Monday, April 19, 2010

Disney World Day Zero - Travel Day (and how to do Disney on the cheap!)

Yes, my friends, the time is here. The time to share some Disney stories. Yes, we went in November, and yes, now it is April. My Bad.
Traveling with two young children is a scary thought. Our trip was noooo exception. I am not an organized person. I am just not. That said, I knew that Disney World would not be enjoyable is there wasn't SOME planning and organization involved. I did a ton of research before our trip. A TON. We were doing Disney on the cheap. I have had several people ask me how we did it so cheap, so here is my story... We were asked by our friend's, the Steele's, if we might want to go the same week as them and enjoy some very discounted, totally awesome, military park tickets. It worked out so well that we could make that week work. They were super nice to include us. You know we love you, Steeles! Sadly, our time with them was very limited due to little Austin getting very sick with H1N1. Our plane tickets were paid for with John's many frequent flyer miles, so that was a huge cost taken out of the equation. Then, for the hotel. I knew we really wanted to stay at a Disney resort, and knew that the Value resorts were probably the best route for us. Someone told me to pick Pop Century, because it was the newest, and it has it's own bus route. I was really excited when I booked our preferred room (closer to the main building and dining and buses!) for $89 per night. Then, one night doing some late night research, I found a code for $59 per night. I called and asked if I could apply it to our room. I did, and it saved us almost $300 dollars. WooHoo! Do your research! By staying on Disney Property, we didn't need any additional transportation. They picked us up at the airport and took us to whichever park we needed to get to. We did not choose to do the meal plan. I think if our kids were younger, it would have been a smart choice, but as young as they are, I shared my meals with Hope, and John shared his with Noah. It was plenty of food. And was much cheaper than the meal plan would have been for us. We did splurge on two meals. The first was Cinderella's Breakfast. And it was worth every penny. I would have even paid more. The second was the Tusker House dinner. Not our kind of food, so I was pretty bummed we spent that much money. Oh well, live and learn.
Back to travel day... So, I was feeling pretty organized. Bags packed, lists gone over, good night's sleep. I cleaned up the Joovy stroller and set it by the car. My mom came and picked us up to take us to the airport. John packed her car up. So, we get to the airport in plenty of time, feeling pretty good, I get in the back to get the stroller.... and.... IT. IS. NOT. THERE. To say I lost it a little bit would be a fair statement. Disney world without a double stroller? No sir. No thank you. I am very aware that you can rent strollers there, but also (because of all the research, people!) I knew they were not made for wiggly 18 month olds who you need to keep contained, not to mention nap, in the stroller. My mom, bless her heart, drove back to our house in an effort to get the stroller, but, she just missed us. We were sitting on the plane, and they wouldn't let her get it to us. Dang good airport security! I was so upset. I didn't want to spend the money that this was going to cost us, not to mention the lay over and getting to our hotel without a stroller with bags and small kiddos. There were tears, people. Ridiculous, I know. But the Disney trip was not going well at this point (5 minutes into it!) John promised it would be ok, so I did relax. Wasn't much else I could do at that point! Then, Noah flipped out. All but thirty minutes there. After we got to Disney, I sent this email and picture to a few people:

"Before everything went wrong. Noah made it here, but we aren't sure we are going to bring him back. He screamed all but 30 minutes. " Of course I was kidding.

Here are Daddy and Hope on the plane:

The only peaceful 30 minutes on the plane. Please notice that by this point, I have "the crazy eyes!"

We made it to the hotel, and we were ALL completely frazzled. Our bags didn't get picked up by the hotel, we lugged them and babies (WITH NO STROLLER) through the Orlando airport to our hotel bus. First step, buy a stroller. They sold umbrella strollers in the hotel gift shop. I do not even want to tell you what an umbrella stroller costs in a Disney hotel gift shop. Not to mention two. But, the problem was solved:

We ate and got back to the room to settle down. John was wise enough to go to the poolside bar and bring me back one of these. It helped.

Thankfully, things were just absolutely perfect after Day Zero.


Jen said...

Love the crazy eyes comment. LOL.

Nicole said...

You are so funny. I can't wait to hear more about your Disney adventure!
Oh, and I told Kevin that we should use our tax return for a Disney fund. After all, Colin will be 2 next summer...a little young but totally do-able. I will definitely take your money saving and practical advice!

Brian and Kerum said...

Don't feel bad, I would have been in tears too. I don't do well during travel when things go wrong. I get all stressed and upset. At least there's another member in the same club I'm in! :)

Sorry we didn't get to spend much time with you guys! So thankful for Tamiflu though! :)

Nicole, 2 is such a fun age for Disney. Seriously, we took our son, Austin when he was 2 (although, an older 2) and it was a BLAST! He rode so many rides and loved all the characters. It was such a great trip.

Jill, one more thing. It's fun that you're spreading the trip out over the year. However, it's making me want to go back tomorrow!