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Old 09-19-2010, 09:53 PM   #1
Turkey Lurkey
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The Turkeys Take on the World - A Trip Thingie

"You can only be young once. But you can always be immature." - Dave Barry


Hello, I'm Turkey Lurkey and I approve this message.

Heading out to WDW in January, so I thought I try my hand at one of these trip dealies. I want to make this trip special for my family, so I figured this would be a great place to toss out some ideas and ask for suggestions. Also, I think my wife is starting to get tired of me talking about the trip, so this will help me share the excitement with others...I know you all can understand where I'm coming from.

Be prepared for lots of nonsense and mayhem. And we might even learn something along the way too!


DRAMATIS PERSONAE:

- Me. Radio personality for a group of small town radio stations. I'm kind of a big, gruff kinda guy, who's a fan of zombies, slasher movies, and the Dark Side of the Force. But I also get kinda teary eyed and choked up watching that Travel Channel special about WDW at Christmas time. This will be my 5th Disney trip, I went twice to WDW as an early teen with my Mom and Brother, once with my wife for a belated honeymoon in 2004, and once to Tokyo Disneyland with my wife and mother when we went to visit my brother while he was studying overseas. Favorite characters are Goofy and Stitch.

- My loverly wife, Mrs. Turkey, a pre-school teacher. She's about the biggest Disney freak...er, fan, I ever met (til I came to these boards that is!). She is a bright, bubbly, and talkitive person, willing to strike up a conversation with anyone. This will be her 4th Disney trip. She went once with her family when she was a kid. She loves the Disney Villians, especially Maleficent, but her favorite Disney character is Sleeping Beauty.

- And last but not least, our 3 year old daughter. She's a bright, creative, little girl, but her mood changes on a dime. One minute she can be as cheerful and outgoing as her mom, the next as shy and quiet as her daddy can be. Oh yes, and she has curls. Here she is in her Snow White nightgown, not long after she got it (with a little post picture Photoshopping by daddy).



Here she is immediately following the previous picture. As my wife was taking pictures, DD said, "Wait Mumma." and ran and got herself an apple.



What a ham. She loves the Princesses, her favorites are Snow White and Little Mermaid. I think she also has a thing for Prince Erik too. This will be DD's 1st Disney Trip. She kinda knows about the trip, but can't quite comprehend it, she thinks we're going to Disney on Ice (which we went to last Fall). We're going to wait to explain it to her once we get closer to the actual trip.


TL


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Old 09-20-2010, 08:55 AM   #2
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Chapter I: In which plans are made, get torn asunder, and are reforged.

"But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew...." - Robert Burns.



The plan was to go in January 2012. It was going to be a big get together of our families. My mom and brother and fiance. My wife's folks and her brother and sister in law. My best friend of 30 years and his daughter, pretty much any family and/or friends who wanted to come along were going to be invited. We wanted to just have a big blast and take over the World.

We don't get to Disney as often as we would like. In fact, we've been lucky to be able to go as many times as we have. My wife and I have our dream jobs, but unfortunately, not a dream salary (which always seems to be the case). We do alright to get buy, but 99% of our family trips are visiting my wife's family in MN. Which kind of bums me out, not because of visiting the in-laws (I love them all), but that we don't get to do the kind of trips we used to do as kids. However, we have been getting some nice tax returns, and the idea was to start saving up here and there and let our 2010 taxes do most of the dirty work. Plans had been started with the Grandparents, all of which were excited to be able to go and take their Granddaughter (the first on both sides of the family) to WDW.

Then in the middle of May, my mother got really sick and was hospitalized. She never came back out of the hospital and passed away in June. It was very sudden and surprising.

The next month, we had a big scare when my mother in law fell through the ceiling of the cabin they were working on. My inlaws were basically building their dreamhouse on the lake, and while putting in drywall over a section of floor on the 2nd floor that wasn't completely done, MIL stepped on a bad board and went right through to the concrete floor below. She broke a couple ribs, dislocated a shoulder, colapsed a lung, and cracked a vertebrae. Luckily, there was no permanent dehabilitating damage done, and she is bouncing back quickly. However she does have a long road to recovery still.

