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Old 09-16-2012, 07:54 PM   #1261
Lil'Mermaid75
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Nice wrap up, Shelley! Your December trip will be here before you know it. You'll love DL - we went...oh my, it was two years ago. Its different than WDW, but it's Disney!! The closeness of the parks and hotels is the strangest thing to get used to compared to WDW.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:20 PM   #1262
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Hey Shelly - good wrap up.
I am also one who appreciates your honest opinions about your trips. It's hard to write these things and not want to sugar coat things because it's Disney.

I'm also sad that your stay at BC wasn't "all that". There is a lot of hype about it, especially Stormalong Bay. It does matter if it's crowded and it makes it less fun. Now I don't think anyone would like your room condition and the lack of response. Thankfully they have done something and you get to enjoy the Grand!! With Jodi!!!

We are going to be doing without DDP this next trip and I will be trying to track our purchases (might be tough with F&W) to see how we eat and what we spend. Both DH and I got Disney gift cards for our birthdays so we have some $$ to spend.

I'll miss having this to read - it's been a pleasure and a lot of fun to read. Thank you for taking the time to do it!!!
It's hard to believe I was first "introduced" to you on the January 09 snowbirds thread THREE years ago now!!
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:25 AM   #1263
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Another great trip report!! Glad I'm not the only one with my next 3 years of trips planned in my mind We are going to try cruising for the 1st time in April, so it's killing me not to get to the world until November 2013.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:39 PM   #1264
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Great ending Shelly. The Beach Club doesn't really do it for me either. Oh well, ya live and learn. I'm very much looking forward to your next TR! I will miss your updates until then!
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:23 PM   #1265
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Originally Posted by monica23535 View Post
Glad to hear that the whole trip wasn't too bad! I certainly enjoyed reading all about it.

I've said it before, but the BC really ought to be ashamed of the room they gave you, am so glad they compensated you with the two free nights

We will be in WDW in four weeks, doing a Poly, DCL and BC split, wonder if we'll love the Poly as much as you did!

Looking forward to hearing all about your new trip!
I'm glad you enjoyed reading about it!

I'm glad they did make things right in the end, but the whole BC experience just wasn't too pleasant.

Wow your trip is right around the corner! Sounds like it is going to be fabulous! I hope you love the Poly!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by T*Bird View Post
Shelly, that was a great wrap-up to your TR! I'm glad that you still enjoyed your trip in spite of some disappointments. I think it says a lot about your family that you make the best of any situation. Most importantly, you don't fuss and fight (unless you left that part out ), and I think that would be the biggest thing that could spoil a vacation. And I bet there are many families that do just that.

I am so shocked at how hot and crowded it was in May. We've been twice in late May/early June and it was hot, but not overly so. Or maybe it's just that we didn't notice it, since it's so blasted hot where we live.

I love your idea of gift cards to pay for meals. It gives you the same freedom of prepaid meals as with the DDP, and actually comes out costing you less. We did the DDP on our last trip, but from what I understand, there have been many changes and cuts since then. Plus we ordered things that were included that we never would have it they weren't. We never order desserts when we eat out, but we did with the DDP. I think there is an awful lot of wasted food with the DDP.

Today I was in Books-a-Million, and I saw some Lego Architecture sets. Of course I immediately thought of your DS10! I had never seen that before. Of course, it's probably been around for years. My DS played with Legos, but that was a long time ago.

I'm glad you added your December dates and plans in your recap. I had forgotten just when you were going and how many nights at each resort. That is going to be an awesome trip! Oh wait! I take that back. "Trip #9, not so fine."

I hope you remember that little joke!
Thanks Teri! Yes, we tried to make the best of the situation. We even made jokes about going out to 'stick' on the balcony (instead of sit). Yes, we are dorks! But I'm not saying we didn't do our fair share of complaining either!

The heat and crowds were shocking for May. Don't think we will ever do that again.

Yes, the DDP used to be awesome. Back when the appetizer and tips were included. And it didn't cost a fortune. Now it is way too much money and they have dropped so much from it. It's a shame.

Hmm....I'm not sure I have seen any Lego architecture sets. I'll have to look for them!

I do remember that little joke!! I'm with you -- trip #9 will be not so fine!!


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Oh my gosh what can I say about this being over?

I loved the wrap up- it's always great to read them--- such a great re-cap of all that occurred.

And I think it is awesome that you tell what happens the way it happens, without trying to pixie dust coat the negatives. Honesty is the best policy!

It's sad to me that you didn't love the BC-- It could have been so different if they had only taken the time then to do what is expected when a guest is unhappy. But I am thankful in a way that they waited to do it-- I am benefiting from their lack of professionalism b/c you're staying with us at the Grand!!

It's gonna be.... GRAND!!!


