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Topic: Well, looks like we're going next year< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Julielizabet Offline
Julie




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Posted: Dec. 08, 2007, 9:45 pm Quote

Here's the situation in a nutshell.

Husband lost his job a little over a year ago and we've been fairly hand-to-mouth since then (we're both employed, but my husband is overworked and underemployed). Anyway several years ago now I booked rooms at the Polynesian but when money got very tight last year we decided to stay off-property instead, using my father's Marriott employee discount. We weren't going to go at all last December (he'd just recently lost his job) but we would've lost our autotrain money (they require prepayment) and the money I'd already paid Marriott, etc. So we thought, what the heck! We went anyway, and I'm glad we did. Yet I still have the deposit for the room at the Polynesian. At the time I booked, I booked a split reservation so I actually have two nights deposit, somewhere in the vicinity of $650, all of which I'd lose if we don't go. Disney will only credit back to the original card used, and I have long since closed that account. So it's use it or lose it, since Disney will not allow us to transfer the deposit past 2008.

We'll be going next December (early to mid) and I'll be saving up in the meantime. This gives us a year for our situation to change and a year to save what we can. I'm happy we'll be able to go, even if it's not under the greatest of circumstances.


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Julie



Snakes don't walk, they slither. -Hiss, Robin Hood
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MKBaughan Offline
Marsha




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Posted: Dec. 08, 2007, 11:10 pm Quote

Good luck, Julie!  I know it will be difficult, it is for me to go down there, but, you will enjoy it!

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Grayson sleeping in Tim's Duffle bag.  He wanted to go to WDW with us.

 Miracle, the Wonder Cat!  She was in the position most of the time she was around me!  She is scary!

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tiggermom Offline
Barbara




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Posted: Dec. 09, 2007, 5:52 am Quote

Good Luck Julie and hope all works out for you and listen if and when you get down here maybe we can meet some time. I've now met 5 echoears so that's great and can't wait to meet more of you. I got to meet Fred this week at MF and I've already met Ron at the Oct 1st celebration for Epcot. You know it sure would be nice someday to meet Rich and Carol. :)

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Tiggermom

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mamaloya Offline
Sandra Loya




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Posted: Dec. 09, 2007, 3:34 pm Quote

Julie, I am sure it will all work out.  We usually buy our tix one a month until we have them all.  Then, we are ready to go at anytime.  We also sometimes stash a little money on the side little by little saving up for all the other costs.  It really makes it seem so much less expensive.

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Sandra / mamaloya
6 disney kids, dd21, ds18, dd13, ds9, dd8, and dd6
1 Disney granddaughter 6/19/2008


'77 First trip to WDW
'82, '85, '88, '89, '97, '98, 2000 off site
2004 Ft. Wilderness in a tent
2006 Ft. Wilderness in new popup
2006 First trip for MVMCP at Ft. Wilderness
2008 Ft. Wilderness in new TT

2010 Ft. Wilderness in a tent again
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momo3 Offline
Barbara Foster




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Posted: Dec. 10, 2007, 8:32 am Quote

It looks like you have a nice vacation lined up. I'm sorry it will be a hardship, but I expect you'll keep your costs down for traveling, and while you're there, lots can be done to keep costs down. [besides saving in the meantime]
Our trips also need to be cost efficient and we don't even go into the parks most of the time. Disney puts on a fabulous vacation all over the property. I once decided our family NEEDED multiple vacations every year, for sanity, and Disney is part of our peace of mind.
Once we were so strapped for money that when we checked out of the campground I had to pay the final bill in bits on multiple credit cards! That was a difficult lesson but we have found lots of ways to manage so that it feels like a vacation, not a financial burden! I just know you can do this and have a really great and relaxing vacation!
Thanks for sharing it with us!!!!


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Remembering my August 3, 2008 WDW vacation!
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codycreek Offline
Debbie




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Posted: Dec. 10, 2007, 3:18 pm Quote

Can you use the credit to stay somewhere other than the poly - if you stayed at a value resort you could get a lot more bang for your buck.  Sure, it might not be the same experience for you, but you would be at Disney.  You could probably get 3 nights for the price of 1.
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Julielizabet Offline
Julie




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Posted: Dec. 14, 2007, 11:45 pm Quote

Thanks everyone for your feedback and for not saying, "You nutjob! :crazy: 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 :monorail3:, 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 :dollar: Live and learn.

