A Year of Disney Starts in March! A Revolving Door PTR

Canadian Harmony

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
I just realized that as of the start of March, I will be taking 5 Disney-themed trips in 2020/2021! I'm rather excited about this, so I thought I'd start an ongoing PTR to help gather my thoughts for my after-trip scrapbooks, get ideas from those who know more than I do, and hopefully help others in the same boat (there's a pun there, just hang on for a minute). I'm not known for my brevity, so if you're going to read this, get comfy :p

Who we are: M - that's me. I'm approaching my mid-50's faster than I'd prefer, and have turned into quite the Disney lover (?) (Liker?). What I find extraordinary is the amount of people I meet EVERY DAY who are also DisNuts like we are! It's amazing, really. For example, I'm currently in rehearsals for our local community theatre production of Mamma Mia, and there are two other HUGE DisNuts in the show. Anyway, I digress. Where was I... oh yeah, when I was 49, we took the kids (9 and 11 at the time) to DLR for their first time (hubby's first time too, my 3rd) and I loved it so much, but missed so much, that I decided to celebrate my 50th on a Solo Trip the following October. I loved THAT so much, that I do it annually now (missing my 51st, and then swearing never to do that again!). My favourite ride in DLR is BTMRR and will make sure it's my first ride in the park every time. My favourite at DCA is Incredicoaster, which is something I never thought I'd say, but our YDD got me hooked on it (she's our thrill seeker). I'm also a Star Wars/Marvel/Harry Potter/Dr. Who/etc geek, so meeting characters is HUGE for me. As mentioned, I scrapbook too, so gathering signatures, keeping receipts, getting all the photos done on MaxPass... I'm all for it. As a military Veteran I'm a little broken, but I make do by sitting when I can, taking the train around the park, etc. I've gotten better at it, especially since I go each year and I'm a Flex Pass AP holder now.

B - that's my spouse. He's not crazy about Disney, but in his mind it's a family thing and so he needs to be there, mostly for the kids. He does however, love the corn dogs (and always tries to get me to bring some home for him) and the food in the parks. His favourite ride is Jungle Cruise because of all the bad puns. He's not much of a roller coaster guy, but will do HM, Pooh, and even the Teacups. He loves parades and fireworks and makes us attend at least one of each while we're there. He's in the Canadian Navy, and has been ashore for the past 8-9 years after sailing pretty steadily for the first 20-22 years of his career.

R - that's ODD. She's a teenager. Oy, is she ever! However, she's also a teenager with ADHD and social anxiety. But Disney is her happy place and she absolutely loves going. If she had her way, she'd grab our hands and lead us all over the place. My feet can't do that, so we start in one Land and work our way through others. She loves meeting characters, riding all the rides (but not Incredicoaster or Guardians for some reason), watching the shows... all of it. She's my treasure and my buddy.

M2 - that's YDD. She's also a teenager and has just started with the snark. Give me strength. She's neurotypical, but not 'easier' if that makes any sense. She also loves Disney, but could find something to complain about anywhere she goes. It's her super power. She does have a fabulous sense of humour though and makes us laugh all the time. Her favourite ride is Incredicoaster, followed closely by Guardians, Racers, and BTMRR (back row please!). She likes to meet the characters too and has her own ideas of what is appropriate Park wear - in the past it's been Mickey Hands, a Jasmine costume from the BBB, and a Sully Tail - all at once! She's beautiful and petite and my joy.

So - that's us. A family of four from the We(s)t Coast of Canada.

TRIP 1

Our first trip is a family trip for a week in March. My mother-in-law turns 90 on the 3rd of March, so we're headed to Calgary for a quick weekend on the 6th (the kids are more excited about skipping a day of classes than anything else) and we'll see the family on Saturday. First thing Sunday, we're on a plane headed for sunnier (and WAY WARMER) climes. We're in DLR at the Tropicana from the 8th-13th, with a day at KBF (probably the 11th) in there too. M2 saw the giant coasters a couple years ago when we went to Medieval Times and lit up like a Christmas tree, so we're going to spend a day there.

