Hicks on Holiday 2 - Done Brung the Kin Folk-Sept. 07 w/pics UPDATE 12/10/08 pg 41

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by DisneyMom5, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. DisneyMom5

    DisneyMom5 DIS Veteran

    Nov 11, 2003

    Let me first say we are not as Hick-ish as some.

    We actually live in a pretty big town here in Michigan, our house has only one color of siding, and we have no cars on blocks in our yard.

    We don’t show up at hotels in a beat up pickup with all our belongings in garbage bags.

    And with the exception of some of our smaller children, we have all of our teeth.

    The original Hicks on Holiday concept was in reference to a trip we made in 8/05, where our McDonald’s family was faced with the prospect of eating fancy food on the dining plan at WDW.

    So while we may not be Hicks all the way through, we are small town Americans, and for the purpose of this trip report Hicks we are, and Hicks we'll be.

    And, even though we have experience fine dining now, courtesy of our last WDW trip, we’re still “a-skeerd” of foofy food.
    Which is why our ADRs will probably seem a little white bread to the foodies around here.

    But I digress....

    May I present to you, the Hicks on Holiday 2, Done Brung the Kinfolk Pre Trip Report...

    [I WAS going to call it Hicks on Holiday 2, the Squeal, because one of my kids thought that was how you pronounced Sequel, but there was a little too much of a Deliverance vibe with that, so....]

    Next up -- Meet the Hicks

    List of Posts
    Meet the Hicks
    Hicks Plan a Trip
    Wherefore art thou Free Dining?
    Hicks on Hold, Part 1
    What ADRs would a Hick Make, if a Hick made ADRs?
    It's Nice to Be Alone
    A Little History, Part 1
    A Little History, Part 2
    Hickstory Potpourri for 100 Alex
    Hicks on Hold, Part 2
    Revenge of the ADRs
    The Final Countdown, doo do do do do
    Laundry Quandry
    A Few Fireworks Short of a Wishes Display
    Short update
    Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming...
    travel pics from DisneyGirl
    Just Keep Swimming, part 2
    A Brief Hickstory of Time (and Space)
    "This is NOT Disneyworld" said Princess K
    Then Something Exciting Happened
    "Don't worry, it's just like Stich, with fish..."
    The Rest of the Stuff We Did at Epcot...
    Is This a Castle I See Before Me?
    Sarah shares her super secret Hick Holiday Magic Kingdom short cut
    Lunch and a Lesson in Piracy
    Lesson in Piracy, continued...
    Tikitikitikitikitikitikitikitiki Room...OR...What the Heck Were THEY Smoking???
    I Miss the Snowglobes...
    "Mommy, that's a Moooooky Old House!!!" Hicks go Haunting...and Shopping...and Splashing....
    That's Babycakes, with a B
    Pics of MK at night
    The Theme Park Formerly Known as MGM
    Everybody sing: "Let's Go to the Movies, Let's go see the Stars..."
    A Pig, a Bear and a Frog walk into a movie...Wacka, Wacka, Wacka....
    Oh No, There's an Earthquake AND a Flood! And...Flying Hands!
    The Hicks meet a Mermaid, and a Beast, AND Have You Seen that Old Run Down Hotel? Disney Should Know Better!

    Update 9/5 Dinos a Go-Go
    A Morning at MK -'cause I can't think of anything witty
    The Hicks Meet the Local Royalty
    Pics of Hicks, a nap, and PM EMH @ EP due to MNSSHP

    Latest update: The cousins leave, Breakfast with the Mouse, and bad bus service.
  2. DisneyMom5

    DisneyMom5 DIS Veteran

    Nov 11, 2003
    Cast of "Characters" (And I say that with love, truly):

    Me (Sarah) - 39, SAHM Homeschooling mom, Disney compulsive planner.
    Decided a Grand Gathering with dh’s family sounded like a good idea. Sigh. Always planning our next trip to WDW.

