Some new discounts were announced online yesterday, extending a particularly attractive offer to those who could find 5 days to visit Walt Disney World between now and August 14.

I love excuses. I had a photography professor who would offer an extension only if you could come up with an excuse that he had not heard before. It did not have to be anywhere near, true, just original.

My DH and I play a game when you make a mistake, like bouncing a check or getting a parking ticket. You have to explain what happened as if you are in middle school.  For example, “You know how sometimes, even though you put a lot of quarters in the meter, it gets really sunny all of the sudden, and you don’t notice it went red, even though you really checked it?” Bonus points for abusing common phrases, like Ben Affleck did in Good Will Hunting when he tried to represent his friend on a job interview.

So, I should not have been surprised when he called me on my plan to turn the family around and REALLY give Earth Day the credit it deserves? Obviously, we all need to go to Animal Kingdom, on whatever day that is, and use our Give A Day, Get A Disney Day passes (yet to be acquired) to pay for our entry.  I think I came up with a scenario that came to about 300 unrealistic dollars.

Luckily, we didn’t discuss it in front of the kids, because my husband’s plan was to say, “If you go, it will cost $300. If we go, you will want to buy the kids presents, and have breakfast with Goofy, and get some shirts, and before you know it, it will be $2,000.”  He did not point out that I still don’t bring the reusable bags to the grocery store.

The man I married continued to remind me that it is not out of the question to take the children down in April, for Earth Day, or Administrative Professional Day, or Poetry Month, but it would be instead of our trip (already booked) in August, which is a really a great time for us to go. Before he could say, “See ya’ real soon,” I was on the phone, running with his idea to plan a girl’s, I mean, women’s only trip.

It took about 10 minutes to talk my friend in Texas into meeting me at Walt Disney World.  She has never been, but is 100% supportive of my obsession/need to get out of the house without the boys once in a while. Luckily, Neurotic Disney Principles support the fact that once in a while, a child-free trip is, well, OK.

In reality, there are some special days aside from Halloween and Christmas Day, when a Disney trip can be extra special without being extra expensive.

Here are a few to try out of whoever co-signs your mortgage or lease!

April 11 is Barbershop Quartet Day. Visit the Dapper Dans at Magic Kingdom.  A great day to take a child for his or her first haircut on Main Street!  Even the receipt is magical, plus, the little one gets mouse ears to keep.

May 9 is National Train Day, which you can celebrate by taking a 20 minute ride on the 1.5 mile track around the Magic Kingdom, riding the monorail, or visiting Animal Kingdom’s Wildlife Express to try to sneak a glimpse at the new baby white-cheeked gibbon, and wish Melaka a Happy Mother’s Day.  Maybe you can pick up the newest Dooney & Bourke bag at the Grand Floridian gift shop while you are there! It would make you MY favorite kid.

June 9 is Donald F. Duck Day, and there are so many ways to celebrate!  Donald first appears in “The Wise Hen” on this date in 1934.  It may be tough to book brunch at the Tusker House in  Disney’s Animal Kingdom on this day, but you can also great him at Cape May Café, Chef Mickey’s (of course) or even in front of the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot.

July 1 is Canada Day, and my wedding anniversary. While any time around the fourth of July is busy, booking a few days before and visiting Epcot on July 1 is great plan, especially if you are an Off-Kilter fan. If you can’t wait that day, Shannon Sullivan, of the County Mayo Sullivans, gives you permission to see these pipers on March 17, which is St. Patrick’s Day.

Keep in mind that all of these dates are within the window of the latest promotions, such as up to 40% off on deluxe resorts, or my favorite, a $500 gift card for stays of 5 days or more with park ticket at a moderate resort.  All but Train Day will be the same next year. The best idea is to make your own holiday, and celebrate a personal victory in your own life.

If you are at Animal Kingdom on Earth Day, April 22, I’ll be the NDM #174.traveling with a colleague trying to hide her First Visit button. Say hello, or send me a tweet @meltdownfreeDis.

Shannon S. (NDM#174), is a mom, special educator, and happy wife living in the DC area, who blogs at, and tweets often @meltdownfreeDis.

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