Single mom going with 4 kids. I must be crazy!!! July/August PTR

Corrine 1973

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Good morning Disney Friends!!!!


I have been a member of the Dis since 2009
(has it really been 10 years since our first trip?)
but it has been awhile since I have posted or even been on here so I thought it was a good time to start again.
As the thread says I am a single mom and this will be the first time going with all 4 of my kids by myself. Am I crazy? Probably but we all have our passions and Disney is mine. I hope you will all join me on this crazy adventure and we all come out in the end in one piece.



This first post will be short but don't you worry. Soon I will post more about the cast of characters, when/where we are staying, and all the planning that will go into making this crazy trip as carefree as possible.
So sit back with a bowl of popcorn, relax, and enjoy!!!
 
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Corrine 1973

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Where and When???

So as promised lets get down to business.

This trip has been over a year in the making.
In 2016 I took my 3 oldest children to Walt Disney World with a friend of mine who is a CM at our local Disney Outlet. My youngest son did not go on this trip because I feared his anxieties would make it hard for him to enjoy the trip
but vowed we would go back in a couple years so he could enjoy.
So when the packages opened for this year I put down my $200 and started planning.

When I first booked our vacation last June it was for Port Orleans Riverside. I love that resort and knew we needed to have a room that allowed 5 people. That is where it stayed for months. I did a little planning, watched a lot of YouTube videos, and even made Dining reservations. Then my planning got turned on its head.
:upsidedow:upsidedow:upsidedow:upsidedow:upsidedow:upsidedow:upsidedow:upsidedow

The discounts came out for the dates of my stay.
It looked like I would be saving a couple hundred with room discount but if I changed my dates to when free dining was happening I would be saving over $900.
So what is a girl to do...change dates of course!!!!
:banana::banana::cheer2::cheer2::banana::banana:


So the new dates are July 30-August 5th and we are now staying at Caribbean Beach Resort. We of course had to change our Base Tickets to Park Hoppers and decided to up grade those to the Park Hopper Plus and go to a water park on the last day.

So here we go!!!

Caribbean Beach Resort
5th person sleeper with water/pool view
July 30-August 5, 2019
5 day Park Hopper Plus

Free Quick service Dining Plan upgraded to Regular Dining Plan
 
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  • Corrine 1973

    A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2009
    Cast of Characters:

    So now that we have the When and Where out of the way let me introduce you to our Merry Band of Men

    First of all there is Me!!
    My name is Corrine and I am the mom of this rag tag group. I am a huge lover of all things Disney and try to go as often as I can.
    This will be my 7th trip to the World and I have been to Disneyland once when I was a small child (official planning on going again Spring). I am a very creative person and generally love all things that stimulate that part of my personality. I am one of those kind of people who need lists and planning to get through my daily life and really enjoy doing all of the planning for our Disney Trips. It really helps me to know what parks I am going on which days, where we are going to be having our TS meal, and the couple FPs knowing we will at least get to ride those. As for the rest of the day I try to be a little more open and go with the flow. We try to plan as we go for our best options without micromanaging our days.
    My Favorite park is Magic Kingdom
    My Favorite character is Mickey Mouse and Stitch:mickeyjum:stitch:
    My favorite rides are The Haunted Mansion and Tower of Terror


    Second is my eldest Son Liam. (Pic is at Six Flag Great America where is working.)
    He is currently 16 years old but will turn 17 at the end of May.
    He is a great kid and helps me a lot with his brothers and sister. He is a lot like me and is a very creative but really excels in his art in which he is passionate about. He is also in the choir at his school and is going to DL next spring break with them. (Hence the DL trip next year.) When he was 6 years old he was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis and also has difficulties with anxiety at times. Our first trip was actually with Make a Wish in which he decided to go to Walt Disney World. He is not as excited about Disney as he has been in years past. He is excited about some of the thrill rides but mainly is looking forward to the food. He is the main reason the Dinning plan works for my family. No leftovers with him around. :rotfl::rotfl:
    His favorite Park is a tie between Epcot and Hollywood Studios
    His favorite character is Aladdin (though he claims to not really have one)
    His favorite ride is Rockin' Rollercoaster


    Third member of the party is my Daughter Ameliya. (Silly pic of us at Portillo's.)
    She is 13 years old but will turn 14 a couple weeks before our trip.
    She is currently a big huge pain in my butt and thinks she knows everything. So basically a typical teen. :laughing::laughing: She is also very creative and enjoys art and singing. Her main talent is writing though. She comes up with such amazing ideas and I really don't know where she comes up with the things she does. She has asthma and allergies to at least tree nuts and sun flower seeds. So we will be talking to a lot of chefs during our trip. She is mainly looking forward to the snacks though I am pretty sure she would love to meet Stitch.:stitch:
    Her Favorite park is Animal Kingdom
    Her favorite characters are Angel, Scrump, and the Cheshire Cat:ccat:
    Her favorite ride is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.


