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Old 06-04-2007, 06:42 PM   #1
DisneyMom5
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Hicks on Holiday 2 - Done Brung the Kin Folk-Sept. 07 w/pics UPDATE 12/10/08 pg 41

Prologue...

Let me first say we are not as Hick-ish as some.

We actually live in a pretty big town here in Michigan, our house has only one color of siding, and we have no cars on blocks in our yard.

We don’t show up at hotels in a beat up pickup with all our belongings in garbage bags.

And with the exception of some of our smaller children, we have all of our teeth.

The original Hicks on Holiday concept was in reference to a trip we made in 8/05, where our McDonald’s family was faced with the prospect of eating fancy food on the dining plan at WDW.

So while we may not be Hicks all the way through, we are small town Americans, and for the purpose of this trip report Hicks we are, and Hicks we'll be.

And, even though we have experience fine dining now, courtesy of our last WDW trip, we’re still “a-skeerd” of foofy food.
Which is why our ADRs will probably seem a little white bread to the foodies around here.

But I digress....

May I present to you, the Hicks on Holiday 2, Done Brung the Kinfolk Pre Trip Report...

[I WAS going to call it Hicks on Holiday 2, the Squeal, because one of my kids thought that was how you pronounced Sequel, but there was a little too much of a Deliverance vibe with that, so....]

Next up -- Meet the Hicks

List of Posts
Meet the Hicks
Hicks Plan a Trip
Wherefore art thou Free Dining?
Hicks on Hold, Part 1
What ADRs would a Hick Make, if a Hick made ADRs?
It's Nice to Be Alone
Beer
A Little History, Part 1
A Little History, Part 2
Hickstory Potpourri for 100 Alex
Hicks on Hold, Part 2
Revenge of the ADRs
The Final Countdown, doo do do do do
Laundry Quandry
A Few Fireworks Short of a Wishes Display
Short update
Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming...
travel pics from DisneyGirl
Just Keep Swimming, part 2
A Brief Hickstory of Time (and Space)
"This is NOT Disneyworld" said Princess K
Then Something Exciting Happened
"Don't worry, it's just like Stich, with fish..."
The Rest of the Stuff We Did at Epcot...
Is This a Castle I See Before Me?
Sarah shares her super secret Hick Holiday Magic Kingdom short cut
Lunch and a Lesson in Piracy
Lesson in Piracy, continued...
Tikitikitikitikitikitikitikitiki Room...OR...What the Heck Were THEY Smoking???
I Miss the Snowglobes...
"Mommy, that's a Moooooky Old House!!!" Hicks go Haunting...and Shopping...and Splashing....
That's Babycakes, with a B
Pics of MK at night
The Theme Park Formerly Known as MGM
Everybody sing: "Let's Go to the Movies, Let's go see the Stars..."
A Pig, a Bear and a Frog walk into a movie...Wacka, Wacka, Wacka....
Oh No, There's an Earthquake AND a Flood! And...Flying Hands!
The Hicks meet a Mermaid, and a Beast, AND Have You Seen that Old Run Down Hotel? Disney Should Know Better!

Update 9/5 Dinos a Go-Go
A Morning at MK -'cause I can't think of anything witty
The Hicks Meet the Local Royalty
Pics of Hicks, a nap, and PM EMH @ EP due to MNSSHP

Latest update: The cousins leave, Breakfast with the Mouse, and bad bus service.

Last edited by DisneyMom5; 12-10-2008 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 06-04-2007, 07:06 PM   #2
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Meet the Hicks...

Cast of "Characters" (And I say that with love, truly):

Me (Sarah) - 39, SAHM Homeschooling mom, Disney compulsive planner.
Decided a Grand Gathering with dh’s family sounded like a good idea. Sigh. Always planning our next trip to WDW.

John, aka Ninja Guy/Indiana Jones - 37, My handsome dh of 15+ years.
He really has studied to be Ninja AND an archaeologist. Hoping to retire from manufacturing and just dig stuff.
He tolerates my WDW obsession, mostly because once we get there, he has a great time.
Wondering whether this “Mandatory Family Fun Trip” was a good idea.
He’ll be the one wearing sunglasses in all the pictures.

Disney Girl - My 13yo dd. The apple does not fall far from the tree with this one.
She says “Mom, can you teach me to plan a WDW vacation?”
I am so proud. *wipes a tear*

The Chef - My almost 11yo ds. Wants to be a chef when he grows up.
Knowledgeable in all things Lego, Star Wars, and animals.
Hoping to hit the LEGO store this trip.

Danger Boy - DS, almost 8. This one has “The Kavorka” AND two dimples to back it up.
(If you've watched Seinfeld, you know.)
Voted “most likely to get lost at WDW.”

