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Old 09-30-2014, 09:36 AM   #1
World's Greatest Aunt! -- or so the kids tell me.
Candice30's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: PA
Posts: 1,305

I pulled off a Disney surprise for my friends!

So thought I would post this here also in case anyone is looking for similar ideas to surprise a loved one or friend. I meet up with my friends (most of whom I met here on the disboards) once per year to hang out in Disney. This year we were able to plan our trip around Food & Wine. We were also lucky to snag a large villa at Kidani. There were 8 of us and we were all so excited to see one another and had been talking back and forth for months planning.

I started planning my own secret surprise for my friends at this same time and my first stop was of course the disboards. I was given all kinds of great suggestions on doing something special for my friends. As time went on and I was able to increase my budget, my plans got bigger and bigger and I must confess that I am so glad I splurged on this. I won’t post any prices here as my friends all read these boards but if anyone is interested in a cost breakdown to help with their planning, just let me know and I can PM you.
I also won’t list all the ideas I was given as I have a few of those tucked away for possible future surprises…shhh…but what I knew from day one was that I wanted to do a wishes cruise. I had been eyeing them for years and was ready to splurge on it and what better time than with my friends in tow. I also wanted to somehow incorporate a meal. From there, it just grew. I contacted Disney first and booked the wishes cruise. As there were 8 of us, I booked the 21 ft pontoon boat.

Originally I had planned to have dinner delivered to the boat but logistically that seemed to not be a good idea as wishes wasn’t until 10pm and they couldn’t set up any tables on the boat. I tossed around the idea of finger foods but nixed that too. I decided on a restaurant but wanted something much more fun. B-I-N-G-O! Haha…literally. I went online and printed out the food and wine booths and created a BINGO card for each of my friends. I used an online program to scramble the cards so no 2 cards were the same. The free space in the middle was a slush from France…yum.

Okay so now, how to pay for playing? I didn’t want to just hand them all cash and then I remembered the neat little Disney F&W gift cards that go around your wrist. I made certain to give everyone enough money to complete BINGO. Then I turned my thoughts to a prize. I thought of the wishes cruise but really wanted that to be the final surprise so I came up with another plan. I began ordering online (some from Disneyland Paris & Tokyo) Disney BFF pins. They were hard to find but with the help of eBay, I tracked down 7 distinct pins. Yes I forgot myself!

Next, I went online and created personalized writing pens and key lights. The pens had each of their names on it with the inscription “I have an awesome friend named Candice! Occupation: pixie dust sprinkler!” Just in case they forget where they got the pen..haha!

The key chains had a Disney friend quote I found that said “I won’t remember how we happened to meet one another; I won’t remember whom got along with whom first; All I’ll remember is us always being friends!” Sappy I know but I loved it.

Okay so now what to put them in? Yes I was being that crazy. I just couldn’t find the right gift bag so I bought these plain white bags at the craft store and decorated them with Mickey heads and each person’s name I created with my scrapbook supplies…double duty!

I was almost ready to put everything together but I had one more trick up my sleeve. I had fallen in love with the personalized cakes I saw on the cake chatter thread so I decided that would be my 4th surprise of the evening. I contacted Pat at Grand Floridian private dining and kept playing phone tag with her. Finally a nice cast member gave me her email and though it took her a day or 2 between emails, I was finally able to send her a picture of what I wanted ( I took 2 cakes I saw on the cake thread and used the paint program to alter it). Lastly I asked them to add my friends’ names to the cake on the top. I provided my credit card and all was ready. I sent them the following rough drawing. I later decided to have all of our names on the cake instead.

Day of the Surprise
I woke up early and snuck into the bathroom to put each persons’ gift bag together then stuffed them into my back pack. I said goodbye and told them I had to finalize some stuff for the evening and would meet up with them. They knew I had a surprise planned but were only told to dress comfortably and that they would be fed. It was killing them trying to figure out what I had planned. I secretly made sure that we were spending the day at studios so we were near world showcase in Epcot. I headed out to Epcot….first stop, rent a locker. Unfortunately, they only had lockers with 3 digits so all the clues had to have leading zeros. I had sticker numbers in my bag and placed them on these cute little Mickey hands. Every time someone got BINGO, they got a clue (in order of course but they didn’t know that).

