November 2010 or bust (or how to make the time fly)

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by tarak, May 29, 2009.

  1. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    So this is my first pre-trip report. Our travel dates aren’t for another 18 months. We can’t even book room only for 47 days. Not that I’m counting or anything. So I’m a bit ahead of the game. But the planning is half the fun, right? At this point, we’re planning (okay, I’m planning, because DH thinks I’m nuts for planning anything at this stage and is just happy that the expansion to Fallout 3 is finally out) to go the Sunday after Thanksgiving of 2010 and stay for 7 days. I’m not sure DH realizes this yet, but since he’s caught up in a post-apocalyptic video game at the moment, I think I get to make the schedule. He has his fun money and I have mine – I’ve just decided to squirrel mine away for a vacation next year. We’re staying at the Polynesian because when DH was a kid, he always stayed there or at the Contemporary with his family. I’ve stayed there once before and loved it. You can’t beat that 70’s Brady-Bunch-in-Hawaii cheesiness. (Alice threw her back out!). I’m thinking of sneaking a wee tiki idol into DH’s luggage when we go.

    This is the first post - I'm breaking it up so it seems less tedious. Of course, if it's tedious, you probably aren't reading it by this point, so now I'm just rambling...
     
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  3. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    When we get to the World, my husband and I will have recently celebrated 10 years of marriage. My husband is not romantic. And to be honest, it doesn’t bother me too much – we have three kids 6 and under. For me, the height of romance is coming home to a basket of folded laundry. But it’s an excuse to have a really nice trip to WDW. We like fall-like temperatures and don’t like crowds. So early December is pretty much it for us as far as traveling to the World is concerned. With any luck, we’ll be meeting my sister, BIL and her step-daughter there for part of the trip. Oh, and I turn 40 next year. And my husband’s birthday is a few weeks before we’d be leaving. So why not roll it all into one big trip, I say.
     
  4. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    DD7, DD6 and DS3 - at least by the time we travel. Subtract 18 months for current ages. They have various nicknames. Things One through Three. Heckle, Jeckle and the Dude. Heckle at one point decided her nickname should be “Tink” but it didn’t stick. Jeckle is also called “Boo” for some reason I can no longer remember, but it makes me cry every time we see the end of Monsters, Inc. Jeckle also likes to go by something else periodically; at WDW the last time, for example, she declared that her name was Superpowers and she would only respond to that. So I found myself saying things like “Okay, Superpowers, do you have to go potty?” on a regular basis. She has also dubbed herself King of the Fire, Water Fountain and, most recently, Susie. The Dude is just the Dude. Even the girls call him this. He’s only 19 months old and definitely a work in progress, so that’s all subject to change. We love them to distraction. Our last trip to the world was December, 2008. Jeckle’s favorite rides were the boat from the Wilderness Lodge to the Magic Kingdom and the bus. She also liked the pretzels at the Magic Kingdom. So we could have saved ourselves a lot of money by taking the ferry across the river near our house and going to the Auntie Anne’s at the mall. But such is life. Since we’ve come back, she’s asked on a near nightly basis if we can go on It’s a Small World in the morning, so I guess she liked it more than she let on at the time. Here are links to her trip reports from the World, in case anyone is interested. At the very least, they are short.

    Jeckle at the Magic Kingdom
    Jeckle at Epcot

    Jeckle is already a curmudgeon at the ripe old age of 4.
     
  5. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    A dear friend from work. We take turns talking each other down from booking Disney trips because we want out of the office or because the most exciting game in town is Jubilee Day, where they shut down the streets in the town near our office so people can buy doll clothes and toilet paper cozies and funnel cake.

    A typical conversation will go something like this:

    “Please tell me I don’t want to be in Florida in August just because I can get free dining? It will be hot and horrible, right?”

    “Yes – and there will be wall-to-wall people and you will have to wait for two hours to go on Dumbo. And you’re getting close to hurricane season, too. It’s one thing to walk around in a poncho – it’s another thing entirely to have to grab a tree to avoid being swept away.”

    She is going with her husband and their son, who will be at the World for the first time.
     
  6. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    Is it possible to make 18 months fly by? What are we to do? Other than look at my ticker and think it’s not moving nearly fast enough? Or record every thing remotely Disney on the travel channel and watch our husbands roll their eyes (riding a zip line in Costa Rica? Woo hoo! Not doing it, but woo hoo!)?
     
