In approximately 10 days, we are heading to “The Happiest Place on Earth”. I’ll be honest, I think David and I may be more excited about it than our kids. This year will mark our third trip to Disney in the last 3 years. If you are adding up dollar signs in your head, I’ll just clarify that we are not Trust Fund kids or independently wealthy. Unfortunately. The reason that we are able to go is because David goes to The Experience Conference for work. And it just happens to take place in Disney World.
The conference itself is only 3 years old. Last year Christy Nockels was there to speak and sing at the conference. I have a serious mommy crush on her. She is so stinkin’ cute and cool. Her hair is awesome. Her voice is awesome… Seriously. She’s awesome.
David told me that she won’t be there this year, so my dream of running into her in the lobby of the hotel, becoming her BFF, and riding the Teacups with her will have to be put on hold. This year’s line-up includes: Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, Paul Baloche, Jason Ingram, Phil Whickam, and a bunch of other guys who don’t write songs in their mini-vans while driving their kids to soccer, or have awesome hair, or sing like I will when I am in Heaven…
Anyway – David really enjoys the conference, and we get to tack our family vacation time to the end and beginning of his conference days. It’s a pretty sweet deal.
When you book the conference, you are given the opportunity to choose to either receive a special rate on a room at the resort where the conference is hosted, or get whatever special deal Disney is doing during your stay. You can’t have both… So – the first year we went, we stayed off-site, rented a car, and paid for our meals independently. When all was said and done, we discovered that we actually could have saved money by staying at a Disney Resort and riding the Disney Shuttle. So – the next year, we opted to stay at a moderately priced resort (Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, French Quarter) and got the free meal plan. We really liked Port Orleans and discovered that the Disney transportation wasn’t difficult to maneuver once you got the hang of it. We ate WAY too much with the free meal plan, but we were able to try all of the foods that we wanted to try without thinking about the cost. This year, we chose to take the special conference room rates for the resort and will pay for our food independently. The conference will be held at The Contemporary Resort, so we were able to get a killer discount on a room there. I’m very, very, very, excited about our choice. Even if Christy Nockels won’t be there to meet me in the lobby.
A couple of weeks ago, David got an e-mail inviting him to participate in a special test run for Disney’s new MyMagic+ program. With the MyMagic+ experience, you are given special wristbands called MagicBands. The bands are water-proof (it remains to be seen if they will be “Charlie Proof”) and have some kind of tiny computer chip built inside of them. During your stay, the MagicBand acts as your park ticket, allows you to make food and merchandise purchases without a credit card, and is a room key to your resort. At www.mydisneyexperience.com, you can select fast passes for rides and make dinner reservations for every day/night of your stay. Your MagicBand syncs with your online schedule and everything is in one place. No more wallet. No more room keys. No more crumpled up park maps.
Ummm… That’s just ridiculous cyber coolness. Is anyone else singing Conan’s “In the Year 2000” in their heads right now?
After quickly deciding to participate, we entered our names, chose the colors for our wristbands, and got a super swanky package a few days later.
What?!? Disney is crazy awesome. At everything.
This week, I will start washing clothes (and maybe even fold them) and try to make sure we have everything we need. Next week, I will start actually try to tackle the whole “packing thing”. Thinking about all of the things I need to do before our trip makes me wish that I had one of those MagicBands for my life. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have your keys, wallet, and schedule literally attached to you? “Mommy Brain” would definitely be an excuse of the past.
In the mean time, our count-down chain will keep us on track…sort of.