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Old 09-03-2006, 08:47 PM   #1
tmasingo
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Our Last Minute, Surprise, Magical, Never-to-be-Forgotten 4th of July Trip

PRE-TRIP REPORT

The Cast:

Myself: Tara, 31, Mom to DS, Domenic.

Craig: DBF, 33, Father-figure to Domenic.

Domenic: DS, 3.

The Scenario:

Ok, so it's the end of May. We were just at WDW at the end of March for DS's first trip.

Refer to that trip report here for background if you'd like

http://disboards.com/showthread.php?...7&page=1&pp=15

But back to this trip. My company shuts down every year during the first week of July. Craig and I had been discussing things we could do for vacation. I have friends in SC, and we'd debated driving down and trying to book some points (Craig's a DVC owner) at HHI Resort. The days available were chopped up, though, for what we needed/wanted, and DS was going through an "I don't want to ride in the car" phase, so our plan to drive down there wasn't sounding so great Ok, so nevermind that. Maybe we'll just stick around here. Craig's sister lives on Cape Cod, so we made plans to head down there that first weekend of July and spend a couple of days, see the 4th of July parade/fireworks, etc. There. Plans made. Untilllllllllllllllllll............

.......I check my email the morning of June 2nd and there is one from SW Airlines announcing "Special Summer Savings." My first thought, of course, was to check and see what they had for Orlando. BIG MISTAKE
(We'd already looked into it but the flights were just WAY too much. That was why we couldn't fly to SC either.)

They had $59 one-way fares to Orlando from one of our NE airports. Oh goodness. This is not good. Well, it IS. But it's sooooo not, lol. Ok, so I show Craig. Hmmm, ok, this is interesting It's a rainy Friday morning and we're at work checking out flights to WDW and discussing it over IM For less than 30 days from now. OMG. We could possibly be going to WDW in a month We're getting excited. We're trying to figure out what days we would leave and come back. What flights worked best. Craig was on the phone to DVC trying to see if there was anywhere available. It was pressure at it's best.

We can't spend a weekend since it's too many points. So we know we need to leave on Sunday and stay until Thursday-ish. They have Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday night at OKW, but they don't have Monday. But they do have Sunday and Monday at POR. So we can stay at POR for Sunday and Monday but on the 4th (Tuesday), we'd have to check out of POR and move to OKW, and stay there for the final 2 nights.

Hmmm. Do we really want to do that? I mean, we're already talking about only staying until Thursday since I'd already bought Dora the Explorer tickets for DS for that night, thinking we weren't going anywhere So, switching rooms after 2 nights would be taking up a lot of time to pack up and check in elsewhere. Yeah, ok, the excitement is turning to "Do we really want to use all these points for such a quick trip?" Sigh. Ok, yeah, it's maybe not the best idea, and by lunchtime we'd pretty much decided we weren't going. Begrudgingly, but we figured that one day we'd waste just wasn't worth it when we could save the points for a bigger vacation later.

Ok, so I'm bummed. I run some errands at lunchtime and come back and start eating at my desk while doing a bit of DIS-ing. I see an email notice pop up...."you have received an email from SW Airlines online reservations." WHAT?! He didn't! OMG.....he sooooooo did!!! We have 3 airline tickets booked for Sunday and returning on Thursday. What the heck happened?! I'm beside myself. I am dancing in my chair. I know what this means...but why? How? What's up? I wait for him to get back to work and on IM. He tells me "When I got home for lunch, there was a message on my answering machine. The extra night at OKW became available and I figured if that's not a sign, what is?" (He'd put his name on the wait list for that day but we weren't exactly holding out hope for it given the time of year and such short notice)

Ok, so now...................WE'RE GOING TO WDW IN LESS THAN A MONTH!! Does it GET any better than this?! Uh....no!! (or so I thought )
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Old 09-04-2006, 12:24 AM   #2
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Yay - what a great start.

More Please. Now please.
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Old 09-04-2006, 04:51 AM   #3
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Enjoying reading your reports ~ Thanx for sharing.
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Old 09-04-2006, 08:08 AM   #4
tmasingo
Glad to see a Woo Hooty was finally achieved today
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Thanks! It's taken me forever to finally sit down and write this report. I will update with more later today
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Old 09-04-2006, 10:43 AM   #5
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Great first installment Tara! I look forward to reading the rest even though I already know what happens!
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Old 09-04-2006, 02:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madaboutthemouse
Great first installment Tara! I look forward to reading the rest even though I already know what happens!