So far, I have the hotels booked, and my FlexPass (of course).

Still to do for this trip:
- book the flights (which I can do as soon as my credit card payment clears). It's a multi-city flight so slightly more expensive than usual.
- double check the passports. I think B's and the kids' expire pretty soon IIRC.
- purchase parks tickets. Turns out there's a corporate site our military has that will help us save some money on those tickets... and I can pay through Paypal!
- rent a car for the KBF day and for Calgary. It's hard thinking about TWO cities.
- book Karmel for transport to and from Santa Ana.
- purchase Disney gift cards for souvies and for meals. Everyone gets $50/day to spend however they want at the parks and I estimate what we'll eat in a day and then put that amount onto a gift card, one for each day. I take only that card with me to the parks, with the day before's in case there's any left. I know that B really likes Carthay, so I'll budget in a nice meal there for us... or maybe tempt him with SH55... hmmm... decisions...
- pack stuff for TWO trips.

Now, in between trips 1 and 2 is trip 1.5 - we're headed to Australia for a month to see my mum in July. THAT will take a lot of financial assets from our Disney trips, but she's not getting any younger and we love Australia. Where she lives is quite near to two theme parks - DreamWorld (Dream Works' characters) and Movie World (Warner Bros' characters). The last time we were there, M2 was thisclose to riding a ride she wanted but was too small, so R did it for her and swore she'd never do it again. So, those two places are back on the list for sure. There's Adventure World in Perth so we may investigate that too. I'll be turning my attention to that trip in February.

TRIP 2

My usual annual birthday trip in October is for adults only. B stays home with the kids as it's during school anyway, and I take off mid-October to enjoy 4 1/2 days at the parks. I use my airmiles for the flight and for a 5 day parkhopper ticket which is then flipped into a Flex Pass, and I purchase MaxPass as I go, however this coming October I'll probably just plonk MP onto the AP for the year as it'll be more cost effective.

So far, I have the hotel (Clarion) booked and my flight paid for (thank you Airmiles!).

What I still need to do:
- save money for the gift cards
- book Karmel

In between trip 2 and 3 is trip 2.5 - B wants to explore Maui for Christmas. Yoikes! He NEVER asks to go anywhere so I'm really working hard toward this. Essentially, the only reason I come to work is to pay for our car loans and for our trips I think. I'm exploring this now as things book up quickly, so we need to book a nice condo near a beach, rent a car, and get the flight once they open!

TRIP 3

R and M2 dance at a studio which has danced in Disney before. The girls didn't do that trip, but this one R is very keen on going. So she'll be dancing and M2 will be coming with us to watch younger siblings if required... and to ride Incredicoaster and Guardians with me while R is in workshops! This takes place over our Family Day weekend in mid-February 2021. We will be doing fundraising for this trip to help with R's flight and park ticket costs, while the remainder is on me for mine and M2's flight and ticket. We're staying with the rest of the dancer at the Fairfield, which I'm not too crazy about - it's expensive and further away than I prefer - but we're obligated to stay there for the first two nights. After that we could move if we wanted to, but TBH, I'm not sure if I'll do that. I'm pretty lazy and as we only have limited time at the parks, I'd rather spend our time enjoying Disney than packing, checking out, traveling across the street with our luggage, checking in, putting our bags away, and returning to the parks. This will be just a girl's trip as B will stay home and enjoy some quiet 'man' time.

