Who: Dad 37, the Wife 36, Momo -13 yo girl and the boy 11 yo.
When: Drive from Utah on December 19th, two days in Vegas, arriving on the 21st.
Why: After doing the World two years ago and a cruise last year, we are returning for another year of Disney. I have read enough trip reports, read through the park guides and converted my own home movies into features. I need to walk under those tunnels again, I need the magic and wonder that I only feel at Disneyland to "fill me up". As my daughter gets closer to some unknown age where whe won't want to spend time with us and my son heads toward his, I become keenly aware of the time that passes despite my greatest wishes and efforts.
How: I have been planning this trip for almost two years. I have never really surprised anyone with a trip. I bought my wife a motorcycle this past summer and was able to spring it on her with a bow and everything, so let's say I have a taste for it now. I had to let my wife in on it, she is simply too nosy to let me get away with booking a weeks hotel unnoticed. The plan was to tell the kids we were driving to a funeral in another state. We have repeatedly told them that we don't have the money for a trip. Fearing we would blow it, or have a teary backfire on the funeral plans, we have opted to pack everything and just spring it on them the morning we leave. I will be dressed for work and on my way out the door, then as a side gesture ask the kids if they want to open one present, some banner in the present.
Hotel: I booked what I thought was a good rate at the Carousel in for 7 days, 21-27. In retrospect it was a fantastic rate, 101 per night. I booked in August on an Expedia special. En route we are staying at the Red Rock Casino in Vegas for 58 a night. P.S. you can stay at the Excalibur, Treasure Island or Circus Circus for about 38 a night.
Tickets: Our plan for tickets seems over complex even to me; and I have been known to make several ride max plans for any given day. (Ridemax is a statistical wait time software plan to optomise your schedule) We will buy six day parkhoppers, using the magic morning the second morning. I will then convert my pass later that day to a premium annual pass. My family will keep their park hoppers until the final day when we conver theirs to deluxe annual passes. Normally this would be a little late for us, I don't like being at DL after Christmas, but we planned this trip to start when we wanted to end our trip next year.
Tickets Plan B: Since we will have blackout days throughout the year, we are going to buy passes to Universal without blackout days, since it's only about 100 buck upcharge for the whole family. (Come on Transformers ride)
Travel: We will take the car. The Audi gets about 23 MPG, 723 miles, about 31 gallons of gas per way, 3.50 per gallon gets me about $110 per way, so $220 plus the wear on the car. Conversely the airfare was no less than about 220 apiece on Southwest, and we would have to rent a car still. I love to fly, but with four of us I just can't justify it. Especially with spending almost 2K on passes. (This trip has already cost me our season skiing passes)
More to follow as details become available