Kristen K's Pennies From Heaven! February 2015

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Kristen K.'s picture
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I was so excited last night, I couldn't sleep.
pillowfight yeah pillowfight

My check came in the mail yesterday! My goodness it was exciting! I knew what the base amount of the insurance policy was, but they hadn't been able to tell me what the interest was going to be. Well - 23 years worth of interest turned out to more than double my check! So I'm takin' the whole family to Disney!

I've made lots of changes to the plan overnight!

Who: Kristen (old enough), DH Geordon, DD Tori (age 21), DS Kirk (age 20), DD Katie (age 15)

What: 8 Night Land/Sea Vacation

Where: WDW Saratoga Springs 2 Bedroom Villa! I was able to get a 2 Bedroom at SSR for the entire trip, and requested the Congress Park area.

When: We added a day! We'll be flying in the evening February 19th through 27th, 2015

Flights: Ugh! Flight costs have gone up $50 per person just since I started looking last week.

Food Plan: We'll be switching to the Disney Dining Plan! Hoorah hoorah! Katie and I were too excited to sleep last night so we figure out where we want to eat most. And guess what! They will all be firsts for me! - Leaning Palms, Typhoon Lagoon - Snack Shack, Typhoon Lagoon (for the sand pail ice cream) - Bongos Cuban Express, Downtown Disney - Raglan Road, Downtown Disney - Biergarten, Germany, Epcot

Touring: We'll be there 3 full days now so we're going to do a Typhoon Lagoon, Downtown Disney, and (probably) Epcot.

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yay that is amazing yay

I think you did right by not sleeping and planning all night!!

Sounds like you are going to have an amazing trip, and with the camera you will be able to get so many great photos.

Sounds like the mufasa and simba moment when they are talking about the stars.....

mickey yay mickey

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Those are the kind of surprises we like! yay yay

You're going to have such a great trip - what a lovely, unexpected gift from your Dad (and the insurance company!).

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Ahhhhhh Kristen, I'm so so happy for you my lovely! It's about time you had some good luck xxxxxx

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Our Very Merry 24 nighter Nov/Dec 15
Watson's go West May 15
The one with all the birthdays Oct 14 4 Big Birthdays and a Vow Renewal thrown in
The OMG trip June 14 30th Birthday present from the hubs
Girly trip March 14 A last min cheapy week
September 13 our first all DVC stay
TR May 2013 the last min bargain trip offsite
Oct 2012 TR with a cruise!big family trip featuring the beach club, AKL, the dream and a villa offsite
TR on a budget May - June 2011offsite condo
TR Sept - Oct 2010 big family trip in an offsite villa

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Kristen, I had a strange magical feeling that this would all turn out well for you. stars

You must all be so excited!

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Miss Mikki wrote:
Kristen, I had a strange magical feeling that this would all turn out well for you. stars

You must all be so excited!

We are! Seriously, Katie and I were up until about 2am this morning because we were so excited. The only reason I got to bed was because I took two Benedryl. laugh

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Such a wonderful turn of events! What a thrilling surprise it must have been to open that envelope and see double the amount of money that you were expecting! Congratulations!!! stars

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yay oh my that is so exciting!!!!! Enjoy planning!

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YAY! I'm so excited for you Kristen! yay yay yay

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Awesome.... clapping

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congrats Kristen, so happy it worked out even better than expected. We will be there (WDW) at the same time. I know you will not have much time to waste but I would certainly like to meet up to say a quick hello.

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clapping clapping clapping Excited for you! clapping clapping clapping

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That's awesome

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Very cool! cool

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I just think of how amazing this whole thing was!
So glad it all turned out to be full of pixie dust and that the check arrived!
HOORAY for such a Wonderful Family Disney Vacation!
yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

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That is just awesome!! stars yeah stars

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Huzzah! stars

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Vettelover wrote:
congrats Kristen, so happy it worked out even better than expected. We will be there (WDW) at the same time. I know you will not have much time to waste but I would certainly like to meet up to say a quick hello.

We'll have to work something out when we get closer to the date! I promised Geordon no crazy schedule of meet-ups but I'm sure I can get away with one. laugh

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Woo Hoo!!! So happy for you!

