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View Full Version : Disney with toddlers -the good bad and ugly


Blurrysmom
01-14-2010, 12:57 PM
We just returned from our first trip to Disney with our 20-month-old son. I read these boards a lot prior to coming, and I saw a lot of posts from people who, like me, were anxious about traveling with a young toddler. Therefore, I'm offering my experience with candor. Of course, each child is different, so please don't flame me if your experience was not the same. This is just one perspective. I know it sounds discouraging, but we really did have fun and are planning to return with him in a year or so. But the first 3-4 days were fraught with tears (his and mine), and I think he was generally overwhelmed by all of it and not really feeling the magic. If I had accepted a few truths beforehand, I think we could have made it a little easier on ourselves. So hopefully these points will help someone else:

1. Your child will behave at Disney like he does at home, so be prepared. Logically I knew this was true, but I was so excited for the Disney experience that I pretended he would be docile and just overwhelmed with joy to be doing whatever we wanted to do. Instead, I was upset and angry and embarassed when he consistently refused to get in his stroller at the parks without an epic struggle involving copious amounts of screeching and bucking like a bronco. He wanted to walk, but he can't endure all that yet, and besides, his version of "walking" was darting in and around the crowds at warp speed and trying to climb trash cans. This resulted in a lot of us carrying our 35-pound baby, which in turn exhausted us. This was stressful.

2. If your child doesn't nap during the day, you will have problems. we observed the mid-day retreat to the hotel for his regular nap, but the room just wasn't dark enough and he fought it and wouldn't go down. He did sleep briefly in the car coming and going. But he was not pleasant in the afternoon. Unfortunately, it was 35 degrees while we were there, so we couldn't have a relaxing pool afternoon.

3. Seriously consider a 1BR if you can afford it. We did this and it was money well spent with a very active boy who runs around every waking minute. The garden grocer delivery was also a good call. And the rental crib.

4. Some of the kids' rides are plain weird. Peter Pan incorporated dead pirates laying across the ship deck and even Winnie the Pooh has a strange psychadelic dream sequence that looks like Pooh ate some bad mushrooms. I don't understand this.

5. Some toddlers, like mine, cannot tolerate wait in line for more than 10 minutes. This means that even with expert fast pass usage, you might not get on more than 3 rides all day (and that's in low season).

6. Always carry a sippy cup. Some places, like the Hoop-de-doo Review (which he loved, by the way), don't even have lids. They served his milk in a giant glass bell jar. Not good.

7. Good stuff: he loved the actual rides when he was riding them. The carousel, Dumbo, Aladdin's carpets, Small World, Winnie the Pooh, it was all great. And he loved the character breakfast (or at least he didn't cry). He also loved the Hoop de Doo Review, I think because we were so close to the stage. We had some nice moments, but it wasn't easy.

OK, that's all I've got. Good luck to all you toddler travelers - have fun!

Spoonful of Sugar
01-14-2010, 02:59 PM
Couldn't agree more about that strange Pooh ride!

champagnegirl26
01-14-2010, 04:42 PM
Thank you for your honest opinion. We are taking our son who will be 2 1/2 yrs in May for his first trip. I think we are perhaps thinking of the trip with rose tinted glasses right now but we are going to try our best to go at his pace which wont always be easy. I guess if he's happy we are happy and its not like its our first visit so if we dont do certain attractions it wont be a big deal. I just hope he takes his naps! He likes his sleep so if he doesnt get it there will be fireworks before wishes!!!

champagnegirl26
01-14-2010, 04:43 PM
Does disney have toddler cutlery available? I guess its another thing to pop in my bag if not!

dizneechic
01-14-2010, 05:03 PM
We leave in 3+ weeks for our kids "1st" trip. I say 1st however our previous one I have blocked from my memory. :lmao: We used to be a couple who went every year if not multiple times each year, got married there etc. We took our oldest ds when he was 14 months and had 10 days at WL with us getting woken up several times each night by hall doors slamming, him not sleeping at ALL, crying anytime anything even resembling a character came within 50 feet, and the impatience in line and wanting to take off like a bat outta he!! anytime he wasn't being held. Should I add that I was pregnant with #2 during all of this? Anyhow we vowed to not go back until our youngest was at least 5, and this meant giving up one of my favorite things for FAR too long. We're trying this again, this time with 3 in tow, and the youngest turns 5 on the trip, hopefully these memories will be much better!

vettechick99
01-14-2010, 05:40 PM
2. If your child doesn't nap during the day, you will have problems. we observed the mid-day retreat to the hotel for his regular nap, but the room just wasn't dark enough and he fought it and wouldn't go down. He did sleep briefly in the car coming and going. But he was not pleasant in the afternoon. Unfortunately, it was 35 degrees while we were there, so we couldn't have a relaxing pool afternoon.



Love your number 1, so true!! Not only that, but their quirks are compounded exponentially! You have a tantrum thrower at home, he'll be a holy terror at WDW. But I really wanted to comment on #2.

We've known since DD was 5w old that she needs complete darkness and quiet to sleep. And if she gets that, she'll sleep for 4 hours. If conditions aren't right, she won't sleep and we have a majorly cranky child.

So when we went on our first trip with her we stayed at CSR so we could put her crib in the closet. Then we pulled the curtains to keep out light and distractions. It worked great, but we had nowhere to go for 4 hours. So we hung outside on the walkway and got drunk. :rotfl:

Our 2nd and 3rd trip (and 4th coming up) we have rented a 2-bed at Bonnet Creek (next to the Four Seasons on(off) property). She gets her own dark room, and we have the rest of the suite to chill out and do whatever (get drunk usually :rotfl:).

Thanks for the review!

jkcyoung
01-14-2010, 05:41 PM
We went on our first family trip 4 years ago with DS2 and DS3, we are leaving in just over 2 weeks for our 4th family trip with now DS6, DS4.5, and DS 20 months. I think the best thing we did on our first trip was not set any expectations. Don't set yourself up for disappointment. We went with the feeling that we will do and see what we can, and there will always be a next time if we can't do and see it all. Well the kids were amazing! We had such a great time(I guess that's why we are hooked now). Yes, there were moments that weren't "Disney perfect" but we took it in stride and really enjoyed ourselves.

kwitcherkicken99
01-14-2010, 05:56 PM
Does disney have toddler cutlery available? I guess its another thing to pop in my bag if not!

We couldn't find ANY onsite when we were there last spring. I would highly recommend picking up some take and toss utensils and sippy cups. It's just less fuss. We also took disposable bibs and changing pads too. Best thing we ever did.

champagnegirl26
01-15-2010, 01:50 AM
We couldn't find ANY onsite when we were there last spring. I would highly recommend picking up some take and toss utensils and sippy cups. It's just less fuss. We also took disposable bibs and changing pads too. Best thing we ever did.

Thanks for your help...will take your advice and take them with us.

indimom
01-15-2010, 05:01 AM
Thank you for a very honest and unbiased review of taking toddlers to Disney World. I do think folks on here tend to err on the side of 'The Magic' when answering questions posted by parents of young children. Glad you had a good time anyway, and I bet next year will be even better. There is a huge change between 2 and 3, you can actually reason with a 3yo (most of the time)!
I really loved your comment about the lighting for naps. I don't think I've ever read that on here, but it is good advice, since most kids do nap in a darkened room at home. Something to add to the list of items to bring on vacation with little ones - a room darkening sheet to cover windows! :thumbsup2
Hope you have a magical trip next year!!!

MrsGoofyMitchell
01-15-2010, 08:36 AM
Thank you for the review! We leave in 3 weeks with our 2 year old!

pasta
01-15-2010, 09:01 AM
Blurrysmom- Again, on the money with the Pooh ride. I was wondering if anyone else felt the same way.

sweetsusannah
01-15-2010, 09:45 AM
We are coming up on our third trip with our daughter who is 2 ˝ (we own DVC). Her first trip she was almost 2 and the next trip is for her 3rd birthday. I agree with the OP’s points, your child will not morph into a wonderfully well behaved tantrum free child just because they are at Disney, probably the contrary. Ours is a strong willed child and not laid back at all but Disney is always fun with her because we make it about her. We found several things that make our trips easier for our family.
First, we try to eat at several character buffets during the week. Sure, we’d rather eat Le Cellier but we also want a happy kid. They entertain and delight most kids and you get a meal that brings happy memories and photos. The mid day nap is essential for Disney success if your child naps at home. It’s tiring for adults much less toddlers. We find it works out great anyway because the rides are slowest at rope drop and the park gets packed around lunchtime. On the days we don’t want to go back to the resort for nap time we use the baby care center for nap time. They have very dark rooms for nursing moms and the attendants are always wonderful about letting us rock our daughter to sleep in the rockers. They even let my husband in to do it, with the restriction that we have to give up the room if they run out of other rooms and a nursing mom needs it (never happened). He listens to his ipod and holds her while she sleeps while I go ride the rides and yes I know how lucky I am to be married to him. We also always give playground time each day. It is our daughter’s favorite part of the trip. While the Pooh ride at MK is odd the Pooh’s spot playground is one of the best in all the parks. We don’t do fireworks often because the noise scares her and we try to stay with a couple hours of her bedtime to prevent exhaustion for her. Last, something not everyone can do but oh so worth it if you can…we bring a grandparent(s). We pay for their accommodations (again, we stay at DVC villas) and they provide babysitting occasionally throughout the trip. My husband and I get to go back out to enjoy night time magic hours once or twice after we tuck her in.
The bottom line is Disney can be wonderful with a toddler but you have to have the right expectations and accommodate the little one just as you would at home. Our daughter loves her Disney trips and talks about them all the time.

rookie78
01-15-2010, 10:54 AM
That is so true about number 1. I had two toddlers on my first trip to WDW, expect I had all these high expectations. I was so disappointed, b/c the kids were awful when they got too hot, tired, or hungry. But the good news is I learned a lot for my next trip, so it will be enjoyable.

pcrmommy
01-15-2010, 12:10 PM
Taking our then 26 month old in August, and I'm already prepping the older kids for the fact that you need to be patient with your sister while we are on vacation. She'll be off schedule, not napping in her crib, hot, and most horribly, confined to her stroller which she despises! At least they won't be shocked when pixie dust doesn't magically turn her into a super happy toddler at WDW.

lecach
01-15-2010, 03:47 PM
Thanks for your help...will take your advice and take them with us.

I have a whole box of Disney disposable kids cutlery (forks, spoons,knives) that I never opened. I got them from the dollar store - they are a name brand....maybe Diamond? Anyway, if you want them I can send them to you if you'll pay the postage.

MommaMouse411
01-15-2010, 04:01 PM
lol I'm sorry but the winnie the pooh ride thing was funny...when we did the ride the first time I was like WHOA...this is weird..but goes with the movie...

I've posted this before..but my son has been going since 8months. and the last trip we took his father went with us for the whole trip since I'm preggers now and it was going to be a hassle..it was nice to have him there...however...my son was a brat...he wanted to run around and it wasn't feasible...he did throw some tantrums but he loves the characters and the rides so it wasn't that bad..hes 21months now...and we went for christmas..but when he threw his tantrum I was like man did I create a monster?????????? he is Disney spoiled already...lol...I managed..but it was frustrating at times...and he tends to be brattier when his father and I are together..

But what I learned is just to take it easy...and for us at least I've been so many times I don't have to see or do everything...so if he wants to run around...I take him to a play area and let him have at it..he is a good boy and for the majority of the disney trip he's good..he just has his moments...I let him sleep when he feels like it..I don't try and stick to a schedule.

also...he did throw a tantrum at the Backyard BBQ..he wanted to dance and be at the front of the stage the whole time...it wasn't funny but it was...Cyclone Sally had to take him by the arm because he was screaming and throwing himself back in his father's arms...and she grabbed him and as she was MCing , my son was smiling and waving at everybody..

DISNEY SPOILED!!!

chrisw127
01-15-2010, 04:25 PM
Thank you for your funny and very real post on toddlers at Disney World. We had the same experience when our twins were 20 months old. It was a disaster. In fact, we spent the entire time muttering "We're never coming back here again!" and calculating how much we were paying per hour. Fortunately, we changed our minds about not going back and took them last month at 32 months. The experience was completely different, so there is hope!

Good luck.

pixarmom
01-15-2010, 07:39 PM
We found several things that make our trips easier for our family.
First, we try to eat at several character buffets during the week. Sure, we’d rather eat Le Cellier but we also want a happy kid. They entertain and delight most kids and you get a meal that brings happy memories and photos. The mid day nap is essential for Disney success if your child naps at home. It’s tiring for adults much less toddlers. We find it works out great anyway because the rides are slowest at rope drop and the park gets packed around lunchtime. On the days we don’t want to go back to the resort for nap time we use the baby care center for nap time. They have very dark rooms for nursing moms and the attendants are always wonderful about letting us rock our daughter to sleep in the rockers. They even let my husband in to do it, with the restriction that we have to give up the room if they run out of other rooms and a nursing mom needs it (never happened). He listens to his ipod and holds her while she sleeps while I go ride the rides and yes I know how lucky I am to be married to him. We also always give playground time each day. It is our daughter’s favorite part of the trip. While the Pooh ride at MK is odd the Pooh’s spot playground is one of the best in all the parks.
The bottom line is Disney can be wonderful with a toddler but you have to have the right expectations and accommodate the little one just as you would at home. Our daughter loves her Disney trips and talks about them all the time.

Same here, and I agree with so many of these points! Character meals and playgrounds, especially! Our older boys have always been great at Disney, but our youngest is very strong willed and we expected Disney to be extremely tough when he went around his 2nd birthday. We showed him lots of youtube videos of the parades, rides, etc., planned lots of playground time for him (yay for Pooh playground, the one at the Splash Mountain exit, and the one in ToonTown), and made ADRs for dinner every night at family style restaurants (Garden Grill, Ohana, Liberty Tree) where the food comes fast - and the characters at GG help, too!

