Pre-Trip Two Vets set to drag 2 first timers through the world! Project Niece and Nephew Part 1

Mainahman

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Alright,

I know i just finished my Trip report for my wife and I's little getaway for hitting 10 years of marriage, but really what am i going to do with myself for the next 278 days and counting.

Here i will go ahead and introduce you to the clan on this trip, and Chronicle what i hope to be a pretty unique surprise!


As ,mentioned in my trip report, the first night there, we called and used the bounce back offer to book a trip for my oldest Niece and Nephew for their First ever trip! This is part of a multi year plan to get everyone to the world to experience it at least once in their life, and hopefully extend the love of the parks to the next generation, as my wife and I have no children of our own, and my Daughter ( step Daughter) is already addicted.

We will be arriving on the 5th of July, and leaving on the 11th of July. This also encompasses my wife's birthday on the 9th. So lets call it a 2 for trip :)

Heres the Motley Crue!

DW- My wife, whos more addicted to the parks than me i think
DN- My Neice Hannah. This will be her very first trip, and shes now 17,
DNF- My Nephew Henry he will be 13 at time of travel.
and of course ME!!!


SO quick story, we are not originally from TN, like everyone here were transplants, Shocker right? for most of the kids lives, we were right on top of them, within 5 minutes, and they were at the house all the time. Then came 2014, when we moved here for work. There have been few and far between trips either for them to come here, or us to go there, but we really haven't had the quality time that we once had with them.

For the longest time, we have wanted to take them, as every time we go, we bring them back something, and they see the photos, and hear the stories, but really have no idea what were talking about. I know deep down, my sister in law would love love love to take them, but just cant financially do it. To me that is where we come in.

My wife and i work hard, and are blessed these days, that finally we can afford to do it!

With that said, there currently is a 3 year plan

2020 Hannah and Henry
2021 My youngest Nephew, and youngest niece
2022 My sister in law adult only trip.

This kills several birds with 1 stone. 2020 puts us there for things opening in 2020, 221 hopefully for some early celebrations for the 50th, and 2022 hopefully most of EPCOT is ready to be launched.

Now July is never a time i say " hey lets go to Disney" No usually you say its really freaking hot outside, wheres the AC??

However, with school being out, in the north, and how unpredictable Maine weather is, we figured July is a safe bet. Lets face it, if they are still going to school in July, there's bigger problems for sure!

Now i must now divulge this information.. No one knows... well my sister inlaw knows, but thats it. My wife went up for a visit a few weeks before we were to go on our small get away trip, and asked her sister if it was OK. She didnt want to offend her, or make her sad because she cant do it for them, so we wanted to make sure we had her blessing to do so, and she said yes so it was on!


On the Drive back we kept awake by brainstorming on how to tell the kids, could we get a custom character call? can we send them something, what can we do? Nothing was coming to us.. Fast forward a week or so, we had gone to dinner, and i mentioned " i wish there was some kind of box subscription thing we could send" so like many times, my DW is so smart! ( no she didn't pay me to say that, however she will agree) She found one, and we started looking at them... Then we decided, Hey!! We can do that, cheaper, and more personal. SO in that came the plan of a box for them all.

2 that will be CONGRATS your going to DISNEY WORLD!!!!

and 2 that say DONT think we forgot you your next!

Now this actually works out in a lot of ways!

My youngest Nephew has some health issues with his legs, and has had to have surgery, so this wait time allows him to fully heal, and make sure hes strong and ready to drag us around for a week ha!

my youngest niece actually just spent the summer with us, so in all reality to be fair to her brothers and sisters that didn't get to come with her.

This is the Plan for the Boxes for the two going this year ( im still brainstorming how to do the " dont think we have forgotten you" boxes)

Letter from their favorite character welcoming them and congratulating them.
Park Maps from each park so they can do some planning and let us know what is a must do for them
Custom videos explaining the ins and outs of each park ( they have no idea what is there, as they haven't been exposed very much to them or even know there are that many)
Disney themed games, and other travel games for the drive
Some sort of early trinket or gift(s), such as a water bottle, blanket, or something else we can get from Shop Disney.
and whatever else we can come up with and fit in the box.

