Top Secret: 50th Birthday Surprise of a Lifetime! A September 2013 PTR UPDATE 1/23

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by fitzy819, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. fitzy819

    fitzy819 Mouseketeer

    Jan 2, 2011

    This mission, if you choose to accept it, is a top secret mission to give my mom the 50th birthday surprise of a lifetime.

    Let me introduce you to the stealthy crew.

    This is me, Super Secret Agent Chris.


    My name is Chris (short for Christopher). Now before ya'll ask, No, I wasn't supposed to be a boy - I just have a crazy mom. ;) Actually I was named after an actress, Christopher Norris, on the 80s TV show Trapper John. I'm a wife and registered nurse. I am also the proud mastermind behind the upcoming WDW birthday shenanigans.

    This is my sister, Secret Agent Rachel.


    She went with my husband and I for her first WDW trip in 08 and loved it. She is currently a sophomore in college majoring in Russian and international intelligence. :cool2: We couldn't be more different but are super excited to ban forces to make this trip happen.

    Possible ally for this mission, International Agent Alex (on the right, Rachel is on the left)


    Alex was our foreign exchange student for a year a few years back and is now like a part of our family. She was already planning to visit next September and we are hoping to line things up with her flight from Germany so she can be in on the birthday mission as well.

    And now& the target of our mission, the ever unsuspecting, Mom (aka, Suzanne)
    (Again, on the right)

    More about the mission next&

    Update Links:

    Top Secret: The Mission
    The Hideout
    Mission Update: The Reschedule
    Breaking News!

    More to come...

  2. fitzy819

    fitzy819 Mouseketeer

    Jan 2, 2011
    Top Secret: The Mission

    First, a little background info on the target. My mom is a Disney fanatic. She went on her honeymoon to WDW years ago and had been several times before she had kids. Her last trip to WDW was almost 20 years ago, when I was around 3 and she was pregnant with my sister. Since then she has been in non-stop mommy mode and has never had the time or money to return to her favorite place. My mom gladly gave up Disney trips for things like dance lessons, soccer, basketball, softball, and cheerleading and now it’s time for payback.

    Now, more on the mission mock up.

    My mom’s 50th birthday is September 20th, 2013. Here is a calendar for reference.


    For Christmas this year my mother will receive round trip plane tickets from my sister and me. These tickets will be for a flight to my house in Virginia to celebrate her 50th birthday in September. As if free tickets wouldn’t be enough to get her here we will entice her with “promises of a birthday spent on the beach” (she loves the beach) and possibly a “trip to DC”, another of her favs. I’m hoping this will be enough to lure her in without a fight (she hates having to take off work, surely she can manage for a birthday celebration ;) )

    With the façade in place the real plan will begin.

    Mom will arrive here on the 17th or 18th. Mom and I can maybe squeeze in a trip to the beach while Rachel (and unknown to my mother Alex) drive here from my sisters school. When they get here the first of many surprises will begin. My mother will have no clue Alex is coming for her birthday bash “on the beach” so I’m sure she will already be overjoyed at this surprise. We will hang out, go to dinner, whatever my mom chooses and then head to bed early with “big plans” for the morning.

    My mom will be woken up on the morning of the 19th to a super early home cooked breakfast of Mickey pancakes. We will tell her that she should open her presents a day early. We will have some Disney gear for her and maybe a new camera if we can swing it. Her last present will be something announcing to head to the car because we are all going to Disney World right now.

    We will drive down that day (it’s about a 10ish hour drive) and then next morning my mom will be waking up on her 50th birthday in DISNEY WORLD.


    I don't have a lot of actual Disney plans decided yet but I'm hoping to get those in the works soon. I'm hoping Disney will announce any 2013 military discounts soon so that we can start booking ASAP.

    I really want to go all out for this trip but since the trip planners are really only college students and newlyweds, not international spies, we will see how far our budget can take us.

    Right now the plan is roughly 5 days, 5 nights at AKL with DDP. We have talked about just doing POP or AoA and having extra spending money instead but we will see.

    I will keep ya'll updated when plans start to solidify. If anyone has ideas on making this birthday mission even more magical I would love to hear them!
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  4. fitzy819

    fitzy819 Mouseketeer

    Jan 2, 2011
    The Hideout:

    WOOHOO :cool1:

    That's right, our reservations have been booked! Things are becoming official.

    I was waiting for the military discounts to be released. Apparently there was a little mishap over the weekend and the discounts were leaked before booking became official. After a few days of calling and trying to book a room with no success, I decided just to go ahead and book and then call back later to add the discount.

    So, where are we staying....




    Ok, so this is a slight change of plans from my previous update but after looking at all the resorts I thought this would work the best for us (close access to MK and EPCOT) and I know my mother will LOVE watching the fireworks from the club lounge.