    John, aka Ninja Guy/Indiana Jones - 37, My handsome dh of 15+ years.
    He really has studied to be Ninja AND an archaeologist. Hoping to retire from manufacturing and just dig stuff.
    He tolerates my WDW obsession, mostly because once we get there, he has a great time.
    Wondering whether this “Mandatory Family Fun Trip” was a good idea.
    He’ll be the one wearing sunglasses in all the pictures.

    Disney Girl - My 13yo dd. The apple does not fall far from the tree with this one.
    She says “Mom, can you teach me to plan a WDW vacation?”
    I am so proud. *wipes a tear*

    The Chef - My almost 11yo ds. Wants to be a chef when he grows up.
    Knowledgeable in all things Lego, Star Wars, and animals.
    Hoping to hit the LEGO store this trip.

    Danger Boy - DS, almost 8. This one has “The Kavorka” AND two dimples to back it up.
    (If you've watched Seinfeld, you know.)
    Voted “most likely to get lost at WDW.”

    The Inquisitor- DS, almost 6. Full of questions, 24 hours a day.
    Loves the hotel, loves the buses, loves the monorail – why the heck did we buy park tickets?
    Oh, yeah, because he LOVES the trains. Sigh.
    Good thing we love him!

    Princess K - 4yo dd. This one is cute and knows it.
    She and her younger sis received princess dresses for Christmas and plan on using them at WDW.
    Will be over the top in love with everything at WDW.

    Bitsy - DD, almost 3. Always in cahoots with Princess K, getting into something!
    Doesn’t remember the last trip, but has seen all the pics and is well versed in all things WDW.

    Babycakes - DD1, this is her first trip.
    Though she was quite possibly a souvenir from the last trip.
    And worth every penny!

    Also traveling with us this time are:
    Mom - MY mom, 69, who has never been to WDW.
    She hasn't the foggiest idea what WDW is all about, and has seen very few of the movies.
    Should be interesting...:rolleyes1

    MIL and FIL, mid-50s. FIL’s first trip, but MIL and my DH and SIL were at WDW probably 25 years ago.
    We actually get along pretty good.
    I am hoping I stay in good graces and score big points for planning this trip.
    Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    BIL, and SIL, both 30 somethings - BIL’s first trip -- he is the biggest kid, and he will LOVE WDW...
    if he gets to go.
    His bosses are being jerks about the whole thing.
    We’re still praying he can go. Stay tuned....
    SIL is totally ready for the Disney experience and VERY happy to let me plan the whole thing.
    That works for me. LOL

    Cousin B (d niece 10), and Cousin N (d nephew 8) – their first trip, and they are REALLY looking forward to it.
    B is one of Disney Girl’s best friends, even though they are 3 years apart. Really wants to meet Pocahontas..
    N is Danger Boy’s best friend, and probably is the “2nd. Most likely to get lost at WDW.”
    It probably will be big fun to have their best friend with them at WDW.

    Next up: 2 years in the making, The Hicks plan a trip...
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  4. DisneyMom5

    DisneyMom5 DIS Veteran

    Nov 11, 2003
    The background:

    After our last trip in 8/05, we were sitting around visiting with DH’s family and MIL remarked that soon we should all go to WDW, while the kids were still young. SIL agreed.
    This was a very exciting prospect to me, as I am always looking for an excuse to go to WDW.

    John had already said we couldn’t go until AT LEAST 2007.
    Along with being concerned with his bank account, he has the silly idea that there are other places to go to while on vacation??? :lmao:

    During our first trip in January ‘04, I got the idea to go back at Christmas time.

    Dh was not interested in that, UNTIL he got in a conversation with some other guys on a WDW bus.
    They told him that Christmas time was cool.

    Suddenly, it was a great idea that dh had never heard before. Sigh.
    [The other idea they gave him was to stay longer, and take a more relaxed pace.
    Really? Wow, I had never thought of that. Well, if you think it’s the best thing to do....]

    So, We made plans to go in December ‘05, after John’s classes got out for the semester.

    Then it happened...
    like a beam of light from Heaven...
    the one thing that a family cannot refuse...

    FREE FOOD!!!