  7. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    We decided to have pre-trip parties themed on Disney movies. First up is the Pirates of the Caribbean. Not sure how much interest the Dude will have, but the girls are certainly into it. For the record, Jeckle wasn’t much thrilled with the Pirates of the Caribbean at WDW. She apparently does not like anything that has a drop. Maybe because her first experience with that sort of ride was Splash Mountain… Heckle has already announced that the next party is to be Little Mermaid themed. We’ve had to reschedule this party several times already and she’s a bit put out. There’s a reason we call her Heckle, by the way.

    Hopefully the next post will be a recap of a successful party complete with a treasure hunt, some grog for the adults and a screening of the movie itself.
     
  8. reyasmommy

    reyasmommy DIS Veteran

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    Your husband sounds a LOT like mine. As long has he has his latest video game he's happy! I thought I was crazy for planning our trip so far in advance. ((march 2010)) but now I don't feel so crazy. :thumbsup2:thumbsup2

    I LOVE the Poly. I've never stayed there, but got married there back in 2001. :love:

    I hope you have a wonderful time, and I hope that time flys by for you. But then again, doesn't time go by way to fast anyway?!?! I guess it sorta drags when you have something to look forward to. :confused3
     
  9. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    That must have been a great place to get married!
    I would love to go back sooner, but my husband liked the weather so much back in early December, he's convinced it's the only time to go. I have to admit, the decorations were really nice.
     
  10. mncherokee

    mncherokee Mouseketeer

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    When I started planning our next WDW trip, we were looking at Dec 2010 :santa:too! But, we all wanted to go back sooner.:woohoo: We are returning in March 2010 instead.

    I'm interested to hear more of your planning.popcorn::
     
  11. therealleigh

    therealleigh Mouseketeer

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    Glad to know there are others who like to plan early. Look forward to reading about your Pirates party.
     
  12. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    I thought maybe I'd post some photos of the family so the cast of characters is complete.

    [​IMG]

    First off is Heckle - dressed as Belle at the Grand Floridian. Judging from the way her tiara is slipping, this is what I imagine Belle might look like the morning after going on a bit of a bender.

    [​IMG]

    Jeckle dressed as Minnie Mouse, also at the GF. We went to that crazy expensive princess tea party, which was sort of a painful experience, actually, and lasted much longer than my patience did.

    [​IMG]

    The Dude meeting Piglet for the first time. I was afraid he'd be petrified of the characters, but he seemed to love them. We'll see how it goes when he's older!

    [​IMG]

    Eating at the land and Mickey. This was our last night before flying home. The camera missed the largish glass of wine in front of me, which had me in my happy place. That and the kids were very well behaved, considering how tired we all were at that point.

    [​IMG]
    DH and the Dude. I think this was taken on Tuesday (we arrived Sunday afternoon), before we went to the princess breakfast at the Akershus, which is our favorite character meal. I plan to go back there next time, just haven't decided whether it would be breakfast or dinner - we've never eaten dinner there and I think that might be nice for a change.
     
  13. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    Less than 3 hours to go. This has been the time table so far today.
    11:00 - start to make gumbo. Not Caribbean. But there was voodoo (sort of) in the second movie. Gumbo is close enough. Kids didn't like the sound of Caribbean Goat Water Stew.
    11:15 - break up fight between Heckle and Jeckle over who gets to pull the Dude down the hill in the bluebird-shaped sled. In 6 years, sled has never been used on snow .
    11:30 - discover that the Dude likes andouille sausage.
    11:35 - DH finds termites in the beam over the garage door. He calls pest control.
    11:40 - break up another fight between Heckle and Jeckle over who gets to hold the portable DVD player.
    11:45 - put chicken for gumbo into oven to roast.
    11:50 - wonder where DH has managed to hide; find he has gone to the neighbor's to use power tools.
    11:55 - kick myself for ever buying that DVD of Camp Rock.
    12:00 - let gumbo simmer while chicken cooks and I look for what's left of my mind.
    12:15 - put the Dude down for a nap. He lunges for the crib, since even he is tired of the fighting.
    12:17 - DH comes in kitchen and sees the largish bottles of rum on the counter; "going that well?"
    12:20 - remember that I gave my blender away to my cousin about 2 years ago; get out food processor to puree pineapple for mai tais.
    12:25 - can't chop ice in food processor. Throw everything in a bucket and guess how much water would make a cup of ice (thank you theatre degree and my class in Science for Humanities majors). Hope it freezes quickly.
    12:30 - drink mojito. Cuba is close enough.
    To do:
    1. peel shrimp for gumbo.
    2. make rice for gumbo.
    3. check mai tais to see if they are frozen.
    4. clean chicken for gumbo.
    5. chop fruit.
    6. figure out how the heck you chop a mango and remove that weird middle section that just confuses me.
    7. open bags of pirate's booty and try to not to eat it all in one sitting.
    8. break up 3 fights between Heckle and Jeckle
    9. make up clues for treasure hunt.
    10. hide clues.
    11. tell Heckle she can't participate in the treasure hunt if she's going to cheat and follow me while I hide the clues.
    12. have a good time with my kids and my good friend (we'll call her DP for Disney Pusher). Because as much as I kvetch, I love them more than life.
     