Great start!
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Old 09-04-2006, 03:35 PM   #7
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Glad to see a Woo Hooty was finally achieved today
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More Pre-trip....Let's Make It A Surprise

So now we're revved up We're going to WDW In less than a month Oh man, this is going to be great! Last time was parks, parks, parks. We're staying at OKW again, so we're thinking "yeah, so we'll just relax this time, spend a bit more time at the resort than in March, use the pool...it'll be nice." WHATEVER
By the end of the weekend, we've got a plan for our park visits (yeah, we've got them ALL included....with some attempts at breaks) and a list of ADR's we want to do By Monday, I've called 1-407-WDWDINE and we're chock full of fun for the week

One thing different from last trip, though.....we've decided to make this a surprise for Domenic. It's not even a month away. Surely we can keep it quiet for that long. Let's surprise him! Ever since March, he's been on a complete Disney kick. Every plane we see, he says "It must be going to the Magic Kingdom." Yes, let's surprise him. He'll be beside himself

So operation Disney surprise is in motion. Uh oh. I remember as we start to plan. Operation Potty Training is supposed to go in effect that week Domenic starts preschool in the fall and must be potty trained to go. I'd planned to use that week I had off this summer to start it. Hmmm. What to do. Do I wait, and hope that training won't take long (He has to be trained by end of August) or start before we leave, giving us a few extra weeks...but planting us at WDW smack in the beginning stages? Oy oy oy. I'm torn. I don't want to throw him in pull-ups after a week of training and confuse the heck out of him, but I really don't want to wait until we get back to start either. Ok, decision made. I'll start 2 weeks before we leave, giving us a decent start and hope that WDW won't throw things completely off.

So we're in the middle of trying to finalize this trip. We're trying to keep it a secret from Domenic. And bang. Now we're starting potty training. Can June get any more chaotic? The beginning phase goes well. Domenic takes to the easy part of it just fine. Pull ups are used at night. Doing great. Except for that pesky more difficult part. He will pee just fine. After that, it's a struggle. He refuses. He cries. He says he's afraid. He won't go. We're coaxing, we're bribing, we're pleading. It's been a week. It's just not happening. In desperation, Craig blurts out one day "If you go on the potty, maybe we can go to WDW again sometime soon." UH-OH. This is not good. We're GOING to WDW in a week. I'm in a panic. "How can we go to WDW if he hasn't done this yet by then? How inconsistent will THAT be? I can't promise something as a reward and give it anyway even if he doesn't do what the reward is for!" But we're not NOT going to go to WDW! Oh gee. Thanks Craig

So now it's a race against the clock I mean seriously. Imagine the two of us, whispering in desperation over the next week "What are we going to do? He HAS to do this before we leave. I cannot be a fraud of a parent." We're trying everything. He's giving a valiant effort, but for whatever reason he's just afraid. Finally....and I kid you not....the DAY before we leave....it happens. We're at a birthday pool party at my aunt's house. We're down at the pool and he tells me he has to go potty. Not uncommon since the first part is down pat by now. We rush up to the bathroom and I'm lucky enough (if you can even call this that ) that this is it. I've caught him mid-accident. He goes on the potty and what does he say? "See...that wasn't so scary!" I think we had the biggest celebration you can imagine. And while Domenic is thinking it's all about his big accomplishment, Craig and I are sitting there breathing a huge sigh of relief that we're not going to be looking like parental idiots and handing out an un-earned reward...but also thinking....."We're taking him to WDW tomorrow. We promised we could go if he went on the potty. How AWESOME does that make us?!"

Last edited by tmasingo; 09-05-2006 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 09-04-2006, 04:03 PM   #8
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YAY! for Domenic (Isn't potty training the WORST?)

Loving your report ... can't wait for more!
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Old 09-04-2006, 04:49 PM   #9
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And We're Off! Day 1

Sunday, July 2nd dawns and we're ready. We've put the suitcases in the car the night before. Domenic still doesn't know we're going. We've told him we're off work for the week, and that's all he knows. Because we debated so long that fateful Friday morning, all of the earlier flights were taken and we are leaving at 1pm out of Hartford, flying into Tampa. Not what we wanted, but again...by the time we decided, all the available flights into Orlando were gone. No biggie. We like having a car anyway.

