Do As Dreamers Do PTR May 2018

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by BrerMama, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. BrerMama

    BrerMama DIS Veteran

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    Come join me, my friend, as we sit crooked and talk straight...

    Any Murderinos out there?

    No, just me. I'm OK with that.

    First, let me introduce myself. I'm Kim. I'm in my mid-40s. I teach preschool for children with low incidence disabilities such as non-verbal autism and severe developmental delays. Most of my students don't talk yet, and one of the best parts of my job is hearing those first words. Until that happens (and just in case it doesn't), we use a lot of pictures to teach communication. So yeah... I sing and play all day and get paid to do it. I love my job.

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    Ah yes. That's me. School bathroom mirror selfie. I have been visiting Disney every 5-10 years or so since I was 5ish and my parents moved my sister and I to Florida, the land of everlasting sunshine. Except it didn't last forever because they were there for a year before they moved back to Kansas.

    I married my husband when I was 20 and when I was 22, we went to Disneyland for a belated honeymoon. It was super fun. We stayed at the then Jolly Roger at the corner of Katella and Harbor, which I think is now gone. Maybe replaced by a Springhill Suites? Anyway, we were young and didn't mind the long walk to the parks and we took a bus tour to Tijuana and it was my husband's first vacation across the country. He'd been to Nebraska and Colorado on the only two vacations he took as a child. His parents were farmers. Vacations were pretty low on the list of things they did.

    A couple years after our Disneyland trip, we started a family. We have 3 children. Our oldest son went to WDW before he turned a year old and is now applying to PhD programs so he can get a doctorate in Information Sciences. Yeah, not sure how we did that. Our middle is a senior at a state university, finishing up her last semester for her BSN (nursing). She's engaged and will be married in 2019.

    And our baby girl is a senior in high school. When my oldest graduated from high school, we took the whole family to WDW for 2 weeks. When my middle graduated, we took the family to Wisconsin Dells for a week or so. My baby wants to go to Disneyland, so we're taking her to Disneyland a week after her graduation.

    The other two weren't really invited. It's a LOT cheaper to just take one child to Disney.

    So here we all are on Thanksgiving...

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    They're in age order, oldest on the left, middle in the middle, youngest on the right.

    So I wanted to make this installment about me and there I go posting a picture of my family. (PS-- I'm holding Jake, our 2.5 year old dachshund. He's our baby.)

    I am a frustrated writer. I had a blog for at least a decade, but let it go a couple years ago when it stopped bringing me joy and started feeling like a chore. I've written a couple of (really bad) romance novels since then, but lately I've been wanting to document my planning for this trip. And no blog, so I decided to start a PreTrip Report, which will probably become a dumping ground for every random thought I have in the next few months.

    More about me -- I love true crime. The ID channel and My Favorite Murder podcast are my jams. I read. A lot. 200 books last year. I tend to alternate between reading a really deep thriller and a couple of fluffy romances that I can read in a day. But I pretty much read my day away. Get up in the morning, read while I eat breakfast, go to work, teach my AM class, read through lunch, teach my PM class, come home, make dinner, lose an hour on the internet, read until I fall asleep.

    I'm a lapsed scrapbooker (first paper, then digital, then Project Life). I will likely do an album of our Disneyland trip. I scrapbooked faithfully from 2000-2015 and then I just stopped. Actually, I have all of 2016 done except December (when I had my gallbladder removed and spent the month high on opiods). I'm telling you this because documenting is pretty much in my blood. I documented every thing my family did for 15 years. Thus this need I have to tell our planning story, write a trip report, and some how get it all into an album so we have those memories.

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    And that's one of my favorite photos of me at Disney. First, that shirt was a Large. I was at my lowest weight ever there. I'm probably 20 pounds over that right now. That gallbladder thing really helped me lose weight last year because it was more like 40. I'm also wearing my very favorite pair of shorts ever. I wore those things until they got so old and thin they ripped right up the rear. And Ches, my youngest, is probably 7 there and we had a very magical morning that day, complete with her opening the castle breakfast with a magic wand.

    I'm an overorganized, over thinking planner. From the minute we booked this trip, I have been keeping a list in a very cute notebook of things I want to do, not to forget, what to pack, etc. I don't like surprises, so I sort of think of every possibility and plan for it.

    I think that's pretty much me in a nutshell. I'm writing this for my own entertainment, but I'd be thrilled to have you read along. My rough plan right now is to introduce my fellow travelers, talk a little bit about how we ended up with this trip and the decisions we've made so far, and then update weekly with any changes to plans. I'm pretty much going to tell stories. It's what I do. I would love to have you read them.

    And one final picture... this is us in 2009 at California Adventure. World of Color was being built at the time, so behind us in this picture is a bunch of dirt. But dang... we've really aged well.

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    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018 at 9:18 AM
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  2. DenGrampy

    DenGrampy Earning My Ears

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    I'm in. Taking my wife on a surprise trip for our 40th in April. Looking forward to tagging along.
     
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  4. RedHotMama

    RedHotMama Mouseketeer

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    Love it! Looking forward to your pre-planning journey, and your trip itself.
    We're leaving 4 weeks from today! I have a PTR, but I can't write like you. :blush:
     
  5. tzeitel

    tzeitel Toadi Acceleratio Semper Absurda

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    I'm in! I try to do PTR & TRs but then don't know what to say, since we are both going in May I will PTR vicariously through yours ;)
     
  6. BrerMama

    BrerMama DIS Veteran

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    Yeah! 40th is huge! Have a magical trip!