Fortunately, we did have some good news this summer too. My wife's brother and sister in law are pregnant, and my brother got married.

All this was going through my mind earlier this month, along with our future plans. My wife and I were going to try for another child once we got back from the trip in '12. I was feeling kind of old that day and wasn't sure if I wanted to put off having another kid that long.

MIL might not be up for such a trip, even with a year and a half of rehab under the belt, and then there was the money issue to. They have pretty good health insurance, but there were still a great number of medical bills for them to pay that the insurance didn't cover. And there was the impending baby, would my wife's brother and sister in law be ready for a trip to Disney?

We got a little bit of money from mom's passing. Enough left over after paying off some bills and buying a new (used) car, that we could actually make a go of it if we wanted to go to WDW, just the three of us. So what if just the three of us went? And what if we went THIS January? Apart from my wife and I's honeymoon to WDW, we've never taken a trip just by ourselves. It was always with family or going to visit family. It would be nice for just the three of us to do something like this together.

I went home that day and asked my wife, "What would you say if we put off the big family Disney trip a couple more years and just the three of us went to Disney THIS January?"

DW looked at me funny and replied, "Why do you ask?"

I gave her my reasoning and then asked, "Why?"

She pulled a book out of a bag and said, "Because I just bought this today." The book was Birnbaum's Guide to WDW for Kids.

I knew then that we had to go in January of 2011.


TL


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Old 09-20-2010, 09:48 PM   #3
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Chapter II: In Which Plans Are Detailed


"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." - Edgar Allen Poe


So after two weeks or so of discussion and research, and clearing it with DW's folks so there was no hurt feelings, the wife and I decided to go ahead and book the vacation. Here then, is what we're looking at.

We're going Saturday to Saturday (I originally wanted to do Sat-Sun, but DW convinced me that we're probably want a day to "decompress" before heading back to work) and will be staying at the All Star Music. The wife and I stayed there on our honeymoon trip and really liked it. We considered one of the more upscale resorts, what with the discounts, but DW said she'd rather stay at a hotel we knew we liked, and save the extra $$ for souveniers.

Also of consideration was the Free Dining. We are staying with the QS dining plan, as DD is a pretty fussy eater, so we weren't too keen on having to worry about a lot of TS meals, and we didn't really mind, so the QS will suit us just fine. (Plus we love those refillable mugs! And to get them free? Bonus!)

I did make two ADRs though, one for the Akershus Princess Breakfast for our first morning there (I wanted to ease DD into the character experience, and figured a breakfast with face characters she knew would be the way), and breakfast at the Crystal Palace on Friday (because those stuffed waffles sounded GOOD).

We got a 5 day park hopper pass, and intend to get a 1 day park hopper for universal when we get down there (I could go with out going to Universal, but the Missus NEEDS to see Potterland, and I admit I'd miss the Spiderman ride). The idea is to go to Epcot on Sunday, but we're not sure yet what we're doing the rest of the week. Right now we're looking at MK on Mon, Universal on Tues, AK on Wed, DHS on Thurs, and MK again on Friday (with sanity breaks during the day as needed).

Suggestions welcome....



TL

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Old 09-22-2010, 08:21 AM   #4
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Chapter III: In Which I Contemplate Bringing Back-Up Pixie Dust, Just in Case

"If I can't find a reindeer, I'll make one instead!" - The Grinch


One of my favorite things about our honeymoon trip to Disney was surprising my wife with it. I had booked everything in October and kept it a secret from her until Christmas. Her reaction then and reactions to the things I had planned during the trip (such as the Akershus Princess Breakfast), made the trip even more enjoyable and magical for me.

This time around, DW is involved in the Pre-planning, and even DD is kind of knows what we're doing, though it she's really not aware of what it all means yet. And I'm kind of missing that surprise aspect of the previous trip. I want to do something(s) that are intended for DD, but that will surprise DW as well.

