnant with him at the time. Of course, I didnít know it. And once I found out I was pregnant, I felt so guilty for riding all the rides they tell you not to ride if youíre pregnant. However, everything was normal with him and my pregnancy, so no harm done.
My DM: Brenda, 55.
(With DS, William)
My mom is an accountant for an accounting firm and does things with taxes that frankly bore me. However, her favorite title is Grandma. She loves being a grandma to my two kids and is thrilled to finally take a WDW trip with them. Last time we went in January and since it was ďtax seasonĒ, she couldnít come. My DM is an avid quilter and sewer. She always made our Halloween costumes growing up. Because of that we got to be pretty much whatever we wanted. No princess was out of reach. In fact one year, my cousin, who is the CM, was Ariel. But not Ariel as the mermaid, Ariel in her wedding dress. So my mom copied the dress from the movie. I always found this funny because how was anyone to know she was Ariel. She just looked like a regular bride. But she was happy so I guess thatís what counts. We are putting her sewing skills to use this trip. Both of Bethanyís princess dresses that weíre taking with us were made by my mom. This is my DMís 6th Disney vacation. Some of her Disney favorites are: the Christmas decorations, and Iím not sure. She hasnít requested to do anything else.
Momís 1st trip when I was 2.
My DF: Terry, ??.
(working the grill on the 4th of July)
My dad wonít admit his true age and claims to be 39. Obviously, with me being 30, that doesnít quite work anymore, but he sticks to his story. However, heís close to my DMís age. My dad is a crop insurance adjuster and travels all over between Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. He knows any small town in Illinois. Heís like my own Google map. My dad loves to talk to people and has never met a stranger. It used to embarrass me, but now I find myself striking up conversations with complete strangers. You really do turn into your parents. When we went to WDW, when I was in high school my dad insisted he would never come back. But that memory began to fade with time, and I convinced him to come with us on our last trip in 2009. He had a great time and just kept marveling over all the fun we having. I think the fact that he didnít have to do the planning and was just along for the ride, was what really made it enjoyable. So I knew whenever we went back, he would come in a heartbeat. This is his 5th trip to WDW. Dadís Disney Favorites: a good meal, making new friends, and whatever I tell him weíre doing next.
The only picture of my dad from our 1st WDW vacation in November of 1982. Heís the guy on the left holding a little girl-me!
Up Next: The when and where. And why this is a pink Christmas trip.
Me, our DS - William, our DD - Bethany, and my DH - Shane
I hope that you and your family have a magical time at the world
Heather - "I'm Tinkerbell's biggest fan!"
WDW - August 1997 Off Property
WDW - January 2005 AKL
WDW - May 2006 Pop Century
WDW- november-dec 2007 pop century
WDW- dec/jan 2009/2010 pop century
WDW- oct/nov 2012 art of animation
WDW- sept 2013 port Orleans riverside
Now that you’ve met us all, on to the when and where of our vacation.
When: November 30th – December 9th I’m not sure how I settled on these exact dates. I’ve always wanted to take a trip during Christmas time to see the decorations and special events. So it just seemed like our next trip would be a good time to make that happen.
Our last trip was January of 2009. We went over MLK Jr weekend. We have taken several trips in January and have always enjoyed the low crowds, but our last trip seemed like it was more crowded than ever before. There was a cheerleading competition MLK Jr weekend, and that seemed to add quite a few people. So as much as I liked January, after that trip, I was willing to try a different time of year. Plus, my mom wouldn’t be able to come if we went in January.
The first week of December is very similar in crowd level to January, plus you have all that fun Christmas stuff. So it was pretty much settled.
My mom and grandparents went to WDW last year during the first week of December and met some of our Florida relatives. They had a fun trip, but it was cold. I mean really cold. Hopefully, Orlando is due for some good December weather.
