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Old 06-18-2012, 10:50 PM   #1
JustRZ
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Serenity Crew Invades Disney, January 2013

OK, so we're not really the crew of the Serenity, but we like to think we are!

I'm taking 3 first-timers (DH, DD (5), DS (4)) to the World in January of next year and hoping that it is as magical for them as it always has been for me (the whole 2 other times I've been in the past )!


The crew


L to R; River, Mal, Kayleigh, Jayne

Kayleigh
Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom, because I'm 5
Favorite Attraction: Pirates of the Caribbean, tied with Test Track
Favorite Disney Movie: Beauty and the Beast
Favorite Character: Chip and Dale, they were so much fun to interact with (and signed my autograph book upside down!), it made my first visit memorable and magical.

I am the lead planner, and for our Crew purposes, am called Kayleigh. IRL, people call me a whole host of things, the most popular being Roz or WReXie . This will be my third trip to Disney World, and the first trip I am planning and executing myself. My first trip was when I was 8 (1993), my parents scraped and saved to take me to Florida for 2ish weeks, driving there and back from central IL, spending one week in Orlando and the second at my aunt's house in Tampa. On that trip, we went to the Magic Kingdom, Sea World, Universal Studios, Kennedy Space Center and beaches on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. I wanted to go to Epcot, but my mom had heard that it was more for older kids/adults, and we didn't have the money to 'waste' on something that I wouldn't enjoy. My second trip was when I was 17 (week of Orange Bowl parade/New Year's 2002-2003), and was a marching band trip. On this trip, we went to all 4 Disney parks, both Universal parks, marched in the Orange Bowl parade *and* in a parade at the Magic Kingdom, getting a rare glimpse of some of the backstage areas of the park. I am the ride-junkie of our group.

In my non-Disney-vacation-planning-mode, I am a photographer, and when not working, I knit, read and watch crappy TV shows and movies from my teen/childhood on Netflix (DH works 3rd shift, what else is there, really?). I also ref for my local roller derby league and spend whatever time I can riding my motorcycle, which isn't always easy with a non-riding DH and 2 littles, but I manage.


Mal
Favorite Park: Yet to be determined, but I'm pretty sure it will be Epcot
Favorite Attraction: We'll find out!
Favorite Disney Movie: Pirates of the Caribbean
Favorite Character:

The budget tracker (well, limiter, really) and relaxed perspective balance to my obsessive, Danny Tanner-like, planning and structuring is my DH, Mal (or Jed, as he's known outside of the interwebz). When not controlling my over obsessive planning, he works as a machinist for Komatsu, keeps our ever-growing automotive fleet running and lifts weights as much as he can. As previously mentioned, he has never been to Disney-anything, and has never been to Florida or seen the Atlantic Ocean. He's not really into rides, but will ride if I sweet talk him and has a hard time with heights, something he didn't tell me until *after* I drug him on almost every roller coaster at Six Flags! Also, his birthday and our anniversary are happening a few weeks before our trip!

River, age 5, 6 when we take our trip
Favorite Park: Yet to be determined, likely to be Magic Kingdom
Favorite Attraction: We'll see, but she likes watching It's a Small World and Splash Mountain on YouTube
Favorite Disney Movie: A tie between Aladdin and Cinderella
Favorite Character: Rapunzel

Following in my obsessive footsteps and is very much a girlie-girl, River was diagnosed with Sensory Processing disorder around age 2, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder just before her 5th birthday. Like many other kids with SPD, we have to keep everything in her world balanced, at all times, or she becomes overstimulated and very hyper. When overstimulated she jumps, fidgets, wiggles, chews, talks and jabbers until we can calm her down.

River, like most other girls we know who go to Disney, is super excited to meet all of the princesses and is having fun fantasizing about what it will be like to see them! She enjoys drawing, painting and reading, and will tolerate riding her bike if we are going to a park, but she would rather dig for worms in the garden.


Jayne, 4, will be 5 when we take our trip
Favorite Park: To be determined, no real prediction for him, either
Favorite Attraction: He's excited about Dumbo and Star Tours, we'll see what he thinks when we get to ride them!
Favorite Disney Movie: Cars 2
Favorite Character: Phineas and Ferb!