We will be getting their flights as well, so My mother inlaw even gets a break! She will fly down with them, and stay at the house for a week, help my daughter with the dogs and fish and all of that, and keep tabs on the house, and we will take the kiddos on a trip of a lifetime.


So far ive got a first draft of the Letters, i really wish i could find a downloadable template that was just like Walt Disney world stationary, but thus far i haven't.
Now that Disney doesn't do the planning DVDS, i have had to get Creative, and having to do some fancy stuff with YouTube to make up some videos and such to get in the box so they can see what we have got them into!

Another member in another forum here gave me an idea for custom shutterfly books, so im going to look into that with some photos of our last couple trips so they can have some photos of important things in the parks, like dole whips! Ha!

Follow along for all the fun we will have trying to count down a long time, and the building of the boxes!

If you have any ideas along the way shout em out :)
 

mergatroid

Well-Known Member
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Hope you have a great trip, sounds great.
 

Mainahman

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thanks all!! I've got to work on the video portion and get some cardstock for the maps. I want these guys to be up to date and ready to set their Destiny, and pick what rides they want to do. Also if anyone has any suggestions for a good buffet for semi picky eaters that would be super helpful! We always do one sit down meal out of pocket, and thought a buffet would work best for them.
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Thanks all!! I've got to work on the video portion and get some cardstock for the maps. I want these guys to be up to date and ready to set their Destiny, and pick what rides they want to do. Also if anyone has any suggestions for a good buffet for semi picky eaters that would be super helpful! We always do one sit down meal out of pocket, and thought a buffet would work best for them.
I love all this! For the boxes?....matchingish tshirts? (I love the tshirt thing.)You could do same color but different designs etc...if you are not into matching.
Just my two cents.
 

Mainahman

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I love all this! For the boxes?....matchingish tshirts? (I love the tshirt thing.)You could do same color but different designs etc...if you are not into matching.
Just my two cents.
Weve actually discussed that, for at least 1 day. since its july, it would be matching Tank tops, but definitely are looking into that.
 

ladydi

Active Member
My daughter is an extremely picky eater at age 16. We’ve had success at Bomas and to a lesser extent Biergarten.
 

Laura Loves Tigger

Well-Known Member
Since this is their first trip, maybe a character buffet? Chef Mickey's for the iconic ones, or Crystal Palace if they prefer the Pooh characters. They will see people of all ages, including tables of just adults so they shouldn't feel they are too old as teenagers.
 

Mainahman

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Since this is their first trip, maybe a character buffet? Chef Mickey's for the iconic ones, or Crystal Palace if they prefer the Pooh characters. They will see people of all ages, including tables of just adults so they shouldn't feel they are too old as teenagers.
See thats what i was thinking myself, we have never done any character dining, but we always do one out of pocket sit down meal a trip. usually its Yak and Yeti, but we figured that wed change it up for them. im having a hard time explaining to my wife, that its OK to go to other resorts to eat Ha! My oldest niece is a huge elephant fan, so id say dumbo, which doesnt meet, but who doesnt love Pooh? LOL, but like you said, who doesnt love the Fab 5!
My daughter is an extremely picky eater at age 16. We’ve had success at Bomas and to a lesser extent Biergarten.
My wife was considering Liberty Tree Tavern...
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
See thats what i was thinking myself, we have never done any character dining, but we always do one out of pocket sit down meal a trip. usually its Yak and Yeti, but we figured that wed change it up for them. im having a hard time explaining to my wife, that its OK to go to other resorts to eat Ha! My oldest niece is a huge elephant fan, so id say dumbo, which doesnt meet, but who doesnt love Pooh? LOL, but like you said, who doesnt love the Fab 5!

