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Entries in birthday (15)

Thursday
Jun042009

Why you should celebrate a birthday at Disney

Goodies from the In-Room Celebration (read more below!)

You've already seen how I'm a complete sucker for Disney Magic.
But what made this trip extra special is that the Twofer turned 6 our first day at Magic Kingdom. We had planned this to take advantage of Disney's "Free on your Birthday" promotion thinking th
is was a real twin discount!

What I quickly learned is that a birthday at Disney is more than free admission. In fact, if you pay your admission (as we did because we bought the dining+room+park tickets package) there are other very cool options to choose from!

Birthday celebrants get special treatment at Disney


If you decide to spend someone's birthday at Disney be sure to a) bring evidence like a driver's license or stamped birth certificate and b) TELL EVERYONE.
We told the folks during check-in and receive our first (yes, we got more than one) surprise bouquet of balloons in the roo
m.


We told the folks at the park entrance and they issued each girl a special birthday button that also had their name on it. This button alerted the staff and other patrons who promptly shouted "Happy Birthday L! Happy Birthday M!" as they walked through the park. Disney characters look for people with these special buttons and make a point to come over to them during the parades. AND, each girl received a separate dessert during lunch at Cinderella's Royal Table with a candle and lots of chocolate goodness (FREE and tasty!).

Birthday Options if you choose not to go for free


First thing we did upon entering the park was head over to guest services (same people who gave the girls their buttons). I presented their birth certificates and told them we had already paid for our park tickets but had heard there were other options. Here they are:

1. Birthday no-return Fast Pass!
Deets: this is the golden ticket o
f Fast Passes. Basically it's a separate card that you can insert into the Fast Pass machine and in return you get a ticket that allows you to get in the Fast Pass line immediately! No return means you don't have to come back to that ride in an hour or later. You get right in the FP line and for us that meant no more than a 10 min wait!

Note:
You can only use the Birthday FP on 6 rides and they give you a list of two groups to choose from (pick 3 rides from each group). However, the list had all the rides we wanted to go on at Magic Kingdom so we were thrilled. Plus, we could still use our room key to get 'regular' Fast Pass t
ickets (with return times) which we used in the early morning. Also - the birthday Fast Pass is good for up to 5 people including the birthday celebrant. That means most families can enjoy the benefits.

2. Gift card good at any Disney hotel, park or downtown Disney gift shop!
The gif card value for a child ticket was $63
.00. This was a terrific thing to have because we knew we would not have to say NO all weekend long to every item they picked up in every little shop. Not only did we not have to say NO, we didn't have to feel the pinch of the wallet coming out when we did say YES!

TWIN Discount Alert: Because we had twins we opted for one of each - one birthday Fast Pass that covered our entire family, and one $63.00 gift card which, if you continue reading, ended up being a treat for ME!

Disney Florist and the "In-Room Celebration"


OK, here is the 'sponsored' po
rtion of this post. It was not my intent because all of my other Disney posts have come straight from me as I surprised the girls and then planned the trip. However, I did reach out to the Disney staff and explained that I was going to be down there covering the Free on Your Birthday with my twins, and that I've been generating a lot of interest from my readers and Twitter friends, and was there anything else I should look into while I'm down there? (pretty much that exact run-on sentence too)

It was then that I was offered the In-Room Celebration to help us celebrate the girls 6th birthday. HOLY MOLY ON A CANNOLI!


This package consists of 5 huge, bright-colored boxes stuffed with goodies and left as a surprise from Mickey and the Gang (Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto).
Needless to say, we were speechless.


The girls, however, were SCREAMING with delight...at 11:30 in the evening. Whatever exhaustion they had felt from dealing with the rain, the wait for the bus, and the ride back to the hotel was gone. Just. Like. That.

If you are planing a birthday at Disney all I can say is GO FOR IT. GO for some kinds of in-room surprise, even just the balloons. My kids were thrilled the first day thinking that Mickey had snuck into their room to deliver the balloons. (They were crazed when they got this mega package!) But the surprise is what made it all so special.

And when all was said and done the girls had enough Disney goodies that my husband suggested I spend the gift card on myself. Which I did.