  14. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    therealleigh - that bouncing maleficent is awesome. :)
     
  15. taylor3297

    taylor3297 DIS Veteran

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    tarak- I am enjoying your pre-trip report. We will be going December 5-11, 2010 and also staying at the Poly. It will be me, DH, DD 8 and DS 4 (ages at the time of trip). We will be celebrating our 10th anniversary and the kids birthdays. Our anniverary is in July but we won't mind waiting to celebrate until Dec. Both of the kids birthdays are in Nov, so we will celebrate those just a few weeks late.

    I like you Disney theme night ideas. We may have to try one or two in order to make the time go faster.
     
  16. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    So things went pretty well, everything considered. First order of business was getting pirate names assigned. I googled pirate name and went to the site that required the least work (answering 20 questions for 6 different people required a lot more time than I was willing to invest in something I probably wouldn't remember in 24 hours). We ended up with a few Jones' and a few Doras, but I guess something always gets sacrificed when you cut corners. So for the next few hours, we were known as:

    DF - Cheatin' Dora Jones
    Me - Cap'n Dora Snaggletooth
    Heckle - Pirate Rachel the Pink
    Jeckle - Gorgeous Angelina Jones
    The Dude - Pirate Jimbo the Fashionably Late
    DH - Fruity Javier Dread

    DH was less than amused by his name and said he'd accept the Dread part, but nothing else. He then went to the hardware store.

    DF had come with a treasure box for the girls to color. After they were done with that, I filled it with all the wonderful things DF had brought and hid it in the playhouse outside. Then we started the hunt.

    I was honestly amazed at how much fun they had zipping through the house finding the clues. Jeckle was upset at how much more quickly Heckle was finding things and I had to finally hold Heckle back so that Jeckle could grab a few of the clues. They were thrilled with all the goodies, which included lip gloss and ring pops and pirate clothes.

    [​IMG]

    Here are the girls with their bandanas on (the picture blurred a good bit - not sure if it was my camera or lack of photography skill).

    [​IMG]

    Heckle dispensed with the eye patch almost immediately, but Jeckle really enjoyed the dress up. She has slept with the telescope two nights now.

    [​IMG]

    The cat is clearly terrified.

    We had dinner - the Dude gorged himself on fruit, Heckle at least tried the gumbo and liked the shrimp, while Jeckle ate a bowl of rice.

    Then the movie started. Heckle enjoyed it, but got annoyed with the chatter on several occasions. Jeckle didn't pay the slightest bit of attention to the movie, but dashed around waving her "hook" and yelling "arrr."

    All in all - a success. Next up, the Little Mermaid!
     
  17. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    The younger kids have their birthdays in October, so I thought about rolling that into the trip, but Heckle turns 7 in April, and we'd have to do an un-birthday party for her, or she would be seriously put out. Since my sister will be there (probably with her husband, not sure if her step-daughter will make it), one night, I think I'll send the girls to the Neverland Club and ask my sister to watch the Dude, so DH and I can go out for a nice dinner just the two of us. We haven't used one of the kids clubs yet, but my SIL always said that her kids loved it so much they didn't want to leave at the end of the night.
     
  18. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    So DF came up with a nice idea for our next planning party (tentatively scheduled for July 11. She and her husband have started collecting pins. So she thought I could get the kids each a lanyard and a pin that corresponds to the theme of the party. So I'm one party behind, obviously, but ebay is my friend and I had some money in my paypal account (always a dangerous situation).
    So I got each of the girls a pink lanyard (the one with the mouse ears on it). And I picked out two pirate/princess pins from years past. The lanyards are identical, but the pins are not. With luck, they won't fight over them. I'll have to stop by the Disney store one of these days and try to find an Ariel pin for each of them. Whether they should match or be different, I haven't decided.
    And I have to thank or curse DF because it never occurred to me that pin collecting could be fun. Trying to live vicariously through my kids, since my husband already rolls his eyes every time I start watching a show I recorded from the travel channel that is in any way Disney themed.
    Him: Yeah - I like how they're showing the family just strolling down Main Street and there's no one else in sight. Show it the way it really is, when you can't move two inches to the right without slamming into someone.
    Me: We're going in December. With luck it will be cold again (relatively) and no-one will brave the 55 degree weather.
     
