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Old 08-10-2013, 07:39 PM   #1
mchelle77
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The "I can't keep a secret" PTR (12/2013)

We have a surprise trip coming up (leaving the day after Thanksgiving, checking in 11/30 and out 12/7). It's sort of a secret. Our daughter has no idea (she's been told for years that we're going back when she's 10, but she's still 8 but my husband called one day and just said "Let's go this year!" so obviously I immediately ran to the calendar and then the phone to call WDW ) She will find out on Thanksgiving morning when her "elf on the shelf" shows up early with a gift for her, letting her know where she's off to the next day.

We were planning on also keeping it to ourselves with other family members for various reasons - less chance of someone telling our daughter AND because we feel like it's almost braggy. It's gotten out little by little, and now pretty much everyone in his (big!) family knows. But I'm so excited that I need to TALK ABOUT IT. Hence, the PTR.
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The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!

Last edited by mchelle77; 11-11-2013 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:41 PM   #2
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A little about us (Copied and pasted from my last PTR and updated info marked by ***):

My DH (Russ) and I (Michelle) have been to Disney **four** other times together (and he went once when he was about 8). First time (1997) I barely remember - we went with his parents, and I was in college. I remember a few people being not so happy about me taking an additional week off of school (we went for a week, then to Miami for a week). But I had a ball.

Second time was in 2000, we went with his brother and sister-in-law, their two boys (ages 4 and 6 at the time) and his cousin and her BF (now husband)***now EX husband!***. It was 50% awesome, 50% trip-from-hell. Being there was fun, but having to coordinate the schedules of 6 adults, two kids, two cars between everyone and ONE "suite" was a nightmare.

Next was our honeymoon in June of 2003. The single best trip (**see below!**) either of us has ever taken. Two weeks in Disney World. My DH was working for a hotel at the time, so we had a suite to ourselves at the can't-be-beat rate of $39 a night. We had wedding money in the bank (over a third of that was used in Disney!) and no one to answer to. We did almost everything we wanted.

[**Disclaimer: Since this original post we've gone back in 2009 and THAT trip was kick-butt. We've also been on two cruises (one NY to the Bahamas, and one with a group of friends from Port Canaveral to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau, and THAT trip was awesome too.) as well as a few more local places such as NYC and Bar Harbor. These vacations have propelled us into more vacation planning.

Anyway ... so in 2005 our DD (Talia) was born and we agreed that we would take her for her fifth birthday (February 2010). In May (2009), I lost my job, so DH suggests that we move the trip up. So we ended up booking ASMo with free dining and upgraded from a mere week to the first 11 days of November.

Here's the link to that completed trip report (lots of pics and dinner reviews)

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2329436

More current trip details to come shortly.
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The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!

Last edited by mchelle77; 11-11-2013 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:55 PM   #3
mchelle77
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The good stuff ... THIS trip.

I mentioned my husband calling on his way home from work on day (he's a wedding videographer). Our closest friends are Disney nuts and want to go on another Dis cruise (we've never been on a Dis cruise, only Carnival and Norwegian) They want to go 2015, when we've promised to take our daughter back to the parks. So he figures we should go in November/December (his low season) and I plan the crap out of it. Originally we were going on Veterans Day week, but he got a call for a wedding expo so we moved it. Leaving the day after Thanksgiving gives us more driving days without missing more school (my daughter will only miss 4 days due to a teacher's workshop.)

We decided to go with our original plan from LAST time and go for a moderate. When I booked, I did so with ASMusic. Then I got a phone call (yes, TELEPHONE!) from Disney with a free dining pin code offer! Apparently that's unheard of, but thank you, we'll take it. So we upgraded to CBR. Tried for preferred but they were out with the dining, so we went for a water/pool view and requested the Jamaica buildings.

Right now I have Raglan Road booked the night we check in (we are guessing we'll overnight somewhere on the way down, but we thought that last time and ended up driving straight there - left NH at about 4am and got to Disney at midnight.) So I'll clarify that we have Shutters booked for Saturday, 11/30 - that is aiming to be the first night, but we'll see

Sunday - no park plans right now (***more on that) so I'd like to see the resort decorations, the GF in particular. We are going to the Cape May Café that night for dinner.

Monday - MK, EMH PM. CRT at 11:55am.

Tuesday - Epcot, EMH AM (I think?) Les Chefs at 230pm (ish ... ) Hoping Remy will be around Also did the CP package, and will continue to hope that Neil Patrick Harris is set as the narrator. Disney says no one right now, other sites say he's it. We'll see.
(This has since changed with the discontinuation of Remy - we are paying OOP at Biergarten now, 1pm rez)

Wednesday - Off day*** (again, see below). May just do Shutters at the resort.

Thursday - AK. Closes at 5pm, so I have Kona Café at 7pm.

Friday - HS. Mama Melrose at 145pm. No Fantasmic, but I'll continue to check back.

Saturday we'll leave for home.

** We're doing base tickets for all four parks, but I did 5 days of them. So we can either go to MK on Sunday as well (Touring Plans has them at a 1 but all other parks at a 5 or higher) or to one of the parks on Wednesday.

Also hoping to get Wishes Dessert Party - my husband turns 40 in October and since booking this trip, I've canceled (with his encouragement!) his surprise birthday party. I'm doing a smaller, less formal party at his parents' land 25 minutes from us (aka, our "summer place", as we (and his brother and sister and their families) have travel trailers there by a lake and are there weekends from April until October) Anyway - I've put a little extra money aside to pay for this, a special sort of "birthday party" for him.
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The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!

Last edited by mchelle77; 11-11-2013 at 09:19 AM. Reason: Edited ADRs 10/20/13
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:05 PM   #4
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Some side info ...