Read more in this series:
Disney Magic: Now I get it!
Help! Disney World Questions - Need Your Input!
The Twofer Get a Disney Surprise


Enjoying the memories,
Janine

Tuesday
Jun022009

A letter to my daughters for their 6th birthday

M and L 1st Birthday


Dear L & M:
With all the excitement of Disney I neglec
ted to actually wish you a happy birthday here on my blog. Mark that as just another example of how your mother is not perfect. But you already knew that.

So let me officially welcome you to your
childhood years. These are magical years. They are magical because you will enjoy magic without worrying who else believes in it. You will enjoy getting dressed up because you love the dress, and not because the other girls are doing it. You will continue to play in the dirt, with worms, and climb trees just because you can. You will discover new skills, have new experiences, and even a few disappointments. And you will learn and grow from it all.

M turning 1

These are years that you will start to test your independence...and my patience. You will say things to me that I don't want to hear (and I will let you know you've crossed a line). And yet I know you will still cuddle with me, let me read you a book, and most importantly, laugh at my jokes.

L enjoying her 1st birthday

I want you to enjoy these years. I want them to be free of stress and drama because I know what lies ahead in the murky waters of the lands they call Tween and Teen. What you learn now will help you navigate those waters. I will do my best to help you grow to be confident, respectful (of yourself and others), and hopefully love yourself for who you are.

Because I love you just the way you are.

M & L on their 6th Birthday

In six short years
you have grown so much. Already I have seen you puff yourself up with bravery to try new things, confront difficult situations, and even learn to forgive. But don't grow up too fast. Now is the time to slow it down, enjoy these childhood days, savor the magic.

Happy Birthday my little ones.
Love forever and always,
Mommy

Tuesday
May262009

Disney Magic - NOW I get it. I get it and I love it. Here's why...

I believe in Disney magic.
There. I said it.

And, I cried like a baby during the Wishes Fireworks, but more on that later.

Disney Twofer

As you know from my earlier posts we planned a trip to Disney World for the Free on Your Birthday promotion to celebrate the Twofer's 6th birthday. Last week we flew down Wednesday and only had Thursday and Friday to spend at Magic Kingdom but that was enough to catch the bug.


If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed some tweets go by with the hashtag #disneytwofer – that was me and the folks following along on the journey. And it was quite a journey. I may have to break this up into 2 different.

The Magic of Disney at the hotel

OK, there was definitely a line and some time spent waiting for the Disney Magical Express bus. But at least we didn’t have to wait with our big bags, just our carry-on bags. We got to the hotel (we chose Pop Century) and were able to check in right away and enjoy the pool. Later on, our bags were delivered to our room – voila!
Other highlights:
  • The Dining plan felt magical because we didn’t feel the pinch of pulling out our wallets each time we ate.
  • I told the front desk we were celebrating our twin’s birthday and there were balloons and Mickey photos in the room when we returned after dinner!
  • The pool was open until midnight and what is more magical than swimming on a warm Florida night?

Magic at The Magic Kingdom

Rides


On each ride I allowed myself to really see things from a child’s perspective and I’m telling you I remembered. I remembered how excited I was at age 5 to climb aboard Dumbo, and wind through It’s a Small World. I allowed myself to really feel like I was flying over Never Never Land with Peter Pan and witness a battle on Pirates of the Caribbean. I did something I haven’t done in a long time…I used my imagination. And I liked it.

The Castle


I have ALWAYS wanted to go in
that castle. The one way I knew I could get in there was to make reservations to have lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table and seeing as it was the Twofers’ birthday, I knew they would love it too. So this is what it’s like:

First we met and took photos with Cinderella – fabulous blue dress, white gloves, and all.


Then we headed upstairs for our meal and a number of other princesses stopped by our table for autographs and pictures. Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Jasmine were gracious and charming. The dining area had big chairs, wooden beams, and large windows with a view of the park. The food was surprisingly good and the desserts were deeeelish. Throw in some wishing stars and wands and you’ve got Disney magic…bippity, boppity, boo!


After an enormous lunch and all the excitement We headed back to the hotel for a break and returned in the evening for more rides, dinner, and those darn….Fireworks.