    And, it was available the week of John’s August break.
    [Though, sadly, that limited us to 6 nights, 5 days. Sigh.]

    We really had no intention of ever going in the hot summer months, but since a lot can be overlooked in the name of free food...
    Hello Free Dining!

    I know there is a lot of discussion on the DDP.
    It’s annoying, it’s hard to use, it’s a pain to have to make ADRs every day, you have to pay rack rate to get it free, yada, yada, yada....

    Let me tell you...free food, with 6 kids, is the best thing ever.

    Our first trip, we did one sit down. We ate CS maybe once a day, and snacked or ate at our cabin the other times.

    Last trip, we had filet at Le Cellier.

    Can you eat cheaper at Disney if you have to pay for the DDP? Sure.
    But you can't eat better!

    And when it’s free? Forget about it!
    [Hmmm...I seem to be mixing my metaphors.
    Not to mention us girls of German heritage really can't pull off the Italian mobster thing.
    Sorry, I'll try to keep to the Hick thing.]

    And when it's free? Yeehaw, you'll be happier than a Tornado in a Trailer Park!!! [Whew, that's better!]

    So we brave the tropics in the heat of August, including an appearance by Katrina. And we had a great time.

    But, I was still left with the desire to go at Christmas time.
    And, since it worked out well with my nephew and niece’s school schedule, plans were formulated to take the whole family to WDW in December ‘07.

    The in-laws would stay the first week, using the weekends to travel.
    We would travel down with them, but stay 10 nights and take things slow.

    We broached the subject with my parents.

    My dad said he had no interest in driving that far to stand on hot pavement and watch the kids ride carnival rides. :eek:
    No matter how many times we try to explain it to him, he just does not get it.

    My mom was non-committal. I think two years in advance is just too much for her to get into.

    Then one day, I mention to my dh that it’s too bad they don’t offer free dining in Dec.
    “Are they offering that again? says he.
    “Well, yeah, for fall ‘06.”
    “So what’s the chances that they will offer it fall ‘07?”
    “Um, pretty good.”
    “So why the heck are we going in December?”

    So at the next In-law family dinner, I casually ask which they would rather do, go at Christmas time and not have to pull the kids out of school, or go in October and possibly get free dining.

    Without a beat they all said “Free Dining!” :thumbsup2

    Next up: Free dining, free dining, wherefore art thou free dining...
  5. Just2DisneyKids

    Just2DisneyKids Mouseketeer

    Sep 28, 2006
    You are hilarious! And I suspect you really aren't much of a hick at all! :rotfl:

    I can't wait for your TR, looks like we got a few months! :rolleyes1

    Hope it's perfectly magical for all of you! :goodvibes
  6. DisneyMom5

    DisneyMom5 DIS Veteran

    Nov 11, 2003
    Wow, someone read it!!! :cool1:

    Thanks, we are really watching that count down. It's starting to pick up a little speed! LOL :banana:
  7. DisneyMom5

    DisneyMom5 DIS Veteran

    Nov 11, 2003
    When we last left our Hicks they were sacrificing the dream of Christmastime at WDW for free food.

    You have to realize one thing -- in Hick-dom, vittles always win out over decorations. It's just the natural order of things.

    And so our plans were changed to the beginning of October.

    One day, while I was messing around with the online vacation pricing, as I am wont to do, I realized that my family of nine could stay another day at WDW for $200 total. :confused3
    How crazy is that?

    I figured that even if the free dining was once again limited to 10 nights, I could still add a room-only at the end of the trip, and still use the dining until that midnight. :wizard:

    I discussed it with John, and after an initial hesitation, he is on board.
    I mean, if you are going to drive your 15 passenger van all the way to Florida, you might as well stay another day, right? ;)

    Now we had only 10 more months to wait.

    We settle in for a long winter's night slumber, with visions of Mickey Mouse dancing in our heads.

    Then, as the archives of the DIS will attest, all h - e - double hockey sticks breaks loose with the somewhat secretive announcement in December ‘06 of the infamous bounce-back program.
    Will they even offer Free Dining to the general public?
    Is this the Free Dining of the Future?