Thanks for taking the time to do the TR. I know it's tough at times b/c life gets in the way of being able to DIS they way you want to. But we all appreciate you sticking with it and writing it all out for us to enjoy.

85 days till you leave on your next journey!!

Glad you enjoyed the final thoughts!

Yes, I guess we are in luck that my last trip was not so fabulous and that we get to have some GF fun now!! At least something good came of it.

I'm so glad you are keeping track of my countdown. I just haven't had time with all that's going on, plus being back to work now!
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:26 PM   #1266
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So when is te next trip report planned for, I need soemthing to keep reading!
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:55 PM   #1267
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What a wonderful TR! I'm sad that it's over, but I'm glad that you will be going to WDW again soon, and that I will have another TR to read from you!

I'm sad that you didn't like BC (not my favorite resort either), but you had very valid reasons not to enjoy your time there. I'm glad that you still had a nice time though!

By the way...check out my ticker. Yes, I switched resorts. Again. But, my girls were begging me to book the Poly. And, of course, I could not say no to that! So now we are booked there AND the trip is paid off!
Thanks Lauren!

Oh my gosh!! YAY for the Poly!! I told you once you stayed there you would be in love! Congrats on being paid in full!! Can't wait to hear all about the trip.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil'Mermaid75 View Post
Nice wrap up, Shelley! Your December trip will be here before you know it. You'll love DL - we went...oh my, it was two years ago. Its different than WDW, but it's Disney!! The closeness of the parks and hotels is the strangest thing to get used to compared to WDW.
Thanks!

I can't wait to experience DL. Hopefully it will happen next summer. It will be weird I'm sure - to be somewhere so familiar, yet so different. I bet we will love it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mndisneygirl View Post
Hey Shelly - good wrap up.
I am also one who appreciates your honest opinions about your trips. It's hard to write these things and not want to sugar coat things because it's Disney.

I'm also sad that your stay at BC wasn't "all that". There is a lot of hype about it, especially Stormalong Bay. It does matter if it's crowded and it makes it less fun. Now I don't think anyone would like your room condition and the lack of response. Thankfully they have done something and you get to enjoy the Grand!! With Jodi!!!

We are going to be doing without DDP this next trip and I will be trying to track our purchases (might be tough with F&W) to see how we eat and what we spend. Both DH and I got Disney gift cards for our birthdays so we have some $$ to spend.

I'll miss having this to read - it's been a pleasure and a lot of fun to read. Thank you for taking the time to do it!!!
It's hard to believe I was first "introduced" to you on the January 09 snowbirds thread THREE years ago now!!
Thanks Sheree!

Yeah, it's too bad about the BC and SAB. I was really expecting to like them. I guess there's a WDW resort for everyone, and the BC is not ours!

I'll be interested to see how you like it without the DDP. We actually find it rather freeing!

It is hard to believe that it has been over 3 years since all us Snowbirds met and took our January trips!
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:59 PM   #1268
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Originally Posted by mommy2mb View Post
Another great trip report!! Glad I'm not the only one with my next 3 years of trips planned in my mind We are going to try cruising for the 1st time in April, so it's killing me not to get to the world until November 2013.
Thank you!

It's fun to plan the trips in your mind way ahead of time -- then you always have something to look forward to!

Good luck with the cruising. Let me know how you like it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovemy3babes View Post
Great ending Shelly. The Beach Club doesn't really do it for me either. Oh well, ya live and learn. I'm very much looking forward to your next TR! I will miss your updates until then!
Thanks Kelli! Yep - you live and you learn. At least we gave it a try and now we know.

