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Old 04-13-2013, 10:37 AM   #1
tiggerfan77
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Our Budget-Friendly Trip to Disney/Universal July 2013 *Link to TR*

Helloooo Everyone and welcome to my PTR for a trip that we are going to in July! I know crazy, right?! It's going to HOT and sticky and I'm sure everyone will be cranky but I have gone many a time in the summer and I have adapted and managed to survive them all. So without further ado, here are some introductions....

I'm Pam (35), your author. By day I am a Graphic Designer and by night a single mom to the best kid in the world!
Favorite character: Tigger
Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom/Hollywood Studios (because I just can't pick one)
Favorite Ride: Splash Mountain


Next up is Tom(27),my boyfriend. He is a printer by day and plays video games at night.
Favorite Character: Carl (from UP)
Favorite Park: EPCOT (for the food)
Favorite Ride: Big Thunder Mountain.

And last buy not least is my son, EJ,(7). He is a brainiac by day and enjoys exploring outside and drawing at night.
Favorite Character: Has been Goofy for a long time and now he has been liking Donald
Favorite Park: Animal Kingdom
Favorite Ride: Big Thunder Mountain


Our travel dates are July 13th-20th 2013. We are staying at Wyndham Bonnet Creek thanks to my parents who bought into timeshares in the early nineties. Now as I mentioned I am trying to do a super cheap trip as my paycheck seems to be getting smaller and smaller. So I will have some budget friendly tips on how I saved up for this trip and how much it has cost so far.
So I hope you enjoy reading my trip report and are excited as much as I am to be going to Disney soon!!

Last edited by tiggerfan77; 07-25-2013 at 06:33 PM. Reason: title change
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:31 PM   #2
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3 Months to go!

I'm posting back to back for 2 reasons, 1-We are at the 3 month mark and I am getting really excited and B-I FINALLY had a weekend free to do some posting! So I may be posting a lot due to the next few weekends and evening I'll be pretty busy.

So now to get the good part...As I mentioned we will be heading to Orlando in the middle of July and be there for 7nights, 8 days. As far as I know it will just be the 3 of us. When I asked my mom for a space banked week to take EJ to Orlando, she immediately said, "OOoo, can we come too?" Since I usually just get a space-banked week for free or the maintenance fee which usually ends up being the price of one nights stay. (So yes, CHEEP!) I was like, "Sure, the more the merrier." Which turned into her inviting my brother, his girlfriend and my niece along too.

Now I love my family and all but when my mom said she got us a 3 bedroom condo for us to share instead of 2 two-bedrooms I went
That means 6 adults (one who is in a wheel chair) and 2 kids to share the condo! But since then my brother and his girlfriend have gone through a personal tragedy and my parents are going through some tough financial times so there is a possibility that it will still just be the three of us. But once it gets closer and everyone has a better idea if they will be up for the trip, I will let you know who is actually going.

Since this is our super cheap vacation, I'll give you a run down on what we have paid for and purchased so far.
Booked a 8 day stay at Wyndham Bonnet Creek-FREE (thanks to my parents for being timeshare owners.)
We are driving down because it is cheaper for us than fly down. I am estimating it will cost about 360 in gas to drive down since that is my usually transportation mode down there.
I purchased these 3 books for our trip from Amazon for about $28.

I order a Passporter every time we go to keep a record of all my trips. Then I got the Kids book to give EJ something to read on his own and the Universal book because I haven't been to Universal since 2003 so I'm sure there has been some changes since then.
Next I bought a new backpack as my other one had had it. I found this cute one on Amazon for about $25 that is plastic covered which will come in handy on those sudden downpours.

Then it was time for some new Crocs for me and EJ outgrew his ones from last year. Both purchased on Amazon for about $38.


Well that is all for now and I will try to post more goodies when I get them along with our plans for a our funtastic week!!

Last edited by tiggerfan77; 04-13-2013 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:16 AM   #3
tiggerfan77
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Itinerary so far...

