Friday, September 26, 2008

Year of A Million Dreams!!!

This is the picture that was taken right after we won. At this point we didn't really know how cool our prize was. We just thought , neat, a dinner at Nemo. So let me back track to how we won. We were on the Monsters Inc. ride in Disney California. When we got off there were 4 people standing there waiting for us. They first started talking to Brittan, asking how old she was and if she was having fun. Then they asked if I was her Mom and if I had any photo I.D. with me. I said I did and they told me that we won a really cool prize and that they needed us to follow them to their office. The whole way they were saying things like, "this is huge, you guys are really lucky". We Got into the office and William and Jeri (our two prize deliverers) said "how should we tell them, let's act it out!". So William starts saying things like "I can't find my Dad" and Jeri says "Ok Fabio, I'll help you". Of course they were acting out Nemo and they told us that we won a special dinner at the finding Nemo ride once the Disney parks were closed! We were excited and a little shocked. The kids didn't really know what was going on. We were told that we would start with a private meeting at Turtle Talk with Crush, which is something my kids love! So I had to fill out all kinds of paperwork. Even if I would have not accepted the prize I would have had to fill stuff out. The papers were release forms for the chance of them using any photos from the event and such. When I was done they told me that the value was $500 and I thought , Wow!, I had never had a $500 dollar dinner before! (more on this $ later). So they asked if anyone has any food allergies and if the kids had any major dislikes and Alexa speaks up and says "Well I like steak". Everyone started cracking up. So I asked how they chose us and it is pretty amazing! In the three park areas, Disneyland, California and Downtown Disney, there are 8,000 locations that a third party outside of Disney chooses from. So on this day they choose Monsters Inc. car 5, row 3, seat 1, at 10:21, which was Brittan's seat!!!!!! Of all the luck! We were also given the Disney Dream Fast Pass necklaces to use during our trip! We were sent on our way with the instructions to meet at City Hall in Disneyland at 7:15pm. So the rest of the day we went on ride after ride, giving Brittan a nap and just being excited about our night ahead.
This was the big moment. I guess after they took this picture, it went into many hands because when we meat at City Hall, they knew us each by name! We meat Shannon and Wade (the big "kid") and they took us over to California which closed at 6pm, so we were the only ones there!
This is Wade chatting it up with the big winner! Each time someone asked Brittan "Are you the winner?", she threw her hands up in the air and said "I'm a princess!". She fell into her winning role nicely. They weren't quite ready for us to start so the kids got to play and dance all over while photographers followed them. Some of these pics are mine, some are the professional ones they gave to us on a CD! There was 103 professional pictures on it!
Posing with Wade and Shannon.
The photographers had us do some of the typical pictures that they take when you walk into the parks and the photographers always try and stop you.
Checking out the Halloween displays.
The lights were so cool, I think it makes the pictures even more fun!
This was the sign up in front of the Animation Station.
It read - Disneyland Resort Would Like to Welcome The Marker Family 2008 Diney Dreams Giveaway!
On our way in they asked us if we had ever been in the Animation Station before. When I told them yes , they said good then you know what it normally looks like.Here we are on our way in. The looks on our faces say it all!
Even Brittan could tell it was so cool!
This is what the inside looked like. The big thing in the center was a giant balloon structure that looked like something in the ocean. They had it set up like a lounge. Little tables that were lit underneath had gorgeous floral center pieces on them. Big strings of white balloons were everywhere! As we came in they told us to sit and relax for a while, enjoying the horsd'oeuvres.
Brittan loved the balloons. In the back you can see a waitress (there were several) giving us the yummiest food.
Oops! Same picture. They served us peanut butter and jellyfish sandwiches, chicken skewers and watermelon shooters. The peanut butter and jelly fish were so cute. The heads were sandwiches with blueberry eyes and the tentacles were twizzlers.
Wade was so nice to the kids. He taught Blake the "lawnmower". Blake is happy to demonstrate next time you see him!
Mallory of course had 500 stories to tell to everyone.
After a while they asked if we would like to do all of the activities in the Animation Station. My kids are very familiar with this place so they love them all! Here they are looking at this amazing Toy Story display that comes to life.
Wade and Lex. I'm sad there is not a good picture of the girl that was assigned to us too. Her name was Katy and the girls loved her! They thought it was so cool that she taught them some phrases in French!
Here we are down in Belle's library where you can find out which Disney character you are. I was Lady from Lady and the Tramp. Brittan pushed any button she wanted and it turned out she was Maleficent, the mean queen from Sleeping Beauty! Too funny.
Blake was so excited because he was Captain Hook! After this we went to Ursula's Grotto where she steals your voice and you can record a Disney song or a part of a movie, then they play it back for you. I didn't even realize that they were just trying to get us out of the room where we first came in because they needed to get our next surprise in.
When we came back in this is who we found! Brittan was freaking out! They did a whole skit for us about how we need to help look for Marlin's son. The Dory lady was hilarious!
Brittan kept screaming "Hi Nemo, Hi" not realizing that it was Marlin, not Nemo yet.
They lead us over to do our session with Crush.
