Intro: From Daddy Unawares to Disney Abbreves
I have to put my thoughts down here because no one else understands my recent enthusiasm (read obsession) concerning all things Disney.
Can’t wait for our upcoming trip to WDW. My DW & I are surprising our DD8, DD6 & DD2! Staying at AoA. We’re at every park once and MK twice. With a TP for every day, great ADR’s at Akrshs, HDDR, CM, 1900PF, CP, 50sPTD, FP+ for 7DMT, A&E, TSMM (& BOG lunch!) and with a plan to hit RD with EMH at MK on T’giving Day, we are ready to go!
Three weeks ago, I would never have been able to decipher that paragraph, let alone be the man who wrote it.
How did I become this person?
I credit the Unofficial Guide and Touring Plans for my recent transformation (demise?).
Keep reading if you care to hear about how I went from a normal dad only nominally aware that there even was a Disney World to a man possessed.
Part 1: The Shrinking Window
My wife Ashley and I had toyed around with the idea of a Disney vacation for our 3 girls for some time, but had never given it any serious consideration, thinking that we really couldn’t afford to go. I had been before as a kid (and had vague memories of spinning in a giant cup with my dad till I or he got sick) but Ashley had NEVER been and we have never taken our own kids (girls 8, 6 and 2).
All that began to change when earlier this year I found an old copy from 2013 of the Unofficial Guide with Kids at a local bookshop for $1. I picked it up on a whim. A dollar. Why not?
Having that book in my house was like the constant whisper of an invitation, always calling to me: “Come away. We’ll show you how. The magic is waiting. Come away."
In September we found out that Ashley was pregnant again (number 4!). We also soon realized that our youngest daughter, Vera, would be turning 3 at the end of January. We, like many, had heard that advice: “go before that last kid turns 3, it’s cheaper that way." We saw before us a shrinking window of opportunity.
Initially we were thinking the week after Christmas, but realized that while still busy, Thanksgiving would be less crowded and less expensive. I asked for a quote. The number came back and Ashley had sticker shock. “No WAY. We CAN’T AFFORD it.” You know the conversations.
Our window of opportunity was getting smaller. We decided to jump.
What made the difference? Our shrinking window of opportunity + ONE remaining Nemo suite at Art of Animation (for a family of 5 with parents who want a little privacy for the week, the family suites at AoA look like the jam!) + (and here’s the kicker) two words… Disney VISA all came together to = vacation booked 37 days out.
We booked it. Disney for Thanksgiving.
But that was only 37 days away. 37 days. I know people (um… you guys) who start booking reservations at midnight 190 days out. What could this Disney newbie do in 37 days?
(to be continued)