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sunnysideup3 05-17-2012 12:45 PM

SURPRISE! (I Hope He Didn't Want to go to Chattanooga)-Dec. 2012 PTR-MEGA UPDATEx3
 
Hello and :welcome: to my latest PTR: “SURPRISE! (I Hope He Didn’t Really Want to go to Chattanooga!): A December 2012 PTR”


For those of you who might not have gotten the reference, I’m talking about the surprise video of the two kids who were told they were going to Chattanooga when they were really going to WDW—and then ended up being genuinely shocked/saddened that they weren’t going to Chattanooga after all!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kf3Sd5t9a3Y

This trip is a surprise for our 4 (5 at the time of the trip) year old son, Eli! The surprise has yet to be hammered out, but with every passing day, he asks that we go back to Disney World, and our answer is always, "when we have the money to go again and when you're bigger"... little does he know, it's coming up SO quickly! We can't wait!!!


Who, You Say?

Here's the cast of characters as it stands today:

Me (Jillian):


I'm a 30 year old Disney nut, event planner for a University by day. I love the great outdoors, reading, playing and being fully immersed in Disney planning...

Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom
Favorite MK Ride: TTA Peoplemover/Space Mountain
Favorite DHS Ride: Tower of Terror
Favorite AK Ride: Expedition Everest
Favorite EPCOT Ride: Spaceship Earth
Favorite Character: Snow White, Mickey, Swedish Chef
Favorite Cartoon: Phineas and Ferb

DH (Nate):


37 year old, works in merchandising for a hardware chain, Loves paintball, napping and harassing me about talking about Disney too much. To my credit, our 2011 trip turned out MUCH better thanks to my attention to detail (and he will fully admit that... I think.....:rolleyes1)

Favorite Park: DHS
Favorite MK Ride:Space Mountain
Favorite DHS Ride: Tower of Terror
Favorite AK Ride: Expedition Everest
Favorite EPCOT Ride: Test Track
Favorite Character: Carl from Up!
Favorite Cartoon: Phineas and Ferb


DS (Eli):
4 (5 at the time of our trip) year old boy wonder. Loves all things Pixar/Disney/Marvel superheros. A boy to the core, he can be found building Lego cities in the basement, watching Phineas and Ferb or battling the universe in one of his many superhero accessories...



Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom
Favorite MK Ride: Splash Mountain
Favorite DHS Ride: Tower of Terror
Favorite AK Ride: Kilimanjaro Safari
Favorite EPCOT Ride: Spaceship Earth
Favorite Character: Woody, Buzz, Mickey, Belle
Favorite Cartoon: Phineas and Ferb


The Backstory:

We’ve been to Disney World twice as a family. Once in 2009 with my in-laws, which was my eye-opening, jaw-dropping introduction into how much planning a GOOD Disney vacation takes (we went with no plan, no ADR’s, nothing…..and paid the price).
Last year we went December 2-10th, staying at POR in a standard room, with 8 day PH and the Free DDP. We were joined by my parents and brother:



We had a great time and didn't want to leave (I actually teared up on the DME to the airport--that place is SO magical!)....

I was unable to convince DH to let me book the bounceback offer ("We'll go in 2 years, 1 year is too soon...yada yada yada.....:guilty:), I came home and immediately re-immersed myself in the DIS, reading TR's and DR's and longing to go back.

It was around Christmas/Chanukah that DS started asking to go back. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Even going so far as to lay on the guilt trip, using such lines as:


"Mickey Mouse misses me...."
"I didn't get to meet (fill in the blank) character"
"I want to ride on Splash Mountain and the Elevator Ride (TOT) again tomorrow..."


In January, DH had the ability to get full-time hours at his job, which I reminded him would allow us to take a WDW vacation pretty easily now. I believe my exact quote was "You won't even know we're saving for it!" (I do use the Disney website to pay a little here, a little there... like a vacation layaway-it works out so great for our family!) So after some curmudgeonly grumbles, he agreed we could go again this year...but we both agreed, we were keeping it a surprise from DS. Partly because we couldn't wait to see the look on his face when he knew he was going again and also because we didn't need to hear about his touring schedule 260 days out...we were going to bottle his excitement.

So how have our plans unfolded? What dates are we going? Where are we staying? Are we "branching out" this trip? Stay tuned for more! I'm so excited to have you join me (and advise me!) on this Disney journey!:dance3:

sunnysideup3 05-17-2012 12:45 PM

1. Introductions
2. The When and Where?
3. You're Eating Where?
4. Free Dining!
5. MIA FOR BOG ADR's ASAP
6. Day 1: Departure Day!
7. Day 2: Let the Memories Begin!
8. MORE Ways to Get Me Excited About Disney
9. Show Me the Money!!!
10. Day 3: Around the World, Around the World...
11. Disney's Vortex Vacuum Sucking Me Back In....
12. Day 4: Back in the Magic!
13. Day 5: The Magic of Hollywood!
14. Day 6: The World Awaits!
15. 10 Days Out: OMG!!!
16. Days 7-8: Surprises Abound!!!
17. Days 9-10: Wrapping Up, Saying Goodbye!