Here they are asking Brittan to ask Crush if he knows where Nemo is. Our talk with Crush was really fun. Brittan kept wanting to talk on the microphone. Crush was super nice and let all the kids ask anything they wanted.
After we came out, Marlin and Dory were there again waiting to take us to our next stop. We walked out of the Animation station and we freaked out again!
Me freaking out! Oh, there were several people who were there just watching our every move. They just stood back and watched. I am assuming it is the people who planned this event. So I have no idea who these two are behind me!
That is Katy directly behind Alexa.
We walked out to this! A "blue" carpet event! (everything ocean themed) This was the pathway to our car that awaited us to drive us over to Disneyland.
This is very hard to see, but Brittan is staring straight up looking at the "seaweed"guys on stilts. They are the same ones for the parade! They were just dancing and moving around, guiding us to our car!
Dory telling the kids to get in the Disneyland Hybrid Yukon. They even had a car seat for Brittan. As we drove through California, they told us that we were getting to do what very few people get to do, drive in the parks! We went out a California gate and into a back Disneyland gate. The kids thought it was so cool to see the behind the scenes stuff like a elephant from the Jungle Cruise and lots of cars from the rides and where they do the fireworks! We drove into the gate by Small World and then over to the side of The Matterhorn and parked. We were told to walk over to the Nemo ride and walk up the stairs to the Monorail. This was our reaction there......
Mallory, the first one up there to see Mickey and Minnie waiting for us!
Brittan took forever to climb up the stairs! She saw Mickey and Minnie from pretty far away and then she screamed every step she took! She ran into their waiting arms.
All of the kids could feel the magic in the air. By this point we all knew this was no $500 dinner!
Mickey and Mally looking out into the logoon where the Finding Nemo Subs are.
The three of them could not get enough of each other! Brittan kept telling Minnie, "I love your lips", because she had lipstick on.
We had a 3 piece band there playing for us all night. Mickey and Minnie danced with us for about a half an hour!
Even Blake could not resist Mickey and Minnie's dancing!
All of us before they had to go.
At this piont they asked us to take our seats at our gorgous table overlooking the lagoon.
This was so pretty!
Each of us had our own waitor! They came and sat this plate in front of us and I thought , oh know, how will I get the kids to eat sushi?
This is our chef and he came out ot tell us that it was frushi. Every thing was made out of white rice and fruit!
Blake didn't like it very much.
Alexa was a good sport and tried everything!
It really did look like sushi!
Brittan was in heaven just playing with her plate.
The girls were in awe of our cool party!
Britty loved her big chair.
The wators gave us anything we wanted!
This was our amazing dinner! It was filet mignon over tiny pasta balls that looked like bubbles. On the side of the plate was "clown fish " raviolis with a blue "water" creamsauce. It all tasted so yummy! Brittan and Mallory had chicken strips instead of the filet mignon.
These guys were our musicians. They played all kinds of music but it all sounded very tropical because of the instuments! When we first got up there they were playing Mickey Mouse Club music to dance with Mickey and Minnie.
They interacted with the kids singing directly to and with them.
They even made fish faces with them!
Our beautiful center pieces, there were 8 of them along the table.
The Nemo ride right below us. The "snow" like dots you see were bubbles that they had going all around our party.
Then Marlin and Dory were back for another skit. Over the sound system we hear "Dad, Dad, I',m right here!" Down in the logoon was Nemo, (or a lady sitting in a boat dressed like the other two holding Nemo). Marlin and Dory got us to follow them down the stairs to get on the submarine ride to finally "Find Nemo"!
When we got off the ride, there was all three of them together, Nemo, Dory and Marlin.
Brittan was so happy to see Nemo.
We did some more dancing and singing down at the last party.
What you see here is truly unbelievable! Thse guys are the desert chefs, I am assuming because we never got tot meet them. I think this picture must have been taken while we were on the submarine ride. But what you see here looks like a sculpture! I really though it was when we got off the ride, but nope, this was out desert!
This is the close up. Every thing you see here is chocolate! Mallory and Lexa's even had little birthday cakes because we told them that Mally's birthday was Thursday, and Lexa's was in three weeks!
Everyone sang them Happy Birthday!
Mally bitting off Nemo's tail!
Look how huge they are!
This was a night we will never forget. The only downfall was that Todd wasn't there with us. We couldn't believe how fancy it was and how special we felt! Everyone was so nice to us, meeting our every need. I can't belive this was all for just us! We will always hold a special place in our hearts for Disney's Dream Squad!It was amazing!!!
The next day we were told to pick up our photo CD at City Hall. The guy that came out to give it to us said that his dinner had never been done before and would never be done again. It really was a one in a million chance! He said that they have spent months and months in preparation for this and they sit with such anticipation as to who will be chosen for the prize. He said it would have been a very different dinner if it was a young couple chosen or a family reunion. He said the whole office had been takling all morning about how perfect our family was for this occasion. He said that they have done other "character" prizes before when the family and kids don't interact with the characters at all and it is very akward! They thought the kids were great and it was fun to hear that they loved us as much as we loved them!
Oh, and about the $ , a little bird along the way said that they had no idea where the $500 amount comes from because the budget for this party was $20,000!!!!!!!!! I about died! It was the best party ever!