    Oh wow, you're so close to going! I will definitely look for your PTR this weekend. 3 day weekends are the bomb!

    Live vicariously through me anytime. :)

    Welcome everyone! I will update again this weekend. My youngest turns 18 this weekend so today is about her, but as I said, three day weekend and I plan to enjoy the sloth of it!
     
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  7. BrerMama

    BrerMama DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2000
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    Chapter Two: Caution: Crazy Disney Family Inside


    We’re not really crazy.


    Maybe just a little.


    As I mentioned in my first chapter, my husband and I married young, and we are sliding towards 30 years of marriage in a few years. Which is crazy because in my mind, we’re still in our twenties and living in a small apartment, eating a baked potato for dinner because it’s cheap to buy 10 lbs of potatoes.


    Anyway… Dan. That’s my husband. He’s late 40s (he’s two years older than me and I don’t let him forget) and he works for Schwan’s. He’s been there longer than anyone else in his depot and gets four weeks of vacation a year. He sort of doesn’t like his job too much, especially when it’s cold or rainy outside, but he’s not going to find another job that pays as much and offers the vacation time this one does. So he continues to work. He works 11 am to 8 pm, which is sort of not my teaching schedule and so we don’t see each other a whole lot during the week. Mostly we see each other in the mornings, when I’m still half awake and then rushing to work, and on the weekends. By the time he gets home most nights, I’m already half in bed.

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    That's us last month. We went to visit Dan's parents and then spent an evening in the college town where we lived as newlyweds. It was a gorgeous night and they had a huge Christmas tree and it was just perfect.​


    But his job really doesn’t define him (certainly not in the way mine does me). He’s a kid at heart. He loves to play games, do things that are just fun for him, and is an obsessive TV/movie watcher. Pretty sure he doesn’t know what to do without a TV on. He likes the Chiefs and the Royals but yells at both of them whenever he watches them on TV. He’ll literally watch almost anything on TV but his favorites are Survivor, Shark Tank, Big Bang Theory. As far as movies, he really likes We’re the Millers and watches it so often it’s a family joke.


    So he wants to go to Disney to ride the rides. When I think about going to the parks, that’s the smallest part of what I consider, but for him it’s the biggest part. We often go to Silver Dollar City (little theme park in Branson, MO) and I’ll sit on benches for hours, often with my Kindle, while my husband and daughters ride roller coaster after roller coaster. I’m just not a big ride person, and I’m not a thrill ride person. Dan wants to do it all.

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    This is from our Wisconsin Dells trip in 2015. We went to the Deer Park which is like the best idea ever. Just a bunch of deer roaming free while you walk around and then, of course, you can feed them. For my animal loving family it was a perfect day.​


    And finally, there’s Chesney. She’s turning eighteen this weekend. She’s my youngest and the one child who has always believed in magic. She went to WDW for the first time when she was 11 months old, and I have always loved to see the parks through her eyes. She has been a huge Stitch for as long as I can remember and more recently has developed a love for The Princess and the Frog. Some of my best memories are of her interacting with characters at the parks. She just goes in with complete belief in magic.

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    Ches with Stitch over the years. ​

    She is also a rider, but in the past she’s been a little hesitant to do the big thrill rides at Disney. For example, she skipped Tower of Terror back when she was 12. I think that’s mostly gone and she’ll try anything once, but she’s not as much wanting to ride the rides as she wants to be a part of the magic.

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    A little birthday collage I made for her. ​

    Ches is a theater tech girl and she loves all the behind the scenes stuff. She’s going to college in the fall with the goal of being a teacher and really wants to do a semester in the Disney College Program. Since she took quite a few college classes in high school, that would work quite well with the program her college has because they run the teaching classes starting in the fall but she’ll have all her necessary prereqs in the spring of her sophomore year. So we’ll see.


    She’s pretty great. An introvert like her mom and needs some quiet time. It’s going to be interesting to see how we balance our need for quiet while we’re in the parks. I get mine now over lunch, and she gets home from school a couple hours before anyone else, but we won’t have the luxury of just shutting people out while we’re on vacation. Did I mention we’re just getting one hotel room, too? No escaping into a bedroom and shutting the door.

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    This is my favorite of her senior pictures. Mostly because it offers a glimpse into her personality and the things she loves. ​

    Ches is pretty much my co-planner. I’ll read a trip report or see something on a message board and get an idea, then I’ll bounce it off her. Dan doesn’t want to read anything and trusts me to do the planning. For the most part. I mean… he’s going to ask how much something costs but by the time I sit him down at the World of Color dessert party, it’s going to be a little late to be asking how much it costs, now isn’t it?


    For me the biggest change in planning this trip vs. every other trip I’ve planned is that we’re a party of three adults. Our last trip was six years ago, and we had 2 teens and a 12 year old. Even that is different than saying we’re two adults plus our eighteen year old daughter. Long gone are the days when we had to question if we needed a stroller or worry about Ches taking a nap in strange places (she can sleep anywhere and through anything). The three of us have been going on trips without the other kids for a good four years so we’ve kind of gotten into a groove. There’s a lot of times I let the two of them go and do something together while I sit and read, and it just works for us. I’m interested to see what that will look like at Disney.
     

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