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Old 12-14-2012, 11:30 AM   #1
lsulindy
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"Santa must have heard that we love balloons!" TR *8/27 Update*


Trip Reporting has officially commenced!

Saturday, Feb 9:
1. Getting ready to leave
2. At the airport
3. Arrival at the hotel
4. Our first night at Disneyland, Soundsational parade and our first DL ride
5. Dumbo and Remember...Dreams Come True fireworks

Sunday, Feb 10:
6. Breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen
7. GK Part 2
8. We're going to Hollywood!
9. On the bus tour
10. The bus ride back

Monday, Feb 11:
11. California Adventure
12. Our first visit in Radiator Springs
13. A Bug's Land and Tower of Terror
14. Lunch at Flo's and meeting McQueen
15. Mater's Junkyard Jamboree
16. Luigi's Flying Tires
17. Lunar New Year celebration
18. Pixar Play Parade
19. World of Color attempt

Tues, Feb 12
20. Our not so Magic Morning
21. A Beast of a morning
22. Mardi Gras in New Orleans Square
23. Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulet
24. River Belle Terrace, New Orleans Square
25. Pooh's Playful Spot
26. Tarzan's Treehouse
27. A Genie and 2 Fairies
28. Space Mountain
29. An evening in Tomorrowland

Wed, Feb 13
30. Toy Storia Mania
31. Redwood Creek Challenge and we FINALLY meet the big cheese!




Starting a PTR, b/c Im just too excited and I can come here and ramble to myself.

DH and I will be surprising the kids on Christmas with a trip to Disneyland for Mardi Gras week.

The plan is to wrap a large box full of Mickey head balloons for them to open. Im going to print pictures to tie to the strings of each balloon so they know were going to DL, not WDW, and when. I have some pics saved from Bayou Bash last year to clue them into the Mardi Gras week and some DL-specific pics including the sign and Cars Land so theyll know its DL, not WDW.

I have a 7 year old son, a 5 year old daughter (who'll turn 6 the day we arrive!), and a 2 year old son. The older 2 have been to WDW twice, the youngest was 4 months for the second trip. Theyve been asking to go back since the day we got home and now the baby is obsessed with Me Mow CubHows None of us have ever been to DL or California.

Im just busting out of my skin excited to tell them. Also, joining us on our trip will be my mom and dad who made this possible by paying for the airfare. I'd priced a DL trip, but decided it was too expensive, and settled on WDW. Invited my parents to come along, and they said they wanted to, but they weren't up for the drive, so they wanted to pay to fly us to Orlando. When I started pricing flights, the direct flights to Orlando were already sold out. The price and travel time with layover weren't that much different from the direct LAX flights I'd previously priced when I was looking at DL. So, I asked if they're buying plane tickets anyway, would they want to go to DLR instead and they said YES!

Anyway, back to the Christmas reveal. I have a large box to put the Mickey balloons in and wrap with Christmas Disney paper. I already have the ear balloons and helium tank. Im debating putting the Mickey balloons inside another clear balloon. But, the round ball outer balloons are pricey, and Im worried about being able to properly get one inside the other, and having enough helium. But, I love the idea of it. Just seems way more park-like.


I also have park maps, 2 guide books, small plushes of Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy in Mardi Gras attire, the 2013 planning DVD, and the PhotoPass+ stock CD to put in the bottom of the box. I have a number of embroidered shirts for them too. I was going to put them in the bottom of the box, but my neighbor does embroidery and I get them shirts from her all the time and for all trips, so Im thinking now that they should be wrapped from us and not in Santas box since the kids may realize where they came from. For their stockings, I have
Mickey light spinners

Some Mickey and Minnie cookies from Walgreens

Kaleidescopes from Party City

Glow necklaces from Party City

And also bunches of Fab 5 lollipops and packs of Disney Jelly Beans.

Hmmm& And now I need to go look in the closest, bc it seems like I have more than that, but I cant remember what!
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me dh ds (8) dd (6) ds (2)

A few trips as a kid, first in 1979 last in 1991.
Trips with dh and our kids:
April/May 2008 - Buena Vista Suites
March 2011 - Windsor Palms
February 2013 - Disneyland!! TR in progress!



