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Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Big Reveal

We finally decided to tell Cate we're headed to Disney World soon. We didn't tell her when we first booked the trip because we knew we'd be asked nightly when we were going. On a rare Tuesday afternoon date, Eric and I headed up to the mall, to the Disney Store, to buy water bottles and light-up toys for the kids. We figured we would give them to Cate and Brennan when we told them we were going to go. As we were checking out, the cashier asked if we were buying them for Disney World. We told her yes and that we were actually planning to tell her that night. (Sidenote: Brennan has no clue what Disney World is, though he does like watching the episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse that we've downloaded from iTunes...but he's free at the park and so I'm not trying to leave him out or anything, but this was a much bigger deal for Cate).

Anyway, the cashier proceeded to tell us, that if we wanted to bring Cate up to the store, we could tell her there. Apparently they do this a lot-- they put your kids' names on the screen, get the whole store's attention, and give you a special certificate (they will do this for any special occasion, not just going to Disney World). There are digital fireworks that go off throughout the store and special music plays.  She told us Saturdays were best because they have the most staff there. And we decided that would be perfect. They can do a little parade around the store, but we opted out of that.

To say Cate was surprised was an understatement. She was definitely surprised and a little overwhelmed. You should know that we don't have cable or satellite, so other than a few commercials she's caught on the rare nights when she's been up for prime time TV, she really doesn't "get" what Disney World is. We've been trying to give her a little more of an idea these last few days leading up to her surprise by downloading a free Disney Land (not the same, but gave her an idea of what it was) app for the iPad and watching a few commercials on YouTube. When we went to the mall, she was expecting an Auntie Anne's pretzel. Instead, she learned she was going to be taking her first trip to Disney World.
 She called her and Brennan's certificates their "invitations." She was also excited by the light-up toys we got (for the parades and night shows down there) and her new Tangled water bottle (Brennan got a Mickey Mouse one) since it will be hot when we go.

A coworker of mine suggested getting Cate some starter pins for the pin trading at Disney on eBay. A little known fact about me: I am a HUGE Disney nerd and weirdly know a lot of Disney trivia. I used to want to be an Imagineer.  Anyway, I'm not sure when pin-trading began, but it was just gaining popularity when my family took a trip on spring break my sophomore year of high school and it had exploded by the time we went again two years later. So I've been collecting pins since then. Besides the ones I've purchased or traded at Disney World, I have one for Disneyland from when Eric and I went there pre-kids, and a couple from the Hilton Head Island Resort. I got my lanyard when I was there to run the Disney Marathon in 2007. It was the "year of a million dreams" and we got stopped by a surprise squad in Animal Kingdom who gave Eric and I each a lanyard with two commemorative pins.

 The pins you buy in the park start around $5 a piece-- way too much for a pre-schooler to buy and then trade. But my coworker suggested eBay. There are a lot of sellers on there who sell authentic Disney pins and have great deals on starter collections. Cate got 10 pins and a lanyard for $15! And the Disney cast members at the park have to trade when kids ask (apparently they are given pins before their shifts for this purpose). I asked the eBay seller to not include any Nightmare Before Christmas  or villains pins since Cate is four. S/he was great and gave us a few Mickey's, a Tigger, a dwarf, a muppet (Beaker...I may make her keep that one or trade with her), Donald, and a Pluto. She's all set.
Today's events have me even more excited for our trip! I can't wait. As a 30th birthday present to me, my parents paid for my Keys to the Kingdom tour, which I'll be doing one morning while Eric and the kids hang out at the resort pool. 

I think the above video should work. We'll see.

~Melody :-)


Emily said...

So, I'm not gonna lie. I totally cried watching this. I am such a sentimental nut when it comes to Disney World. It's an incredibly special place for anyone, child or adult. Your kids are going to have such a blast.. and trust me, Cate WILL remember this! I remember celebrating my 5th birthday there. We were watching the fireworks at the Castle at midnight and my Mom bent down to me and said "Happy birthday, Emily!" and it was one of the greatest moments of my life. You and Eric are awesome parents for taking your kids to this amazing place. Have a wonderful time!!! :) (Oh and I knew NOTHING about these pins... I guess I'll have to start collecting them for our first Disney trip with the boys, two years from now!)

Carly said...

I loved the video. I;m sure Cate will love Disney. If you guys have some extra time when you are down here and want to get together let me know. If not no worries, I know how busy vacations can be. The pin trading is pretty big. I had no idea you could get them online cheaper.

Confessions From A Work-At-Home Mom said...

I had NO idea that the Disney workers had to trade if a child asked - I think I'm going to follow your lead and get some pins off eBay before we go in August.

Loved the video - thank you for posting it!!!