|09-12-2012, 03:09 PM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2004
Our Labor day visit-- shhh it was a surprise
The trip was short so as my story should be.
Once upon a time we got us a grand daughter-- born Dec 10, 2005. She is the first grand daughter. (I have 3 brothers, 3 sons and a gaggle of nephews. (I also have 4 godsons) sigh, no girls So when jada was born--- I went into Princess mode and here it is 6 1/2 years later-- still.
Jada spends almost every weekend with us since she was born. (used to cry a lot coz she missed her mommy and always wanted to go home.)
One year she said she wanted to go with us on vacation and I told her she cant go coz she is a cry baby and always wants to go home- I told her as soon as she grows up and the tears dry up she can go with us on vacation. Needless to say she never cried again after that.
I kept my promise and took her on vacations with us.
We went for our to Disney first time when she was 5, Sept 2010 for poppops birthday so we can attend our first ever MNSSHP.
It was the best money I ever spent on vacation. PopPop came up with the costume idea. She will be Cruella and we will be the Dalmations. We now have a Disney Convert among us. she had a ball.
This year we were planning Aruba. Have been planning since Sept 2011. (she was in on most of all our planning modes)
Looking at airfare and wow was that expensive. One night Joe (who is the PopPop) told me to price out one way tickets with a stop at Orlando. We could do Disney for the weekend if it was cheap enough.
Cheaper it was-- by almost 300. including to stay on site at Coronda Spring and 1 day tickets to magic kingdom
Talked about it some more and we both decided NOT to tell Jada about Disney. We wanted to see how long it took for her to realize where we are going. This is how it began with our LONG LONG secret
So I booked our Flights--one way from PHL to Aruba. Where we stay at the Occidental from Sunday through Saturday.
One way flight from Aruba to Orlando on Saturday at 1:15 (arrival at MCO at 4:30) and from MCO to Phl on Monday att 3:15.
Booked the Coronada Springs resort with a 1 day tickets for Saturday through Monday.
total was 1800.00
Now if I got round trip tickets- non stop from Phl to Aruba the price was 2100. so I saved 300 and getting a side trip to Disney. Woo hoo...Im soo very happy.
We decided this part of the vacation will always be a secret. And I gotta say I was impressed with myself for never, ever slipping.
We are planning a week trip in dec 2013 for her birthday- so if I needed to ask her a question I made it sound like I was asking about that trip.
I asked very few questions but one I asked-- what do you prefer--rides or characters? and without blinking she said characters.
So I was planning this visit around the characters
|09-12-2012, 03:13 PM||#2|
Join Date: Dec 2004
we started putting our Aruba trip together. What to do - when to do it.
We came up with a sunset snorkel trip for Wednesday night, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnR2fNLIwIE
Heading to the movies to see the Odd Life of Timothy Green. (movies in aruba are super cheap- we had 3 tickets for 15 bucks compared to almost 40 at home)
Occidental also does cheesy shows which Jada wants to see.
We are also visiting the Ostrich Farm
jada is a dancer and likes everything about dance-including those cheesy shows.
Occidental also does a Beach party on Thursday (my birthday) and the full moon is Friday and we were going to lay on the beach at night to see the moon and stars.
A few months after I booked the trip I got a 40% off pin through the email. My free trip is now going to start costing us money.
with the 40% off pin I upgraded the Coronada Springs and booked the Contemporary. (no buses- we can walk to Magic Kingdom or take the monorail. (cost to upgrade was about 198.00) plus I added the regular dining plan (about 140.00)
Since Characters are a main point with Jada the time is coming to make our ADR and I figured Character meals.
Dining plan is for 2 sit downs 2 counter services 2 snacks and a refillable mug each.
My plan: we will arrive at the Contemporary about 6:30 and we can eat at the Contempo Cafe for Dinner on Saturday.
Breakfast at Chef Mickeys at 7am. Rope drop before 9am. Crystal Palace at 7:00pm and for the next morning we got Ohana for 9:00am which I changed over and over because of ME pick up by 12 noon. It took me quite a few tries with Ohana but people cancelled all the time. I started with 9:00 found 8:45 then 8:30 and finally setting for 8:15am.