Last edited by lsulindy; 08-27-2013 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:14 AM   #2
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We're going to be arriving on a Saturday afternoon (dd's birthday!), arriving at LAX at 2:20. We'll depart the next Saturday morning. We plan on one sightseeing day around LA and one day drive to SD zoo.

My original thought was to do Goofy's Kitchen on arrival night. Then 4 park days and 2 non-park days. DH thinks that the kids would much rather be at the parks on arrival day than a character meal. So, thinking of getting the 5 day park hopper instead of 4. Need to figure out park days so that I know which days to price rental cars for.

And, I'd also like to do Minnie and Friends one day. So, I need to know when to make that reservation. We'll have one MM. If we do Sat evening, we can hopefully see fireworks that night and then avoid the parks on Sunday using our days on less crowded weekdays. If we do Goofy's on Sat, then Sunday would be a park day b/c there's no way we're keeping the kids out of the parks till Monday!

Was planning to avoid Fri too due to crowds for the upcoming President's Day. But, F!, Tea Cups and Splash are reopening that day, so now I'm thinking of making that a park day. Crowds should be low mid-week, so I'd like to avoid having parkdays on Sunday AND Friday and waste low-crowd mid-week days on non-park activities...

So, I mapped out this tentative plan, then I realized that both of my DCA days are EMH days, and we don't have EMH.

Sat - arrival - DL evening (hopefully see parade and fireworks)
Sun - LA sightseeing
Mon - DCA
Tues - DL (use MM - Mardi Gras day, hoping for Bayou Bash)
Wed - DCA
Thur - zoo
Fri - DL (F!, Tea Cups and Splash open - Minnie & Friends?)

We'll have hoppers, but with the kids it'll be easier to not go back and forth too much. Would it be better to start out Tues and Fri in DCA? Then, we couldn't use our MM, and I don't know which day to book Minnie. I'd like to get RSR fastpasses while everyone else gets on a few things without big lines. And if we go on an EMH day, I'd think there will already be lines.

Could switch out our zoo day so that Thurs could be a DCA day, but Tues and Wed should be the lowest crowd days, so I'd rather not lose those.

I know I'm overthinking this. It shouldn't be this complicated.
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me dh ds (8) dd (6) ds (2)

A few trips as a kid, first in 1979 last in 1991.
Trips with dh and our kids:
April/May 2008 - Buena Vista Suites
March 2011 - Windsor Palms
February 2013 - Disneyland!! TR in progress!



Last edited by lsulindy; 01-15-2013 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:44 AM   #3
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How exciting!! My kiddos are the same ages as yours, but we haven't been to DLR in 4 years. Sounds like we'll be there just a couple of weeks after you. I can't wait to hear how the trip reveal goes.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cristyhas3 View Post
How exciting!! My kiddos are the same ages as yours, but we haven't been to DLR in 4 years. Sounds like we'll be there just a couple of weeks after you. I can't wait to hear how the trip reveal goes.
I can't wait for the reveal. I'm bursting! Do your kids know about their trip yet?
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me dh ds (8) dd (6) ds (2)

A few trips as a kid, first in 1979 last in 1991.
Trips with dh and our kids:
April/May 2008 - Buena Vista Suites
March 2011 - Windsor Palms
February 2013 - Disneyland!! TR in progress!


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Old 12-21-2012, 09:59 PM   #5
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I can't believe that it's 4 nights till Christmas!! I'm working on "tickets" for the kids right now. I think I'm going to do as many balloons as will fit in the box, and have tickets on 3 of them.

Front:


Back:


I can't wait!!
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me dh ds (8) dd (6) ds (2)

A few trips as a kid, first in 1979 last in 1991.
Trips with dh and our kids:
April/May 2008 - Buena Vista Suites
March 2011 - Windsor Palms
February 2013 - Disneyland!! TR in progress!