Things we still need to do for this trip are:
- work with others for fundraising
- get M2's ticket
- book flights with other dancers
- find out about transfers (and book Karmel if required)

The majority of things are a little out of my control right now, so I have to wait to find out the flights we're to book, etc. This is expensive in other ways too as we pay for the workshops on site, costumes for the performances, the classes leading up to the trip, and the regular dance classes the girls take, along with their recital costumes as the Disney performances will be added into the show but not taken away from other dances. R will be taking Modern and Broadway classes, so including Disney, I think she'll be in 6 or 7 different outfits. M2 is taking only Broadway, so that is a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 2. At $90 a pop, this is not an inexpensive year of dance for our family!

BUT! What an amazing experience for her! We're blessed to be able to afford this for her.

TRIP 4
A month later, we're going on the Disney Wonder (there's the 'same boat' pun, finally) for a 4 day Baja trip out of San Diego. This is a whole family trip. B was leery of taking a cruise but as he's been off ship for so long it should be find. Besides, he's not crew. The girls are super excited (as am I) to experience a cruise. Our ports are Catalina Island and Ensenada. I think we may end up at the Fender factory and the large cat animal rehabilitation centre. I put the deposit down on the 23rd of December and I have until the 1st of December this year to pay the remainder. We can book our excursions and on board stuff on the 30th.

So far, I have put down the deposit and downloaded the Navigator app.

I still need to:
- pay off the cruise! I'm planning on using Disney gift cards for this. It saves us the exchange fee which we'd be charged by using a credit card, and every cent helps.
- save money for souvies (yes, on gift cards).

TRIP 5

My usual October trip will take place, and as it'll be my 55th, I think I'll try to spring for GCH or DLH. Hopefully friends can come and share the cost, especially if I get a DVC room through David's (which may be super hard to do).

So... that's the trips planned so far! I'm pretty excited to get cracking and get so many amazing experiences knocked off my to-do list!

First up: Calgary/DLR March 2020!
 

Canadian Harmony

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Update! Our dining has been reserved: Goofy's Kitchen for dinner one night, Carthay for another, and Cafe Orleans for another. Then Carnation Cafe for a lunch. DH likes Flo's for breakfast, so for that day we'll use some Food & Wine tabs for our meals because last year's was awesome!

I double checked, and yes, we need passport photos for the kids and DH, as well as new passports. Once the snow becomes manageable - we're up to about 2' now - we'll take everyone for photos and then I can send in the passport applications. Kids' passports need to be re-applied for, whereas DH's can be a renewal. And as much as I want to get this underway, we have to wait till probably the weekend when the roads are clearer.

I did some research and the site I can use from work gives me a HUGE discount on park tickets - saves me $140/ticket! Plus it'll get us a whole package for Knott's Berry Farm - tickets, parking, souvenir mugs, photos, and the dining plan - for WAY less than anywhere else.

The kids are so excited about this. And so am I, tbh! We're all looking forward to seeing family in Calgary, of course, but it'll be March and cold and wintry still (where we'll have rain and green grass by then). So going to DLR where it'l be warm and green, and flowers, and Jolly Holiday for breakfast... oh... it'll be heavenly.
 


Canadian Harmony

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Update. We have passport photos done! I'll get a neighbour to be the guarantor for B's photos and grab the kids' birth certificates and head into town on Thursday to get that process started.

- Flights are paid for.
- Karmel has been booked for transportation.
- Rental cars booked through Costco.
- Oga's reservation made for after lunch drinks. I hope to get us on ROTR that day when we're in the park. M2 isn't crazy about learning about Star Wars, but R has decided to start watching at Episode 4: A New Hope and will be up to speed by the time we arrive. I think she'll like SW:GE.
- I'm only 1200 AirMiles short of a park ticket for one adult, so hopefully I'll get a few more good shops (we had Blue Friday last week where I got 639AM for $194 so good score!) and get enough in time. It usually takes a couple weeks to arrive, so I need enough by mid-Feb. If not, those AM can just pile up and I'll use them for our dance trip #3.

I should have enough on the credit card by next week to have money for KBF and park tickets and to save for things I need the card for (car rentals, hotels, etc). Then I can start using cash for the gift card purchases.

