Newb's, a little pixie dust and tears (a first timers trip report)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by fgtriot, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. fgtriot

    fgtriot Mouseketeer

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    For those of you whom read my PTR, I apologize it has taken me so long to start this report. For those who havent, here's the link'

    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2728071

    To quickly recap for those who haven’t. Although DW and I took DS to The World 8years ago when he was only 18mo old and we planned nothing more than staying at a nearby timeshare and buying a 4 day park hopper pass. Seriously that’s it. Therefore we have called this our Honorary First FAMILY trip. Before I get too far let me introduce our cast of characters (and believe me they live up to that name).

    I guess I’ll start with myself:

    [​IMG]

    Name: Matthew
    Age: 29
    Favorite Character: Aladdin
    Favorite Park: All of them
    Favorite Restaurant: Chef Mickey's ​

    Next would be DW who has put up with my shenanigans for almost 10 years now.

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    Name: Sarah
    Age: 28
    Favorite Character: Tinkerbell and Piglet
    Favorite Park: MK
    Favorite Restaurant: CRT​

    And the kids.

    [​IMG]

    Name: Ian
    Age: 9
    Favorite Character: Stitch
    Favorite Park: Epcot
    Favorite Restaurant: Coral Reef

    [​IMG]

    Name: Morgan
    Age: 7
    Favorite Character: Cinderella
    Favorite Park: MK
    Favorite Restaurant: CRT

    [​IMG]

    Name: Allyson
    Age: 3
    Favorite Character: Tinkerbell
    Favorite Park: MK
    Favorite Restaurant: CRT​


    DW and I had been planning this trip since Feb 2011 but didn’t tell the kids. Even though it is rather cliché now, we loved the idea of the surprise and wanted that memory. I will try to post a link to the video in the next chapter. We stayed at POR for 6 days at the end of Sept 2011, bought 5 days’ worth of park passes (non park-hopper) and a dining plan.

    So if you’re up for the ride (and I sure it will have its ups and downs since I’ve never done this before) I invite you to be our guest.
     
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  3. fgtriot

    fgtriot Mouseketeer

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  4. jason4024

    jason4024 <font color=red>DIS Dad #541<br><font color=navy>I

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    Joining in and just remember we are always here to help. I posted some info on your DDC post about your table of contents.

    Can't wait to hear more!
     
  5. Cree629

    Cree629 Mouseketeer

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    I'd love to hear more, too! Looks like we were there around the same time (Sept 27-Oct 4), and I am, also, currently trying my hand at my first TR!!
     
  6. kokotg

    kokotg DIS Veteran

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    Another three kid family who was there in September joining in! And we're planning to stay at POR next year, so I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.
     
  7. fgtriot

    fgtriot Mouseketeer

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    Cant wait to read your TR. You missed the rain then, yes?

    POR was good, I will have an entire chapter on it later in my report.
     
  8. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    I'm here! :thumbsup2
     
  9. trennr

    trennr DISDad #104

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  10. danimaroo

    danimaroo DIS Veteran

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    Totally in for this one! I like hopping in early so I can keep up instead of having to sift through 100+ pages (which I have done when bored! :lmao:)

    Hope you can post the video of the surprise! I LOVE surprise videos, cliche or not. I want to do this one day when DH and I have kid(s).
     
  11. fgtriot

    fgtriot Mouseketeer

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    OK so DW and I started planning this trip in February 2011 and from the beginning we wanted it to be a surprise for our three kids. We wanted our own commercial. This decision however would waiver many times throughout the 7 months of planning and waiting. The kids would see a commercial and beg to go and we would have to hold firm. We would be planning something and our excitement would take us to the edge, or we wanted to get the kids’ opinion but didn’t want to give anything away. I swear the constant back and forth in our head was the most torture I have put myself through.

