A Trip Sure to be FULL of Surprises! Updates - day 1 & 2 w/ pics!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by newtodis, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. newtodis

    newtodis Disney Lover!

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    DH - You are NOT allowed to read this at all!! No Peeking!


    I mean it! No peeking at all!


    Alright. Now that we've gotten rid of him, we can get on with the details! :rotfl:

    Let me first introduce the travelers for those of you who haven't been lucky enough to tag along on any of my other PTRs or TRs.

    DH - Dan - During this trip we are celebrating Dan's 32nd birthday. He works at the fire department in our town and this will be his second birthday since we've moved away from all of our family and friends back in MI.

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    DS4 - Corbin - We're also celebrating Corbin's birthday this trip. He shares a birthday with his Daddy and thinks it's cool that Daddy's "numbers" make his number. :goodvibes

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    DS2 - Carter - Carter is my VERY laid back (most of the time!) child. Pretty much everything is "otay" with him which is great!! He loves all things Disney and has the same excitement each visit as he had his first time (if not moreso!).

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    Me - Lynn - I'm the "planner" and love that job! I try hard to make sure every minute at Disney is the happiest and most productive (maybe that's not the right word) possible so we're not "wasting" time. I work at the fire department as well.

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    DF (Dear Friend) - Sandy (aka Uncle Sandy)- Sandy works with my DH Dan at the fire department. Sandy and his wife have been wonderful to us since we've moved here and couldn't be more happy to have them as friends.

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    DF - Angie (AKA Auntie Ang - Auntie Ang is Uncle Sandy's husband. They share our love for Disney which is great. This will be our first trip all together. We tried to plan one together last year but plans changed for the newest member of their family.

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    Samantha Joyce (AKA Sami Jo) - This will be Sami Jo's first trip to Disney. Ang and Sandy adopted her from a dear friend of mine back in MI at the end of Febraury. She will be five months old on her first trip and we're so excited to be a part of that!!!

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    So...now you know who's coming on the trip. I guess I should tell you when we're going. We're going July 14-19,2009. I've already talked to Dan's boss about the time off. Why did I talk to Dan's boss??? Because NO ONE but Ang and Sandy know about this trip besides me!!!! It's a SURPRISE!!!! I can count on you to keep the secret right??

    Right???

    Ok good! That's what I thought!

    So my "plan" at this time is to have help from our wonderful nanny (who's taking time off to get married the week after our trip!) to get everything packed during the day without Dan knowing a lick of ANYTHING going on!! I think I can get this done! I plan on coming home on my lunch hours the couple of weeks before to try and get things done without him knowing about anything going on.

    Then, the day of the 14th, I'll take my lunch and come home to pack our van. I'm going to cover everything with a blanket in the back of the van and tell him it's part of his birthday present. Hopefully this will keep him guessing and throughly confused on our drive. We're about four and a half hours from Disney so it isn't too bad of a drive for us.

    He'll be home a little after 5 and I'll have "plans" for us to go to dinner in Savannah or Jacksonville for the night (Sav is about half an hour away and Jax is about 2 hours - both are in our direction of Disney which is perfect!). This way he won't worry about where we're going or hopefully figure anything out too quickly.

    Knowing my children, we'll have to stop someplace for dinner and to go to the bathroom along the way. I'm going to make a little certificate to give him when we actually stop for dinner (probably drive through to save time) showing that he has three days off!! I think that's when he'll put everything together about where we're actually headed!!!

    Thanks to Tracy, we're renting a three bedroom condo for us to all stay in. I'm thinking we're going to go check in and get into our room. Then there will be a knock on the door from our visitors. Not only will we be AT Disney on their actual birthday (7/15), we'll be with Auntie Ang and Uncle Sandy AND Sami Jo!! Does it get any better than that?????

    Now, I plan on doing most of the work while Dan's out of town at the NASCAR race over Memorial Day weekend in Charlotte, NC with Sandy. I'm hoping to pull lots of snacks and stuff like that out and get them packed into totes. I know I can't do too much since we'll still have about six weeks before our trip. Uncle Sandy might have to take Dan golfing or something before we leave so I can try to get packing done.

    I think I'll be able to pull this all off. We have a free dining trip planned for Sept (PTR coming soon for that one!) so he won't think it's weird that I'm picking things up along the way for Disney. I'm most worried about getting him in the car and on the road without him figuring it out! The drive is going to feel like 20 hours!! The boys are pretty easy going and won't realize, until we're like into FL, where we're headed. I expect a full out freak out session once they realize where we're going for their birthday!!

    I also have to have Corbin's "friend party" the weekend before we leave so that he doesn't miss out. He's decided on a sports theme this year and I already bought all the treat bag stuff at Walmart on clearance after Easter. The only other things I need are the paper products, juice and cake and we'll be good to go with that! We've talked about having the party here at the house so that's the perfect excuse to have the house all sparkly clean before we leave (a vacation "tradition" in our house!).

    We've never been in July before but do live in the South so we're getting used to the hot and humid weather. This trip I'm trying to take it a little more slowly, spending time at the pool and possibly a water park.

    Because I'm just a budget shopper in general, I try to make our Disney trips as reasonable as possible as well! I already mentioned that we're staying in a condo so we'll eat there for some meals. My boys are up generally by 5:30 in the morning so they eat early breakfasts thus making the condo very helpful. We have APs so no tickets needed. Other than the condo and gas to get there, our only other expense will be food while we're there.

    Up next, our tentative schedule!!!!


    Here's the "Table of Contents" for the lists right now...
    Page 7
    Post 105 Trip Plan - Current
    Page 8
    Post 106 To Do List
    Post 107 To Buy List
    Post 108 Time Line
    Page 10
    Post 140 Updated Trip Plan
    Post 141 Updated "To Do" List by Day!
    Post 142 Updated "To Buy" List
    Post 143 Updated Time Line
    Page 11
    Post 160 Surprise revealed!
    Page 14
    Post 197 Arriving at the Condo
    Post 198 Breakfast at Chef Mickey's
    Post 199 Birthday Morning at MK
    Post 200 Tom Sawyer Island
    Post 201 Afternoon at EPCOT
    Post 204 Countries at EPCOT
    Post 206 Morning at DHS
     
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  3. newtodis

    newtodis Disney Lover!

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    Alright....I've only been working on this a couple of days so here's what I've got right now. Like every trip, everything's subject to change! We've never been in July before so I don't know how far into the day we'll make it. I've also never been with an infant before so I don't know how that will affect our travel plans either!

    7/14 Leave South Carolina headed for a Disney birthday surprise!!!!; check into condo and try to get some rest!!!

    7/15 CMs 7:15 for birthday breakfast; head to MK to see the rope drop (we've never seen it before!). We'll head back to the condo for rest - swimming, playing or actual rest. I think we'll head to Epcot for the afternoon.

    7/16 Heading to DHS in the morning to get FPs for TSM and trying to get a ride in. We'll do our thing there for a while then head back for rest. We'll spend the afternoon/evening at MK to catch Wishes (my favorite Disney thing to do!!)

    7/17 Since the safari is one of Dan's favorite rides, we have an ADR at TH at 8:00. By the time the park opens at 9, we'll be well on our way to the safari to get that in before it's too warm out! Once we're done at AK, we'll head back for some rest. I think we'll spend some time at Epcot in the evening.

    7/18 Another morning at DHS to get in TSM rides since this is our family's favorite ride - something we can all have fun and do together. After some rest, back to MK for the evening (I told you I love Wishes!!).

    7/19 Either hit MK or DHS in the morning - whatever the birthday boys want to do! We need to be on the road in the early afternoon since Dan has a class starting Monday that he has to be back for!

    It's going to be a busy, fun, exciting surprise!! I'm so looking forward to this!! I have to say, if it wasn't for our nanny needing time off for her wedding and Disney offering the gift card on your birthday, I don't know that we'd be able to pull this off. But, the stars are in line right now and that's AWESOME!!

    Of course we need to add time in our schedule to make sure that Dan and Corbin have time to spend their $75 gift cards their going to get on our first day at the parks. That gives them the entire trip to spend their money. It should be interesting to see what they choose.

    Alright....I need to find something else to do for the time being before anyone gets suspicious!! :goodvibes

    More updates to come soon!!
     
  4. wigdoutdismom

    wigdoutdismom DIS Veteran

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    Just followed your link from lmillercrew's report!:thumbsup2
     
  5. wigdoutdismom

    wigdoutdismom DIS Veteran

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    Ohhhh, so many birthdays to celebrate! How awesome :goodvibes I LOVE the fact that you are pulling off such a fabulous surprise.:banana: The plans look great! Spending both of those gift cards will be a blast!
     
  6. shordiebecka

    shordiebecka DIS Veteran

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    aw what a fun surprise!!!! can't wait to hear more...I'm going soon after you in July also!
     
  7. englishrose47

    englishrose47 DIS Veteran

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    What a birthday present!! I'm in for the ride !!!!
     
  8. lmillercrew

    lmillercrew DIS Veteran

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    What a great wife you are!!! I know that Dan will love it! Who wouldn't love being in Disney with family and friends.
     
  9. Grace and Mickey

    Grace and Mickey DIS Veteran

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    YEA!!!!:cheer2::cheer2:another Newtodis PRT:cheer2::cheer2:
    I soooo enjoy your planning and I learn so much from them:thumbsup2
    Looking for forward to learning about the birthday suprises:)

    When is your Sept trip planned for?
    Have a great day
    Grace
     
  10. newtodis

    newtodis Disney Lover!

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    Welcome!! Yes daddy and my baby share a birthday thanks to Dan's dad jynxing us! :rotfl: I was due 7/10 and threw a HUGE cookout/birthday party for Dan hoping if I had these big plans I wouldn't be able to attend the party due to having a baby. No such luck. Dan's dad kept saying there wouldn't be a baby until Dan's birthday....low and behold he was right. (maybe he wouldn't have been if I hadn't been so stubborn but we'll save that story for another time!).

    YAY! When in July are you going?? Have you ever been in July? We've never been in July so this is going to be interesting for us! I'm preparing myself for lots of heat and crowds. I don't have big plans of trying to get lots of things done - I really don't. I think it helps to know that we're going again in Septembe and I can get things "done" on that trip! :goodvibes

    Welcome!! Yeah....I don't know what I'm going to do next year to top this! :rotfl:

    HA! Great wife....well darn it I try very hard! I'm sure he and Corbin will love this trip more than anything! Thankfully everything seems to be working out so we can pull it off!

    Hey Grace! Thank you so much for the kind words. They are certainly appreciated!

    We don't have a date just yet for the Sept trip. Dan may be going to MD for a class for two weeks at the beginning of Oct so we're trying to hold off just a bit longer before actually picking a date to see when will work best for us.

    More plans to come soon hopefully! Lots still needs to be decided and figured out. For those who've tagged along before, you'll know I've got many more lists to make before we embark on this trip! :goodvibes
     
  11. englishrose47

    englishrose47 DIS Veteran

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    Good Morning!!!
     
  12. newtodis

    newtodis Disney Lover!

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    Good Morning!

    I must say everyone, it felt so great having you all have already stopped by this morning! I felt special! Thanks everyone!!! :grouphug:
     
  13. newtodis

    newtodis Disney Lover!

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    Another morning closer to Disney! :cool1:

    We got good news this morning that friends of ours that Dan has known for forever are adopting next month and we're so very happy for them!!

    As for the trip plans, I contacted Besty (memoriesbybetsy.com) about a basket - I have to have something for their birthdays right??? :rolleyes1 So I have to decide what to put in the basket on a budget. With this being a surprise and all, I have to be careful about how I do this. I've already figured out that I will pay for the condo next month when I pay the bills - I don't think he'll notice if everything comes out around the same time. :thumbsup2 Then if I can do the same with the basket in June, the biggest parts should be taken care of.

    The only things I'll have to keep saving for are the ADRs and custom cake I have planned and the gas to get there and back. I really think I'll be able to do it. For those who want to know, the easiest way for me to "save" money is to do "cash back" when I get groceries or go to Target or whatever. Decide the amount (either by figuring out how much you need to save and how many times you'll go to the store or a set amount just to save in general) and get $xx amount back each time (example, $10 back each time you're at the store). That way it's not in the account for you to actually see. I keep mine either stashed in my purse where I don't come across it often so I'm not tempted to spend it or at the house so it's just not with me to spend. It also helps when I've got something that I'm saving for. Dan generally doesn't realize the total from the bank account it $10 higher than what was on the receipt and we generally have cash on hand in case we need it for something.

    So, with my "stash" I'll either put it back into the bank before we leave or keep it - more than likely I'll keep some out "just in case" and put the rest in the bank so I'm not taking a bunch of cash into Disney for me to loose.

    I've also got our closet filled up. I've been working on couponing for the past month or so. Generally, I'm buying things when they're on sale and when I have a coupon for them. I "stock up" depending on the price and what coupons I have and store everything in the closet. Example: yesterday I went to Target and bought poptarts. They were on sale for $2.50 for the big box (regular $2.89) and if you bought 2 big boxes, you got a small box free ($1.99 each). I also had five coupons for $1 off 2 boxes and a Target coupon for 75 cents off one box. That made 2 big boxes and a small box of poptarts for $4. Then I got teddy grahams because Target had a coupon on their website for $1 off a box (priced at $2) and I had a coupon for $1 off 2 boxes. (had I been really smart, I would have printed off another coupon from the Target website and saved even more but I was in a hurry!) So for two boxes of teddy grahams, I paid $2. I also got huggies wipes that were on sale for $1.99 and had two 75 cent off coupons so I got them for like $1.24 each which is pretty good for wipes! I spent $24 and saved $25 which isn't too bad in the end! I think the cashier thought I was crazy but I don't care - I like using my coupons and saving money!! :rotfl: And I am crazy so it's ok if she thinks that! :rotfl2:

    Alright....so I think I'm going to start trying to make my lists. I've started a packing list for the boys since I'll probably leave most of their packing to our nanny to do during the day. I've got to figure out a "safe" place to keep everything while we're in the process of actually packing bags and getting everything ready to go.

    Ok I need to get to work this morning...more later! :goodvibes
     
  14. Grace and Mickey

    Grace and Mickey DIS Veteran

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    HI
    Lists are a good thing:dance3::dance3:

    I making lists too!!!!!:dance3::dance3: l


    What are some of the places you are thinking about making ADR'S at?
    Are you staying at the same codo as before?

    I like the Target coupon saving GOOD JOB:thumbsup2
    I just looked at 'MEMORIES BY BESTY yesterday she really has some nice things:)
    I wish I could do one of these but I want to try a cake for our anniversary and don't think I can afford both.

    Looking forward to more updates
    Grace
     
  15. shordiebecka

    shordiebecka DIS Veteran

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    Nothing wrong with lists. Another list addict here :)

    I'm going July 25-August 2, staying at AKL. Never been in July before, but I have TONS of plans, joined TGM....it's DBF's first real trip to Disney- I want him to LOVE it (he hates heat, crowds, and is insistant that there is no inner child in him). So i'm planning like crazy to make it magical for him :)
     
  16. newtodis

    newtodis Disney Lover!

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    I live by my lists. If I didn't have them, I'd forget half of the things I need to do every day! :goodvibes

    I have an ADR on 7/15 at 7:15 (HA HA! I just noticed that!) at Chef Mickey's then to MK to see rope drop (we've never seen it!). I also have one 7/17 at 8:00 at Tusker House because we love it there and Dan likes the safari ride. I may make one more for dinner so I can get a custom cake done for the boy's birthdays.

    Thanks - I do love using my coupons! :goodvibes It's really gotten to be a game at this point!

    Betsy is WONDERFUL! I think she's done basket for two trips now and I would use her over and over again. If you shoot her an email and let her know what you're looking to spend or what you're wanting in the baskets, she's very good at working with you to find things within your budget. You're also able to mail her things to include in the basket as well (I've done this twice and it's worked out great each time!!).

    For us, we use our Tables in Wonderland card to save the 20% off the cake (which pretty much covers the automatic 18% tip the add to the cost of the cake!) to help with the cost of that. If you're doing a character breakfast, you could get one of the small cakes (treasure chest shaped I think) and that's only like $15 for Landon to help keep that cost down. There's always more than enough food at Disney thankfully. If he's not a big cake kid (my boys could really take it or leave it generally), you could always "treat" him to something else (ice cream, popcorn, whatever) in place of a cake. If you're driving, you can get a cake at Publix (VERY good!!!) and it's WAY cheaper than Disney. We have Publix here and that's where I buy cakes when I need one (birthday or whatever). I've heard of people having Publix do their wedding cakes - they're that good! And I know Publix does Disney themes - they've done Nemo and Cars for the boys and princesses for Angie's surprise party last year. You could also get cookies from Cookies by Design (you'd have to see how close they are to Disney). We have one here in Bluffton and I got my boys and our friend's son Mickey head cookies in Feb - too cute! (I'll post pictures for Feb soon!) I *think* (not 100% sure!) that Edible Arrangements might also have Disney bowls that they arrange the fruit in. Just some other options for you. If you really want something at Disney though, hit one of the bakeries (MK Bakery or Boardwalk Bakery) and pick out something in there that might fit better with your budget if a cake won't work. Then everyone gets what they like and they can all get their own or some can share or whatever.

    For the baskets, I try to pick up some things too and mail those to her to include in the baskets. Maybe you could do one or two things from Disney (a t-shirt and plush for Landon) and send some other things that you'd have gotten anyways for him (fan, books, water bottle, whatever). I know she cannot include food at all due to FL laws.

    Boy do I love planning! :goodvibes Hope I didn't overwhelm you!:flower3:
     
  17. newtodis

    newtodis Disney Lover!

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    I love my lists and live by them! :goodvibes

    I would love to stay at AKL!! We had plans to stay there for my birthday last Dec but I cancelled and we got a condo off site. I just couldn't go knowing how much we were paying for AKL CL. :eek: We still had a great time and some day I really want to get to AKL!! I'll have to stop over on your PTR and see what you have up your sleeve! Don't plan too much (coming from the over-planner herself!). It's amazing what the Disney air will do to anyone - Disney lover or not - and create it's own magic! :goodvibes
     
  18. OhMari

    OhMari WDW PreTrip and Trip Moderator Moderator

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    Hey welcome back to the Pre-trip boards,
    I followed your link from the J&K8 thread.
    I actually moderate this board, LOL,
    but no one ever gets in trouble.
    Just an occasional stalker or 2 with Disney Brides,
    what is with those girls.
     
  19. newtodis

    newtodis Disney Lover!

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    Hi! Welcome! It's not much yet but hopefully I'll have more time to plan soon! :goodvibes Yup I do love discussing J&K :rolleyes1 (one of my few guilty pleasures!). Glad to hear no one's getting in trouble. People stalk the Disney brides??? Really?? That's just unreal!!
     
  20. newtodis

    newtodis Disney Lover!

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    Good Morning!

    So first I have to share that I almost let my surprise out of the bag last night. I haven't been feeling that great and had just taken some meds after getting home from the big t-ball game (where Corbin was proud of himself for getting "hurt and dirty" :rotfl:) and Dan says "so if the house in MI sells (yup we're still tied to yet another house and at least two pieces of property in MI:headache:) before we leave for the trip how about we stay at AKL?". Of couse he's thinking in Sept and I'm thinking July because that's where my brain is right now. So I told him that was crazy staying in the middle of nowhere in the hottest part of the year. He got a very puzzled look on his face and was like what?? So I told him that maybe it wouldn't be *that* bad in Sept but it would still be pretty hot.....:rolleyes1 I also pointed out that it would probably be more to stay there than at the Poly (where I'm pulling for). Granted, we still have no dates (waiting on Dan's class to be announced and Dan's mom to determine dates) and had decided to stay at the family suites because of the two bathrooms.

    So, I still don't think he's got any idea at all about what's going on. We watched the planning dvd over the weekend and Corbin asked if we go "trick or treat" with Mickey again! :cloud9: So I guess that means we need to save for another MNSSHP this year. If we stay at the Poly maybe Grammy can take both boys back on the monorail by herself givning mommy and daddy more park time! :woohoo: (Can you tell I'm really wanting the Poly but just can't swallow spending that amount of money on a hotel????)

    So back to the surprise trip!

    Anyone want to share their list of things to pack????? Here's what I have right now. I would love to hear what else I'm missing. I have a tote in my closet that I plan on slowly sneaking things into as I prepare for the trip. I'm also going to try and send some things down to Betsy to include in baskets so I have less to pack. :thumbsup2

    Sunscreen
    Bug spray
    Corbin's medicine
    Med Bag (AKA blue bag)
    Soap
    Shampoo
    Toothbrush
    Toothpaste
    Beach Towels
    Cups
    Laundry Detergent
    Dish Soap
    Diaper bag for park
    Pool Toys
    Sunglasses
    Hats
    Fans for parks
    Strollers
    Snack containers (I usually just take a big bag of something instead of buying the more expensive invidual bags)
    Autograph book
    Pens
    Kid camera (we have Fisher Price Kid Tough Camera) - should get some great shots from 2 -3 feet tall! :rotfl:
    Games for Car (Leapster and Corbin's birthday gift - tag reading system)
    DVDs for car
    Batteries
    Wipes
    Zip top bags


    Alright....what am I missing???? Aside from clothes of course - I have that list down! :thumbsup2 I also have a small list started with food to stock the condo so we're making progress there as well. I just want to make sure I'm not forgetting the obvious since I'm not doing it all myself this time!
     
  21. englishrose47

    englishrose47 DIS Veteran

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    I always bring moleskin for those blisters !! Ponchos for the rain! An umbrella for sun and rain!! Off hand that's all I can think of that you don't have !!
     

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