    The forth member is Aidan.

    He is 11 years old but will be 12 in June. He can be a bit of a hand full because he has ADHD. I also suspect that he has High Functioning Autism but it has not been diagnosed. We do have a Dr Appointment on Tuesday so I hope to talk to them about that then. He is also one of the sweetest boys you can ever meet. He loves computer games and watching YouTube and can't wait to go back to the Waterpark. The thing he is looking forward the most is the rides...and the food.
    His favorite park is Epcot
    His favorite character is Figment or Goofy:figment::goofy:
    His favorite ride is Test Track


    Last but certainly not least is Rylan.

    He just turned 9 but is very small for his age. I am very excited because when I measured him he is 48" and tall enough to ride everything in the parks. This will be his first trip to Walt Disney World (unless you count the fact that I was pregnant during our first trip:rotfl2:). He has anxieties and I didn't want to stress him out to much during our trip. Until recently he would literally climb me like a tree anytime he saw a fur character at Six Flags. We have been working on it with YouTube videos and saying hi to characters at the local theme park and he has been doing a lot better. He is very excited about meeting Mickey Mouse but we are still keeping the Character dining down to 2 this trip. I am bringing a stroller for him so he has a space he feels comfortable with while there.
    His favorite Park is Unknown but I have a feeling it will be Magic Kingdom
    His favorite character is Mickey Mouse:mickeyjum
    His favorite ride is also Unknown but he is really looking forward to Slinky Dog Dash

    This last picture is from our family trip in 2017.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/24492847@N05/
     
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    kclark9830

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2014
    It is so good to "meet" you all! I am glad your oldest son is doing so well. :hug: Can't wait to read more about your plans!
     

    jo-jo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2011
    Which dining plan are you getting?

    That stroller will come in handy to carry some extra water for the park.
     

    Corrine 1973

    A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2009
    It is so good to "meet" you all! I am glad your oldest son is doing so well. :hug: Can't wait to read more about your plans!
    :welcome:yeah!!! I am so glad I am not here talking to myself. :lmao:I always fear no on will want to read these but figured what the heck. I was going for it. :goodvibes It is good to meet you as well. He is doing very well. We had a rough spot last October in which he ended up in the hospital for 8 days for a tune up but he is doing a lot better now.

    Which dining plan are you getting?

    The stroller will come in handy to carry some extra water for the park.
    :welcome: and thank you for joining. We get the QS dining plan for free but upgraded it to the regular dining plan. The stroller will definitely come in handy to store some extra water and other things I don't want to carry. It isn't a huge stroller though. It is a McLaren Volo.
     
  • Corrine 1973

    A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2009
    Trip Plans!!!

    So now that we have gotten the basics out of the way lets talk about this trip!!!

    As I have said before our original trip was booked for May 28- June 3rd. We were booked POR in the Alligator Bayou section with 6 base tickets and the regular dining package. When the specials came out I realized I would be saving a little more money going to CBR and had decided to move to the new resort but did a little more research on the other specials that were being released. Not to mention people were going crazy on all the Disney Facebook pages about free dining be released early for this year. So being the Disney planner that I am I ran the numbers. If I went to Disney at the time free dining was offered I would be saving over $900 dollars. And that's even after I change my tickets from base tickets to Park Hoppers. Win Win.


    Now we just have to decide what are new dates were. My first thought was to go sometime at the beginning or middle of July. My son reminded me that this is when the summer camps with the Church is usually planned for so that would be out since my kids look forward to those. My next thought is to go mid August for my birthday as we did in 2017 but then I looked up the school schedules and realized that was out. This fall will be my daughter's first year in High School and the school has the freshman start on the 7th while the rest of the school starts on the 12th. So we decided to go on July 30th and come back on August 5th which will give my daughter a day to recoup from our trip.

    So I sent a message to my TA and asked her to see what my options were. I even asked her to see what AoA would cost since we will have 5 people crammed into one room. In the end staying at CBR with a 6 day PH was the best option and we upgraded the Free Quick service dining to the regular dining.