Lemurone 05-17-2012 03:18 PM

Hi! I'm signing up :) Anyone that tackles their vacation in layaway-mode like me is a friend indeed :goodvibes We would not be taking our trip without that option!

sunnysideup3 05-17-2012 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lemurone (Post 44914656)
Hi! I'm signing up :) Anyone that tackles their vacation in layaway-mode like me is a friend indeed :goodvibes We would not be taking our trip without that option!

Yay! First follower! I don't know what we would do without that option. I know you can put it away in "savings," but then you see that money sitting there and how you could do x, y, and z with it. This way, I pay down when we have extra (in addition to the base that I set for myself to pay every month). I'm ahead of schedule, which makes me so happy every time I sign in!

Thanks for joining!

Lemurone 05-17-2012 03:45 PM

I do the same thing--lots of $20 payments but I'm past halfway!

DizNee Luver 05-17-2012 04:05 PM

The only way our family can ever go on a trip is by making payments......this will be our first trip to WDW as we live in Oregon & tend to call Disneyland our home. We'll be going in December as well......so I'll be interested in following along as you make your plans!!!

Lemurone 05-17-2012 08:23 PM

We are going in October (snagged free dining). I've got a PTR just have to figure out how to get it linked in my sig!

sunnysideup3 05-17-2012 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lemurone (Post 44917125)
We are going in October (snagged free dining). I've got a PTR just have to figure out how to get it linked in my sig!

Awesome, I can't wait to follow along. We're hoping/praying/rain dancing if needed for Free Dining. It's what makes us able to do the fun TS meals that we love instead of all QS. We had it last year, and we had to wait until August to find out... the wait is killing me here...
Thanks for joining me!:thumbsup2

Quote:

Originally Posted by DizNee Luver (Post 44915088)
The only way our family can ever go on a trip is by making payments......this will be our first trip to WDW as we live in Oregon & tend to call Disneyland our home. We'll be going in December as well......so I'll be interested in following along as you make your plans!!!

Awesome! We'll have to trade tips. I'm trying to convince DH that we need to go to Disneyland in the next couple years. I want to wait until the Cars Land rush dies a little bit, but I want to experience the original park. You will have to give me some insite!
Thanks for joining in!:thumbsup2

DizNee Luver 05-18-2012 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sunnysideup3 (Post 44918309)
Awesome! We'll have to trade tips. I'm trying to convince DH that we need to go to Disneyland in the next couple years. I want to wait until the Cars Land rush dies a little bit, but I want to experience the original park. You will have to give me some insite!
Thanks for joining in!:thumbsup2

I'll gladly help when it comes to Disneyland!!! Feel free to ask questions anytime!! We're avoiding the CarsLand opening this summer as well......YIKES!!! It's gonna be nuts! I do have a yearly girls trip at the end of February....so hopefully with it being more of the "off-season" during that time, we'll get a chance to really check out all the new additions made to Disney's California Adventure park!!

sunnysideup3 05-20-2012 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DizNee Luver (Post 44920755)
I'll gladly help when it comes to Disneyland!!! Feel free to ask questions anytime!! We're avoiding the CarsLand opening this summer as well......YIKES!!! It's gonna be nuts! I do have a yearly girls trip at the end of February....so hopefully with it being more of the "off-season" during that time, we'll get a chance to really check out all the new additions made to Disney's California Adventure park!!

I'm just reading your PTR now! You have an amazing family! I hope they're able to accommodate your special requests. I've heard they're really good with that...

Now that I'm back home and not on an iPhone, I will be doing the next installment tonight or tomorrow!:thumbsup2

DizNee Luver 05-21-2012 10:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sunnysideup3 (Post 44938981)
I'm just reading your PTR now! You have an amazing family! I hope they're able to accommodate your special requests. I've heard they're really good with that...

Now that I'm back home and not on an iPhone, I will be doing the next installment tonight or tomorrow!:thumbsup2

Thank you......I think my family is pretty awesome too!! :goodvibes

Looking forward to the next update!!

sunnysideup3 05-22-2012 02:50 PM

A small, slight update (and let's face it... it will probably change again!)......

When???


Well, we really loved the time of year we've been going. All the trips to Disney, I've always gone during November/December, and it's just beautiful! I mean, how can you resist this gem:


[IMG]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7086/7...24daa84f26.jpg castle by sunnysideup03, on Flickr[/IMG]

It's SO BEAUTIFUL!! :wizard:

There was really no discussion as to when we were going again. Here's where I may lose you (the few of you that have joined so far.. :) ). We'd booked Friday, November 30th through Saturday, December8th, partly because last year we were able to get cheaper flight and snag the Free Dining because we arrived on that Friday instead of the Saturday we'd planned (POP Warner Week). So we marched ahead with that plan...until... (DUN DUN DUN!!!!:scared1:) I started reading the dining plan rumors thread, and many people were getting PINS with a black out date starting that Friday-- NOOO!:eek: I did the quick "Disney Math" and realized we'd still be saving a significant amount if the General Public code came out with that same date (which it typically does) blacked out. So I switched our reservation from Friday, to Thursday, November 29th and giving us one more WHOLE day in the parks. Also, this way, we don't have to get up at the butt crack of dawn on Friday..we will just leave Thursday after work, pick up DS from daycare and whisk him away to the airport. :woohoo:

I think he'll start to catch on to the surprise when he sees this guy, something he's been lusting over for quite some time:



He's been asking for this for quite awhile. I actually bought it in the beginning of January during one of the 1,000 Disney Store "special" sales, this particular one was on all Cars merch. He will be estatic to see he finally got it...but where are we going??? :rolleyes1

WHERE?



