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Old 07-05-2008, 05:56 PM   #1
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Smile DVC/Disney Fanatics!!!

Do you have trouble getting Disney off of your mind? Do you love it so much that while your there visiting your already planning your next trip? Well this thread will be for you.

Anyone is welcome to join and chat. If your a Disney Vacation Club member jump on board and help answer questions that first time goers might want to know. Even if your not a DVC member but you go a lot or are a seaon pass holder jump on board.

Help share what is new in the parks and the latest and greatest that everyone MUST see!!

I hope everyone has fun chatting away.

-Melanie
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Old 07-05-2008, 06:05 PM   #2
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Melanie,
Great thread idea! I have alot of questions and could use any good advice!!
We are planning our first trip to Disney in November, I can't wait!!!
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Old 07-05-2008, 06:06 PM   #3
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Natalie, feel free to ask away and hopefully more ladies will join us. It's one of those subjects I can never get sick of. I thought this will be a good way to keep the swap thread from getting to bogged down.
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Old 07-05-2008, 06:14 PM   #4
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Old 07-05-2008, 06:16 PM   #5
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Welcome!!!
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Old 07-05-2008, 06:24 PM   #6
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subscribing
I just subscribed to some of your swaps. Great swap ideas!!
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Old 07-05-2008, 07:27 PM   #7
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Thank you for the welcome and for joining my swaps.
I have a question for you. When you go to Disney (I'm assuming World in Florida), how many days do you go to the park? We went to Disneyland for 3 days, and we still didn't see or do everything. Fantasyland was always full of people and waiting for the princesses at the Princess Fair took about 2-3 hours. Now I must admit, the park did close at 8pm when we went and on the third day it started raining around 2pm. And we never even made it over to California Adventure. Is there some kind of secret plan? Do you not get the character autographs? Do you go for 5 days?
I would love to go again next year and if we are able to, I would like to know how I should plan it. I do know that we will definetly go on a weekend (at least 1 day). I didn't know that they only do the fireworks on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. We missed out on those. And of course, the parade on the third day was rained out.
I would like our next time to be planned out a little better. Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-05-2008, 08:26 PM   #8
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We have been to both WDW and Disneyland and this year we spent 5 days in Disneyland/California Adventure and I really enjoyed the 5 days. In the past we got 3 day park hoppers and we felt rushed. It really helped to be on property as we did take breaks to swim at the hotel and go back to the parks later. We seemed to have better luck at California Adventure with Character greetings. I also got more photos with my photopass at California Adventure than I did at Disneyland.
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:14 AM   #9
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I'd like to join this chat as well, if that is OK. We've been DVC memebers since August of 2002. We LOVE IT! B/c of our membership we go quite often, but we don't try to do the entire parks.

We always get the park hopper passes that never expire, so we don't feel like we HAVE to go into the park on a particular day. This works out if the kids (or us) are needing a down day. We know we will be back and can use the pass then.

We have found our best trips were when we got up and was at the gate when it opened. We stayed until lunch, went back to our room for lunch/nap/swim, and then around 4 we would go back to the park and close it.

We use Fast Passes when we can. These are passes that you get, they say to come back to the ride at a certain time and then you don't have to wait in line as long as you would normally. If you plan this right, you can get a lot of rides done in a short amount of time. I think in June of 2006, we did 5 rides in a 1 1/2 hours, using the fast passes.

We usually pull the kids out of school for a few days in order to go. We find the crowds are less, and our teachers don't mind. Also the weather isn't as hot either! Each school/teacher is different though!

I'm anxious to hear other tips. We haven't done any of the meal plans, what are others experiences with that???
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:29 AM   #10
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Same as Jami, we are vacation club owners. So our trip itinerary is going to be alittle different than a first time visitor. Only because we know we'll be back to visit again. My DH told me on the Disney website there is a program that you can create your own itinerary and map. (I'll include the link below.) This might help you decided what you REALLY want to see and how to map it out.

