View Full Version : DisneyWorld under the tree take two! (Updated Jan 12th)

09-21-2009, 04:00 AM
So here goes. I’ve thought about doing this last time but never seemed to find the time. This time no excuses :thumbsup2

The cast of characters:

Darragh – (Me) planner, mom

Keith – DH & Damon (aka: Dids or Bud) – DS8

Jonathan (aka: J or JJ) – DS12

Olivia (aka: Liv, Livie or Livinator) – DD4

Chris (aka: Grandma) – My Mom

Peter (aka: Grandpa) – My Dad

I am planning our second surprise vacation to the World, January 21st to the 31st. My parents are taking the boys down to Florida a week before us to spend some time at the beaches and seeing the sites. The plan is to meet up on the 21st and spend the rest of the time at Disney World with a few extra excursions thrown in for good measure.

The last time we were at Disney World was back in January of 2008 with the same cast of characters. It was a surprise Christmas present for all the kids last time and we had the most amazing vacation. So amazing we are doing it all over again. I will never forget how excited the kids were when they watched the video I made them Christmas day telling them their present was a ten day trip to Disney World. Every time I think about it, it brings a huge grin to my face; I can’t wait to surprise them again!
Here is the video from the last time. Christmas Video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aJfyu2Re6w)
I’m struggling to come up with another way to surprise them, lots of ideas but nothing that feels “right” just yet. :confused3

To date I have booked our flights and have reserved two rooms at AKL. I am still trying to change to AKV Jambo House but there isn’t any availability yet. Fingers crossed that will work out, if not two rooms will do us just fine.

Booking the flights was one of the more stressful things I have done. We are using airmiles to fly off Vancouver Island and had hoped to get a flight into Seattle then fly to Orlando, as the flights within the US are so much cheaper than flying from Canada. However, airmiles put a restriction on the flights coming into Vancouver due to the Olympics so we are flying to Calgary instead with airmiles and then onto Orlando from there. It seems like a long way to go about it but this way we don’t have to deal with the Ferries and driving up and down the island in the middle of winter.
Normally this wouldn’t bother me but the last couple of years our winters have been terrible. We usually only see a foot or two of snow over the entire winter, but over the last couple years we’ve had quite a few four foot snow falls. Driving for an hour up island after a relaxing sun filled (we hope) vacation is never a great way to end it. :scared: (Says the girl that lived in the interior of BC and should just suck it up and realize snow is a part of winter and get over it.)
I suppose I have rambled on enough for one evening. Next step will be planning out all the ADR’s and itinerary. :banana::banana::banana:

Four+ months and counting…. can’t wait!

10-02-2009, 01:12 AM
A little more about us...

A quick family pic outside of the Osborne Spectacle of Lights.

Another family pic with my Dad in front of the castle before having breakfast with Cinderella.

My favorite pic of Liv, she was so tired of waiting for Cinderella and beyond thrilled when she showed up. I loved that we got to see most of the Christmas decorations they were amazing.

The boys and I waiting to go into the Tiki Room.

My parents goofing around at Epcot.

I'm trying to come up with some more ideas for Liv's outfits this time around. She keeps asking me to make her a Cinderella dress but I can barely sew a straight line let alone a full dress :scared1: Hopefully I can convice my MIL to help me out :laughing:
This is the Minnie outfit I put together for breakfast at Chef Mickey's and a better shot of her Cinderella outfit.

I'm off to research this fantastic new deal that has come out :surfweb: and work some more on our itinerary so we can be ready to make our ADR's in a couple weeks! :cheer2:

10-04-2009, 01:11 AM
Now that the hours have been released I've been busy putting together our itinerary and trying to decide on ADR's. After a gazillion hours crunching numbers we've decided not to go with the dining plan so I'm trying to decide when and where and what are the most important ADR's we want to make. I'm still on the fence but really deep down I 'think' we've made the right choice for us. Should be able to make all of our reservations online Oct 23rd, i'm so happy you can do the majority online now, so much easier! :surfweb: So bar any tweaking this is what our holiday will look like.