I MUST remember to register those cards too. Saved me big time last year when one fell through a grate. I was able to transfer the balance onto another card and save the money!
 
  • Canadian Harmony

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 23, 2015
    Passports are paid for and on their way for processing! So relieved! We should receive the new ones by the 20th of February, in plenty of time. Money has been plonked onto the credit card, so by Wednesday I'll have our tickets purchased. I was going to try to use Airmiles for one parkhopper, but I think I'll save them up for the kids' dance trip as I'll definitely need to save more for that trip!

    My kids have the trip already plotted: First ride is Incredicoaster (youngest's favourite), and then it's R's turn to choose a ride or experience, then my turn, then B's turn, and so on. Other than specific times we're required for meals, I think this will be a loose trip. I will be reminding people about meet and greets - especially Captain Marvel and Black Panther because my kids love them - but other than that, we'll just drift.

    I already have friends offering me their shopping list, lol.
     

    Canadian Harmony

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 23, 2015
    Update!
    I have sorted my gift cards into souvenirs per person and meals per day. I have purchased Sunday's, Wednesday's and Friday's meal cards and remembered to register them. The remainder will be purchased throughout February.

    I just purchased our KBF day - tickets, meal plans, photos, souvie cups for the kids, and parking - and printed out the vouchers.

    I also purchased the DLR tickets for the kids and DH, so I just need to wait 24-48 hours for that email before I can print out those vouchers. I hope I can add them to my Disney App prior to exchanging at the ticket booths, but if not, that's okay. Each one has Max Pass for the days so I only need to worry about purchasing my MP while on site.

    I was going to get 4 day PH, but decided on doing 5 day 1 park/day passes instead. We don't usually park hop, so I'll just save my money for ice cream.

    I exchanged some money at the bank before our dollar slid any lower, and put a bunch into a US account to take out before we leave.

    I'll be buying the remaining gift cards throughout February, and registering them ASAP.

    While at the bank, my teller mentioned she was going to DLR in September with her hubby and 3 year-old daughter. She's never been, and her hubby hasn't been since he was a kid. I sent her here because this place is so awesome and a treasure trove of information for people.
     

    Canadian Harmony

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 23, 2015
    The passports arrived last week. They're safely secured in my travel purse.
    The new cross-body satchel arrived. It's sitting beside the travel purse and holds our KBF tickets.
    E-tickets are added to my app, but I'll bring the papers along with us too.
    I've been using the power bank I ordered - it gives me 4 charges! This along with the power bar from Disneyland will work great for our phones throughout the day.

    All our meals are reserved (except for the Cinderella Tea that we're trying desperately to get into). We're meeting with a distant cousin one night, but we're eating at Mimi's just to get a break. The next day will be our KBF day, and we have to get our car early, so an early night seems to be in the cards.

    Sunday: Dinner at Carthay Circle
    Monday: After lunch drinks at Oga's and dinner at Goofy's
    Tuesday: Lunch at Plaza Inn for the parade viewing and dinner at Cafe Orleans (unless we change our minds but we probably won't)
    Wednesday: Sip n Savor passes all day, then dinner at Mimi's
    Thursday: KBF - chicken to go!
    Friday: our departure day, so nothing reserved

    I realized we'll be near a Disney store on the 7th when the Cinderella key comes out, so the girls and I are going to the mall first thing to be first (or nearly first) in line to get that key for R. Cinderella is her favourite princess, so if we can't get a table at the tea, at least she'll have that. Plus, there's a Hot Topic in the mall, so we will pop in there to see if there's anything we want to bring with us on our trip south.

    We're all getting so excited!
     
