Our Surprise Adventure of a Lifetime. Lots of Pics Along the Way!

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by spoonfulofsugr, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. spoonfulofsugr

    spoonfulofsugr The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of man

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    Hi everyone. This will be my first PTR. We aren't going for a while but I thought everyone might be ok with going along for our planning ride. Let's first meet the victims of this crazy roller coaster we call a WDW vacation.

    Me ~ Heather, 22 ~ wife, sister, daughter, student, secretary, restaurant lover, DIS lurker, impatient vacation planner

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    DH ~ Mike, 24 ~ husband, brother, son, restaurant manager, peanut M&M lover, Biergarten addict, main WDW vacation financier

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    DSis ~ Courtney, 12 ~ daughter, sister, WDW first-timer, Winnie the Pooh's number 1 fan, softball and soccer player, family comedienne

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    DSis ~ Hannah, 10 ~ daughter, sister, stuffed animal collector, computer game junkie, chicken finger and french fry lover, WDW first-timer

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    This will be my fourth trip to WDW and I am more excited than ever. DH and I WERE planning a trip to go in September for FD but then, we had a greater idea...

    SURPRISE TRIP!! for my 2 DSis. My family has never been to WDW and probably will never go. It has kind of been a long running joke in my house that my parents tell us every 6 months or so that we are going to WDW but it never pans out. At this point, it will not happen. There are two teens still living at home who really have no interest in going there and my Dad doesn't want to go either. Seeing as he is the one with most of the money... WDW is out. Every time I even mention WDW around Courtney and Hannah, they get all sad and jealous. It is the one place in the whole world that they want to go. For the last couple of years, I have had this fantasy of taking my whole family with us to WDW but that is completely unrealistic considering we are only two newlyweds not even close to being able to cover a 15,000 dollar vacation especially when half of the family doesn't even want to go.

    We have come to the conclusion that we will only take the two girls. Believe me when I say this trip will be the trip of a lifetime for them.

    So, onto the planning... we will be going in September of 2009. We will be staying at a value resort and getting the Free Dining Plan. We are flying there and renting a car so we won't have to take the Disney busses. Now, for this young married couple, this seems like a lot of money. BUT, we are so motivated to do it, I think we will stay on top of it. To help us keep our eyes on the prize, I made a sort of game board. This will be great because we will be able to see the progress we are making and when I see this poster, I will be less inclined to spend money and more inclined to save it.

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    Sorry about the glare but hopefully you can see it. I used the Behr Disney paint samples for the spaces and my Disney picture/day calendar and a coloring book for decoration. The game piece that you can kind of see in the top left corner is flying money.. I found the picture in one of DH's birthday cards and thought it would be a perfect game piece. The quote at the top says "Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy." which, in case you don't know, is posted at the MK.

    We have deposited our first money into our glass water bottle (so the only way to get it out is to break it) and we are on our way. Thanks for tuning in and hopefully you will enjoy my updates. If you have any tips for me, especially because this will be our first time traveling with kids, PLEASE let me know. See ya next time!
     
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  3. DISNEYmooner2008

    DISNEYmooner2008 Mommy to a Princess

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    I'm joining in!!!!! Can't wait to hear about your plans!!!! Me and my hubby were married in January of this year and honeymooned at Disney. We are going back in October 2009 and taking my mom and dad for their 1st trip and also taking our 1st little one!! Can't wait to hear more!
     
  4. spoonfulofsugr

    spoonfulofsugr The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of man

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    Hey thanks for joining my PTR. I can't wait to read yours too! Hope you enjoy. :goodvibes
     
  5. DISNEYmooner2008

    DISNEYmooner2008 Mommy to a Princess

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    Putting your money into a glass bottle is an EXCELLENT idea!!! We put all of our change and extra dollar bills into a canister at the end of the day, but we always manage to take more out than we put in :headache: You have a great idea there!! I also love your savings board you made - that's awesome!!! You are very creative!
     