Now, I definitely won't let that inflate my expectations for this year or any other year, because I think OPs and all the previous posts regarding expectations are exactly right.

champagnegirl26
01-16-2010, 04:31 AM
I have a whole box of Disney disposable kids cutlery (forks, spoons,knives) that I never opened. I got them from the dollar store - they are a name brand....maybe Diamond? Anyway, if you want them I can send them to you if you'll pay the postage.

Oh what a kind offer! I actually live in the UK though and so its probably easier I bring my own but thank you for being so thoughtful!:lovestruc

DisneyJill
01-16-2010, 06:55 AM
We leave in 18 days for our Disney trip and my youngest is 19 months old. We've been going every year for the last 4 years with all of our kids (13,9 &7) and I did tell them that this year would be a lot different with a toddler. She is normally a WONDERFUL little girl at home but I am preparing for the worse so that I can be pleasantly surprised. lol At least if it doesn't work out I know that there's always next year. :)

brightspark
01-16-2010, 02:24 PM
This all makes for very interesting reading... half terrified now of our trip next week with DS 18 months, but on the other hand, I do think he'll love looking around, some rides, the playgrounds, and swimming pools, so we should have some fun.

Ordered groceries from garden grocer so I can cook meals in our 1bed DVC accommodation, and we are going to use baby sitters at least one night so that dh and I can go out.

My general expectation for DS is that he will run around being excited by all the things to look at and that he won't really care if we don't do much else! LOL we'll see...

Cinbride
01-16-2010, 03:15 PM
The sleeping thing is one I wish hotels esp. Disney would try and figure out. While I know you can get 2 rooms or a bigger room. some just can't do it. I wish there was some sort of curtain/like at POR sink areas that you could use and divide the room. In saying this, I am considering doing something like that. Buy a couple of suction type hooks and a sheet??? I don't know. That is one thing I am afriad of at disney. Our girl needs her sleep.

champagnegirl26
01-16-2010, 03:39 PM
The sleeping thing is one I wish hotels esp. Disney would try and figure out. While I know you can get 2 rooms or a bigger room. some just can't do it. I wish there was some sort of curtain/like at POR sink areas that you could use and divide the room. In saying this, I am considering doing something like that. Buy a couple of suction type hooks and a sheet??? I don't know. That is one thing I am afriad of at disney. Our girl needs her sleep.

www.baabaablinds.com sells travel black out blinds here in the uk that use suckers to stick to the window...not sure there is anything like that in the states though?

brightspark
01-16-2010, 04:11 PM
The sleep thing is an issue even with a one bed at DVC... either the baby has the main bedroom, or the lounge / kitchen area... so either you give up your bed and sleep on the pull out or you give up being able to eat / make drinks etc... weird

mdsouth
01-17-2010, 08:37 AM
Thanks OP for sharing your experience. :thumbsup2 I, too, think many people who post on the DIS gloss over the bad, ugly, or disappointing moments of their trips (with or without toddlers). :confused3

It really helps to read posts that don't shade the truth, therefore, there are less unrealistic expectations that your WDW will be totally magical every minute of the trip. :hippie:

We took our DD 2 /12 years old. She is usually extremely well behaved, calm child at home. She was out of her routine and thus not herself on the trip. We went in early May to avoid the summer crowds and to have a bit of a break from the heat.

1. For one, she would not ride in the stroller! We rented a two person stroller from Disney for her to share with her brother. We thought she would like being with him and more comfortable using it. We ended up carrying her the entire trip. I was exhausted but prepared for this since she has a rare disorder and did not walk or put any weight on her legs until she was two.

2. She was worn out and run down after just a couple of days, even though we went back to the room for mid-day nap break.

3. She had a major meltdown one day as we were heading into MGM. We even slept in late that day and did not arrive at the park until around 10:30 or so just to help her since she is a late sleeper at home. The following picture tells it all.
http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt21/mdsouth/WDW%202009/WDW%202005/MGMMeltdown.jpg


4. We had lots of trouble finding plain white milk for her to drink in the parks. :confused3 This was back in 2005 and none of the carts had milk. Only some of the counter service places did - so many of them did not. We went back in 2009 and I noticed more CS places have milk but there are still lots that do not. She would not drink juice so it was water or nothing.

5. We waited until she was older to go back to WDW. A super long wait for me, but our experience was night and day! We went this past summer, June 2009 and she was 6. She had a fantastic time! She really enjoyed it tremendously and so did we. It was lots of fun experiencing WDW with the kids (she at 6 and my DS at 13).

Anyway, I know when we went in 2005, I knew it would be an exhausting experience at times and it was. pirate:

Personally, we would have waited until she was older around 4 for her first trip but my DS is seven years older than her and we did not want to wait any longer to take him to Disney for his first time. He was 8 at the time.

We tried to stay together as a family for most of the time since it was our first family trip. In hindsight, it would have been better for us to split up more (DS and DH and DD and I or DD and DH and DS and I). We split up some and those times helped. My DH and I took turns staying back at the resort with my DD.

maxiesmom
01-17-2010, 08:57 AM
Taking our then 26 month old in August, and I'm already prepping the older kids for the fact that you need to be patient with your sister while we are on vacation. She'll be off schedule, not napping in her crib, hot, and most horribly, confined to her stroller which she despises! At least they won't be shocked when pixie dust doesn't magically turn her into a super happy toddler at WDW.

Have you thought about getting a baby harness/leash for your daughter? That way she can walk around a bit and not be confined to her stroller, and you will still be able to know where she is at all times.

rgrutland
01-17-2010, 09:13 AM
Funny that you mention the toddler harness! I'll be honest that I used to snicker at parents that used the harnesses until I had #3!! He is a great kid and he LOVES to run off at 24 mos (we are celebrating his bday at the parks)!! So this XMas I got him a harness that looks like a stuffed dog. Had seen a Mickey harness on eBay, but decided to opt for the doggy and he did NOT like it at first, but I am slowly trying to get him used to it so that he'll wear it when we are at the parks next week...we'll see...wish me luck!! ;)
Robyn

Cinbride
01-17-2010, 11:34 AM
we are staying at Wilderness Lodge. Do they have cribs/rails? Does it cost extra and does anyone have pictures? thanks

Blurrysmom
01-17-2010, 06:09 PM
We also had a monkey backpack leash for our son, but I only found it mildly helpful. Of course it kept him physically from running off, but it didn't keep him from expressing his frustration by writhing on the ground or, my favorite, running in circles on the end of the "leash" like the Astro Orbiter. : )

Juliet25
01-17-2010, 06:28 PM
I pretty much agree with pp that taking a toddler is very challenging. I took my youngest at 11 months and 18 months, and boy did those 7 months make for two very different experiences! She was a breeze as an infant; as a toddler -- yikes! It's just so hard for them to understand that thet can't run loose. For my DD, it was the bus rides that did her in. She had meltdowns on every ride. Good times...

disney*mom*82
01-17-2010, 06:36 PM
We have taken our youngest DD since she was 5 mo. She went at 5mo, 17mo, 23mo, and we go again in March when she is 29mo and so far she has been GREAT, and the only bad moments I can think of were nothing to do with her age, just her health since she has apnea and heart conitions.

She LOVED every single ride she has ever gone on and she goes on a lot of ries. I couldnt imagine only being able to go on 3 rides per day. We kept track last time and we went on 17 rides/attractions at MK in one day. It was great! This last trip she was a little leary of the characters at first, but warmed up after seeing them a couple of days.

But, as PP have said, every child is different and she is a great child who travels and adjusts well. She naps in the stroller durring the day at WDW ad we stay at the parks until close and only go on late EMHs. She never is fussy, always well behaved, rides in the stroller and eats well. Keeping my fingers crossed each trip that this continues.

Not wanting to boost everyones hopes, but to let you know that it isnt always awful with a toddler. I planned for the worse and it never got bad. GL to evryone who takes their toddler, but know its not only toddlers you have to worry about, any child at any age can have a breakdown. Our 10yr old DD is more likely to than our two year old! LOL

frtchr
01-17-2010, 07:41 PM
We took DD at 11m, 16m, 26m, and a month shy of 3. DD has been at 6m and 15m. We're going again in May when DD will be 20m. I loved every trip for different reasons, and I can't wait for the next trip! We always stick to our regular schedules of napping and bedtimes, and that makes for happy kids. And happy kids make for happy parents. :)

momma2kiddos
01-17-2010, 10:47 PM
I appreciate how candid you were about going with a toddler! I think alot of us go in with rose colored glasses thinking it will be something right out of a Disney commercial! My DS will be 2 1/2 when we go so thanks for giving me something to look forward to! LOL With his little temper now, I see that we will go to war at the World! LOL I guess that's what happens when your bday is 2 hours before mommy's (we're Libras.....infamously known for being stubborn!)

princessbride6205
01-17-2010, 11:10 PM
DH and I had been taking 2-3 trips a year, visited DL a few times, got married at WDW, etc. So we wanted to go back to Disney before our little one would actually be able to enjoy it. DD was 15 months and had just become competent at walking. She is an average baby, behavior-wise. We also went with the grandparents, which really helped us stay sane. She was in a bit of a daze a lot of the trip, probably overwhelmed. She slept okay but ate like a bird. Fortunately she liked the characters - that could have gone either way! Our fondest memory is probably her kissing Leo (Little Einsteins) on the nose - unprompted! Most of all, toddlers like things they recognize. If they love fish, Living Seas is a good spot. If they like the characters, the character meals are great. Our DD loves lights and music, so she had so much fun running around the room in Epcot at the exit of Imagination - where you step on the carpet and it lights up and plays different musical instruments (Actual name: What If Labs). DD was too young for the shows like Playhouse Disney and Turtle Talk - she wanted to crawl around and "meet" all the other kids sitting on the floor. She did like the rides like Nemo Clam-mobile and It's a Small World. Overall, DD wasn't quite as happy and excited about the rides and Disney World as I'd hoped (although I'm not sure why I expected a 15-month old to really understand the magic). But, I would still do it all again.

Just 5 more days till our next trip - DD will be 30 months old. Her grandparents will be joining us for the 2nd half of our weeklong trip. :thumbsup2

ppan77
01-18-2010, 10:41 AM
Love this thread!!! I am leaving in 9 days with ds4 and dd 22 months!!! I am very worried about how my daughter will react to the characters. I have been trying to prepare her with pics and looking at rides and characters on youtube!! Crazy I know! My ds4 doesn't nap but I do plan on going back to CR for breaks and for dd to nap. My biggest mistake when we took ds at 18 months was assuming he would nap in the stroller. For two days he never fell asleep and ended up sick by the end of the trip. Always plan for rest/naptime with toddlers!!!

princessbride6205
01-18-2010, 12:41 PM
One more thing about characters - it has helped us to prep our DD for how she will react to them. A minute or two before meeting a character, we'll talk about what DD wants to do or say to them. For example, "We're going to see Leo. Are you going to give him a high five?" Or, "There's Minnie Mouse. When it's your turn, do you want to give her a hug?" This pre-planning really worked on our 2 1/2 yo DD when we met some non-Disney characters last week. I think sometimes toddlers aren't sure what to do with the characters. (And of course, sometimes your toddler will just be scared out of their minds.)

DisneyDreamer8
01-18-2010, 04:35 PM
Thanks for not sugar coating your report :goodvibes

We are taking our DS in May for his first trip to the World. He will be 26months. He has been to Disneyland when he was 7months and DCL at 14months so we are not going into this with no experience.

I have only made two ADR's on being a Character Breakfast. I am fortunate that my DS likes his stroller and will nap in it. I have rented a full size crib so he will be comfortable and we are hoping to get connecting rooms so we can stay up after he has gone to sleep.

I am trying to keep my OCDPD (obsessive compulsive Disney planning disorder :rotfl2:) in check. I usually have every little detail planned out for our whole trip so this is VERY hard for me.

I am hopeful that by keeping my expectations low and a go with the flow attitude our trip will not be a total disaster.

Best of luck to all fo us traveling with a toddler :wizard::scared1:

eeyore29
01-19-2010, 05:36 AM
DD will be about a year old for her first trip to WDW, so do you think we'll be spending most of our trip at MK? Or would that be when she's just a little bit older?

Tiger926
01-19-2010, 05:48 AM
Excellent points by OP! Good advice all around!

Our babes have also been at 10, 12, 13 and 22months, and not many issues either. We always go in July, and a few time in May, so super hot! I appreciate the candor of the OP, and as been stated in this thread, it not only depends upon temperment of child, but also the family's schedule.

We plan knowing that our kids are the top priority - we take naps, bedtime is the same, good meals/snacks are crucial (we don't eat junk food, nor drink pop), downtime each and everyday, strollers, child harnesses, favourite toys/blankets/pillow from home, Baby Care Centers (we still use it for our 6.5yr old as it's a comfort place for her) and they sleep with us. Basically, if a child looks tired, for whatever reason, that is handled right away. If a child is hungry, he/she is also taken care of right away. In most cases, it's that simple.

I find many of the meltdowns that I see in the parks, are due to bad planning on part of parents or horrible schedules. We've all seen the parental meltdowns as they don't get to do what they want to do, and this does not bode well for anyone. Not saying this was the case with the OP, but one cannot expect a child to act differently at Disney and be ok with that. OP is right about that! If naps are necessary at home, they are on vacation too! If kids don't normally eat junk all day long, they cannot on vacation either and mostl importantly, sleeping must be a priority, or unhappy people all around!