The Inquisitor- DS, almost 6. Full of questions, 24 hours a day.
Loves the hotel, loves the buses, loves the monorail – why the heck did we buy park tickets?
Oh, yeah, because he LOVES the trains. Sigh.
Good thing we love him!

Princess K - 4yo dd. This one is cute and knows it.
She and her younger sis received princess dresses for Christmas and plan on using them at WDW.
Will be over the top in love with everything at WDW.

Bitsy - DD, almost 3. Always in cahoots with Princess K, getting into something!
Doesn’t remember the last trip, but has seen all the pics and is well versed in all things WDW.

Babycakes - DD1, this is her first trip.
Though she was quite possibly a souvenir from the last trip.
And worth every penny!

Also traveling with us this time are:
Mom - MY mom, 69, who has never been to WDW.
She hasn't the foggiest idea what WDW is all about, and has seen very few of the movies.
Should be interesting...

MIL and FIL, mid-50s. FIL’s first trip, but MIL and my DH and SIL were at WDW probably 25 years ago.
We actually get along pretty good.
I am hoping I stay in good graces and score big points for planning this trip.
Well, I can dream, can’t I?

BIL, and SIL, both 30 somethings - BIL’s first trip -- he is the biggest kid, and he will LOVE WDW...
if he gets to go.
His bosses are being jerks about the whole thing.
We’re still praying he can go. Stay tuned....
SIL is totally ready for the Disney experience and VERY happy to let me plan the whole thing.
That works for me. LOL

Cousin B (d niece 10), and Cousin N (d nephew 8) – their first trip, and they are REALLY looking forward to it.
B is one of Disney Girl’s best friends, even though they are 3 years apart. Really wants to meet Pocahontas..
N is Danger Boy’s best friend, and probably is the “2nd. Most likely to get lost at WDW.”
It probably will be big fun to have their best friend with them at WDW.

Next up: 2 years in the making, The Hicks plan a trip...
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Old 06-04-2007, 07:27 PM   #3
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Hicks Plan a Trip

The background:

After our last trip in 8/05, we were sitting around visiting with DH’s family and MIL remarked that soon we should all go to WDW, while the kids were still young. SIL agreed.

This was a very exciting prospect to me, as I am always looking for an excuse to go to WDW.

John had already said we couldn’t go until AT LEAST 2007.
Along with being concerned with his bank account, he has the silly idea that there are other places to go to while on vacation???

During our first trip in January ‘04, I got the idea to go back at Christmas time.

Dh was not interested in that, UNTIL he got in a conversation with some other guys on a WDW bus.
They told him that Christmas time was cool.

Suddenly, it was a great idea that dh had never heard before. Sigh.

[The other idea they gave him was to stay longer, and take a more relaxed pace.
Really? Wow, I had never thought of that. Well, if you think it’s the best thing to do....]

So, We made plans to go in December ‘05, after John’s classes got out for the semester.

Then it happened...
like a beam of light from Heaven...
the one thing that a family cannot refuse...

FREE FOOD!!!


And, it was available the week of John’s August break.
[Though, sadly, that limited us to 6 nights, 5 days. Sigh.]

We really had no intention of ever going in the hot summer months, but since a lot can be overlooked in the name of free food...
Hello Free Dining!

I know there is a lot of discussion on the DDP.
It’s annoying, it’s hard to use, it’s a pain to have to make ADRs every day, you have to pay rack rate to get it free, yada, yada, yada....

Let me tell you...free food, with 6 kids, is the best thing ever.

Our first trip, we did one sit down. We ate CS maybe once a day, and snacked or ate at our cabin the other times.

Last trip, we had filet at Le Cellier.

Can you eat cheaper at Disney if you have to pay for the DDP? Sure.
But you can't eat better!

And when it’s free? Forget about it!
[Hmmm...I seem to be mixing my metaphors.
Not to mention us girls of German heritage really can't pull off the Italian mobster thing.
Sorry, I'll try to keep to the Hick thing.]

And when it's free? Yeehaw, you'll be happier than a Tornado in a Trailer Park!!! [Whew, that's better!]

So we brave the tropics in the heat of August, including an appearance by Katrina. And we had a great time.

But, I was still left with the desire to go at Christmas time.
And, since it worked out well with my nephew and niece’s school schedule, plans were formulated to take the whole family to WDW in December ‘07.

The in-laws would stay the first week, using the weekends to travel.
We would travel down with them, but stay 10 nights and take things slow.

We broached the subject with my parents.

My dad said he had no interest in driving that far to stand on hot pavement and watch the kids ride carnival rides.
No matter how many times we try to explain it to him, he just does not get it.

My mom was non-committal. I think two years in advance is just too much for her to get into.