    And as we study it over, we realize the dates for Bounceback Free Dining are earlier than the other years.
    So we convene another Hick High Council, and nervously move our plans to the last week of Sept.

    My mom and dad are still not interested.
    No manner of enticement can be summoned to tempt them to come with us.

    We sit back, and hope for a spring anouncement of the ever elusive free dining.

    Some time in March, the rumors start flying that the Free dining promotion, IF OFFERED, will probably end by 9/22.

    Come on WDW, throw me a bone.
    My INLAWS are depending on ME to get them free dining.
    Do you know what that means for my future happiness?
    So, we tentatively move our trip to Mid-September.
    And wait, some more...

    Next up: Hicks on Hold....
  8. Heluvsme

    Heluvsme DIS Veteran

    Mar 27, 2007
    What a great PTR! I'm on board!

    By the way, I'm a HSing SAHM also.....I'm trying to write a unit on Epcot's WS for us to use this next year.

    Great report! Can't wait to read more!

    He Luvs Me!

    CBR June 17-24 2007
  9. hollybearsmom

    hollybearsmom Please send my fairy godmother home, pronto!

    Nov 10, 2006
    Thsi is so much fun already! I'm ready to read more.
  10. DisneyMom5

    DisneyMom5 DIS Veteran

    Nov 11, 2003
    Thanks for the feed back! :goodvibes

    Writing a unit on Epcot??? :worship:
    I'm not worthy. I use a pre-packaged curriculum for a reason. LOL

    Nice to meet you!

    Thanks hollybearsmom! :wizard:
  11. DisneyMom5

    DisneyMom5 DIS Veteran

    Nov 11, 2003
    When last left the Hicks, they had decided to move their trip up one week for a non-existant free dining promotion upon which Sarah was staking all of her inlaw "happy points."

    So now that we're up to speed...

    I am hoping the sale starts April 1, like other times.

    Rumors fly, and fly,
    DISers go back and forth,
    saying "A CM told me there wouldn't be a general public free dining,"

    "Well a CM told me that the top secret Free Dining Plan is coming soon,"

    and "My best friend's cousin's uncle's doorman's niece's brother in law's mailman's dog walker says that they don't know a darn thing about free dining, but I couldn't stand not having my opinion posted on this thread."

    I surf out the general panic, because I still believe that good is stronger than evil,
    and that Disney still needs to lure unsuspecting tourists into Hurricane season, and that free food is the best way to do that.

    Then suddenly, just when we feared that all hope was lost, we hear "from reliable sources" that the dates for free dining are right, but the booking won’t start until mid-April.

    I'm torn between :woohoo: :yay: and :headache: .

    I mean on one hand, it seems pretty sure it's going to happen. But on the other hand...I am sweating it.

    Our 180 day mark for ADRs will occur BEFORE we can book the trip.

    I am making ressies for FIFTEEN people.

    Is it nuts to make ADRs for a trip you're not yet taking?
    If you go back in time, and encounter yourself, is there a rift in the space time continum? :confused:

    Like I have said before, I think I have probably proved my insanity by having seven children, let alone taking all of them to WDW.

    *** Side note: We do get a bit of the "Are they all yours?" To which I am dying to reply "Heck no, I just borrow other peoples preschoolers and take them to WDW." :sad2:

    My dd has a great answer for me for this trip when we have our niece and nephew along "Oh no, they're not all mine. Just seven of them!"
    This cracks us up immensely. It's probably just a big family thing. :grouphug: ****

    So I'm stressing over whether to book our dining experiences BEFORE actually knowing if there is free dining, AND before booking our hotel.

    I have avoided booking our rooms, because I subscribe to the theory that if everyone books rooms in anticipation of free dining, they will not need to have a free dining sale to fill rooms. :rolleyes1

    When the day arrives, 180 days out of our potential trip, I make an executive decision, and make our ADRs WITHOUT a hotel res.