    So now I just need to sit back and wait again. Really hard for me to do but I tried. I really tried. I even was reanalyzing my previous dining choices to see what options I had. Of course the gears in my head kept spinning and relooking at what I had planned and how I could make it better. Two years ago we went with a friend of mine who is a CM. She was able to use her discounts to help us out a lot and because of this we were able to go to Typhoon Lagoon on our last day. My kids loved it and begged to do it again. Of course I had trouble spending the extra money because adding a Pool ticket is considerably more then upgrading 5 base tickets to 6 at the parks. Especially if you multiply that by 5. But now things have changed. I had to upgrade to PHs for the free dining offer so how much would it be if I changed my ticket from 6 to 5 and make them Park Hopper Plus? So I asked my TA to run the numbers and she told me it would only cost $50 more total to do this. I asked my kids what they thought and they are very excited!!! So Water Park here we come.

    So here are my basic plans so far.

    July 30


    Southwest Flight out of Chicago. Flight leaves at 6:10am and arrives in Orlando at 9:40am.
    Arrive at Caribbean Beach Resort and enjoy pool until our room is ready.
    Hopefully our room will be ready early since I already requested a early check in.
    We will then head to Disney Springs for a couple hours.
    Probably will eat a late lunch at Blaze Pizza but this may change.
    Head back to room for a couple hours for rest.
    Take a bus to MK and get my son DAS pass for the trip and then take the Monorail to Poly
    O'hana dinner reservation for 8:40pm. Hoping to get a good seat to see the fireworks.
    Head back to room and sleep


    July 31


    Head to Epcot
    Hope to be there for rope drop but will not push it since day one will be a long day
    Hope to get Fast Passes for Test Track, Finding Nemo, and Mission Space.
    Probably do lunch at Mexico or Morocco but this will probably change
    Dinner at Garden Grill at 6:05 pm


    August 1


    Head to MK
    We are hoping to get Fast Passes for 7 Dwarves mine train, Splash Mountain, and Jungle Cruise for this day
    Lunch will be at Columbia Harbor house which has become a favorite of ours
    Diner reservations at Liberty Tree Tavern for 6:05pm. This is a first for us and I am very much looking forward to it.


    August 2


    Head to Animal Kingdom
    Breakfast at Tusker House with seats for Rivers of Light
    Hope to get Fast Passes for Flight of Passage, the Safari, and Dinosaur or Kali River Rapids
    We are planning to eat dinner at Satu'li Canteen.


    August 3


    Head to Hollywood Studios
    Hope to get Fast passes for Slinky Dog Dash, Tower of Terror, and the Frozen Sing along.
    Curious if I only use 2 fast passes for ToT if I can use the remaining 3 for RnR for the same two people.
    We might try Woody's lunch box for lunch or just go back to Back lot express. Even thinking of doing both and letting kids decide what they want. We can take the food from TSL to the Back lot so we can eat inside. Not sure yet.
    Dinner reservations at Mama Melrose at 5:55 pm with seats to Fantasmic


    August 4


    Heading back to Magic Kingdom
    Hope to get Fast passes for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, 7 dwarves mine train, and Space Mountain
    Lunch reservations at Be Our Guest at 11:45am
    Dinner reservations at The Skipper Canteen at 5:55pm


    August 5


    Check out of Hotel
    Check in bags for flight and put rest at bell services
    Head to Typhoon Lagoon
    Probably eat lunch at Leaning Palms but unsure
    Head back to resort and take ME to airport
    Southwest flight leaves Orlando at 11:05 pm and arrives back in Chicago at 12:35am on August 6th
     
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    lvcourtneyy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2012
    Joining in! Your plans sounds like a lot of fun. You definitely are brave taking 4 kids by yourself!

    Glad to read that your oldest son is doing well!
     

    Corrine 1973

    A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2009
    Joining in! Your plans sounds like a lot of fun. You definitely are brave taking 4 kids by yourself!

    Glad to read that your oldest son is doing well!
    :welcome: I am so glad you have decided to join me here on this trip. You say brave, I say crazy!!! :rotfl2:I tried to convince my boyfriend to go at same time but he can't get off work (plus with 6 people everything would change) so we will have to go with it. Luckily my son is very mature for his age and will help me out a lot.
    Thank you. He is doing great right now. He got the flu a couple weeks ago but is feeling better and we have an appointment next Friday for a check up so we will see how his lung functions are.
     

