I’m Going to Disney!

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!  EliTomS1

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.  IMG_1083

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!

IMG_1975

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?

Comments

I’m Going to Disney! — 23 Comments

  1. Yay!!! Going to Disney is how I spend almost every long weekend (and a lot of others if I’m being honest). POP doesn’t have a gym but you have the great running trail between POP and AoA. I do a lot of boot camp style workouts when I stay at POP. Plus there is usually a resistance band or two in my bag and you can get a lot out of those. Body weight workouts can be pretty awesome.

    • Oh thanks! Crazy they don’t have at least a small gym. I’ll just do my weight training Monday and Wednesday before I go and I’ll be able to run while I’m there (hopefully!). Thanks for the info!

  2. You can do your workouts by running around Hourglass Lake between Pop and AoA! It is a mile loop and so pretty – I LOVE running there during vacation! Have a great trip 🙂
    Jodi recently posted…Princess on the RideMy Profile

  3. So excited for you!

    We just took our last trip on our APs last week. We are taking a WDW break for a bit. We did manage to get on Mine Train and it was great. If you get there super early to be at the front of rope drop and walk really, really, really fast, you should be able to get there (the crowd will go there and to the Anna & Elsa meet & greet). Good luck and have fun!
    Jenn recently posted…happy father’s dayMy Profile

    • Our WDW break was supposed to last until October but Eli & I wore Erik down. It seems like it’s been much longer than four months. Maybe I need to stay off the internet! Everyone having fun at the 24 hour event, the Mine Train opening and Star Wars Weekends just made me miss WDW so much! I hate the new rope drop procedure (another new thing since our last visit) but I understand why they had to do it, Crazy!!

  4. That is so cute that Elis knows I-75 South is to Disney World! (SO Jealous that you live so close)
    I know I will feel completely “free” next time I go to Disney not for a race although I don’t actually know the next time I will do that.
    To save some $ have you looked into renting points off of someone who is a DVC member? We did this once years ago and it worked out well. Its actually great for last minute trips because people realize that they need to get rid of their points before they expire. There are whole message boards full of people looking to get rid of dates. ~M

    • That child was born with a map in his head! And a love for Disney! I keep an eye on one website that has last minute specials, but for Thanksgiving week I doubt I’ll get that lucky. That is a great idea for our impromptu Friday/weekend trips though!

    • Thanks! Ocala’s horse country, you could probably do a great business there! And people are crazy about their pets here, they’d probably hire you just to keep them company during the day! Start packing!! 🙂

    • Thanks! I just spent 2 hours packing for a 2 night trip, LOL.

  5. I am SO excited for you! I would love to get AP’s someday (if we lived close enough or visited enough times in a year). And Disney Bounding is AWESOME!! I want to do more of it in the future! I love all the ideas on Pinterest!

    • Living two hours away is great but just a little too far for an easy day trip. We do it, but we’re all wiped out afterwards! I need to work an a Disney Bounding costume for my planned trip in November!

  6. I stay at Blue Heron Beach Resort on Lake Buena Vista Dr when I stay off property. It is about 2 miles from the Downtown Disney end, and you can watch Illuminations from the hotel. They are condos with 1 or 2 bedrooms, full kitchen, and washer and dryer. I was there this past week with 3 adults and 3 kids, and it didn’t feel crowded at all. They do have FL resident rates on their site under specials.

    I live in Jacksonville, and I do day trips a lot to Disney. We will leave around 6:30am and leave Disney around 5pm. It makes for a long day, but a fun one. As for rider swap, ask the cast member at the entrance for a rider swap ticket. One member will stand in line while the other waits outside the attraction. The rider swap ticket allows 3 people to use the fastpass line once the first member of the party is off the ride. You do have to show them your child, but it isn’t a big deal. I use rider swap a lot since my husband and I are the only adults that go on our day trips.
    Angie recently posted…TimeMy Profile

    • Great tips on both the resort and the rider swap! I’ll make sure to check that resort out!

  7. Good times! I went to Disneyland today because my pass is about to enter the summer block out dates. I tossed a coin into Snow White’s wishing well and on the way home I got a call to schedule a job interview! I also found a cap that I saw months ago and was told was sold out! I’m chalking it up to Disney magic today!
    Jen recently posted…Random ThoughtsMy Profile

    • Awesome Disney magic! Best wishes on that job interview!! 🙂

  8. Happy post, yay!! I wish we were close enough to justify annual passes–but living 7 hours away we already travel to WDW way too much! I hope you have a wonderful time. We’re considering a holiday trip in December–it’s just so close to Princess that I have to keep our budget in check. 🙂 And I love the DisneyBounding pin board. How had I never heard of this?!?
    Allyson recently posted…Running Into Another Obstacle (And Looking on the Bright Side)My Profile

    • I know, isn’t Disney Bounding just so much fun?!? I just got back from a three day trip and noticed several people doing it. Snow White seems to be the most popular because a yellow bottom, blue top and red belt are just so easy and distinctive. We had a great time, keep an eye out for a FP+ post and maybe even a few other Disney ones.

    • Ahhh, we just got back from a short three day trip and it was hot and Eli was a bit whiny and our teenager wanted nothing to do with us, but we still had an amazing time and made great memories and just had one magical experience after another. I just <3 Disney!

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