When there are long lines we tend to move on and check back on it later or just make sure we catch it on our next visit. This might help you though. I'm not sure if they have it for Disneyland or not.

http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wdw...SampleMapsPage
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:34 AM   #11
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We did the meal plan twice already and really liked it. The first time we did it when we went with our entire family (8 of us.) The second time it was just my DH, DS, and I. We really LOVED it!! However if you have active children the meal plan can be restrictive if you want your money out of it. The reason is because it includes 1 sit down meal and day. We would always go for dinner because this is the most expensive meal of the day and it would allow us to get our money out of the plan. However our 2 year old had no patience to have a sit down meal at Disneyworld. He was WAY to excited to sit and eat a meal. Does this make sense? We will do it again however we might wait till the little ones are a tad older.
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Old 07-06-2008, 12:25 PM   #12
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We did the meal plan twice already and really liked it. The first time we did it when we went with our entire family (8 of us.) The second time it was just my DH, DS, and I. We really LOVED it!! However if you have active children the meal plan can be restrictive if you want your money out of it. The reason is because it includes 1 sit down meal and day. We would always go for dinner because this is the most expensive meal of the day and it would allow us to get our money out of the plan. However our 2 year old had no patience to have a sit down meal at Disneyworld. He was WAY to excited to sit and eat a meal. Does this make sense? We will do it again however we might wait till the little ones are a tad older.
Yes, that does make sense. We just felt like you got TOO MUCH food, as odd as that sounds....Did you feel the same, or were the portions about right? We go to the grocery when we get there and try to get breakfast foods, drinks and snacks and dinner for a couple of nights. However, I would love to be able not to have to cook while we are down there!

Our next trip is scheduled for 10/09! We are going with DH's parents....wish us luck! It is a lot like mixing oil and water, however we have to try it. It will be our longest trip down there (5 days with them and an additional 3 w/o them (giving Mom time to regroup and relax w/o the tension! LOL))

We are looking forward to it!
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:12 PM   #13
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We aren't DVC members, as my DH isn't as much into Disney as I am. And he doesn't want to take all our vacation to Florida...cause if we're paying $20,000 for a timeshare, that's where all our vacations would be.

But, I'm planning my 3rd trip for this Sept.

There is also another thread with a lot of info on Disney, for anyone that is interested.

Disney World and other fun topics
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:18 PM   #14
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We aren't DVC members, but are going on a trip in October. It's seems so far away! I will definitely subscribe to this thread. I can chat about Disney FOREVER!
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:41 PM   #15
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Sara do you and DH know that you can use DVC all over? They have zillions of "adventure" locations other than Disney. They have within the USA and outside of the USA locations. Just and FYI incase you didn't know.

We did not feel like we got too much food with the meal plan. We just did not like having to do the sit down every night to get our money out of it. Now nothing says you "have" to do a sit down meal but if we didn't we felt we did not get our money out of it. Make sense? I know they have a new meal plan and it is insane on how much food it includes and the cost of it. We would NEVER do that plan but that is just us.

Glad to have all the newbies!! Feel free to chime in at any time on your experiences or shoot us questions.
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:45 PM   #16
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Ok I have an off the wall question for all of you. This September will be our first trip to Disney with 2 children vs 1. Our oldest will be 3 and our youngest will be 6 months. We want a nice double stroller. I don't want to spend more than $200 but I want something comfy for the little ones. Something that will lay down if they fall asleep. Something with cup holders for their juice cups or snacks. I also like mom and dad cup holder options and a space to store bags and such. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-06-2008, 02:04 PM   #17
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You could try thrift stores in your area. Or there is also your local Freecycle website. I just discovered it about 2 months ago. You have to register (free) and then you can get free stuff. The hitch is, you have to offer free stuff first before you are able to request items. I have yet to put anything up because it's just been so hectic. I've seen entertainment centers, refrigerators, clothes, stollers, excersaucers, cribs, beds, toys, etc... being offered and requested. The down side is, you will receive every offer and request in you email. I tend to get anywhere from 3-30 emails a day. Other than that, I think that it's a pretty cool thing. I'm planning on getting some things gathered to offer by next weekend (late spring cleaning ).
It's just too hot here to have a yard sale and with the price of gas, I wouldn't think there would be too many people out.

