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Old 10-15-2017, 10:43 PM   #1
Beautiful Mother
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TR: If This was Vacation--I'll Stay Home Next Time

Okay--how to start this--Cast of Characters: My husband and myself--Carl and Ellie, my son and DIL-- Mickey and Minnie, my daughter, SIL and teenaged step grandson-Donald, Daisy, and Huey.

Planning for the trip started almost a year ago with our reservation at AKL. We rented a two-bedroom villa and a studio. I had thought about renting three studios, as each of our family "units" has different expectations about vacations. Mickey and Minnie decided they would only stay part of the week and Daisy's family were wanting us to do a lot of park exploration with them. So, it was to our benefit to do the 2 bedroom for Carl and myself, letting Donald, Daisy and Huey staying in the other bedroom and having a central location for everyone to "meet up". Since Mickey and Minnie were leaving midweek, that room situation would work out perfectly.


Mickey and Minnie decided they were going to explore a little more of Florida by driving to St. Augustine. These two aren't hard-core Disney, but did want to experience F&W. Donald, Daisy, and Huey decided that the 5 of us should drive down--a 22 hour drive to save money, as they were on a budget. So, of course, we would drive down with them-or drive them. And so, the plans began.

Now, when I say plans, I mean my color-coded spread sheet--the joy of my planning existence. On it I record EVERYTHING. And yes, I did scare Daisy the first time she saw it. They almost canceled the trip that year. But then, D&D were also just married and she hadn't come to love and appreciate all the information locked inside its colored cells.

In June I found fantastic prices on plane fare out of Kansas City, that enabled us to skip the 22 hours in the car--I snagged them after doing a price comparison--flying for 5 people was $150 more than us driving down. I asked Carl how much it was worth to him not to travel 22 hours in a car to Disney and he said $150. I snagged them. I was riding high.

Meal planning was fairly easy. We were only planning one family dinner-at Tiffins. Expensive, but the place is quiet and not overtly Disney-themed, so everyone should enjoy it. I booked a couple of culinary & beverage experiences for M&M and an evening at Morimoto. Everyone else got the Fast Passes they wanted. We were good to go.
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Last edited by Beautiful Mother; 10-15-2017 at 10:45 PM..
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Old 10-15-2017, 11:12 PM   #2
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Your title drew me in. Great start. I would agree that the air fare was a good choice.
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Old 10-15-2017, 11:22 PM   #3
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Interesting start. Sounds like your spreadsheet is really the way to go with this crowd.
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Old 10-16-2017, 06:34 AM   #4
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Signing on!
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:59 AM   #5
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Ahh! A trip I will be able to relate to. We travel with my in-laws and our up coming trip will include my sister in law and her future fiancé. I’m so looking forward to reading about your experiences!!
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:17 AM   #6
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signing on. occasionally we travel with a friend who isn't the easiest person to travel with. i shall look for pointers
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:39 AM   #7
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You had me at "color-coded spreadsheet" I'm in.
Thank goodness you were able to fly - 22 hours - ouch.
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:39 AM   #8
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Signing in so I can follow!
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:49 AM   #9
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But Mother-Donald needs to hear/see the football game---

Yes, football. I know that many of you can relate to this. The travel dates were from Saturday to Saturday and my wonderful SIL, Donald, was in angst over missing not one, but TWO of his favorite college football team. (Really, the team is LOSING this year!) And I had re-scheduled the return flights for later in the evening. The original flight home was at 6AM and I know our "little" (he's almost 14) Huey would not do well if we were to awaken him at 3am. So, when I found cheaper flights later in the day, I took it. (Did I tell you I LOVE Southwest Air!) We now had an additional day to play. And Yes, there was a blacklash. How would Donald see the game? He was planning on us getting back in time for him to GO to the game. Really???? Daisy got a lot of grief from her husband, but he finally relented when she said she would pay for WIFI on the plane and he could watch the game on her phone.

At the six month mark, I also had to make dining arrangements. We HAD to have O'Hana's for little Huey--and I got it, but I got it at 11:15am. Donald's family decided in September, they wanted it early (yes, they were the ones that wanted it at 11:15) so they could have the entire day at Typhoon Lagoon. I tried my darnedest, but I could not get those changed.

Daisy and I (Ellie) always take one day for the "girls" and wanted to eat at BOG. Finally, the last week of September, I got those reservations. Mickey and Minnie don't like to make reservations ahead of time. (I think they think they can walk in and get seated to anywhere they decide to eat. These are the folks that don't plan when they come to Disney and wonder why they didn't have a good time.) But since they were only staying a few days and since I knew they would be spending all their time at F&W, I chose not to push (it doesn't work anyway). Minnie doesn't like people (like me) calling or texting her, so I had to send all plans through Mickey who would consult her and tell me what I needed to do. I scheduled a wine tasting seminar and culinary experience for Monday and Tuesday of our trip for M&M (Mickey and Minnie) and Carl and me. I LOVE those experiences.