OHana will be our OOP meal. (it was the cheapest of our ADR)
ok, meals were planned and reserved. Found that MK had EMH until 2am. Woo hoo extra hours for such a short trp.
Along the way I found Tee shirts for me-- Minnie Mouse, Pop Pop got a Mickey tee shirt and Jada got a personalized Princess one. She also got a Princess ears. I found a princess bag to put this stuff in. The fairy godmother will leave it once we are asleep.
we were very careful on not saying-- we are going home tomorrow. All we say is we gotta leave Aruba tomorrow. Going to the airport to leave Aruba... no mention of seeing mom or dad or her dog--lol
Our flight our of Aruba is 1:15pm. We get up by 8am- head to breakfast. Taxi picks us up at 10am. Through Customs, Immigaration for both Aruba and US and by our gate by 12 noon. (too bad our flight is delayed over an hour. - sigh)
joe was afraid they would mention on the plane about Mickey-- I didnt think so coz how many people go from Aruba to disney world???
we arrive. we gotta get our own bags- since I gotta do wash and do not want to wait hours for the luggage to arrive.
we are walking through the airport-- following the signs to ME. (jada does not really read yet-- and how many kids read signs?) no mention of seeing mickey heads on the wall. or the Harry Potter stuff or Space place.
She sees a guy waving his mickey hand and she says-- what's he doing here? we're not going to disney.
we walk further and there are mickey heads on the floor- she says-- why are they here--we're not going to disney world.
We go further and there is the greeter for ME-- I handed Jada the ME tickets and Jada says what are these for? the lady says where ya going. jada says "I dunno" the lady played along. you dont know where you are going? have you ever been to Chicago? Have you ever been (named some place else--I forget) We get in line #4 for Contemporary and Jada says why are we going here.. we are not going to Disney. and we are smiling at her. she then asks-- why are you smiling at me and I told Joe-- its time to tell her.
Would you be upset if we spend a few days at Disney? she says no.
|09-12-2012, 03:14 PM||#3|
Join Date: Dec 2004
here is the video.
sorry about the "flutter" but trying to video her and keep my luggage in one hand and my carry bag over the shoulder was very hard. she kept her composer while we were inside waiting for the bus. (maybe she was unsure or thought we were kidding)
but when we got outside-- and on the bus-- her excitment really came out
|09-12-2012, 03:21 PM||#4|
Join Date: Dec 2004
after watching the video-- I wonder if while waiting for the bus she did not believe us.
her california reference is because I have been showing her Disneyland stuff and teaching her about the different Disneys.
the new cars land looks amazing. We will go one one year but not yet.
Her excitement while we took our seats on the bus really shined through. And that reaction made it all worth it.
When asked later if she liked her surprise or would she rather been in on the planning she stated she would loved to be surprised
|09-12-2012, 03:22 PM||#5|
Join Date: Dec 2004
We arrived at the Contemporary about 6:30pm. Checked in. Again I asked for a room as close to the laundry room as possible. and was given the room the most further out in the Garden Wing Section.
Oh well, we go to check out the room, very nice I might add. Too bad I could NEVER afford a room like this always.
I already moved dirty clothes into one suitcase so all I gotta do is roll it to the laundry room.
Joe decides that they will swim for the hour that it will take to do the laundry-- then we will go eat at the Contempo Cafe.
The laundry room does not take money- you use your KTTWC- thank god I put a credit card down so I can spend the card in the laundry room.
2.00 each wash. 2.00 for each dry and 1.00 for two dryer fabric softner sheets.
got that done-- wash, dried, folded. and went to collect my swimmers. back to the room- put the clothes in the right suit case while they got changed and off to Contempo Cafe.
The menu that is posted on all ears net needs to be updated. there were quite a bit on that menu NOT on the menu at Contempo Cafe-- Joe really wanted the Roast Beef but settled on a Burger, Fries and a soda. Jada got a kids burger meal and I got the pepperoni flatbread.