HTH
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Old 07-06-2008, 02:14 PM   #18
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Sara do you and DH know that you can use DVC all over? They have zillions of "adventure" locations other than Disney. They have within the USA and outside of the USA locations. Just and FYI incase you didn't know.
Yes, I did know that, but right now, DVC is not for us.
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Old 07-06-2008, 02:22 PM   #19
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Oh I understand, was not trying to talk you into it. Just wanted to make sure you knew the options. Thanks for the stroller tips!!
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:39 PM   #20
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Hmm. This looks interesting. I checked out the website and I think this is something me and my dh might be interested in. We take one big vacation a year and a few long weekend trips. I think a studio would work out well for us. We do not have children.

I have some questions. I requested some information from Disney. It should be here soon.

For those that are members which resort did you purchase your membership? Did you buy directly from Disney or through a resale? How many points did you start with? Do you use the travel planner? If so, do they offer discounted airline prices? Have you had any problems with trying to book a vacation and they were sold out? Does this happen alot?

As you can see, I have a lot of questions

Thank you,

Rita
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:56 PM   #21
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When we bought our DVC we purchased into Saratogo Springs. However we can stay at any DVC property that we want as long as there is availability. We have 250 pts and year and have not found a reason to have more (yet.) We usually go twice a year. One trip being 7 days and another being 3-4 (depending how many pts we have left over.) We bought directly through Disney even though I have known people to purchase them from other sources. Ours is good for 40 years so the only thing with purchasing it from another source is to see how many years it's good for vs what you pay.

You do not recieve discounted airline tkts being a DVC member however there are a lot of other discounts at acutal Disney that you do get. We have NEVER had issues booking but we do book our vacations at least 6-12 months out. Has anyone else ever had problems?

Hope this helps, keep the questions coming!!!
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:12 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Rita_Faison View Post
Hmm. This looks interesting. I checked out the website and I think this is something me and my dh might be interested in. We take one big vacation a year and a few long weekend trips. I think a studio would work out well for us. We do not have children.

I have some questions. I requested some information from Disney. It should be here soon.

For those that are members which resort did you purchase your membership? Did you buy directly from Disney or through a resale? How many points did you start with? Do you use the travel planner? If so, do they offer discounted airline prices? Have you had any problems with trying to book a vacation and they were sold out? Does this happen alot?

As you can see, I have a lot of questions

Thank you,

Rita
Rita, in addition to the cost of DVC, there are also the yearly maintenance fees, which can add up also.

I don't know if you are aware of those yet, but I did want to point those out to people who may not know.
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:14 PM   #23
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Thanks for the info! How are the annual dues? Do they go up yearly?

Rita
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:19 PM   #24
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Hi Sara - we posted at the same time. Yes, I was aware of the fees. From my research on line it seems to be about $4.81 per point and up. But, there is no other info about them.

Rita
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:42 PM   #25
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Hmm. This looks interesting. I checked out the website and I think this is something me and my dh might be interested in. We take one big vacation a year and a few long weekend trips. I think a studio would work out well for us. We do not have children.

I have some questions. I requested some information from Disney. It should be here soon.

For those that are members which resort did you purchase your membership? Did you buy directly from Disney or through a resale? How many points did you start with? Do you use the travel planner? If so, do they offer discounted airline prices? Have you had any problems with trying to book a vacation and they were sold out? Does this happen alot?