** Is MVMCP worth the extra money? I don't see the value from where I sit. The Halloween Party, definitely. But all that money for cookies and snow? I can have that any time here in New Hampshire, you know?

** My husband is a speedboat nut - anyone ever done the rentals at the Contemporary Resort? What about parasailing?

** BBB or Pirates League Makeovers, for or against? I like the idea, she'd love it, but I hate taking up precious park time ...

I'm sure I'll have more ...
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The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:33 AM   #5
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Hello! I will be there the same time as you. It is our 2nd time going that week of the year. I'm hoping we have some fabulous weather and a Magical time!!

We did enjoy MVMCP last time. I am from WNY so snow is NOT new to me but it was sooo cool to see the snow and holiday stuff on Main St. However, if you had the money I would skip the party and spend that money on park hoppers. To me, those would be more useful and you could take advantage of more EMH and stuff. Especially because 4 of your nights will be MVMCP and MK is closing early.

As far as the speedboats go, they are fun but not exactly speedy.
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:15 PM   #6
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Welcome!

I'm ecstatic about being able to go during Christmastime ... I remember watching that Samantha Brown special on the Travel Channel and feeling envious of those who get to go at that time, wanting to see that giant gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian! On our last trip, our last day was spent at DHS and they were putting up the Christmas tree out front. I'm so excited to see the decorations.

My husband actually mentioned the pontoon boat over the sea raycers, so we might look into that. I'd actually love to parasail, so that might be something I do with our daughter. No reservations will be made, though - if it happens, it happens, but if not, so be it.

As for park hoppers, we aren't hopping guests We commit to one day, we prefer to avoid sucking up precious vacation time traveling from park to resort to park, etc. We got hoppers on our honeymoon and never used them!

**
110 days until we check in (108 until we leave). How did I screw up that countdown? I was telling people 90-something!
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The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!

Last edited by mchelle77; 11-11-2013 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:17 PM   #7
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Managed to get a Fantasmic package for the day I wanted!

Now, other than Wishes, I have everything set the way I want it. I COULD keep trying for CRT breakfast instead of lunch, but I'm really just happy to have something at all.
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The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:45 PM   #8
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Pretty sure I'm in to double digits now?

Just ordered Walt Disney World for Kids and Kingdom Keepers for my daughter ... it's going to be part of how we spring the trip on her (and will help for the ride down)

I'd love to get her a new suitcase too .. not sure if it's needed yet, and maybe I should put it off to keep money going into our vacation savings instead.
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The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:05 AM   #9
MataHari22
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Such a huge secret! Your daughter will go nuts I bet. How fun to have that surprise. I would love to go during Christmas, I know it's a busy time, but it just looks extra magical. Enjoy!
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:15 AM   #10
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Very cool to read and see the excitement in all of your plans. We are also going to be there the same week. (getting a day earlier then you and leaving a day earlier as well.) We are also doing the whole surprise the kids things. Our big difference is that I will be trying to keep it a secret until we are in the car as we drive 16 hours to the WORLD. Really hoping we will be able to keep it a secret.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MataHari22 View Post
Such a huge secret! Your daughter will go nuts I bet. How fun to have that surprise. I would love to go during Christmas, I know it's a busy time, but it just looks extra magical. Enjoy!
Yes, I'm confident that she will go nuts LOL She's had it drilled into her head for so long that she has to wait until she's 10, she may not believe us until we're actually THERE.

We went on a cruise in April out of Port Canaveral and surprised her with that too (an entire YEAR) and when we woke her and told her we were going to Florida, she started crying when we clarified we were NOT going to Disney. Poor kid, we torture her
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The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myhouseofmouse View Post
Very cool to read and see the excitement in all of your plans. We are also going to be there the same week. (getting a day earlier then you and leaving a day earlier as well.) We are also doing the whole surprise the kids things. Our big difference is that I will be trying to keep it a secret until we are in the car as we drive 16 hours to the WORLD. Really hoping we will be able to keep it a secret.
Good luck!! How do you get around packing with them not noticing? We have a townhouse and last time we got around it by saying we were going to our summer camp for vacation week. Not sure how to do that this time! She may even know something is up if we try and pull that again. I'll have to keep sliding the suitcases under the bed or back into closets!
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The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mchelle77 View Post
Good luck!! How do you get around packing with them not noticing? We have a townhouse and last time we got around it by saying we were going to our summer camp for vacation week. Not sure how to do that this time! She may even know something is up if we try and pull that again. I'll have to keep sliding the suitcases under the bed or back into closets!
Yeah the packing is all part of the "surprise plan", I have a "Fake" trip planned for a 2 night get away to a local water park/hotel. This way I will be able to get them in the packed car without them getting suspicious. I am making a DVD video that I will play while we are on the road that will spill the beans on the "surprise we're going to Disney trip." I am also buying a few Disney logo outfits for them to wear to help with hiding how many days we are really packing for.
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:42 PM   #14
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In the midst of planning this trip, I'm also trying to plan my husband's 40th birthday party, which is in early October (party is just under 7 weeks away). When I get a few extra dollars here and there, I don't know whether to put it towards vacation, towards the party, or towards Christmas!
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The "I Can't Keep A Secret" Pre-Trip Report

First trip - 03/97 (1 week)
Second trip - 02/00 (1 week)
Third trip (Honeymoon!) - 06/03 (2 weeks)
Fourth trip - 11/01/09 (10 days, DD's 1st trip there)
Next Trip - 11/30/13 (1 week - Surprise for our daughter!)
DISNEY CRUISE just booked April 2015!
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:02 PM   #15
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I love the surprise idea, it's definitely something they're going to remember. I'm doing the same thing with my wife, who has no idea yet that we're going to WDW in 37 days. Wish in some ways that we were going during all the Christmas festivities, but the timing doesn't work. Guess Halloween fun will have to do!
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