Since I blog my family’s adventures, I thought I’d go ahead and share our trip report.
Late last summer DD15 mentioned how she would love to see Walt Disney World at Christmas time. We had recently returned from DLR. I quickly responded with, “I’m sure we will, someday.” Then I realized that once she started at community college January 2020 (we homeschool) she wouldn’t be able to leave during the holiday season. Or she’d be limited to the school breaks, which would mean terrible crowds. So I started to do some research into what it would cost to visit WDW in the 2019 Christmas season. The numbers looked doable, so I just set to pray about it.
In December 2019, I heard about Traveling Homeschoolers from a friend at church.
In February, the dates and prices were posted on the Traveling Homeschoolers website. They were traveling in November and were affordable. I had to wait for airfare costs. I booked a campsite on Disney property (which we would never actually stay at) to allow for early access to Fast Passes (FPP).
In May, Southwest posted their fares and they were out of my budget. I looked again a week later and they were now in my range!
Meanwhile, I churned 5 credit cards to earn money to cover many of the costs.
In August, I found a rental house that exceeded my expectations for the low budget I set.
Autoslash helped me to find a rental van in our range.
We told the girls in September. It was/is their 2019 Christmas gift (I am sticking to this)!
Monday morning I drove DH to work at 6:30 AM. I came home and placed grocery orders for ALDI and Walmart in the 34747 zip code to be delivered to our rental house in the evening.
At 10:30 AM I picked up my DMom and Dsis, and then we picked up DH. He had us to the airport by 11:10 AM.
It was our first time flying as a family since 2007. Two of my girls weren’t even born yet, and the other two can’t remember.
Left to right:
DD15, DD9, me47, DMom 71, DD6, Dsis45, DD13
They watched Toy Story 4 while I watched Endgame.
We navigated MCO easily.
We found our rental car and he tried to saddle me with a higher charge. Such snaking wording. I got out of there for my original price and went out to select our van.
Dsis and I had to really WORK to get all our luggage into the Dodge Caravan.
We headed to Kissimmee area for Chick-fil-A.
Then a quick stop at a junky Dollar Tree and off to our rental house on Santee Drive.
Our rental stroller was already there, and our groceries came right on time.
We dug into making lunches for the next day.
Originally our goal was to make lunches each of the first five days in an effort to save money, and then we would buy lunches toward the end of vacation. I wanted to make sure we could buy some of the special (and $) treats Disney makes.
We hit bed around 9:30 PM. I shared with DD9. Dmom and DD6 had a room. DD13 and DD15 had a room. And Dsis had her own room.