I went to the locker and stashed the gift bags in them. In addition, each bag had a final clue to the wishes cruise. These cute Mickey heads that spelled out ‘fireworks cruise!”

I then headed off to one of the stores in Epcot to grab the wristband gift cards. I grabbed 8 of them (I remembered myself this time). I stashed those in my backpack and after inquiries by the cast members as to what I was doing and them pouring over the bingo cards; I headed off to meet the group at studios.

The Great Reveal
Okay here it is…what you’ve been waiting for…the great reveal. The weather had been awful all day. Pouring down rain…driving my nerves crazy. I was so afraid we wouldn’t get to do the cruise and that our Bingo game would be a washout. While walking through studios, I realized that I had forgotten to have something for them to mark their bingo cards with….ugggh! I snuck off to a store and the only thing they had were Disney crayons…okay why not? So I bought them and stashed them in my back pack. When it was time to head off to the surprise, everyone was looking at me wondering which way I would walk….what bus we would take….what tram we would get on? I loved the suspense. I turned my feet toward the boat dock and they were like….WHAT?

Sadly, we missed the boat to Epcot so this slowed us down a bit. More importantly, the rain had stopped so I was glad. Everyone not so patiently waiting.

The boat took forever and we all boarded on. They were still wondering if we were staying at Epcot or if I had a trick up my sleeve. Then it happened, the rain started and rained the whole trip to Epcot. I just kept praying the whole time and was I’m sure noticeably silent the whole ride.

When we arrived, the clouds disappeared…the sun came out….and we didn’t have a drop of rain the rest of the evening. Ahhhhh! We entered Epcot through the international gateway and everyone could not wait a minute longer. Here they are so ready to kill me if I didn’t reveal the surprise soon!

I announced that we would be playing Bingo around Food & Wine! They were so excited. Even more so when I handed them each a loaded gift card to play.

I handed everyone a crayon and we were off. We had so much fun doing F&W this way. As it was the first Saturday, it was extremely crowded and difficult but we didn’t care….especially those who had lots of drinks on their card. We spent a couple of hours playing our way all the way around world showcase. Each person getting Bingo and being handed a clue.

I was watching the time and it was already 8:00. We had to be at the boat by 8:45-9pm so I knew we needed to head towards the exit. Luckily, the last bingo winner was headed to the exit before all of us and her clue was the one that would make everyone else’s make sense so that bought me time until then. We headed to spaceship earth and I handed off the last hand “clue.” This one read “do you remember in what order you each one?” of course after a few drinks, it wasn’t easy….we all got a good laugh at them trying to remember the order. Once they did, they figured out the locker # and I handed them the key. Like little kids after an ice cream truck, they all ran (one in an ECV) into the locker room and charged on the locker.

What joy they had on their faces. And I all the while laughing as I knew I still had 2 more surprises to come. One by one they started opening their bags and discovered the little Mickey heads with letters. I told them they had to unscramble them to find out where we were headed next; and very quickly as it was now 8:15. Look at the little children on the floor with their puzzle…ha-ha!

Oh the many words and phrases they came up with. Finally they got the words Fire and Work so I told them to focus on the words they did have and they finally GOT IT!!! Look at the eruption of delight!

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Old 09-30-2014, 09:37 AM   #2
World's Greatest Aunt! -- or so the kids tell me.
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Location: PA
Posts: 1,305

I announced that we were headed off to Grand Floridian cause our boat was waiting. We got to the monorail as quickly as possible and made the transfer at the TTC. Everyone was in disbelief at this point I think and still squealing. We got to GF and headed to the boat dock. Everyone was still overwhelmed.

We got there at 8:50pm all pumped up. It was so dark and I realized we were the only ones leaving from that dock that night. I quickly found someone and they directed me to check in. After some signing and such, we met our captain Ralph. Ralph was awesome. Since we had a party of 8 and no one was using it, he set us up on the larger 25 ft boat instead free of charge….yes I said free…in Disney…who would have thought! Everyone boarded the boat and they had a cooler of sodas and a basket of snacks waiting for us.