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Yesterday was a whirlwind, but I accomplished a ton of stuff for this trip. Hahaha - I don't think I've ever spent so much money so quickly in my life.

As soon as I woke up and checked the bank to make sure my check cleared I hopped on the Southwest website and booked our flights! It always seems more real to me once the flights are booked. Next I called DVC and scheduled our ground transportation on the Magical Express.

Even though this was a surprise windfall I have still be working within a budget and had to try and pinch pennies where I can, so I decided that I would buy Disney Gift Cards from Target using my red card to pay for the trip. That was going to save me 5% + 5% with an extra pharmacy discount card that I had. I could get my camera and lens at Target too, and I wanted to be sure to have that discounted as well. Katie and I hopped into the car and headed for the store.

I went back to electronics and told the guy that I needed 68 Disney Gift cards, a Nikon D5200, and an extra zoom lens. Everything was going great, until I tried to pay for it all. Apparently the amount of money that you can charge on your Target red card is linked on your regular spending habits. Since we rarely spend more than $150 or so, we had a $300 limit and I was not a happy camper. Why have the thing that gives you a discount if you can't use the discount when you really need it? After an ...ummm... exchange with the manager, they decided that they would extend the discount to me using my bank card. Yea - the exact same bank account my red card comes out of. Whatever. We did some calculations an the guy worked a bit of magic on his cash register - a LOT of magic. Ultimately I saved $486, and that doesn't include the savings from my camera being on sale. I left Target a very happy camper.

When we got home I paid off the cruise portion of our trip. The gift cards to pay for the standard DDP are sitting on my table to be added to our reservation later today. My daughter Katie keeps asking me if this is real. She's been deep into helping me plan it's so cute! She is crazy excited, I even let her at my spreadsheet to put in notes where she wanted to.

It's all coming together!

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awesome nice!

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Sounds fantastic!!

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yay clapping yay clapping yay stars stars yay clapping yay clapping

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Wow that's some saving!! Well done!

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Our Very Merry 24 nighter Nov/Dec 15
Watson's go West May 15
The one with all the birthdays Oct 14 4 Big Birthdays and a Vow Renewal thrown in
The OMG trip June 14 30th Birthday present from the hubs
Girly trip March 14 A last min cheapy week
September 13 our first all DVC stay
TR May 2013 the last min bargain trip offsite
Oct 2012 TR with a cruise!big family trip featuring the beach club, AKL, the dream and a villa offsite
TR on a budget May - June 2011offsite condo
TR Sept - Oct 2010 big family trip in an offsite villa

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yay yay yay yay yay so happy everything worked out for you!!!! happy planning!

Magic Mirror's picture
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Good heads up on the Red Card limit! awesome

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Yay, I'm so glad things worked out for you to take your trip and that you were able to get some magic at Target, too. Can't wait to hear more about your plans!

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banana Woot! Everything's either paid off or sitting on a gift card to be spent during the trip. banana

Friday I called Disney and added the standard DDP to our reservations, then I made a couple of ADRs!

We've got Lunch at the Liberty Tree Tavern on our Park day. Dinner at Raglan Road on our DTD Day, and the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue on our Water Park day. I haven''t been to Raglan Road myself yet and I haven't been to the Hoop-Dee-Doo for 18 years. I'm very excited about going to see the Hoop-Dee-Doo again!

Tori and I decided to take the Disney bus to the Port for our cruise. I know that this won't help me avoid the crowds or get me to the terminal when I would like to be there but it turned out to be the most economical option and it will give me an extra couple of hours to shoot pictures of the resort after the rest of the family heads back home.

I think that we've decided on the Magic Kingdom for our Park day. We're not sure which counter service restaurant we want to do for dinner though. We don't want to eat at Columbia Harbour House or Pecos Bills because we eat at both of them often. Which Counter Service at the Magic Kingdom would you do for dinner?

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Sounds like it's all coming together.

Not that I have been but my research for counter service has led me to cosmic rays - have you tried that one? The menu looks good biggrin

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I liked the flat breads at Pinocchio Village Haus. We eat at Cosmic Rays every trip too so I recommend it as well mickey