It is fun taking babies/toddlers to Disney, but it does require a bit more patience and planning, Tiger :)

Tristen79
01-19-2010, 08:00 AM
So all in all it was an AWESOME trip, but I did ALOT of researching ahead of time of all the Tips and Tricks.

1. It was HOT, HOT, HOT so we made sure to dress in temperature appropriate clothes most of the day, drank a ton of juice and water.
2. Again it was HOT, so we definitely split the days up into usual character b'fast in the mornings took in a park for a couple hours and then went back to the resort for some pool and then nap/relax time and didnt head back to parks til closer to 4 or so
3. Rides were great but as one poster stated we really only were able to do about 4-5 a day (carpets, dumbo (line is ridiculous and slow), carousel,) we found by doing the simple passing by and if it wasnt crowded we tried it and have loved this method
4. We also made sure to do alot of indoors either shopping, looking around, or the shows that give indoor ques to cool off and again chill out time
5. Garden Grocer was great for stocking up on the snacks,water and juice probably easily saved us a hundred or more
6 Biggest thing to keep in mind was to just relax and let her have HER trip so we took it easy, if she wanted to go see characters we did, if she wanted to eat we did, if she wanted to ride nothing forced, no itenerary (which is really key), in that way we didnt have any disappointments:wizard:

Keri
01-19-2010, 12:03 PM
eh, I don't know. Sure, it's kind of a pain with a toddler, but she's kind of a pain at home, too!:lmao: Honestly, I thought she (at 19 months) was the easiest of the bunch as far as going with the flow -- my 6 year old is a wimp about some rides & has to be convinced to go on them. He's also at the age where he doesn't want to hang out in the princess line with the girls! My 5 year old is whiney if she has to walk too much!

Maybe my expectations just aren't that high, but I was seriously worried about how she was going to behave on the trip, and she FAR surpassed my expectations. She ate fairly well, napped in her stroller at some point every day (I knew it was pointless to go back), slept fairly well once she went to sleep at night, slept a little later than normal in the mornings, and was REALLY great on the rides. If she got nervous, I held her, otherwise, she sat next to me like a big girl. She sat with us during Turtle Talk (after trying to sit with the big kids & deciding she didn't want to). She LOVED Playhouse Disney. She loved all the 'stuffed head" characters, but was shy with the princesses & fairies, which shocked me, but we dealt with it -- I held her, she was fine.

I don't know -- I agree that you can't expect your kid to become some perfectly behaved angel as soon as you set foot on Disney property. But I also think it's a blast so long as you keep your expectations reasonable and make sure you're doing kid-centered things most of the time. :confused3

acwsmom
01-19-2010, 01:36 PM
I loved your advice on taking toddlers to Disney and especially appreciated #1 on the list. Our first trip to WDW in 2008, DS was 2 and was a WONDERFUL child there. He took 2 hour naps in his stroller every day and was a happy and pretty well-behaved child during the rest of the day The only problem we'd have with him was during the wait for parades or fireworks but usually giving him a light-up toy would entertain him until the show started.

This past October, though, I wondered what happened to my sweet little boy. He became a MONSTER on our four-day trip this past October. He was suddenly throwing temper tantrums throughout the day (the kind where you just can't calm him down and everyone is staring at you and trying to figure out why you can't get your child under control :scared1:). The worst problem was that he never wanted to ride IN his stroller - he only wanted to PUSH his stroller. Would have worked out fine if he had actually paid attention to WHERE he was pushing his stroller. After he started running into people, we'd take the stroller away and the temper tantrum would start all over again. Our second day there, we walked out of DHS with very red faces and convinced we could never go back to WDW. :headache:

After a nap that afternoon (we ALL needed one by then!!), we decided to try going back to DHS one last time, but this time without the stroller. We thought we'd just give it a try and just planned on taking lots of sit-down breaks so that his little legs didn't wear out too quickly. Oddly enough, it worked. We braved the rest of the week without the stroller and it worked beautifully.

Plus, we learned that most of the temper tantrums started when he was either tired or hungry so we just took our cues when we started seeing his behavior go downhill. We gave him lots of snacks and made sure to go back to the room for a short nap if he needed it. When he started acting up while waiting in lines, we headed for the nearest playground area and let him roam free for a while. We still had a couple minor temper tantrums, but at least he had stopped screaming "I want to go home!" throughout the day!

MattinATL
01-26-2010, 04:51 PM
The sleeping thing is one I wish hotels esp. Disney would try and figure out. While I know you can get 2 rooms or a bigger room. some just can't do it. I wish there was some sort of curtain/like at POR sink areas that you could use and divide the room. In saying this, I am considering doing something like that. Buy a couple of suction type hooks and a sheet??? I don't know. That is one thing I am afriad of at disney. Our girl needs her sleep.

If you figure out how to do this please post it!! We are going on our first trip in May, staying in a 2 queen room, and i'm trying to figure out how to do the same thing. I'm considering creating 3 posts to go around 3-corners of the bed, assuming the bed's fourth corner is in the corner of the room already. String some wire to each post (at the top) and hook on some cheap drapes. Kids would love it anyway - a fort! :thumbsup2

Maybe i'm crazy, or just an engineer who loves to tinker, but there has to be a simple, temporary way to do this that won't bother the resort.

I guess more rationale people just get used to 'family-time' in the room, or stay in bigger accommodations!

monorailsilver
01-27-2010, 08:27 AM
I totally agree on the nap thing!

My kids behaved as they would at home, well I think better then they do at home since there was so much excitement in the air.

But the nap thing I think is/was key for them. Our last trip in 2008, my kids were 7, nearly 5 & 2 1/2. We took a mid day break every day & my 7 yo who hadn't napped in a good 4 years took a nap-thankfully or she would of been a bear that week! As soon as I drew the shades (room gets super dark at the Poly) she was out as was my 2 yo. But my 5 yo only took one nap so he just had to lay there & rest which is all he needed. He is the kid that can go like the energizer bunny & not nap.

Oh & bring 2 sippy cups from home for each kid. Why? Well we had an incident & I was taking the stroller off the monorail & thought one of my kids was holding their cup & well it rolled & rolled right down thru the cracks. We were able to finally get it back.

lexmas
01-27-2010, 01:45 PM
We took DS at 11, 18, and 21 months. The first two were disneyland, and a piece of cake. The boy was a saint (ironic, because he is TROUBLE at home!)

The last (21 months) was at disneyworld and I was 5 weeks pregnant with DD, and just starting to get my never-ending morning sickness!

All in all it went well. However:

1. DS did not eat. At all. Maybe a bite or two all 9 days. Luckly, he was still nursing, so he came home chubbier than when we left from all the milk! But still, that was tiring. We had a friend with us the first half of the trip, and that threw him for a loop. Only wanted Mommy, all the time.

2. I left every single dinner that wasn't a character meal or a buffet early. Sometimes I got to shove my food in my mouth first, sometimes not. He would not sit, he would not be quiet, and we just had to leave before it was embarassing.

2. DS didn't use a stroller at home. He was always a sling baby, and would scream if he even saw the stroller. So we decided not to bring one. Big mistake. I can sling a toddler around disneyland, but WDW is just too big. So we bought one on day 3 or 4. Figured it was worth the $30, just for the idea that my body wouldn't be so sore, even if he wouldn't ride in it. He LOVED it. Happy as a clam. So bring a stroller, even if you don't think they'll use it...you'll save money buying one! We chalked it up to peer pressure, seeing all those other kids in strollers! (Lesson learned though, if your kid is not used to a stroller, they have to be strapped in, or they'll fall on their head and you'll make an embarassing trip to first aid and have lots of pictures of a kid with a giant bruise on their head.)

3. Downtime is necessary. We went during free dining, and we found that we were just overscheduled trying to get back to the resort to nap and back to wherever we were having dinner. We skipped dinner once and it was the best day! I wish we had spent more time at the resort.

Still, we had tons of fun. I just think we needed to take it slow, always eat at buffets or counter service, and not be so scheduled!

Melissa&Shawn
01-27-2010, 04:01 PM
we are staying at Wilderness Lodge. Do they have cribs/rails? Does it cost extra and does anyone have pictures? thanks

I believe WL has the same pack and plays , no cribs. We rented through a baby's best friend and the luggage person helped DH set it up.

Blurrysmom
01-27-2010, 04:57 PM
I second Baby's Best Friend. Although if the luggage guys help you set it up, they're doing so out of the goodness of their hearts; BBF will tell you the bellmen won't do it, and at BWV anyway they were very clear that they are not affiliated and can't./won't help with assembly, and good luck. But DH put it together unassisted in about 20 minutes, and it came with all the bedding including a bumper, which was key for our son.

Also second Garden Grocer. We got snacks, milk, breakfast food, and a mom's best friend - a big bottle of chardonnay. :rotfl: Let the vacation begin!

aimlyles
02-04-2010, 11:20 PM
We are leaving next Sat and it'll be interesting to see how my 23 month old will behave. Not getting in the stroller will be a big one for us. I never thought I'd have to get one, never needed it for DS who's 8, but I bought one of those leash harness's for my youngest. I know some people don't approve but I figure it's safer than having him run off on us and/or us having to carry him all day because he won't sit in the stroller. Wish us luck :)

dmoore718
02-05-2010, 07:13 AM
I know it well!! We took l our Daughters when they were 3 and 2. We did have a great time, even though it was cold most days. We just realized that we would just do the things they wanted to do and so we spent many hours taking pics with princesses and playing in Toontown. My 3 y.o. was actually worse than the 2 y.o. She had some tantrums, and there were a few times, I carried her onto a ride, kicking and screaming, since she was afraid of everything...yes, you are right about Pooh Ride and how about Snow White!!! Scary stuff. In AK, she had a tantrum as we were waiting to go into the Nemo show and an older woman walking by gave me a dirty look and covered her ears saying, "Oh My EARS!" give me a break lady!! It's Disney World!!! My kids did nap in the stroller everday and this saved us and also gave us about 2 hrs to walk around and enjoy the Parks. They were actually more likely to nap if we stayed at the park and pushed them in the stroller, then if we tried to go back to the hotel. They also wanted to walk, but that only lasted the first day, they soon realized how exhausting it is and happily rode in the stroller. We are going next year and bringing our new baby for her fist trip at 18 mo. old. Hopefully, all will go smoothly but again....we expect to do lots of Kiddie fun. Good to know about the Hoop De Doo review, might have to look into that.

starsweeper
02-05-2010, 09:09 AM
I have to agree with what you have posted. Taking toddlers requires a lot of planning and being realistic about what you can do each day. We took our DC last Feb for their first trip. They were both 2.5 years old. Here's what worked well for us:

1. Return to the room for naps (even if they nap very little, they need downtime from the stimulation of the parks)
2. Plan to eat/snack every couple hours--we found DD and DS ate much more while there
3. Don't push the stroller issue, it's not worth it. We tried to make our DC ride their single strollers, but they really wanted to walk so they could explore and touch things. We gave in and let them walk most times they wanted to, and everyone was happier. BTW, we took two 10 lb, tri-fold strollers that were easy to fold in 2 seconds and carry.
4. We planned a minimum of 2-3 days just for MK because there is so much to do for little ones, and skipped Hollywood Studios and most of Epcot--we were making the trip about them, we've been there and done most of it before
5. Take things to occupy them while in line for rides (avoid Snow White and Peter Pan--they frighten little ones). BTW, our kids had no trouble with the Haunted Mansion, I think because they don't understand the concept of a ghosts yet and we pointed and laughed at things during the ride to break the creepy atmosphere.
6. Bring disposable eating mats, utensils, and sippys because they are often not available. At buffets, your under 3 DC can eat for free if they eat food from your plate that you place on a mat. This saved us a ton since we had two under 3 for character meals.

Be prepared for what you can't control:
1. Weather - we had highs in the 40s starting the 4th day of our trip. My DC are very cold intolerant, so we ended up leaving early on our Buy 4/Get 3 Free deal.
2. They will throw tantrums even if they've eaten/drunk something lately, have been changed, and are having a good time. I think its over-stimulation of so much to do and see.
3. One of our character meals got the bill wrong and it took 25 mins to get it adjusted. We know our kids last 45 min at any restaurant before it gets ugly, so it was not pretty. I had to wrangle two very upset and bored toddlers outside for 20 min while DH got the bill fixed.

champagnegirl26
02-05-2010, 10:42 AM
I have to agree with what you have posted. Taking toddlers requires a lot of planning and being realistic about what you can do each day. We took our DC last Feb for their first trip. They were both 2.5 years old. Here's what worked well for us:

1. Return to the room for naps (even if they nap very little, they need downtime from the stimulation of the parks)
2. Plan to eat/snack every couple hours--we found DD and DS ate much more while there
3. Don't push the stroller issue, it's not worth it. We tried to make our DC ride their single strollers, but they really wanted to walk so they could explore and touch things. We gave in and let them walk most times they wanted to, and everyone was happier. BTW, we took two 10 lb, tri-fold strollers that were easy to fold in 2 seconds and carry.
4. We planned a minimum of 2-3 days just for MK because there is so much to do for little ones, and skipped Hollywood Studios and most of Epcot--we were making the trip about them, we've been there and done most of it before
5. Take things to occupy them while in line for rides (avoid Snow White and Peter Pan--they frighten little ones). BTW, our kids had no trouble with the Haunted Mansion, I think because they don't understand the concept of a ghosts yet and we pointed and laughed at things during the ride to break the creepy atmosphere.
6. Bring disposable eating mats, utensils, and sippys because they are often not available. At buffets, your under 3 DC can eat for free if they eat food from your plate that you place on a mat. This saved us a ton since we had two under 3 for character meals.

