We're Going To Disneyland!!

 For Fall Break we surprised the kids with a trip to Disneyland!  I have been holding in the big secret since May!
As a family we have never done the theme park thing.  Our first taste of one was last year when the kids and I visited Sea World while Max was at a conference.  Now that there are no naps, Hank is tall enough to ride almost all the rides, and the "magic" window for Hailey is slipping away, we decided to take the plunge!  With something as magical and special as a trip to Disneyland, I went a little overboard with my enthusiasm for the trip.  Five months is a long time to think about how to tell them!  We sent them on a scavenger hunt around the house.  As they walked in the door after Karate, Max had the intro song from Lion King blaring.
He handed them this note.
Out by the pool I set up their beach towels and a boogie board.
Sully and Mickey carry these in MU.  Your going to need something to pack your towels in for the beach!
While we were on our states trip over the summer we stopped at McDonald's and they were handing out free backpacks.  The backpacks had just been sitting around so I found some Mickey patches and ironed them over the McDonald's emblem to make them a Disney backpack for the trip.
They were hanging in the backpack rack.

Simba had all our Disney movies lined up for the road trip.

I had Mickey fever and couldn't help myself anytime I saw him.  Mickey Mouse fruit snacks for the road!
The next clue read: Prince Naveen turned into one of these because he was a sucker for riches.  Kiss him and you will find your next clue.
Hank has a very loved frog in his closet that I put Minny Mouse sucker rings around.
The frog clue said:  Alice in Wonderland would need this at her tea party.  But Daddy is the one who will need it when we get up early to go to the Enchanted Kingdom!
The next note read:  Cinderella's mice would have made her dress twice as fast with this.  While you will not need a ball gown, you will need to be dressed for the occasion!
I bought shirts from Micheal's and Mickey silhouettes from Maggies Castle to make matching shirts.
The next clue was: Sleeping Beauty could have used these for her slumber.  Hopefully you can have all your dreams come true!
I decided to make PJs for the big occasion.  When I went to the fabric store in August and told the the lady my plan she couldn't believe I would keep the secret until October.  I told her I would be lucky to finish them by then.  I used this PJ step by step guide to secretly sew the PJ pants while they were at school.  They turned out great for Karlie and Hank but since I was using a pair of PJ pants from last year as my pattern template and Hailey and Kaitlin have grown a lot, there's are a little too tight.  I had lost my enthusiasm for sewing by the time I got to Max's and mine, so I just used some black PJ pants we already had and added the Mickey border to the bottom.  For the shirts I was able to find the matching fabric letters at Maggies Castle.  After calculating all the fabric and shirts, I was able to make each pair of PJs for $15.  Just hours and hours of time.  Sewing is not my strong suit.  Next time I will just get them from Walmart. :)
I was like a kid a Christmas.  I couldn't wait to tell them about the trip!!
Their final clue: For your ticket into the Magic Kingdom, you will have to ask the mirror on the wall who is the luckiest kids of all...
They ran all over the house looking for mirrors.  I printed out fake tickets and put them on Karlie's mirror.
We had two weeks until the big trip.  I am a compulsive planner, so a trip to Disneyland put me in tiger mom meets Mickey mode.  I spent hours reading how to make the most of your visit, how to avoid melt downs, save as much money as possible, and make it magical.  Step one was being sure you were up for a long day at the park.  So we started walking every night.  On average people will walk 3 to 6 miles at the park.  I wasn't going to have anyone saying they were tired when we were spending $500 to have fun!  Every night we walked at least a mile and got up to 1.5 with no complaints.  
They were physically prepared, next was mental.  Yes, mental preparation for Disneyland.  LOL  One, I had to lower my Hollywood vision of jubilant kids, no one fighting because we are at the most magical place on earth, and fireworks exploding in the background with everyone smiling and so grateful they got to go to Disneyland.  After my reading I learned the reality is that most kids enjoy the hotel swimming pool as much as the park, parents are stressed because there are swarms of people and keeping track of four kids all simultaneously wanting to go in opposite directions is frazzling, it is hot, and everyone gets tired no matter how in shape you are.  It is like the movies and reality colliding.  After I got a grip on reality we joked with the kids that they were going to like it and smile.  Period.  Ok.  Now we are ready to go to the happiest place on earth... and smile :) (Okay, Max still needs practice but he is agreeing to wear matching Mickey Mouse shirts.  Such a good sport!)


1 comment:

Lacey said...

Never been to Disneyland but conquered World last January. We still are talking about how it is the BEST family vacation. You guys will have a blast!! Can't wait to hear all about it!!