Jayne is very, well, Jayne, he's goofy, energetic (understatement) and completely obsessed with Star Wars, Cars (the movie and the kind you drive) and making his momma go insane! Much Like River, Jayne deals with Sensory Processing Disorder, but unlike River, when faced with too much input, he spaces out and becomes Jell-o-like.

When not being like Jell-o, Jayne likes to destroy things, dig in the dirt, ride his bike and play Iron Man. We save cereal and cracker boxes and let him stack them up and crush them down until they are permanently squished, which seems to save most other things in the house from his various destructive crusades.


Both kids have gotten a phone call from Mickey and several letters from Tinkerbell and her Disney Friends encouraging them to be kind to each other and take care of their jobs so they can come meet her at Disney World. She even left a trail of Pixie Dust on our dining room table after dinner the other night! The kids are loving these magical touches, even though I'm pretty sure they know it's me, and most of my friends find it hilarious that we totally believe in the characters at WDW, but we don't do S.C. or the E.B.

221 days to go!!!
__________________
Me , DH , DD, River (5) , DS, Jayne (4)

June 1993, off site
Dec/Jan 2002-2003, off site. Performed in a parade at the MK with my high school marching band
Serenity Crew invades WDW, January 2013


Last edited by JustRZ; 06-23-2012 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:02 PM   #2
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218 Days!!!!
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Me , DH , DD, River (5) , DS, Jayne (4)

June 1993, off site
Dec/Jan 2002-2003, off site. Performed in a parade at the MK with my high school marching band
Serenity Crew invades WDW, January 2013

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Old 06-21-2012, 10:12 PM   #3
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Cruel and Unusual Punishment from Disney!

2 days ago, I signed on to the forums on Tour Guide Mike (a friend talked me into the wonderful-ness of TGM befor I discovered the Dis), and discovered that park hours for January had been released! Granted, these didn't include EMH, but I'm honestly not really concerned with those at the moment. So, in my 4am rush of excitement (I don't sleep much), I jumped on the WDW website to see if room and package reservations had been opened up for my travel dates (I'm a rookie, forgive me ). And what do you think I discovered? Well, of course you all already know what I discovered; Pricing has still not been released beyond December 31. Then, I signed on here to see that someone had posed that they called WDW and were able to book, room-only, at confirmed 2013 rates. Once again, I got super excited and I ended up calling WDW to find out if I could, in fact, book our room at 2013 rates. Once again, I was disappointed. 2013 rates have not yet been confirmed. I am not a patient person, here, people, and I would be much happier knowing what *for sure* budget we were working with. Oh well, There's plenty of time, I guess.
__________________
Me , DH , DD, River (5) , DS, Jayne (4)

June 1993, off site
Dec/Jan 2002-2003, off site. Performed in a parade at the MK with my high school marching band
Serenity Crew invades WDW, January 2013

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Old 06-22-2012, 10:22 PM   #4
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You started a TR! I'm in!

Anakin is like your dd when he gets overstimulated. (Did you see they are planning on removing SPD as a diagnosis for the newest DSM-5? I hope the keep it as a diagnosis, they are also getting rid of Asperger's. Doesn't make me a happy camper.)

That's a beautiful picture of your family!

Easywdw is a good site too for crowd calendar and touring plans. I use that and Touring Plans and compare the two. Not for the touring guides, but for the crowd calendars, and I love TP's lines AP.

That's interesting about the characters but not SC or EB, why is that, just curious?

What kind of bike do you ride? My brother lived in Daytona for a while because of bike week and Biketober Fest.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:51 AM   #5
JustRZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethattink View Post
You started a TR! I'm in!

Anakin is like your dd when he gets overstimulated. (Did you see they are planning on removing SPD as a diagnosis for the newest DSM-5? I hope the keep it as a diagnosis, they are also getting rid of Asperger's. Doesn't make me a happy camper.)

That's a beautiful picture of your family!

Easywdw is a good site too for crowd calendar and touring plans. I use that and Touring Plans and compare the two. Not for the touring guides, but for the crowd calendars, and I love TP's lines AP.

That's interesting about the characters but not SC or EB, why is that, just curious?

What kind of bike do you ride? My brother lived in Daytona for a while because of bike week and Biketober Fest.
I did not see that they were thinking about ditching the SPD dx! ACK! That will make our complicated lives that much worse

I actually requested a refund for TGM after being on the forums and realizing that he isn't devoting much time to it anymore due to some problems in his 'real life', so now I'm looking for something else. Thanks for the rec!

