Like many Americans (70 percent according to AAA), the Haas family takes at least one vacation every year. Being a lifelong Disney fan, or rather obsessed- the question we asked ourselves almost every year since we married back in 2001 was “When would be a good time to go to Disney World?” One might be surprised that it took 16 years for an avid Disney lover to make the cross-country journey to sunny Florida, but living in sunny Southern California, we’ve had our Disneyland annual passes and used them constantly. We also decided that our four children would have to be old enough to remember and enjoy the experience before we invested in this expensive vacation.
Well this summer marked my 35th birthday and our youngest child’s 10th birthday. Sounds like a good time to take a Disney vacation, doesn’t it?
We started our planning in December 2016 and somehow managed to keep our destination a surprise from three of our kids up until we got to our gate at the airport. Our elder girl, Emily, acts as our “travel agent” on many of our trips, so she was heavily involved in the planning. Our eldest son is typically oblivious. The plan was to give Samantha, on whose 10th birthday we were departing, a gift that would reveal where we were actually going. And with the exception of a tense moment as TSA was opening up the gift bags Grammy sent in my carry-on to test for explosives, the surprise went off without a hitch. The video above details Sami’s reaction: Priceless.
Even after a delay at LAX causing us to miss our connecting flight in Atlanta, we still had a pretty smooth day of travel. The good folks at Delta made us aware of the delay prior to landing and tried to get us off the plane quickly. And when we did indeed miss the connection, we were able to catch the next flight out to Orlando, which took off less than 40 minutes after our original flight left. And given our destination, even a delay could not dampen our excitement!
Over the next several days, I’ll be posting more photos from our adventures, along with a few tips for traveling with kids.