I was looking around for the last surprise (remember the cake). I didn’t see it and was just about to inquire when I noticed the setup all the way at the back of the boat. The cake was in a box with plates and cloth napkins ready to go.

They did exactly what I asked for. Sadly the writing on the cake was not professional looking and I definitely feel for the price and a bakery that does wedding cakes they could have done a better job with that. But everyone was happy and the cake was delicious. I ordered a vanilla cake with raspberry mousse filling and vanilla butter cream frosting.

I cut everyone a piece and we were off. Ralph took us all around seven seas lagoon and explained the creation of all the hotels and showed us the new construction at the Polynesian. He was full of Disney knowledge and unloaded much of it on us. He then slowed the boat as it was time for the electric water pageant. Sadly many of my photos didn’t come out. This has never been one of my favorite things at Disney but seeing it this way, I found a love for it again.

It was nearing wishes showtime so we headed to magic kingdom and took up our spot in front of main street train station. What an amazing view! Everyone was so silent on the boat and in awe of it all! I definitely cried as the music was piped in. Wishes is my favorite fireworks display at Disney and to see it this way was indescribable. I can’t imagine watching it any other way now!

If you are looking for something special to do with your family or friends, I highly recommend one of these ideas or heck…shoot for the stars like I did and do them all!
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:44 AM   #3
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:l ove:

This was the bestest day, gift, surprise EVER!!!!!!! We are so lucky and blessed to have you as our bestie. We love you so much!!! Thank you again!
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:48 AM   #4
World's Greatest Aunt! -- or so the kids tell me.
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Originally Posted by rebecca06261 View Post
:l ove:

This was the bestest day, gift, surprise EVER!!!!!!! We are so lucky and blessed to have you as our bestie. We love you so much!!! Thank you again!
You are most welcome! How will I ever top myself? Hmmmm
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:15 AM   #5
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What a cool surprise!!
I just did a trip this month for a group of family members.
I wish I had thought to come up with something fun like this.
Not the drinking, because we don't drink, but something similar to the game aspect.
They would have had a blast!

Definitely something for our next adult trip!!

Thanks for posting!
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:19 AM   #6
World's Greatest Aunt! -- or so the kids tell me.
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:37 AM   #7
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What an amazing surprise!
Disney's Polynesian Resort (Rapa Nui) September 2012 1437 Miles From Mississippi to Magical and Back
Disney's Boardwalk Villas January 2015 Desperate For More Disney Magic

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Old 09-30-2014, 01:04 PM   #8
LOVES Old English Roses china at the Grand Floridian!
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Thanks Candice! We had so much fun that night! It felt like we were on The Amazing Race! :D
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Old 09-30-2014, 01:15 PM   #9
World's Greatest Aunt! -- or so the kids tell me.
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Originally Posted by Glendamax View Post
Thanks Candice! We had so much fun that night! It felt like we were on The Amazing Race! :D
Haha Gmax it did! My pleasure
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Old 09-30-2014, 04:58 PM   #10
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How great!!!!! Plus the wonderful surprise of a Wishes cruise!!!!!! Wonderful!!!!!
POR, 2003 OKW,2004 Poly, 2005 SSR (June), Pop (Sept), CSR (Nov), 2006 OKW (May), Swan (Sept), OKW (Nov), 2007 Pop (Feb), OKW (June), CR (Sept), BWV (Nov), 2008 CSR (April), OKW (July), SSR (Dec)2009 Pop (March) OKW (May) BLT (Nov), 2010 BLT (May) AKL (Oct) 2011 SWAN (March) BLT (June) AKL (Nov) OKW (Nov) 2012 BWI (March) OKW (May) POR Royal (Oct) OKW (Nov) 2013 BWV (Apr) offsite (July) Kidani (Dec) 2014 AKL (April) OKW (Nov)
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Old Yesterday, 01:31 AM   #11
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Wow, very impressive! Awesome creativity.
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