It's a Jolly Holiday Surprise! December 2014 - Trip Report

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by dedesmith32, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. dedesmith32

    dedesmith32 Mouseketeer

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    Sherry you are so sweet . Thank you!

    Birthdays and Christmases we try and make them pretty major but everything else not so much. :)
     
  2. dedesmith32

    dedesmith32 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for following along! I gotta find time to post more :)
     
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  4. dedesmith32

    dedesmith32 Mouseketeer

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    THE SURPRISE - Part 2
    December 6, 2014


    At about this point, Beth realized that this surprise wasn't going to be just a day event and that she was going to miss her Christmas Choir Concerts. (We had planned this trip before she even joined choir and there just wasn't any way we could make it work. We had told her choir teacher about the trip and she kept it a secret for us.) When Beth realized this, she had a bit of a meltdown. She was so excited about being in choir and the concerts - I had been feeling bad all week because of how excited she was about it. After much comforting and promises that it would be worth it, she calmed down. I loved that Joey asked her, "Do you trust me?" She nodded her head through the tears and Joey said, "I promise you that you will love this surprise and it's going to be okay." Pretty soon, she had a smile on her face once again.


    We then began Part 2 of our storybook:
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    Our video of the reading of the next part of our Storybook:



    So then we headed out to our van, Appa. When we got to the train station, we bought our tickets and then realized that we were quite a bit early for the train. So we decided to get some breakfast at Village Inn. After a quick breakfast, we headed back to the train station and parked the van. We then opened the trunk of the van and surprised the kids with their new luggage!!! Then we boarded the FrontRunner train. As we continued our journey, we opened up our storybooks again....


    Our video of the reading of the next part of our Storybook:


    So the kids pulled out their new fun treasures and got to work coloring and playing! Even the stuffed friends were having fun!

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    When we got to the Salt Lake Central Station, we got off the FrontRunner and boarded one of the Trax trains, which took us to another stop where we got off to wait for yet another Trax train.


    While we waited, we read another page in our Storybook:


    The kids were so excited to find out that they were going to get to go on a plane (oh I mean a magic carpet) for the first time! So finally our last train picked us up and we were off to the airport.


    When we got to the airport, we dropped off our bags and got through security before finding a place to wait. We had a little bit of time, so we explored the airport a little bit and got some wiggles out. The kids bought some fun bag dangles with their names on it from one of the gift shops.

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    And then it was time to board the plane!!!


    ...The Adventure Continues in another post. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
  5. sophies*mom

    sophies*mom A dream is a wish your heart makes.

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    Wow, so fun already!! Can't wait to read more. Those books are amazing!
     
  6. dedesmith32

    dedesmith32 Mouseketeer

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    THE SURPRISE - Part 3
    December 6, 2014


    The kids were so excited about going on a plane. I have to admit that I was pretty excited myself. I've always enjoyed flying and I hadn't been on a plane since before the kids were born!

    A look at our plane before boarding....

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    The plane was really crowded and there were some other families on board, obviously heading to Disneyland - I was so afraid that the kids would guess where we were going. But we were able to distract them with watching tv and looking out the window! One of my favorite things about flying is seeing the clouds so up and personal!

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    It was an easy flight and it went by quickly and before I knew it we were landing in Long Beach, CA.

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    While we waited for our baggage, we went ahead and started the next part of our storybook:



    After getting our baggage, we went out to wait for our shuttle ("Blue"). As we were waiting, we decided it was the perfect time to reveal the secret, so we read the final page of our storybook:


    It was an amazing exciting moment. After all of the planning and waiting, we finally got to tell the kids we were going to DISNEYLAND! It couldn't have been more perfect! The kids excitedly chatted about Disneyland and the book and it was so great to see the happiness in their faces! I couldn't stop a few tears of joy from trickling down my face - we did it! It was a dream come true to do this for my kids and for me.

    And it was only the beginning...


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    The Adventure Continues in another post. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
  7. lilmisstude07

    lilmisstude07 Earning My Ears

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    Thank you for sharing your videos with your trip report. I must admit I shed a couple tears watching their reactions to your surprise. Disney trips with my parents are some of my favorite childhood memories! I can't wait to read more!
     
    dedesmith32 likes this.
  8. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    I can't see the videos here at work, but I'm tearing up just reading about it! How wonderful!! I love the book too. My kids have already figured out most of my surprise and the youngest has heard us talk about going in October... but so far she doesn't know it's over her birthday... I hope!