As you can see, I have a lot of questions

Thank you,

Rita
Rita,
We purchased Beach Club due to the location, it is close enough to walk to Epcot, a boat trip to Holywood Studios, and you can walk through Epcot to get to the Monorails to Magic Kingdom (or do buses). We bought direct from Disney. We started out with 210 points, b/c that would give us almost a week's vacay every year.
We do not use the travel planner. I'm unsure about the airline discounts. We usually fly non-stop from Indy to Orlando for 100 one-way (which we may not be able to do anymore....we will see).
With your "home" place, you usually book 11 months out and we haven't had a problem getting a 1 bedroom for the week we want. We have booked a couple months out, and it might not be our first pick of where we wanted to stay, but we had a place to stay. This depends on when you are wanting to stay as well.
We love it! Some of our friends/family don't understand why we enjoy going down so much. I just love the customer service you receive. It is just so relaxing, and everyone is just so pleasant. Once you start going down, you will recognize some of the cast members and that is nice as well. I have never traveled by myself. My husband got an excellent deal on a plane ticket and set me down by myself! I was so excited, b/c I knew where I was going. I took scrapbooking things and had a long weekend to pool, and scrapbook! It was the best vacation ever! I didn't do any of the parks-I didn't need to, I did splurge and got a spa treatment. It was so nice not to answer to anyone. Anyhow, I would not had done this, if we didn't have DVC!
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:45 PM   #26
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Hi Sara - we posted at the same time. Yes, I was aware of the fees. From my research on line it seems to be about $4.81 per point and up. But, there is no other info about them.

Rita
I'm not Sara, but at Beach Club ours is running 2.56 a point. I'm thinking that the different locations, the price might be different. My DH is more on top of things than I am-he is telling me that Vero Beach's dues sky rocketed after the huricane hit, due to the damage. I would have thought insurance would have paid for that, but then I guess the insurance policy probably went up as well???? Ours has gone up less than a 12/year. It covers property taxes etc.
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:55 PM   #27
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Thanks Jamie!

How long have you had your membership?

Rita
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Old 07-06-2008, 06:35 PM   #28
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Jami, Awesome info, thanks for sharing.

I think we pay around $85 a month for dues. This adds up to what around $1020 a year which is about $408 per point (give or take.) We don't really mind it or think about it. People wonder how we can do the same vacation year after year and it's because we LOVE it so much.

It's not for everyone but it's for us. It suits us and our family perfect. We do have a 3 year old and 3 month old so we have many years to enjoy it with them. We still have 37 years left to use ours.

I agree you can not beat the customer service at Disney. It's top notch!! When you are a DVC member it feels 10x better because they treat you like family. Our home resort is Saratogo but our favorite it Boardwalk.
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Old 07-06-2008, 06:43 PM   #29
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Thank you for the information!

I have one more question. Can a family member or friend use my points for a vacation or do I need to be there?

Rita
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Old 07-06-2008, 06:58 PM   #30
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Nope anyone can use it that you want to give it to. All you have to do is book it for them. We have allowed my sister to use ours already.
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Old 07-07-2008, 05:16 PM   #31
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We've been a member since August of 2002. I think I must have calculated our dues wrong or something, b/c we too pay 85/month.

We have stayed at Saratoga and a couple of the others, but keep going back to Beach Club. My second set of "inlaws" (it gets complicated ) bought in 2006, and they enjoy it as much as we do. We had let them use our points before hand and it wasn't a problem. We even sold our points for a year and let someone other than family use it. Since then we have gotten greedy with our points, and tend to use them ourselves. We are going to be trying some of the other properties coming up within the next couple of years. We are excited about all the possiblities.
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Old 07-08-2008, 03:43 AM   #32
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Ok I have an off the wall question for all of you. This September will be our first trip to Disney with 2 children vs 1. Our oldest will be 3 and our youngest will be 6 months. We want a nice double stroller. I don't want to spend more than $200 but I want something comfy for the little ones. Something that will lay down if they fall asleep. Something with cup holders for their juice cups or snacks. I also like mom and dad cup holder options and a space to store bags and such. Any suggestions?
The strollers that you can get at the parks are nice but not as elaborate as what you may need. If you have a Disney credit card you can rent up to two a day for free. My youngest is 6 and I did not think we would need a stroller, we ended up getting one every day to store stuff and when his little legs gave up he could rest. Just a tip for those that do not want to lug around stuff and strollers.
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Old 07-08-2008, 04:37 AM   #33
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The strollers that you can get at the parks are nice but not as elaborate as what you may need. If you have a Disney credit card you can rent up to two a day for free. My youngest is 6 and I did not think we would need a stroller, we ended up getting one every day to store stuff and when his little legs gave up he could rest. Just a tip for those that do not want to lug around stuff and strollers.
The Disney strollers are hard plastic and do not recline. Just FYI.
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:32 AM   #34
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Yea my sister got one for my nephew one time and he never wanted in it because it sat so low. However if you don't want to drag a stroller along (esp a double) it's a great option. I think they did a 7 day package and at the end of every day when they turned the stroller in they got a Disney dollar back.
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:55 AM   #35
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I love Disney!