    Stay tuned for more updates!
  5. flower2222

    flower2222 Earning My Ears

    Sep 17, 2008
    What a great thing to do for your Mom! Have fun with all the planning :)
  6. mcbailey

    mcbailey Mouseketeer

    Feb 23, 2010
    What a wonderful trip for your mom!

    My 50th is Sept. 22nd, 2013 and I am planning a trip to Disney also. Renting points at BWV. I'm doing all the planning myself, so I'm subscribing to see what you will all be doing! I have a lot of thoughts running around in my head - LOL!!!!
  7. fitzy819

    fitzy819 Mouseketeer

    Jan 2, 2011
    Thanks! I am very excited!!! There isn't too much that I can plan for a while but I have a ton of ideas for later!


    Yay for birthday trips! How long will y'all be staying? Do you have any fun plans yet?

    Shortly after I posted my update I was able to call and add on our military discount for the room. It saved almost 2000 dollars!!! :cheer2::banana::yay:

    Other than that I don't have much new news. My mother came to visit for a few days when my sister went back to college and I mentioned that I wanted her to come spend her 50th birthday at my house next year so we could go to the beach and stuff. She seemed excited for that so it seems like it won't take a lot to lure her here, lol.

    Hope everyone is having a good week!
  8. fitzy819

    fitzy819 Mouseketeer

    Jan 2, 2011

    Well, our dates had to be pushed around a little bit. I'm slightly sad about this, for no good reason really, but it has all worked out. We had to add an extra day to our trip with this change, shucks! :rotfl:pixiedust: Our new dates go a little somethin' like this: My mother will fly here on Saturday, Sept 14th and we will drive down to Disney the next day on Sunday. We will check in Sunday night and spend 5 days at the parks now. This will put my mom's birthday on our last day there, September 20th and we will check out and drive back to Virginia on the 21st. A tiny part of me is sad that we can't begin the vacation with her birthday and we have to leave the day after... is this lame of me? :lmao:

    On to happier news...

    Since we will have an extra day but only 4 day park tickets we can add MICKEY'S NOT SO SCARY HALLOWEEN PARTY! Woohoo!!! I have been really excited about MNSSHP this year after seeing all of the threads about it but there was no way to squeeze it in with our old dates. With the new dates we can use our day with no park tickets as a shopping/MNSSHP day!

    Now to break up some of the blah-blah-blah with a random picture

    Here is our puppy Ellie

    She was abused before we got her so she only has one eye. Isn't she cute though!

    Back to the planning...

    Since I only have 142 days until I can make dining reservations I should probably start planning those now :rotfl2:

    So far these are my options. Any opinions are welcome! Let me add that neither my mom nor sister are adventurous eaters. I "will eat anything" because I like spinach and tomato on my sandwiches :rotfl:

    MK: BOG is a MUST (either TS or CS) I'm not a big fan of any of the other places we have tried here.

    AK: Yak & Yeti - Not my favorite place but my husband and I like it ok. I don't recall us trying any of the other CS options here.

    HS: Prime Time – this is a MUST. I really think my mom will enjoy this place! I like Sci-Fi too but if we ate here we would probably just pay OOP since most of their prices seem like a waste of a TS option IMO. I thought about doing Mama Melrose for the F! package but I’m not 100% either way on this one. Since we are going in pretty low crowd time I don’t know it will be necessary and I know MM doesn’t get awesome reviews so….

    Epcot: Ok, I saved this one for last since I really like a lot of the places here. I’m about 99% sure about Garden Grill. I haven’t eaten here since 08 but out of all the character meals we have eaten at, this was by far the best. I want to do at least one character meal on our trip and I know my mom would love this. She has told me before that she remembers this place from when it was called the Land Grill Room. Other places that I think she would like are San Angel Inn and Via Nepoli.

    Time for one more random picture break!


    This is Ellie and our cat Piper. They love each other. Awwww!

    Ok, more dining…

    For her birthday dinner I wanted to do something special and somewhere where we can have a fancy cake delivered. I was thinking Cali Grill maybe? I think she would also enjoy 1900 PF or the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review too but to me that doesn’t seem special enough. HELP! Since we will be staying 6 nights but only in the park 5 days we have enough dining credits to do a 2TS credit meal for her birthday.

    Ok, I think that concludes this update. Thanks for reading!

    I wanted to share this quick funny story. When I was calling Disney today to change our reservations the CM helping me said “Thank you for flying with Disney” when I was hanging up. Maybe he used to be a flight attendant? :rotfl2:
  9. mindeola

    mindeola Mad About the Mouse!

    Jan 19, 2011
    Oh, how exciting! What a sweet daughter you are. Such a fabulous surprise!
  10. fitzy819

    fitzy819 Mouseketeer

    Jan 2, 2011
    Breaking News: International Agent Alex will be available for this secret birthday mission!

