Monday, November 28, 2011

Well, We're Back

We had a good, albeit completely exhausting, time.

We managed to stay on budget food-wise ($440 for all 9 days... 5 at Disney, 4 on the road).

We did Disney like we've never done it before.

The kids were really into it, in a different way than they have been before.

No rest for the weary style... but a couple of awesome apple turn-overs from the Main St Bakery to keep Mr F & I going.

Character meals, unless you have Disney Dining... are just not worth it. The end.

Our hotel did NOT have bedbugs (in case you wonder about stuff like that).

5 hours into our first day of driving Baby strongly suggested we should drive straight to the nearest airport and fly to Disney.

The 2nd day of driving was easier with the excitement of Disney looming.

How many billboards for one strip joint can there possibly be?... apparently HUNDREDS.

The weather was mostly perfect. Only one hot day, and we really maxed out the comfortable evenings.

Driving home was a lot more tedious, both days took 3-4 hours longer than they should have.

10-12 hours in the car is hard, once you step over 13 hours?... it's kind of Hell.

We we're stopped up on the highway for more than 8 major multi-car accidents (and, no, it was not snowing)... it was crazy.

Oh, I didn't mention that Kid woke up yesterday (drive day two of our return) and threw up in our hotel.

Awesome. On all counts. I wasn't sure how that was going to go down with a full day of travel.

But that girl is some kind of a soldier. She never even complained, kept trying to weakly pretend she was okay.

She just dealt with it, even though she must have felt like HELL, and the trip was over 13 hours.

As soon as we got home she admitted how sick she was and went to lay on the bathroom floor.

Okay, that's the wrap up.

I'm not feeling too hot myself...

The Take Away....

Next time we're switching back to staying on-site, with the meal plan, and we are going to FLY. If you are going to max-out Disney, and apparently my kids have reached that age, it just makes it more of a vacation IMO to have everything you need as easily as possible, without having to stress about how much everything is EVERY time you try and eat, park, etc. AND we really missed having the sit down meals, and character meals that are just cost prohibitive without the meal plan, now. As long as Disney keeps giving the meal plan away for free, next time we'll plan our trip for their deal dates and take advantage of it. For me, in the end we only saved a couple hundred dollars, and in return I had to make up the difference (personally) with work and planning, which effected my vacation enjoyment. I'd rather wait until we can afford to fly and use the meal plan, just because I'd like a vacation that's completely fun & relaxing for me, too. Which is not to say we didn't have a great time. But 4 days of car travel with kids, and trying to manage food on the cheap, was just a lot of work for a vacation. Last time we stayed off site the kids were much younger, needed more downtime, didn't eat as much, and we lived a full days drive closer! ;)


Elizabeth said...

The best part of staying on site? Being able to go back to the hotel for a nap in the middle of the day. Perhaps even lunching at hotel and missing the noon 'o clock pan park small child breakdown!

Smitty said...

The Smitty clan is planning a possible trip to DisneyHell. You have given us hope and strength.

On another note: Hipstamatic. I am a convert. I have been long-admiring the photos you and Mr have been taking with that app, so I finally broke-down and grabbed it (it's only $2 for heaven's sake...). Love it to pieces. Love the nostalgic shots it takes, love how it sometimes randomly off-centers your pic.

I am not in love with the Kaimal lens yet, but perhaps I just haven't found the right environment for it. I do love John S and Buckhorst.

Mrs Furious said...

"love how it sometimes randomly off-centers your pic"
haha... YES
Mr F figured out how to stop that from happening. I'll ask and report back.

Disney... totally worth the money. Your boys are hitting peak time to really enjoy it. Just don't drive!

being able to quickly get back at 12 AM is also key... nothing sucks the life out more than hoarding into a ferry with one million other people then a tram then trying to remember where your car is at midnight!

steves said...

We are driving this time, but mostly because it was so cost prohibitive (tickets + bag fees) to fly around Christmas, which was when we were able to get the free dining plan. The other thing I didn't like about flying was that it was hard to pack enough clothes and other stuff into what the airline considered to be an acceptable size suitcase.

How long did it take to drive? Where did you stop for the day?

Mrs Furious said...

I wish we could have gone when the meal plan was offered. Thanksgiving was the only time Mr F could take off this year, though.
We stopped at Chattanooga, TN which is halfway down 1-75. It should have taken 9.75 hours of driving (via Google maps) but we hit traffic & construction in Cincinnati on the way down and it took us about 11 hours of driving. On the way home we had terrible Orlando traffic and it took us about 12-13 hours of driving to get to Chattanooga, and it took us over 13 hours to get from there to Dexter.

I don't know how old your kids are but I cut up a twin sized egg crate and lined the girls' booster seats with them (cutting a strip horizontally across the entire pad fit the seats perfectly from top to bottom). This made a huge difference in their butt comfort... those boosters are essentially just hard plastic with a thin cloth pad on top. On other long trips they've complained of their butts hurting after 7 or so hours. This time, no complaints at all. I just cut a slit where the shoulder strap needed to feed through.

Good luck!

G in Berlin said...

I'm sorry we weren't able to meet- just finished getting over the jetlag myself.
I still highly recommend the time-share we stayed at- through the price cut was amazing. We never use the meal plan and still find that Crystal Pavilion (Pooh characters) are worth it for a long (long!) meal. This time we didn't do Princess breakfast, but we will next ti,e (also, probably two years:-)). We bring in the majority of our food (and still cart a stroller around for that purpose) and it's just way cheaper since our guys absolutely can't enjoy being there from early to late (they fall asleep). But we also only go twice in 4-5 days and enjoy the pools at our place. If we really wanted to save, I saw Holiday Inn at 59/night: that's for folks who only care about Disney, I guess.
I love the egg crate idea.
Man, we love Disney.

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