  6. spoonfulofsugr

    spoonfulofsugr The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of man

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    Thanks! I was pretty proud of my board.. it's fun to look at haha. And the glass bottle... it's kind of a necessity or else we wouldn't save any money. It's kind of cool knowing we can't take anything out. It's like we are guaranteeing ourselves a vacation.
     
  7. spoonfulofsugr

    spoonfulofsugr The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of man

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    I hope I am doing this right. If I want to put up another post on my thread, I just submit a reply right? Anyway, since our trip is obviously a LONG way away, I decided I can keep everyone entertained by writing some mini TR on all the crazy adventures we have up until WDW. First up.... Mika Concert!

    This was the first concert Mika ever played in the US and we got to go to it! It just so happened that he was playing in our humble little area we like to call the Philadelphia area! He was playing at the Electric Factory and we went up there for my cousin's bday. Silly me, I thought we would be able to get tickets the day of. So that morning, I went into work for a couple of hours and went online to buy tickets... no luck. Oh no!! We have been planning this trip for months! Luckily in the next couple of hours, I found 2 tickets on Craigslist and 1 on some random Mika message board I discovered while panicking and scouring the internet for left-over tickets. Well, that's three down.. 2 to go. I posted an ad on Craigslist that I needed two tickets for the Mika concert and left my phone number for anyone to call me if they had them. So, we were off to Philly! First stop... some street corner to pick up our first 2 tickets.

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    All went smoothly there. We were to pick up the other ticket in front of the Electric Factory so next, we hit Reading Terminal Market... only one of the best places ever!!! It's basically a huge farmer's market indoors right in the middle of Philadelphia. They have all kinds of FABULOUS food and cool stuff to buy. We had some turkey with mashed potatoes and mac and cheese, Thai food, pastrami, and crepes. We were stuffed but, as in our tradition in Philly, we just kept on eating.

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    Next up was Qdoba for some great mexican food.

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    After that, we headed across the street to check out this awesome store called 10,000 villages. It's basically a fair trade company where they have handicrafts from all over the world and donate sale money to charity. They have some really cool stuff and everyone should check out the website.

    Next, we went to the Electric Factory to pick up our other ticket. After successfully retrieving it, we asked around in the line forming in front of the concert hall and found one more! 4 down, one to go!! Well, nobody else had one and we were starting to get nervous that all of us wouldn't be able to go but, we couldn't let that ruin our plans. We were off to South Street! We already paid for parking so we took the subway there. But wait! On our way to the subway, my cell phone rings. It's a Philly number that I don't recognize which could only mean one thing! Someone saw my ad on Craigslist and just so happened to have 2 extra tickets for the concert. He would only sell them together so we had to get rid of a ticket before we bought the other two. Back to the Electric Factory, we sold our extra ticket to someone else in line.
    When we got to South Street, we picked up the two tickets allowing us to eat our Philly cheesesteaks stress-free. And where else to get the best Philly Cheesesteak than.. JIMS!

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    "Two Whiz Without"

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    Oh man, nothing hits the spot better than a Jim's cheesesteak with Cheez Whiz. From there, we headed to Cosi for some s'mores.

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    After we were thoroughly STUFFED from all of our eating that day, we waddled back to the subway and finally arrived at the concert. We had an awesome time and Mika was amazing live. He only has one album so far so he sang all the songs from that album. The Electric Factory is basically a hollowed out garage so we were packed in there like sardines but that is the true concert experience right? The crowd was dancing and having a great time and the concert seemed to end all too soon.

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    At the end of the concert, we headed home fat and happy.
    Until next time.. Sending a little magic your way! :wizard:
     
  8. spoonfulofsugr

    spoonfulofsugr The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of man

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    Magic for today is some pictures from our last trip. No stories here, just some great pictures from our '04 trip.

