This is less a trip report and more a report of the build up to the trip. It's laden with a fair amount of DIsney Magic so I thought it might be nice to share.
I was a poor student and my partner and I had been together for about 4/5 months, we both loved Disney and I concocted a plan and I also found some money from I don't know where.
I booked a few days in Disneyland staying at the Santa Fe. This was my second trip having previously stayed at the Sequoia Lodge in 1993. It was my partner's first trip, we would both go back again in 2006 staying at the Cheyenne and we're booked into the Newport Bay Club in a month's time, so my mission to stay in all 6 Disney hotels is on target!.
I scrounged some free BA flights from my mum (she flies a lot for her job so is never short on Airmiles, I rarely pay to fly) but I didn't tell my partner. I merely said that I had arranged a "Surprise" and left it at that. Remember this was Feburary time and the trip was booked for mid June!
About a month later, after a torrent of "What is my surprise?" questioning I let slip that it was a holiday by accident. After kicking myself I turned this to my advantage and said that yes it was a holiday, and a suitcase would need to be packed and ready for anything. Again this was three months out, and for the next three months I was asked "Is it happening today?". You might say that this was torture, but boy was it ramping up the excitement for both of us.
The calendar rolled by and eventually we reached the day to leave. The plan was for my mum to pick us both up, take us to her house where we would sleep until the very early hours and then she would drop us off at Heathrow for the flight to Paris. I had a summer job by that point so had been working all day. I got home from work and was asked "Is it happening today?". Somehow I produced the world's best poker face and said "No, not today".
In the weeks leading up to this day I had written four rhymes, one for each major step on the journey. I created a question mark design for the each rhymes and then repeated the design for the custom envelopes (graphic design student at the time). I even created a question mark stamp and used it to make a wax seal for each envelope. The first rhyme told her that the waiting was over and that my mum would be arriving to pick us up to take her to her house in half an hour. Half an hour before my mum's arrival I gave her the first envelope containing it. Cue HUGE levels of excitement for both of us, but still mystery for my partner who didn't even know we'd be leaving the country.
The second envelope and rhyme was handed over upon waking in the early hours of the next morning, it said no more than we were going 'somewhere' in my mum's car and the third was given as we were nearing Heathrow. This explained we were going to Paris. We checked in, took off and mid flight I was excitedly asked whether we were going to Disneyland? This would have spoilt the final envelope, so another poker face and a sincere explanation of how I couldn't afford it. Then at baggage re-claim I revealed all with the final rhyme. It's about a half hour shuttle bus from the airport to the park, we were crying happy tears all the way there.
Once in the park my partner was so happy and excited she was running everywhere. With her disability being what it is, I had NEVER seen her run ANYWHERE. At the time she was still coming to terms with the concept and it wasn't quite as bad as it is nowadays, but she would still get extremely upset at the thought of having to use a wheelchair in the future. Unfortunately the running and efforts of the first day left her unable to walk for the final two, and we discovered that we could hire a wheelchair from the park. Thanks to the sheer quantity of the happy that had built up, all fears where banished in a heartbeat and we haven't looked back from that point on.
A magical trip that we will remember for ever.