So where will our journey begin? (Aside from the Milwaukee Airport?)


[CENTER]At this lovely resort:



We loved our stay here in 2011. The grounds are beautiful, we had great luck with buses, the entertainment was great.. everything was just amazing!
We'd originally booked at CSR, but had some special guests try to book a week later (we'll introduce them later on in the PTR!) and couldn't find a room because it was booked up. The thought of a ton of people was enough to scare DH back to our happy place and we're fine with that decision!


To make this SURPRISE trip extra special, we're going to be doing little things for DS along the way. The first thing after he gets there will be that we're staying in.....




I think he'll love this. He loves Princess and the Frog ("Froggy Movie"). This will be the first of many surprises throughout the week for the little man.

So that's been my small, slight update for today! I am going to start getting in our day by day planning and our "special guests" story soon.. hopefully tonight or tomorrow! Thanks for hanging in with me!
I'm always welcome to any tips, trips or suggestions! :thumbsup2

DizNee Luver 05-22-2012 03:29 PM

:woohoo: So let's make sure I got this right.....you're going Nov. 29 thru Dec. 8 now?! So if people are getting pins but with the blackout dates.....what exactly does that mean......super crowded?? :confused3 Sorry, I'm easily confused.....lol Is it blacked out because of the Pop Warner thing??

Very cute suitcase!!!! Our nearest Disney Store was 2 hours away, but it closed unexpectedly in January.....no warning! I miss having one to go to on occasion. :sad2:

Love to the look of the rooms at POR, but we loved the New Orleans feel of POFQ. I also like the idea of being at a smaller place. I hope you take lots of pictures of your room & the grounds.

Great update!!

sunnysideup3 05-22-2012 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DizNee Luver (Post 44960140)
:woohoo: So let's make sure I got this right.....you're going Nov. 29 thru Dec. 8 now?! So if people are getting pins but with the blackout dates.....what exactly does that mean......super crowded?? :confused3 Sorry, I'm easily confused.....lol Is it blacked out because of the Pop Warner thing??

Very cute suitcase!!!! Our nearest Disney Store was 2 hours away, but it closed unexpectedly in January.....no warning! I miss having one to go to on occasion. :sad2:

Love to the look of the rooms at POR, but we loved the New Orleans feel of POFQ. I also like the idea of being at a smaller place. I hope you take lots of pictures of your room & the grounds.

Great update!!

Yes, November 29th through December 8th now. We'd planned originally on leaving early morning on the 30th, but if we leave the night before, there's not much difference. No one is taking extra vacation or anything. I learned so much about Pop Warner and Free Dining last year :) They black out that Saturday to Saturday, so if you arrive any time between then (This years dates are the 1st through the 8th) you aren't able to get the free dining. Last year we circumvented that by arriving on that Friday, and were grandfathered in. This year, apparently, they included that Friday as blackout date, so I'm jumping the gun a little, but we'll get there Thursday instead and hopefully if FD comes out, we'll be grandfathered in. It's confusing, but it works out in the end (I HOPE! :wizard:).

We didn't find Pop Warner week to be all that much of a distraction. There were cheer groups here and there, but they weren't annoying or unorganized. They always had chaperones and were polite and it didn't make the parks seem any busier, since they're so involved with stuff during the day...

DizNee Luver 05-22-2012 05:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sunnysideup3 (Post 44960246)
Yes, November 29th through December 8th now. We'd planned originally on leaving early morning on the 30th, but if we leave the night before, there's not much difference. No one is taking extra vacation or anything. I learned so much about Pop Warner and Free Dining last year :) They black out that Saturday to Saturday, so if you arrive any time between then (This years dates are the 1st through the 8th) you aren't able to get the free dining. Last year we circumvented that by arriving on that Friday, and were grandfathered in. This year, apparently, they included that Friday as blackout date, so I'm jumping the gun a little, but we'll get there Thursday instead and hopefully if FD comes out, we'll be grandfathered in. It's confusing, but it works out in the end (I HOPE! :wizard:).

We didn't find Pop Warner week to be all that much of a distraction. There were cheer groups here and there, but they weren't annoying or unorganized. They always had chaperones and were polite and it didn't make the parks seem any busier, since they're so involved with stuff during the day...

Ok, well we aren't able to bend our dates & we arrive on the 7th.....so I guess if Free Dining comes out, we won't be able to take advantage of it. (of course if there's not FD, maybe the crowds will stay away!!)


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