Disney EchoEar Grand Mouseter
Joined: Oct. 2003
||Posted: Dec. 14, 2007, 11:45 pm
Thanks everyone for your feedback and for not saying, "You nutjob! What the heck are you thinking about?!" Cuz that's what I've thought to myself. Maybe we will wind up eating our deposit, who knows!? Mamaloya, Marsha, and everyone, I haven't been around much lately as I haven't had much computer time, but it's good to pop back once and awhile and it's so good to hear from you.
Mamaloya/Sandra, I just considered doing that very thing today (tickets). Additionally, I researched airfare for the airport I'd be flying out of (only one option as to the carrier, Spirit) and with all the hubbub about air prices going up due to gas prices increasing, I expected to be shocked and disgusted. I was delighted to find that the airfare was actually the same or LESS than when we last flew down several years ago! I may still consider driving, however. Church on Sunday, the possibility for grocery runs to save money on lunches and breakfasts, etc. The grocery delivery service worked well last time, though. We'll see.
Barbara, I don't know how things will be next December, but like you I think we do NEED a little vacation once in a while, particularly with the way things are with us currently. I see my husband an average of 20 minutes a day since we work opposite schedules and basically pass off the kids to each other. It's easy for things to get stressful around here under those circumstances. Much of that time is spent debriefing one another on the status of the kids: "Francis just got a new diaper, he didn't sleep during his naptime, and neither kid has had much to eat so will need some food soon. Ok now I have to go jump in the shower." It's not poor communication, it's NO communication. Once in a while I try to plan a long weekend, but since my husband works every Saturday night it's very, very difficult for him to get off for more than one night at a time, especially on a Saturday (a big night)!
Yep, Debbie, I've definitely thought of switching my reservation from the Poly to Pop C or another Value resort. May still do that and I've got lots of time. Course, we also have lotsa time for our situation to change... On the other hand, I'm not sure about throwing good money after bad, so to speak. As I mentioned, last Dec. we stayed at a Marriott which was lovely. A huge time share unit that was basically a 2BR condo. Another vacation previous to that (and pre-kids) we stayed at Port Orleans. Both times we had the same problem, however: transport. Despite the luxury of being able to put the kids to bed in their own room and having our own bathroom, unwinding in a jacuzzi with a glass of wine, etc., we still lamented not being able to take the launch across the lagoon and be back in our room in 15 minutes or less. With two very young children, the advantage of this scenario is practically priceless. On the , we didn't even have to break down the stroller! Our time is our money, and we wasted so much of both our last off-property vacation, even though we supposedly "saved" lots of money.
Actually, Port Orleans bus commutes were almost just as horrendous as driving. I can only imagine what that'd be like WITH kids. I've heard, though that the Value resorts have better bus transport than some of the moderates.
To be honest, I think we regret the choice we made to stay off-property last year, despite all the seeming advantages on paper. I think I'd have rather stayed at a Value Resort on-property than a huge, wonderful off-property resort. I suspected that's what I'd think, but now I KNOW. I wanted to try out various options and most of all wanted to save Live and learn.
So, a vacation to WDW, we have discovered--for us--is being carless and not having crazy commute times and scenarios. At Port Orleans we used the buses (not great AT ALL). Obviously at the Marriott (Cypress Harbour) we drove our own car (took it down with us on the autotrain). Both instances, we felt that we were spending way too much time of our hard-earned vacation commuting. The latter circumstance we spent a ton of time waiting for trams, packing and unpacking strollers, etc. Yeah we were supposedly 20 minutes away from most of the parks, but that doesn't count waiting for the tram, breaking down the stroller and assembling it again, fighting the large crowds out to the parking lot, etc. Not relaxing. Not even the same vacation even though we were at the same place. So I think if we are going to shell out the big bucks, we may as well just do it.
If at the last minute I think we really have to do the switch to a Value, I can always do that. (Or do a split stay.) I confess there is something especially mentally relaxing for both of us--even my newly "converted" Disney husband--about the Polynesian. It's more a trip to the Polynesian, perhaps, than to WDW that we look forward to.
Last time we stayed on-property I prepaid our vacation by buying a package, and at the Marriott I paid the entire balance before we left. While I don't think I'd buy a package again, I could prepay my bill for the Polynesian. I'm sure Disney would take my money. And that would allow me to pay a little at a time. I would just have to find out how that would work. Would I send a check with an account number on it, with a letter enclosed stating that I am paying down my balance? Anybody ever done this?
More good news: I did some calculations today in my brief research (FOOD + AIRFARE or FUEL COSTS + RESORT BALANCE + PARK TIX...) and was pleasantly surprised at the cost. It wasn't as bad as I'd expected. I will try to do a little at a time ahead of time as finances allow.
Well, who knows what God has in store for any of us in the coming year! He provides, that's for sure. I'm open to any tips from anybody on saving some money. I certainly expect to make sandwiches and smuggle illegal lunches into the parks, and with two finicky eaters who are no joy to take to restaurants, I won't mind this. If we can have a couple nice meals in restaurants during the week I'll be thrilled.
Also, some of you may remember I coach gymnastics so I know a lot of kids. I've toyed with the idea of inviting an older kid (teen) to help out and supplementing her stay. Not sure how or if this would work but it's something that's passed through my mind.
Thanks for letting me bounce some of my thoughts and ideas off of you, and thanks in advance for your feedback.
Snakes don't walk, they slither. -Hiss, Robin Hood