For those keeping count

24 days.

I got a reminder in my email this morning that in two weeks I can complete "online check-in" at the resort. I nearly leaped out of my chair I was so happy, particularly on this dismal rainy Monday. What better to have to look forward to this wet week than a trip to Florida with your little family? Well, besides a nephew, but we won't go there today. Not a good day for talking about babies.

Steve has already expressed his concern about what I will fixate on after we return home from the Happiest Place on Earth. I must admit, I am a bit worried about this too. I have really enjoyed researching this, studying this, learning about how Fastpass works. I have mostly enjoyed watching the youtube videos of attractions and shows with Caroline to better explain what things like Soarin' or Illuminations are. They didn't have Fastpass when I worked there. There also was no Soarin'. So there are some new things for me to experience with Steve and the kids, but watching the Spectromagic parade videos (they retired this parade for now) make me so nostalgic I get teary. I spent 4 months of my life on the parade route, watching Ursula lit up spin by me, watching the lights turn from colors to white, hearing that music. I didn't take it for granted, I knew each night when that parade went by that I was about to get slammed by the crowd getting a snack between the parade and the fireworks and I didn't care. I knew that the end of my work day was watching Tinkerbell fly across the sky and BOOM. Fireworks. Nearly every single night. So really, I think we just need to figure out when we plan to go back to WDW with the kids. I think for now knowing when will tide me over. For now.

It's funny. I worked hard for the mouse at the end of my time there. I would fall into bed early in the morning and wake up a few hours later to catch the bus back to the Magic Kingdom. Once I worked a certain number of hours it was all overtime anyway and what college kid couldn't use some overtime pay? I'd stay on past my shift to lend a hand to my friends and I could always count on Brandon or Shane to bail me out on Popcorn 2, notoriously right in the hub in front of the castle, a beacon for tourists waiting for fireworks or the parade. It was long hard work, but the nostalgia. I can't wait to share it with Steve and the kids. Steve has been of course, but not with me. It's special and there will always only be ONE first trip to Disney. I hope it is the first of many, but in order to ensure that, I have to be sure this gets off without a hitch.

I've been taking the notes I prepared while reviewing my massive Disney Bible, "The Unofficial Guide," and adpating them for use on the trip that will make more sense than say a scribbled on piece of plain white paper tucked into the spine. My fav app Evernote seems to be helping me accomplish this and I think it is going to work out perfectly.
You already know I am a planner, so it should come as no surprise that I have several Evernote notes compiled in a notebook called "WDW." I've got my highlights from the Guide going, a before we go to do list, a tentative game plan, the park hours, all the confirmation numbers for lodging, meals, and stroller rental, and a packing list for myself and the kids. In this age of technology, I am capitalizing. I'm sure as I decode the paraphrased notations I made and random page numbers scribbled on that piece of paper I will create more notes for Evernote.

That's why I also got into the touringplans.com website and checked out the recommended parks for each day we are visiting and let that guide me in the choices I made for when to do what. Brilliant, brilliant website based off the historical findings from the writers of my WDW Bible. I get an alert from them whenever the crowd calculator for one of our vacation days is updated so I don't have to obsess about monitoring this and boy, does that make me happy. I also downloaded their app Lines so we can get real time updates on attraction wait times. So before we promise Ariel's biggest fan that if she eats her dinner we can see the red headed princess, I can check it out on the app. It's not about planning, it's really about preparing.  No one will be happier than my husband who will not take kindly to a long wait when it could have been avoided or having a chat about how we can't see Ariel in action because the line we just arrived at from across the park is too long. Preparation! How do you even explain to a four-year-old what 30 minutes feels like when she cannot stand holding still for the 3 minutes it takes me to part her hair and make pigtails?

We're packing multiple devices; Steve's Blackberry, my iPhone, the iPad. We'll use the iPhone for evernote, the Lines app and photos in the park, along with a point and shoot camera and the Flip. We're planning on watching shows from our DVR on the Xfinity app and streaming movies through Netflix for when the kids need a break or for the grown ups after the shortest members of the fam hit the hay and we find ourselves in a silent darkened hotel room.

That is five electronic devices total, four we plan on carting with us everywhere we go. Four.

Stay tuned for my next Disney blast wherein I discuss convincing my husband we need to invest in a Camelbak day pack.

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