So we get up, shower, get Domenic bathed, and we sneak the toiletry bag into the car. We tell Domenic we need to leave. Naturally, like any 3-year old, he asks where we're going. We tell him it's a surprise. This isn't good enough. So Craig tells him we're going to a playground He's happy with this answer It's 9am and a bit overcast. It's a 2 hour drive to the airport and we stop about 20 minutes into the trip to get some donuts and coffee. We go through the drive thru at Dunkin Donuts. Domenic asks for a sprinkle donut. They don't have any. He does not understand WHY, since there is a PICTURE of a sprinkle donut on the drive thru menu We order him some munchkins instead and drive around. There are a bunch of motorcyclists to the right of us. Domenic is still asking why they don't have sprinkle donuts and Craig tells him that the people on the motorcycles must've bought them all. To this day, whenever a DD doesn't have any sprinkle donuts, Domenic says "The people on the motorcycles must've eaten them all."

So we head down the road to McDonald's because we're being picky and didn't want Donuts. Great. This McDonald's has a playground. Where does Domenic think we're headed? Thankfully it's started to drizzle and we can use that as an excuse All of us are now settled with breakfast, and we're off!

A couple of potty stops later (remember....we're still in the beginning phases of this) and we arrive at Executive Parking, where we'll be parking the car for the week. We get out. Domenic is looking around. "Are we at the playground?" Ok. time to tell him. I make Craig wait to open the trunk and expose all the luggage so I can get my camera ready. Ok. Now!

He opens the trunk, Domenic sees the luggage and I say "Domenic, we're going to go to WDW today." He looks at us. "HUH?" "We're parking the car here and they're going to take us and all our bags to the airport and we're going to go to WDW!" "We ARE?!" He's bewildered and confused, but you can see the light starting to dawn.....



So now we're on the bus to the airport. Domenic is getting to experience the excitement we've had for the past month. He's thrilled. It's still sinking in, but he realizes we're on our way to see Mickey We've decided that since we land later in the day, our plan is to land, eat something quick in the car on the way to Orlando, check into OKW, and then head over to MK to catch Wishes. Domenic LOVES fireworks, so we figured there was no better way to begin the trip. We tell him we'll be seeing them that night and he's ecstatic.

We get to the airport, no problems checking in (Aside from the fact that we must hand over blankie to go through security) Domenic's not thrilled at ALL about this and starts crying. The security guard (who I can only assume doesn't have kids) says to him "Here. He needs to go through and if you let him, you can get a surprise." Yeah. Thanks dude. So we tug blankie away from Domenic, he goes through security, Domenic comes with me, crying the entire time, and guess what? All he gets back at the end is blankie. No surprise. My kid is smart. He wants to know where it is I'm shaking my head and while I know that this guy was just trying to get the job done with minimal struggle, I want to go tell him that you don't promise a three year old a surprise and not deliver. I mean really. We're taking the kid to WDW because he went on the potty. Ya gotta pay up

Ok, so we're plenty early. We are flying SW and have an "A" ticket, but that's not an issue since we can preboard. So we just plop ourselves by the window and eat some lunch. By now Domenic's getting pretty tired. Naptime is upon us. I've brought stuff to play with, but he's ready for a plane to arrive. It finally does and we start to board. We're one of the first on the plane and we are lucky enough to get one of the front rows. So we buckle in the carseat and get Domenic settled. We sit and wait for the rest of the plane to board. I look over at Domenic about 10 minutes later and he's fast asleep I'd banked on him falling asleep during take-off but apparently he wasn't about waiting. I'm just hoping take-off doesn't wake him up and we're stuck with a cranky kid for 3 hours

It doesn't and we are on our way. Now, had the flight been smooth, Domenic would've woken up about 15 minutes before we landed. But alas, it was a stormy day, and we hit thunderstorms. There was turbulence, and as Domenic's waking up and we (unknowingly) tell him it's almost time to land, they announce that we've got to circle because of bad weather. So for the next FORTY FIVE minutes, we fly around. I must commend our flight crew (or at least one of the guys) because they did an excellent job of keeping people laughing and not making it a miserable time Finally we get the ok to land.