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    Hope everyone enjoys! Tonight, I am starting a new tradition for the next year or so (until our trip). Since I am not telling the kids about the trip until very close to leaving (the day before as I have planned so far), I needed to figure out a way to get the Disney spirit going without spilling the beans. So, I decided to have a Disney Movie Night every week. They take turns picking out a Disney movie and we will watch that movie, cook food related to the movie, decorate based on the theme, and maybe play a couple of games. Tonight is Lady and the Tramp.. I'll let you know tomorrow how it goes. And chime in all you lurkers out there! Any good ideas for me? Think I will be able to save all the money? Think I will be able to keep the secret? What do you think about my movie nights? Can't wait to hear from everyone! Sending a little magic your way :wizard:
     
  9. spoonfulofsugr

    spoonfulofsugr The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of man

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    So, last night was our first Disney Movie Night. We will be doing it every week and I hope they are all as fun and the kids are just as happy as last night. We watched Lady and the Tramp so our theme was Italian for the night. I made up cute little menus and homemade placemats yesterday.

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    This is what the place mats looked like.

    Then, on my way home, I went to the store and got some balloon (red and green of course) to hang up around my nifty little banner i made.

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    When I got home, I pre-prepared some of the food so all we had to do was pop it in the oven. Then, I hung the balloons and the banner and set the table.

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    This is just a bowl with water and floating candles. In the middle is actually a shot glass with water in it as well. I used food coloring to color the shot glass water green and the bowl water red.

    Then I went to pick up the girls. When they walked in, they were so excited! They were saying "oh my gosh! Heather! It looks so good! This is going to be so fun!" Courtney and Hannah then helped me make dinner.
    Here is me so excited:
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    When everything was all ready, we put it on the table and sat down to eat.

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    But not before a toast.

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    "Cheers!"

    And then after that, we just got to sit down, relax, eat our italian water ice, and watch the fabulous movie that is Lady and the Tramp.

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    This was so fun and we can't wait for next week. It totally serves the prupose of giving me my Disney fix while getting the girls (unbeknownst to them) into the Disney spirit for their surprise trip. Coming up next week... Be Our Guest gourmet dinner. Sending a little magic your way! :wizard:
     
  10. Couturier

    Couturier DIS Veteran

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    WOW! You did such a nice job! :thumbsup2 What a cool:hippie: Big Sis you are. I cant wait to hear all about the rest of your adventures!popcorn::

    Dana
     
  11. spoonfulofsugr

    spoonfulofsugr The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of man

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    Thanks so much! It's nice to hear feedback. I am just really hoping I stay this excited and motivated all the way to our trip. I am trying to do everything possible to keep myself on track (my game board, saving money in an unreachable place, making a PTR so I can't just stop (I don't want to disappoint my adoring public! :lmao: ), and the Disney Movie Nights) So hopefully by September of next year, I'll be making a completed TR. Sending a little magic your way! :wizard: And thanks again for tuning in.
     
  12. DISNEYmooner2008

    DISNEYmooner2008 Mommy to a Princess

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    OMG that's so awesome!!!! So much work put into that and I'm sure your sisters thought it was soooo cool!!! How great!!
     
  13. ctmomof4

    ctmomof4 Earning My Ears

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    My husband and I just decided today to take the kids to the most magical place in the WORLD:wizard: .... in late april-early may. This will be our 5th trip but the first with 5 kids, we just had our new addition 4 months ago, so is should be busy but spectacular:cloud9: ... I love your idea for your special meals and a movie each week, looking forward to reading more:thumbsup2 ...
     
  14. muppetkaties

    muppetkaties do you think they'd mind if i lived in Disney?

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    Hey! Just found you PTR-joining in!!! Good luck with saving the money and good luck keeping the surprise.....I so wouldn't be able to keep it in. It's too exciting!:)
     
  15. spoonfulofsugr

    spoonfulofsugr The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of man

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    That's so great! You'll be there around the same time we will. Well the same time of year anyway.. That's a big undertaking to go with 5 kids! I am the oldest of 5 kids and I can't imagine everyone at WDW at the same time. Here is a little pixie dust for luck with your trip! :wizard: I'm sure it will be fabulous and none of you will ever forget it.
    Thanks for the luck.. I'll need it! I'm afraid I'm not a very good secret-keeper... especially one this big! Hopefully I don't blow the surprise though because I imagine that it going to be the best part of the whole planning process.

