Cast of Characters:
Me, (yes, I choose pirate, because I am not a pirate princess. I am a pirate or a princess, depending on who you ask) I love all things Disney. I am a huge fan of all the movies and the parks. May first trip was in 3rd grade over April vacation with my mom and grandparents. I don't remember too much about it, but I do remember Figment and the jumping fountains. I went again my senior year of high school over Christmas and I had a great time. I got to have breakfast in MGM with Aladdin and Jasmine!
I have also had the opportunity to go to Disneyland Paris before I started law school and just last year I got to visit Disneyland and California Adventure for the first time. I also got to go to WDW over Spring Break when I was in law school.
I never knew how much planning need to take place for these trips, but once I started listening to podcasts and I got the Unofficial Guide (Ding!) I knew I could handle it. Oh yeah, and I found the DIS
DBF, My sweet, wonderful and loving boyfriend. He is the reason that we are able to go on this trip. His job sends him to the same conference every year and this year it is at the Dolphin! We've also been able to go to Boston, New Orleans, and Anaheim (hence the Disneyland trip) thanks to this conference. Next year the conference is in...... Philadelphia!!! Um, yeah, I don't think I'll be joining him for that one.
He enjoys Disney and tolerates my obsession with it (which has only grown worse). He has been there before with his BFF's family and he was at DL with his dad when he was little.
DM, My mom! I love her! When she found out that we were going, she decided to go with us so that I wouldn't have to be alone (yeah, I know I would have been fine on my own, but she still likes to feel needed). She didn't know that DB and DSF2 would be joining us. She accepts my obsession and still occasionally buys me movies (which always seem to disappear at the hands of my goddaughter).
She went twice before with me and loves how excited her grown-up kid gets at the parks. She was begging me to see It's a Small World.
DSF1, My step-father. They were high school sweethearts and they reconnected about 9 years ago and got married 7 years ago. I am so thankful that he is there for her since I live four hours away from him. He went to WDW when he was a kid, but this is almost like his first time all over again. I'm pretty sure that his favorite attraction was the Country Bear Jamboree since he is in a blue grass band.
BF's DB, 10 DB and DSF2 live with us, so I was a little concerned about them joining us. On many occasions, DBF and I are the ones being the "parenting coach" so that one day DB will grow up to be a wonderful man. He loves wrestling (WWE). When I first met him when he was five, he was able to imitate all of the moves of all of the wrestlers on the Monday and Thursday shows. He does watch the Disney Channel and asked me if he would be able to see some of the characters at the parks (Zach and Cody, Raven, umm... the other kids). He was a little bit disappointed when I told him probably not, but he was excited about meeting Stitch.
He and DSF2 were at DL and DCA in December 2004 with some family members and I do remember him saying how much he loved California Screamin' when he got back.
He did have to "earn" this trip. What we originally set up was a challenge, but absolutely achieveable. DSF2 screwed it up and made it easy beyong belief for him. The only reason that he had to earn the trip was becuase he was struggling in school and getting in trouble with us. He also has travelled a lot having family in Australia (been there twice since I've know him and once before that). At least one of the Australia trips included touring China and Vietnam, and there was an additional China/Vietnam trip before I met him.
BF's DSF2, Hmm... He is a good man, but as I said, sometimes I feel like a parenting coach and sometimes like a baby sitter with him. Here's how he screwed up the earning system: DB need to get a certain number of A's before the trip (15 I think). 2 B's could count as one A. When we set up the system, there was about 12 weeks until the trip. DB had been getting A's in most of his weekly spelling tests and not doing as well in the other classes. Oh yeah, if he got an F he would need to make up an extra A for the F. DSF2 had a points system in place for chores, etc that he could use to get toys and games.
Well, as I envisioned it, the A's system was to be completely independent of any other rewards set in place. But... It didn't happen that way. DSF2 allowed DB to "purchase" A's along the way, so in about 6 weeks, he had earned the trip.
All that being said, DB has proven that he can get A's and B's with a little bit more work, therefore, other rewards will not be earned so easily. Oh yeah, if this ever happens again, I'll manage the chart or they will have to pay for their own hotel room.
Already starting out good with that combination isn't it? (I did my best with the charaters, but the only one that is really true to the personality is mine)
Clarification, DSF=Dear Step Father.