I can't wait to hear all about your mother-daughter trip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 15isto2 View Post
So when is te next trip report planned for, I need soemthing to keep reading!
December!
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:49 PM   #1269
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Shelly~ really like how you do the wrap up at the end and sum everything up. I have been so busy at work, it's a little stressful but a good kind of stress. I think it's b/c I've been away from it so LONG that I just need to get used to it again.
So excited about your Christmas trip. The decorations are great and the Osborne lights are AMAZiNG!!!! I was fortunate to go with my parents and sister's family a couple of years ago ( unfortunately I went solo so the boys and DH haven't been for Christmas yet) someday soon they will.
As for your goal for 2014- we've done a split stay at Universal and Disney a couple of times and it's great!! I'm sure you either know this already or you'll find out when researching that the only people that get fast passes at Uni/IOA are people who stay on property or pay a ridiculous charge for them. So it was so worth it!!!! We stayed at the Hard Rock the kids and DH really love it there.
DH and I went out to celebrate my new job the other night- we discussed our family trip since I'm working now. so since the kids (and DH ) don't want to do Disney again next year we decided since we are celebrating for ME, that we would still go to FL. We're gonna stay at the Hard Rock for the whole trip b/c the kids aren't sick of Uni/IOA yet lol!! . And go to MK 1 day for me!!!! I'm so excited we are discussing the dates still- either April or August. DH is leaning towards April I really don't care as long as we're going!!!!
And as for your trip I don't think anybody could have a bad time at Disney. I could sleep in a tent and I'd be happy!!
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:13 PM   #1270
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Originally Posted by ddluvsdisney View Post
Shelly~ really like how you do the wrap up at the end and sum everything up. I have been so busy at work, it's a little stressful but a good kind of stress. I think it's b/c I've been away from it so LONG that I just need to get used to it again.
So excited about your Christmas trip. The decorations are great and the Osborne lights are AMAZiNG!!!! I was fortunate to go with my parents and sister's family a couple of years ago ( unfortunately I went solo so the boys and DH haven't been for Christmas yet) someday soon they will.
As for your goal for 2014- we've done a split stay at Universal and Disney a couple of times and it's great!! I'm sure you either know this already or you'll find out when researching that the only people that get fast passes at Uni/IOA are people who stay on property or pay a ridiculous charge for them. So it was so worth it!!!! We stayed at the Hard Rock the kids and DH really love it there.
DH and I went out to celebrate my new job the other night- we discussed our family trip since I'm working now. so since the kids (and DH ) don't want to do Disney again next year we decided since we are celebrating for ME, that we would still go to FL. We're gonna stay at the Hard Rock for the whole trip b/c the kids aren't sick of Uni/IOA yet lol!! . And go to MK 1 day for me!!!! I'm so excited we are discussing the dates still- either April or August. DH is leaning towards April I really don't care as long as we're going!!!!
And as for your trip I don't think anybody could have a bad time at Disney. I could sleep in a tent and I'd be happy!!

Thank you!

I've been extremely busy with work too. It's hard to get back into the groove after a nice long summer break!

We are very excited about our December trip!! Can't wait to see all the decorations and lights.

I have been told that the Hard Rock Hotel is nice. I haven't even researched it a bit yet though! It will be interesting if we decide to go to Universal in a few years. A totally new experience for us! Lots to research.
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:27 PM   #1271
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Okay, so for those of you who might be interested or who have been debating the DDP - I have my totals for you!!

As you know we paid out of pocket for all of our food at WDW this time. Looking at the receipts it appears that we had 16 meals (total TS & CS) at:

Garden Grove
Kona Cafe
Beaches & Cream
Big River Grille
Tony's Town Square
T-Rex
Yachtsman
ESPN Club

Pecos Bill
Casey's Corner
BW Pizza
Liberty Inn
Min&Bills
BC Marketplace 2X
And 1 CS meal at LegoLand


Total: $677.42
Plus all snacks: $172.66 (this include every ice cream cone, piece of chocolate, popcorn, candy, etc.)

Grand Total: $850.08


-----------


If we had done the regular (not deluxe) DDP at $51.54 per person per night our grand total would have been:

$1649.28






What a difference!! Not even close. That is crazy!

Yes, I realize there are many times throughout the year that WDW offers Free dining - but during most (or maybe all) of those times they are also offering a room discount. So as you can see, for us taking the room discount is the way to go!


Hope that info was helpful to someone!


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Old 09-19-2012, 01:21 PM   #1272
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That is unbelievable!! Oh, and way to go, Shelly! I love how you said your total includes every little thing. It's like you were anticipating us saying, "Well, what about all the ice cream cones and popcorns you had?" (You know us well) I trust you showed your DH how much you saved.

I didn't even realize how much they had cut back on the DDP until you mentioned a few things. Seems like when we used it, an appetizer, entree, dessert, and tip were all included. Plus, I know LeCellier was only one TS credit and not 2 like I believe it is now. I know others are also 2 credits, too.

The DDP started out as a great idea, but it sounds like it's not such a wonderful thing now. I guess you really have to do your homework to see if it's worth it for family.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:24 PM   #1273
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That is simply amazing math right there!!!!!

I don't see how the DDP would ever work for you again. It's just so much money for what you get now. Especially since Deluxe rooms are so expensive. (If you were to choose free dining over the room only codes). And throw in that your kids don't eat as much as what Disney deems an "adult" at 10 years old....
It's just an incredible savings that you've got!

Good job!!
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:26 PM   #1274
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And can I add that "Free" dining most definitely is NOT free.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:51 PM   #1275
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I really appreciate your DDP breakdown comparison!
How many nights were you there? I'm just trying to see how your DDP costs will compare for us.

This will be our first trip without the DDP (other than our one day visit in 2008) so I will try to keep good track as well and compare our numbers. We have one kid and 3 adults according to Disney for dining purposes and I just know we'd spend more on DDP.

DH just totaled up our gift cards and Disney Visa Rewards $ and we have over $500 to spend on food/souvenirs. That will buy a lot of food and wine!!
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