    It had gotten so bad at one point that we told the kids we wanted to take them and begun “dream planning” with them on what they would like to do “if we ever could go”. Using the cost (non-discounted to make it seem worse) as the reason why we couldn’t go, “it was too expensive”. Through this “dream planning” we were able to get a lot of ideas of what the kids wanted to do. We watched The Disney Parks DVDs with them and reviewed the Disney website. This was when it was the hardest to keep the secret. Equally as hard was hiding the mail. DS loves to get the mail but we couldn’t run the risk. A big shout out to Mark Pratt of Fairytale Journeys for having the wisdom to request our welcome packet sent to him then forwarding it to us in a neutral non-Disney envelope.

    The only dilemma that still lingered as far as the surprise was concern was how to actually tell the kids. DW and I decided that instead of giving them their new backpacks for school, we would wait until the trip. We filled them with a bunch of stuff to keep them occupied on the plane like books and magazines and activity pads and toys. Each kid had a theme of their own and all their stuff followed that theme. For DS it was Phin and Ferb, DD7 is the princess, and for DD3; Tinkerbell. On top of all the stuff in the bags were Mickey Mouse t-shirts and a postcard we had gotten sent from the fairy godmailer list. The post cards were from the kids’ favorite characters talking about how they would see our kids soon.

    Now our kids are very smart. I know everyone says and believes that about their kids but DD7 has even been skipped ahead a grade. That said, they never once caught on to our whispering and sneaking around like when we were buying t-shirts for them from the Disney store at the mall for the trip, with them there with us! With this in mind I went ahead and created an actually invitation to hand to them that clarified we were leaving right away.
    So the morning of our trip I took the kids to McDonalds to get breakfast (which we never do). This bought time for DW to pack the final few items we needed, and our friends who would take us to the airport could arrive. Since we were leaving on a Sunday we used the excuse that they were going to church with us. I hated lying but I swallowed my integrity because I knew it was for a good cause. After breakfast and before leaving for “church” I; “suddenly remembered” that we “finally got” the kids their backpacks. Wink, wink! The final product turned out like this:


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIJnAfC_o8I&feature=feedu


    The little one was a little overwhelmed by it all but she soon after warmed up and got excited too.
     
  12. maryr1oz

    maryr1oz Down Under Disney Lover x

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    Your kids are adorable - particularly your little one, how sweet :flower3:

    I can't wait to read more, your surprise was great! :cool1:
     
  13. fromscratchmom

    fromscratchmom DIS Veteran

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    signing on--

    :goodvibes
     
  14. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    Love the surprise! :thumbsup2
     
  15. jason4024

    jason4024 <font color=red>DIS Dad #541<br><font color=navy>I

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    Your surprise video was awesome! I can not wait to read more about the trip.

    Also, looks like the link instructions worked for you!
     
  16. Cree629

    Cree629 Mouseketeer

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    Your kids are adorable and I LOVED your video. It made me cry! It must have been so hard to keep the secret for so long, but so worth it in the end!!
     
  17. fgtriot

    fgtriot Mouseketeer

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    Sorry everyone that it has been so long since my last post. Without too much detail it has been connection then computer then connection issues again. should be good now so I will try to get more of the TR done asap.
     
  18. fgtriot

    fgtriot Mouseketeer

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    After a quick wardrobe change we were off. To our benefit DW and I have very good friends who work within the airport. Armed with their advice we were quickly through security and to our gate waiting to board. At this time we let the kids check out their activity bags for the flight, convincing them that now would be the best time for DS9 and DD7 to get as much of their schoolwork done as possible. Both of their teachers had customized homework for them based around the trip. DD3 however became completely enamored by the plane itself and the workers and didn’t want to do anything but watch them out the window.

    [​IMG]

    The flight itself was quick and uneventful. The previously mentioned friends had given the kids some natural fruit suckers to help with the pressure changes but I didn’t get them distributed fast enough upon landing to help DD3. I felt so bad for her but didn’t know what more I could do, she’s normally a thumb sucker but I couldn’t even convince her to try that. Upon arrival in Orlando I was very impressed at how easy it was to make our way to the Magical Express boarding area. After a quick ride on the mini monorail of course! We were on the bus in less than 5 minutes and not long after on our way to the happiest place on earth.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    One thing I never fully understood until this trip was the excitement often voiced about the on board video on the Magical Express. I am now finally enlightened and must say …. I wish I would have got on to the sarcasm. Seriously I was talking up the video to my kids and DW, took the token picture of the screen and sat in my seat eager for it to begin like a fat kid waiting for cake time at a birthday party. Although I love all things Disney I couldn’t help but wonder what was older, the video or me (FTR I’m vintage 1982 baby!)

