Trip Report December 9-13, 2004 Cast: Me: (35) The Disney person of the family. Successful in the indoctrination of my DD5 in the magic of Disney. DH: (32) Not a Disney person. Will grudgingly go once a year if forced and then only to see the happiness it brings our daughter. DD (5): Amazing. Could direct us to BuzzLightyear at 2 yrs old upon entering the park. This is my first trip report and I have to tell you after reading so many amazing reports (delswife, zurg, janet2k to name a few) I am nervous! I am not a writer but I am going to give it a shot. Pre-Trip: This trip was in the works for a long time. We live in Miami, Florida so it was actually going to be DD and my 6th trip to WDW this year but it would be DH's first trip since November 2003. Now keep in mind that being from Florida and going to WDW 2-4 times a year since it opened we pretty much never get what you would call a long trip. Our trips began when the park opened as day trips and slooooowly morphed into "long" trips of 3 days tops. To stay as some do for a week or two would be wonderful for me and DD but there is no way DH would do it. So I was determined to make this trip a longer one of 5 days and 4 nights. Heaven! I was also determined to do fulfill 3 other goals on this trip 1. Make my cynical, grumpy husband see/feel the Disney magic 2. Introduce my DD to WDW at Christmas which for some reason we had missed doing up to now. 3. Instead of doing the World commando style slow down and see/try new things that everyone would enjoy 4. Keep it within my budget. -and- 5. Keep it a secret until the last minute from DH so he would not find time to complain and pull out. "No honey, you and dd go, I will be fine work you know " This was going to be a great family vacation if I had anything to say about it and I did as I was the only one who knew about it for 4 months. Ok, that last statement was not entirely true. I have a good friend who loves Disney as much or more than I do. She even took a second job at the Character store down here so she could be a part of the Disney team. So I talked to her and discovered that she was leading an expedition to the World at the same time we would be invading. Now I love traveling with friends etc but DH does not (!) so once again I had another secret and problem (?) to work out. To add to my problems (?) on top of that was the fact that some relatives would also be at the World at the same time. Now if DH does not enjoy friends while traveling, relatives were definitely off the happy radar. Hmmmmm. I put this problem on the side while I hit some of the logistical issues. I was paying or everything by check so DH would not see the credit card bills. This limited me in acquiring certain tours etc. Three things that I was desperate to do was 1. an Illuminations cruise. 2. MVMCP 3. Family Magic Tour and 4. some character/special meals. DD and I are AP holders and DH was a seasonal pass holder but his pass ran out in November. I renewed his pass by mail with check. (Never received confirmation by mail but did call frantically the day we left and received a confirmation number to use at guest services) The other events would be determined by what schedule I came up with. Usually DD and I go to the World with a vague idea of which park on which day and maybe a few special PS's but nothing much more planned out. This trip with DH joining us would be different. I did not want to over schedule but I wanted to show him that a trip to WDW could be fun, relaxing and special. So after much juggling of schedules I decided on the following: Thursday 12/9/04: driving to WDW check in at POP and do MVMCP Friday: MK or Universal or MGM PS at 50's Prime Time so we could see Fantasmic and Osborne Lights. Sat: EPCOT (our five park) all day. Rose and Crown and then Illuminations cruise (?) Sun - Family Magic Tour then MK or Animal Kingdom and PS at 1900 Park Fair for diner with Cindy. Mon - breakfast at Boma, go home So with that in mind I started making calls. Made priority seatings at 50's (no problem), 1900 Park Faire (also no problem even at 20 days out), Rose and Crown at 7:309 easy). Boma. I could not believe that I got everything so easily even Cindy. Woo-Hoo. Then realized that I could not get MVMCP or Family Magic Tour by phone with check payment. Waa! Much nail biting. Do I wait until we are there and risk not getting it? I had already tried to get a carriage ride and it was booked up a month out. And should I really spend the money for the cruise. It is right before Christmas. I hate it when reality buts into my planning. I decide to chuck the cruise this trip and plan of seeing Illuminations from the rose and Crown on Sat night. But what about the MVMCP and the tour??? Well, it is my parents to the rescue. They decide that since my Dad had not had his annual trip to WDW with DD that the weekend after Thanksgiving would be good. Friends of the family were visiting WDW from Tennessee and my Mom was dying to go see them. I could not stay the whole week after Thanksgiving like they were due to work but we worked out the weekend. Of course, DH decides he can't go "with work" so it is a short 3-day grandparents, mommy and DD trip. However, it worked great with my planning. We would have only one day in the park with the other 2 days being for driving etc. I picked MGM so DD would definitely see the lights in case we did not make it on our later trip and the Christmas decorations at Magic Kingdom would still be a surprise. While at MGM I secured tickets to the MVMCP not on the 10th as it was sold out but the 12th. Oh no! ( If you have made it through the report so far you will see that originally I planned on the 9th for MVMCP but the Mousefest Illuminations cruise opened up for $15.00 a person I could not help myself and booked it for the 9th. (Only to find out later that I would be sacrificing meeting delswife and zurgswife at the MVMCP meet on the 9th.)) So I was now planning on the 10th for the MVMCP since I had PS and Cindy for the other nights. Now that was all out the window. So I had to move our PS and schedules around. Well as soon as we returned from this short trip I started making calls again. No luck on the first 3 calls on 1900 Park Faire for the 10th. Beginning to get disheartened at my DD missing it. The fourth call, 5 days before we left, came through with a PS at 6:50. I GRABBED it! Woo-Hoo!! I gave in and told DH who was not too happy but quickly became resigned to going after he found out I had already paid for everything. So now 5 days out I tried for the Family Magic Tour by credit card and came up lucky again (or was it pixie dust) Got 3 spots for the morning of the 10th. Yikes! It was becoming a very busy day for our first full day at WDW. Now that everything seemed to be worked out I decided to mess with the plans again. I really like the POP Century but as I mentioned I wanted this to be very special trip and appeal to my DH as much as to my DD. Well DD LOVES Animal Kingdom Lodge. And my friends were also staying at POP. So I figured lets check on availability to split our stay. Two nights at POP, see friends at some point but then move to AKL and have just family time at this neat resort. Again with the pixie dust. I got two nights at AKL, pool view, for the AP rate. This I kept a surprise from both DD and DH. I have decided at this point I like having these surprises for my family. I sort of felt like a Disney Santa. So I planned a few here and there for the entire trip. My family prior to leaving Miami knew they were going to WDW but not exactly what we were going to do there except stay at POP. I decided that I would keep everything else a secret until the time came to get ready to do it. Could I do it? Only time would tell.