Where: This question is usually a no-brainer for us. My DH has absolutely no requests when it comes to WDW except for one thing. Our resort. The answer to the question is always Port Orleans: French Quarter. We first stayed there in 2004 and just really enjoyed the size and general feel of the place. On our next trip in 2006, I wanted to try some place new. So we stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort. It was a gorgeous resort, but just so BIG! We kept comparing it to POFQ and thought it fell short. So when we went back in 2009, there was no thought to where we would stay: POFQ. And we really enjoyed it again. My DD, Bethany, loved the fountain in the lobby, and every time we passed through, which was about four times a day, she had to throw a coin in the fountain. Then she would wave and say, “Bye-bye monies.”
From our last trip:
So when I set out to book this trip, the first place I looked was POFQ. My cousin is a CM and is photographer for Photopass. She is so generous and allows us to take advantage of a friends and family discount, so we get our room at 40% off. Not a bad little perk. But booking through their system can sometimes be tricky and they only have a certain number of rooms at each resort at the discounted rate.
We met up with that issue first hand. POFQ wasn’t available with the discount for our whole trip. So we started plugging in other options. What seemed to work out best would be to start the first three days of the trip at a value resort then switch to POFQ for the last six days when it was available. I had never really seriously thought about doing a split stay, but when I started looking at the cost savings, I really began to like it. Now which value resort?
My first choice was Pop Century. And luckily it was available. I could just see William roaming over the grounds on our arrival day exploring all the giant icons.
But we hit another snafu or two. We booked our room and my mom’s room at the same time. But we didn’t book my dad’s room till later. (My parents are divorced. Hence the need for two rooms.) Well by the time we tried to book dad’s rooms at either resort there were no more CM discounts at either one. What to do? What to do?
What we finally settled upon was booking a room at Pop at rack rate. Then we got him a room at Port Orleans: Riverside with the CM discount since its within walking distance of POFQ and the two resorts share buses. It wasn’t perfect, but it would do. I mean really we couldn’t complain too much about something we weren’t really entitled to and was more a gift than anything else.
So everything was settled with our resorts, or so I thought.
Why is this a pink Christmas trip? As I’ve mentioned, my DH is less than enthusiastic about WDW. It’s not very high on his priority list. Especially on his list of things he’s willing to put money towards. Over the past year and half our family has undergone some pretty drastic changes. Shane used to work a full time job and work as a pastor part time. Towards the beginning of last year, the company that he worked for lost the account he worked on, so it looked like he would probably lose his job. However, that job was always meant to be temporary until our church could hire him on full time. That really caused us to look at our whole financial situation. If we sold our house and moved into the empty parsonage next door to the church, Shane wouldn’t have to find another job. So that’s what we did.
And while that seems so cut and dry in a few sentences, the whole process took about six months. Between getting our house ready to put on the market and fixing up the sadly neglected parsonage, we worked a lot of hours over the summer. It was a great move for our family and has worked out so well. Shane enjoys pursuing his passion full time, we feel so much more connected to the community, and it’s been so nice to live next door to our church. I love my commute on Sunday mornings. No struggling to put the kids in the car seats as fast as a I can, because, inevitably we’re running late. Although, I’m still not always on time now.
But because our income was decreased, my DH told me the only way we could return to WDW would be for me to pay for it with my income from my Mary Kay business. Well, all a woman needs is purpose, and she will be a make a way, find a way kind of women. So I’ve been working my tail off to earn money for our trip, and it’s really been a great motivator for me to pick up the phone when I really don’t feel like it. Shane told me he’s really proud of how well I’ve done, but if we needed to we could take some money out of the family account to pay for the trip. Talk about motivating me even more. No way!! I’m on a roll and want to pay for it all.
Since the color for Mary Kay is pink, that’s how our Christmas trip became a pink Christmas trip. It even helped Bethany when she didn’t want me to leave for appointments. I just told her I had to earn money so we could go to Disney World and she would practically push me out the door. And I know my customers love knowing they’re helping my family achieve this really fun goal just by supporting me. I can’t wait to send them all a thank you card with a picture from our trip.
Up Next: Just when I thought everything was settled, big, big changes to our trip.
Me, our DS - William, our DD - Bethany, and my DH - Shane