We don't do SC or EB for a couple reasons, one being that we are not Christian and don't like celebrating holidays that are for others. Instead, we exchange Yule gifts with each other and Christmas gifts with our extended family. Two, we are a bit selfish and work hard to provide gifts for the kids and we want them to know that those things are from us, not from some random guy with a sleigh. We feel that it helps with the whole gratitude/sacrifice/others-higher-than-self lesson that so many kids seem to miss out on. I know it's possible to teach these things while including SC and EB, but it's easier to do so without (for us). Three, it's just not for us. Even before investigating the 'whys' of our feelings, DH and I felt it was not a good fit for our family. The kids know that SC and EB are a game that some families play and it's their special job to keep the game a secret, and they've done really well so far. We do the characters because it's not something that has a holiday tie-in, and because it's something that they already kind of know is fake, so we feel better about it. River actually pulled me aside the other day and said, "Mom, I knoooooow Tinkerbell is you, but don't worry, I'll play the game and I won't tell Jayne," it was hilarious.

My bike is a pathetically small, 32 year old (which is older than me), Yamaha XS 400. I grew up on my parents' Harleys, so eventually getting my own was bound to happen, but was delayed a bit due to the unplanned (but wonderful) DD, DS and DH, and a couple other factors. It's my second bike (first street bike) and I'm super in love with it, until I try to ride for more than an hour, then I don't like it at. all.
__________________
Me , DH , DD, River (5) , DS, Jayne (4)

June 1993, off site
Dec/Jan 2002-2003, off site. Performed in a parade at the MK with my high school marching band
Serenity Crew invades WDW, January 2013

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Old 06-23-2012, 10:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethattink View Post

Anakin is like your dd when he gets overstimulated.
Wanted to respond to this specifically

It always makes me smile when I meet someone who's child 'stims' the way River does. I've had people say "aren't fidget and wiggle the same, and babble and jabber", but no, they are FAR different. It's nice when someone else 'gets it'. I used to be a part of a fairly large and active parenting group with a large sub-sect of SN parents, but it has dissolved, leaving me with very few understanding ears
__________________
Me , DH , DD, River (5) , DS, Jayne (4)

June 1993, off site
Dec/Jan 2002-2003, off site. Performed in a parade at the MK with my high school marching band
Serenity Crew invades WDW, January 2013

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Old 06-23-2012, 10:33 AM   #7
lovethattink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustRZ View Post
I did not see that they were thinking about ditching the SPD dx! ACK! That will make our complicated lives that much worse

I actually requested a refund for TGM after being on the forums and realizing that he isn't devoting much time to it anymore due to some problems in his 'real life', so now I'm looking for something else. Thanks for the rec!

We don't do SC or EB for a couple reasons, one being that we are not Christian and don't like celebrating holidays that are for others. Instead, we exchange Yule gifts with each other and Christmas gifts with our extended family. Two, we are a bit selfish and work hard to provide gifts for the kids and we want them to know that those things are from us, not from some random guy with a sleigh. We feel that it helps with the whole gratitude/sacrifice/others-higher-than-self lesson that so many kids seem to miss out on. I know it's possible to teach these things while including SC and EB, but it's easier to do so without (for us). Three, it's just not for us. Even before investigating the 'whys' of our feelings, DH and I felt it was not a good fit for our family. The kids know that SC and EB are a game that some families play and it's their special job to keep the game a secret, and they've done really well so far. We do the characters because it's not something that has a holiday tie-in, and because it's something that they already kind of know is fake, so we feel better about it. River actually pulled me aside the other day and said, "Mom, I knoooooow Tinkerbell is you, but don't worry, I'll play the game and I won't tell Jayne," it was hilarious.

My bike is a pathetically small, 32 year old (which is older than me), Yamaha XS 400. I grew up on my parents' Harleys, so eventually getting my own was bound to happen, but was delayed a bit due to the unplanned (but wonderful) DD, DS and DH, and a couple other factors. It's my second bike (first street bike) and I'm super in love with it, until I try to ride for more than an hour, then I don't like it at. all.
That's understandable. My cousin doesn't do the EB, SC or TF because she is Christian and feels it takes away from the meaning of what they are celebrating. We have never lied to our children and have always told them that we are the EB, Santa, and Toothfairy.