One thing I'm thinking about is an invitation to the Akershus breakfast. My wife and I had such a fun time when we went, and we figured it would be the best way to introduce the concept of the costumed characters to DD. (She is an extremely gregarious and out going girl, but can turn supershy in seconds. Getting pictures with Santa or the Easter Bunny has been a challenge the last two years.) I read in another thread that the resorts have CMs that are authorized to "obtain" character signatures. I was thinking about buying or printing off and invitation to the breakfast and seeing if the CMs at ASMu can get Belle or Aurora's signature on it and place it in our room while we're exploring DTD Saturday night. I know this breakfast used to be considered Aurora's breakfast, is that still the case? Are there any Princesses that are "guaranteed" to be there? I'd prefer to have Snow White or Ariel sign it, as those are DD's faves, but I don't want to get Snow's signature on the invite, and then she not be at the breakfast....

I'd like to surprise my DW with something special, but not sure what. An evening alone is right out (unless my super secret plans come through) as my wife and I have already decided we will not partake of the Disney daycare. I've been looking at the Disney Florist stuff, but those are all so expensive....

Anyone have any thoughts on other things I could do, either for DW or DD? We will have a very limited budget.


TL


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Old 09-29-2010, 08:36 AM   #5
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Chapter IV: In which I remember I'm doing a Pre-Trip Report


So last time I was at WDW, I left a cute little thank you note for Mousekeeping on our last day in the resort. I wanted to do something like that this time, but expand to any CM that we think goes above and beyond in their duties. There were times last trip that I would have really liked to have done that, so I wanted to make sure I was prepared this time.

I was originally thinking of bringing a little sketchbook and giving drawings out as thank yous. However, I realized there were a few flaws in that plan. A) Unless I drew some pictures out before hand, it would take me far to long to sketch something up on the fly. and B) Even though I'm an okay artist, who would want a picture from me? From a kid, it's cute. From a 35 year old, it's kinda desperate. So I scrapped that idea. (I still may bring along a sketchbook to doodle in while in line for rides).

After poking around these boards, I decided I would do mini thank you cards (business card size) with the following on:

Thank you,
___(CM NAME)___
for making our trip Magical and
____(observed action)____
The Turkey Family, Jan. 2011

That way, I can still personalize the thank you, and it will still be a quick process.



TL

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Old 10-05-2010, 08:35 AM   #6
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Chapter V: In Which I Intend to Pay Homage to the Dearly Departed


As I mentioned earlier, my Mother passed away suddenly this summer. One of her dreams was to take my Daughter to WDW. The trip we're taking is partly paid for from some of the money we got after she passed, so in a way, Mom is taking her to WDW. As such, I want to find some way to pay homage to her this trip.

Mom's favorite ride was "It's a Small World". So I was thinking of leaving a small "piece of her" on the ride. No, not like those people who dump the ashes of their loved ones on the Haunted Mansion ride, I was thinking of something a little less ghastly.

Mom was a bit of a collector, and a part from Disney, she liked to collect giraffes, Noah's Ark stuff, and Japanese "Lucky Cats". Going through our house, I found a couple of tiny knick knacks of each. I was contemplating leaving one of these knick knacks on the ride (like drop it in with the coins in the water), or asking a CM if they could place it somewhere on the ride (dunno if that would go over or not).

Any suggestions? Anyone who went through something similar?



TL


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Old 10-31-2010, 12:02 PM   #7
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Chapter VI: In Which I Post a Picture


I'm taking that by the fact that there has been no replies so far that you all think my plans are super awesome and you are all just awestruck by them. In that case, thank you.

Nothing really new to report, though we are planning on switching Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studio days, as I had us going to DH on Fantasmic night. I figure we'll hop to DS after AK for the Fantasmic performance.

