The Disney Grump & Family Take on the World-Our '09 Christmas w/ the Mouse, COMPLETE

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by SoonerGirl, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. SoonerGirl

    SoonerGirl DIS Veteran

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    Ahhhh, Christmas with the Mouse. Were we fortunate or foolish to be going to WDW during the actual week of Christmas? That will eventually be revealed. I will say that I have dreamed of seeing WDW all dressed up for the holidays for quite some time now, and Christmas week was really my only option of doing so. Since my oldest started Jr. High last year it’s much too difficult to take him out of school, so we were stuck waiting until Christmas break.

    For this trip, my dream was to stay at the Boardwalk Inn. On mine and DHs first visit to WDW we stayed at the Swan and I loved the whole Boardwalk area. The idea of being within walking distance to Epcot and just a short boat ride away from DHS just sounded heavenly to me. But, alas, my pocketbook would not support my dream, so I booked us a room for 8 nights at Port Orleans French Quarter, from December 19th-27th.

    Before I go any further, for those of you who don’t know me, let me introduce my family.

    There’s me, Michelle, I just turned (gulp) 40 this year. I was never able to visit WDW when I was a kid, in fact my first visit wasn’t until 2000/2001 (we were there over New Years), and that trip came about rather accidentally. The real purpose of our visit to Florida was to watch the Oklahoma Sooners play the Florida State Seminoles for the College Football National Championship in Miami. We were using DHs free SW flights for our trip and at the time they didn’t fly from Oklahoma City to Miami, so we had to fly into Orlando. I thought to myself that it might be fun to spend a couple of days at Disney World before we headed south to Miami. So, last minute I was able to get a room at the Swan and we were off to WDW! In those short two days I fell for Disney hook, line and sinker! I just love it!

    Here’s a picture of me from a girls only trip I took this summer to celebrate my 40th (uggg) birthday. (I don’t think a photo of me by myself exists, so I’m with my girlfriends here – I’m the one in the middle)

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    Then there is DH, also known as Don. Unfortunately he has never been bitten by the Disney bug. He tolerates our trips, and for the most part has a good time while we are there, he would just rather go someplace else. I lovingly refer to him as the Disney Grump. In fact, I bought him this shirt for Christmas last year as a joke; he got a big laugh out of it and actually wears it quite often!

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    When I broached the subject of a WDW Christmas trip with him, his first response was no, but it wasn’t his typical “don’t bring it up again” kind of no, so I didn’t give up! He finally agreed, as long as I agreed that this would be it for a long time, he was tired of going to Disney. I said fine (with my fingers crossed, of course – hey, if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have gotten the trip!).

    Here we are together - a do it yourself kind of shot ;)

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    We have two boys, ages 13 and 9. My oldest, Justin, is in the eighth grade and in true teenage style likes to test his mother’s patience. He loves sports, and excels at both basketball and baseball. He is my more tentative child; he’s a worrier and is very detail oriented just like his mother. And when he has that teenaged mouth closed, he is very sweet. :laughing:

    Here's Justin

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    Our younger son is Jared, he is more like his father, he’s my wild child. I swear I have more than a few gray hairs (cleverly covered up, thanks to my beautician) due to him. He is a thrill seeker, and he's messy, and loud and it’s sometimes difficult to get him to focus on what he is supposed to be doing. I’m sure he hears the words “focus, child!” in his sleep! He also loves sports, and in addition to basketball and baseball, plays football.

    Jared (this 1st pic about sums him up :thumbsup2 ) :

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    They are both generally wonderful kids and are usually well behaved, but like all children, they have their moments! My boys -

    Sweet:
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    Crazy:
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    And last but not least, is our sweet Abby. She was a stray that adopted us when I was pregnant with Jared, and she has by far been the best dog I have ever had! Unfortunately she couldn’t make the trip to WDW with us, so she went to Camp Grandma for a full week of R&R!

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    So that’s us in a nutshell – thanks for reading along!

    Up next: Bringing a little fun to the waiting game!

    I should have reserved the 2nd post for links to my updates, but I forgot, so I'll add them here:

    Adding some fun to the waiting game
    We Arrive!
    Epcot Day 1, Part 1
    Epcot Day 1, Part 2
    A Mom & Daughter Trip, Plans for May
    Day 2, Animal Kingdom, Part 1
    Day 2, Animal Kingdom, Part 2 & An evening @ POFQ
    Day 3, A Morning at the Magic Kingdom
    Day 3, The Epcot Storytellers, Part 1
    Photopass Pictures
    Day 3, Epcot Storytellers & Teppan Edo
    Day 4, Breakfast with Pooh
    Day 4, Magic Kingdom, Part 1
    Day 4, Magic Kingdom, Part 2 Celebrate It Parade & Cinderella's Wish
    Day 5, Hollywood Studios, Part 1
    Snow!
    Day 5, Hollywood Studios, Part 2 - Osbourne Lights!
    Day 6, A Christmas Eve Shopping Excursion
    Day 6, An Evening at Epcot
    Day 6, Candlelight Processional & Souvies!
    Day 7, Christmas Morning and an empty Animal Kingdom
    Day 7, Animal Kingdom, Part 2
    Day 7, Mini Golf
    Day 7, The Surprise and Whispering Canyon Cafe
    Day 8, Epcot, Le Cellier & The Grand Floridian
    Day 8, Our disastrous dinner & what would happen with our evening plans?
    Day 9, Departure Day
    Final Thoughts

