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Old 07-30-2013, 09:47 AM   #1
HappyPanda
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(Not so) Secret Squirrel - A Halloween 2013 PTR

Hello!

I've finally finished my Trip Report for my March trip and as we've just passed the 3 month mark for our Halloween trip, I thought it would be a good time to start my PTR for this one!

So let's start with the normal format:

Who:
Me (29 5/6 !)
DD (6 1/2)



My new husband has decided he'd rather have 5 days of peace and quiet than accompany us on this trip - so it's girl's only again! I really enjoyed our last trip in June 2012 when we went just the two of us, so I'm hoping this trip will be just as good or even better!

When:
29th October for 4 nights

Where:
Hotel Santa Fe - On our last trip we stayed at the DLH, so it's going to be a big difference! But I've not stayed here since the cars refurb so I'm really excited to see the new rooms!

How:
Direct Eurostar from Kings Cross St. Pancras - with probably an overnight stay in London the night before

Why:
We were originally supposed to be going to Tenerife for October Half Term but had to postpone it for a few reasons.

As I'd already booked the week off work and DD was off school I felt that it would be a waste to sit around twiddling our thumbs! So with a little persuation, I convinced DH to let me book a trip to DLP!

This trip is going to be my 2nd time of taking DD on my own and I'm so looking forward to it! As you can guess from the title of this report, this trip is to (hopefully) come as a complete suprise to my DD.

I haven't yet decided how to reveal it to her or how soon to departure day I'll do it - but as she asks me almost every day to go back I can guarantee that once she finds out she will be so, so, so excited!
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February 1996 - Hotel Cheyenne ~~~ June 2001 - Newport Bay ~~~ December 2001 - Sequoia Lodge ~~~March 2002 - Newport Bay ~~~ February 2002 - New York~~~ February 2011 - Santa Fe ~~~ March 2012 - Cheyenne ~~~ June 2012 - Sequoia Lodge ~~~ March 2013 - Disneyland Hotel

Last edited by HappyPanda; 09-30-2013 at 05:27 AM. Reason: Formatting Issues
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:44 PM   #2
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So lucky to have another trip booked, I loved it at Halloween when we went. Good luck keeping it a secret!
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:07 AM   #3
HappyPanda
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I have just booked our hotel stay for the night before the trip. I've decided to stay at the Kings Cross Royal Scot Travelodge - even though it's slightly further away from the station it's a million times better than the Kings Cross one. You could not pay me to stay there again after our last experience!

We got the room for £44 which I think it roughly what we paid last time, but is still a fantastic price given how close to the station we are!

Now I just need to start thinking of a plan for revealing the surprise. Here are the three options I've come up with so far:

I could tell her about a month before, this is what I did on our first trip and it was nice to be able to countdown the last month together and let the suspense build.

OR

I could make up some story for why we are in London and then just take her to the station in the morning to catch the Eurostar! This one would be harder as we only live about 45 mins away from London, so she's immediately become suspicious if we were staying overnight.

OR

I could tell her a few days before, maybe at the start of half term. This is the one I'm leaning to at the moment. Might do some sort of treasure hunt with the end being the big reveal!

Any other suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
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February 1996 - Hotel Cheyenne ~~~ June 2001 - Newport Bay ~~~ December 2001 - Sequoia Lodge ~~~March 2002 - Newport Bay ~~~ February 2002 - New York~~~ February 2011 - Santa Fe ~~~ March 2012 - Cheyenne ~~~ June 2012 - Sequoia Lodge ~~~ March 2013 - Disneyland Hotel
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:10 AM   #4
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Following along.
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:11 AM   #5
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Ooooh I'm in too. So exciting! We are there a couple of weeks before you and I'm also excited for a stay at the refurbed SF!
We did a treasure hunt reveal this time but with 150 days to go - far, far, far too early
Did you see this?
http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/diys-t...disney-vacatio
There could be some DIY ideas in there that you could use.

Its lovely to stay nearby the airport/train station the night before, I think it makes the holiday feel longer and really gets you into holiday mode

Looking forward to reading more
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2010: Santa Fe - March ** Newport - May 2011: Cheyenne - March ** Sequoia Lodge - November 2012: Hotel New York - May - Honeymoon ** Dream Castle - October 2013: Hotel New York - January ** Santa Fe - October 2014: Disneyland Hotel - May

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Old 08-05-2013, 05:51 AM   #6
HappyPanda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kizzabel View Post
Ooooh I'm in too. So exciting! We are there a couple of weeks before you and I'm also excited for a stay at the refurbed SF!
We did a treasure hunt reveal this time but with 150 days to go - far, far, far too early
Did you see this?
http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/diys-t...disney-vacatio
There could be some DIY ideas in there that you could use.

Its lovely to stay nearby the airport/train station the night before, I think it makes the holiday feel longer and really gets you into holiday mode

Looking forward to reading more
Thanks for sharing that link, I shall be taking a look at that on my lunch break today.

