Disney,  Photography,  Travel

WDW 2011 – Pre-trip Planning and Expenses

On the DISboards there’s a section dedicated for reports on people planning their trips to Disney. This is for a variety of reasons –
One: as a great organizational practice
Two: as a way to “think out loud” and possibly get some replies with suggestions on various things
Three: as a way to build the excitement more as the expense of a Disney trip usually means months of planning and it could be easy to get disenchanted

I’m sure everyone has more reasons than those – but that’s the top 3 that I chose to do a “pre-trip report”.

First the requisite “Intro” – where I divulge enough information for you to form an idea of who I (and the rest of the crew) am before I completely shatter your idyllic impressions with reality. :pirate:

The cast of “characters” (pun intended) are –

Me – Frzndaqiri (pronounced like the drink – missing enough letters to fit standard name restrictions when the internet first started) aka “Mel”. Been to WDW twice – was young enough to not remember much of the first trip and distracted enough to not remember the second.

Chris – Husband of 1 year after 10 years of dating/engagement/wedding planning. I swear Disney won’t take as long. Seriously, a sweet guy, who has been to WDW only once – when we first started dating *coughaka distractioncough* – via a road trip in a van from Michigan with my entire family. THAT’S a story for another time.

Mom – My mom, we get along very well – so much so that yes she’s coming on the trip with us (along with my dad). Though I’d have to go into the witness protection program before I could get to WDW without her…. She’s the reason the joke stopped being a joke. We tend to get “food high” and will turn into giggling hyenas who laugh until we can’t breathe.

Dad – My dad (shocking twist there!). His character is Grumpy – just like him he can act all harrumph and grumble and knows how to get a pile of kids in order with a gruff word – but when it’s time for fun he loosens up. ;) He and my mom are WDW freaks and have been there a few times now (sometimes without telling anyone!).


The Backstory

Chris and I, after 10 years together, decided we wanted to get married THIS YEAR DAMNIT no matter what. We had tried to plan a big shindig a few times and it never quite worked out. So in two months I pulled together a small wedding at the Renaissance Festival with a potluck reception at our house. It was a blast and honestly don’t let anyone tell you it’s not “done that way” if that’s your desire because it was amazing.

That was October 2009.

Sometime earlier this year my mom asked what we were planning for an anniversary trip/celebration. Now, I do anime conventions, and there’s one in Chicago every year that I attend and because of that we developed a deep love for the city. :lovestruck:

So I said we had no set plans, but would probably end up in Chicago for the weekend to visit the museum and have dinner (Giordano’s and Murphy’s are our vices :popcorn: ). Oh, but Chris and I had joked how it would be funny to sneak off to DisneyWorld.

Haha! :lol:

(insert picture of mom NOT laughing and assuming a “Try it and let’s see just how hilarious that would be” look). :scared:

Now, we really HAD casually tossed around the thought of going back to WDW. To be honest though, it was very much smoke and nonsense as we didn’t think we’d be able to afford it.

We also knew that, despite it being ok for THEM to sneak off, if we went without my parents we would be disowned… no no, that would be letting us off; we’d be given the dreaded “mom-guilt” for the length of time it took to be able to go again. :rant: So it was laughed off as “not gonna happen”.

Well. Do NOT joke with my mother and mention WDW without expecting consequences. I had now planted the idea of a trip in her head, and it was sprouting like it had Miracle-Gro! Every so many weeks I’d hear “so, if you were gonna go, when would it be?” and I’d give a flippant “eh, Jan I guess”. Then – “if you went in Jan, how long would you stay?” “Oh, I don’t know, I guess two weeks would be cool”.

Finally “About that trip in January to WDW – are you going to fly or drive?” Not WOULD but ARE. *sound of brakes* Bawhuh? Yes, it had become cemented in my mom’s mind that this trip now existed, and I’d “better not be backing out!”. (Not that you’ll see me exactly fighting the idea of course, but I gotta razz her.)

After that it became MOM – THE PLANNING FANATIC! ;) I’d get emails and links and pictures of all things Disney in the way that most mothers send clippings of babies to try and blatantly hint for a grandchild.

Truth be told, Chris and I were crunching the numbers – putting packages together – seeing what could be had and for how much… and finding something that was workable. I was getting seriously excited and Chris was just worried about budget but promised to enjoy himself once we got there.

What we booked:

  • Coronado Springs Resort Disney Package
    7 days and 6 nights
    King bed
    Deluxe Dining Plan (Disney announced the basic plan was free if you booked before the end of the year, so we upgraded)
    Water view (lucky upgrade!)
    2 souvenir mugs – you can refill these at any of the dining spots at your resort with soda or coffee/tea for FREE your entire stay
  • Lake Buena Vista Resort (a Best Western) hotel with a Disney view
    7 days and 6 nights
    Balcony with table and chairs and a sweeping view of the wooded area out to Magic Kingdom and Epcot
  • Round trip airfare for 2 plus an extra seat for comfort
  • Car rental – 2 weeks

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