     
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  3. wigdoutdismom

    wigdoutdismom DIS Veteran

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    I'm here!
    and first to boot! :yay:
    Woot!
    If I was Dawn I'd probably use toot in the next sentence....
    but I'm not so I won't.
     
  4. Bengalfan32

    Bengalfan32 Earning My Ears

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  5. kbheap

    kbheap Mouseketeer

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    I'm in. Can't wait for more.
     
  6. If U Had Wings

    If U Had Wings DIS Veteran

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    I can't wait to hear more. Boardwalk is my dream resort too.
     
  7. stace208

    stace208 DIS Veteran

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    I clicked over from Wigd's report! Can't wait for more:goodvibes
     
  8. marsa1969

    marsa1969 Can we go to Disney yet??

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    I'm in since we are state neighbors! popcorn:: Like me, I turned 40 in August - with regret!
     
  9. MaryAz

    MaryAz DIS Veteran

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    First page, first page. Can't wait to read more!!

    Wanted to make first page so I posted first. Now that I have read, I understand ur screen name now :) I am turning 40 in June, my hubby is not a Disney fan until he gets there and I have 2 kiddos-girls though. Why are 2nd kids always crazy??
     
  10. Cinderumbrella

    Cinderumbrella Wench

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    I'm here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Great start Michelle!!! Can't wait to hear what Grumpy thought of the decs!! :santa:

    popcorn::
     
  11. Happydog

    Happydog DIS Veteran

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    Hey! How exciting! I am looking forward to your TR! We must have crossed paths! Looking forward to hearing about your trip!
     
  12. wsushocker

    wsushocker DIS Veteran

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  13. SoonerGirl

    SoonerGirl DIS Veteran

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    Woo Hoo! Anita's first! :woohoo:

    Call me crazy, but I kinda think you did use toot in the next sentence. Just sayin'...... ;)

    Not sure if I can make this report popcorn worthy, but I'll try!

    Welcome!! I hope to get some more written later tonight. Right now I have 3 boys wondering when I'm going to get in the kitchen and cook dinner....

    Isn't it just gorgeous over there?! So much to see and do in that one little area. We tend to spend most of our time in Epcot anyway, so that short walk is VERY attractive.

    Yay! Thanks for coming over!

    Aren't 40th birthday's the worst :sad2: 40 just sounds so much older than 39 for some reason. :laughing:

    Thanks for coming over Mary! I don't know what it is about child #2, all I can say is, if I had had him first - he would be an only child!

    Yay! Kristin's here, Kristin's here!!! :banana:

    Probably nothing in that first post that you didn't already know, but I hope to get more up tonight :thumbsup2

    I know, there were lots of DISers there that week! I'm sure we walked past (or given the small amount of personal space that was available :crowded: bumped into) each other at some point.
     
  14. wsushocker

    wsushocker DIS Veteran

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    Someone needs to read this book....

    [​IMG]
     
  15. gellybean

    gellybean DIS Veteran

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    I'm in!!


    DESPITE the fact that I bleed burnt orange. *Ahem*


    :lmao:


    Ready to read all about the Christmas-y goodness!
     
  16. SoonerGirl

    SoonerGirl DIS Veteran

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    Wow - Shocker's here too! :cool1:

    And picking on Wigd already, I see. :rolleyes: Hey, someone's gotta be first! ::yes::

    Figures, a Longhorn fan :sad2:

    :rotfl: Just kidding, we can be friendly as long as it isn't the second Saturday in October right??? Or is it the 3rd now, they went and messed with it this year and now I'm all confused :headache:

    Glad your here!!
     
  17. gellybean

    gellybean DIS Veteran

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    Yeah that 17th of the month OU weekend totally messed up everything this year! :laughing:

    My dad's and nephew's bday is the 11th and most years we all get together to watch the game and celebrate birthdays, but noooooooooooooooo TV scheduling had to interfere this year.

    AND we played Tech in September! That was just WRONG!

    :rotfl2:

    Thanks for the welcome despite my Hook'em Horns bumper sticker! :rolleyes:
     
  18. RachelNinja

    RachelNinja Sometimes I'd rather live in VMK than in real life

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    I'm in! I'm curious to know what you thought of WDW during Christmas. I've never been there at that time (we've only gone in Feb, April during Spring Break, and the summer). One of my colleagues is there now (Christmas - New Year's), so it put the idea in my head for a possible future trip. Looking forward to reading more!
     