Jada was not eating-- so Joe wanted to help her along so he took a bite- yuck. that was the worse burger he ever tasted. He gave her half of his and half my pizza and she ate it all.
We went back to the room to get some sleep- its been a long, exciting, surpring day and tomorrow is an early one.
The time was 9:30pm.
we have a ADR for Chef Mickeys at 7am
Last edited by serene56; 09-12-2012 at 03:30 PM.
|09-12-2012, 03:39 PM||#6|
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South Carolina
What wonderful grandparents you are. I could never dream of someone doing that for my kids. That is so exciting. Does the airport "give it away" that you are in Disney"? We are surprising our son next Friday and we hope we can wait until we have passed through the pearly gates of Disneyworld and can say "Lawson, do you know where we are"?? Cant wait to see how you liked Chef Mickeys!!
Me ( 29) DH (30) DS (5) DS(2)
Few times as a child
In Memory of My Mama- 10-15-56- 04-10-13
Second Star to the Right And Straight On till Morning
April 2006- Offsite DH ( was BF) first time
December 2005- Offsite ( Engaged at Magic Kingdom)
December 2007- Offsite ( Pregnant with Lawson)
February 2011-Disney All Star Sports ( Pregnant with Landen)
September 2012-1 night at Port Orleans FQ
September 2012- 1 night at Art of Animation
October 2013- Caribbean Beach Resort
|09-12-2012, 03:53 PM||#7|
Join Date: Dec 2004
no, the lady at ME said nothing at all--like welcome to disney=- nothing. but there is a lot of DISNEY stuff while walking from the plane to the ME buses. I mean its on the wall, on the floor- People are waving mickey fingers.
Are you taking the ME buses-- coz the videos will surely give it away
|09-12-2012, 08:11 PM||#8|
Join Date: Dec 2004
Set the alarm for 6pm. I can get up before the two of them and get everything set.
Fairy Godmother visited and I made up Jadas's bag with all our shirts and her ears. (I also packed away her autographbook that her PopPop made.
- alphabetically every disney character ever. Its huge and the charcters and handlers make a fuss always of her book.
I showered, dressed, etc then made such a fuss about the fairy godmother visiting and leaving a present. Was I worried about her getting p in time for our Chef Mickeys ADR--Yes I was but she was right out of bed.
ohhh and ahhh'd over our gifts- got her dressed and ready and we WALKED to our AdR I could not believe there was a long line--but there was many people walking on right behind us. Guess the 7am is the first reservation. It was NOT long before it was our turn--taken to get our photo- we did not buy it although it turned out nicely. We were seated by 7:05am. Characters were not out yet but started with Goofy.
Food was good, hot and plentiful. Read many reviews about those cheesy potatos-- and wow were they tasty.
We saw the characters, ate and we were all quite full. It was about 8:15 and we decided to take the monorail to the magic kingdom instead of walking. was nice, was empty. We took a few pictures with the front of the train station in the back ground. then went to stand in line at the right side of the gates. Seeing the opening ceremony was not as important this trip as getting to Merida before the line built up.
The gates opened at exactly 9am-- Joe and Jada headed to Merida while I got FP for the Princesses in Town Sq. and got special FP for dumbo. (which we did not use and could NOT even give it away. I was amazed at the number of people who said no thanks.) The return time was for 9:40-10:40 and I tried to give them away before 10am.
After I got our Fast Passes I made my way to Merida (who does not come out until 9:15. Jada was third in line. (the first family got to wake up the brothers-- cute. So we met Merida, got to practice some archery. Jada colored some while I went to the smoking station. (they met me there in 5 minutes and we were making out way to Tinker Bell.
As we were walking---we saw Lady Tremaine and the step sisters. (the line was closed) oh look there is Tiana with no one in line. Tiana and Jada had a great time getting acquainted. Pure magic. We passed Peter Pan-- again his line was closed- (he is one of those characted that we can never seem to get to sign the book.) Finally got to Tinker Belle. She was meeting with Vidia. (both signatures we got in the past, but this tinker belle was amazing as she was very so much in character--bratty. She looked through Jadas book and didnt understand why she needed to sign it again if she already did it once..LOL So I told her look, vidia signed it twice without grief so just take the pen and sign the page. She stomped her foot and signed-- of course being a 6 year old she didnt understand what was happening.