Be prepared for what you can't control:
1. Weather - we had highs in the 40s starting the 4th day of our trip. My DC are very cold intolerant, so we ended up leaving early on our Buy 4/Get 3 Free deal.
2. They will throw tantrums even if they've eaten/drunk something lately, have been changed, and are having a good time. I think its over-stimulation of so much to do and see.
3. One of our character meals got the bill wrong and it took 25 mins to get it adjusted. We know our kids last 45 min at any restaurant before it gets ugly, so it was not pretty. I had to wrangle two very upset and bored toddlers outside for 20 min while DH got the bill fixed.

Hi you spoke of buffets...so does this mean in places such as crystal palace that I wont be able to use a plate without paying for our 2 year old?:confused3

champagnegirl26
02-05-2010, 10:43 AM
ps thanks starsweeper for your account....some great advice!!!
:thumbsup2

la79al
02-05-2010, 11:58 AM
We took DD in December when she was 19 months. It was my mom and my sister and I. We were all amazed that we got no tears at all until day 4. I would say we got about 6 rides done in MK and even less at the other parks. DD wanted to look at EVERYTHING (she would spend half the day watching the 'ducks') and did a few parades twice. We started out the week with a dinner at Chef Mickeys where she literally climbed out of the highchair to wrap herself around my neck as soon as a character came close and then wrapped tighter when I tried to put her back in when the character was gone. By the end of the week she was running up to characters (not the face characters, she never showed interest in them) giving them hugs. On our first full day, we went back to the room for naps. Mom and sis went for a walk while I laid on the bed rubbing DDs back. They came back and DD was jumping on the bed and running around the room. We took her to the pool, thinking it would tire her out. Nope. She ended up falling asleep in the stroller a few hours after we returned to MK. I think she fell asleep during 75% of lunches and dinners, which was okay because she wasn't eating anything anyhow, but it was kind of not cool because I had to hold her and try to eat at the same time. She didn't really seem to enjoy any of the rides. Dumbo is the only one where she actually smiled. The rest she didn't act like she was being tortured, but not even a smile. And the leash. The leash is funny to us now. We put that thing in the diaper bag every day (took up half the diaper bag, since it's one of those monkey leashes). Finally decided to try it out one night when we were resort hopping. DD loves it. Except that she loves it to walk herself. She would want me to put it on her and then she would want me to hand her the tail and off she would go. If I tried to take the tail back, she would drop to the ground and I would have to carry her, defeating the purpose of the leash. The only benefit to the leash was that at least when she was walking herself, she was staying out of trouble. Needless to say, the leash went back into the suitcase after that. We are taking DD again the week before she turns 2. And as reasonable as I thought I was in December, I am trying to be even more reasonable this trip. I know we're not going to get very much done. And I know that DD would rather watch the parade every night than hit every ride in MK. And I know that her absolute favorite thing in all of DW was the baby pool at Pop. And the blocks at Pop were probably a close second. I know that the older kids will have fun watching their little sister for awhile and then they will want to go more at their pace and the idea of 'we all stick together on family vacations' is not going to be very practical. Most importantly, I know that just like our previous trips, we are not going to be able to do it all. The most I can do it make what we do get done as pleasant as possible.

jkstewart1800
02-05-2010, 12:31 PM
Blurrysmom- Again, on the money with the Pooh ride. I was wondering if anyone else felt the same way.

It stems directly from a dream scene from the winnie the pooh 1970's tv special (that you can by on DVD)

disneyfan97
02-05-2010, 12:44 PM
I really think that your experience at WDW with a toddler will depend so much on the child's temperment and the planning/parents expectations. Luckily, the one thing you can control is your own expectations. We have taken DS to WDW 6 times in 3 years and he has had good days and bad days along the way, but for the most part it's very enjoyable. We go into it knowing that his schedule and needs rule the day, and we may not do/see everything - but we know we'll be back.

He sleeps really well in the stroller, which gives us time to ride swap on the larger/faster rides. That has been a really nice thing on every trip. He has also been known to take an evening nap on a really late night which allows us to stay out a little later, and he still gets some good sleep. I guess we are lucky that he's a pretty flexible kid. He sleeps well in hotel rooms, knows how to stand in line, and has always done well in restaurants. We still eat at Le Cellier and Chefs de France - but we make sure he has plenty to do at the table (colors, hot wheels, as he gets older this will transition to handheld games).

His life at home is all about structure - I'm a full time working mom, so his day is dictated by his daycare class. He goes to bed around the same time every night and eats around the same times every day. But when we go to Disney World it all goes out the window, and I've been pleasantly surprised at how well he has adjusted each time.

This last trip, as he is getting older and more opinionated, one of the keys to happiness was to let him decide where we go and what we ride. Our only real plan involved dining reservations and riding TSM first at DHS. Other than that, it was up to him if he was awake. Yes, that meant we stood at the light-up toy cart for 30 minutes one night while he played, but he was happy. :)

I mean, he's still 3, and he still acts like a toddler, but all in all a great time!

I say give your kids the benefit of the doubt...they might surprise you.

brightspark
02-07-2010, 02:09 PM
Hi you spoke of buffets...so does this mean in places such as crystal palace that I wont be able to use a plate without paying for our 2 year old?:confused3

We just got back and did Chef Mickey and Cape May with DS 18 months, and at both he had his own plate and bowl and we didn't pay for him... don't worry about it! I'm sure that at these type things they eat free if they are under 3!

champagnegirl26
02-07-2010, 02:26 PM
We just got back and did Chef Mickey and Cape May with DS 18 months, and at both he had his own plate and bowl and we didn't pay for him... don't worry about it! I'm sure that at these type things they eat free if they are under 3!

Thank you I thought that would be the case. Gosh even though this will be our fourth trip its our first as a family and there is so much more to think about with a child in tow!!! Thanks for your help :)

brightspark
02-07-2010, 02:29 PM
Well we just got back from our 2 week trip with DS who was 19 months the day we got back, and we had a WONDERFUL time! It was totally different to other trips before he was born, but this one was just as exciting and special as the others. I also found it less tiring due to the early nights!

Our biggest issues were jetlag and eating. Getting DS to eat well at home can be a problem and with jetlag he didn't really eat anything of any substance for the first week until he was over the jetlag... and once he'd got used to orange coloured cheese and stuff too. The second week he ate loads of eggy cheese on toast, which he loves and ate it brilliantly if we popped the pot by him in the stroller so he could eat it without any pressure. I'd figured before we went, that as he has gone months at a time with not a good diet -2 weeks weren't going to be a big deal!

We also did a garden grocer shop and got him his normal weetabix for breakfast so I knew he was eating well for one meal at least - and getting vitamins and iron. He also had plenty of milk.

Jetlag (5 hour time difference) meant that he was up really early in the morning (4 or 5 am some days) for the first week, which had the knock on effect of him falling asleep on the bus on the way to the parks... or being ready to sleep at 10:30am. The bonus to this was he slept in the stroller really well, so we were able to browse shops, eat in peace, do some rides... whilst he slept. I had been planning to back to the resort for his sleep - but as we couldn't go out most evenings, we got plenty of rest at that time of day. Thankfully our 1bed at DVC meant that we could rest in our room with the TV or whatever during the evening.

I have to say that I cannot recommend Tour Guide Mike HIGHLY ENOUGH. His advice was spot on and we hardly ever waited more than 5 mins max for a ride... this was brilliant... often the only wait was as we walked through to the ride (eg nemo and friends clamcars thing). We even rode winnie the pooh 2x without waiting... Obviously we went at a quiet time of year, but really it did make a massive difference - the last couple of days when we just wanted to do odd bits, we didn't use his advice and the difference was unbelievable!

I was so glad that we bought a lightweight, but reclining stroller to take...

DS did have his moments of not wanting to get in the stroller, and of getting upset about stuff, but really they were totally outweighed by the joy of the rest of the trip.

He hated the characters for the first couple of days... and I spent a long time in AK with him, at a really quiet time, just playing near them, and by the 3rd or 4th day he'd decided they were great. It just required some patience... the characters were great, when I told them he was shy, and I'd carry him up to them, keeping far enough away for him to stay comfortable, and then they often played peekaboo with him, or I would pretend to tickle them, and gradually DS joined in, until it was a struggle to keep him from running right up to them everytime he saw them.

As we had 14 days we really took things slowly as well... often just doing DS's favourite rides over and over again. He loved it and so did we.

We saw plenty of kids on the harness things - and they seemed to be working well. We didn't use one with DS in the end, rather just spent time chasing him around... and he loved to push the stroller so that helped too!

His favourite rides and shows were: Dumbo, cinderellas caroselle, small world, toy story midway mania, winnie the pooh, playhouse disney, Nemo and friends clam cars, the piggybank challenge in Future World at Epcot - he liked carrying the piggy, triceratops spin at AK, and Festival of the Lion King. He didn't wear the 3d glasses for the toy story thing, but it didn't seem to stop his enjoyment at all... He didn't like Peter Pan (we didn't try snow white).

He loved the parades, and loved dancing in the street at the morning MK parade :)

pixarmom
02-07-2010, 02:38 PM
I really think that your experience at WDW with a toddler will depend so much on the child's temperment and the planning/parents expectations. Luckily, the one thing you can control is your own expectations. We have taken DS to WDW 6 times in 3 years and he has had good days and bad days along the way, but for the most part it's very enjoyable. We go into it knowing that his schedule and needs rule the day, and we may not do/see everything - but we know we'll be back.

He sleeps really well in the stroller, which gives us time to ride swap on the larger/faster rides. That has been a really nice thing on every trip. He has also been known to take an evening nap on a really late night which allows us to stay out a little later, and he still gets some good sleep. I guess we are lucky that he's a pretty flexible kid. He sleeps well in hotel rooms, knows how to stand in line, and has always done well in restaurants. We still eat at Le Cellier and Chefs de France - but we make sure he has plenty to do at the table (colors, hot wheels, as he gets older this will transition to handheld games).

His life at home is all about structure - I'm a full time working mom, so his day is dictated by his daycare class. He goes to bed around the same time every night and eats around the same times every day. But when we go to Disney World it all goes out the window, and I've been pleasantly surprised at how well he has adjusted each time.

This last trip, as he is getting older and more opinionated, one of the keys to happiness was to let him decide where we go and what we ride. Our only real plan involved dining reservations and riding TSM first at DHS. Other than that, it was up to him if he was awake. Yes, that meant we stood at the light-up toy cart for 30 minutes one night while he played, but he was happy. :)

I mean, he's still 3, and he still acts like a toddler, but all in all a great time!

I say give your kids the benefit of the doubt...they might surprise you.

I was just checking back on this thread, and wanted to throw in my additional two cents - well said, Disneyfan97! It's so dependent on individual children/families, and realistic parent expectations. We plan a lot for our 3 kids, and then prepare to be flexible. I've found that all the WDW information I've gathered from different sources over the years really helps when it's time to be flexible!

A note on the mid-day break. I may have mentioned this earlier, but we experimented with the mid-day break/nap at the resort and the stroller nap, and for all 3 of our kids, the stroller nap produced excellent results! It's a long story, but the mid-day break at the hotel -when we tried it long ago - was a disaster for us. But for so many families, the hotel nap/break is absolutely essential. So I can't recommend one or the other for anyone else - I think it starts with each parent's best guess about their own children, and then some trial and error!

Channyn
02-07-2010, 03:15 PM
We've been to Disney twice in the last few years. The first trip was with our 18month old and then 2 years later...with our 12 month old and 3 1/2 year old. I will admit we are one of those families that enjoyed every minute of our time there. The girls on both trips were great. We really went with what worked for them at the time. We slept in each morning, had breakfast in our room and let them play...we arrived at the parks by 10 or 10:30. Everything went smoothly...no melt downs. On both trips the girls fell asleep in their strollers around 3:00 for an almost 2 hour nap. (The baby had a couple naps throughout the day) We would just take it easy, walk around, shop and have a snack. Then they were good to go all night. We would usually get back to the room by 10:00 -10:30, they would quickly fall asleep and we could relax for a bit before we went to bed. I think the key is that we never pushed it, relaxed and went withthe flow. Each child and family is different, so I think you just need to adapt to your own ways.

brightspark
02-15-2010, 02:14 PM
Can I pass on a tip which made our visit SO much easier!

The hippychick hipseat!

I don't know if you can get these in the US but this is a life (and back saver). Wear it like a belt over your clothes and you have a seat for your child to sit on (6months-3years). I wore it all the time - esp for waiting in lines... made a huge difference to my abillity to hold DS (19 months) for long periods of time!

I can't seem to get a picture to work on here, but if you google it - you'll find plenty of info!

Trinity524
02-15-2010, 02:41 PM
My son has been 2 times and will be going again in Sept. He was exactly as he was at home with the guaranteed meltdown at the same time every day. We stayed at Poly last year and every night when we got off the boat from MK we would have to pass the pool to get to our room in Tokelau (sp). Even though we ended every night in the pool, at 22 months he could not understand that he had to get on his bathing suit first and it made for a hellish return. We finally learned we could walk a different way and it was much better. Just something to keep in mind!

happymommy
02-16-2010, 04:57 AM
We've been taking our kids since they were 2 and 4, and had a wonderful time from the first trip (where we drove 1000 miles straight through the night, it was after 9/11 and I wouldn't fly that year). We brought our double stroller, and the kids both took a long nap in it every afternoon. I remember one afternoon at DAK, the kids both fell asleep, so DH and I parked ourselves at the bar and relaxed and had a couple of beers. We were there for 11 nights, so we took our time and relaxed, never rushed much, just enjoyed everything. It helped that the place was beyond dead - early December right after 9/11 - no lines anywhere. We also got a great deal on the BWV, so had space which totally spoiled us!

