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Old 12-25-2006, 08:21 PM   #16
OhMari
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I really enjoyed your vintage photo's and trip down memory lane.
Hope your had a successful surprise.
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Old 12-25-2006, 10:51 PM   #17
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Great start, you have me hooked! I love the pictures and the history. You really know how to tell a story and I can't wait to hear more
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Old 12-26-2006, 12:11 PM   #18
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Thanks everyone! I feel like a celebrity with a page 2 on my pretrip! I hope I can live up to my own hype! We are at the inlaws for Christmas, the reveal went pretty well, better than MomofCKJ's at least. LOL! I'll have to wait until we get home to upload the pix and continue with the story. Hope everyone had a blessed Christmas!
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Old 01-01-2007, 04:41 PM   #19
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Wow.... I'm so glad I decided to check out the Pre TR board!

I love all the photos of yester year! Can't wait to "hear" about how the surprise went with the kidlets. BTW, they are cuties!

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Old 01-03-2007, 01:40 PM   #20
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Thanks, Disneyland_Mama! We think they'er cuties! Yours are adorable too! Gotta love those little ones (when you're not pulling your hair out over them!) My final pretrip installments are coming up!
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:52 PM   #21
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Finally, Christmas morning! The kids, of course, were beside themselves with excitement! We drove to Atlanta to my in-laws for the holiday. My mom drove down from Charlotte on the 23rd (same day we arrived). We had a bit of a delay opening presents as we were waiting for my SIL to arrive. The door to her garage had slipped off the track and she wasn’t sure she could get her car out. She called her apartment complex’s emergency number, but it was Christmas morning after all! She was finally able to pry it open and arrived shortly after. We had labeled the box “open last”, so after all the DVD’s, toys, and clothes, the kids had the final box. Anabelle was still betting on a TV or Wii, it didn’t really occur to her that the box was too light for electronics. I was excited and nervous. I half expected a "MomofCKJ" reception, with the crying because it wasn't a Wii! The box is the red one sitting on the chair.





They opened the box and inside was….another box! This one was also wrapped, but had a sign on top that said “Guess”.



They opened that box and the next one said “Where”, the third box said “You’re”.





At this point Rebecca firmly stated, “This is NOT fun!”. “Keep going,” we urged! The next box was labeled with “Going”.



Finally, something was in this box. Three homemade autograph books and a Disney brochure.



The light started to go on in Anabelle’s head (she is 8 ½ after all!). “Wait a second, are we going to Disney World?” I had written inside the books: “Our trip to Disney World, January 13-21, 2007”. Once she read that, Anabelle was jumping around like crazy.



Rebecca went back to brushing her Ariel head’s hair. I think she was stunned. We asked her if she wanted to go to Disney, and we did get a yes and a smile. Anabelle told her we were going in three weeks, and we got a much bigger smile. My little killjoy was Andrew, “Do you want to go see Mickey Mouse?” “No”. Oh well, the little guy doesn’t know what he’s in for! He did tell me later that he would ride the train with me. I think he may have just been tired by then, here's a picture of him after opening presents. We did move him off the hardwood, just so you know!



Overall, I was quite pleased with the whole reveal. It was a great surprise and now we can actually talk about Disney in the open and not in code. It’s nice not to have to minimize the screen each time Anabelle walks by. They’ve been talking about it non-stop. Rebecca asks me about once an hour “When are we going to Disney World?” “Why can’t we go today?”. I’m glad we didn’t tell them sooner, I don’t think I could take the questioning!

I'll probably have one more pretrip segment, since I haven't actually outlined the players or the itinerary! Thanks for all the support! I've long been addicted to the trip report board and it is somewhat intimidating to write your own!
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:57 PM   #22
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So glad you had a tear free reveal! I am sure they are really getting excited now that it is getting even closer!

Can't wait for more!

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Old 01-03-2007, 02:52 PM   #23
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OMG! How cute is that photo of your son asleep on the floor? I love it!

How exciting! I can't wait to hear all about your trip! I have to live through all these great TR's until August!!

Wishing you lots and lots of
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Old 01-03-2007, 02:58 PM   #24
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I guess I should finally introduce the cast of this merry escapade!

Me!, Ellen- 37, home schooling mom, as written before Disney is in my blood. I left my Industrial Engineering career behind when my oldest was 6 months old, but I did not lose the obsessive need of planning that made it the perfect job for me!

DH, John – 40, software engineer, Disney is not his favorite place but he does like it and finds my DIS addiction “endearing”. Of course, it should be mentioned that he is a roller coaster/theme park enthusiast. We both love playing “Roller Coaster Tycoon” and our dialog while visiting parks includes many references to the game.

DD1 – Anabelle, 8 ¾. My little almost-tween. Growing up so fast, it is beyond scary! We grow them tall, so she looks older. With her long blonde hair, John has his axe handle ready for when the boys start calling! Loves coasters and thrill rides of any kind. Looking forward to her first trip on Space Mountain. This will be her fifth time to Disney.

DD2 – Rebecca, 5 ¼. My little drama queen. She is our “loose cannon” as John affectionately refers to her. Able to go from adorable kindergartner to screaming banshee in 1.5 seconds flat. Tells me at least three time a day that she wishes we were in Disney “RIGHT NOW”. This will be her third trip.