    Corrine 1973

    A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2009
    So I must apologize because this isn't really anything to do with my Disney Planning but it has to do with my trip and I am freaking out. Last month on the way to work I hit a deer. It came out of nowhere and I hit it straight on. I hurt my back but otherwise I am doing fine. Unfortunately my car would cost more to fix than it is worth so now I am trying to figure out another car. It also turns out that I did not have comprehensive insurance and it will not be covered. While my final payment is not due until the end of June, I still owe $700 on the trip. And of course that does not include tips or any spending money. I am still getting some money from taxes which should cover it but I am trying to see what my options are in a worse case scenario. So right now I have the regular dining option which I upgraded from the free QS dining. I am thinking that if I can't figure this out by the end of June I can change the dining back down to QS. It looks like it will save me a little over $500 if I did my math right but asked my TA to check for me. It really isn't something I want to do and I will be sad if I have to cancel my dining reservations but it gives me a little piece of mind to know I have an option.
     
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  • Eeyore daily

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2019
    Sounds like a fun trip! I'm sorry about your car and hurting your back. I hope it all works out!
     

    Corrine 1973

    A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2009
    Sounds like a fun trip! I'm sorry about your car and hurting your back. I hope it all works out!
    :welcome:So glad you joined us on our planning. Thank you for your kind words. I am sure it will work out and now that I have a game plan I feel a lot better about the situation. I am going to wait to change until my last payment is due at the end of June but if I do the cost I owe would go from $700 to about $124. I can do that just by putting $20 aside from every paycheck.
     

    Corrine 1973

    A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2009
    113 DAYS LEFT TO PLAN!!!!!

    So right now I am kind of at a stand still of planning. I have written everything down in excel, since I need my lists, but aside from watching daily YouTube videos what is left to do. Usually I would be getting our outfits together for our trip but since this trip is the most expensive trip we have been on (and I still owe money) we are not going to go as crazy as I have in years past. I have bought my youngest son a few outfits at Walmart and a pair of Mickey swim shorts. I also bought my daughter a cute dress for $10 at the Disney Outlet. But either than that we will sadly just go with cloths we already own though we will be pulling out every Disney shirt we have. And I have a lot of them. I am also going to make us each a shirt for either our first day or for our first MK day. The plan is to have each shirt a saying and a small castle. Mine will say "Here for the Magic", Liam's will say "Here for the food", Ameliya's will say "Here for the snacks", Aidan's will say "Here for the rides", and Rylan's will say "Here for the first time". Now that I am thinking about it I should start working on them soon. :rotfl2::rotfl2:


    Now let me tell you a little bit about the second slider in my signature. A Disneyland trip!!!! A couple of weeks ago my son came home from school and told me some exciting news. The arts department at his school was planning on taking a trip to Disneyland next year for Spring break. Of course that got my brain's gears spinning in excitement since I have been wanting to go for years but have always decided to go to WDW instead. What better excuse to go to DL than to be a chaperone for my son's fieldtrip. Unfortunately when I learned the cost I knew that was not going to be in the cards. The cost of my son's trip was almost $1900 (might go down if a lot of people go and when actual things are booked) and mine would be a couple hundred more (learned it was because they put 4 kids in a room but only 2 in the chaperone rooms). Sigh. Oh well that was a nice thought. But then something magical happened. I posted on a Facebook about my son's spring break trip and a friend contacted me. She wanted more information because she wanted to see Liam preform at DL. I told her that I did not have all the info yet but I would give it to her once I got more information. Since I had already mentioned on the page that I wanted to Chaperone but it didn't look good because of the cost, she knew my situation. This is where to Magic comes in. She offered to help me out and get me in the parks for free (she is a CM at the local Disney Outlet). Wow, just wow. I thanked her very much for her offer and let her know I would think about it.

    Fast forward a couple weeks. A few thing had happened during that time. I had the already mentioned car accident and I hurt my back in the accident and have missed some work because of it. Liam and I had already sat down and had a talk. He knows that we are not rich and we have to save hard to go on the trips we go on so I stressed to him the need of him to take advantage of the fundraisers. He told me that since he has a job this summer (will be a Host for shows at Six Flags Great America) that he would save for his trip. He's a good kid. So last Tuesday I went to the meeting at the school to get more information about the trip. Now since nothing is booked and they need to make sure there is enough interest the plans are not cemented.