    Next up: What ADRs would a Hick make if a Hick made ADRs...
  12. Just2DisneyKids

    Just2DisneyKids Mouseketeer

    Sep 28, 2006
    I am so loving this pre-TR!

    Way too funny :rotfl: :rotfl:

    Please tell us soon, the suspense is killing me!!! :goodvibes
  13. DisneyMom5

    DisneyMom5 DIS Veteran

    Nov 11, 2003
    So, as you probably can tell already, I am an obsessive compulsive planner.

    No, really.

    I have been researching restaurants for this trip since...well, since I was researching the last trip.

    There are a few favorites I want to share with the family.

    Le Cellier.

    Chef Mickey's.

    Crystal Palace.

    Well, there's 3 of the 6 nights I need for our group of 15. We're off to a good start.

    DD and I pour over the menus, and Dis food pics, and dream and drool.

    It's horrifying, yet, strangely satisfying. :rolleyes1

    I look up best days at the parks, I try to plan out our first week, I am really putting in the effort on this one.
    I have utilized the online ADR calculator, the DP spread sheet, and questioned the geniuses of the Disboards non-stop.

    I touch base with the inlaws off and on, send them the link to the menus, tell them that I will get them ADRs at whatever floats their boats...
    but don't get too much in the way of opinions.

    I type up a potential game plan, and email it to them all.

    What do I get in reply?
    "Whatever you think is fine."

    And when pushed for more specifics, my MIL replied "Well, Dad likes buffets and steak."

    Okey Dokey, that I can do. It fits in well with my 3 favorites already.

    The day I decide to make the call, I am prepared. I have my worksheet and my 1-800 number ready.

    The CM on the general dining line was able to deal with most of our requests, though some restaurants had to be handled through group dining. Forgive me I can't remember which.

    They suggested that big groups are most likely to be seated together if you book either the first or last seatings of the meal. So you will see some really early dinner times listed.

    So what did we end up with?

    Monday, 9/17
    8:35 am Princess Storybook Breakfast, Askershus, Epcot
    4:10 pm Le Cellier, dinner

    Tues. 9/18
    4:30 pm Liberty Tree Tavern, dinner

    Wed. 9/19
    11:45 am Hollywood and Vine Character Lunch

    Thur. 9/20
    (spending the day at AK)
    6:40 pm Chef Mickey's Character Dinner

    Fri. 9/21
    10:30 am Crystal Palace Character Breakfast

    I am pretty happy with all of them.

    I let the family know what I have gotten, and they seem pretty pleased.
    :woohoo: Yay me!

    And then, my SIL informs me that she hates buffets.

    I about come unglued, but she assures me that she will eat anywhere I decide, as long as the food is free.

    Well, I should think so! LOL
    That's why I asked in advance people! If you don't give me your opinion, you get what you get.

    Now I just need to set up the one's for just our family. But that's another day. I take a few days to rest on my laurels for pulling these off.

    Next up: It's So Nice to be Alone!
    The Hicks plan a romantic dinner...
    for just me, you...

    ...and the seven little ones. Sigh.
  14. oybolshoi

    oybolshoi DIS Veteran

    Aug 16, 2004
    Whoopee twang, Sarah's started a pre-trippie!! :thumbsup2

    Looks like we're all in for a foot-stompin', rib-crackin' good time!

    I look forward to reading more as soon as I purchase a Hick-to-English dictionary. ;)
  15. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

    Feb 28, 2007
    :thumbsup2 This is pee in your pants funny! :rotfl2:

    Keep it comin' popcorn::
  16. andiepie

    andiepie Earning My Ears

    Apr 16, 2007
    Funny report. Love reading it so far! Being from Arkansas, I was immediately drawn to your report. If you ever want to know what it's really like to take Hicks on Holiday, let me know. :lmao:
  17. praisehisname

    praisehisname DIS Veteran

    Aug 5, 2003
    Hey, I just found your report and I'm hooked! I'm also a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. We are going to be in Disney from September 15 - 22, and it looks like all our park days are the same as yours. If you're interested, I'd love to plan a meet.