Then one day, I mention to my dh that it’s too bad they don’t offer free dining in Dec.
“Are they offering that again? says he.
“Well, yeah, for fall ‘06.”
“So what’s the chances that they will offer it fall ‘07?”
“Um, pretty good.”
“So why the heck are we going in December?”

So at the next In-law family dinner, I casually ask which they would rather do, go at Christmas time and not have to pull the kids out of school, or go in October and possibly get free dining.

Without a beat they all said “Free Dining!”

Next up: Free dining, free dining, wherefore art thou free dining...
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:10 AM   #4
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You are hilarious! And I suspect you really aren't much of a hick at all!

I can't wait for your TR, looks like we got a few months!

Hope it's perfectly magical for all of you!
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just2DisneyKids View Post
You are hilarious! And I suspect you really aren't much of a hick at all!

I can't wait for your TR, looks like we got a few months!

Hope it's perfectly magical for all of you!
Wow, someone read it!!!

Thanks, we are really watching that count down. It's starting to pick up a little speed! LOL
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:23 PM   #6
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Wherefore art thou, free dining?

When we last left our Hicks they were sacrificing the dream of Christmastime at WDW for free food.

You have to realize one thing -- in Hick-dom, vittles always win out over decorations. It's just the natural order of things.

And so our plans were changed to the beginning of October.

One day, while I was messing around with the online vacation pricing, as I am wont to do, I realized that my family of nine could stay another day at WDW for $200 total.
How crazy is that?

I figured that even if the free dining was once again limited to 10 nights, I could still add a room-only at the end of the trip, and still use the dining until that midnight.

I discussed it with John, and after an initial hesitation, he is on board.
I mean, if you are going to drive your 15 passenger van all the way to Florida, you might as well stay another day, right?

Now we had only 10 more months to wait.

We settle in for a long winter's night slumber, with visions of Mickey Mouse dancing in our heads.

Then, as the archives of the DIS will attest, all h - e - double hockey sticks breaks loose with the somewhat secretive announcement in December ‘06 of the infamous bounce-back program.
Will they even offer Free Dining to the general public?
Is this the Free Dining of the Future?

And as we study it over, we realize the dates for Bounceback Free Dining are earlier than the other years.
So we convene another Hick High Council, and nervously move our plans to the last week of Sept.

My mom and dad are still not interested.
No manner of enticement can be summoned to tempt them to come with us.

We sit back, and hope for a spring anouncement of the ever elusive free dining.

Some time in March, the rumors start flying that the Free dining promotion, IF OFFERED, will probably end by 9/22.

Come on WDW, throw me a bone.
My INLAWS are depending on ME to get them free dining.
Do you know what that means for my future happiness?
So, we tentatively move our trip to Mid-September.
And wait, some more...

Next up: Hicks on Hold....
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Old 06-06-2007, 07:50 AM   #7
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What a great PTR! I'm on board!

By the way, I'm a HSing SAHM also.....I'm trying to write a unit on Epcot's WS for us to use this next year.

Great report! Can't wait to read more!



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Old 06-06-2007, 09:11 AM   #8
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Thsi is so much fun already! I'm ready to read more.
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Old 06-06-2007, 07:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heluvsme View Post
What a great PTR! I'm on board!

By the way, I'm a HSing SAHM also.....I'm trying to write a unit on Epcot's WS for us to use this next year.

Great report! Can't wait to read more!

Thanks for the feed back!

Writing a unit on Epcot???
I'm not worthy. I use a pre-packaged curriculum for a reason. LOL

Nice to meet you!


Quote:
Thsi is so much fun already! I'm ready to read more.
Thanks hollybearsmom!
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Old 06-06-2007, 08:08 PM   #10
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Hicks on Hold - part one

When last left the Hicks, they had decided to move their trip up one week for a non-existant free dining promotion upon which Sarah was staking all of her inlaw "happy points."

So now that we're up to speed...

I am hoping the sale starts April 1, like other times.

Rumors fly, and fly,
DISers go back and forth,
saying "A CM told me there wouldn't be a general public free dining,"

"Well a CM told me that the top secret Free Dining Plan is coming soon,"

and "My best friend's cousin's uncle's doorman's niece's brother in law's mailman's dog walker says that they don't know a darn thing about free dining, but I couldn't stand not having my opinion posted on this thread."


I surf out the general panic, because I still believe that good is stronger than evil,
and that Disney still needs to lure unsuspecting tourists into Hurricane season, and that free food is the best way to do that.

Then suddenly, just when we feared that all hope was lost, we hear "from reliable sources" that the dates for free dining are right, but the booking won’t start until mid-April.

I'm torn between and .

I mean on one hand, it seems pretty sure it's going to happen. But on the other hand...I am sweating it.

Our 180 day mark for ADRs will occur BEFORE we can book the trip.

I am making ressies for FIFTEEN people.