I think I'm leaning towards doing the treasure hunt, probably about 10 days before go. That will give us long enough to both get properly excited for the trip.. but not too long away that I'll have to deal with the 'Is it Disney time yet questions'!

I'm also really excited to hear that the might be a Brunch at Inventions on the 31st. I've never done the Brunch before as we normally arrive too late on a Sunday to do it!
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February 1996 - Hotel Cheyenne ~~~ June 2001 - Newport Bay ~~~ December 2001 - Sequoia Lodge ~~~March 2002 - Newport Bay ~~~ February 2002 - New York~~~ February 2011 - Santa Fe ~~~ March 2012 - Cheyenne ~~~ June 2012 - Sequoia Lodge ~~~ March 2013 - Disneyland Hotel

Last edited by HappyPanda; 08-08-2013 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:31 AM   #7
HappyPanda
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I've been having a think about food (ironic as I'm doing the 5:2 diet and today is one of my 'fast' days) and I have decided that there's far too many places in DLP that I've never eaten in and REALLY want to. So, I think this is the trip where I will try to tick as many of these off the list as possible. So far I have:

Blue Lagoon
I'm not sure DD will like much of the food in Blue Lagoon but each time we go on POTC she asks to eat there, so I shall grant her wish!

Walts

Walts has always been on my list of 'must dos' but for some reason we never end up going. So this time I will make my reservation and stick to it!

Agrabah Cafe

I'd never really paid much attention to this buffet restuarant before, but all the good reviews I keep reading about it make me want to give it a go!

Plaza Gardens

I'm quite suprised that I've never eaten here, but I am a bit fan of buffet restuarants as there's always something that DD will eat - and nice desserts, too!

On top of these we will also try to visit our favourite restuarants such as Rainforest Cafe, EoS and the Wild West Show.

I also think I'm going to treat DD to breakfast at the DLH most (if not all) mornings. It was one of our most favourite parts of our March stay (especially the pancakes with maple syrup!)

Ok, I need to stop now, I'm getting far too hungry and the fact that I just have cucumber sticks for lunch is NOT helpling!
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February 1996 - Hotel Cheyenne ~~~ June 2001 - Newport Bay ~~~ December 2001 - Sequoia Lodge ~~~March 2002 - Newport Bay ~~~ February 2002 - New York~~~ February 2011 - Santa Fe ~~~ March 2012 - Cheyenne ~~~ June 2012 - Sequoia Lodge ~~~ March 2013 - Disneyland Hotel
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyPanda View Post
Thanks for sharing that link, I shall be taking a look at that on my lunch break today.

I think I'm leaning towards doing the treasure hunt, probably about 10 days before go. That will give us long enough to both get properly excited for the trip.. but not too long away that I'll have to deal with the 'Is it Disney time yet questions'!

I'm also really excited to hear that the might be a Brunch at Inventions on the 31st. I've never done the Brunch before as we normally arrive too late on a Sunday to do it!
No probs
Lol @ your reluctance to reveal too early!! I've made that mistake like 100 days ago!! - saying that I haven't had too much guff from Jimmy but Jemma trys to corner me to talk Disney the whole time - I think I have a mini planner in the making!
Wow I would love to make it to Sunday Brunch and I think you'll be in for a special one.
Love your food choices - especially Walts. I had Caesar salad, steak and the best cheesecake ever! 2 years later and I'm still raving about it. Would also love to try BL and Agrabah - looking forward to hearing your verdict
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Previous Trips:
2010: Santa Fe - March ** Newport - May 2011: Cheyenne - March ** Sequoia Lodge - November 2012: Hotel New York - May - Honeymoon ** Dream Castle - October 2013: Hotel New York - January ** Santa Fe - October 2014: Disneyland Hotel - May

Upcoming Trips:
2014: Disneyland Hotel - November 2015 Kyriad/Cheyenne - March
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:42 AM   #9
HappyPanda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kizzabel View Post
Lol @ your reluctance to reveal too early!! I've made that mistake like 100 days ago!! - saying that I haven't had too much guff from Jimmy but Jemma trys to corner me to talk Disney the whole time - I think I have a mini planner in the making!
DD asks me almost every day about when we can go back, it's absolute torture to try and keep it secret! I know it will be worth it though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kizzabel View Post
Wow I would love to make it to Sunday Brunch and I think you'll be in for a special one.
Love your food choices - especially Walts. I had Caesar salad, steak and the best cheesecake ever! 2 years later and I'm still raving about it. Would also love to try BL and Agrabah - looking forward to hearing your verdict
If I really like the look of the menu in Walts so really don't know why I've never been in before. I come back from this trip and say I didn't go again, I give you permission to ban me from DLP forever!
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February 1996 - Hotel Cheyenne ~~~ June 2001 - Newport Bay ~~~ December 2001 - Sequoia Lodge ~~~March 2002 - Newport Bay ~~~ February 2002 - New York~~~ February 2011 - Santa Fe ~~~ March 2012 - Cheyenne ~~~ June 2012 - Sequoia Lodge ~~~ March 2013 - Disneyland Hotel
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:37 PM   #10
kizzabel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyPanda

DD asks me almost every day about when we can go back, it's absolute torture to try and keep it secret! I know it will be worth it though!