We never had many meltdowns that I can remember, and my DS has severe ADHD. There is so much to distract him at WDW that I think that helped.

I even started taking the kids when they were 4 and 6 without DH, as I found WDW to be the easiest place to bring young kids.

We've almost never gone back to the room specifically for a nap, although a few times we would just to chill out if it's hot outside. Sometimes we'd fall asleep, sometimes just relax and watch some tv (which is awful at Disney, can't they get some better channels?).

We use fastpasses, plus I get a GAC for my son due to severe asthma (we don't stay too long in the parks, as it's gotten worse as he's gotten older, never had it much when he was young, although had several bad cases of pneumonia). I always try to plan fun things, but also know that little kids don't always want to sit through a long meal, so many of our meals are quick.

We took a stroller until the kids were 7 and 9, and really did need it.

I agree though - my DD would get cranky and upset, then we'd sit and eat something and she'd turn into the sweetest little girl. We didn't know she was hungry! Matter of fact, sometimes really young kids don't know themselves that they're hungry. I don't think we ever brought sippy cups, as we got straws everywhere except DAK. I may have had juice boxes with us there.

I would take a child any age to WDW - although the teen years I'm getting scared of!

Zeebs
02-16-2010, 07:41 AM
If I am tired I am cranky...... (then we become one of those families that get comments of why is she yelling at her child in Disney of all places)

If the kids are tired they are cranky..... (then we become one of those families that get comments of why are their parents not sorting those kids out)

Our one and only trip so far to WDW was great kids were 11 months and 2.5,

We had no meltdowns on that trip which I attribute to sticking to a similar schedule as at home.

We would be at the parks for opening (staying offsite so no EMH) and then carry on until around 3.30 - 4.00 maybe a little later if the kids were doing ok, before heading home for a swim or dinner. Kids in bed around 7.30 pm

They got their needed 11 hours of sleep, we got our 8 hours of sleep.

On our 1 late night at MNSSHP (baby slept through the entire event in the stroller) we had a day off the next day we did visit Epcot around 2.30 in the afternoon for a dinner at Coral Reef around 5.

We recently had a trip to DLP and as it was cold and nothing to do if you weren't in the park(except hang out in the room) we did opening to close then dinner, Seth 2 a couple of major meltdowns, fighting and a lot of whining. We still had a good time but it wasn't the same easy trip as it was to WDW.

Kirsten

Stasieki
02-16-2010, 11:52 AM
Love your number 1, so true!! Not only that, but their quirks are compounded exponentially! You have a tantrum thrower at home, he'll be a holy terror at WDW. But I really wanted to comment on #2.

We've known since DD was 5w old that she needs complete darkness and quiet to sleep. And if she gets that, she'll sleep for 4 hours. If conditions aren't right, she won't sleep and we have a majorly cranky child.

So when we went on our first trip with her we stayed at CSR so we could put her crib in the closet. Then we pulled the curtains to keep out light and distractions. It worked great, but we had nowhere to go for 4 hours. So we hung outside on the walkway and got drunk. :rotfl:

Our 2nd and 3rd trip (and 4th coming up) we have rented a 2-bed at Bonnet Creek (next to the Four Seasons on(off) property). She gets her own dark room, and we have the rest of the suite to chill out and do whatever (get drunk usually :rotfl:).

Thanks for the review!

Your experience is just like ours. Our first trip with our DD we stayed at CSR and had the same difficulties with naps (needs long naps like your DD), last year we stayed at Bonnet Creek and are in love. Planning our next trip for October (will have a 6 mo old - due March 30th, whoo hoo) and will stay at Bonnet Creek again. I thought about trying a Deluxe hotel and DH told me I was nuts - he was right - it was just a pregnancy moment.

AlexandAndysMom
02-16-2010, 04:59 PM
When my youngest was 14 months old, we took my oldest to WDW for the first time...I know, mean mommy...but there were other things going on too, and he couldn't go...but he did get to spend great time with grandma. :love:

My oldest was 6 and had a blast. We knew we would be going back with both kids, and he had been having some issues with 'the baby' so we wanted to do something special just for him. He is my angel and always has been. And he immediatly had a meltdown our first night there at the MNSSHP when he put his candy bag down and forget it. He wanted to go home...not hotel room home, but on a plane and back home...lol. Thanks to a wonderful cast member, his problem was solved and we had a wonderful trip.

Fast forward 11 months. Thanksgiving week with the family (hubby, both boys, grandma, grandpa, and me) :scared1: As angelic as the oldest one is...well, we just call the youngest one THE MONSTER. He did so much better than we thought he would. And we were prepared for the worst. Yes, he had his meltdown every morning over breakfast because he wanted to 'do it myself' (like cut the waffles...). What we figured out real quick is, don't fight back..he wants to cut the waffles and it takes 10 extra minutes before he asks for help, what's 10 minutes?? He refused to take naps (unless we were on the bus), but really, he did surprisingly well...and was asleep on the bus immediatly...lol. When he didn't want to ride in his stroller, we went someplace where he could roam for a few minutes and get it all out. If he didn't want to wait in line, we got out of line. When he was hungry, we ate. We also split up quite a bit. I rode the bigger rides with the oldest (cause hubby is a big baby!! :rotfl2:) and hubby took the monster to a play area.

The biggest thing we learned on that trip was that a) we want to do it again...and will be for his 3rd bday in August b) go with the flow...let them dictate how fast or slow you move and c) just like at home...pick your battles...if you don't you will all end up miserable and that isn't how it should be at Disney....

And, I love my little monster and wouldn't trade him or his attitude (which he got honestly) for anything!! :love:

Cinbride
02-16-2010, 08:56 PM
we survived. Everything went really well. Yes, there were a few small meltdowns but we just took it slow. We did a break everyday except one. my 2.5 was okay with that. She used the stroller a lot more than I thought she would. We carried our 4.5 mth old most of the time esp in MK. In other parks we put her in the stroller more. We thought we would need a harness. We didn't buy one. Everything was fine. Crowds were pretty low so we could keep an eye on her easy. all in all it was a success and my 2.5 yr old and I can't wait to visit again.

photographymom517
02-18-2010, 08:24 PM
Does disney have toddler cutlery available? I guess its another thing to pop in my bag if not!
I didn't see any children's cutlery anywhere at any of the resorts or parks. I would take some along...the Take & Toss kind are wonderful for trips! Not sure how old your child/children are, but I mailed myself a box (to our resort) full of baby supplies...disposable bibs, diapers, silverware, bowls, baby food, baby cereal, extra binkies, etc. It worked out wonderful...the box was waiting for me at the hotel when I arrived & I didn't have to worry about putting all the extras in my luggage (we didn't have the room because I already had all of those things in our bags...but I mailed myself extra everything!) With an infant or toddler, you never know how much of anything you will need. But I highly recommend the "take & toss" because you can just throw them away at the park after your meal.

kstinw19
02-18-2010, 09:26 PM
We have done the Disney trip with many different toddlers at many different ages and every time it's a different (but great) experience.


1. Your child will behave at Disney like he does at home, so be prepared. Logically I knew this was true, but I was so excited for the Disney experience that I pretended he would be docile and just overwhelmed with joy to be doing whatever we wanted to do. Instead, I was upset and angry and embarassed when he consistently refused to get in his stroller at the parks without an epic struggle involving copious amounts of screeching and bucking like a bronco. He wanted to walk, but he can't endure all that yet, and besides, his version of "walking" was darting in and around the crowds at warp speed and trying to climb trash cans. This resulted in a lot of us carrying our 35-pound baby, which in turn exhausted us. This was stressful.

I do agree with this and that is why we are bringing the "leash"/backpack so that ds2 can walk a bit on his own.


2. If your child doesn't nap during the day, you will have problems. we observed the mid-day retreat to the hotel for his regular nap, but the room just wasn't dark enough and he fought it and wouldn't go down. He did sleep briefly in the car coming and going. But he was not pleasant in the afternoon. Unfortunately, it was 35 degrees while we were there, so we couldn't have a relaxing pool afternoon.

ITA with this too. We have never had the kids that will just crash in the middle of the afternoon. What we have done is that either dh or I will take the little one out of the park and take them either on the monorail or boat and just keep riding it for an hour. It sure beats sitting in the hallway. ;)


3. Seriously consider a 1BR if you can afford it. We did this and it was money well spent with a very active boy who runs around every waking minute. The garden grocer delivery was also a good call. And the rental crib.

ITA!

4. Some of the kids' rides are plain weird. Peter Pan incorporated dead pirates laying across the ship deck and even Winnie the Pooh has a strange psychadelic dream sequence that looks like Pooh ate some bad mushrooms. I don't understand this.

the Pooh acid trip is a bit odd...I think it's a 70s throwback thing.

6. Always carry a sippy cup. Some places, like the Hoop-de-doo Review (which he loved, by the way), don't even have lids. They served his milk in a giant glass bell jar. Not good.

The Hoop Dee Do was probably our biggest mistake...no sippy cups, no kid size food, too high chairs, and the restrooms are outside. We only made it through 1/2 the show because we were spending most of the time in the restroom!

7. Good stuff: he loved the actual rides when he was riding them. The carousel, Dumbo, Aladdin's carpets, Small World, Winnie the Pooh, it was all great. And he loved the character breakfast (or at least he didn't cry). He also loved the Hoop de Doo Review, I think because we were so close to the stage. We had some nice moments, but it wasn't easy.

Glad that you had some nice moments :)

kelleyrn2000
02-18-2010, 10:24 PM
We went several years ago when my dds were 2yrs and 3 1/2. My youngest was prone to tantrums (first full blown tantrum at 9months!) anyways, but I think there was only one time where we had a major meltdown at MK and I had to carry her out of the restaurant. She ended up falling asleep on the bench outside...just overtired.

As far as the characters, she was afraid of all of them, until we went to see JoJo and Goliath! She gave them such hugs I could cry thinking about it. Then, we got to meet Mike and Sully from Monsters, Inc. I have THE BEST picture of her hugging Sully...priceless! Those were her favorites at the time.

This year we will be traveling with our 24 month old son in June, along with our girls. I am thinking about doing a 5 day pass, and just visiting our favorite parks more than once so we don't feel rushed to do everything in one day.

Luckily we have a double suite thanks to great grandmother's timeshare and it will have a full kitchen and there will be 3 bedrooms, so naps should be easier. Grandma is really trying to get us a first floor suite too, so that lugging the stroller and/or kids back and forth to the pool will be easier. I hope they can do that!

For meals, we will typically eat breakfast in our room, then pack many snacks (bananas, pb&j, water, applesauce) and bring them to the park. Maybe do a later lunch, and then we can either go out to eat for dinner or if the kids are tired cook at hotel/order takeout, etc.

I'm a little nervous going with all three kids, but I am hoping the "magic" will overcome all of us :rotfl:
and we will have fun. I will admit I have thought about the "babysitter" idea ALOT! DH likes to not have other people with us on vacation though.

Thanks for all the tips because I will use them!

champagnegirl26
02-19-2010, 02:21 AM
I didn't see any children's cutlery anywhere at any of the resorts or parks. I would take some along...the Take & Toss kind are wonderful for trips! Not sure how old your child/children are, but I mailed myself a box (to our resort) full of baby supplies...disposable bibs, diapers, silverware, bowls, baby food, baby cereal, extra binkies, etc. It worked out wonderful...the box was waiting for me at the hotel when I arrived & I didn't have to worry about putting all the extras in my luggage (we didn't have the room because I already had all of those things in our bags...but I mailed myself extra everything!) With an infant or toddler, you never know how much of anything you will need. But I highly recommend the "take & toss" because you can just throw them away at the park after your meal.

Thanks for the info :)
Im from the UK and so am not aware of take and toss cutlery :confused3
Well I guess i understand the concept we just do not get them over here. Can you get them at wallmart? are they in the baby section? We may get some once we get there
Thanks
:flower3:

nelsonkg
02-19-2010, 05:54 AM
I smiled as I read your post because it could have been me writing it. Our last trip with our then two year old was definately filled with challenges. I was surprised by this because he had done so well at age 1.
The first ride we went on was Pooh. I was so excited to take him on it. He was TERRIFIED and tried to jump out of the honey pot! He wouldn't get on anything for the rest of the day unless it was an outdoor ride! It made me realize how many of the rides have a scarey element to them.
He was also overwhelmed even with us keeping his schedule and going at a slow pace I just think there was too much stimulation for him. I actually felt guilty about bringing him on the trip sometimes because he seemed stressed by it all. This made it tough on our 8 yr old who was ready for everything. So we had to split up a lot.
Our best memories of that trip are the character meals and lazing around at stormalong bay with him happily playing in the sand. He also LOVED AK and the Living Seas and of course MK train ride.
I agree on the 1 bedroom we have always had the extra room so the kids can sleep and we can have some adult time.
We usually go to WDW every year but we are skipping this year and waiting until he is 4. We want to make sure he is ready the next time.

