I love the day after Christmas. When I was younger, it was all about checking out all the toys and games that you were too overwhelmed to play with on Christmas Day. When I was older, it was about one thing: post-holiday bargains. I would line up outside of Filene’s (remember that?) with my gift cards and Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket. But now that I have kids of my own, we’re back to staying home and laying low with all our new loot. Today our plan involves the following: wearing sweatpants, avoiding Christmas cookies, maybe trying to work out, and watching movies (Brave and ParaNorman).
But let’s get back to Christmas Day.
Dr. G. and I had cooked up a plan awhile back to surprise the kids with a trip to Disney World in April during school vacation week. I went back and forth about how to unveil the news. In the end, I decided to wrap up a huge box with two Disney balloons (Mickey and Minnie) with “tickets” attached that announced the trip.
The box would be the last present to open; before that, they’d open various Disney-themed gifts, mostly Phinneas and Ferb for Buddy and Minnie Mouse for Mimi.
When they finally tore open the box and the balloons popped out, Buddy was confused. Mimi, on the other hand, was too excited by her Minnie Mouse balloon to realize what was going on.
Finally, we had to spell it out for him: he’s going to Disney. We got one big smile, but eventually that faded into kind of a pout.
“But I didn’t get any Legos,” he complained.
I admit I was a little disappointed. I keep telling myself he’s only six years old, so I guess this isn’t too surprising, but part of me was really hoping for that open-mouthed, jumping-up-and-down, screaming-with-pure-glee sort of reaction.
Thankfully, when we booked the trip we received a Disney planning DVD in the mail that walks you through all the different theme parks and the top attractions at each, so I put it on, and as we watched it you could see his excitement level rising. And it continued to grow when we went online and told him that he’d be old enough to ride most of the “cool” rides – including Space Mountain. And I think we got an honest-to-goodness grin when he learned that several of his friends (including his best buddy) would be at Disney the very same week.
In addition, the kiddos also received some trip-themed gifts, including this autograph book that this admittedly un-crafty mom actually made herself!
And these super cute T-shirts I ordered from Etsy.
We also got our family members in on the surprise, so now Buddy can treat himself to all sorts of overpriced souvenirs and Disney merchandise.
So here’s what our Florida agenda looks like:
- 7 days at Disney World, staying at the new Art of Animation resort. Anyone been there?
- A surprise trip to Legoland (maybe then I’ll get my screaming-with-pure-glee sort of reaction, given my son’s total obsession with all things Lego)
- 2 days in Ft. Lauderdale at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa, where we’ll get to visit with family, get some beach time and maybe, if I’m lucky, sneak down to Miami for a quick pre-birthday dinner
Okay, so I haven’t been to Disney since I was 15 years old; same with Dr. G. We’re Disney newbies traveling with a six-year-old and an almost-two-year old. For the more Disney-experienced readers, I ask you: what is your “must see” or “must do” attraction, event, etc. at Disney? Or what is your top piece of Disney advice? We’re all ears (no pun intended).