  19. Rozz

    Rozz DIS Veteran

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    Count me in! popcorn::
     
  20. SoonerGirl

    SoonerGirl DIS Veteran

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    My DHs birthday is the 9th, so we are always celebrating his birthday with the game too. It felt really weird this year to have the game be a week a later.

    Crazy stuff going on at Tech right now, and I think that train wreck is just starting - things could get very interesting!

    Oh, if you've never been at Christmastime you must go! The decorations are amazing!

    Welcome aboard!!


    Happy New Year Everyone!!

    [​IMG]

    I'm working on the next update now - should have it up soon :thumbsup2
     
  21. SoonerGirl

    SoonerGirl DIS Veteran

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    Since I didn’t do a PTR, I thought I’d include this here.

    I began planning this trip about a year in advance, which made the waiting so much harder to take – it didn’t feel like our trip was ever going to get here! So, I decided to throw a little fun into the waiting. In September we had a 100 days till Disney party. We ordered pizza for dinner (eaten off of Disney paper plates I might add)

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    And I made Mickey head shaped cookies for dessert.

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    Jared eagerly awaiting those cookies!

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    Then we picked out a couple of Disney movies to watch. We ate popcorn out of these super cute popcorn buckets that I bought on line from the Disney store.

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    And while we were watching the movies we put together a countdown chain with 100 links.

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    Each link had written on it a piece of WDW trivia and everyday we would take off a chain link and read the trivia.

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    As we got closer to our trip, I stole an idea from jaycns (thanks Jay for all the inspiration you give!), and made an envelope with a 30 day countdown calendar attached to the outside (I got the countdown calendar from this site: http://disign.mickeysmailbox.com/cc they have so many cute ones!). I bought Disney stickers to place daily on the countdown calendar and inside the envelope I placed things for the kids to do. Little things like, play a Disney board game, pick a Disney movie for the family to watch, tell us about your favorite Disney vacation moments, etc. I had also purchased some pins from the Laughing Place Store, so several of the items just said ‘pick a pin from the grab bag’. The boys would alternate picking an activity from the envelope each day. It was a fun and exciting way to build up to the trip, and when our calendar looked like this

    [​IMG]

    we knew it was time to go! [​IMG]

    On December 18th, I took the boys to school, met my girlfriend for our morning walk, went home, showered, decided that I needed a new pair of jeans (I’ve recently lost some weight and most of my jeans are too big), remembered that Jared didn’t like what they were eating at school that day and I was supposed to bring him lunch, AND I still needed to pack and only had a few hours left to do everything! First things first, I made Jared’s lunch and Don & I took it up to him. Then we ran to the store for both of us to get some jeans, got some lunch and finally headed home so that I could finish packing. I was rushing to get it all done, and felt like I was forgetting something but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. I finally gave up and Don loaded all the suitcases and the dog into the car.

    We went to Justin’s school and picked him up; he had had semester tests for the last two days and was very ready for a break! (Isn’t that nice of them to schedule semester tests the day before Christmas break?! – I guess that’s one way to make sure they are all in school!) After Justin was in the car we headed over to Jared’s school and checked him out a bit early (Justin gets out an hour before Jared), then it was off to Grandma’s to drop off the dog, and then we were headed south to Dallas. I’ve found that we can get much better travel times leaving from Dallas, and it’s only a 2 ½ -3 hr drive for us to get there. Of course, given the time of day that we left I was afraid we would get stuck in rush hour traffic – rush hour in Dallas = stress & frustration!!

    Sure enough, not long after we hit Denton (about 20 miles outside of Dallas) this is what we saw:

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    It actually could have been much worse than what we ran into, it was congested the rest of the way, but thankfully not horrible! We got settled into our hotel for the night and decided to take the boys to Rainforest Café for dinner.

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    This is only the 2nd time we have eaten here and this time was much like the last. Average food for an above average price. The boys enjoyed it though and I guess that’s what mattered!

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    Jared took this one of the ceiling - he thought it was very cool!

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    After dinner we headed back to the hotel. And we had two very excited boys on our hands.

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    They were all over the place, and I kept having to remind them that we were in a hotel where people try to sleep and the beds were not there for them to wrestle on, but to sleep on...... :headache:

    While getting ready for bed it hit me that what I had forgotten were our Magical Express transfers, and not only that, I had forgotten to put my TAs phone number into my cell – uggggg! I did have the number for Disney travel, so I called them and was on hold FOREVER, really it was about 30-40 minutes, but it felt like forever! The CM I spoke to told me it was no big deal, just to let them know I had left the booklet at home and give them my name – nothing to worry about. Whew! Crisis averted, I tried to go to sleep, but the boys were so excited and giggly that I was finding that hard to do. Finally at 11:00 I had to be the mean mommy :mad: and squash the excitement – the alarm was set for 4am!

    Up Next: We finally arrive in WDW!!

     

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