Valerie said...

you weren't kidding about needing 3 hours!!! haha! i just skimmed over the pictures real quick for addison...........i'll have to do a better job at looking at all of them later! that fruit seriously looked like SUSHI!!! that would be a good apirl fool's joke!

Valerie said...

i think this might go down as the longest post EVER!!!! oh yah & have i ever told you how cute mally looks with messy buns???????........j/k...... i freakin LOVE them!!!

Danielle said...

Wow. How fun! That will be a memory your kids will always have! Its amazing how much can change in Disneyland in 3 days. We didn't get to see all the cool Halloween stuff.
Deb told me you had a blog and I'm glad to see someone from the ward does! Talk to you soon

Krista said...

Allison, It looked like when you first walked in the building it looked like your eyes were about to pop out! That frusi stuff looked really weird, it really does look like sushi though. I bet the chocolate will be gone soon. Wish we would have been there with you guys. Maybe you can rub your luck off on us for when we go to Disneyland next week!

Danielle said...

Yea, I sure wish I were a Kristin! biggest problem is that I am such a dang picky eater. Drives me nuts...
I would totally go back to DL in a heartbeat...Love it so much there..How lucky you get to go so often! Sean is pretty cool kid! I'm glad others think so too!

Steck family said...

Allison the kids look like this was the best night of their lives! I am so happy that you guys won such an amazing party, you guys deserve it!!!

Danielle said...

Oh Allison...she worked our butts off. I only made it through 30 minutes. I'm extremely sore. I haven't actually taken a class in a few years. I usually just go do weight machines or treadmill. I may have some motivation, but dang I wish I had your energy. I am so tired throughout the day and it makes me so mad!
Ohh, they added rain to tomorrow's forecast too....LOVE IT!

Nick and Molly said...

Allison, this looks so cool! I loved looking at each and every picture-Disneyland sure went ALL OUT!! Bummer Todd couldn't have been with you! But it looks so amazing!! I want to try that chocolate creation! :)

The Marquardt Family said...

Hi this is Camilla Marquardt (Morphy) sorry to blog stalk you but I saw your cute family through vals blog. Looks like DL was sooo amazing! I need another bracelet this year for my husbands grandma. Can I place my order with you? or should I call you mom? my email is you can email me and I can give you all the info. what else are you selling? bows? jewelry? anything else I am missing? Hope to hear from you.

Traci said...

Hi Allison. This is Traci Cox (now Huntington). I don't know if you remember me or not, but we used to live in the ward. I'm sure you probably remember my dad, Mel, he knows everyone. Anyway, Laura W. showed me your blog because she knows we are Disney fans (we have season passes and we are going in a few days for Halloween). My husband and I read your post and our jaws dropped. That is AWESOME that you won that! Congratulations! We really enjoyed reading your post.