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Old 10-23-2012, 02:54 PM   #1
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Colleen27's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 16,794

A Year of Disney Magic - New ToC, March TR updates, Dec ADR countdown

I think the best place to start this PTR is with a quick lesson on the importance of precise language for effective communication. This is especially important when dealing with a Disney addict and seasoned planner.

Why, you ask?

Because when my husband and I planned our January '12 trip, we agreed that it would be our last family vacation to Disney World for a few years. The kids are getting older, my husband's options for vacation time recently got much more flexible, and there are many other places we'd like to go. So reluctantly I agreed. Our next big Disney adventure will be southern California with a few days at Disneyland in 2014, and we wont go back to WDW as a family until 2016 at the earliest.

But that stipulation was about our big, annual, whole family vacation. No one said anything about weekend getaways or winter escapes, right?

We have a long standing precedent of mini-trips with just part of the family. My mother & I took the kids to the Beach Club for a birthday while DH stayed home to work, I took my girls to Flower & Garden in 2011 and then back again for a Girl Scout event over Memorial Day weekend this year, DH takes DS hunting every fall and canoeing in the summer, DH & I go away for a night or two every year around our anniversary. So I got to thinking... What if this year we make Disney World the theme of those short trips?

Brilliant, right?!?

I wasn't so sure DH would appreciate my genius and I prepared myself to do some serious persuasion. It was a bit of a letdown really... I approached him with budgets and dates, geared up to plead my case, and he actually liked the idea. He didn't raise a single objection! It totally took the wind out of my sails!

But with that hurdle cleared a plan began to take shape.

Ive taken my girls before but always as a unit. Between sports, school, and DS's generally less enthusiastic view of Disney Ive never had a chance to do a mother-son Disney trip. And DH and I have been talking about a child-free trip since our very first Disney vacation back in '05 when we got just a taste of the Food & Wine Festival and decided we had to try it again without little ones in tow.

So the planning is on, and boy is there a lot of it!

Right now, there are 3 fairly well defined trips in the making:

1) April 12 to 15. Just me. Solo, during the Flower & Garden Festival. Truly a dream come true. This one started as a what-if conversation with a group of ladies I connected with on another Disney travel forum years and years ago. We've long since taken our conversation to a private e-mail loop and Disney is only a small part of what we talk about these days, but we've never met in person. So were planning an April meet. Because of the meet, these dates are more or less carved in stone.

Solo in the Garden:
The Itinerary
The Trip Report:

Cancelled - 2) May 24 to 27. My son and I. Hes 14 and way too cool for Disney, of course, but while I was planning the Girl Scout trip with my girls he caught sight of some of the Star Wars Weekend info and expressed an interest. That in itself is such an unusual thing that I wanted to make a mother-son trip happen. These dates are pretty well set too, since Memorial Day is the closest thing we have to a school break during SWW and we prefer to minimize missed days. A nice bonus is that my birthday is also that weekend and as I learned this year, there's no better place to celebrate.

3) Sept 26 to 30? A romantic weekend for DH & I at the start of the Food & Wine Festival. Our anniversary is in early September, a date chosen for beautiful weather without giving much thought to how hard it is to fit a celebration into the back-to-school madness, and we're used to celebrating late. The dates of this one might shift a bit, but for right now I chose them to line up with the Tower of Terror 10 miler because I've been wanting to run a Disney race.

And 2 more that are a little fuzzier:

4) We have dates! Nov 30 to Dec 4!. This could be the kick off to my Disney year or the finale, but I would like to take my youngest to see the holiday festivities at Disney World. Her very first trip was just before Christmas in 09 and we had a blast, and I know she'd love it even more now. And because the girls have more or less been a unit all their lives I'd like to plan a trip just for her, to take it all in at 4yo pace rather than fitting in our special moments around the older kids' commando habits.

5) Sometime in August... March 1 to 9 This is the long shot of the bunch because it hinges on factors outside my control. I'd actually hoped to do this for my older daughter's 13th birthday, but since I'll have an annual pass when she turns 12 it makes more sense to push it up a year. I would like to take DD11 and her BFF, who is basically part of the family and has been since they were in preschool together, to WDW together.

Maybe August becomes Early March:
The Itinerary
The Trip Report:
Day 1 & 2 - Miles & Miles
Day 3 - From Manatees to Mammoths
Day 4 - Hollywood Thrills and <brrr> Chills

So that's the outline for my year of Disney.

I have no idea how I'm going to keep the planning straight with several trips in the works at the same time. I've never done that before! I didn't even start thinking about our May trip until we were home in January. And that's where this PTR comes in - as a rolling planning journal for what promises to be a very magical year of adventures, to help me keep it all straight if not in my mind than in black-and-white to look back on when I just know I'm forgetting something vital.
~~**Colleen & Crew**~~
POR 10/05 ~ BC 08/07 ~ WL 01/08 ~ CBR 12/09 ~ POP 03/11 TR/ DR
POP 1/12 TR ~ ASSp 5/12 ~ CSR 3/13 ~ POP 4/13 ~ ASMu 12/13

Last edited by Colleen27; 05-13-2013 at 05:55 PM.
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