    That’s right folks! Alex, our former German exchange student turned honorary sister, will be in on the birthday surprise. :thumbsup2 She will be on holiday from school in Germany through September and is going to spend the entire month in America. I have called Disney already and added her on to our reservation so as of now, everything is a GO! This just adds another layer of awesome on an already fabulous birthday bash! (And it just makes it THAT much harder to keep it a secret!:scared:)

    In other news, my sister and I told my mother the dates and information about her “birthday trip” so that she can schedule her vacation with work. As of now she thinks we are spending a week at the beach for her birthday and is thrilled! Rachel and I wanted soooo badly to spill the beans but we kept each other inline.

    And finally, we have a tentative mission itinerary. Being the compulsive over-planner than I am I actually have several plans but this is the one we’re shooting for:

    Friday: Arrival Day

    - My mom leaves for her flight after work – as of now there is a 630 flight that she could take if her boss will let her leave the office around 430.
    - She will arrive in Virginia later that night where International Agent Alex will be on stakeout at the airport. My sister and I will be close by to film her reaction when she sees Alex.
    - We will grab a quick bite to eat then head home. Saturday will be a BIG day!

    Saturday: The BIG day

    We wake my mom up bright and early and tell her we have to head out for our beach vacation. At some point that morning we will hit her with the big one – We are going to Disney World – RIGHT NOW!


    We will head down to Florida and stay somewhere close to Disney that night.

    Sunday: We're Here!

    Drive to Disney World!

    1000 – Hotel Check-In (We may get to our resort earlier but I wanted to leave time if we want to sleep in)
    1200 – Lunch: Wolfgang Puck Express (Driving)
    1300 – Arrive at Blizzard Beach (Driving)
    Blizzard Beach until 1700 closing
    1900 – Dinner: 1900 Park Fare Reservation (Monorail to Grand Floridian)
    2030 – Downtown Disney & Magic Quest (If we feel up to it)

    Monday: EPCOT

    0830 – Arrive at EPCOT for rope drop
    0900 to 1300 – Future World
    1300 – Lunch: Sunshine Seasons
    1400 – World Showcase
    1900 – Dinner: Garden Grill/Via Napoli/San Angel Inn
    2100 – Illuminations

    Tuesday: Typhoon Lagoon & Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

    1000 – Typhoon Lagoon
    1400 – Head back to resort & Lunch: Contempo Café
    Naps and change clothes
    1600 – Magic Kingdom & MNSSHP

    Wednesday: Hollywood Studios

    0900 – Rope drop at Hollywood Studios
    1300 – Lunch: Pay OOP for Sci-Fi
    1500 – Parade
    1900 – Dinner: 50’s Prime Time Cafe
    2100 – Fantasmic!

    Thursday: Magic Kingdom

    0900 – Rope Drop
    1300 – Lunch: Pinocchio’s Village Haus
    1500 – Afternoon parade
    *** Or nap if needed
    1900 – Dinner: Be Our Guest
    2000 – Spectromagic Parade?
    2100 – Wishes

    Friday: Animal Kingdom & Birthday Day!

    0900 – Rope drop at Animal Kingdom
    1300 – Lunch: Yak and Yeti Quick Service
    1545 – Parade
    1700 – Leave at closing
    Take a nap/swim/look around resort
    2000 – Boat to Wilderness Lodge
    2030 – Dinner: Hoop-Dee-Doo & Surprise Birthday Cake!
    Then bowling at DTD if we feel up to it

    Saturday : Departure

    0900 – Check Out
    0930 – DTD for any last minute shopping
    1100 – Lunch: Earl of Sandwich
    1130 – Leave for home w/ 11 hour drive :crazy2:

    Do you think we could possibly pack anything else into this trip? Luckily my entire family is crazy comando style when it comes to vacations so this trip should work for all of us.

    I think this about does it for the update. I'm waiting for park hours to come out to finalize the plans. And... less than 2 months until I can make dining reservations :cool1: I made sure to take that day off of work :rotfl:
  11. happybelle

    happybelle DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2012
    You are going to be very busy but what a wonderful surprise. Give her some time to rest, it is her birthday.
  12. fitzy819

    fitzy819 Mouseketeer

    Jan 2, 2011
    It's definitely a very busy trip but I truly think my mom will enjoy it. When we would vacation when we were younger we would always joke that we needed a vacation after our vacation because we did so much on the trip :rotfl:

    But, if anyone needs a break, I'm hoping that since we will be visiting during a fairly slow season and we will be getting there at rope drop we can take afternoon naps each day if we want to. Most things in the plan are fairly flexible. I want the option there to do as much as possible, then we can always scale back if we're not feeling up to it.

    Thanks for the input!
  13. ctrabada

    ctrabada <font color=purple>Has a knife hidden under her li

    Apr 24, 2000
    What a wonderful trip you have planned! I wish my family would do stuff like that for me....

    I too will celebrate my 50th birthday at WDW around the same time. I arrive on the 24th and my bday is the 25th. I have to do all my planning because my DH and DD just don't plan. At all. Ever. Sigh.

    She is going to love it.

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