MommaMouse411
01-12-2011, 08:37 AM
1. Your child will behave at Disney like he does at home, so be prepared. Logically I knew this was true, but I was so excited for the Disney experience that I pretended he would be docile and just overwhelmed with joy to be doing whatever we wanted to do. Instead, I was upset and angry and embarassed when he consisten tly refused to get in his stroller at the parks without an epic struggle involving copious amounts of screeching and bucking like a bronco. He wanted to walk, but he can't endure all that yet, and besides, his version of "walking" was darting in and around the crowds at warp speed and trying to climb trash cans. This resulted in a lot of us carrying our 35-pound baby, which in turn exhausted us. This was stressful.
ahh this just happened recently after 20something trips to disney in the last year in a half, you never know which "personality" will come out from your kids, and I have two LITTLE ones

2. If your child doesn't nap during the day, you will have problems. we observed the mid-day retreat to the hotel for his regular nap, but the room just wasn't dark enough and he fought it and wouldn't go down. He did sleep briefly in the car coming and going. But he was not pleasant in the afternoon. Unfortunately, it was 35 degrees while we were there, so we couldn't have a relaxing pool afternoon.My 2yr old is not a napper but I always brought the big comfy stroller and he always napped in there and if I was tired, hot or cold, we hung out in the baby center

3. Seriously consider a 1BR if you can afford it. We did this and it was money well spent with a very active boy who runs around every waking minute. The garden grocer delivery was also a good call. And the rental crib.yes the bigger the room the better, I experienced a suite the other day and I was like this is what I needed to book in previous trips

4. Some of the kids' rides are plain weird. Peter Pan incorporated dead pirates laying across the ship deck and even Winnie the Pooh has a strange psychadelic dream sequence that looks like Pooh ate some bad mushrooms. I don't understand this.LOL too funny, but some of the movies themselves are weird!!

5. Some toddlers, like mine, cannot tolerate wait in line for more than 10 minutes. This means that even with expert fast pass usage, you might not get on more than 3 rides all day (and that's in low season). learned that the first real trip after my 1s son turned 1...no standing in lines more than 15minutes...we used fastpasses and was able to go on all fastpass rides

6. Always carry a sippy cup. Some places, like the Hoop-de-doo Review (which he loved, by the way), don't even have lids. They served his milk in a giant glass bell jar. Not good. I always bring water, sippy cup, juice, snacks

7. Good stuff: he loved the actual rides when he was riding them. The carousel, Dumbo, Aladdin's carpets, Small World, Winnie the Pooh, it was all great. And he loved the character breakfast (or at least he didn't cry). He also loved the Hoop de Doo Review, I think because we were so close to the stage. We had some nice moments, but it wasn't easy.my 2yr old loved the Backyard BBQ and all character breakfasts too

OK, that's all I've got. Good luck to all you toddler travelers - have fun![/QUOTE]


but when I went i just had the mindframe like something will happen, my kids were so cranky at MVMCP they made me miss the christmas parade!! I was soooooo disappointed and I'm like well we'll try again next year...lol

Colleen27
01-12-2011, 09:58 AM
Does disney have toddler cutlery available? I guess its another thing to pop in my bag if not!

No, they don't. I'd strongly recommend picking up some "take and toss" cultery and sippy cups if your child needs them. We spent our last trip washing the set of silverware that resides in our diaper bag after each and very meal (no matter how messy). Disposable would have been much better; we could have washed it to reuse when convenient but not worried about it when it wasn't.

DD is 29mo now and has "graduated" to real silverware and cups for the most part, though she does still have trouble with heavy or oversized glasses. We're still ordering take-and-toss sippies and silverware with our diaper delivery order, just in case. For $3 each it is money well spent for the a extra convenience.

Colleen27
01-12-2011, 10:00 AM
The sleeping thing is one I wish hotels esp. Disney would try and figure out. While I know you can get 2 rooms or a bigger room. some just can't do it. I wish there was some sort of curtain/like at POR sink areas that you could use and divide the room. In saying this, I am considering doing something like that. Buy a couple of suction type hooks and a sheet??? I don't know. That is one thing I am afriad of at disney. Our girl needs her sleep.

That's one nice thing about the moderates (and it seems they're going to add it to the values too - they did at Pop with the refurb) - the privacy curtain that closes off the sink area creates a perfect place to put a pack & play to keep it dark and quieter than the rest of the room.

Ava
01-12-2011, 02:21 PM
Thank you all for sharing your experiences. We're taking DD on her first trip in May, she'll be just turned 2 when we go. I'm trying to have realistic expectations & be prepared to just go with the flow. In general she is pretty good, not too many tantrums/meltdowns, but she is not a stroller sleeper so I'm really hoping she's able to nap at the hotel each day. The grandparents are coming with us & we've requested connecting rooms, so if we get them we'll be able to put DD to nap in one room & hang out in the other. If we don't get the connecting rooms I guess we'll try putting her pack & play in the sink area behind the privacy curtain & then will just have to sit quietly reading while she naps. We use a white noise machine at home which we'll bring with us so hopefully that will help too.

I also want to do the CP breakfast with her (she loooves Eeyore), but I scheduled it for a few days into the trip. That way we'll have time to see how she reacts to the characters & let her get used to them, and if she's terrified of them we'll just cancel the breakfast.

A question for those who have BTDT - what was your "touring plan" when you went with a toddler? I feel like I should have some idea of which attractions to hit & in what order, just so we aren't all standing around trying to decide what to do next, but I don't want a full schedule that we won't likely be able to stick to.

growinupdisney
01-12-2011, 03:43 PM
After reading alot of these posts I realize I'm lucky.We took my dd3 when she was 8mo, 2, and 3 we will be returning in 3 mo when she will be 4. So far we have not had any problems, she has napped in her stroller, never had an argument about getting in her stroller, only one problem with the characters and that was when she was 2 and the very first Character she saw was GOOFY she did not cry but I had to stand in the middle of them because I could tell she wasn't too sure about him. The next Character she saw was Minnie and I couldn't keep her away she wouldn't stop hugging her. I don't even recall her crying on any trip at all!

She sleeps in the hotel rooms no problem! I have more of a problem with my older two kids who are 16 abd 13 they fight with each and my dd16 iusually has something to complain about.

The only thing that I think that has made my dd like this is since she was born she has had to accomidate with our lifestyle versus us accomidating to her, having teenagers around it is never quiet, I would vaccuum when she was napping and she slept right through it. When it was her nap time it might be when it was time to pick the kids up from school so she had to adjust.

She learned to nap wherever! She is not one to wine or cry unless she gets hurt. I used to be a coach and she has come with me to competitions, practices etc. and sat quietly and never been one to run around a not listen. I give her something to occupy herself and she is good. When she is done playing with her toys she sits and watches whats going on. I do realize I am lucky I have parents(of teenagers) all the time tell me how well behaved she is.
I'm sure if my dd3 was not enjoyable to be with in WDW we would not be going every year. I can pretty much count on it. But, thankfully since my oldest was 5 we have been every year and hopefully if we are lucky enough will continue to go every year from now on!

I started going to WDW when I was 7 and we went every year all the way up until I got pregnant with my oldest. I do remeber how much of a butthead I was to my parents when I was a teen and at WDW (i guess that's where my older dd gets it from) but if I was really bad that would'nt have continued to bring us back every year! So far for ME it's not the toddler age its the teen age at Disney that's "the good, the bad, and the ugly":rotfl2: Don't get me wrong my dd16 is a good girl but, she is a struggle to wake up for rope drop, she is never satisfied with the food unless its pizza :confused3 and she constanly wants to shop. So I'm hoping this is just her teen years that are the aggravating ones! As for my DS he is just like my dd3 laid back and happy wherever we are!:love:

Colleen27
01-12-2011, 04:13 PM
A question for those who have BTDT - what was your "touring plan" when you went with a toddler? I feel like I should have some idea of which attractions to hit & in what order, just so we aren't all standing around trying to decide what to do next, but I don't want a full schedule that we won't likely be able to stick to.

Well, our situation was a little different since it sounds like you're only planning around one child. We have three with a 10 year age difference between oldest and youngest, so our touring plans were pretty much the same as they always are but with notes about places to take DD2 to play while we took turns taking the big kids on the rides. I think that's something I'm actually going to miss when DD2 gets big enough for all the rides - the kids got to ride everything twice because of the baby swap (once with me, once with DH)! But we also left things flexible, with a general plan that we knew wouldn't be followed to the letter.

We do the deluxe dining and used lunches as a break from the excitement - booked non-character table service meals so that DD could concentrate on eating and resting - but we didn't take breaks back to the resort. DD napped just fine in the stroller. And we stopped for lots of snacks. Those snack credits have never been as useful to us as when traveling with a little girl who wants four bites of food every two hours! :rotfl:


The only thing that I think that has made my dd like this is since she was born she has had to accomidate with our lifestyle versus us accomidating to her, having teenagers around it is never quiet, I would vaccuum when she was napping and she slept right through it. When it was her nap time it might be when it was time to pick the kids up from school so she had to adjust.

She learned to nap wherever! She is not one to wine or cry unless she gets hurt. I used to be a coach and she has come with me to competitions, practices etc. and sat quietly and never been one to run around a not listen. I give her something to occupy herself and she is good. When she is done playing with her toys she sits and watches whats going on. I do realize I am lucky I have parents(of teenagers) all the time tell me how well behaved she is.

My DD is the same way, I think for the same reason. She's 10 years younger than DS and 7 younger than DD, and she's had no choice but to go with the flow, sleep in her stroller or the baby bjorn, learn to tune out background noise, etc. With the older kids, it seemed sometimes like she spent more of her first year at sports fields and scout meetings than at home. At two, she is the most laid back, flexible, go with the flow kid I've ever known - she doesn't cling to routines or get upset with changes, she very seldom has tantrums/meltdowns even when we have long days, and even though she is very busy and loves to run around, she listens well and enjoys restaurant meals.

We had a wonderful trip with her when she was 16mo - the 12yo was a lot bigger source of drama! If she hadn't had such a good time or had been more difficult, I doubt I'd be planning our March trip.

TinkWink
01-12-2011, 05:11 PM
This thread has been so helpful AND hilarious!:lmao:

We'll be going when DD is 26 months old. We're going to rent a stroller and take our harness/leash thing. We only have one dinner booked - we did the rest as breakfast and lunch since I figure she is more likely to be happy earlier in the day. We plan to go back for nap time just about every day, too! We plan to be flexible with the meals throughout the day and take snacks with us. And if we get Peter Pan and Dumbo rides done, that will be good enough!!! I keep telling myself that, anyway!;)

Ava
01-12-2011, 11:05 PM
Well, our situation was a little different since it sounds like you're only planning around one child. We have three with a 10 year age difference between oldest and youngest, so our touring plans were pretty much the same as they always are but with notes about places to take DD2 to play while we took turns taking the big kids on the rides. I think that's something I'm actually going to miss when DD2 gets big enough for all the rides - the kids got to ride everything twice because of the baby swap (once with me, once with DH)! But we also left things flexible, with a general plan that we knew wouldn't be followed to the letter.
Yup, DD is our only so far. So its going to be all about her on this trip. She is a pretty easy kid, except that she can't sleep on the go. I am thinking though that after a morning of dealing with my father (who has a lot in common with the 1-year-old sometimes :rolleyes: ) I will need to go back to the hotel for a break from him. :rotfl:

pacrosby
01-12-2011, 11:19 PM
My DD is the same way, I think for the same reason. She's 10 years younger than DS and 7 younger than DD, and she's had no choice but to go with the flow, sleep in her stroller or the baby bjorn, learn to tune out background noise, etc. With the older kids, it seemed sometimes like she spent more of her first year at sports fields and scout meetings than at home. At two, she is the most laid back, flexible, go with the flow kid I've ever known - she doesn't cling to routines or get upset with changes, she very seldom has tantrums/meltdowns even when we have long days, and even though she is very busy and loves to run around, she listens well and enjoys restaurant meals.

.

Count me in as yet another lucky momma. In our case however it wasn't older siblings that required them to learn to be flexible but rather dh and I. We were older parents from the start (had my first at 38 and fourth and last at 44). Too set in our ways. We were always on the go and weren't interested in putting a halt to it all. They had no choice but to learn to go with the flow.

I honestly do think we have the most flexible, easy going kids I know.

Just have to wait and see what the teenage years bring:)

OhdahLolly
01-12-2011, 11:34 PM
:rotfl: at number 1. OP are you sure you didn't take my 4 year old with you?



Here are a few of mine from trips passed.

1. When your child/ren are acting tired, slightly cranky, it might be time to take a park break. That means head straight to the hotel and collect your 200 disney bucks and mickey cookies at the desk. No more "one more ride.."! It will be so much better in the long run. If it is too cold/hot to swim, baths work wonders too.

2. If your toddler likes to play with lincoln logs.. do not let him see the table at WCC if you do not have time to play! My son saw these on the way to our table (it was there unbeknown to us), and would not stop crying that he wanted to play with them. Of course, he was barely three.. but nothing could get his mind off of it. Which upset our youngest, and had my DH and I trying to balance two children in the middle of dinner.

3. Baby carriers!

4. Beware of sugar overload. sometimes giving them everything they want in the magic kingdom can and often will backfire on you.

shefrn1
01-13-2011, 10:27 AM
great thread....heading to WDW in May with DD3 and DS 20months....getting alot of great tips from you guys....keep em coming!!!

DD prolly won't be a problem...sleeps well in hotels (we travel alot) and does well in stroller...DS can be a lil stinker sometimes although he's getting better so hopefully by May he'll be better!!!

buzznina
01-13-2011, 02:08 PM
I will admit we are one of those families that enjoyed every minute of our time there. We really went with what worked for them at the time. We slept in each morning, had breakfast in our room and let them play...we arrived at the parks by 10 or 10:30. Everything went smoothly...no melt downs. On both trips the girls fell asleep in their strollers around 3:00 for an almost 2 hour nap. (The baby had a couple naps throughout the day) We would just take it easy, walk around, shop and have a snack. Then they were good to go all night. We would usually get back to the room by 10:00 -10:30, they would quickly fall asleep and we could relax for a bit before we went to bed. I think the key is that we never pushed it, relaxed and went withthe flow. Each child and family is different, so I think you just need to adapt to your own ways.

