Disclaimer: This may be boring, but since this blog is basically my sad excuse for a journal, I am documenting what I remember...it will get better, I promise!
At the beginning of 2010, I heard about a special volunteer program that Disney was sponsoring this year. If anyone over the age of 6 volunteered (for specially approved assignments), they would receive one day ticket to Disneyland or World. This was until they had one million volunteers. I was instantly intrigued. For years, I have been dying to take our kids to visit "The Mouse", but it has always been too expensive. I signed us up and we were given an assignment to pass out some fliers to some businesses in Franklin, TN. This enabled us to get 5 tickets - one for each of us that would cost money to get into Disney World.
We were able to use the price that the tickets would have been to upgrade for a few more days in the parks - this was important, because with 5 children (a few with special needs) it would have been impossible to see much in just one day - especially considering when we were actually on the trip, two of our afternoons were spent at urgent care clinics in the area (we will get into that later). Then, we rented a condo for a week - much more affordable than actually staying in a hotel, and we were so much more comfortable. It was also a lot cheaper to be able to prepare our own meals.
Everyone told us we were nuts to go over the week of the 4th of July because of the humidity in Florida, the terrible heat, yadda, yadda, yadda....not much we could do about the fact that Clay's vacation was scheduled at the end of 2009, before we even planned the trip and the kids were off of school...so July it was!
After several months of getting tips and tricks from the internet, budgeting, couponing, hoarding anything I could find that was Disney related (to save tons of money on souvies), we set out for our trip at about 10 pm the Friday before the 4th of July. The plan was to drive as far as possible - we made it past Atlanta, crashed at a hotel for a few hours - then get in the car and drive some more. It was great - except my kids outlasted my co-pilot! Poor Clay was so tired from working (he gets up at 2 am) that he slept the whole 5 hours that we drove the first night! We crammed into a 2 double bed hotel room and slept at about 3 am. Um...they also might have thought that we only had 3 kids...don't know where they got that idea???
Here are a few pics of us in our 4th of July finery at our condo...
We finally made it to Orlando about 5 pm on Saturday afternoon...Yes folks, we took our time! Between potty stops and a lot of rain, it slowed us down a bit...We relaxed that evening and also on Sunday (4th of July). The kids thought the condo was great - we were just happy they had their own rooms!
To be continued...