I just wanted to post a picture. DD is dressing up as Snow White for Halloween this year. My wife is friends with a seamstress that has done costumes for Broadway and Vegas, who also made the dress for us. We had decided that DD would wear the dress to Disney when we go. When DW's friend found out, she decided she needed to go all out. We think she did pretty darn good.



She's going to be quite the little center of attention when we hit the parks.



TL
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:25 AM   #8
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Subbing. Cause that kid is too darn cute (and vaguely familiar).
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:08 AM   #9
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Chapter VII: In Which The Excitement. It Is Barely Contained.

"The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part" -- Tom Petty



Our trip is nearly a fortnight away, and the fam is getting geared up for it.

DD3 has been a hoot lately. With all our prepping, she finally understands what this trip is all about and she gets more and more excited by the day. Her top priority is to meet the princesses. After that, she wants to ride the Aladdin Carpet ride. She got a cheap little digital camera for Christmas from her Aunt and Uncle, and she's determined that she's the only one that will be taking photos on our trip. She's also finally potty trained, which we're both ecstatic about, though part of me wished she would have waited until after the trip to be serious about it...oh well!

The entire time we've been prepping her, we've been concerned about how she's going to react to the characters. When I first started showing her photos of kids at the various meet and greets, she was interested, but said she wouldn't go up to any of them, unless me or DW went with her, and then it would only be to high five. Then she thought, well maybe she could hug the princesses. Pretty soon, she was okay with the thought of hugging Mickey and the gang too. Now she's to the point where the only characters she doesn't want anything to do with is the villains, but even that stance is beginning to fall. I told her the way to scare Captain Hook (by saying "Tick Tock" to him) and she can't wait to try it. She also wants to kick him in the butt, but I don't know about that.... She did good with Santa this year, so I think after some initial shyness, she'll do just fine with the Disney friends.

Another thing we've been working on is the rides. I've been letting DD know that some of them can get pretty dark and loud, but there's nothing to be frightened of on them (because Mickey won't let her get hurt). She's gung ho about trying as many rides as she can...except for the Haunted Mansion. That's been sticking in DW's craw, as HM is one of her favorite rides. I'm okay with sitting back with DD while DW goes on it and then do the kid swap thing, but DW really wants us all to go on it. I think I've got her prepped for it now. I told DD that the ghost on HM are only there because they're friends of Mickey, and just do silly scary things like kids at halloween. I told her that the ghosts get scared too, if you say "Boo" to them, but only if you whisper it (in hopes that she won't disturb the other guests). When she found out that she could "scare the ghosts", she seemed to perk up at the idea of going on the ride. Of course, we're not going to force her on the ride if she changes her mind when we get there, but it's good to know that she's opening up to the idea. She's hovering right around 39" right now, I'm hoping she'll sprout another inch by the end of next week....

DW is finally getting as excited about the trip as I have been. She's watching a lot of her Disney movies and she's popped in the travel planning DVD a couple times in the past week. She's read the Kingdom Keepers books and is currently reading a book about Walt Disney Secrets. She keeps telling me all these things that she's finding out in this book, and I just smile and nod, as I already knew them from reading this board and allears.net.

For my part, I've been working on my checklist of things that need to get done before we head out. Current project is working on a homemade autograph book for DD. We've gone round and round on how we want to do it, from just buying a book at the parks to using index cards. I finally decided to make a book out of some old comic book backing boards I found. They're big enough to support the characters signature and then a photo of the character with DD when we get them printed out. We've also got a Princess poster and a Fairies poster to get signed, which we will frame and hang in DD's room.

I've also been debating about whether I want to bring our camcorder or not. It was a hassle lugging it around last time, and I'd prefer just to take photos, but something tells me that I would regret it if I didn't bring it.

Our ADRs are all made, we've got Breakfast with the Princesses at the Akershus on the first day, then Breakfast at the Crystal Palace on our last day. I kind of want to eat at the 50's Prime Time Diner and at the Beirgarten, but I'm not quite sold on that (and neither is DW, and as we're only on the QS dining plan, we'd have to pay OOP for those). Our final night we're doing one more character meal at 1900 Park Faire with my brother and his wife.

