Sunday, February 07, 2010

Disney Give a Day

In 2008, we started saving for Disneyland.
Storey came along and two kids in diapers was expensive.

In 2009, we started saving for Disneyland.
Zak got laid off and we used the money to eat instead.

Now it is 2010-and we are GOING. TO. DISNEY!
Can you tell I'm excited?!?

In case you haven't heard, Disney's current promotion is the "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" program. Basically, you give a day of service to a participating organization, and you get a day at one of the Disney parks.

You can search for participating organizations and service opportunities available in your area here. We chose to make quilts for Project Linus. It was a great project for our family because it didn't involve leaving our kids for any amount of time. And I love that it involves two things I'm very passionate about--sewing and children.

You have to sign up through the Disney site and then someone from the organization will contact you to confirm the service date and give you any other information you need. If you are interested in making quilts, please make sure that Project Linus is participating in your area.

The qualifications for the blankets we sent in were:
between 40" x 50" and 50" x 60"
handmade, new
tied or quilted

Quick Project Linus Quilt Tutorial:
Zak made his own quilt-he was a first time quilter. If he can do it, so can you!

Cut out 63 blocks, each 6.5" square. This will make a quilt that is 7 blocks by 9 blocks, or roughly 42" x 54". Arrange your quilt in a way that you like and then take a picture of it. The picture will help you remember what order the blocks were in when you are stitching your quilt together. Use a 1/4" seam to stitch your blocks together one row at a time.Once the rows are finished, pin each row together, matching up seams and sew those together, starting at the bottom and going up.Once you have sewn all the rows together, your quilt top is complete!!

Project Linus doesn't have stipulations about batting, so I chose to use low loft. In my opinion, it's easier to tie through. I laid the batting down on the face down quilt top and layered the backing fabric on top. I used large safety pins to secure the three layers. Zak and I watched TV while we tied at the corner of each square with embroidery thread. There was a lot of TV watching going on while we made these quilts.

There are lots of ways to bind a quilt, but my favorite is making my own binding and hand sewing it. Sounds really complicated, but it is not. Again, Zak did this part as well (in front of the TV) so it can't be that bad. I would explain the whole process here, but why reinvent the wheel? My favorite tutorial for binding a quilt was written by the Old Red Barn Co. Detailed steps, great pictures, you can't go wrong.

Once you've finished the quilt, contact the person from Project Linus in your area to arrange a drop off date and two or three days later, a voucher for your free ticket(s) will show up in your email!******************************************************************************************
If you know me well, then you know a lot of planning/deal seeking has been put into this trip. We don't stop at the free tickets, people.

First off, if you are going to Disneyland/Disneyworld this year, you NEED to get a copy of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland. Try your local library before purchasing. I've used versions of this book in both parks and it is invaluable. The Guide includes ride itineraries (depending on your party-with kids, without kids, big groups, small groups), ratings of the rides, and reviews of hotels/restaurants among other things. I love the itineraries.

The internet has been a great resource as well. The best "Get a Day" tip that I have discovered is if you take your ticket (your free ticket) back up to the ticket booth halfway through the day, you can upgrade to a multi-day park hopper ticket. Because you already have a one day/one park ticket, they will take $72 off of the price of the multi-day ticket. For instance, we're going to purchase 2 day park hopper tickets, which are $151 originally. That means that both Zak and I will end up each paying $79 for our 2 days. You can see all of the ticket prices at the Disneyland site. Be sure that you look at all of the box office rates-the internet prices do not apply!

The best hotel tip I've found is to use the Priceline "name your price" feature. I've read in many forums of families getting rooms for around $40/night (for a 4 star hotel) using Priceline. Sure, they may have to take a shuttle to the park or drive and park, but if it saves $50 or $60/night, I'm good with that!! We haven't booked our room yet, but I plan on starting at $35 and moving my way up (you can bid once a day). I'll let you know what kind of deal I get! **EDIT: I made an offer for $35 this morning and it was accepted! We are staying at the Holiday Inn. There is a shuttle to Disneyland that picks up directly in front of the hotel! Hooray!**

A few other helpful links:
Have you been convinced yet to Give a Day?!?


FamilyKolbaba said...

If you want to be directly across the street at the lowest price I recommend Desert Inn and Suites. It's about a three minute walk from the gate and it's always been the cheapest we can find. P.S. Nate and I have annual passes so maybe we can join you.....:)

bethany said...

We actually looked into the Desert Inn, but it's still $69 a night, so we're going to try the Priceline thing first and see if we can get it for cheaper. I'll let you know if we get some amazing deal!

Matt & Brooke said...

We're totally doing this too!!! too bad I don't we'll go that soon though! But i do think I might turn my ticket in for a pass. I LOVE disneyland! and you BETTER be coming out here in July!!! There's enough of you Utah folks that there is NO excuse!!!!

Melissa said...

When are you coming??

shauntel said...

I'm so excited, we're all signed up to give a day too. And I've never been to Disney.

The Frosts said...

are the tickets good for the whole year? i am interested but with Jared's busy season we can't go soon and then would like to avoid summer.

bethany said...

They are good until December 15, 2010. You have plenty of time Holly!

Julie said...

I found your info about the service for Disney tickets through "30 Days" site. We just went to Disneyland in october. Food is expensive but we found that some of the kid's meals were just as filling for an adult. And some of the adult sandwiches you could certainly share. The River Belle Terrace had kid's sandwiches that were about half the price and very good. Just a tip :)

West Family said...

We just got back from disney about a month ago and had a blast! This is a good time of year to go because everyone is in school still! The mimi's is directly across the street from the entrance. You are major bargain shopper! Have so much fun!

Kim @ Everything Etsy said...

Thanks for linking up to our new party! I love the quilts! I made one not too long ago using the same method, but a little bigger squares. It was my first quilt other than a rag quilt years ago.

Disney is fun...we haven't been in a couple of years, but you never get too old for it. :)


Karen said...

Good ideas, and a very nice quilt. And I like that the guy sewed his own!

Carole B. said...

I love the Disney promotion. It is a great idea. Your quilts are nice and we be helpful for someone.

Marianne@Songbird said...

Lovely quilt! Great to see a man behind the sewing machine, it is a power tool after all.

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