HONEYMOON CASE STUDIES

Laura and Brian Cruz

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

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Laura and Brian Cruz

Brian, 24, is an IT manager at Moore Cadillac Hummer in Virginia. Laura, 25, is a dog-care provider. They married May 28, 2005, in Leesburg and live in Centreville .

WHERE THEY WENT: Walt Disney World in Orlando, where they spent 10 days at the top-shelf Animal Kingdom Lodge.

YOU READ THAT RIGHT: 10 days

THE JUSTIFICATION: After they each wrote down their top five honeymoon destinations, an African safari was the only one on both lists. "We gave up on that idea after we tried camping and wound up sleeping in the SUV to get away from the bugs," Laura said. Disney's version "with air conditioning and water bottles" sounded like a good compromise.

PLUS: "We're big Disney fans."

BUDGET: $6,000

DREAM ON: They spent $7,000.

NO MOUSEKE-TEARS: Getting a package with air, hotel and park passes helped simplify the couple's trip -- upon arrival, their luggage was automatically transported, and they were led by Disney cast members to a bus that whisked them to the resort.

MAGIC MOMENT: Dinner at a window-front table at the Cinderella Castle. Just after sunset, as dessert arrived, the park's fireworks show started.

BIBBITY-BOBBITY-BOON: Disney guest services gave them honeymoon couple pins and they told everyone they were on their honeymoon. "By wearing those pins and being vocal," Laura reported, "we were given free drinks, free desserts, free fast passes, free trading pins, and even a jump-to-the-front-of-the-line pass."

SO NO LINES? Not quite. Because they often didn't get to the park until 1 p.m., Laura said they had to stand in more lines than they would have liked. In retrospect, they wished they'd made made more of an effort to get to the park earlier in the day to hit more rides.

WORTH IT? "This was seriously a dream vacation," Laura said. "I could not imagine it being any better."

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© 2006 The Washington Post Company


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