We got done and hurried to Ariel-- we were done within 5 minutes. (i also forgot to give the photopass guy our card and he never asked either. ) very disappointed.
Making our way back down main street to see the Princesses in Town Square using our FP we were next in line--and that line was long with a 40 minute wait. I dont understand why people would stand in the line when its just so simple to get a FP and come back.
by the time we were done with these Princesses (Repunzel, Belle & Cinderella) the time was like 10:15am.
we took the train to frontierland.
The crowds were next to non existant-- crowd calender has this day at a 4-5.
We got a FP for Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road, Rode stand by for splash, By the time we were off splash--it was time to ride BTMRR so I grabbed another FP for another ride on Splash Mountain. We rode BTMRR, stood and waited our turn to see Jesse and Woody.- we headed to ride the Haunted Mansion.
On our last visit Jada refused to go in there. But over the course of many many months--Jada and PoP pop made a deal- If she rode Haunted Mansion he gotta ride Its a small World. - (he hates that ride as we got stuck in there for about 20 minutes our first time) She saw the haunted mansion. her heart was racing in the stretching room but she was a trooper and loved it when it was done.
Our FP time was ready for Splash Mountain- The time is now 12:30. I wanted to make our way to Main Street and go to the Emporium. We needed to buy a back pack school bag and get one of those Disney babies. (the plush that are wrapped in a blanket) We got the NERDS back pack (29.99) and she settled on Lady baby. (she used her birthday gift cards or those.
We never buy her a birthday present. always gave her a $25.00 disney gift card for when she gets to disney to buy whatever she wants. On her first visit she had 125.00 (saving those 25.00 for 5 years- see how it adds up. I figured she will get enough birthday presents for her birthday but this will go a little further then a toy that will either get lost or broke within a matter of weeks.
Our last visit she got a baby each day- so far she has Pluto (which she carried around for a few days back then, Simba and a dalmation)
|09-12-2012, 08:53 PM||#9|
Join Date: Dec 2004
Its nowalmost 1:30 and the crowds are starting to pick up. We decided to go back to Contempo Cafe for lunch then back to the room for a nap.
She got the Chicken Nuggets kids meal. PopPop got the hot turkey and I got the Itailain. Jada's meal again was tasteless. These are not purdue nuggets but something along the line of Murrys--they were pure crap.
she ate her fries, and her little cookie--nothing at all like the adult desserts. She shared our sandwiches with us.
But we got a strawberry lemonade cupcake to share and a choc cookie for later. That cupcake was amazing. (i forgot to mention we got the choc peanut butter cupcake for dinner the night before and shared that with the three of us too)
Headed back to the room- got cleaned up and were out within minutes.
We walked to the park after our nap--that walk seemed a lot longer then the 10 minutes they say it takes--maybe its the heat--or maybe we were just still tired. we were back in the park by 5:45pm
We have a 7:00pm Adr FOR Crystal Palace. I wanted to get FP for Peter Pan before dinner--but they were gone. I never got to ride this because the line was always long---and I am not standing in a line that is over 20 minutes. So we made our way to Pirates of the Caribbean which said it was 15 minutes but by the time we got on a boat it was more like 30.
Now Aladdins line was closed. The line for the Magic Carpets was too long so we stood by and let the camel spit at Jada and PopPop for a while.
Walked to Jungle cruise--again the line was too long and the FP conflicted with our ADR. We slowly made our way back to Crystal Palace and was seated right away.
By the time we got done dinner it was 8:15. We went outside and got our photos taken with a PhotoPass guy. and made our way to tomorrowland.