The Magical Fireworks


Yes, I cried during the Wishes celebration fireworks. But here’s what was swirling through my head: I remember thinking about what a great day we just had and how good it felt to be able to share this with my girls. MY girls who are no longer babies but big 6 year olds. I thought about all that is wrong in this world, and how lucky I was to have my family safe, healthy, and experiencing this together.

I thought of the Make-A-Wish kids who often get trips to Disney World and what their parents feel as they watch those same fireworks night after night. And then I thought of how my dad, who passed away just weeks after the Twofer were born, would have f-ing LOVED the whole damn thing.

What I realize now is that it was not just the fireworks that brought me to tears. It was the combination of fireworks + touching music about wishes + lack of sleep that most likely caused me to tear up (ok, bawl).

But what happened when we got back to the room was truly magical.
And that you will have to come back to read in my next post…Why you should celebrate a birthday at Disney.

Read more in this series:
Help! Disney World Questions - Need Your Input!
The Twofer Get a Disney Surprise

Wearing my mouse ears,
Janine

Wednesday
May132009

Help! Disney World Questions - Need Your Input!


So first I want to thank my travel agent/stress reliever/ Twitter friend @DailyJen who also has a very funny blog. I bought the Jet Blue tickets on a whim one day when talking with my friend Barb (otherwise known as my Flip Videographer from the Yanni Voices concert).

Anyway, Jen saw me tweeting about Disney and came to my rescue! That is, if everything goes well...no sweat, right Jen?

But even after hours on the phone with her answering hundreds if not thousands of questions...I still have more.

I have decided to give Jen a rest and see if you, my faithful friends, readers, and advice-givers can help me muddle through the crazy World of Disney.

(PS: we are going Wed-Sat. but only Thurs and Fri at Magic Kingdom)

Explain to me again Le Fast Pass?


This really only pertains to Friday since I've heard we'll get some ultimate Fast Pass on Thursday which is the girls actual birthday and we'll be foregoing the FREE part of "free on your birthday" since we paid for the tix in the package, blah, blah, blah.

What rides should we stop at first for a Fast Pass?
How many can I get at one time?

Crocs or sneakers?


I'm going with sneaks but you tell me.

6-year olds in strollers??? Won't people make fun of me?


Apparently there are Disney issued strollers that look more like jogging strollers. Still, my kids haven't been in a stroller since they were 3. I'm not kidding. I don't even know if they'll WANT to sit in one. A wheelchair, definitely! A stroller? I'm not so sure.

But I've heard from people that especially since we've only got 2 days, they will be very long days and as parents, we'll appreciate cutting down on the crankiness by having one of these.

What say you?

Must-See places in Downtown Disney?


We have dinner reservations for the first night but what else should we see while we are there? It will probably be our only time since we'll be at Magic Kingdom the other two days and nights.

Besides the rides, what are other Must-Sees at Magic Kingdom?


Note - we are having lunch at Cinderella's Castle (eee! I just peed a little I'm so excited for that) and so we'll meet some princesses there.
What about places like Ariel's Grotto or other little hideaway places?
Whatever you can tell me....

OK, that's it for now. I welcome any and all advice! Thanks!
Dreaming of Mickey,
Janine

Related Posts: Our Disney Surprise Video

Thursday
May072009

Twofer get surprised with Disney for their 6th Birthday!

Photo of Mouse Ears Credit: Megan Bellamy

I am known for throwing elaborate birthday parties for the Twofer. I do this somewhat unconsciously. I can't help it. It has something to do with the slight depression that comes over me around April. This depression stems from the fact that my dad passed away when El & Em were just 3 weeks old.
Here's the math:

Twofer Birthday + Anniversary of Dad's dying = let's throw a party and keep our mind off of remembering!

Last year's party (over 40 kids) has cured me...I think I'm finally over it.

This year the birthday party will be in Florida at Disney World!


We decided to take advantage of the Free on Your Birthday promotion and plan a little trip to Disney World instead of a big party. Here is what the girls thought when we finally revealed the surprise this past weekend:

This will most definitely be a series of posts and I will provide a running tab and links so you get the whole story no matter where you pick it up.

Looking for my Mouse ears,
Janine

Related posts:
Help! Disney Questions

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