With this and September looming to and end, the plans were pretty much complete. Then D&D (Donald & Daisy) decided they needed a reservation to BOG on Friday-could I get that for them? Yeah, right! Not happening, friends. Could I add them to the girl's reservations? Not on your life! The last time we vacationed with D&D, Donald crashed the day and cut in line to ride Peter Pan. Not happening THIS time! (Can you tell I'm still upset about this?) You see, though I am learning to love my SIL, I'm not there yet, especially when we are with them for an activity. You see, Donald has to be the first in line, first through the door--you know the type. Daisy love him and I am learning. Maybe someday, I'll get there. (Rant over)
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Old 10-16-2017, 12:51 PM   #10
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Signing up, as I'm intrigued by the title and, judging by your latest instalment, I'm starting to see where the problems are...
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:00 PM   #11
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Oh dear! It sounds like your travel companions do not understand the ins and outs of Disney planning! I can understand how that must be frustrating! Sometimes it’s not even worth planning for others who don’t get it
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:21 PM   #12
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Yikes! Signing on. The title had already drawn me in, and after the first installment I thought I’d been making erroneous assumptions. But after your second one? Nope, sounds like I assumed correctly.
Sounds like you may be preferring to a return of Carl & Ellie solo trips!
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:23 PM   #13
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Oh boy! I think we’ve travelled with Donald and Daisy too. It will certainly be interesting to read your story!
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:50 PM   #14
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And the Fun Begins--

Through much instruction and many texts back and forth, I got Mickey to get his on-line check-in completed. Since they left from Omaha and would arrive earlier than we did, I wanted to make sure that they would be able to check-in and get out to enjoy themselves--wherever. Since Minnie is NOT a Disney fan-at all-she tends to take any non-perfect action negatively.

I had to call DVC to get assistance to check in. Our Huey was the hold up to our on-line check in. But after about an hour on the phone with our rep, I thought I had finally gotten everything cleared up and we were checked in. I had also thought I'd requested close to an elevator and close to the buses. Please remember that "thought" is the operable word here.

9:00a Carl and I left the house and dropped off our puppies. And off we headed to Omaha to pick up Donald, Daisy, and Huey. The flights I'd found were nonstop flights and CHEAP, but out of Kansas City. We've flown out of KC before and though the airport is not new, it is easy to get to. The problem is we had down-sized our vehicle, so Donald, Daisy and Huey had to sit together in the back seat and we had to use an additional luggage carrier to pack all the luggage. Luggage loaded and off we go. Drama 1 begins--Huey is hungry and thirsty. Can I have...I want...I'm hungry...I'm thirsty... Huey is 13. A little too old for this behavior, but that's what we have. Our flight was at 4pm, so we needed to stop to eat--and convinced Huey that we would stop at St. Jo. However, we had "the pout". After lunch, Huey was sated and we drove on to the airport.

We got to the airport, parked the car, and took the shuttle in. All was well, though we found out AFTER the flight that Huey hates to fly. Fortunately for me, they were in the back of the plane, while we were up toward the front in an exit row. When we were taxiing in, I pulled up a text from Mickey that they were checked in with no problem and were headed toward Epcot to enjoy F&W. So I'm thinking, Drama is over. Our plane was landed, we were on the bus going toward AKL and Huey was happy. But even though I'd done the on-line check in, I had not received any notification of a room assignment. So while on the bus, I called the AKL desk and talked with the manager. Evidently, we had not done on-line check in. The phone call I made with DVC had not given us the on-line check in.

Drama 2: So we went to registration when we got to the resort. I'm in the "not happy" zone. We were tired, I was still fighting a double ear infection, and EVERYONE, but especially Huey, was hungry. Carl would not go down stairs to eat. And Donald was not able to see the football game. He was unhappy that Disney does not show Big 10 football. The CM assisting us was VERY thorough. Of course, she stated the computer showed I had not done on-line check in. It's of little use to argue if the computer is showing that I didn't do on-line check in. So, I just want to get checked in. Of course, since we had more than on credit card that needed to be on the account, it took additional time. In addition, I'd asked for a thorough cleaning because of Carl's allergies and since the on-line check in didn't show up, which means that our rep didn't push it forward, the cleaning didn't get pushed forward either. The CM at the counter kept stepping away from her station and into the back room. I stood there for over an hour and everyone--especially Huey--were getting antsy. Huey even came up to me and asked me a really stupid question (fortunately I don't remember the question), I just remember staring at him like he was crazy. Daisy did the reprimand.

The night manager came out and talked with us. They could not guarantee that the room had been properly cleaned and it would take another half hour to get a team over there to ensure the cleaning was complete. I thanked her, but told her I was tired, I hurt, and we needed to get to the room. I would take what action I needed when I got into the room. In other words, no one even went up to look at the room to see if it had been cleaned properly. The CM answer was to give us a FP for a ride and half our points back for the night. To me that was not what I wanted, but I needed to get up to the room and get people settled. It was after 10 pm and I was exhausted. So off we went to the room. Drama 2 concluded.

When I got upstairs, I found the room was clean (I should have looked at the fan blades) and we settled in for the night, or so I thought.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:21 PM   #15
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Joining in! Things are not looking good! :
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