    I look forward to reading more.
     
    dedesmith32 likes this.
  9. dedesmith32

    dedesmith32 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you so much for reading my report! It's been fun to relive the surprise as I'm putting it together! The book was a work of love and it's fun to see that everyone likes it as much as we did :)

    I need to get it together and write more - I'm actually getting worried that I'm going to forget a lot of stuff so I need to get writing it down!


    Canadian Harmony - good luck on your surprise! I hope you can keep it a secret - it's so fun to surprise the kids!
     
  10. Canadian Harmony

    Canadian Harmony DIS Veteran

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    Thanks. My oldest knows and she's helping me 'plan' a little here and there. The youngest is trying to figure things out. We have 6 1/2 months to go and already the youngest is asking more and more about the trip. I dole out little bits to her every week or so.
     
  11. dedesmith32

    dedesmith32 Mouseketeer

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    FIRST MAGIC MOMENTS
    December 6, 2014


    After revealing the secret, we all just couldn't wait to get to the hotel. Our shuttle FINALLY arrived and we loaded our bags and ourselves and began our journey. At this point we let the kids know that not only were we going to Disneyland, but we were actually going to be staying in the DISNEYLAND HOTEL! Ahhh!

    The shuttle driver kept us entertained with Disney music as we drove from Long Beach to Anaheim. Before we knew it, we were pulling up in front of the Disneyland Hotel. We grabbed our bags and excitedly walked in. The kids immediately gravitated to the cute teacup seats. At the front desk, Joey and I got checked in, amidst a little complication with our credit card (the transaction got flagged, since we don't take a whole lot of trips - but after some calls we got it figured out. The Cast Members at the front desk were really great and helped us get it all figured out.


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    We were able to get a standard room in the Adventure Tower. It was on the Downtown Disney side, but only the 2nd floor, so our view was trees - but actually I loved it! So easy and fast to get to our room from Downtown Disney and the trees kind of blocked the noise. It was awesome! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Disneyland Hotel rooms. We all loved looking for the Hidden Mickeys and of course the headboard is AMAZING! It was just awesome.


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    After checking out the room and settling in a bit, we decided it was time to explore! Everyone was hungry and I also wanted to go redeem my voucher for the Annual Pass and also pick up our Photopass+ Card. (We had decided to get one Annual Pass so that we could get the discounts and such.) So we headed towards Downtown Disney. Joey and the kids grabbed some lunch at Earl of Sandwich and I headed down to the Esplanade. I redeemed my voucher, got my picture taken, and got my new Annual Pass. California Adventure looked less busy, so I went through the gates and headed to the photo shop where I redeemed the voucher to get our Photopass+ card. This all took about an hour and then I met up with my family at Downtown Disney, where we did some exploring in the stores. We were all fascinated with the Lego Store and all of its awesome characters! The Build-a-Bear Store was amazing too and the kids were definitely starting their lists!

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    After lots of browsing, we went to Tortilla Joe's for dinner! We LOVED it - it was so good, and we especially loved the guacamole, made for us right at our table!
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    After dinner, we strolled over to the AMC Theaters to watch BIG HERO 6. We were AMAZED by this theater. It was HUGE. It was definitely the biggest theater we've ever been to. Plus amazingly there wasn't a whole lot of people taking advantage of it and so in the huge theater, it felt like we were the only ones there. We LOVED Big Hero 6 - it was such a cute movie. After the movie, we had to take advantage of a photo-op!

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    After the movie, we headed back to the hotel and we had a little bit of a Christmas Celebration, complete with a little Mickey Tree, Treats, and gifts. These were things I brought from home to bring some Christmas to our room. The kids loved it all, especially the Disney gift cards from Dad and Mom and the money from Grandpa and Grandma Sorensen! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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    At this point, we were just so exhausted. It had been a very long, but thrilling and exciting day! We couldn't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

    The Adventure Continues in another post. :)
     
  12. iheartglaciers

    iheartglaciers DIS Veteran

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    Dede, I’m just reading this since you linked it on another TR. Your book is so amazing!!!!! How did you get the pictures to look like storybook drawings?!
     
  13. dedesmith32

    dedesmith32 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you. (I never did finish the trip report lol).

    So I’m a graphic designer but I used different actions and styles in Photoshop to create it. Thank you for your compliment!
     

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