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Belle1962
11-27-2000, 08:35 AM
Cast:
Leading roles:
Me, Trip Director, almost 40, frequent WDW visitor
DH, 40, not as frequent as me WDW visitor
DS, 18, been there done that attitude but still wouldn't miss a trip to the World
Brother, almost 40, third trip to WDW (all have been with my family)
Sis-In-law, 40, third or fourth trip to WDW
Nephew, 22, frequent WDW visitor when younger (with Grandma) but this is his first trip in over five years and first ever with his mom and dad
Niece, 11, third trip to WDW, all have been with the coolest Aunt in the World (ME)
Bit parts:
Cousin, almost 40, first trip
Cousin's wife, almost 40, first trip
Oldest Son, 15, first trip
Daughter, 12, first trip
Youngest Son, 2, first trip
Cuz's wife's mother, older than the rest of us, think her first trip
Cuz's wife's brother, not sure of age (30ish)
Cuz's wife's nephew, 3

Day Three, Nov. 19 Magic at our Door Part I

Mickey calls at 6:30 am to wake us up. Today is a very special day. It is my niece's 11th birthday. We are also checking out of the All Stars and moving to our home for the rest of the week–a condo at Westgate Vacation Villas. We get up, dress and pack up for the move to Westgate later in the day. Soon there is a knocking at the door and my niece opens it and behold

A pixie must have visited us last night because there is pixie dust sprinkled over the ground and on the door. And on the door is a pink envelope with her name on it. Inside is a birthday card signed by Cinderella and a blue slip of paper with an invitation to breakfast in the Castle. My niece is tickled to death. I have told her how I tried and tried to get reservations but they are soooo hard to get and they were all booked. I kept asking why SHE got an invitation to the Castle and I come every year and have NEVER gotten an invitation to the Castle. So it's off to the Castle we go.

We're running a little late as we pull into the Magic Kingdom parking lot and we still have to get the monorail over to the Kingdom. We see the rest of our party pull into the parking lot as we are speed walking away–we turn around long enough to holler we're late and we'll see them sometime today.

A looong stinky ride over to the Magic Kingdom (they could use some Magic to make that smell on the monorail disappear) and we're entering the gates. Up to the Castle and my niece shows the people at the check in desk her blue slip. We are taken right up to our table–with a view of the castle. Someone comes over and sprinkles mickey shaped pixie dust on our table and then our server appears and explains the serving process (all you care to eat, healthy choice available, etc.) First to stop at our table is Cinderella. We make sure "her" card is clearly visible and she remarks that she remembers sending it. She wishes my niece a happy birthday we take pictures of them and then pictures of the boys (22 & 18) and the princess. Next to stop by was Jasmine. Yesterday we had seen Jasmine at EPCOT but my nephew (22) didn't want to go up to her because Alladin was with her. He wanted her all to himself. Well today he gets his wish. We insist that he have a picture with her. She tells my niece happy birthday and we get a picture of them.

Next up was the Fairy Godmother. She was a RIOT. We laughed sooo hard at her antics. She commented on the pixie dust on the table and how she does much better work. I mentioned that we loved what she did at the hotel this morning and she played along that it was some of her best handiwork and she's glad we enjoyed it. We also told her the boys had given Jasmine a hard time. She scolded them and bopped them on the head with her wand. And then she called out to Jasmine to make sure she was alright and that the boys didn't hurt her–everyone in the room was looking at the boys. She bopped them some more and then signed my niece's birthday card and we got a picture of them.

Next up was Alladin. He wished my niece happy birthday but really didn't want to play along with the idea that the boys had given Jasmine a hard time.

When we were done eating, our server bought out a cupcake and we all sang happy birthday to my niece. The last time I was home I had most of our relatives sign birthday cards for my niece but I LEFT THEM IN THE CAR. We were so rushed I forgot to bring them in. (Dunce cap for me)

We exited the Castle and found ourselves right at the rope drop for opening.


Stay tuned–Part II The Magic Continues Until...

snuggles
11-28-2000, 04:36 PM
Oh my...you got lost on page 2 and I almost didnt find you!!!
Thanks for such a great report! I can imagine the excitement with pixie dust and a special invitation! Its funny how the guys act like they are too cool for Disney......but we know better ;)

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Tiggerkeeper
11-29-2000, 07:43 AM
until now! After reading this I have decided to see what I can do for May trip with 3 13yo girls. We'll call it the princess tour! It is actually a graduation from middle school celebration. But enough of that -- tell me did what of all the pixie dust etc. you did. I love doing this kind of stuff in fact am notorious for it. Did you deliver the invitation or arrange it to be delivered? Details. Details. By the way, I am from Atlanta until about 4 years ago when we moved to Spartanburg. My van knows the I-75 very well!!!! Your trip reports are great! I have a 17 yo DS to go along with our 13 yo DD and your trips sound like our trips!

