McIntosh Family 1st Trip: A Tale

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)


Squee! I’m pulling up a carpet square and searching my cubby for a package of Goofy Candy Company gummies. I love storytime. (I am a librarian, after all.)


Thanks @SallyEppcot. You know how weird it is to put down the deets of your trip for others to read, but you and @Okie gave me courage through your trip notes.


I’m listening too!


It’s not weird. People here love to read trip reports. If you’re interested, here’s the link to the trip report for my first trip. It’s on our family blog, and was the first time we took our boys to WDW. It sounds like our stories will have a lot in common.
(Actually, the link will take you to all of Feb 2014. The first installment is towards the bottom of the page.)


Ohhhhh a cliff hanger!!! Can’t wait for your next installment!

(This is more intense than the Y&R!!!)

Seriously, thanks for beginning your tale and am looking forward to more!

(moving my carpet square next to @SallyEppcot and hoping she shares her gummies!)

and of course beside @Ellen1976 too! :slight_smile:


Congratulations, you are going to Disney World!! Yes we all love trip reports, both the planning and the actual trip itself. You tell the tale well!

Caution though, we took our 2 kids in 2006 for their first trip at the ages of 6 and 3 before we began planning for child number 3. There was no intention for it to be more than our first family vacation together. Eight years later, we have taken a trip every year except the year third child was born. Disney is addictive!

Can’t wait to hear more :smile:


Of course I’ll share my gummies. I hope there will be photos of adorable children. I live for those.


I love this description lol. Please do share in our craziness.


Oh! I love this! You understand! You have it! I cannot wait for more! Thank you for making me smile!


I love it when other people become Disney junkies just like we are! Can’t wait to follow along!


I love this, too! And experienced a similar…transformation…planning our May trip (which was a first visit for everyone in our family but me). Now we’re going back (just DH and I) in January! :smile:


Someone is complaining about the goofy gummies over in the unforum right now — are you trying to make people use the TP touring plan?


I bought a futon we can all jump up on! Where’s part 2?!?!?


exciting! will be reading with interest as we do our first WDW trip next year.
(have done DLR but feel like this is 100% new for us, squee!)


I’m not trying to do anything. I just like gummies. :slight_smile:


Oh, this is gonna be good! I’m in the same “shrinking-window” boat @JonMcIntosh, just a little further on with a DS13 and DD19, this is the last chance to do it with kids still under the same roof - and without grandkids??? Did I just say that?

Keep it up. You’ve got us gripped.


Looking forward to more! We’ll be there the week of Thanksgiving too! :slight_smile:


@thechindo, I feel you! We have DD16 and DD13 and a trip planned for the week after Thanksgiving next year. It does feel like a shrinking window, doesn’t it? That’s one of the reasons I love trip reports… Especially with pictures!

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SallyEppcot - I just read your trip report - it was wonderful! My son is 8 and we are going in January, I hope the weather is warm enough to swim, as we are staying at AoA and I know he will love the pool there. And, thanks to your trip report, I just scheduled LTT.

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