If I really like the look of the menu in Walts so really don't know why I've never been in before. I come back from this trip and say I didn't go again, I give you permission to ban me from DLP forever!
Ok, agreed!! You have to eat at Walt's this time. Its the law!!

You should video her reaction (says me who always forgets!). It really is amazing when it clicks and their faces light up. Have you decided when to reveal?
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2010: Santa Fe - March ** Newport - May 2011: Cheyenne - March ** Sequoia Lodge - November 2012: Hotel New York - May - Honeymoon ** Dream Castle - October 2013: Hotel New York - January ** Santa Fe - October 2014: Disneyland Hotel - May

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2014: Disneyland Hotel - November 2015 Kyriad/Cheyenne - March
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:11 AM   #11
HappyPanda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kizzabel View Post
You should video her reaction (says me who always forgets!). It really is amazing when it clicks and their faces light up. Have you decided when to reveal?
I think I'm going to try and do the Saturday before we go (3 sleeps before!). I've had an idea of one way to do the reveal, but will take some more planning to see if it's feasible or not! Olivia loves to watch Disney songs on YouTube, so I might try to make my own video of songs and somehow incorporate the reveal into that! What do you think?

No matter how I do the reveal, I shall definitely video her reaction!
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February 1996 - Hotel Cheyenne ~~~ June 2001 - Newport Bay ~~~ December 2001 - Sequoia Lodge ~~~March 2002 - Newport Bay ~~~ February 2002 - New York~~~ February 2011 - Santa Fe ~~~ March 2012 - Cheyenne ~~~ June 2012 - Sequoia Lodge ~~~ March 2013 - Disneyland Hotel
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:25 PM   #12
kizzabel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyPanda View Post
I think I'm going to try and do the Saturday before we go (3 sleeps before!). I've had an idea of one way to do the reveal, but will take some more planning to see if it's feasible or not! Olivia loves to watch Disney songs on YouTube, so I might try to make my own video of songs and somehow incorporate the reveal into that! What do you think?

No matter how I do the reveal, I shall definitely video her reaction!
Thats such a cool, unique reveal - I love it! Great idea Imagine how thrilled Olivia will be!
And the plus side is you still have 60+ days to put it all together. It took me 3 hours to print our countdown calender today (I hate microsoft word) - I'll all for advanced planning
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2010: Santa Fe - March ** Newport - May 2011: Cheyenne - March ** Sequoia Lodge - November 2012: Hotel New York - May - Honeymoon ** Dream Castle - October 2013: Hotel New York - January ** Santa Fe - October 2014: Disneyland Hotel - May

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Old 09-02-2013, 07:16 AM   #13
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Woohoo - our trip is officially NEXT MONTH!

I have been a bit pre-occupied planning our summer holiday that we took last week to Great Yarmouth, but now that it's over I can get into full DLP planning mode!

So DD still has no idea we are going! She keeps asking every day (sometimes more than once!) if we can go back and I've managed to tell her that we will try to save to go for Halloween in October 2014 - that way I can talk to her about Halloween stuff without her getting too suspicious!

My wonderful husband is busy creating in iPad based game that I will hopefully be using to do the big reveal. I think he's planning to make it so that there are a few levels and during each level a few words are revealed by popping balloons. Once they've all been revealed a screen will appear to say something like "Pack your bags, Olivia. You are going to Disneyland for Halloween".

I think I've decided on the outfits that DD and I will be wearing for the Halloween Party - Olivia will be going as a dalmation:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Childs-Anima...mation+costume

I will be going as Cruella De Vil but haven't finalised what I'll be wearing yet.

I'm so excited!
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February 1996 - Hotel Cheyenne ~~~ June 2001 - Newport Bay ~~~ December 2001 - Sequoia Lodge ~~~March 2002 - Newport Bay ~~~ February 2002 - New York~~~ February 2011 - Santa Fe ~~~ March 2012 - Cheyenne ~~~ June 2012 - Sequoia Lodge ~~~ March 2013 - Disneyland Hotel
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:59 AM   #14
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Thats so cool Helen! Great idea for costumes and that is such a unique way to reveal your hol to Olivia!
I had that AAAAAAH its next month moment too
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Upcoming Trips:
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:32 PM   #15
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Just read your pre trip report, you must be bursting to tell.
Sounds like you have a fab trip planned, think the costume it great idea in case it's cold.
Happy planning
Rachael xx
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