DS1 – Andrew, 2 ¾. My little man. I love my girls to death, but I think most mamas will tell you that there is something special about a little boy! Loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and the Wiggles. He is right at 40 inches, we’re teaching him to stand up as straight as possible! This will be his first trip!

My mom, Marcia – 63, HR manager, misses her grandkids terribly as we just moved away 4 months ago. Hasn’t been to AK or MGM, doesn’t do thrill rides. Can be great to travel with, or not. We’re hoping for the former!

Now for the itinerary:

We are staying on points in a 2 bedroom condo at Saratoga Springs (SSR) for eight nights. We will be on the dining plan. I bought our tickets (7 day/expiring/non-hopping) online from Undercover Tourist. I subscribed to TourGuideMike for the first time, fits right in with my obsessive planning behavior! (Way to enable, TGM!!)

So now we are making final plans and counting down. I’ve printed off the map for the new Western Way exit. It’s not on mapquest or yahoo maps yet, but leave it to the DIS! Someone on the camping board posted a link to the Turnpike’s official maps. I think I have our ADR’s and order of parks finalized.

Saturday, Jan. 13th: Arrive and settle in. We are driving, my mom is flying and taking ME to SSR. My stepsister and her two kids are driving up from Lake Worth to spend the night with us. That was another great surprise for the kids, they will get to see their beloved cousins for a part of the trip!

Sunday, Jan. 14th: Epcot. Breakfast at Akershus, dinner at Le Cellier. We may skip Le Cellier (GASP!), since my stepsister is not on the dining plan and is a single mom. One TS may be all her budget can take.

Monday, Jan. 15th: MK. My stepsister and her kids will head home, they have school/work Tuesday! We have dinner ADR’s at Chef Mickey’s. Anabelle has been requesting a return there since our last trip.

Tuesday, Jan. 16th: AK. Dinner at Boma.

Wednesday, Jan.17th: MGM. Dinner at SciFi.

Thursday, Jan. 18th: Pirate cruise for the girls in the AM (they don’t know, we still have a few surprises up our sleeves!), the grown-ups will take Andrew to 1900 Park Faire for brunch. Epcot and Biergarten in the evening.

Friday, Jan. 19th: Open, I figure we’ll hit whatever park we haven’t seen enough of yet. No ADR’s.

Saturday, Jan. 20th: MK, early breakfast at Crystal Palace, dinner at Kona Café.


Sunday, Jan 21st: Sadly checkout and drag home. Probably hit Downtown Disney before we hit the road.

With this plan we will either pay for one TS out of pocket for the adults or have two children’s TS credits left over (depending on whether or not we skip LeCellier). We will have a full kitchen, so we will eat a light breakfast in the room most days.

All on her own, Rebecca has drawn, cut out, and taped to the wall next to her bed a scene of Disney. The carousel is on the left, next to a roller coaster and playground. Our hotel is the big yellow building on the right. The two people are "just people who are walking around there".



She has also drawn a picture of Mickey and his clubhouse in her autograph book to show the big cheese while we’re there. She is my creative one, for sure!



She just came up to me and AGAIN said she wished we were going today. How do people survive telling their kids six months out? I’d be committed by then!

Andrew has torn several pages out of his book to draw on and tried to pull off Mickey’s tail. I have removed the books to a safe, undisclosed location.



The dog has his luxury accommodations booked at the vet (sorry, Merlin!) and I have started my list of things not to forget. We're taking the van tomorrow for an oil change and tire rotation. The girls are busy scouring Disney.com for the quicktime movies of the rides and we’re checking Accuweather’s 15 day forecast each day to see what weather we’re in for.

The excitement level is building…. Let the ten day countdown begin!
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Old 01-04-2007, 06:35 AM   #25
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Rebecca's drawings are so cute, and I love how you've done their autograph books. Have fun, can't wait for the TR when you get back.
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Old 01-04-2007, 08:23 AM   #26
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Love the trip report!! Your kids are so cute! We'll be there just a few days behind you - have a great trip showing Andrew the World for the first time - I'm sure he'll love it!
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Old 01-06-2007, 12:44 AM   #27
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I LOVED the boxes--what a great idea!!! I knew I couldn't surprise my kids this time because I was too excited myself, but I am pocketing your great ideas for our next trip! You TR will be something to look forward to when we get back!
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Old 01-06-2007, 06:22 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellester View Post
The excitement level is building…. Let the ten day countdown begin!
Ellen....I'm so excited for you! I have to laugh when you say Rebecca is asking every day when you're leaving. That would have been James EXACTLY if we had told him beforehand. I love, love your "plan" and hope you don't have to skip LeCellier! (Can you feed the little kids some CS and treat your SIL to LeCell on your credits?) Anyway....I know you'll have a fabulous time and your uber-planning will all pay off!
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Old 01-06-2007, 07:02 AM   #29
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Great trip report so far! I am so excited for you!!!
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Old 01-06-2007, 07:09 AM   #30
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Hey!!! What time are your ADRs for Crystal Palace? We'll be there on the same day at 8:05am! I'd love to meet your family!
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