I have made my ADR's a while ago so now is the time to sketch out a rough idea of what our itinerary will look like.

Sat 13th- We leave about 3am to drive down to Bonnet Creek and be there around Check-In. Possible getting groceries? chill at the pool?

Sun 14th-HOPEFULLY sleep in, somewhat just to make sure we are refreshed when we jump into the parks. So I thought we would ease into our trip with a day at Downtown Disney. I scheduled lunch at Rainforest Cafe by sneakily getting some info from EJ. Dinner either at the condo or DD depending on how long we stay. More pool time? (I looove me some pools!)

Mon 15th- Universal Studios Day!! (don't ask me why I picked the joker just thought he would make a good US icon) Our meals are not planned for our US and IOA days because #1 they don't do ADRs like Disney and #2 Tom requested to have some spontaneous meal days so we're not locked in to any particular food.

Tue 16th- Disney Hollywood Studios!! I definitely want a meal at Pizza Planet. EJ likes the Toy Story movies. As far as dinner, I didn't know if we would eat there or head over to Boardwalk for dinner? Any suggestions?

Wed 17th- We head over to B&YC for breakfast at Cape May Cafe! This one will be a new character meal for us. I have done Ohana's character meal since it was Minnie's Luau so I am ready to try something new plus it has EJ's two favorite characters-Goofy and Donald! Maybe hang out at the BW afterwards?

Thur 18th- Islands of Adventure Day!! I thought EJ might like to eat at Jurassic park but no plans for dinner. Any suggestions?

Fri 19th- Magic Kingdom Day!! I don't have lunch plans, I've eaten at all the CS places in MK so I guess we figure out what we are in the mood for. Dinner will be at Ohana;'s and let me tell you I am PUMPED! I have tried the last several trips to get an ADR and they are either full or I have to eat at 9pm which does not work for me or EJ. SO we are finally doing this!!

Sat 20th- Our leaving day...We pack up and drive back to reality.

So there is my rough draft. What do you all think?
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:32 PM   #4
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Joining in!
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:58 PM   #5
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Joining in!
Thank you and welcome!
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:22 PM   #6
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Less than 2 Months! Woo Hooo!

So with less than two months to go I have a final headcount, new reservation and some flashback photos! Here we go...

So on this particular trip it will be the three of us you met previously, with the added bonus of my parents and my niece.

Here are some pictures was from a trip in 2009 when I was living in Orlando and was in the process of moving back to Virginia.


My Parents, who we will call Mom and Dad since we are all family, right? With the kiddos EJ and my niece Trinity.


Climbing on the dalmatian that used to be in the Winnie the Pooh store.


Trinity with her pixie dust sprinkled hair.


And the famous Downtown Disney train with a moment of sass from Trinity.

So now that we have had a fun trip down memory lane, here is what I have been busy with for the last month. I ordered my Landry's Select card for our lunch at Rainforest Cafe. See when you order one of these cards it cost $25 which basically goes on the card but you get a bonus $25 on the month of your birthday. My birthday just happens to be in July so I'll have 50 bucks to use toward our lunch at Rainforest! Score! I also added a new reservation to 50's Prime Time Cafe on our day at Hollywood Studios. I am super excited about this restaurant because I love the hilarious wait staff plus you can't go wrong with good old comfort food!

Has anyone eaten there and had some funny stories? I only at there one time in 2002 and when I went to order dessert our "Aunt" saw that I had not finished my green beans so she feed them to me airplane style. LOL! So I can't wait to take my boyfriend because he is such a ham and I think he's going to LOVE it!