Last edited by lsulindy; 01-15-2013 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:18 PM   #6
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Guess I did a good job. Hubby got home, saw the tickets, and asked if they were the real ones. Haven't ordered those yet (and he knew that!)
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me dh ds (8) dd (6) ds (2)

A few trips as a kid, first in 1979 last in 1991.
Trips with dh and our kids:
April/May 2008 - Buena Vista Suites
March 2011 - Windsor Palms
February 2013 - Disneyland!! TR in progress!



Last edited by lsulindy; 01-15-2013 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:38 AM   #7
Susie63
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I love the tickets! It is going to be exciting at your house on Christmas morning.I kind of wished that I could make our trip a secret but I booked our hotel in March and I would have imploded if I had to keep a secret that long.
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:24 PM   #8
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The surprise went well. The kids were shocked! It took them way longer to realize than I thought it would. Looked back at the video, it's 2 minutes from the time they start opening the box until they realize. Seemed WAY longer in the moment though.

I had pictured the balloons coming out the box and raising to the ceiling. The 3 "tickets" were clipped on the strings of 3 balloons, and I pictured all of the balloons up with the tickets dangling down where the kids could see them. It didn't exactly work that way.

Some of the balloons caught on each other, and the kids grabbed and held onto the balloons as they were coming out.

Also, the balloons with the tickets attached lost their helium lift, so even once we removed the tickets later, those balloons still didn't fly up. I didn't think a small piece of cardstock and a clip would affect them that much. So the tickets stayed down at the bottom for a while.

The kids were thrilled with the balloons though. DS7 yells "Santa must have heard how much we love balloons, so he got us a whole bunch!"





There was a bunch of other Disney stuff in the box, guide books, maps, the planning DVD, and the Photopass+ stock photo CD.

other stuff:

I thought they'd see all those things that say "Disneyland" on them and realize quickly, even if they didn't see the tickets. But, at different points both kids say "wow, there's lots of Disney stuff in this box" and go back to playing with the balloons.

So, DH asks DS "what kind of Disney stuff?", DS picks up, of all things, the PhotoPass+ CD, looks at it, says "Value Pack" shrugs, and tosses it back in the box.

Right about then, DS2 starts walking away with the balloons he's holding which happen to be 2 with tickets attached. Do, DH grabs one, and it's the one for DS7. So, he asks DS to read it. He still doesn't get it. Maybe he didn't know the word "redeem" but I thought he'd see "Disneyland" and "ticket". While he's trying to read, DD5 finds hers, and brings it to me. I read it out loud and both older kids yell "We Won?!?!" (I had entered the CarsLand video contest earlier this year)

I say "No, Santa brought these" and then the yelling and jumping begins. DS2 joins in on the jumping and yelling even though I'm sure he has no idea what's going on!





tickets:

some of the stocking goodies:

We've now watched the planning DVD at least 10 times. It was a great Christmas morning!

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me dh ds (8) dd (6) ds (2)

A few trips as a kid, first in 1979 last in 1991.
Trips with dh and our kids:
April/May 2008 - Buena Vista Suites
March 2011 - Windsor Palms
February 2013 - Disneyland!! TR in progress!



Last edited by lsulindy; 01-29-2013 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:03 PM   #9
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I tried resizing these pics on Photobucket, but they're still showing up large here...
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me dh ds (8) dd (6) ds (2)

A few trips as a kid, first in 1979 last in 1991.
Trips with dh and our kids:
April/May 2008 - Buena Vista Suites
March 2011 - Windsor Palms
February 2013 - Disneyland!! TR in progress!


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Old 12-27-2012, 05:23 PM   #10
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Looks like lots of fun at your house Christmas morning!
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:33 PM   #11
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The 2 year-old brought me the remote yesterday and said "Watch DennyLan" He wanted to watch the planning DVD. Awww... He's never requested anything other than Elmo and MeMow CubHows. I still don't think he gets it, but he cheers when the big kids talk about it.

I've made 2 character meal reservations. Goofy's Kitchen for early Sunday morning. Figured we could do that before heading out to tour Hollywood. I'd rather do dinner, but not sure what time we'll make it back from touring and how tired the kiddos will be. And then Minnie & Friends for 10:20 Friday morning. Hoping that will be a 8am opening day. I really wish they'd post their schedules sooner.