    Sounds like a lot of fun and I was still hoping to figure something out to at least be in the LA area even though I would not be chaperoning. I sent my friend a text in the parking lot to let her know when the dates were being planned. She was very apologetic since she felt that she was forcing herself in the trip and would not be mad if I didn't want her to tag along but would be willing to split costs with me if that would help. I basically told her that splitting costs at this moment would be the only way I could go and I would love to go with her.
    I think she is actually more excited than I am for this trip. She was been looking at hotels and other information. She already booked a room at the Travel Lodge on Disney Dr. since she got a really good deal on it, though she would understand if things changed. We are already talking about checking out the flag ceremony and hitting up the a store on property only for CM's. I spent a good amount of yesterday on websites looking at rides at Disneyland and watching YouTube videos. I am super excited to go to the park that started it all. The park that Walt Disney planned and walked around.

    I Can't Wait!!!!
     
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    kclark9830

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2014
    I'm sorry about the car accident. That's a bummer. I hope everything works out! And yay for DL!
     

    Corrine 1973

    A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2009
    I'm sorry about the car accident. That's a bummer. I hope everything works out! And yay for DL!
    Thank you very much. It has been a very stressful time. And more than once I have thought that it would be best if I just canceled the trip. But since I used my Target Red Card to buy Disney GC's for the whole trip it wouldn't do any good because all the money would just go back on the CGs. But maybe that is for the best because I really need this trip.
     

    Corrine 1973

    A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2009
    One of my favorite things to do is take pictures while I am at Disney. So since I am in a planning stand still I figured why not share a few on here to make the time go faster. I hope you enjoy them. :lovestruc:lovestruc



    I can share more if you all like them. Well that is it for now. Got to take kids to Doctors appointment. Have a Magical Day!!!!
     

    Corrine 1973

    A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2009
    So Not much planning today Disney wise. Currently watching YouTube videos on my TV.
    I think I have a problem
    :rotfl2::rotfl2:

    So yesterday was a super busy day. I took my two middle kids to the doctor for check ups. They both are doing great and each got two shots. HBV and flu. Unfortunately Aidan woke up with a 101 fever so who knows.:confused3 I also was able to get him in right away to see the therapist who agrees that he has ADHD and will get us into CAB but we will be seeing him as a therapist until that starts since we know that can take a while. I talked about my suspicion about the Autism and he wants to see how he does after he is put on medication since some of the things I am describing can just be due to the ADHD. I also got a referral for Ameliya to get a allergy test. We know she had a reaction to Tree nuts and sunflowers but need to know it all. I was also on the phone with my insurance company because they never sent me the card which I need to go to the doctor for my back to return to work. They are sending me a new one but at least I got the info so I could get the card on the app.
    :jumping1:


    So hopefully that means I can return to work on Monday.

    This last weekend I was at a free for all hosted by a church. They do it twice a year and it really helps our family. We are pretty good with cloths right now but my son was able to find two swim shorts, and son shorts for Aidan. I also found some shoes for everyone. And me and the boys got haircuts!!! I usually have a hard time finding shoes for me because I have big feet. Size 9 1/2. But this time I hit the jack pot. I found a pair of Toms slip ons, a pair of pink Nike's that will be great for work, and a pair of sandals. I have never heard of JBU before but when I looked them up they are not cheap. I wore them during my walk yesterday and they are really comfortable. I only had a problem with the small pebbles that decided to keep going in my shoe. They are also really cute and will look cute with some of my dresses I plan to wear to Disney. Bonus!!
    :cheer2::cheer2:


    I have also decided that I am going to end my posts with a memory. So hear is memory #1. We were very lucky to be able to visit MK and Epcot 2 times last summer. So we spent a good portion of our second day at Epcot doing the Agent P World Showcase. My son loved finding all the clues and I got to see spots of Epcot that I have never seen before. Here is a picture of him enjoying the game!!

     

    lvcourtneyy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2012
    Sorry to hear about the car accident! Hope you're feeling better.

    How excited that you get to go to Disneyland! We're hoping to get there next year also!
     

    Corrine 1973

    A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2009
    Sorry to hear about the car accident! Hope you're feeling better.

    How excited that you get to go to Disneyland! We're hoping to get there next year also!
    Thank you. It has been a rough month but things are getting back on track.

    How exciting. I will always be a Walt Disney World girl but there is something magical about Disneyland. I can't wait to go.
     





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