Long-Term Planning

So, our last (and first-ever) Walt Disney World trip was, in many ways, a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip. A majority of the cost of the trip was covered by a small inheritance from my grandmother (I think I’ve mentioned that here before), so we were able to do it up in ways that we could never afford to out of our own pockets (like staying at the Polynesian Concierge Level). We had a wonderful time and all I’ve been able to think about since we left is when and how we’d get back to visit WDW again.

Squeaker (who is now four-years-old) has been talking about going back to Disney World a LOT lately as well (he talks about going to Disneyland too, but that’s another story that I’m going to save for another entry). He was pretty shy during our trip, and wasn’t quite ready to try a lot of the attractions. He’s already talking like he’s ready for more. And the Bug is always ready for more Disney. Mrs. AJRitz has taken a bit more convincing. There are plenty of long-delayed projects around the house that she wants to get going on. And she wonders about other travel destinations (I’m pretty convinced at this point that I don’t much care about other destinations). And she has some perfectly legitimate budget concerns.

But I’ve finally prevailed – we have a trip on the calendar. It won’t be until Winter 2013, but I’ve been given the go ahead to start getting organized and doing the budgeting for it. I’m looking very seriously at going ahead and buying our tickets before the next round of expected price increases in August. That would allow us to buy child tickets for The Bug (even though she’ll be 10-years-old by the time we use them) and avoid a couple of rounds of price increases. I tried to covince Mrs. AJRitz that we should go ahead and buy tickets now for a 2015 trip as well, but she wasn’t sold on that one. :p

It’s a long way away, but at least I have a trip to look forward to. And by the January/February 2013 timeframe we’re looking at, the Fantasyland Expansion project should either be complete or at least mostly complete. With two full years to plan, and one trip already under my belt, this trip should run perfectly! 🙂 So the only question remaining is, do we make it another surprise trip, or do we let the kids help with the planning (and deal with the inevitable “how many more days until Walt Disney World” for two years)?

4 thoughts to “Long-Term Planning”

  1. I’m not sure if you’d be able to get the Bug child tickets. I know a child’s age as the first time they USE the ticket is what stays with them through the life of the ticket, but buying a child ticket and having an “adult” use it might run afoul of Disney’s rules. And I’d certainly never suggest its ok to have a 10 year old use a child’s ticket, but rumor has it that it’s been done before. 😉
    As far as surprise vs helping plan: we’ve never had our trips be a surprise. We ask the kid’s input on restaurants & shows, etc. We really don’t get a lot of pestering, but then again, they’ve been there quite frequently and with their Grandma & Grandpa living down there, they know they’ll be back a lot more in the future…

  2. Actually, I looked into the ticket question. Disney won’t “age out” a ticket. As long as the child’s age past nine at least roughly matches the time since the ticket was purchased, there’s no problem with using the old ticket.

  3. I’ve gotta say this… as far as the surprise vs. helping plan argument, you know your kids best. I was never surprised with a trip by my parents growing up. I think it would have been a really cool surprise and I would have loved it, but at the same time I was always neck deep in the planning with my Mom. I think that especially by 10 years old the Bug would probably really love the planning part. I think my suggestion would be to get them some of the kid’s planning books and get online with them and let them make and order the customized maps on the Disney website and just have fun with the whole process.

    At the same time though, if you decide to surprise them, they will have a blast either way.

  4. That’s good to know about the tickets vs. age question. Never knew that before.

    I could go either way on surprise vs. no surprise. Given that it’s a couple years out, I probably wouldn’t say anything now. For our family, we haven’t tried surprising the kids yet. We did a countdown calendar and let them plan, just because sometimes the anticipation is half of the fun. But we’ve also talked about trying a surprise trip sometime. I don’t think you can go wrong either way.

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