Our first Disney trip was April 1st thru 8th, 2008 (7 nights). The kids, Braedan and Tabitha, were seven and ten. The trip had been in planning since September 2007 and was booked October 20, 2007. Seven nights at the Caribbean Beach Resort, round trip air from Rochester, NY, airport transfers on Disney’s Magical Express, and eight days of park hopper passes for the four of us was $3453.98. The kids had no clue we were doing this. We decided to tell them by leaving subtle hints around the house. Mickey and Minnie stuffed animals came to the top of the pile of toys. We found these tiny plastic stick-on Mickey heads and stuck them in odd places around the house. Occasionally one of the kids would find one of the “Hidden Mickey’s” and ask about it. We just changed the subject. Once, Tabitha asked, “Are we going to Disney or something?” Again, we changed the subject. On the day we decided to tell them we made them find all the remaining “Hidden Mickey’s” before we would confirm their suspicions. When we finally told them we really were going to Disney World they went nuts. That’s all we heard about for the next three months.
The second Disney trip was July 8th thru 15th, 2009 (7 nights). After unfortunately overlooking the notice when we booked that the main pool at the Caribbean Beach Resort would be closed for refurbishment, and then witnessing the huge construction effort in progress during our first trip, the kids knew they wanted to go back there for the next trip to experience that pool. They just didn’t know when we would be going back. This trip was booked February 11, 2009, for a total of $3005.73, this time with the addition of the Water Park & More option on the park admission tickets. The savings of about $450 over the last trip comes from the “buy 4 nights, get 3 more free” deal that was being offered, as well as lower airfare pricing. This offer being extended into the summer when the kids were off of school is what triggered us to go for it. This time the trip was announced on Easter morning by writing hints on strips of paper and putting them inside plastic Easter eggs. Since we had been saying for months that there wasn’t really enough money to do another trip they were surprised but being the second trip we got lots of input from them as to what they wanted to do and where they wanted to eat.
November 13th thru 18th, 2009 (5 nights) was the third Disney trip, this time just for the adults. This trip was $1544.26 for the two of us to stay at the Port Orleans Riverside Resort with Park Hopper tickets and the Disney Dining Plan, which was included for free during the fall promotion. I did not book air transportation thru Disney since for some reason they could not get the exact times I was able to find on the AirTran website. Total air fare for the two of us was $326.80 for a trip cost of $1871.06. For comparison, adding 6-day park hopper tickets ($533) and airfare ($326.80) for the kids would bring the total to $2730.86 for this 5 night trip. We told the kids about a month before our planned trip and they were not nearly as excited to be staying home while we were in Disney.
So, after three trips, and seeing how much there is to see and do and plan and enjoy at Walt Disney World, we decided we would start this blog…
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