We just did a land and sea adventure in Feb and my oldest dd was so thrilled. word to the wise don't take a 20 month old on a boat. Crazy insane!
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:58 AM   #36
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This is MY kind of thread!

We were in WDW the 3rd week in June- it was our 12th trip in 20 years and the 3rd year in a row.

Three years ago we bought a timeshare outside of Disney World. While I would LOVE to join DVC, we got so much more time for less money and DVC is just not in our budget. The outside-the-park is not a big issue as our children are adults now. I would LOVE to buy DVC, and will if I hit the lottery, lol!

For those planning trips, FASTPASS is the most important thing to doing as much as possible easily. If you are flexible, you can do so much more using it.

About the strollers- the WDW strollers can be purchased at a discount if you buy "length of stay". They give you tickets for each day you will be there and you can turn in a stroller at one park and just show your ticket at the next park and pick up another one. And, while they may no recline, I saw a LOT of kids sleeping in them.

Looking forward to following this thread and returning, vicariously, to WDW before our next trip.
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:05 AM   #37
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I love Disney!

We just did a land and sea adventure in Feb and my oldest dd was so thrilled. word to the wise don't take a 20 month old on a boat. Crazy insane!
Yea for you!!! I don't know if you read but we are doing a land and see in September with a 2 year old that will be 1 month away from turning 3 and a 6 month old. I figure with the 6 month old not being mobile we should be ok. (or I'm just fooling myself cuz the kid in me really wants to go)
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:08 AM   #38
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Thank you so much for joining us. You'll be abel to help us answer some of the "newbie" Disney goers questions. We got 2-3 times a year and LOVE it!! We bought our DVC pre-children so that is the only way we were able to commit to it. If someone approached us now and wanted us to buy it we would have to laugh at them. LOL!!! But hey were are committ now so why not keep it going. It's a guaranteed vacation every year to the Happiest Pleace on Earth!!!!!

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This is MY kind of thread!

We were in WDW the 3rd week in June- it was our 12th trip in 20 years and the 3rd year in a row.

Three years ago we bought a timeshare outside of Disney World. While I would LOVE to join DVC, we got so much more time for less money and DVC is just not in our budget. The outside-the-park is not a big issue as our children are adults now. I would LOVE to buy DVC, and will if I hit the lottery, lol!

For those planning trips, FASTPASS is the most important thing to doing as much as possible easily. If you are flexible, you can do so much more using it.

About the strollers- the WDW strollers can be purchased at a discount if you buy "length of stay". They give you tickets for each day you will be there and you can turn in a stroller at one park and just show your ticket at the next park and pick up another one. And, while they may no recline, I saw a LOT of kids sleeping in them.

Looking forward to following this thread and returning, vicariously, to WDW before our next trip.
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:36 AM   #39
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Yea for you!!! I don't know if you read but we are doing a land and see in September with a 2 year old that will be 1 month away from turning 3 and a 6 month old. I figure with the 6 month old not being mobile we should be ok. (or I'm just fooling myself cuz the kid in me really wants to go)
Our oldest is 3.5 and she did awesome. Had a hard time getting her to stay in the kids area without her little sister. She hung with the babies in the nursery. Couldn't leave her sister's side! It was just really hard to plan stuff to do at ports because there wasn't a whole lot to do with that age group. It probably didn't help that she got the croup and ear infection on the boat. We became real friendly with the clinic staff!
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:34 AM   #40
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We did notice that with the excersions. Most the children have to be 5. We thought we would just spend the day at the beach and if we feel entergetic rent bikes and bike around Castaway. We also go to Nassau and oh shoot I forget the other. Or maybe there are only 2 since it's a 3 day. Sorry thinking out loud.
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