Sunday, October 29, 2006

Everything old is new again

October 2006. Forget that last post entirely – this trip will be exciting and new after all! Why? Well, the 2007-2008 calendar for our school district has been published, and it is forcing a major change in our plans. In a stunning turn of events eerily reminiscent of our first trip (of which I wrote, “Enter the Texas Legislature, who – like all good lawmakers – passed a Bill with Noble Intentions that Really Messes Up People’s Lives”) the school district was mandated to start the coming school year much later than normal, and that later start is leading to a later Spring Break.

Now, a late-March Spring Break means higher crowds, which we generally like to avoid. A bigger problem, though, is that the break is scheduled so that our vacation would have us out of town both for Palm Sunday and for Easter – not the best plan when Becky’s mom, Linda, is a church organist!

So, we look to alternate dates. One option is summertime, but if there is one thing we like even less than big crowds, it’s HEAT and big crowds! So, if we’re going to have to deal with big crowds anyway… why not go when it’s cool?

We check the boys’ Christmas Break schedule, and yes, we could fit in our Land/Sea package vacation right after Christmas. We can fly to Orlando on December 29, stay at WDW from the 30th through January 3rd, and cruise from the 3rd through the 6th! Yes, the first few days in the parks will be packed, but it’s a trade-off we can live with, because we will be able to experience all of the holiday decorations, shows, parades, and music, in the parks, resorts, & on the ship!! The kids remind me that we can also see those gingerbread houses and other decorations that have been featured on the Travel Channel, as well as the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights. Suddenly and unexpectedly, our third trip will be filled with “firsts” after all, and we couldn’t be more thrilled!

It also doesn’t hurt that this plan gets us back to Disney almost three months sooner.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A new adventure

Note from Wombat: I always write my trip reports in a present-tense, "you-are-there" format, to allow the reader to experience the magic of the vacation as we did. Obviously, though, apart from the first few "prologue"-style posts, this trip report is being written after our return. However, I will be taking advantage of the handy feature that allows me to supply a specific time and date for posts to make it seem as if they are being posted as the trip unfolds. I've also decided to break up each day's events into multiple posts, rather than compile a single day into one lengthy post as in the past.


April 2006. It has been over a year since our last Disney vacation. (By that I mean our last “real” Disney vacation, not counting the ones in our dreams and imagination, or the visits to the Disney store or Six Flags where we pretend.) Time to start planning our next trip… but, alas, it appears that we will not be going back to Walt Disney World for another two years, in March of 2008. I usually give myself permission to begin writing the prologue for the trip report and updating to-do lists for the vacation when we settle on our travel dates, but is two years in advance too early???


Hey, come on, we all know that planning a Disney vacation is almost as fun -- almost – as actually going, so this way you get to enjoy a bit of what we experienced in preparing for our trip. (It also serves as a convenient placeholder while I write about what actually happened on our journey!)

I am already sensing that this vacation, the third with our boys and Becky’s parents, will be very different from the previous two.

Our first trip, in March 2003, was perfect in almost every way. It was exactly what we wanted to experience with our boys on their first trip to a Disney park: well-laid plans unfolding almost flawlessly, plus magical surprises at every turn – including an amazing upgrade to huge Category 3 suites aboard the Disney Wonder.

Our second trip, in March 2005, found us with lots to do that we hadn’t done before. The trip was a bit rockier in execution than the first, starting with lack of sleep due to a last-minute late-night doctor visit with Benjamin! Still, there was plenty of magic and fun, and we found ourselves ready to return to “the World” as soon as we’d arrived home.

This time around, though, I can tell that our mindset will be different. Our boys are several years older, and even they are now seasoned Disney travelers – the “newness” of it has worn off. Oh, they’ll be excited to be there, but it’s not the same as seeing that look of awe and amazement as they first walk down Main Street USA. We have ridden or seen most of the attractions that interest us, so there are fewer “firsts” in store for us. While we know we will enjoy ourselves, it may be harder to find ways to make it seem fresh and magical.