  18. DisneyMom5

    DisneyMom5 DIS Veteran

    Nov 11, 2003
    Thank you all. My dh is saying you shouldn't encourage me. :cool1:

    There is more to come, but I have been busy this weekend.

    I hold out no hope that my pre-trip could last until my trip the way that oybolshoi/Brenda's have (check her out if you get the chance), but I am really encouraged that someone is actually reading! :thumbsup2

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
  19. DisneyMom5

    DisneyMom5 DIS Veteran

    Nov 11, 2003
    Hick-to-English dictionary....:lmao: .....so you've been to arkansas?

    Just kidding andiepie!

    For some reason, I did not see your response to this thread when you made it.
    I was feeling slighted that you hadn't called and left your card. *sniff*

    But now that I know you've been here...Welcome to my neck of the woods!

    Kick off your shoes...don't mind the youngins...I'm sure that popsicle stain will come out. :rolleyes1
  20. DisneyMom5

    DisneyMom5 DIS Veteran

    Nov 11, 2003
    Well, as I mentioned last time, I was resting on my laurels having made my ADRs for our big group.

    And as I was resting, it occured to me that the ADRs for the rest of our trip were as yet unmade.

    I try to roll over and continue resting...
    the laurels...drying out..getting...very...pokey...
    Sigh... time to plan the rest of the trip, especially the food.

    The second half of this trip we have been calling "Our vacation."
    Sure, we will be on vacation the first half of the week with John's relatives.

    But the second half we will be on vacation FROM John's relatives.

    We love them, really. We are really VERY excited to be taking this trip with them.

    But as much as we are looking forward to spending this quality time with them,
    we are also looking forward to relaxing and doing our own thing when they are gone.

    So, with that in mind, I set out to select ADRs for our cozy group of....



    Let's see, they have 2 adults, and 2 adults, and 2 kids,
    add the 2, carry the 1,
    subtract their group from the big group
    leaving our group...

    even when they all leave,
    we're still a Grand Gathering unto ourselves.


    I'm going to call that a good thing!

    I present, as an attempt to rest your eyes from all this prose, a group picture of our crew:


    We clean up real purty-like, don't we?
    I went around for days saying that I should get some sort of medal because:
    1) they were all clean,
    2) they had on decent clothes,
    3) they were all looking at the camera.
    Thank you, thank you very much.

    ***If anyone wants to know what the biggest difference is having so many kids, it's this:
    :laundy: wash, dry, repeat
    I always say that when they cart me away to the "home,"
    it will be because the laundry finally did me in.

    Ahem...Back to the ADRs.
    What did we end up with?

    The day my inlaws leave we decided to use as a non-park day.
    We have never had time to go to DTD, and maybe just lay around the pool for awhile.

    With this in mind, I decided it might be a good time for that trip to
    Chef Mickey's for breakfast.

    I was able to snag a 10:40 am that Saturday, 9/22, which should leave us ample time to sleep in a bit, then head over to the Contemporary.

    Our other ADRs for that week are:
    9/23 5pm, Biergarten, Epcot

    9/24 10:10 am Donald's Breakfastasauras, AK

    9/25 4:40 pm Rose and Crown, Epcot

    9/26 3:50 pm Crystal Palace, Dinner, MK

    Biergarten and Rose and Crown are our new food excursions for this half of the trip.
    John is very excited about these two restaurants.

    John doesn't get very excited about vacation planning, especially dining reservations.

    This had me puzzled for a while.


    What is it that these two restaurants have in common? Good food, I am sure.

    Then it hit me.

    Next up: BEER.
  21. oybolshoi

    oybolshoi DIS Veteran

    Aug 16, 2004

    I wondered why you didn't respond to my post and then I thought I must not have been amusing enough and I left the DIS to go clean toliets...:scared1:

    **Puts on shiny sunglasses**

    "What we have here is a failure to communicate." :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2:

    Here's a hug, just in case... :hug:

    And your family is absolutely beeeee-youuuuu-teeeee-fullll!

    Or, as they say in our neck of the woods, "Ya'll shine up like a new penny!"

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