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05-05-2012, 04:20 PM #10
05-06-2012, 05:38 AM #11
The start of our first trip was terrible - couldnt find the hotel - didnt understand the street signs. We stayed on International Drive - opposite the big toy shop (I remembered seeing a pictiure of the shop in the brochure).
The hotel remindered me of council flats.
We didnt know that WDW was so far away.
Didnt know anything about Park tickets or ADRs.
Didnt know about this forum.
05-06-2012, 05:50 AM #12
05-06-2012, 08:52 AM #13
05-06-2012, 09:44 AM #14
Like most of you my first trip I went in blind. I had no idea of anything other then my cousins got to go to WDW when they were kids and I never did. So my first trip was to take my wife and kids and my mother to the place I never got to go and always wanted to. I did as much planning as I could...no information to go with...no guides or forums...just a phone number and a DVD. I called and since there were 6 of us we were automatically being booked in WL in a Jr Suite. This was 1999...value resorts if they were there were not known to me, there was no meal plan and I had no idea about having to ask about 2 conjoining rooms (that castmembers will answer questions you ask but can't offer information to you) So when I said there were 6 of us the room choices were limited. We drove (bought a minivan for the trip) the kids were small (6 and 3/12 and 3 1/2) and off we went on the adventure that I figured was a one time family trip. I was overwhelmed by the resort, the room...the whole size and expanse of the area. I knew I wanted to bring the kids back again to do things that we couldn't do due to time or ages and size. I spent more on that trip then I have on any since...so I tried to figure a way to go again without spending as much. That is when I got the brilliant idea to stay off property (without knowledge of othe resorts having rooms that connected I went seraching for a less expensive place to stay. Found a Days Inn and Suites near Main Gate that had a full kitchen and slept 6...booked it and drove again to WDW (kids were 8 and 5 and 5) This was the trip from H**L . With staying off property all I did was drive...no extra magic hours...no midday breaks. The killer was what took me maybe 15mins to get to in the AM took me 1 1/2 hrs to get too at night with all the mass exodus from the parks. I was totally wiped and did not enjoy the trip at all. Yes the kids got to do the things they missed and the odler one got to go on some of the rides that he didn't measure up to last trip, but for me it was a total bust...I went back to work more tired then when I left. I lieterally called WDW and almost cried to a castmember about the trip and how I wanted to go back but staying on property with 6 of us was too expensive. That was all it took...as soon as I asked how I could do it for less cost the suggestion of two rooms in a value resort and the pricing difference...I almost fainted. I gave it some time and planned another trip...this one on property at the ASMo and we drove again...kids were 10, 7 and 7 and we went again. That trip made the difference...I spent less then I did off property (after all the extra gas of driving to and from and parking fees), I didn't touch the car the entire trip so I got some much needed rest, and we got to use the extra magic hours. From then on anyone asks me I tell them I won't stay off property ever again...but I don't have to spend a fortune to stay on property. So far my trips include 1999 at WL; 2001 Off Property (NEVER again); 2003 at ASMo; 2007 at ASMu in the Family Suite; 2009 FWC in a Cabin; 2011 at Pop; 2012 at Caribbean Beach Resort at Walt Disney World in a Pirate Room.
05-06-2012, 10:46 AM #15