You might even be able to help me...I am sending countdown reminders to the girls for the trip and making a scrapbook (first attempt). In October, I downloaded Haunted Mansion Snipets and made cards to go along with Pooh, Tigger and Piglet beanies in Halloween drag and delivered them in the still of the night. November was less than mysterious just cards of Mickey and Minnie's turkey feast. Christmas will be stockings stuffed with travel mini's and silly Disney "stuff" as well as Angel Pooh beanies. That is as far as I have gotten. Thanks for any suggestions. Back to your stories hope to hear from you soon.

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My e-mail address if you want is MsLissa1025@aol.com

WDW Poly Princess
11-29-2000, 08:43 AM
Bumping up! I'm also curious about your invitation- I'd love to work something like that out! Did you arrange it all?

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Belle1962
12-01-2000, 07:04 AM
Making Magic: A basic course

SHOPPING HINTS: As soon as I started planning this trip, I began visiting stores like WalMart, Kmart, Big Lots, Value City, Dollar Tree, Toys R Us, Target, Party City, The Disney Store, Toy Liquidators and any other store that might have Disney themed items cheap/on sale. I would search the clearance/sale aisles for Disney related items and pick up a few items each week. (Over 18 months this REALLY added up). My goal was to spend no more than $2-$3 per item. However–on my niece I do spend a bit more (but not too many items cost a lot of money.) Most of the items I collected came from the Dollar Store. But I looked EVERYWHERE I went for anything with a Disney theme or character. You will be surprised how much STUFF is out there–and you can just wait for a while and it WILL hit the clearance aisle. My "best" find was that Slinky Dog from Toy Story. Regularly priced at Kmart for $14.99. I purchased it for $2.00 on clearance. (At that price I bought each of the little ones a Slinky Dog–and they loved them).

1. If you read Day one of my trip report, you read how I have been collecting 101 & 102 Dalmatian themed gifts for the past year. I then requested a room in the Dalmatian building (to keep with the theme). I found 101 Dalmatian window decals at the Dollar Store and used them to decorate the window, mirror over the sink and the mirror on the bathroom door. I found ballons at a party store and blew them up and filled the tub with them. I also found Dalmatian party items (such as plates, napkins and paper cups). I replaced the standard hotel plastic glasses with the Dalmatian ones and kept the napkins and plates handy in the room for snacks. Among the other items I found were: keychains, backpacks, book covers, all of the Tiny Kingdom 101 figures, Oddball beanie, Christmas stocking, Christmas Ornament, coloring books, stickers, sticker album shaped like the Dalmatian, sticker books, puzzles, Pez dispenser, 101 Dalmatian Barbie, cups, bath gel, magic towels and more.

2. Sunday Morning Breakfast at the Castle and Pixie Dust at our door: I made a small ziploc bag of pixie dust out of clear & sparkling clear confetti, mixed in a few bags of little pink hearts confetti and then added a bag of "Happy Birthday" confetti. Shook it up and mixed it well. I then found a birthday card at WalMart with Cinderella on the front. I signed the card Cinderella and sprinkled a little of the pixie dust mixture in the envelope with the card. I was up bright and early 60 days out and made breakfast reservations at the Castle. When we arrived at the hotel I had guest services print out all of our PS. I took the one for the Castle breakfast and added it to the birthday card. The morning of the breakfast the boys came over to our room, sprinkled the pixie dust around–even throwing some on the door–and it stuck!!! and taped the card to the door. If you don't have another group with you I am sure you can wait until they are in the shower or excuse yourself to go get coffee or something and perform your magic. I purchased the confetti at Party City (a party supply store). If it isn't someone's birthday you can still use the card idea–simply cut the card so that you are left with the picture of Cindy and write a message on the back. (We left housekeeping a bigger tip on Sunday—I'm sure they had to clean up the pixie dust)

3. Daily surprises: As I said I have been collecting stuff for over a year. Each morning I would get up before my niece and set her gifts for the day at her place at the table. (Kinda like a not so Secret Santa). Items included: Sleeping Beauty Barbie ( I got her when I got the Dalmatian Barbie–TRU online had a Buy a Barbie get a Barbie free deal); pvc figures of just about EVERYONE($1.00 each at Toys R Us), Hair barrettes ($1.00), Lots of Princess related stuff including Snow White paper plates and napkins to use for breakfast, Princess Mug from TDS (on sale for $2.99), princess jewelry (on sale at TDS for $1.99), coloring books, sticker books, stickers and more Esmerelda bath towel (on sale at WalMart for $3.00), Esmerelda placement ($1.00), Hunchback pencils, (.25 cents each at TRU), stickers, earrings and necklace set, Pocahantas placemat, stuffed raccon from the movie ($2.00 at Toy Liquidators), lunchboxes (Dalmation & Meg lunchboxes with Thermos found at TRU for $1.00), tons of pvc figures, books and lots more.

