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Operation: Make her head explode

Posted by Missy on January 21, 2011 in Adventures in Abbydom, My People, Oh the Places You'll Go |

Photo credit: Hank Goldwasser

In exactly 34 days, Mom, Brian, Abby and I will be boarding an airplane and heading to Florida to begin Operation:  Make Abby’s Head Explode. This is also known in some circles as Abby’s first trip to Walt Disney World, which will coincide with her 4th birthday.

We’ve been planning this trip for just about a year, and the tactical maneuvering necessary to get a party of 8 in the same place at the same time in a location as widespread and varied as Walt Disney World is not unlike a military strike. (Or so I imagine, having never been in the military.)

We’ve got a detailed itinerary which includes everyone’s day(s) of arrival and departure, what hotels we’re staying in, which park(s) we’re visiting on which days and where we’re having dinner every single night. Just arriving is a headache since we’re actually not starting out at the World at all. Mom and I will be presenting workshops at the Florida Creativity Weekend in Sarasota first. Then we’ll drive up to Orlando. Jonathan and Emily will fly directly to Orlando on Sunday and meet us at the hotel. Grandma Judy and Bapa Fred will drive up from the Sarasota area on Monday. I’ve spent 4,000 hours on the phone with Disney central reservations making and re-making dining reservations, changing restaurants, nights, numbers of guests, and more. We’re leaving as few details to chance as possible. For example:

On the day before Abby’s birthday, we’re heading to Sea World, to see the fish and mammals and stuff. We’ve already got a stroller reserved and our parking pass in hand. Then we’re going to check in at the Grand Floridian Hotel (which has been on my bucket list [and Mom's] forever) where we have rooms with a theme park view. (Discounted with a code found at MouseSavers.) We’ll have dinner at the hotel, go to sleep early (yeah, right) and wake up bright and early the next day so that we can…

Take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom, where Abby can go in ahead of the crowd because she has a 9:00 appointment at Cinderella’s Castle for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. There, she will have her hair, makeup, nails and costume done to match whichever princess her heart desires, and the Disney cast members will refer to her as “Your Highness” for the rest of the day. We’ll spend the day at the Magic Kingdom, and a birthday cake will be magically delivered to our table at dinner. We’re looking into having a card signed by Princess Tiana waiting in her hotel room. We are going to make. Her. Head. EXPLODE.

The rest of the vacation is not planned out in quite such exquisite detail, but it’s close. It has to be considering how many people we’re bringing around to the different parks, and making sure that we keep the 4 year old entertained while her grownups are off buying Mickey ears and having a grand time.
I have to say that I am in love with the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and I couldn’t have planned this vacation without it. I fully intend to follow the touring plans for each park we visit or create my own. I was so distraught at the thought that we’d LOST our copy, that I ordered a new one yesterday. As soon as it shipped, Brian found the first copy, so now we have 2. Somehow, this actually brings me an incredible sense of comfort.
I am getting so excited for this trip! The last time I went to Disney was quickie day trip with my Dad and we just went to my favorite park, Epcot. He told me that he couldn’t wait until he was a Grandpa so he could take my kids to Disney. Dad didn’t live long enough to see this trip, but I’m sure he’ll be with us anyway. Damn, I wonder if I need to increase our party size on those dinner reservations again?
[Full disclosure, Disney doesn’t known who I am. Neither does the Unofficial Guide. I just really like them both.]
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