It started with a simple e-mail from a friend. Before Disney had even announced their new “Let the Memories Begin” promotion, I was planning a surprise trip to Disney for myself and my two girls with my husband’s blessing for New Year’s weekend. That was back in April and now here we are, less than 30 days away from the Christmas morning surprise. I don’t know how it’s all going to play out. We’ve never surprised them before. The girls, now 12 and 14, have always known about our Disney trips well in advance and have been in on the dining reservations and everything. This time will be different. They’ll have just 3 days to get ready and all the plans are made already. Even I’m not completely sure where we are eating and which parks we are visiting!
How did we get from there to here? My friend lives in Australia. Her daughter has been friends with my girls since their first visit to our home in 2003. We were both members of the MouseForLess group and realized that we would both be at Disneyworld at the same time during the Christmas season. Part of their trip to the U.S. took them through our area and I invited them to stop by so that we could meet before heading down to Florida where we’d meet up again. We reunited in 2007 at Disneyworld and everyone had a great time. Since that time, the girls have kept in touch by mail and now by Facebook. So when I heard that they were coming back to the states, I couldn’t resist a chance to get everyone together again even if for a short time. But how was I going to do all of the planning without giving anything away? Fortunately our travel agent at The Magic for Less Travel and my good friend pitched in and did all of the work for me. The only thing left to do was book a flight and keep everything a secret. This was easier said than done! We started this whole process back in April. It’s been so hard playing it straight when the girls have mentioned going back to Disneyworld or when my oldest mentioned that she asked her friend when she was coming back to the states. Fortunately, I have a few Disney junkie friends that I can talk to and who will keep my secret.
And so now the time is near. The plan is to have a large box filled with Disney Mylar balloons wrapped and under the tree. When the box is opened Christmas morning, if all goes well, the balloons will pop up and out and a sign attached will read, “You’re going to Disneyworld!” My husband better make sure he has that video camera ready. That’s the first part of the surprise. Seeing their friend at our first dining reservation when we get there is the second part of the surprise. So if you want to find out whether we pull this off or not, stay tuned. Part II of this blog will be posted soon! Keep your fingers crossed.
By Jeannette Cona-Larock
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