Getting Ready

I always put together stuff for our trips so part of getting ready for me is always making things like countdown calendars and T-Shirt logos.. As you may have seen from our last trip, we did up custom T-shirts for out trips. For WDW we did a plain white T and a tie-dye'd version using this logo:

we got lots of compliments on the tie-dyed shirts - we were quite the site walking around

So I decided to put together some designs with a Halloween theme to them. For this one I'll probably turn the black to transparent if we do them on black Ts:

This one seems a bit on the plain side, but still has a good Disney Halloween feel.

I like the way this next one turned out - just a simple smilin' Jack 

And here's my favorite, another Jack Skellington logo:

Here is how some of them turned out:

We also do countdown calendars so the kids can pull off a Mickey Head each day as we get closer and closer to vacation time.

I also wanted to throw in a little personal and family history here to try and explain why I'm such a Disney nut ;-]


The first time was part of a one week whirlwind adventure in a rented Chevy Citation (now THAT was a stylin' ride!) in 1976. It was me (age 7), my big sister (age 11) and my mom and ex stepdad. We hit Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Lion Country Safari (now closed), Sea World, and the San Diego Zoo.

I have no pictures from the trip. It seems like there should have been some, but nobody seems to know about them. Due to this I did some fishing on flickr and snagged a couple of images that other people took on trips there in '76 

Disney itself was a bit of a blur, us trying to cover everything in one hot summer day. I specifically remember all of the red-white-and-blue theming for the Bicentennial. I also remember how cramped the submarine was and how much walking we did. Some of the high points were PoTC, Peter Pan's Flight, and the Matterhorn.

From a nostalgia point of view I am happy to have been one of those "older folks" who go to ride on the Skyway

I really liked the "America on Parade" uhhhh, parade ;-]  Here's a sticker they sold at the parks during it.

I was going to post pictures of the parade, but found several sites the do the nostalgia thing a lot better than I ever could and I'm sure those of you who have the itch will be able to find them easy enough.

I remember REALLY wanting to ride up in the top bubble of the monorail. And no, it didn't happen.

And then there was the big letdown. I couldn't ride Space Mountain :-[  I sat outside the gleaming white facade while Menudo (or at least that year's incarnation of them) were performing in front of it. I remember looking forlornly at it while they danced and sang. To this day I still equate the name Menudo to tragic disappointment - lol

But then there was the end of the day and my curbside seat for the Main Street Electrical Parade. That was the capper, that was the one bit that really got me. Without knowing it then, it is what really made me the Disney fan that I am today.

There was a feeling of total immersion in the experience. The lights, the theme song (which still gives me a bit of a charge when I hear it), and the pure Disney magic of it. It was a perfect way to end the evening and it washed away any tiredness I may have felt. I remember going to sleep in the hotel room humming the song (much to the consternation of my big sister, with whom I was sharing a bed - lol).


Even though I had that Disney magic, it lay dormant inside me for the next 29 years.  It wasn't until my daughters were old enough to really enjoy Disney (ages 5 & 8 at the time) that we planned a trip. I planned it and it was a bit of a goof on my part as to when we went.

I found a website that showed crowd levels and apparently the week after new years was some of the lowest numbers in the park. What I neglected to cross-reference it with was the amount of rainfall that So Cal gets in early January. Soooo, we basically went there during the wettest month of the year, go figure.

It was to be a 3 day visit to the parks. part of it would be just us, the other part with one of my bro-in-law's and his family. Granted, we had a lot of fun and the rides that were open had basically no lines. Unfortunately it rained for over half the time we were there, ending with an outright downpour that flooded parts of CA.

Here are some pics from that little adventure. They are a bit grainy as they are actually captures from video that I took there:

Any you may have wondered about Bean's haircut being kind of "boyish". The little imp had decided to give herself a haircut a week before we left. That was how short it had to go to even out the chunks she had taken out of it - lol

There are more pictures but not too many as it was too wet much of the time we were there to film stuff. And a lot of them were just the girls posed by all of the different themed Mickeys they had stationed around CA.

But as I said, no lines. Among the stuff we rode:

Matterhorn - 4 times
PoTC - 8 times
Splash Mountain - 4 times
All the fantasyland rides multiple times
Soarin' - 3 times
ToT - 7 times for Bean (I only rode it 3 times)
Haunted Mansion - closed to change back from the Nightmare Before Christmas theme.  We were VERY disappointed about that.

AAAAANNNNNDDDDD - SPACE MOUNTAIN - CLOSED FOR REFURB!!!!! . Also, no parades and no fireworks due to a mix of off season and bad weather.

So obviously there was some stuff we missed out on. It was part of the reason I started planning our 2008 WDW trip back in 2006. I wanted to make sure we didn't miss out on anything ...or at least see as much as we could without going crazy or having our feet fall off.

So there ya go - a brief interlude on what has made me a bit of a Disney nut.  Hope you enjoyed it.