Space Mountain was 80 minute wait and FP was gone. So we grabbed a FP for Buzz and went to go see Laugh Floor. Jada and Pop Pop went to go see that stitch show while I went to go smoke. We rode Buzz Light year- then headed to the castle to see Magic Memories and you. (that was a nightmare for sure)
way too many people. The announcer stated that once the lights go off please stay still until the lights come back on- it was wall to wall people. I can not tell you how many people pushing strollers past us-- I am guessing someone made a walk way right beside us. The people in front of us were trying to find their friends and shouting into their cell phones (all three of them) and holding them up (with their lights on) thinking their friends can see these phones. I saw Magic Memories and you on you tube and i wanted to see it so badly....but it was not meant to be. You can not see it with idiots like that all around you.
We left and headed to the other side of the castle---just as wishes was starting. Its not the same but it has the same effect.
We decided to ride Its a small world because after all he promised. it was walk on-- (peter pans line was still long) we rode its a small world-- she did not like that ride at all and will probably not go on again--but she WILL ride Haunted Mansion again.
we made our way to Frontierland to see Main Street Electric Parade for the second show tonight. It was nice- no crowds. I am hoping for Spectro next year when we go.
The park is closing for regular guests--its EMH until 2am. Its now 11pm.
We headed through Liberty Square back to Fantasyland and Peter Pan is still huge. We watched PhilHarmonic--no wait. But you do need to show your room key now.
After that we headed to dumbo. jada and PopPop got two rides in a row. (I can not do rides that go round and round like that.) then it was off to Goofys Barnstormer or whatever it is called now. Jada thought it was lame and I explained that the ride is really for little kids to test our how a roller coaster works. she LOVES her rides so yea--i can see where this would be lame to her. We let her play in the water area for a bit. You really do get a soaking here-- I read that it is only misting---pfftt-- that ws NOT misting.
we let her one more ride for the carousel before we headed out.
The monorail stopped running at 11pm so we either walk or wait for a bus. A tired 6 year old is not up for that walk so we waited for the bus...needless to say -one pulled out as we were coming up. so we waited. (we could have walked to the resort many times over with the wait time for that bus.
The bus that goes to the contempory goes to Wilderness Lodge first then Contempory then back to the bus stop----arghh--our wait was endless.
Finally made it back to the resort--- the time is now 1:45am and we have a 8am reservation at Ohana. I asked her if she wanted me to cancel it and she said no. Cleaned up, showered, and instant sleep. Alarm is set for 6:30am
No presents from the fairy godmother today. I started waking her at 7am--at 7:15 I asked again if she wanted me to cancel Ohana and she got up with the mention of cancelling. We took our luggage to Luggage Express. got our boarding passes- Paid that bill.
We took the monorail to Poly and was there by 8:00. We waited about 5 minutes before we were seated.
She just missed the parade they have for little kids but we told her we would wait for the next one--which is done every hour.
Again breakfast was good. hot and plentiful. Mickey waffles all around. We each ate one of those. Coffee was good-my Morning lifeline..
characters came around- signed her book, posed for pictures. We did the parade---then made our way back to the resort using the monrail. We were back in the room by 9:30. ME is picking us up at noon. check out is 11am so I told them lets lay down here for an hour. She didnt sleep but did lay quietly. (our flight is at 3:15 and i did not want a whiney child at the airport)
we got out of the room at exactly 11am-- went to the Contempo cafe to use our 6 snack credits which we never used--and got 6 cupcakes to bring home. They have those fancy cupcake holders and a nice heavy brown bag with handles. we got a choc peanut butter, a strawberry lemonade, A worms and dirt, a choc choc chip muffin, a cinnamon twirl cake and a blue berry muffin.
We made our way to the ME bus---i smoked a cigarette and the earlier bus came and the driver allowed us on that bus instead.
We made it to the airport and through security by 12:45 We stopped at the food court and ate at McDonalds and Sbarros. Flight was on time and we boarded. Jada was asleep before we left the run way. She slept most of the way home and got up 15 minutes before we landed.
It was a great vacation-- the week in Aruba was very relaxing. Napping every day, swimming every day. (she preferred the pool over the ocean) did a bunch of stuff she never did before)
I look forward to spending the christmas season in disney next year.
Dates we are heading back will be dec 8th thru the 14th 2013.
Only 451 days 8 hours 45 minutes to wait.
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