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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Vacation Expectations


Everyone enters into a vacation with certain expectations, similar to entering into a relationship.  If those expectations are not met, at least somewhat, then disappointment ensues.  As the family travel planner, it is up to me to find out everyone's expectations, and plan accordingly; making sure that the most important expectations are met.

The husband's expectations include traveling with minimal strife and hard work on his part.  He wants easy.  I do my best to get him "easy."  He also wants to see and try new things, but doesn't always want to decide what those things will be.  Done!  His expectation is that we eat when hungry and eat well at that.  Again, done!  

One conversation we had recently was about what would constitute dinner on our arrival day in Orlando.   You see, one trip we arrived at Orlando International Airport around the 6-7 pm time frame.  We had snagged some fast food along the way, so when we checked into our hotel, I thought we were good to go for relaxation.  The husband wanted to know when we were eating dinner.  I thought we had already eaten.  I was wrong.  So, our recent conversation went like this. . . knowing that we will arrive at Orlando International before 6:00 pm, do you want to eat after we check into our hotel or do you want to get some food along the way?  He paused, somewhat confused by the question, then I recounted the story above.  He decided that grabbing fast food was an okay idea so that we could swim and relax after checking into our hotel.  Got it! (See how important it is to know someone's expectations!)

The boy's expectations include having fun, getting opportunities to venture off by himself, shopping at his favorite Lego Store, and eating when he is hungry.  Done and done!  The boy also wants opportunities to make some decisions and even lead part of the time.  Happy to meet those expectations.  He also expects us not to fret over what he is eating or not eating.  The boy will eat fruits and vegetables just as readily as he eats french fries, so I don't worry about how healthily he is eating on vacation.  And, the words, "You'll spoil your dinner" don't come out of my mouth as he heads to the ice cream machine before eating a regular meal.  The only thing I am adamant about on vacation is drinking plenty of water, and a glass/cup of milk with at least one meal each day. 

This brings me to my expectations. . . fun, time with my family, and a bit of relaxation.  I have already asked for a day or a portion of a day on the ship where I get to claim a deck chair for reading, napping, and enjoying the warmth of the sun.  I told the husband that I want him to bring me calamari and drinks.  He agreed.  A deck chair on the ship also means a front row to movies on the Funnel Vision big screen, games near the pool, and most likely characters nearby.  Yes, I want this for just one day!

I also have expectations because we are traveling with Disney.  I expect cleanliness and Disney delivers.  Great customer service is also expected, and again, Disney delivers with flying colors!  That expectation for fun--being entertained--well, no one does it better than Disney.  And, my expectation for efficiency is also met when traveling with Disney. 

Because everyone's expectations get met, everyone goes along with the plan for the day, including wake-up times.  And, yes, we still have those brief moments of grumpy, which means we need to find food and a place to rest soon, very soon!   

What are your vacation expectations?  How do you make sure everyone's expectations get met?

11 comments:

  1. Are those borders on the photos from your cruise included with your CD purchase yet or do you still have to purchase the prints to get the borders?

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  2. On our last cruise, the photos with borders were on the CD. The cruise prior to that, the photos on the CD did not have borders, only the prints. I am anticipating that the photo CD's from this point forward will include the borders. Good question!

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    1. Thanks. I know the cost of the CD on the cruise is significantly more than Photopass+/MemoryMaker at the parks. Based on your experience, do you have an estimate of how much the CD would be on a 7-night DCL? Are there any advanced purchase opportunities?

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    2. First, there is a way to pre-order/pre-purchase the photo CD. Go to Disney Cruise Line's website and find the "Planning" button on the far right menu bar. Scroll down to "In Room Gifts and Shopping" under the "Before You Go" section. Then, select your port and scroll all the way down to "My Cruise Photos". When you click here, it will take you away from the DCL site. Enter your ship and cruise dates, then go to "Products." I entered the dates for our 7 night sailing and the price for "All Digital Photos" was $295.95 and "All Digital Photos and Prints" was $395.95. Hope this helps!

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  3. I know you've mentioned making you own autograph book(s). Do you create a book after every vacation? Is it just character photos for autograph book or more all inclusive of photos during your trip? How do you digitally organize your photos?

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    1. I used to make autograph books with character photos from previous vacations to sign, but now we collect autographs on a pillow case and picture frame matte. We do, however, make a photo book after each vacation to capture the memories. Our photos are digitally organized by trip on the computer, for example, Walt Disney World July 2013 as one folder which includes all photos taken by our camera and Photopass. Or Disney Cruise and Walt Disney World December 2012 as another folder. I know there are other ways, but that one works the best for me.

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    2. There are 52 weeks in a year; 2 of which we were at WDW last year (January 2013 and April 2013). Between photos on my camera and Photopass+ we ended up with thousands of photos. This is more than the number of photos taken during the remaining 50 weeks in the year (winter, sledding, spring, egg coloring, bike riding, summer, pool, fall, pumpkin patch, holiday, birthday, first day of school, dance recital, local theme park, etc.). As the number WDW visits add up (trip #7 coming up in August 2014), I'm feeling overwhelmed with the number of photos.

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    3. Your feelings are understandable. That's why our photos are organized digitally by a folder for each trip. Also, I don't order photo prints. . . anymore. I used to and the stacks of photos would pile up. Now, we make a photo book after each trip, and order 2-3 prints suitable for framing around the house. I also have photos near my desk at work, so I order just enough prints to restock those frames after each trip.

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    4. When you make your photo book after your upcoming trip will you make one "summer vacation" book or will you make one Universal + one WDW + one DCL? How do you organize the photos--by day (shirt color) or by park? How many pages have your books had? Do you do digital books or scrapbooks?

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    5. I will make one photo book that includes all parts of our summer vacation and tell the story day by day, including travel to and from. some days take more than one page to show/tell the story. Some of our digital photo books can be 70+ pages and my favorite site is My Publisher, but there are several good sources--Picabo, Shutterfly, and Walgreens and Target. Just pick one that works for you. Good luck!

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  4. I'm impressed that you can get the page count down to 70-ish with so many photos. I've made a few (very long) books but didn't include many words. As time passes, I'm starting to wish that I would have added more words to help the photos tell the story. They are all starting to look very (too much) similar.

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