  19. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    Okay – so our party date has come and gone, and I don’t have a play-by-play, so I’ll just try to recap it as best I can.
    We started the morning by heading to Hershey Park, which is our go-to place for WTKO, or wearing the kids out.
    I start off the morning with the start of a killer migraine. Or the vestiges of a hangover complements of book club, which is usually 9/10th hanging around with lady friends eating and drinking and gabbing and 1/10th discussing the book (this months selection was the Great Gatsby – the consensus that every character with the possible exception of the narrator really were the jerks we remembered they were when we read the book in high school several decades ago).
    Hershey Park goes relatively well – the girls have a great time. The Dude is relatively happy – as long as we’re moving. We run into a good friend from work who is there with his wife and son (who just turned two). Things are good until Heckle decides she wants to go on the Falcon. DH has no interest and she can’t go alone. So I go with her. A brief description of the Falcon for those not familiar with Hershey Park. You sit in tandem with someone in a small car (maybe it’s supposed to be an egg – I have no idea). You are whipped around with a few cars that are attached to the same hub. There are about 5 hubs that also spin around a tower. Your car/egg/torture chamber also swings back and forth. You then go up about 100 feet in the air. At some point it stops so you can look at the view. Which would be more impressive if my head didn’t feel like it was going to explode. Then the whole things starts up again for the trip back down. Heckle is laughing like a maniac and I want to vomit.
    I cannot take my eyes of the pin holding the whole thing together. It looks like the sort of thing that holds the stroller wheels together. I hope it’s made of sterner stuff.
     
  20. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    We head for Zoo America (part of Hershey Park) and pass the mascot Ranger Scratch, whom we long ago dubbed Ranger Old Scratch because Heckle used to wail like a banshee whenever she saw him as a toddler. She doesn’t mind him now, just says he’s a bit ragged looking. And Ranger Scratch does indeed look like he might have developed mange over the years.
    The zoo is nice, but it’s almost 1 at this point. The Dude has lost it, is hungry and tired and I still have to hit the grocery before we start our Little Mermaid party. On the way out of the park, I hit the Dunkin Donuts to get some coffee, hoping it will take the edge off the headache and get a cup of donut holes for the girls to share. The Dude gets one and promptly passes out in the stroller. The girls insist on going on the Chocolate World tour so they can get the free chocolate at the end. Not wanting to admit that I also like the free chocolate, I give in. DH takes the Dude to the car.
    Today’s chocolate selection is the “new” Kiss with the Meltaway Center, which tastes suspiciously like the “Truffle” variety from a few years back. The Meltaway Center does just that, as even an unseasonably cool July is still 80+ degrees and humid. Jeckle manages to lose one of hers in the garbage can and I start to explain, to the tune of her anguished wailing, that one kiss is plenty, a very nice lady behind me says she can have hers. I thank her profusely (while embarrassed that I hosed down my two before we passed the first garbage can). Crisis solved.
     
  21. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    We get home and the Dude is safely ensconced in the crib. I tell the girls they can either take naps, which they need, or they can go to the store with me. They choose the store. Our grocery of choice has something called the “Tree house.” Which is pretty much a play center where you can drop off your kids for free for up to an hour and a half while you shop. I keep thinking that some day I’ll drop them off and sit by the fireplace in the attached café and just read a book and drink coffee. I have not yet done so out of guilt that I should be doing something constructive if I’m leaving my children with strangers. They love the tree house.
    For the menu, I decide to go with the “fish-eater” theme and pick out crab cakes, flounder and clams. I have no idea what else I’ve purchased, but I’ve managed to spend $200, or as I now think of things in terms of cost at Disney, the Park Hopper option.
    I collect the girls only to find Jeckle doing the leg-cross of doom. The bathroom is a good distance away and we head there, Jeckle at a glacial pace because if she un-crosses her legs, she will most likely pee all over the floor. I stand outside the bathroom and send the girls in, asking Heckle to help Jeckle. This has worked very well in the past – there are only two stalls and the bathroom has no other exit or entrance, so I know they’re safe in there. And at the first hint of trouble, I’ll just leave the packed grocery cart and hope no-one takes anything.
    After what seems like an eternity, I hear them start to shriek at each other. I don’t know what started it, but I hear Jeckle say “I don’t like you – you’re not my best friend anymore.” Followed closely by “I’m telling mommy you said you don’t like me.” I’m waiting to hear the even worse slight of the pre-school set “You can’t come to my birthday party,” but am distracted by the approach of other ladies who need to use the bathroom. I open the door, ask how things are going and, after both girls rat each other out for various offenses, I tell them both to come out and I’ll use one of the omnipresent hand wipes to clean them up.
     

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