:bowling: 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. :hula:

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. :hula2: 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? :dollar:

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. :chew: 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.


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Julie



Snakes don't walk, they slither. -Hiss, Robin Hood
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RichKoster Offline
Rich Koster




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Posted: Dec. 15, 2007, 1:18 am Quote

Good luck, Julie!

Barbara, we haven't been back for a while because Carol and I had our own money problems following Hurricane Katrina, but we're currently holding off on a Disney trip to see how my Mom does after recuperating from her hip surgery.

Love to eventually meet all of the EchoEars! The next Disney trip we'd like to do is Disneyland. :mickey:


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RichKoster
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mamaloya Offline
Sandra Loya




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Posted: Dec. 15, 2007, 1:30 am Quote

Julie, yes, you can just send a check in or call in a debit/credit card payment.  I do that whenever I don't buy a package.  I make sure the room (campsite in my case) is paid for before our arrival.  Well, last trip we may have owed like $20.  I just pay a little here and a little there until it is paid off.  You can also get a visa gift card and put a little on it at a time until you have your food budget taken care of.  Or buy disney gift cards.  I like doing this because then my vacation is prepaid.  If you go the disney gift card route, everytime you use it, you get a receipt letting you know the balance and you can adjust your spending accordingly.  The visa gift card you have to call in for the balance.  The only plus to the visa is that you can use it anywhere if you still have money on it at the end.  Although really, if there is any money left I am sure I can find disney store to use my card in.   :uhoh:

If you need any other tips, just ask.  Some of our trips have been very tight.  This next one may end up being tight as the army just informed us that they grossly overpaid us for our move and we owe it back to them.   :angry:   I really wish they would improve on their accuracy.  It never seems to err in OUR favor.

I am having to cancel our package and do it all seperate as the money for the trip is not here and the deadline is the 18th.  I am so glad that I forgot to cancel the site only ressie that I had orginally as they are sold out.  It comes out cheaper doing it this way and gives me more time to pay.  I just wanted the convenience of the package.   :(   Oh well, it will still be a blast.

Here's to a great trip for us both.  :coolgrin:  :mickey:  :minnie:


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Sandra / mamaloya
6 disney kids, dd21, ds18, dd13, ds9, dd8, and dd6
1 Disney granddaughter 6/19/2008


'77 First trip to WDW
'82, '85, '88, '89, '97, '98, 2000 off site
2004 Ft. Wilderness in a tent
2006 Ft. Wilderness in new popup
2006 First trip for MVMCP at Ft. Wilderness
2008 Ft. Wilderness in new TT

2010 Ft. Wilderness in a tent again
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Julielizabet Offline
Julie




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Posted: Dec. 15, 2007, 9:47 pm Quote

Sandra, you've got me convinced that buying the Visa gift card + paying down the resort balance is just as good as prepaying the trip. I see very little difference. What good ideas, and thanks so much! Keep 'em coming everybody!

BTW, another reason I'd LIKE to stay at DPR is that eventually I'm hoping we'll have as many kids as Sandra and we won't be ABLE to stay there anymore! Even with 3 kids I'd imagine it's kind of a squeeze.

Rich and Carol, I've been wondering how you've been faring since the big storm. Although we certainly have had nowhere near the situation you guys have had down in Louisiana, I think the terrible economy is affecting all of us. We certainly never anticipated that my husband would be basically out of a job for over a year. (Working overnights at a supermarket and doing freelance on the side doesn't equal a "real" income for a family of 4. Plus we have no health insurance...his employer doesn't provide it as he's considered full-time. Yeah right! 48 hours a week. I digress.)

I will be excited to hear about your eventual trip to DL as I've never been there and have heard of some interesting news of changes happening there.


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Julie



Snakes don't walk, they slither. -Hiss, Robin Hood
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