    If the aged theory that time flies when you’re having fun be true, then the adverse would be that time drags on slower than 90 year olds holding wheelchair races at the nursing home during moments of great anticipation. I swear that rather short bus ride took longer than the flight from Detroit. Not knowing where in the world (meant both figuratively within Disney and literally), I kept searching for signs that would hint to how close we were getting but alas, I was lost. Then finally there it was, the magical gateway that said “welcome, relax, and enjoy the magic”. Well actually I think it said welcome to Walt Disney World Resort but it spoke so much more to me.

    [​IMG]

    The cast member who checked us in was so cute, in a completely innocent way. Her name was Clare, which stuck out because it is also DD3’s middle name. She spoke with such a sweet southern draw that I had to chuckle inside myself (as not to embarrass her) because she was/is from a neighboring city to my home town IN MICHIGAN! Then to add to it, watching her petite self retrieve the two packages I had mailed down ahead of time which likely weighed close to as much as her simply became more than I could stand. Against her wishes I took my boxes and thanked her for “being so awesome” and we headed off to our room.
     
  19. fgtriot

    fgtriot Mouseketeer

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    With first visit buttons for the kids, a birthday button for me, and triple verified directions on how to get to our room we headed across the property. I plan to do an actual “review” of POR later in this TR. The walk was longer than it seemed on the map but then again didn’t take too long. Once we found our room we took a few minutes to unpack and show the kids what we made mailed down, as if there hadn’t been enough surprises for them already. Swim suits and personalized towels, and water bottles, and b3 dresses, and breakfast food, and more.

    Our plan was to take the ferry to DTD for dinner then hop a bus to MK. Before going anywhere though we stopped at the resort café and purchased two refillable mugs. Then, we took a look around Fulton’s General Store (gift shop). One of the cashiers was giving out Mardi-gras like bead necklaces but in a Disney way. Standing approx. 15ft away he would toss them with above average accuracy around the neck of his guest like a human ring toss game.

    After getting a few ideas for souvenirs I wisely convinced the kids to wait and fumbling around for only a second; we stood on the boarding dock for the ferries. I must admit I wasn’t overly excited about the ferry but it turned out to be rather nice and relaxing, offering wonderful scenery. At first I thought the ride took too long but as the week went on I think it was more of my growing excitement that made it seem longer. The best part however was when DTD came into sight. I am fully convinced this is the best view and approach for DTD.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The boat “captain” was rather dull but the workers at the dock in DTD were very friendly and fun. However they were not up to date on the goings of DTD. DW and I wanted to get the kids their ears and read online all about the store where you can let them create their own. The CMs on the dock told us right where to go and in a half walk half skip manner like from the park scene of Mary Poppins we headed straight there. The problem was they no longer let you make your own ears. :sad1: So DW and I decided to wait until we got to MK as we heard they have the best selection of ears.

    By this time we were all starting to get hungry so we headed over to Wolfgang Pucks Express (awesome food and only a quick service on the dining plan). Like the resort I am going to do a complete dining review later in the TR but here is a food porn teaser.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Following dinner we hopped a bus to Poly because we wanted the novelty of riding the monorail into MK. With plans in our head and a shortening timeline we head straight through bag check and into the park. Since we knew we were returning to MK later in the week we didn’t spend time site seeing around the entrance. Through the gate and around the corner.

    [​IMG]
    Followed by the money shot​
    [​IMG]
     
  20. aadaneboy

    aadaneboy Earning My Ears

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    I can't wait to read more! We (DW, DD5 and DS3 and I) are headed to WDW in 8 days, so the more I read, the more excited I get!

    Todd
     
  21. fgtriot

    fgtriot Mouseketeer

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    Congrats!!! I should get more up before you leave.
     

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