4. Goodie bags on the Illuminations Cruise: Used Disney themed Goody Bags (Bugs Life and Dalmations) Winnie the Pooh Fruit snacks & Princess fruit rolls (buy one get one free at our local Publix), Mickey lollipops (Party City), Mickey & Gang Candy Canes (party City), erasers, pencils, keychains (Dollar store), magnets (Dollar Store), notebooks (Dollar Store), pen & paper sets (Dollar Store), stickers and more.

5. Gifts on the Illuminations Cruise for each family. Gave both husband & wife a gift: One gift had drinking glasses with Mickey on one side and Minnie on the other (Dollar Store) enough for the whole family, the other gift had either Mickey or Pooh Christmas towels and potholders (bought at day after Christmas sales last year–cost around $1.00 each) Used Disney gift wrap.

6. Goodie bags at our condo: First night at our condo gave everyone another goody bag with more pvc figures and more fruit snacks. Disney themed goodie bags of course.

7. Disney surprise boxes: Since I would only be with my niece, DS and nephew every day and I had been purchasing surprises for everyone, I put everything for my cousin's group into two copy paper boxes, wrapped the boxes with Disney wrap and took their boxes over to them on Monday night. They had books, coloring books, stickers, autograph book, pens, toys, more toys, more toys (they had the 2 & 3 year olds), snacks, lollipops, lunchboxes, pvc figures, more keychains, and just tons of stuff.

8. Thanksgiving Dinner: I had purchased the mini stockings with Disney characters on them at after Christmas sales. (about 50 cents each). I had also purchased a lot of small Disney ornaments that fit into the stocking ($1.00 - $1.50) and a few (about 4 ) larger boxed ornaments ($2.00 on clearance). I wrapped all of the ornaments and put numbers on them (1 - 15). I then started with the youngest (not the 2 or 3 yo) and everyone got to pick a number and they got the wrapped gift assigned to that number. I had discovered while wrapping that I was 2 ornaments short so I picked up a Pooh & Bear ornament at TDS and gave them to the toddlers.

9. I also had discovered that over the year I had collected a lot of puzzles and coloring books. I wrapped them and planned to pass them out at Thanksgiving dinner also. HOWEVER, I ended up passing them out while we were waiting to be seated for dinner. These were a blessing for the kids. Even the 18 & 22 year old played with the puzzles they had received. (I gave everyone a gift knowing the older kids would probably just pass them on to the babies).

10. Throughout the year before our trip I sent ONLY Disney themed cards for birthdays, halloween, Valentine, etc. (If they made a card for it–I sent it). I usually enclosed a few Disney Dollars in the card. Likewise, I gave Disney themed gifts for Birthdays and Christmas. Every once in a while I would send a D-card from the Disney.go.com website to everyone just to say Hi and remind them the trip was coming up.

11. Memorize the tips you get from these boards and others. By being in the know people think you are just amazing when you know where to stand to be first out of a holding room (Haunted Mnation & TOT) or on the part of the ride that has little bit more interaction, how fastpass works, etc. One of the best tips I got here: ILLUMINATIONS CRUISE. My family was duly impressed with my ability to get everything we wanted–the cruise, all meal PS and by using fastpass being able to see and do almost everything.

12. When making magic remember: The Magic in your heart is what truly makes the magic on this vacation. If making goodie bags, planning ahead and having all PS's in order, shopping beforehand and other stuff is just not something you get into it doesn't matter. As long as you have Magic in your heart, the others in your group will catch it too. It's catchy that way at Disney World.

Tiggerkeeper
12-01-2000, 07:23 AM
Great ideas, just a little more off the printer and off I go to start my scavaging. I do have one ace in the hole, my son works for TRU and can keep me abreast of the clearance merchandise. This is going to be so much fun. I really, really do appreciate your help. This is going to be the best trip ever...after all how often do you get to go to Disney with your bestest buddies?

Again, thanks for the ideas!

Tiggerkeeper, courageous leader of the Princess Tour, May 2001

I'm never going to grow up!!!!!!!!!

hedgehogcs
12-01-2000, 10:52 AM
Stevesmom, I loved your #12 point - I've said that same kind of thing a hundred times to friends of mine who were planning trips!!! Well said!!

sherrie
12-05-2000, 05:34 PM
you are a truly magical, amazing person. I am truly enjoying your report. As a mom to a 16 and 19 yr old and a step-mom to a 16 yr old, I find the boys embarassment amusing. did they go off on their own a lot. Mine sure did.

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LisaTx
12-05-2000, 07:01 PM
That is one amazing report, Stevesmom! Thanks for all of the wonderful tips. I love the pixie dust and card tip.

THanks for sharing this with us.

Lisa :)

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TimNDansMom
12-06-2000, 05:23 AM
Wow! I loved reading your trip report. I wish my sons were younger so that I could surprise them with some of your ideas. They would just be embarrassed, now-a-days. Sounds like you had a lot of fun planning all this. Your family is very lucky. :)

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Marla Hellwig
01-22-2001, 05:18 PM
COuld I be your niece for a day - you are a great aunt! Thanks for posting!