....to be continued

Last edited by tmasingo; 09-05-2006 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 09-04-2006, 04:50 PM   #10
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...day 1, Part 2

We're now about an hour and a half behind and I'm getting antsy. I want to be AT OKW! I'm starting to be concerned we're going to miss Wishes, but what can you do? I wait with Domenic for the luggage while Craig goes to get the rental car. He comes back as I'm tugging the last bag off of the carousel and we're off. It's pouring out We're hopeful it's not moving towards Orlando. It's not We stop on the way for some supper, eating in the car. We arrive in Orlando and head to a grocery store. Yet again (see first trip report for history on this) we canNOT find it So we head to another Walgreens. Guess what we see as we're getting out of the car, across the trees and adjacent parking lot....yeah....there it is....the Publix we are not destined to enter Oh well, we're at Walgreens. We can get what we need here. So we head in for some bottles of water, some juice for Domenic, some breakfast bars and a couple of snacky items to keep on hand. We're set and head out to OKW.

Check in was easy. There was nobody there and we got right in and out. We head over to our room, which is one building over from the last stay, and dump our bags. We're excited to see our towel animals



We pretty much throw our bags down, grab what we need for the park, and head over to wait for the bus. No point in driving tonight. We just want to relax and get there. I don't remember how long the wait was, but I don't think it was long, and we see the bus. We climb on and are off to catch Wishes

We get to MK and the magic is upon us It's so magical coming to this place. I know we were just here a couple of months ago, but there is something so exciting and comforting about it. It's dusk, and my precocious child who just recently learned some new shapes yells "Look Mommy, these are hexagons!" about the bricks on the ground. We chuckle and head inside the gates. It's like deja-vu almost, since last time around, we did this our first night also, and we arrived just after Spectro had started. Same thing tonight. We head over towards Main Street and the Ice Cream Parlor and go inside. There's no line and we get an ice cream



We wait for Spectro to end and find a spot on Main Street for Wishes. This is fantastic. Just how I wanted our first night. I'm so thankful we made it before it began. Wishes begins and Domenic's sad that Tinkerbell doesn't fly tonight, but we explain that because of the thunderstorms she can't. He gets it and enjoys listening to Jiminy Cricket (he's just discovered the movie Pinnochio). The show is spectacular, of course, and we love every minute of it.



We had planned to watch Spectro after Wishes, but we give Domenic the option of watching it or going to try to ride a ride or two. He immediately says ride and Craig and I both mutter "let's check out Buzz" since this is a favorite of Domenic's. There's no line and we walk on. Domenic has a blast and now it's time to let Craig have a turn He's been dying to see the newly refurbished PotC ride, so we head over to see if there's a line. There isn't and we head in. Domenic's a bit apprehensive, but we convince him it's ok. He does great. The ride is neat. Not too much has changed, but we enjoy the new animatronics and features. Domenic's still not its biggest fan, but he makes due

By now it's late and everything is closing, so we decide it's time to head out. It's been a long day and tomorrow is Domenic's first real trip to Epcot. Off we go to wait for the bus. It's been a wonderful first day and now we're off to dream of tomorrow


Last edited by tmasingo; 09-05-2006 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 09-04-2006, 04:53 PM   #11
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I'm loving hearing all of the details of your trip, Tara! Can't wait to hear how it ends.
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Old 09-04-2006, 04:56 PM   #12
tmasingo
Glad to see a Woo Hooty was finally achieved today
Holy crap!One glance and I was IN
And the answer is still Kentucky
Forget other people...thrilling herself is top priority
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCDisneyMom
I'm loving hearing all of the details of your trip, Tara! Can't wait to hear how it ends.
Looks like we just overlapped posts
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Old 09-04-2006, 06:25 PM   #13
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Yea! The trip report. Good job so far Tara.
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Old 09-04-2006, 06:30 PM   #14
tmasingo
Glad to see a Woo Hooty was finally achieved today
Holy crap!One glance and I was IN
And the answer is still Kentucky
Forget other people...thrilling herself is top priority
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novdisneydreams
YAY! for Domenic (Isn't potty training the WORST?)
Though I must say...after that week at WDW, where he actually only had a couple of accidents all week....we've been in the clear and he's done fantastic So pretty much 3 weeks, which was WAY better than I'd anticipated
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Old 09-04-2006, 06:47 PM   #15
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The frozen Bacardi ones are really good!
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Great report Tara!!!
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