*I've blacked out our flight info if you are wondering what the big black squares are and pls excuse the spelling mistake on Typhoon Lagoon*:rolleyes:

I didn't put an official shopping day at the outlet malls on there... and I'm already regretting it :rotfl2: So that is one thing I will probably add on the Friday or Saturday, even though it means one more car rental. The boys can go to Disney Quest and my mom, Liv and I will do what we do best :cloud9:

10-26-2009, 01:17 AM

I love the new reservation system. It is so much easier to book it all online and a whole lot more efficient. Anyway I got all the ressies we were looking for and only had to switch dates for one as it was easier for us to get ready after a day at Typhoon Lagoon.

So as it stands now this is what it looks like.

22nd -
Breakfast – Chef Mickey’s
Lunch – Snack
Dinner – Garden Grill

23rd -
Breakfast – Hotel Room
Lunch – Snacks at the Park
Dinner – The Mara

24th -
Breakfast – 1900 Park Fare
Lunch – Snack
Dinner – Take out

25th -
Breakfast – Hotel Room
Lunch – Discovery Cove
Dinner – Off Site

26th -
Breakfast – Hotel Room
Lunch – SeaWorld
Dinner – Off Site

27th -
Breakfast – Donald’s Safari
Lunch – Snack
Dinner – Rainforest Cafe AK

28th -
Breakfast – Hotel Room
Lunch – Quick Service Typhoon Lagoon
Dinner – Whispering Canyon

29th -
Breakfast – Hotel Room
Lunch – Disney Quest / Off Site
Dinner – T-Rex

30th -
Breakfast – Hotel Room
Lunch – Wherever we end up
Dinner – The Mara

Up next my insane attempt to sew my daughter a Cinderella ball gown... :scared1:

11-02-2009, 02:07 AM
So for Halloween this year Jonathan wanted to be a zombie. Easy, quick trip to the thrift store for an old suit, cut it up, add fx make-up and voila... :wizard: Zombie. Damon wanted to be Darth Maul, :darth: which was even easier because Jonathan was the same thing a few years back. :thumbsup2 Livie however wanted to be Cinderella and had some very strong ideas about exactly what that entailed. At first I suggested a Dinsey Cinderella costume but got completely shot down. She managed to find a picture on the internet of a Cinderella like ball gown and decreed it was "the one!" :scared:

So I went out and found this pattern:
We decided on Dress 'B'

This was the fabric we choose:
The fabric on the far left is for the bodice, the satiny fabric is for the skirt and the sleeves and the sheer with gold stars is for the over skirt and embellishments.

After a month of cutting, sewing, stitch picking, sewing, swearing, cutting, sewing, stitch picking and sweating.... here is the final result... (Have I mentioned I do not sew? The last time I actually sat in front of a sewing machine and made something wearable was probably back in highschool. :scared1: Thank goodness for my MIL she was incredibly helpful.)
It's not actually a long sleeved dress it's just the gloves were a little big lol. On the plus side this will work out perfectly for her to wear out when we are at the MK.

Here are the rest of the scary crew :)



Liv and Damon

So all in all it was a great Halloween, everyone was happy and suffered from HUGE candy overload today :laughing: I'm going to have to spend extra time at the gym to make up for it now :rolleyes1

Up next... a few minor adjustments to the itinerary.

11-10-2009, 02:31 PM
I have yet to get around to re-doing the itinerary with the adjustments... must get on that soon. Work has been insanely busy, my poor DH has been working 6-7 day weeks and about 12hrs or more per day. :faint: In turn that means I am insanely busy trying to keep up with him at work (we work together) and trying to keep the house from falling down around us. I keep repeating to myself "two more months, only two more." :thumbsup2
To top it off we are trying to get a massive home renovation underway. I really think we should stop calling it a reno though, it's more like a tear down and re-build. I'm really excited about it but at the same time very apprehensive, it's going to be a long 6-8months. I should have my final plans back sometime next week then we start the tear down.

Anyway I am digressing from all the vacation-ey goodness. I managed to get a discount code for $25 off at Discovery Cove so I bought our tickets last Friday :banana:
I can't wait! I keep re-reading everything that is included with the price and can't help going over the fine print looking for the catch, lol. It just seems too good to be true.
There will be five of us (myself, dh, ds, ds and my mom) doing the dolphin swim while my dad and dd aren't. My dad wasn't all that interested and my dd is too young still. I'm sure they will have lots of fun in the lazy river or the aviary while we are doing our thing.
It is absolutely killing me to not tell the kids about this :laughing:

Really this time - Up next... a few minor adjustments to the itinerary.

