"You're Going WHERE on your 50th Birthday?!?

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by joelp, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    Yep - I'm gonna turn - (gulp) - 50 ... :scared1:

    ... and - I'm gonna be in WDW when it happens!! :dance3:

    ... and - in addition to the DW and DD, I'll be joined by:

    My Mom!! :hippie:

    My two brothers!! :banana: :banana:

    My sister-in-law ... :cutie:

    Three neices ... princess: princess: princess:

    And the DW's cousin, cousin's ex-hubbie, and DD ... :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2:


    For those who have been following our earlier adventures in WDW, some of the faces will be familiar and some will be new ... but I'll hold off till the next post to introduce the Cast of Characters ...

    So - what made me decide to go to WDW for my 50th (actually - 13th!! :lmao:) birthday?? (I know - a rhetorical question with this crowd ...)


    About a year-or-so ago ... probably while driving to work - a question hit me ... (right after this big bug went "smuckshhh" on my windshield ... :rotfl2:) -

    "What day of the week does my birthday fall on in 2009?"

    So I started trying to figure it out while dodging crazy NJ drivers, pot holes, and the occasional road kill ...

    ... and came to the realization that it would fall on a Saturday - ooooh!

    And what could be cooler than being in the Magic Kingdom on your birthday? (besides being in a hot tub with a gaggle of Victoria Secret models? :thumbsup2 - remember, I'm only 12!!)

    So I started mentally planning (while also physically planning our December 2008 trip ...) ... let my family know what I was thinking ... and waited with baited breath for a "deal" to show up ... and waited ... :rolleyes1... and waited ... :confused3 ... and waited ... :headache: ... until - FINALLY!!

    An announcement on the Ears-to-Ears posts:

    Free DDP!! - so that pretty much settled it ...

    We were going to WDW for my birthday!! :woohoo:

    ... and I get to plan it!! - and coordinate the dreams, desires, and wishes of 12 other people!! :scared1:

    Some of whom have not been to WDW in a loooong time - or with me!!

    Which means we need to establish some ground rules for this trip - and since it's my birthday, I get to set the rules!! pirate: :rotfl:

    And thus, we have the following ...


    Joel’s Eight (and counting) Rules for Visiting WDW with Joel


    1 – The “real world” does not exist once you step foot in WDW – violaters must watch their (grand)daughter’s faces as they walk up Main Street USA dressed like their favorite princess.
    2 – All so-called “adults” must revert to the mental age of 13 (or less) once in WDW (except when watching their [grand]daughter’s faces …) – violaters must play “Buzz Lightyear” or “Toy Story Mania” until the inevitable happens …
    3 – There is no such thing as “bad” weather in WDW, even (or especially) if it’s raining …) – see Rule #1.
    4 – There is no pouting, whining, crying, or melt-downs allowed in WDW – violaters will be “forced” to eat Mickey Ice Cream Bars until they come to their senses.
    5 – There are no Democrats, Republicans, or Independents in WDW – only Mouseketeers; violaters must ride “It’s a Small World” over and over and over again … until they repent their evil ways.
    6 – You must have your picture taken in front of Cinderella’s Castle and with at least one Character while in WDW – violaters must wear Mickey Mouse ears.
    7 – You must eat at least one Mickey Ice Cream Bar – violaters … yea, like anyone’s gonna violate this rule!
    8 a - Rise, shine, and get your butt to the park for the opening ceremony (you’re on vacation - you can catch up on your sleep at work …) – violaters will miss out on the best time to be in the parks ... and see Rule #4.
    b – Afternoons are nap times (you’re on vacation …) – violaters must watch “Impressions of France” immediately after a big lunch at the World Showcase restaurant of their choice.
    c – You must watch “Wishes”, “Illuminations”, and “Fantasmic!” and close each park at least once while in WDW – violaters will miss out on the best time to be in the parks ... and see Rule #4.
    9 -

    Please feel free to suggest additional rules ...

    This will be a short trip - only from September 17 to 20 (the kids all have school ... :confused3 ... even then, they'll miss two whole days at the start of the school year ... but to quote my Mom "Tough sh*t!!" ... and to quote my two nieces "We're gonna miss two days of school?!? - Wahooooo!!"

    :jumping1:


    But - my DD doesn't know about this trip - and she's not gonna find out until we get to the airport in Philly - and sees her grandma, uncle, and two neices ... :yay: ...

    I'll be back ... (will you?)
     