My wife was considering Liberty Tree Tavern...
I second Chef Mickeys. Food is really good. The service is meh. But you do get the iconic fab 5!
Just took my 16 YO nephew and he was really excited to meet the characters.
 

ladydi

Active Member
I second Chef Mickeys. Food is really good. The service is meh. But you do get the iconic fab 5!
Just took my 16 YO nephew and he was really excited to meet the characters.
My picky eater loved Chef Mickeys for breakfast for the meet and greet...but didn’t eat much at all. So it depends on if you want them to eat or just have a fun experience. I think some of the buffets that are more expansive (like Bomas) give you more of an opportunity to find something you like. But I agree that the character meals are fun and give the teens a chance to interact.
 

Mainahman

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thanks all! We're not rich by any means, but to me no price is too much for them, as this could be thier once in a lifetime trip. Apparently my sister in-law has told them, so I'll have to cut a few things from the surprise box, and demote it to a here's everything you need to know box. I'm not sure they actually believe her, as They have heard that before, so when the boxes actually show up, with actual plane tickets to us, etc. It will still be a surprise.
 

Mainahman

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Long time no post. Ive been poking at stuff, and now that the holidays are over its back to the trip planning. We just got our window for ADRS, and my wife threw me for a loop, and wanted to upgrade to the standard dining, so we could split the days up, and she kept finding great places that they must try ha! So i called in today, paid the difference between the 2 plans, and she continues to setup our meals.

Its looking thus far as Arrival day which is room only we have Boathouse <3 i couldn't be happier to finally try this

Monday Morning is Breakfast at Crystal Palace, and Lunch at Be Our Guest

Tuesday is My favorite Via Napoli for lunch

Wednesday will be a Yak and Yeti Dinner

Thursday is Sci Fi Dine In for the niece and Nephew

Friday is still left to find

Saturday we have nothing as were driving home.

Still a ways off to fastpasses so stay tuned! Only 178 days till were there again.
 

Swissmiss

Premium Member
It’s fantastic that you are able to bring your niece and nephew with you on a trip. I’m sure the memories you will make will be very special to them! Have you gotten them involved a bit in the planning?
 

Mainahman

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
It’s fantastic that you are able to bring your niece and nephew with you on a trip. I’m sure the memories you will make will be very special to them! Have you gotten them involved a bit in the planning?
We have. My wife calls them to ask if they like certain things. Im about to start sending them big ride POVs so they can see what they want, so when fastpass time gets here we know what to grab if theres something hard to get that they want to ride etc.

They honestly have no idea what is there, or what it is sadly, but as we start filling them in, you can see the joy and excitement already.
 

Mainahman

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
SO its been a while, and so much has changed. Weve moved from July 5th to August 9th, and at this point we still will be going.

Here is something i wrote elsewhere on my feelings of this trip.

You can chastise me now, but ill be there August 9th as long as all goes well.

Here are my intentions and thoughts.

Sure, the parks will not " be the same" but will they ever really be the same? Maybe I have to wear a mask, maybe i wont by then. But ask yourself this. will it change the wonder in a child's eyes the first time they see Pirates, or the first time you bite into that Churro. Do these memories change? No!

Sure there's no fast pass, something our family has hated, as we want to experience as we feel, not as we planned 6 months ago. Lets throw the clipboard of fun into the lagoon! The teary eyes when i drive under the welcome sign wont change.

There's silver linings in it all. Sure the park hours will be less, but if lines are shorter, and there's less guests, does one really need a 14 hour park day to " be on vacation"?

For us i say no. We are multi timers, and are lucky enough to live around 9 to 10 hours from the parks. We drive. We can be there tomorrow if we needed to be. We go about once a year.

For us Meet and Greets aren't something on our radar, neither is the 3 pm parade, but i will gladly point you there and tell you the time if you ask ;) we dodge parades to ride our favorite attractions. Most of the time we try to dodge fireworks to grab an illusive ride on Peter Pans flight as we didn't get up early enough to get a fastpass.