That's precious that you got called out about Tink!

We are Christian and I'm all for celebrations! We celebrate unbirthdays, milestones, and different things. Our latest celebration was a peanut butter day since our oldest is on an extended trip with his grandfather. He's allergic to peanut butter and with him out of the house we could eat it! We had peanut butter on apples and crackers and our little guy thought it was the greatest thing in the world. We also celebrated balloons this week. Older ds is allergic to latex, and we had a water balloon frenzy. It was a real treat and big deal for Anakin!

That's great that you have your street bike, I'm sure it's lots of fun!

If you check out SPD on FB there is an article on their page about the DSM possible deletion that I noticed recently. I learned about the Aspergers deletion last year while doing a CE for my license. Hopefully with the CD diagnosis we can still get help for our guy. He needs a re-evalutation soon anyways.
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustRZ View Post
Wanted to respond to this specifically

It always makes me smile when I meet someone who's child 'stims' the way River does. I've had people say "aren't fidget and wiggle the same, and babble and jabber", but no, they are FAR different. It's nice when someone else 'gets it'. I used to be a part of a fairly large and active parenting group with a large sub-sect of SN parents, but it has dissolved, leaving me with very few understanding ears
That's a bummer that your support group dissoved! We are still fairly new to all this since ds's issues didn't start until Father's Day 2010 when he had a huge seizure and stopped breathing. Our lives changed dramatically that day.

Yes, it is nice to meet others who "get it". Catherine on my TR also "gets" it as does SL_Underwood, who will be on there as soon as her computer cooperates. In addition to sensory issues, Grace for Catherine and Luke for SL_Underwood have seizures like Anakin does when overstimulated. And we all have family and friends who think their reactions to overstimulation is solely from a lack of discipline and just don't "get" it.

Once I get to my update from week 2, I think you will recognize the non-stop talking in my son. He was soooo overstimulated.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:31 PM   #9
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Is is almost Christmas, mom?

I think Mal and I are beginning to regret telling the kids about our upcoming trip 200+ days in advance. Every day (who am I kidding, it's every hour!) we hear, "Is it almost Christmas? Is it almost my birthday? Is it almost Halloween? Are we E.V.E.R. gonna make it to Dis-i-ney?! Moooooooooooom!". Oy.

Note to self; 4 and 5 year olds don't have patience. Do not clue them in 200+ days before a vacation.

In other news the countdown is at 215!
__________________
Me , DH , DD, River (5) , DS, Jayne (4)

June 1993, off site
Dec/Jan 2002-2003, off site. Performed in a parade at the MK with my high school marching band
Serenity Crew invades WDW, January 2013

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Old 06-30-2012, 08:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustRZ View Post
I think Mal and I are beginning to regret telling the kids about our upcoming trip 200+ days in advance. Every day (who am I kidding, it's every hour!) we hear, "Is it almost Christmas? Is it almost my birthday? Is it almost Halloween? Are we E.V.E.R. gonna make it to Dis-i-ney?! Moooooooooooom!". Oy.

Note to self; 4 and 5 year olds don't have patience. Do not clue them in 200+ days before a vacation.

In other news the countdown is at 215!
Have you thought about making a countdown calendar or paper chain? Maybe if they have something to visualize they'll know it's not time yet. They can also participate in the countdown as they remove or cross out part of it seeing that they are getting a day closer.

Some people do themed movie nights in preparation for the trip. There are some great ideas here on the board for movie nights.
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Old 06-30-2012, 01:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethattink View Post
Have you thought about making a countdown calendar or paper chain? Maybe if they have something to visualize they'll know it's not time yet. They can also participate in the countdown as they remove or cross out part of it seeing that they are getting a day closer.

Some people do themed movie nights in preparation for the trip. There are some great ideas here on the board for movie nights.
I've thought about some sort of countdown chain, but decided against doing one this early (that's a lot of strips to cut!). We're working on our movie nights and getting our schedule arranged so we can make those work.
__________________
Me , DH , DD, River (5) , DS, Jayne (4)

June 1993, off site
Dec/Jan 2002-2003, off site. Performed in a parade at the MK with my high school marching band
Serenity Crew invades WDW, January 2013

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