Well that's all the updates for now! I am almost to my food budget goal and I have a few more pay weeks before we go so I should have no problem making our goal!
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:31 AM   #7
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Cute!! I am following along! Your plan looks great! We love Cosmic Rays for CS in MK or BOG if you feel like waiting it just looks so pretty!!!
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:24 PM   #8
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Cute!! I am following along! Your plan looks great! We love Cosmic Rays for CS in MK or BOG if you feel like waiting it just looks so pretty!!!
Hello! Thanks for following along!
Cosmic Rays would make a good for lunch since it has a little bit of everything. I wasn't planning on going to BOG this year because I knew how crowded it was going to be but now that my niece is coming with us, I might consider having an early lunch there. I've heard alot of good things and my nieces favorite princess is Belle so we might end up there.
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:33 PM   #9
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I would have to at least try to get in BOG. I love Belle can you tell?
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:31 AM   #10
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I would have to at least try to get in BOG. I love Belle can you tell?
How early should I get there with us being there in the summer? I looked at the menu and it looks delicious!
My niece loves Belle because she is a reader like her so pictures with Belle is a must!
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:15 AM   #11
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Hey Tiggerfan Joining in here. Your trip is coming up fast. I like your itinerary (especially love all the Ohana on there!). It sounds like its going to be a great time! I don't have any good stories about 50's, it seems like most CM's assume we want boring supper experiences. Both of our times at 50's were funny antics free. We were disappointed. This doesn't seem to be the norm, most people seem to have a blast.
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:33 PM   #12
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How early should I get there with us being there in the summer? I looked at the menu and it looks delicious!
My niece loves Belle because she is a reader like her so pictures with Belle is a must!
I honestly can't answer this question, but it is a good one! I hope someone else can help us out with that info.
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:39 PM   #13
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Hey Tiggerfan Joining in here. Your trip is coming up fast. I like your itinerary (especially love all the Ohana on there!). It sounds like its going to be a great time! I don't have any good stories about 50's, it seems like most CM's assume we want boring supper experiences. Both of our times at 50's were funny antics free. We were disappointed. This doesn't seem to be the norm, most people seem to have a blast.
YAY! Thanks for joining in to my lil' old PTR. I know I'm a newbie here so I thought it was just going to be me, happybelle and Blessedwithboys!
Thanks for the thumbs up on my itinerary. I thought that going to Ohana's for dinner then going back into the park for Spectromagic and Wishes would be a nice kiss goodnight for our last full day.

That sucks that both of your trips to 50's Prime Time have been on the boring side. Hopefully I'll have a funny story to tell when we get back.


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Originally Posted by happybelle View Post
I honestly can't answer this question, but it is a good one! I hope someone else can help us out with that info.
Thanks happybelle, hopefully I can find out soon and add it to our touring plan
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:17 PM   #14
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YAY! Thanks for joining in to my lil' old PTR. I know I'm a newbie here so I thought it was just going to be me, happybelle and Blessedwithboys!
Thanks for the thumbs up on my itinerary. I thought that going to Ohana's for dinner then going back into the park for Spectromagic and Wishes would be a nice kiss goodnight for our last full day.

That sucks that both of your trips to 50's Prime Time have been on the boring side. Hopefully I'll have a funny story to tell when we get back.




Thanks happybelle, hopefully I can find out soon and add it to our touring plan
We really loved 50's!! So much that we are going back again (better not give all my PTR away) the food was super yummy and our server did just enough fun stuff that we did not feel totally uncomfortable but where entertained!

I can not wait to hear about your trip to Universal. We might do an Orlando trip in June with a side of Star Wars weekends.. can you believe I have not even went on my trip this year yet and I am already planning for 2014!!! LOL
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:55 AM   #15
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We really loved 50's!! So much that we are going back again (better not give all my PTR away) the food was super yummy and our server did just enough fun stuff that we did not feel totally uncomfortable but where entertained!
[COLOR="RoyalBlue"]
I can not wait to hear about your trip to Universal. We might do an Orlando trip in June with a side of Star Wars weekends.. can you believe I have not even went on my trip this year yet and I am already planning for 2014!!! LOL
Yes, I can believe it! It's the Disney addiction that keeps up coming back for more! LoL!
We try to get it budget-friendly by only choosing a few table service places but I think I did a good job picking out some good ones so I am really excited about them. I will do my best to give as much info on Universal Orlando. I have not been since 2003 and Tom & Ej have never been so it will be an experience for us all!
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