I need to do more research and decide what we're doing on the Hollywood day. Going to rent a car and then maybe do the double decker hop on/hop off tour bus. I think that'll take us to everything we want to see and has a line to the Santa Monica pier which is on our list of sights. I think the kids would enjoy the bus more than riding around in the car from place to place. They were really into the double decker buses in NY when hubby and I went on our anniversary trip even though the kids weren't even there!

But, if we're paying for the rental car for that day do we need to pay for bus tickets too? Or should we just take our car around? Dh has great sense of direction, so he thinks I'm silly for worrying about traffic/parking/etc.
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me dh ds (8) dd (6) ds (2)

A few trips as a kid, first in 1979 last in 1991.
Trips with dh and our kids:
April/May 2008 - Buena Vista Suites
March 2011 - Windsor Palms
February 2013 - Disneyland!! TR in progress!



Last edited by lsulindy; 01-15-2013 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:05 AM   #12
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What a fun way to surprise the kiddos!!!! So what exactly are your dates for your trip? The reason I ask is......the Dis Divas make an annual trip to Disneyland and it always falls around the Mardi Gras time. I'll be there with them Feb 27 ~ Mar 3. Will we overlap?

Make sure before you book a tour in Hollywood that the kids ages aren't an issue. I remember seeing some tours that don't want young children and I don't want you to be out money.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DizNee Luver View Post
What a fun way to surprise the kiddos!!!! So what exactly are your dates for your trip? The reason I ask is......the Dis Divas make an annual trip to Disneyland and it always falls around the Mardi Gras time. I'll be there with them Feb 27 ~ Mar 3. Will we overlap?

Make sure before you book a tour in Hollywood that the kids ages aren't an issue. I remember seeing some tours that don't want young children and I don't want you to be out money.
We'll be there the 9th to the 15th. Mardi Gras falls early this year. Which is nice for Disney purposes. It was later in 2011 for our WDW trip, and we hit the beginning of spring break crowds.

Thanks for the tip. There's a child price for ages 3-11. I just sent an email to make sure the 2 year old is allowed on the bus.
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me dh ds (8) dd (6) ds (2)

A few trips as a kid, first in 1979 last in 1991.
Trips with dh and our kids:
April/May 2008 - Buena Vista Suites
March 2011 - Windsor Palms
February 2013 - Disneyland!! TR in progress!



Last edited by lsulindy; 12-30-2012 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:26 AM   #14
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I just sent an email to make sure the 2 year old is allowed on the bus.
Wow, that was quick. Just got a reply back that children of all ages are welcome on the bus. So, we're good if we decide to go that route. Thanks for thinking of it though. I always like to double-check! Did you ever get your money back from your missed tour? I remember you talking about an email, but I can't remember if you actually got the refund.
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me dh ds (8) dd (6) ds (2)

A few trips as a kid, first in 1979 last in 1991.
Trips with dh and our kids:
April/May 2008 - Buena Vista Suites
March 2011 - Windsor Palms
February 2013 - Disneyland!! TR in progress!


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Old 12-30-2012, 12:42 AM   #15
DizNee Luver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsulindy View Post
Wow, that was quick. Just got a reply back that children of all ages are welcome on the bus. So, we're good if we decide to go that route. Thanks for thinking of it though. I always like to double-check! Did you ever get your money back from your missed tour? I remember you talking about an email, but I can't remember if you actually got the refund.
Wellllllllll, I talked with the gal last night and we ran the refund on my card. It's a debit card and it should have showed up immediately but it didn't. She sent me a copy of the refund strip from their machine....that clearly states it was "offline". She told me it would take 3-5 days for the refund to show up depending on my bank. So not sure what to think right now. I hope that's the case and it will show up......but if you ran my debit card for a purchase on those machines....it shows up immediately. I will wait until about Thursday next week and if it's not showing in my acct. by then, then I'll call again.

Good news on the bus!!
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10 of Us Summer Trip~2010: HERE 25th Anniv.TR~2009: HERE

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