11-16-2009, 12:31 AM
I found out from another member on the boards and confirmed on DW site that AKL Uzima pool is going to be closed while we are there. :sad2: This is a huge deal breaker for us as it is one of the kids favorite things to do when we get back from the parks. This time we even tried to arrange things so we had more time to spend there.
After discussing things with my DH and mom we've decided to try and switch to AK Kidani. I am going to call tomorrow (Mon) so I can get some accurate pricing on a two bedroom to compare and see if it is feasible. Then we will go from there. Fingers crossed we can make the switch and not break the bank! :goodvibes

Northern Disney Girl
11-16-2009, 12:27 PM
Hey There! :goodvibes Your plans sound great! :thumbsup2 Your little girl is just adorable! :cutie: Hope the rest of your planing goes smoothly and you are able to get a 2 bedroom @ Kidani! :)

11-17-2009, 02:04 AM
Hey There! :goodvibes Your plans sound great! :thumbsup2 Your little girl is just adorable! :cutie: Hope the rest of your planing goes smoothly and you are able to get a 2 bedroom @ Kidani! :)

Thank you! :lovestruc I really hope we can get the 2bdr to. Didn't get a chance to call today so hopefully tomorrow i'll be able to grab a spare 15mins and see what is what.

11-20-2009, 01:20 AM
We made the switch... sort of. :lmao:
I called on Tuesday and got a CM who must have been having a bad day. She was really abrupt and bored sounding, like I was inconveniencing her by checking pricing. Anyway she told us that there were no 2bdr villas left at AK Kidani and the studios weren't eligible for the QEK code. Instead of giving up I left things as they were and called back today.
I got an amazing CM that found two studios at Kidani that amazingly enough were eligible for the QEK code. :worship:
It ended up only costing $200 more a room which everyone involved agreed was worth it. It was too bad there weren't any 2bdrs available but this works just as well. :thumbsup2
So hopefully that will be the last major change.

11-26-2009, 02:18 AM
I'm thrilled, my new point and shoot camera came today AND it's WATERPROOF! :cool1:


I'm so excited to use it in the water. It will be so nice to have a camera like this on our vacation. Especially since we are going to be going to Discovery Cove and Typhoon Lagoon! The last time we were at Typhoon Lagoon we bought the disposable waterproof cameras and I was really disappointed with the quality of the pictures. Realistically though what did I expect for a $10 disposable camera? :rotfl:
I'm still going to bring my SLR but probably will only drag it around with me at the AK park.

I'm off to play now :cloud9:

12-08-2009, 02:56 AM
So with the new codes/discounts that have come out I was back to re-pricing everything. At this point I was completely overwhelmed with scenarios and numbers. The best way to deal with that; a spreadsheet! :thumbsup2 I'm a complete Excel junkie. :laughing:
Much to my surprise I found that the new discounts offered were the best deal, so without wasting another moment I was on the phone with Disney once again to change our ressie.
(Here are the pricing options: 2 rooms - Room 1, 2 adults and 2 kids {4, 8} Room 2, 2 adults and one kid {12})


We are now paid in full and the only thing left is to come up with a way to surprise the kids. :woohoo: I'm still at a loss as to the best way to do this. Like I mentioned in another post that last time I made them a movie, so I can't use that one again. I've toyed with the idea of a scavenger hunt, a puzzle, a card... but nothing fits quite yet. I would love to hear suggestions that anyone might have.:worship:

On another note: My amazing, stupendous, wonderful husband got me the best birthday present. A new Canon 7D. I cannot wait to take it to AK and take a million pics :banana:

2.5 weeks till Christmas and just over a month until we leave, i'm getting so impatient! :rolleyes1

12-21-2009, 02:10 AM
Well Christmas presents are all wrapped and we are ready to go. It's just a countdown from here on out. I think this is the most my DH and I have been looking forward to a vacation. Work has been a stress unto itself this past month and we are so looking forward to an escape for ten days. :goodvibes
We decided to surprise the kids by wrapping a large box for each, inside they will each contain smaller gifts. The first one will be a card with 01/20 or 01/13 in the boys case. The second gift has a small stuffy in it, either a giraffe, lion or tiger. The third will have the small wishing star they each got at Cinderella's Royal Table back in 2008. The fourth gift will be a set of the mickey mouse ears and their pin lanyards they got on a previous vacation.
I can't wait, the next four days can't go by fast enough! Then only a matter of weeks until we are outta here! :banana:

12-26-2009, 03:29 AM
Well they were surprised alright and they are so excited! I wish we were all leaving tomorrow. :cloud9:

Merry Christmas everyone, hope it was a fantastic day filled with family, friends and fun. :lovestruc

12-31-2009, 03:30 AM
:banana::banana::banana: THREE WEEKS.... THREE WEEKS... THREE WEEKS :banana::banana::banana:

I'm getting a little excited... can you tell? :rotfl:

Went and got all the paperwork from our lawyer today so my parents won't have to worry about any hassle going over the border with the boys.

All that is left to do now is...

- Find sandals, make sure they fit
- Keep updated on the carry on fiasco with the airlines
- Get medical insurance
- Hope and pray that the swimsuit I ordered and Liv's minnie dress come in the mail soon ;)
- Buy new luggage locks
- Pack

Hope everyone has a wonderful New Years and they get to spend it with those they love :lovestruc

01-12-2010, 03:21 AM
:banana::banana::banana: Nine more sleeps, single digits! :banana::banana::banana:

So far the only thing left on my to do list is to get running shoes for Damon. We went shopping last weekend and got all the last minute things we needed. I forgot how hard it was to find summer/spring like clothes around here this time of year. (Regardless of the temps in Florida these last couple weeks I am bound and determined it will be hot, or at the very least warm while we are there. :cool2: )
The boys leave with my parents on Wednesday evening so I have saved tomorrow for packing. It's kinda nice to divide the packing for five people into two groups. The last time we went I of course waited until the very last possible second to pack and with a couple loads of laundry to go the power went out! Thank god for generators and a very calm patient husband :rotfl: The only thing I forgot that time was underwear for myself :scared1: Quickly rectified by a short stop at some department store when we were in Vancouver. This time my goal is to head to the world with ALL my clothes ;)

01-12-2010, 06:22 AM

Can't wait to read more of your reports. Only 9 days away is so exciting:yay:

Cory's Gal
01-12-2010, 10:26 AM
Hi Darragh! Just found your PTR!! Awesome that you are in the single digits!! I am just getting to double digits in two days...!! Your trip and all of your plans sound wonderful!!! I will be happy to hear about Donald's Safari Breakfast!! We have that one planned as well! LOVE the Cinderella dress that you made for your daughter, it is just beautiful! We went in 2007 during the same week you are going and had a great time! Crowds were low and we had good weather. We love traveling with the grandparents as well, it's fun for everyone!
:tink:Some pixie dust for warm weather!!:tink:


01-15-2010, 12:52 AM

Can't wait to read more of your reports. Only 9 days away is so exciting:yay:

I know I can't believe how slowly it's going though :rotfl: Not too much longer for you either.

Hi Darragh! Just found your PTR!! Awesome that you are in the single digits!! I am just getting to double digits in two days...!! Your trip and all of your plans sound wonderful!!! I will be happy to hear about Donald's Safari Breakfast!! We have that one planned as well! LOVE the Cinderella dress that you made for your daughter, it is just beautiful! We went in 2007 during the same week you are going and had a great time! Crowds were low and we had good weather. We love traveling with the grandparents as well, it's fun for everyone!
:tink:Some pixie dust for warm weather!!:tink:


I'm really looking forward to Donald's Safari, we wanted to try it last time but were just too busy.
Thank you, the dress was a labour of love. (Read: Pure torture never to be repeated, a seamstress I am not) :rotfl2:
I'm really happy with how the forecast looks so far, 26 degrees the day we land. :yay: We have had rain here for about a month solid :sad2: Thankfully it's not cold but it's definitely not warm either and i'm starting to resemble a prune!

01-15-2010, 06:51 AM
I know I can't believe how slowly it's going though :rotfl: Not too much longer for you either.

I know your pain:laughing: This past week has gone by so slow and January is gonig by way too slow! February seems too far away right now:eek: