cool1: As you can tell by my post count, Im completely new to this board. Ive lurked for quite a while, but never really posted anything until recently. The reason Im finally starting to post is because if I dont, Im going to drive my kids !!! See, the kids and I are planning a SURPRISE Disney vacation for DH in late May/early June 2010!!!!! Im so excited all I want to do is plan, plan, plan, but the hubby is in the dark and my son (9) just asked me to stop talking about the trip because Im getting him tooo excited and the trip is tooo far off. So, basically, I NEED YOU guys to be my listeners! Please!!! Anyway, heres the background on our little family and how we've gotten to this point... Im a 36yo work from home mom. My hubby just turned 37 and in 2010 well be married 15 years. (That's a pretty good reason to celebrate!) We have DD12 and DS9. They are very much what you expect for a boy and girl of their ages. DD loves all things girly (dressing up, makeup, manicures, Taylor Swift, Hannah Montana, every other Disney Channel star EXCEPT the Jonas Brothers. Dont ask me - she swears she cant stand them????) DS plays football (even though he is the second smallest on the team) and loves wrestling camp (he cant wait until hes old enough to be on the team). We are anxiously awaiting his next trip to the ER as he is the accident prone member of the family.... On to the Disney part of this report. Back in 2005, hubby and I got a nice surprise on our tax return thanks to a new job (working for myself) and overpaying on my taxes the entire year. (I guess if you gotta make a tax error, this is the direction you want to go! ) We decided to use the windfall to take the kids (then 7 and 5) on a trip to Disney World. We figured that a Disney trip would be a one-time deal for our family and we wanted to do it right, so we opted to stay on-sight for 10 days (POP Century) with Hoppers, fly (Delta), use ME, and purchase the DDP. I should probably mention that hubby was only doing this trip because I wanted to. He figured he would put up a good front for the kids and I since this was a once-in-a-lifetime trip. I also thought Disney was not his thing, so I invested in some good tour books (no internet for us then) and read, read, read, hoping to make it as painless as possible. I learned about ADRs and booked our meals. I also learned about EMH and the bus system and all the information I could get on the attractions. Thanks to this information, we not only had a magical trip, but a relaxing one as well. And, guess what, hubby LOVED IT!!!! He came back raving to all our family and friends..... So, getting to NOW!!! As I mentioned before we had an amazing trip. The best vacation we have ever had!!! Well, in the summer of 2008, we finally got the internet at home so that I could use it to work on an associates degree program for my job. I started popping on the Disney website, trip advisor and the DIS, just looking around during my spare time. I checked out a Disney trip, but it really wasnt in the budget, but I discovered that a Universal vacation was. I knew even then I was just trying to curb the Disney bug, but we went for it and traveled to Orlando for Christmas 2008. It was a great time, had a lot of fun (but again, just not quite the same). Hubby and I decided to start saving in earnest for another trip. Well 2009 arrives, and with it, job insecurities. Hubbys company takes a 15% across the board pay cut, there are layoffs (thank goodness, not him), a lot of nervous tension. We decide that even though Disney is offering great deals, we really shouldnt take a big trip this year. We just add our vacation savings to the emergency fund and decide to wait a little longer. Well, by the end of the summer, things at work are looking stable again, but hubby is busy coaching sons football team, school is back in session, and there is no way to take a trip now. So, I decided, to start socking away toward a trip early next summer 2010. Hubby and I will be celebrating 15 years and I thought how great it would be to surprise him by saving for another trip (without touching what we put in the emergency fund). He would never expect this and really deserves it. He works so hard (and now for lower pay) and I know this would be just the thing to celebrate surviving a somewhat nerve-wracking year. Since Im in charge of the budget, DH really doesnt notice when I make adjustments. We learned early to cut back when times were tough, and so eating out less and making fewer splurge purchases doesnt surprise him now that his job is seeing tough times. The thing is he doesnt really keep track of MY income and Ive had a nice upswing in work so really there has been no budget shortfall this year. Thanks to this and a little belt tightening, Im already half way to my planned vacation budget with hubby none the wiser! I let the kids in on my idea, and they LOVED the thought of surprising dad. He has always been the one to surprise us with things and it's almost impossible to surprise him. So, we all love the thought of getting one over on dad!!! DD even volunteered 10% of her income. Yeah, there's nothing in it for her! Our plans at this point are 10-14 days (depends on time available and budget) at POP. I considered a moderate, but it really seems a waste since the only difference that matters to us would be the better pool and I plan to get the WP&M added this time. And while hubby and I would appreciate our own room, thats simply too much of a budget buster when staying on-site, so I m keeping it simple at the same resort we enjoyed the last time. I plan to get 10 day park hoppers with WP&M and the DDP. Im really hoping for 14 days, 10 in the major parks and four at the water parks and Disney Quest. So, that's it! The whole crazy plan!!! I am trully hoping I can pull this off because if I do, hubby will be so shocked!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope I haven't bored anyone too much and I apologize for the lack of pictures to break up this ginormous novel of a first report, but I'm technologically challenged. And adding these cute little smiley guys are about the limit of my abilities!!! Thanks for listening!!!!