    Yeah it was a lot of work but totally worth it. We can't wait for next week. Eyes on the prize.. haha that's what I keep telling myself. :)

    Thanks everyone for joining in! Stay tuned for moments of weakness, general venting and pure excitement. Until next time, sending a little magic your way. :wizard:
     
  16. Alysa

    Alysa DIS Veteran

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    cute movie nights - what a great sister!
     
  17. spoonfulofsugr

    spoonfulofsugr The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of man

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    Thanks! I try really hard to be a great sister. But there are a few things I have on my mind in regards to this trip:

    1. I have two other siblings... both teenagers, both have no interest (as I have said before). I am so worried that they will be upset (which the most definitely will). I mean, Courtney and Hannah get this FABULOUS trip and Ryan and Ally get... squat? How do I even that out?! Or not even it out, just how do I make it so they aren't so upset and jealous? (Short of bringing them with us because I am not paying for them to go if they don't want to.. they will just ruin the magic for the rest of us) I know Disney World doesn't interest them but just that fact that they would be getting out of school for a week and going on a vacation SOMEWHERE would be pretty great for them ya know?

    2. Courtney's 13th b-day is in January. We had already made plans (before I started planning this trip) to go see Wicked on Broadway. She even has a sign hanging up in her room reminding herself to save money for spending money when we go. But... now that we are trying to save all the money we can, a 500 dollar day just isn't feasible. How do I let her down and tell her I can't take her without giving away the surprise trip?!

    3. I know Courtney and Hannah would want to save money from their allowance to spend at Disney (even though we are surprising them with 200 dollars spending money each). How do I get them to sock money away without telling them?

    4. I am concerned that doing this Disney Movie Night will tip them off. What do you think? I want them to be completely surprised when we tell them about the trip. I am afraid that all this Disney business will make them suspect.

    As promised, I will tell you about my moments of weakness. Yesterday, I went to see a movie with my DH. We had free tickets from a radio station so that was ok but after the movie, we went to Wendy's. Now, since we started saving, every DOLLAR I spend, I feel guilty about. Given, it was only 12 dollars but while we were out, we went to the beauty supply store "just to look around" ;) I have needed a new straightening iron for so long! I am restricted to moussing my hair curly or putting it up. Moussing it is no fun in the summer as it gets all sticky and putting it up just gets boring and ugly. But it is 120 dollars! :scared1: That is 1 ticket to La Nouba, or 2 days of the DDP, or 1 night room rate, or... well you get the picture. I'm scared I'll fall off the wagon!

    Some good news, We can put 100 dollars extra into our savings fund next week because I worked extra hours for this pay. I have also figured out how I am going to surprise them with the trip (I think so anyway). That is coming up next so stay tuned. Thanks for listening to my ranting and raving. Sending a little magic your way! :wizard:
     
  18. MickeyP

    MickeyP DIS Veteran

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    Just my opinion, but I know I don't go for surprises (no matter how good). My neighbor surprised her brother& SIL wih a surprise dinner. My neighbor, I think, basically did it for herself. She was the one who got the most out of it. I believe anticipation is part of the fun. And, I've watched a lot of videos on Youtube of kids who didn't react the way their parents wanted them to. I can understand not telling kids if it's like a year out, but I think they could handle a few months.
    PS: I loved your dinner and will definitely try to duplicate it in the upcoming weeks. I need help with a banner. Did you have a program or something?
     
  19. Alysa

    Alysa DIS Veteran

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    I wouldn't surprise toddlers but I think pre-teens will love that you are doing this for them. I actually took my 5 year old daughter on a surprise trip. We did tell her we were going somewhere fabulous. When she asked if we were going to Egypt I said "no, not that fabulous". But close!
     
  20. MickeyP

    MickeyP DIS Veteran

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    Oh, don't get me wrong. Your sisters will absolutely LOVE it, I just said, "I" don't love surprises. I love the planning and the anticipation, and I always need something to look forward to.
     
  21. Alysa

    Alysa DIS Veteran

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    me too!
     

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