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  3. princess&her4princes

    princess&her4princes DIS Veteran

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    Yay, I'm 1st!!!!:banana: Looking forward to hearing your plans!!!:thumbsup2
     
  4. princess&her4princes

    princess&her4princes DIS Veteran

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    sorry, forgot to subscribe!:thumbsup2
     
  5. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    Here is the large Cast of Characters for the trip – most of whom you’ve met before (if you’ve read my previous TRs), and some (all – if you haven’t read my previous TRs) you don’t know:

    Me – Joel – the birthday boy!! NDD#2 (for those of you in the know …) Already thinking about the next trip to WDW after this one (which won’t be for a while, however … unless … well, I’ll keep that option to myself for now … :rolleyes1) My priorities? - Everything!! … But since that won’t happen: Splash Mountain, Soarin’, and Kali River Rapids (it’ll be warm – so I wanna get wet!) – and watching the four “princesses” (see below) together at WDW!! – on my birthday!! :banana:

    Vicki – my DW - she’s being a real trooper going back to WDW so soon (her opinion, not mine!) after our trip in December. Don’t get me wrong: she likes WDW, and LOVES seeing Danielle’s adventures in the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, etc. But too much of a good thing … (again – not my opinion – does that phrase even apply to WDW?) Not to mention that she’ll be there with my side of the family … Her main priorities: Expedition Everest, Soarin', and staying sane …

    Danielle – our 5 ½-year old DD – ready, willing, and able to visit WDW at the drop of a hat!! Can’t decide if she is a Fairy or a Princess – so we’ll consider her to be a “Fairy Princess” … The plan is for this trip to be a TOTAL surprise for her!! So far on her “secret list” of things to do: Fairies/Pixie Hollow, Finding Nemo the Musical, and the Kim Possible Adventure Game at Epcot.

    [​IMG]


    My Mom – Mary Jo – hasn’t been to WDW in a few years – not with me (and my two brothers) since 1976, never with Danielle, and never with all four of her “little” granddaughters at the same time … She’s actually been doing some reading and web-surfing, so we’ll see what she comes up with for priorities … We’ll need to keep the walking down for her … But she wants to visit the Animal Kingdom (so we will … ) – and we’ll see if we can get a pair of Mickey ears on her …

    Here's a picture of my Mom with my step-father (Merv can't handle the walking at all, so he won't be going with us ... :sad2: )


    [​IMG]


    Allan – my brother – 2+ years younger than me (but looks 10 years older – lots more grey hair!!), and father to Delani and Alana … He’s got a bad foot, so I have to design the park touring plans to minimize walking for him, too – or we can just leave him stuck riding “It’s a Small World” for a few hours … (see Rule #5). He’s basically along for the ride ... so we’ll have to do “Test Track”, but I can’t wait until he gets on “Splash Mountain”!

    Delani – my niece – age 12 – and very happy to be missing two days of school to go to WDW! Very smart (in the gifted/talented program at school), pretty, athletic – and ready for Expedition Everest, Big Thunder Mountain RR, etc. She and Vicki will probably take off for their own little “adventures” at various times during the trip …

    Alana – another niece – age 10 – and really, REALLY wants to go to Epcot (me too – so we will!! – and play the Kim Possible game with Danielle). Also very smart (also in the gifted/talented program at school), pretty, athletic – but don’t tell her I said that!! Wants nothing to do with coasters, scary rides etc. – “I’ll do whatever Danielle is doing,” she says – but wait until she sees what Danielle wants to do (coasters, scary rides, etc.)! :scared1: I have a feeling Alana is going to be my “buddy” on this trip …

    [​IMG]



    Jed – my other younger (but bigger) brother – almost 7 years younger than me (and looks it – more or less … probably less … yea: less!) Lives in Tampa, so he won’t get to enjoy the plane ride down and back (but he spends enough time on planes as it is …). Father to Nina … Much like Allan, he’s pretty much along for the ride (but his ride won’t start until Saturday in the Magic Kingdom …), but has recently discovered Blizzard Beach … And it looks like he and Allan are going to take off at some point and do the Richard Petty Driving Experience (the Tomorrowland “Indy Speedway” is fine with me …)

    Mindi – Jed’s DW – and Nina’s mom. Like Jed, a transplant from NJ (“Jersey Girls” rock – except when they’re driving you crazy!!) Mindi’s priorities: not to wear matching t-shirts!! (but I’m slowly wearing her down … and already have [some] of the shirts bought!!) - and to hit a water park.