  • Canadian Harmony

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 23, 2015
    O.Ma.Gooooodness!! I was checking to see if we could get into the Cinderella Tea, as I do every day, and eeeek! I got us a reservation for the Monday afternoon!! I'm so excited! I had to change other reservations around, but R is going to be SO excited to get to this tea! Our reservations are now:

    Sunday: no change
    Monday: Tea at SH55, dinner at Cargo Bay 7, then drinks afterward at Oga's Cantina. The ONLY fly in the ointment would be if we got a boarding group that goes just as we're settling in for our Tea. In which case... we'll have to miss the ride (*sob*) and try again on Tuesday.
    Tuesday: Plaza Inn lunch for the parade, then dinner at Goofy's (we'll work around the parade time, naturally)
    Wednesday - Friday: no change
     

    Canadian Harmony

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 23, 2015
    DD2's (M2) favourite character is Stitch. I offered the kids either dinner at Goofy's or breakfast with Stitch. They countered with an offer themselves: I make PB&J Pizza at home and we eat with Stitch. So, I guess I'm making pizza.

    I didn't want a rushed breakfast on our last day, so I made our breakfast with Donald at PPG for Wednesday morning before we dive into the Food & Wine Festival for the rest of the day. And before my feet get tired from walking all over the place.

    Getting more gift cards this week for meals and some spending money. I sure hope our dollar goes up so the exchange isn't as bad.
     

    Canadian Harmony

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 23, 2015
    In one week we'll be riding Incredicoaster and eating dinner at Carthay! I'm so excited!

    I've since seen the reviews of the parade meal and have decided it's not our thing, so I've canceled and we'll just eat a regular lunch at Plaza Inn and take our chances for the parade. I would prefer to watch sitting down instead of standing, so I'll go that way and save ourselves a bit of money.

    I'm planning on getting our gift cards this week (probably Thursday) for the rest of our meals and souvenir spending.

    DH is bringing up our suitcases so we can start packing. That'll be my difficulty - what to wear! I like to bound, so I'll probably do that at least twice or three times. I need to save room for all the souvenirs I'm planning on bringing home - at least one more Jersey, a t-shirt or two, a reusable mug (tradition for me now) maybe a new dress, definitely a new Pandora for my bracelet... yes, I like to get the things. Depending how the the Baby Yoda stuff looks I might end up with one or two of those items too.

    The kids are getting really excited and are plotting out our adventures while in the Parks.

    I can hardly wait to get another Mickey Bar into me! w00t!!
     

    momtohms

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 16, 2012
    Yay for one week!

    I hear you about trying to decide what to pack to wear. I haven’t done any bounding yet, but I’m a sucker for Etsy tanks with fun sayings on them and have acquired more than I can wear in a single trip unless I wear more than one a day (which I may or may not do, lol)
     
  • Canadian Harmony

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 23, 2015
    We're going to be going from minus 10C to plus 25C in the course of one day! From snow to sun then rain... I'm glad I have a HUGE Disney suitcase that I bought in October, and that it has enough room for raincoats and boots! We also need to pack the kids' Boost for their medications. DH doesn't pack much, so half of his case will be used for souvenirs. The kids always seem to need more room for their stuff (I wonder where they get THAT from?! LOL) by the end of the trip. Usually a stuffy or two, some ears, and at least one piece of clothing.

    Yay for one week!

    I hear you about trying to decide what to pack to wear. I haven’t done any bounding yet, but I’m a sucker for Etsy tanks with fun sayings on them and have acquired more than I can wear in a single trip unless I wear more than one a day (which I may or may not do, lol)
    I did that last time - a Lilo dress for breakfast with Stitch, then a Captain Marvel shirt for my meet with her later that day.

    Which reminds me... pack Lilo dress for our breakfast with Stitch and my Captain Marvel shirt... LOL

    It turns out, Onward is playing at the theatre in the mall we'll be at on Saturday so we'll hopefully catch the matinee of that before the family party that evening. Then hopefully we can meet the two characters on the Pier when we're there!
     

    Connect

    Disney News and Updates





    SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DAILY EMAIL
    Subscribe and never miss out on Disney News, Deals and Updates.






    Top