This is also what works for our 2 DD'sprincess:princess: If we stayed out late, then we made sure we did not wake them up early the next morning. We found that TS takes to long and they (and us) start getting antsy, so the only time we will need an ADR is if we want to do a character meal. We use to always have a schedule when we went to the parks and then one time we did a last minute trip and just winged it and we found that we enjoyed ourselves more. Our first trip as a family I found the DIS board and read that with a baby and strollers you need to be on the rail. So we ended up picking the POLY to stay at, we had a great time and enjoyed the resort very much. Of course even at the rail resorts you still need to take a bus to a couple of the parks and our first bus trip was not a good one, it's been 5 years and I still feel sorry for the folks around us:sad2: But then we got a routine and we learned that taking the bus with stroller(s) was not even close to the nightmare we read about:confused: Another thing we learned was how much more there is to the parks then the rides. At the much slower baby/toddler pace you see A LOT more, I still remember our 1st trip to MK as a new family and my DW and I saying stuff like "I never knew there were shops down the little side street", how long has that barber shop been there?", "they have a restuarant in the castle?"...

BorkBorkBork
01-20-2011, 10:49 PM
Here's a question that I haven't been able to find the answer to. We are staying at POR and our DD will be 23 months. We plan on eating breakfast in our room with food we bring/buy. I'm trying to think through every situation so I know what I'll need.

Can you bring food you haven't bought in the resort food court to a food court table and eat there using the high chair? Or do we need to pack some sort of portable booster seat for use in our room?

What did you guys do if you had a light breakfast in your room with a toddler?

TIA!

Soexcited!6
01-20-2011, 11:21 PM
I'm thankful my youngest will be almost 3 when we take out trip. In fact, she is a week and 1/2 shy of being 3. Can you say FREE??

I think she will be alot more manageable at 3 then she is now too. Also, my 5 year old will be 6, which I think is a bit more tolerable.

Generally, they are both pretty well behaved, but my 2 yr old is on a regular nap schedule. I think I'll try to make her naps a little less "pleasant" as we near our trip. Like, making it a little lighter in her room and also no music, maybe a little more noise, etc.. to get her used to it!

vettechick99
01-21-2011, 04:53 AM
Can you bring food you haven't bought in the resort food court to a food court table and eat there using the high chair? Or do we need to pack some sort of portable booster seat for use in our room?

What did you guys do if you had a light breakfast in your room with a toddler?

TIA!

Yes. No one really cares what your kids are eating. :)

We took one of those portable booster seats and stuck DD in front of the tv on a chair while we got ready. Easy peasy!

MCsMommy
01-21-2011, 09:17 PM
Thanks for sharing!

Blurrysmom
05-17-2011, 01:16 PM
So, DS turned 3 a few weeks ago and my husband lost his mind last night in a tax-return induced bout of temporary insanity and booked tix to Orlando for early June!! So we're giving it another try. DS is still active and strong-willed and a hot mess when he gets tired, but I think his ability to comprehend that we're somewhere fun and special will help him cooperate better this time around. And he's really digging the Disney characters and shows these days too, so he's excited about going.

I have to say though, it is hard to manage my expectations. I understand the point many posters have made about being happy with what you can get and not having high expectations. But you know, I wouldn't be spending the money and time going at all if I didn't have some expectations. So it's a challenge sometimes to keep a balance. There will always be other trips though, and that is how I am going to try to push through any unpleasantness. ;)

Keep your fingers crossed for us, and send us any pixie dust you might have lying around!

Ana~n~Joseph
05-17-2011, 02:22 PM
I know this is an old thread but I've enjoyed reading it. I'm leaving with my super active 20-month old DS on Thursday. It's not his first trip (we went at 12 months) but there's a big difference between 12 and almost 21.

My expectations are low - riding Dumbo and Peter Pan would be great - I know he will want to ride the carousel over and over again and I hope he still loves the characters (he did great with the Easter bunny!) I know he'll want to walk so I'm packing the leash and we are taking the stroller for him (his big comfy one). This is a short trip - only two parks - and we'll just see how it goes. We are planning on taking a resort break every day - hopefully to nap but if not, to just take a break from the craziness of the parks.

supersuperwendy
05-17-2011, 10:19 PM
What a great thread!!! I read a bunch of posts and can't wait to read them all. I have 6 months left until we take our toddler to WDW!! :scared1:

hannahdrewmom
05-18-2011, 01:40 PM
Here's a question that I haven't been able to find the answer to. We are staying at POR and our DD will be 23 months. We plan on eating breakfast in our room with food we bring/buy. I'm trying to think through every situation so I know what I'll need.

Can you bring food you haven't bought in the resort food court to a food court table and eat there using the high chair? Or do we need to pack some sort of portable booster seat for use in our room?

What did you guys do if you had a light breakfast in your room with a toddler?

TIA!

We brought a portable booster seat. This one to be exact. ww.amazon.com/Jeep-Travel-Anywhere-Booster-Everyday/dp/B002IVTUVE
It was perfect! It has an opening that can be used for diapers and wipes as well and can strap to the handles of the stroller. We used it in all the restaurants as well and he felt like a big boy and didn't try to climb out like he sometimes does in a high chair when he's done. It was fantastic!

walshmb
05-19-2011, 12:21 PM
thanks for the post. I am also taking my 21 month old next week. we also went for his one year birthday last year and it was completely magical. Completely. Can I tell you that the second he saw mickey mouse, it was like a WDW commercial was being filmed. I know he "wont remember it" but the memories we made are captured not only in photos but in my heart forever. Cant wait to take him next week and have very realistic expectations. DH and I have been to the parks w/o kids probably 12 times and that helps b/c we are very comfortable with everything and how the parks "work", takes away much of the unknown. My parents are coming with us this time and they havent been since the 80's (when they brought me) and epcot had JUST opened. Im excited to share the magic with them too. I will make an effort to post a report when I get back.

walshmb
05-19-2011, 12:24 PM
@Ana and Joseph : would love to hear about your trip. sounds like our sons are alike, mine also went at 12 months and now next week at 21months and no fear of characters of any kind, and I cried too when he first met mickey !

MScott1851
05-20-2011, 01:42 AM
OP...I could have written your post! We took our then 15 month old in December, and I swear, it was so awful she's not going back until she is 15! Would NOT get in the stroller, wanted to run everywhere, refused to nap, they had unseasonably cold weather that week (even for December) and I came home ten times more anxious and cranky than I left. Definitely NOT a relaxing, magical vacation. DH and I said that this year, she doesn't get to go with us...we'll take her to the beach, but not WDW again.

mfulk
05-20-2011, 10:35 AM
Every family/child is definitely different but for us taking young children to Disney has not been a challenge at all.

We just returned from our third trip in three years and our kids were 6, 4 and 2 this trip. Our youngest was 5 months on our first trip and 14 months on our 2nd trip. We've really enjoyed all our trips and have not had any problems with our kids. On our past two trips we stayed in 2br condos and ate almost all our food there or brought it in with us and got the kids in bed almost every night at their normal 7pm bed time.

This trip though we stayed on property, all 5 of us in one little room at Pop Century. We stayed for 9 nights and didn't adhere at all to their regular sleep schedule, twice we stayed at MK until after midnite and most nights it was 10 or later before they were asleep, had the DxDP and ate at sit down restaurants 2 or 3x every day (we never eat out at home), and we still had a wonderful trip.

The biggest problem we had this time was that our 2yo really, really wanted to ride everything the 4 and 6 yo could but she wasn't tall enough and that made her upset. I think we might wait until she's tall enough for most of the rides before we plan another trip.

emailbrittny
07-29-2011, 03:45 PM
We took our DD last year at 1.5 yo. I was so nervous on what to expect. She is generally a good kid, but she is NON STOP from the second she opens her eyes until she crashes out. I did bring the stroller but I also brought my Ergo baby carrier which holds up to 40 lbs. I wasnt sure if I would need it, but I used it in the airport. The morning of MK we realized she was teething...yep...greaaaat. So I brought the Ergo just in case and I am SO glad we did. She wanted to be held the entire time so I would strap her on my back in the carrier and walk her around. This was a major benefit in ride lines. We waited 40 mins for Dumbo and it worked out well. It was pretty comfortable but after a day of walking with a 25 lb weight on my back I was getting sore.

This year we are going again and I think I am gonna have a harder time containing her either in the stroller or Ergo and she is now 2.5 yo and 30lbs. I am bringing the Ergo just in case. I atleast hope I can use it for the ride lines. Last yr we were pretty successful at riding on a lot of rides. We hit Dumbo, PeterPan, Smallworld, Philharmagic FP, Thunder Mountain 2x, Splash Mountain 2x, Haunted Mansion, Buzz, Pirates, Princess M&G, I think thats it. We got to the park at noon and left at 7...so I think we did pretty well after reading a lot of threads here. This year I have done MUCH more research on FP and baby swap and plan to take more advantage of those options and having runners. This year we will have 7 ppl and last yr we had 4 ppl. So organizing a plan will prob be more important.

Cheers to us parents who attempt the theme park with Toddlers!

mommy2_3
07-29-2011, 04:06 PM
We just returned from our first trip to Disney with our 20-month-old son. I read these boards a lot prior to coming, and I saw a lot of posts from people who, like me, were anxious about traveling with a young toddler. Therefore, I'm offering my experience with candor. Of course, each child is different, so please don't flame me if your experience was not the same. This is just one perspective. I know it sounds discouraging, but we really did have fun and are planning to return with him in a year or so. But the first 3-4 days were fraught with tears (his and mine), and I think he was generally overwhelmed by all of it and not really feeling the magic. If I had accepted a few truths beforehand, I think we could have made it a little easier on ourselves. So hopefully these points will help someone else:

1. Your child will behave at Disney like he does at home, so be prepared. Logically I knew this was true, but I was so excited for the Disney experience that I pretended he would be docile and just overwhelmed with joy to be doing whatever we wanted to do. Instead, I was upset and angry and embarassed when he consistently refused to get in his stroller at the parks without an epic struggle involving copious amounts of screeching and bucking like a bronco. He wanted to walk, but he can't endure all that yet, and besides, his version of "walking" was darting in and around the crowds at warp speed and trying to climb trash cans. This resulted in a lot of us carrying our 35-pound baby, which in turn exhausted us. This was stressful.

2. If your child doesn't nap during the day, you will have problems. we observed the mid-day retreat to the hotel for his regular nap, but the room just wasn't dark enough and he fought it and wouldn't go down. He did sleep briefly in the car coming and going. But he was not pleasant in the afternoon. Unfortunately, it was 35 degrees while we were there, so we couldn't have a relaxing pool afternoon.

3. Seriously consider a 1BR if you can afford it. We did this and it was money well spent with a very active boy who runs around every waking minute. The garden grocer delivery was also a good call. And the rental crib.

4. Some of the kids' rides are plain weird. Peter Pan incorporated dead pirates laying across the ship deck and even Winnie the Pooh has a strange psychadelic dream sequence that looks like Pooh ate some bad mushrooms. I don't understand this.

5. Some toddlers, like mine, cannot tolerate wait in line for more than 10 minutes. This means that even with expert fast pass usage, you might not get on more than 3 rides all day (and that's in low season).

6. Always carry a sippy cup. Some places, like the Hoop-de-doo Review (which he loved, by the way), don't even have lids. They served his milk in a giant glass bell jar. Not good.

7. Good stuff: he loved the actual rides when he was riding them. The carousel, Dumbo, Aladdin's carpets, Small World, Winnie the Pooh, it was all great. And he loved the character breakfast (or at least he didn't cry). He also loved the Hoop de Doo Review, I think because we were so close to the stage. We had some nice moments, but it wasn't easy.

OK, that's all I've got. Good luck to all you toddler travelers - have fun!

ok #4 really got me laughing! :lmao: i have yet to vist the World but i have seen videos. if i remember correctly that part is when Pooh is dreaming about honey, like a withdraw dream :lmao:

thanks for your input! we are taking our 4 kids next summer (ages 1, 2, 4, & 5) :scared1:

4littleones
07-29-2011, 11:17 PM
we are taking our 4 kids next summer (ages 1, 2, 4, & 5) :scared1:


We are leaving in 2 mths with our 4 kids and I feel like :eek: when I think about it. We will have two grandma's to help out so that is a big bonus.

stackyallred
07-30-2011, 12:11 AM
OK, I KNOW this sounds odd, but for those of you who are concerned about your child not having their own space to nap in, etc, DH and I came up with our own little invention to help with this on our last trip when DS was 10 months old. DS likes it to be dark and he does not ever sleep with us. I knew if he could see us, he wouldn't sleep. SOOOO, we created a mini-room for him out of PVC pipes and two cloth shower curtains. We were staying in POP and we used the corner of the room near where the window wall meets the table/tv stand wall and built two more walls to block him in. His pack & play fit perfectly and DS slept great. Of course, we still had to keep the lights off, sound machine on and be quiet, but we knew a cranky/tired DS would mean a wasted trip to WDW!

I swore I would never post about this on the DIS because I thought people would think I was crazy. And maybe we are, but I'd rahter be well-rested and crazy! :rotfl: If anyone is interested, I will post a pic and tell you how we did it. We flew, so it can be done if you are willing to give up about 1/4 of a suitcase and maybe 5 lbs of the weight limit. Like I said, we just used pvc pipe and two shower curtains I got on clearance at Target for $4 each after all their dorm stuff was marked down in the fall. Again, please no need to tell me we are crazy... we already know!!! :lmao:

This year (DS will be 23 mo), we are staying at Bonnet Creek in a 3 bedroom condo with grandparents. He gets his own room this time with 4 dry-wall walls! :goodvibes

Angie_T
07-30-2011, 04:31 AM
If you figure out how to do this please post it!! We are going on our first trip in May, staying in a 2 queen room, and i'm trying to figure out how to do the same thing. I'm considering creating 3 posts to go around 3-corners of the bed, assuming the bed's fourth corner is in the corner of the room already. String some wire to each post (at the top) and hook on some cheap drapes. Kids would love it anyway - a fort! :thumbsup2

Maybe i'm crazy, or just an engineer who loves to tinker, but there has to be a simple, temporary way to do this that won't bother the resort.