    Nina – age almost, just about, really close to being 5 (and counting) – she and Danielle are “best cousins” – and when the two of them are together us “adults” have to watch out: they locked us out of the house in May 2008 so they could have some fun in the bathroom (what a mess!!). I am not looking forward to their teen years … (we are so doomed ..!!) Nina’s main priority is to visit the Fairies at Pixie Hollow with Danielle – so watch out Tinker Bell and friends - you may soon meet your match!!

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    Claire – Vicki’s cousin – who also lives in the Tampa area – and will celebrate her birthday on September 13 … in WDW!! Claire is another WDW fanatic, like yours truly … At the moment, she (and Jim – and maybe Grace …) are planning only to meet us for lunch on Saturday … but who knows?!? Her priorities: air conditioning!! (and good food … probably some shopping, too).

    Jim – Claire’s ex – also lives in the Tampa area and joined us in December 2008, when we celebrated his birthday at WDW (are you starting to see a trend here …?) - when he also introduced us to the joys of roaming Tomorrowland while munching a giant pickle!! Jim’s priorities? – I don’t really know, but I’m assuming they involve good food, good times – and maybe “Dumbo” … (Guess I should ask him, huh?)

    Grace – Claire and Jim’s DD – slightly over 21 years in age (not old … no gray hairs – actually, her hair is a different color every time we see her! …) … and she and Danielle have become attached to each other even though they’ve only been together a few times (which Claire finds to very surprising …)… Unfortunately, Grace may have to work and thus miss out on all the frivolity … Grace’s priorities? – again, I don’t really know, but I’m assuming they have something to do with spending yet another magical time with her parents (and the rest of us …) at WDW …

    [​IMG]




    So there you have it – a baker’s dozen (or maybe just a dozen) of my close and distant relatives – all of whom are going to help me celebrate my birthday in that most magical of places … :rainbow:
     
  6. princess&her4princes

    princess&her4princes DIS Veteran

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    Now that is a crowd.....You're going to have your hands full with all this planning with that many people, but I know you have it in you!! Thanks for (re) introducing us to the crew....can't wait to hear more!!!! Hint, hint!!;)
     
  7. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    Picked up t-shirts for the "princesses" ... now let's see if I can jam them into the scanner ... :lmao:
     
  8. princess&her4princes

    princess&her4princes DIS Veteran

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    :lmao:Good luck with that!!:lmao: Did you get some good deals at the Disney store? They are having some great sales!!!:thumbsup2
     
  9. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    Just a quick update here:

    Change in plans ....

    We are now staying at:

    The Animal Kingdom Lodge!!:banana: :woohoo: :dance3:

    :cheer2:

    Mindi and my Mom "ganged up" on me ...!!!

    All the women-folk are now VERY excited about going ... !!

    :jumping1:


    Now I just have to find time to work the "Culinary Tour" into my schedule ... Unfortunately, I don't think Boma! Boma! Boma! will make it ... :confused3

    Time for ... :laundy:
     
  10. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    OK - where was I??

    Right - we are now going to stay at AKL!! :banana:

    ( ... a little deja vu all over again ...)

    Which adds some positive wrinkles - and some hard decisions - to the planning ...

    The general scheme of things is:

    Thursday Sep 17 - arrive at MCO about 2:30 pm ... which puts us at AKL about 4:00 pm ... which means after checking-in and ooohing and aaahhhhing at the resort ... :dance3: ... we'll be ready to do something around 5:00 pm ... so - what to do?

    The DW has suggested we start off the vacation with a bang: dinner at Boma! Boma! Boma! :idea:

    But I'm pretty sure the kiddies are gonna want to jump in the pool ... and there are all those activities at the AKL ... What to do?

    We'll probably be hungry ... so we could grab a snack at The Mara ... swim and do a few things ... and then have dinner at Boma! Boma! Boma! around 7:30 ...

    Or we could just hit Boma! Boma! Boma! at 5:30 ... and then try and go swimming and do stuff after dinner ... (but most of the activities are over by then ... and will anyone - except the kids - really feel like jumping in the pool after Boma! Boma! Boma! ???)

    Or we could just skip Boma! Boma! Boma! and have dinner at The Mara, go swimming, etc.

    Decisions, decisions ...

    Friday Sep 18 - Epcot. The original plan was to hit Akershus for an early breakfast, giving those in the group who wanted to hit a water park (weather permitting) the most flexibility ... But now that we're staying at AKL - with an afternoon break there - is anyone gonna want to spend the extra $$ and go to a water park?