We will relish these memories that this trip presents. Sure it wont be"The same" but for my niece and nephew that have never been, its more than a trip to Disney, Its one on one time with their Aunt and Uncle that moved away 6 years ago, and they never get to see. Its their first dolewhip, its their first Mickey pretzel. Its their first Safari. They are teenagers. Seeing the characters from the bridge and saying thats Mickey Mouse, is good enough for them.
Sure i want them to experience the fireworks, and no one does them better, and maybe by august they will, but if not, its more time to spend with them. Maybe we go to the springs, maybe we have a movie night in our room with our Disney Plus. Maybe we get up early and make a special pre day breakfast ( we have a suite this trip kind of exctited) to get charged for what park we have a reservation that day. Lots of personal magic can be made.

Sure the parks "Wont be the same" but they are different every single day. There will still be magic, some you may have to invent yourself, but, that is what Walt intended all those years ago. Its much more than the attractions, or the meet and greets, its the time spent with family that you will remember for ever and ever.

WIth the above being said. Travel has changed. We will go up late july to get them by car. We will then drive them back here, get them settled, and then head off to Disney for a week of Magic :)

Looks like my daughter is going home for her birthday at somepoint, so she will go ahead and take the kids home for us. So much has changed, but i cant wait to see the wonder in their eyes!
 

Mainahman

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Man were getting almost daily calls from back home, My sister inlaw keeps calling to find out what they need, and the kids keep getting more excited. Looks like we will drive up to maine July 16th and 17th ( im totally over doing a straight shot through the night) visit family on the 18th, drive back on the 20th and 21st. Yay for having a ton of FTO... im at the point that i have to just take random days off, otherwise i get no more... then they will settle and get ready for the drive to Disney. I really hope Disney surprises us and keeps the Halloween party opening night, as my Nephew is already finding costumes he wants to dress as. We had to shoot down the headless horseman as he forgot florida was hot... and its august were going... I really cant wait even with restrictions to make memories with those 2.
 

Mainahman

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
And so much can change in just a few short days. The trip back to get the kids in July is off, in a way.My wifes grandmother back home has been battling cancer for a very long time. She would beat one, and another would pop up again. She has been on hospice, but because she chose to not fight anymore, to enjoy her last days with her loved ones. Everything was looking good, my wife had decided to make the trip that was supposed to be myself and my dog since it would be a quick trip to just fetch the kids, but she wanted to go to see nana one more time.

Well that all changed yesterday. Earlier last week, we got told her hospital bed had been delivered but she refused to use it, it was uncomfortable, and she couldnt sleep with Grampy, and she didnt want to use it. We figured that was a good sign that she was still spunky.

Then the phone rang yesterday from my mother inlaw. We were told that Nana would be going on oxygen, and given some meds to help her forget that shes in pain.
We later talked to my Wifes Aunt, and she said if she makes it to friday, everyone will be shocked.

My wife and My daughter left first thing this morning to drive back to Maine to see Nana one more time. I remain at home to care for the fish, and the dogs, and such.

We both are lucky in a sense that we can work from anywhere, so we packed my wifes laptop, and extra monitor, and off they went this morning.

Shes planning to be there up to 2 weeks depending on what happens once she gets there, and such. The kids however will be coming back with her when she comes back home, so we wont have to go back in july to get them before Disney.

With all the rumors of Disney moving you to a better resort when you return because its what they have open. I pray they put us at boardwalk. It was Nanas favorite place at Disney. They would tell us stories of walking around that area, and how alive it was, and how much fun they had.

Hug your loved ones., you never know when you may never be able to.

More to come once Disney announces more.
 

Swissmiss

Premium Member
Sorry to hear about your wife’s grandmother. I’m glad your wife’s work is flexible enough for her to be able to be where she needs to be right now.
 

Mainahman

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Sorry to hear about your wife’s grandmother. I’m glad your wife’s work is flexible enough for her to be able to be where she needs to be right now.
Thank you! We both work for the same company, Weve been home for a good 12 weeks or so id say now, our offices are pretty much still closed. Its a wonderful thing to be able to up and go at a moments notice. She should be there tomorrow morning, and ill know more for sure at that point. Disney in August is our distraction right now.
 
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