Hey fellow Disboarders! This is my first trip report I’ve ever written. I wrote a PTR for this trip, link in my signature, and if you read it, you can see I’m a big planner, and I love lists. If you don’t feel like reading it, I’ll do a quick intro on who we are so you know who I’m talking about. Who we are First, me. I’m Jenn, 30-something Disney addict. It all started last year when we took our first ever trip to the Land. It wasn’t my first Disney trip, though. Way back in 1993, as a wee 9 year old, my mom “won” (a long term employee incentive or something) a trip through her work. It was a trip for 2 to the Bahamas, but as my dad was terrified of flying and would NOT go, she sweet talked them into making a trip for 4 to WDW so she could bring me and my brother and sister. Look how cute we were!! WDW1993 by jennifer.gilkes, on Flickr But I hardly remember any of it, and I think I was too young to really get into the “holy crap, Disney is amazing” mind frame, and the lack of Disney mania by the others in my family didn’t help. So, I managed to convince my husband that we needed to bring our kids on a surprise trip to DL in February 2016, what we said would be a trip of a lifetime. But that trip injected the Disney Kool Aid straight into our veins, and before we even left, we were planning this trip. DH is James, also 30-something. He also loves Disney, not as much as me, but almost. He hides his Disney Side behind me, I think, and I’m convinced he loves it more than he lets on. He’s a truck driver, and drives from Calgary to Edmonton (about a 3 hr drive) and back every day. He loves it, driving is his passion, and there is no one else I trust as much as I do him behind the wheel. So, when he suggested we drive… I agreed. DS is Mason, 15. He likes Disney. He is in his angsty teen years, so he doesn’t LOVE it, but when we are at Disney… he’s a kid, and really soaks in the magic. When he was younger, because his dad and I are young parents (I was 21 when I moved in with them, and he was 3 at the time), we didn’t exactly make enough extra cash, and had NO idea how to save, he missed out on family vacations. So I’m trying to make up for that by giving him some amazing vacations now that he’s a teen. I hope he appreciates it. DD is Keileigh, 6. She loves Disney as much as I do. We llisten to Disney Park music in my car together, and Disney movie soundtracks at home together. This trip was her birthday trip; she turned 6 in the happiest place on earth, a gift I never dreamed I would be able to give my kids. We live in Calgary, Alberta. It’s an unfortunately long way from Disney. We have dreams of one day moving to California, but we love our free health care and gun laws too much to actually go through with it. Also, it’s expensive to live there!! It blew my mind when I researched it. That’s our little family, but we had a tag along on this trip. My friend from work, Mae, who is equally as Disney obsessed, came with us on this trip. Since we were driving, and we had an extra space in the truck, we thought it would be fun! The plans Like I said above, I’m a planner. I’ve been to DL before, but as you must know, it always changes so I am always researching. I follow a blog and FB account with amazing tips. Her and I are like BFF. Maybe one day I’ll even meet her. I had budget worked out on a day by day basis, with each day’s budget in its own envelope, and details about that day’s spending written on each envelope. Where we were eating, how much approximately it would cost, how much was allotted for souvenirs, snacks, and miscellaneous. I’m a big fan of miscellaneous. You never know what you MUST spend money on that isn’t planned for, so that’s where the miscellaneous comes in. I’m an Air Miles addict, so we got all of our 3 day hoppers through them, including my friend’s, with the Canadian Resident offer – BONUS!!! I had a spreadsheet listing what days we were doing what, which parks had MM, each park’s hours and detailing the shows/parades we likely would want to see. Each day is broken down into 3 parts, Morning, Afternoon, Evening. In each part, I wrote in which rides would be best to be ridden at what point in the day, and made sure to pencil in each person’s “top 3 must do” items, so that we didn’t break anyone’s heart by missing something. I also, obviously, included anything we had a reservation for. There was of course wiggle room in there, and NOTHING was planned down to the minute. But there had to be a loose plan at least. I only had 3 days to jam as much fun in as possible, so I had to be ready. After months making, re-doing, and checking off checklists (things to pack, things to buy, things to print, things to confirm) and colour coding everything on said checklists, as well as Keileigh’s 2 week long fever finally gone, we were ready to go. Next post will have lots of pictures - promise!!