Is it nuts to make ADRs for a trip you're not yet taking?
If you go back in time, and encounter yourself, is there a rift in the space time continum?

Like I have said before, I think I have probably proved my insanity by having seven children, let alone taking all of them to WDW.

*** Side note: We do get a bit of the "Are they all yours?" To which I am dying to reply "Heck no, I just borrow other peoples preschoolers and take them to WDW."

My dd has a great answer for me for this trip when we have our niece and nephew along "Oh no, they're not all mine. Just seven of them!"
This cracks us up immensely. It's probably just a big family thing. ****

So I'm stressing over whether to book our dining experiences BEFORE actually knowing if there is free dining, AND before booking our hotel.

I have avoided booking our rooms, because I subscribe to the theory that if everyone books rooms in anticipation of free dining, they will not need to have a free dining sale to fill rooms.

When the day arrives, 180 days out of our potential trip, I make an executive decision, and make our ADRs WITHOUT a hotel res.

Next up: What ADRs would a Hick make if a Hick made ADRs...
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:13 AM   #11
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I am so loving this pre-TR!

Quote:
Is it nuts to make ADRs for a trip you're not yet taking?
If you go back in time, and encounter yourself, is there a rift in the space time continum?
Way too funny

Quote:
Next up: What ADRs would a Hick make if a Hick made ADRs...
Please tell us soon, the suspense is killing me!!!
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Old 06-07-2007, 06:57 PM   #12
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What ADRs would a Hick Make, if a Hick Made ADRs...?

So, as you probably can tell already, I am an obsessive compulsive planner.

No, really.

I have been researching restaurants for this trip since...well, since I was researching the last trip.

There are a few favorites I want to share with the family.

Le Cellier.

Chef Mickey's.

Crystal Palace.

Well, there's 3 of the 6 nights I need for our group of 15. We're off to a good start.

DD and I pour over the menus, and Dis food pics, and dream and drool.

It's horrifying, yet, strangely satisfying.

I look up best days at the parks, I try to plan out our first week, I am really putting in the effort on this one.
I have utilized the online ADR calculator, the DP spread sheet, and questioned the geniuses of the Disboards non-stop.

I touch base with the inlaws off and on, send them the link to the menus, tell them that I will get them ADRs at whatever floats their boats...
but don't get too much in the way of opinions.

I type up a potential game plan, and email it to them all.

What do I get in reply?
"Whatever you think is fine."

And when pushed for more specifics, my MIL replied "Well, Dad likes buffets and steak."

Okey Dokey, that I can do. It fits in well with my 3 favorites already.

The day I decide to make the call, I am prepared. I have my worksheet and my 1-800 number ready.

The CM on the general dining line was able to deal with most of our requests, though some restaurants had to be handled through group dining. Forgive me I can't remember which.

They suggested that big groups are most likely to be seated together if you book either the first or last seatings of the meal. So you will see some really early dinner times listed.

So what did we end up with?

Monday, 9/17
8:35 am Princess Storybook Breakfast, Askershus, Epcot
4:10 pm Le Cellier, dinner

Tues. 9/18
4:30 pm Liberty Tree Tavern, dinner

Wed. 9/19
11:45 am Hollywood and Vine Character Lunch

Thur. 9/20
(spending the day at AK)
6:40 pm Chef Mickey's Character Dinner

Fri. 9/21
10:30 am Crystal Palace Character Breakfast

I am pretty happy with all of them.

I let the family know what I have gotten, and they seem pretty pleased.
Yay me!

And then, my SIL informs me that she hates buffets.


I about come unglued, but she assures me that she will eat anywhere I decide, as long as the food is free.

Well, I should think so! LOL
That's why I asked in advance people! If you don't give me your opinion, you get what you get.

Now I just need to set up the one's for just our family. But that's another day. I take a few days to rest on my laurels for pulling these off.

Next up: It's So Nice to be Alone!
The Hicks plan a romantic dinner...
for just me, you...

...and the seven little ones. Sigh.

Last edited by DisneyMom5; 06-11-2007 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 06-09-2007, 07:59 AM   #13
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Whoopee twang, Sarah's started a pre-trippie!!

Looks like we're all in for a foot-stompin', rib-crackin' good time!

I look forward to reading more as soon as I purchase a Hick-to-English dictionary.
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Old 06-09-2007, 08:14 AM   #14
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This is pee in your pants funny!


Keep it comin'
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You light 'em, they fight 'em. A DVC/Disneyland Resort PTR
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?...1#post51407145
You bet your aft we had a good time: a Disney Wonder trip report
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3260751




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Old 06-09-2007, 04:00 PM   #15
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Funny report. Love reading it so far! Being from Arkansas, I was immediately drawn to your report. If you ever want to know what it's really like to take Hicks on Holiday, let me know.
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