Oh yeah, that's right, my brother and his new bride will be visit from South Korea and will be down in WDW the same time we are! They'll be doing their own thing for the majority of the trip, but we are going to meet up on the last day we're both there and spend the day together.

And hey, look at that, he's also on the DIS boards with his OWN trip report!

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2571882


That's about all I know for now. Probably do one more post before the actual trip, but who knows with my track record?

Questions? Thoughts? Comments?



TL


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Old 01-08-2011, 01:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katoot View Post
Subbing. Cause that kid is too darn cute (and vaguely familiar).
Hey, thanks, stranger!



TL
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:00 AM   #11
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A fellow DIS Dad checking in! I definitely recommend doing the Biergarten and 50s PTC - they are both great.

We have a few things in common, it appears. Going to The World in January is one of them. Feel free to stop by my Pre-Trip Report to see some other things we have in common.

So when in January are you going?
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:59 AM   #12
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another disdads here. im in!!! what a great story. sorry to hear about your mom. great idea about leaving something in the water in its a small world. glad you are able to take the trip with just the three of you. family is nice but its also nice to go just the three of you. take the camcorder!!! there only 3 once!! our dd is turning 18 in feb and a sr. in high school. this junes trip will be here 20th and she has danced in the mk twice. now, this fall, she will be off to collage and probley wont be going on to many more family vacations. she loves disney and loves the shore. my inlaws have a place in cape may and we have a feeling she will be spending her rare time off in cape may. what im trying to say is there grown and gone before you know it. we lugged the camcorder bag (huge compared to todays standards) camera, diaper bag, stroller and we wouldnt change any of it.the tapes and photos are priceless. dd still watches tapes from years ago.great pre trip report and cant wait to read more!!!
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTex71 View Post
A fellow DIS Dad checking in! I definitely recommend doing the Biergarten and 50s PTC - they are both great.

We have a few things in common, it appears. Going to The World in January is one of them. Feel free to stop by my Pre-Trip Report to see some other things we have in common.

So when in January are you going?
Thanks! We'll be there the last full week of January. Looks like we're passing ships. =)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvczerfs View Post
another disdads here. im in!!! what a great story. sorry to hear about your mom. great idea about leaving something in the water in its a small world. glad you are able to take the trip with just the three of you. family is nice but its also nice to go just the three of you. take the camcorder!!! there only 3 once!! our dd is turning 18 in feb and a sr. in high school. this junes trip will be here 20th and she has danced in the mk twice. now, this fall, she will be off to collage and probley wont be going on to many more family vacations. she loves disney and loves the shore. my inlaws have a place in cape may and we have a feeling she will be spending her rare time off in cape may. what im trying to say is there grown and gone before you know it. we lugged the camcorder bag (huge compared to todays standards) camera, diaper bag, stroller and we wouldnt change any of it.the tapes and photos are priceless. dd still watches tapes from years ago.great pre trip report and cant wait to read more!!!
Thanks! Yeah, I think my wife would have my head if I didn't bring the camcorder, and I know I'll have fun playing around with editting the footage afterwards....



TL
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:26 PM   #14
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Sounds like you will have a great time!!! Yes, you must take your camcorder, or better yet, does your camera take video? Then you're not lugging so much. It's your DD 1st time, you must capture all of her Disney 1sts!!

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Old 01-10-2011, 07:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'OhanaMama View Post
Sounds like you will have a great time!!! Yes, you must take your camcorder, or better yet, does your camera take video? Then you're not lugging so much. It's your DD 1st time, you must capture all of her Disney 1sts!!

Yeah, we're really looking forward to it. Our camera does take video, but, alas, does not capture sound with it. And DD says such crazy things, we really need the sound. I'm more concerned with leaving something behind/forgetting about either the camera or camcorder than having to lug it around. Oh well. : :


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