    Which gives us the option of having lunch at Akershus (or somewhere else - check out Saturday ...) and being part of the "parade" to The Land at the opening to start our day at Soarin' ... :3dglasses ...

    The key for this day is to minimize walking ... and I have a feeling it will be just Alana and I going back to Epcot after the break (well - maybe my Mom, too ...) especially if Vicki and Danielle hit Blizzard Beach and Allan does the Richard Petty thing ... And I'm also anticipating evening EMH - so it could be a looong day and night (at least for some of us ... :) )

    Saturday Sept 19 - MK. We could do the Grand Gathering breakfast at Tony's - anyone done it? Is it worth the time?

    But the plan is to be at the MK for the opening ceremony, then make our way back to Toontown for a visit with the Fairies at Pixie Hollow (BIG priority for the girls!!) - and I don't know if breakfast at Tony's will jam that up ...
    :confused3

    Lunch will be in the MK (probably Columbia Harbor House) - with those who want to heading back to the AKL for a break (I'm not planning on it myself ... :upsidedow ) ... where the plan is for Claire, Jim, and Grace to join them and hang out for a couple hours ... and then everyone will meet at 1900 Park Faire for dinner at 4:30 ... and then back into the park ... for Spectromagic and Wishes ... :woohoo:

    Maybe ... :rolleyes1 ... cuz we've also talked about getting together for lunch ... Decisions, decisions ... :headache:

    Since we're gonna see princesses (and princess-wanna-bes ... :lmao: ) at 1900 Park Faire ... do we need to get up early for breakfast (or have lunch) at Akershus on Friday? - or should we eat somewhere else at Epcot? Decisions, decisions ...

    But if we don't go to 1900 Park Faire ... ??? :confused3


    Sunday Sept 20 - either Animal Kingdom or DHS - probably AK, but I need to poll the group ... With lunch oop at Tusker House (but since we may eat at Boma! Boma! Boma! - do we want to eat at Tusker House - or maybe Rainforest Cafe ...???? popcorn:: ... ) Suggestions anyone?

    Well - time to jump in the shower - I cut the backyard this morning ... after close to 10 days of continuous rain here in NJ, it was starting to look like the Pangani Exploration Trail!! :rotfl2:

    Cool and sunny weather predicted for this week - which means the grass will only grown about a foot!! :rotfl:

    Later -

    ... and if you have any experience with some of those things I've noted above (... not crazy relatives changing their minds on what they want to do every other day ... :lmao: ) - don't be afraid to chime in ...
     
  11. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 DIS Veteran

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    :laughing: Another Jersey girl here, also crazy about WDW, and also planning a future stay at AKL (DVC). :laughing:

    I'm going back now to read you '08 report so I get to know your family a little better.

    Kathy
     
  12. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    4 MONTHS TO GO!!!

    :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:

    :woohoo: :cool1: :woohoo:

    :cheer2: :cheer2:

    :dance3:
     
  13. princess&her4princes

    princess&her4princes DIS Veteran

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    :dance3:Dancin' with you Joelp!!:dance3:
     
  14. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    ... and you're right in front of me (us ...) in the "conga line" to WDW ... :rotfl:

    How'd your race go?
     
  15. princess&her4princes

    princess&her4princes DIS Veteran

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    Less than 4 mos. now!!:yay:

    It went well....I did it!!!!:woohoo: And in less time than I hoped for, so I'm pretty excited. Feeling it today though!!:eek: Thinking of doing another late June...we'll see.....just SO happy to have that under my belt!!!:goodvibes
     
  16. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    Haven't posted in a while because I'm waiting for the September park hours to be posted ...:3dglasses

    ... and waiting ...:rolleyes1

    and still waiting ... :headache:
     
  17. princess&her4princes

    princess&her4princes DIS Veteran

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    :surfweb:Me too....what's the deal!? Shouldn't they be out by now!?!:confused3 Don't they know we have plans to make? LOL!!:laughing:
     
  18. jordanyosh

    jordanyosh DIS Veteran

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    Okay I'm in. I'll be celebrating my 50th at WDW in 2012!
     
  19. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    Maybe there should be a new thread:

    "Are they there, yet?!?"

    :lmao:
     
  20. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    Yea!!! Now I can tell my DW - not too mention my mother and brothers - that I'm not the only one!! :banana:
     
  21. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 DIS Veteran

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    ...You must be going crazy waiting for those park hours!! :crazy:

    Sending pixiedust: so they are released tomorrow!!


    Kathy
     

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