We had annual passes to Walt Disney World in Florida last year, but when they expired in February we decided not to renew them. The price of the annual passes was bad enough, but we love to stay on-site and eat in the sit down restaurants and buy treats and souvenirs. In other words…we spent way too much money and we’re still paying off the credit cards (that we ran up by traveling too much while I was struggling with infertility and pregnancy losses) steadily but slowly.
After four months of hearing me and Eli whine and pine and mope about not being able to go to Disney and not being annual passholders anymore, Erik relented and agreed that he would support us getting new annual passes! Yay!
We try to make our big financial decisions together so I really wanted this to be something we were all on board with. Not the most frugal decision we’ve ever made, but we drive old cars and have cut back our spending in lots of other areas so I’m willing to splurge on this one.
We went ahead and got the annual passes that have no blackout dates and include free parking. Since I work 4-10’s I have Fridays off and since Erik is a teacher he has the summer off, so we are planning (ok, I am planning) on driving down for day trips on Fridays most of the summer. We live about two hours away, so it’s a long drive for a day trip but it’s do-able. I’d like to do another week-long Thanksgiving week trip also. We’ll probably have to do that off-site because the cabins at Ft. Wilderness are pretty expensive that week and we need a full kitchen and a couple of bedrooms if we’re going to be there for a whole week. I’m looking at flipkey.com to find discounted condos/houses to rent for that week.
We’re driving down Thursday to do Magic Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon and Animal Kingdom. We’re staying at POP Century and I’m so happy! We weren’t able to get FP+ to the the new Mine Cars rollercoaster, but we’ll just head there when the park opens and hope the line isn’t too bad. Guess we have to figure out how the rider swap thing works this trip. We usually have my mom with us, so we she just takes Eli to a kid area while we do the roller coasters. We’re going without her this trip so it will be a bit different.
We’re also celebrating that Alex is turning 15! How can I possibly have a 15 year old child? Yikes, between turning 40, having to take BP meds and this I am starting to feel OLD! One more good reason to head to the Magic Kingdom. I may take a tiara along on this trip just for a whimsical touch. Happy Birthday, Alex!!
I’d love to do some Disney Bounding, where you go to the parks in regular clothes that have the “feel” of a Disney character. If you want to know more, I’ve got a Pinterest board here with some fun ideas. I’ll probably wear my Anna/Little Sister sparkleskirt and maybe find a good Anna-themed shirt to go with it.
We’re going to use all my runDisney on a budget tips on this trip including bringing lots of our own food (POP has mini-fridges), probably my Keurig machine, and glow sticks for Eli for the nighttime events (the dollar store rocks). I’ll have to figure out how to get two of my workouts done while I’m there but I should be able to do them during Eli’s naps if POP has a gym (sadly I have no idea but I’m hoping the answer is yes!)
If you couldn’t tell, I’m way more excited than I should be about getting our Disney Annual Passes. Part of it is that I really have a great time there. The other part of it is that Eli is so happy at Disney. We tell “the monorail” story most nights which involves us taking some kind of Disney transportation to a Disney park, then riding rides and ends with fireworks, a cupcake and a trip back to the hotel. I am really looking forward to seeing his face when he finds out we’re going (since we’re making it a surprise!). We may not even tell him until we get there (although even at 3 1/2 he already knows that getting on I-75 South means going to Disney). It will be extra fun to be able to enjoy the parks without having to plan around race events!
Anyone have any great savings tips? Great places to stay with a full kitchen and 2 or 3 bedrooms for a full week at low cost close to Disney? Awesome websites to look for good deals? When is your next trip to Disney?