Friday, August 5, 2016

Planning Vacation

We are having fun, researching and planning for our next trip to the "most magical place on earth".  We love to go and this trip will be no exception.  There are some new twists thrown into this year.

First, Mom/Granny is not going.  She went with us 2 years ago, but spent the week in the wheelchair.  It does get dizzying sitting down and being pushed through the crowds.  Wheelchair advantage, you wait in a much shorter line and there are special viewing areas on parade routes for wheelchair guests and their families.  Personal advantage, there is someone to hold your purse or camera bag.  Now, my beloved daughter has decided that me having some dizzy spells during the week could be an advantage cause we can get a wheelchair ~ that girl is all heart!

Second, we are taking an "extra" along.  Austin is going with us for the week and his parents will be going us mid week.  He has plans to take Amy on roller coasters, she has different plans!  This will be fun!

Third, since we are taking an extra, we aren't staying in a hotel or rv but in a timeshare condo.  We are using one of my sisters weeks ~ for much cheaper than one hotel room on property (but we would need 2 since we have a guest).  Its not far from the front gate at Disney, but we will have to pay parking.  Once on property, we can utilize their transportation system.  Having the condo means 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a small kitchen.  Most of our eating will be done in the parks but breakfast can be somewhat leisurely at the condo.

Fourth, we are buying the photo pass option for the week.  I've wanted to do this for the last several trips and this time its happening.  This means we will have "free" access to all the photos the photographers take in the character lines, on the rides, and just out and about.  "Free" access but we are paying for the pass!  It will be linked to our magic bands so we will see pictures of everyone even if we weren't on the ride with them.  We will still take our cameras a couple of days, to get scenery pictures and our own posed pictures of each other.

Fifth, we gave the kids the responsibility of paying for their tickets and their own meals.  They all have jobs and can help out with this expense~  I am sure there will be some we will pay for some during travel but not planning on too many.  Since they are all 20+, they will be on their own a lot of the time.  After Austins parents get there, we will probably stick together more.

Sixth, we got our tickets through James' work at Caterpillar.  They have a discount for employees and their families.  We got 7 day tickets with the park hopper option for the price of regular 5 day tickets.  Quite the savings over the 5 adult tickets we bought.  Amy has already hooked them up to our magic bands. The photo pass will get linked the week before we go (could take 3 days for that to show up on the bands).

Sunday afternoon we sat down and planned our park days and have our "fast pass" wants written down waiting for that magic 30 day window to open up.  Since we aren't staying on property we have to wait ~ that is a disadvantage but only a minor one. 

It will be fun to take character shots with our adult kids!  I've got plenty of Amy as a little girl with her favorites and the comparison pictures will be fun.  Her alltime favorite has been Ariel.  I would love to get a picture of Greg with Grumpy dwarf...just would be funny!

Greg and I planned a couple of activities just for us.  We are going to do the cooking demos and tastings at Epcot during the Food & Wine festival ~ made our reservations the other day!  Also going to eat at the 50's diner at Hollywood Studios ~ never been and am looking forward to it.

Disney has several apps that come in handy ~ first is my Disney Experience on the official site.  It keeps track of your reservations and you can link everything through there.  We found a "hidden mickey locator" app the other day ~ its not free but Greg will enjoy having it and searching for the hidden Mickeys.  There are free vacation countdown apps, park apps to tell you how long lines are for rides or character shots, parade times, etc. Pinterest has a plethora of crafts, activities, autograph book ideas, etc. to DIY your trip as much as you please.

Best tip I read and will pass on ~ Disney gives away ice water in cups at any counter service restaurant or snack cart that serves fountain drinks.  All you do is ask!  We take in a water bottle and refill it throughout the day.  This is a huge money saver and the water is icy cold.  I would much rather spend money on a cinnamon roll at Gastons tavern (the BEST ever) than buy an overpriced bottle of water. 

And you can take in drinks and snacks for your own picnic or munching in line.  Pretzels travel better than chips.  Good snacks are trail mix, granola bars, pb&j, etc.  Chocolate will melt ~ just keep that in mind!  You cannot take in any glass bottles and I don't think aluminum cans.  We have carried in soft drinks in plastic bottles, capri sun type drinks and juice boxes with no problem.  Freezing the juicy type containers the night before is good for your lunch bag and will usually thaw by lunchtime. They will check all bags going into the park for safety reasons.  This includes purses.  The security lines go quickly and keep in mind ~ they are just doing their job! 

Thankful for ~
this opportunity to travel
taking 3 young adults with us
having options
savings thru the condo stay and tickets
photo pass

Here is a few pictures from the past ~

That Viking looks a little too ambitious!

traditional, we are going to Disney shot ~ take one every trip

ready for muppets 3d at Hollywood studios

try the gray stuff, its delicious!

7 years ago (7), last time Katie went with us

looks like we are waiting for the parade to start ~ and everyone is hot!

1 comment:

  1. We have done the photo pass both times we've gone. I love it. We still take LOTS of our own pictures, but we don't have to worry about not having at least a few good ones.

    We had one cinnamon roll from Gaston's - I wish I had one right now! So yummy!

    I'm sure y'all will have a wonderful trip! We can't wait to go back.


Welcome to the farm ~ we are a blended family with 7 children (3 are married), 4 grandsons, 5 dogs, 3 rabbits, and 15 chickens living on 3 acres in Georgia. I love crafting, sewing, cooking & canning, recipes of all kinds, reading, playing with my little buddies, family time, travel, pinterest and most of all the Lord.