I guess more rationale people just get used to 'family-time' in the room, or stay in bigger accommodations!

What about those command hooks they sell now that just stick to the wall and come off when you're done? You could bring a drape and some twine and run it across the room? I've used those hooks for heavier things and they are pretty strong...

noodlesmum
07-30-2011, 08:02 AM
Hi,

I haven't had time to read all the thread (my toddler is calling - how ironic!) but I wanted to post this while it was in my mind - for those of you that are struggling with having baby in one room - we did too and we brought this..

http://www.simplesafetysolutions.com/Baby-Cot-Canopy-by-Content-&-Calm--Product-197.html

If the link doesn't work its a cot canopy by content and calm, it clips onto travel cots and is very helpful :thumbsup2

kjs1976
07-30-2011, 08:22 AM
Just saw this thread...LOVE #4! Can't agree more! Snow White is INDEED scary and some are, well, read her #4!

We have taken DD when she was 8 mos., 1.5, 2.5, and now in a couple weeks at 3.5. Actually at 3 as well, but we just stayed at DTD area hotel, did a character b-fast and the beach, no parks. 8 mos was the easiest by far. She slept well at night, 2-3 hr naps back at the room, and a quick 40 min. in the stroller mid-morning; easy to feed w/jars of baby food and puffs; loved the characters; went on all the kids rides with no problem. 1.5 was pretty good as well. Only issue that trip was that she got a cold and was a bit cranky due to that. Last year was super fun because she could talk to the characters and could go on more attractions. However, she'd wake up at night and she never napped! We were all sleeping and she'd just play or watch PBS for an hour while we rested. She did crash the last 1/2 hr. of the plane ride home, slept through baggage claim in her stroller, got her into her car seat asleep, and slept most of the hr. ride home.

The last two times at 2.5 and 3 I noticed she was on overdrive. She was sooooo excited about everything all the time. She was very, very well-behaved, though. But always wanted to go, go, go....even when mom and dad needed naps and breaks! Will be interested to see how she does in a couple of weeks now that she knows what to expect and remembers.

My big advice is give toddlers time to be toddlers. Bring some fav toys from home, spend some down time at the baby care centers and let them color or watch the movie. Bring books from home and read at night before bed. Take them to the play areas in the resorts or parks for a quick half hr of kid play. Yes, schedules are different on vacation, but if you keep a few things normal or in the routine, they truly benefit from it and in return, happy toddlers make happy parents!

Queen2PrincessG
07-30-2011, 09:05 AM
I know this is an older thread but I'm glad it was posted. i think we all dream of our little ones walking into Disney and transforming into these excited manageable people but the truth is they are still themselves and they are going to act they way they want to.

I have o say that I've never had a problem with nap time darkness but that may be because DD sleeps with sound and low light so she has been really good at falling asleep outside of her home.

I won't lie I'm concerned about out up coming trip but i'm keeping the faith.

RhettsMom
04-03-2012, 05:23 PM
We couldn't find ANY onsite when we were there last spring. I would highly recommend picking up some take and toss utensils and sippy cups. It's just less fuss. We also took disposable bibs and changing pads too. Best thing we ever did.

Great to know! Thanks for the tips!

cheerupem0kidx0x
04-04-2012, 10:53 AM
I am just :rotfl: reading some of this! Sorry but you gotta admit it is a little funny. Im sure when we got with DD2 & DS9 this June I wont be thinking so at the time though, but maybe one day we will look back and laugh. I am cautiously optimistic about it. She sometimes doesn't like the stroller at home so I am also bringing one of those toddler leashes, which I used to mock people for using but I totally see the value for times like this. She doesn't really love that either and I still feel pretty goofy using it so Im not sure how much help it will be but we are coming prepared! Planning on taking lots of cool off breaks since its gonna be hot. Shes not a big napper, she usually sleeps in the car coming/going or she will pass out in the stroller if we are lucky. She can sleep anywhere if shes tired so I dont think we will have to worry too much about naps but I guess we will see. We are going to be getting up a little earlier than we do at home so that might change things. We arent going to have a strict schedule but we do have an idea of things that are "must do's" and a few ADRs.

Tinkerbellah
04-04-2012, 11:11 AM
:lmao: I understand being that my son is now exactly 20 months!!! I have to say we took my son @ 15 months & he was an angel napped in his stroller while Daddy & I enjoyed walking around & relaxing a bit. This just goes to show the difference a few months can make. =) THanks for the post!!!!

Blurrysmom
05-08-2012, 11:50 AM
I am just :rotfl: reading some of this! Sorry but you gotta admit it is a little funny.

Oh, it's very funny. My favorite picture from that trip is DS in the teacups, red-faced and crying......just captures the moment to well. :rotfl: we went again last June when he had just turned 3, and it was very different - the heat was challenging, but he LOVED everything. He still burned out fast :hyper:, but he talks about Disney World on a daily basis and can't wait to return. :thumbsup2

Have fun!!!

luvmy2babies
05-08-2012, 01:48 PM
Wow, I’ve really been fortunate. My son is a go go go high energy child. His sister was pretty laid back at this age, but they are pretty much the same when traveling with the exception of running off. She would never have run off at that age. He thinks it’s funny. So, that is an adjustment I have had to make, to have equipment to deal with that difference in his personality in comparison to hers.

He has been traveling since he was just under 6 months old. First trip was a week at the beach, but we had outings at a local zoo, science center, dolphin watch boat tour and time on the beach. The zoo and science center were all day. He has always loved being outside though and loves his stroller. At 10 months we did Disney for the first time and he was great with the exception of puking on me the 2nd day and refusing to sleep in the pack-n-play. He slept with me which is why I don’t want to do the value hotels anymore. The bed was too small and I was so afraid he would fall off I didn’t sleep well. In the parks, he alternated between my Ergo and the stroller. We also did 4 character meals and he loved meeting characters.

At 15 months I did notice a difference. Once he was walking he wasn’t much for standing around in lines. He wasn’t cranky, just wanted to take off. We went back to that same beach and did the same outings, except instead of the dolphin watch tour, we did a day at a local mall (for dd and my 17 year-old sitter who was with us to shop for their birthdays) and a day at Busch Gardens. He loved everything except the other characters at the Elmo and Friends lunch. He had only seen Elmo videos, so he wanted nothing to do with the other characters. He did sit in Elmo’s lap for the picture. I laugh when I look at it because he’s got a vice grip on Elmo’s hand as Big Bird is sitting next to Elmo. He’s also wearing a red t-shirt and almost disappears in the shot.

At 21 months the three of us had an amazing little trip to Orlando to visit Sea World. It was October so it was much warmer there than it was here, but not too bad. It also rained off and on one day. The main problem I had with him was on that rainy day. He was not liking the rain cover on his stroller and would not let it stay down. That was a small stroller so it probably felt like the rain cover was all over him. We’re taking a larger stroller on our next trip. He napped in the stroller when he needed to. We did 2 open to almost close days at Sea World. 9am to 5pm on the first day when they were closing at 6pm and we were there 9am to 7pm the next day when they were closing at 8pm. He rode all of the rides he was big enough to ride in Happy Harbor, some of them multiple times. He loved the shows, loved the animals and the bubble machines they had out.

We were going for a 3rd day there, but were warned it would be wall to wall people and that on the previous Saturday, they’d been forced to close the park at 1pm due to capacity crowds. Wasn’t my idea of a good time and it was our last park day before going home, so I went online and got us WDW tickets. We arrived just before rope drop and left just before 9pm. We took plenty of breaks and stopped for two meals. He had one melt down. I was in line at Columbia Harbor house and the line is so small, I had dd stand near the line with the stroller. He wasn’t happy with this even though he could see me. He kept lunging forward which is his signal he wants the stroller to move, but there was literally no room and I didn’t want dd out of my sight so I didn’t let her walk him around. He cried the entire time I was in line. I tried talking to him partially because I could see people looking around wondering where these children’s parent(s) were, but reassuring him the food was almost ready wasn’t helping. Of course it took a long time. I guess it was because they were just opening. That was it though. He napped in his stroller and fell asleep as we were leaving. We accomplished a lot.

Mickey’s Philharmagic 3 times
Small world 3 times
Buzz Lightyear 2 times
Tea cups
Dumbo
Carousel 2 times
Tiana Meet and Greet
People mover 2 times
Jungle cruise
Tiki Room
Aladdin
Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade
MSEP
Lunch at Columbia Harbor House
Dinner at Cosmic Ray’s
Shopping


I am just :rotfl: reading some of this! Sorry but you gotta admit it is a little funny. Im sure when we got with DD2 & DS9 this June I wont be thinking so at the time though, but maybe one day we will look back and laugh. I am cautiously optimistic about it. She sometimes doesn't like the stroller at home so I am also bringing one of those toddler leashes, which I used to mock people for using but I totally see the value for times like this. She doesn't really love that either and I still feel pretty goofy using it so Im not sure how much help it will be but we are coming prepared! Planning on taking lots of cool off breaks since its gonna be hot. Shes not a big napper, she usually sleeps in the car coming/going or she will pass out in the stroller if we are lucky. She can sleep anywhere if shes tired so I dont think we will have to worry too much about naps but I guess we will see. We are going to be getting up a little earlier than we do at home so that might change things. We arent going to have a strict schedule but we do have an idea of things that are "must do's" and a few ADRs.

We are also going back in June. Only it’s my son that is 2 and my dd that is 9. He will be just under 2.5. I have a stroller, my Ergo and one of the harnesses with the stuffed puppy on it. My son actually likes his harness because it means he doesn’t have to hold my hand. I’m hoping as long as I manage as I have keeping him sleeping and eating as he does at home and hydrated and his health is fine, we’ll have minimal differences in how he behaves at home. He is not a tantrum thrower in the sense most people see it. When he doesn’t get his way, he will drop his head, poke out his lip, let out a deep breath and fold his arms to try to guilt me into giving him his way. Once he did go and lay down on the floor to show his exasperation. It was hilarious.

I have lots of down time scheduled for us to rest and we continue to do outings. The one concern I have is that his attitude towards the characters will change. I keep showing him pictures of him and dd on the last trip so that he is hopefully not surprised by their size. He doesn’t recognize that the baby in the pictures is him, but he does recognize dd and we talk about how big Mickey and the other characters are. I have also shown him pictures of little boys his size with characters.

I always let my children dictate the pace on trips. I think it helps us. We are not commando tourists anywhere we go. I try to schedule so that if there is a late night, we do not have to be anywhere early the next morning. Like for our upcoming trip, on our first night we are going to try to see Wishes, but the next day we are only touring World Showcase so we'll sleep in since it doesn't open until 11am. I have some half days in where we tour from early morning to around 2, then head in for the day. I also have a day where we relax at the resort all day. I have some breakfast ADRs and some dinner ones. He is not good midday so (too close to nap time) so I don't have any lunch ADRs scheduled. Lunch will either be CS (if we had a small breakfast) or a snack (if we had a TS meal at breakfast). We'll also make use of midday breaks to get away from the park. We'll see how it goes. I booked the longest trip I could afford so we would have time to relax.

kmb584
05-08-2012, 08:27 PM
I think the OP pretty much hit the nail on the head here! A lot of people think that children are going to be darling angels while at WDW but thinking like that leads to the adult version of a miserable vacation.

DD is in her Temper Tantrum Three's and can be a downright terror. She was such a calm baby but that all went downhill at 2. ::yes:: In place of my angel I had a "NO!", "NOW!", whining because she didn't get her way toddler. Calm turned to sass and that's just escalated. She behaves pretty well at home but isn't a stranger to the "Time Out Stool" either.

I have to say, when we're on vacation, she's really, really good 99.9% of the time. I found that all it takes is one "if you don't stop that we're going back to our room for the rest of the day" to clear up any "problems" she's having. :rotfl:

DD also doesn't like to sleep and she never has. The ONLY full night's sleep that I've gotten since '09 is while we're visiting The World. At the end of the night she falls asleep in 0.02 seconds on the nearest bed, couch or (on one occasion) floor and sleeps like a brick until I wake her in the morning. :woohoo: Knowing that I'll have at least 8 hours of UNinterrupted sleep for at least 6 nights in a row is one of the highlights of my vacation, and probably the reason we visit so often! :lmao: In all serious though, she's just a high energy kid and we live in an area that doesn't offer a whole lot in the way of things to do. She goes all day on vacation with the exception of her afternoon stroller nap and wears herself out.

lovetogowdw
05-08-2012, 09:07 PM
LOL - I'm howling at kmb584's remarks on sleep at WDW. I, too, count on at least seven hours of continuous sleep ONLY when I'm at WDW because it is the only time my kids are so worn out and I'm so worn out that no one wakes up all night!

The one 'trick' that worked with my older son that helped make the toddler age saner was going to about 60% of "in park" time (with lots of time at the playgrounds, fountains, etc. included there) and 40% out of park time (Chip and Dale's campfire at Ft. Wilderness, playing on the "beach" at the Polynesian while waiting to see the MK fireworks, walking around the hotel grounds, etc.). The sights, sounds, smells, etc. of the parks for too long at a time seemed to be overwhelming. Even just leaving the MK to ride the boat over to Wilderness Lodge to get lunch and back (with nap on the boat) made the day oh so doable after that.

And we didn't always have to leave the park when a meltdown hit. Just heading to the "People Mover" at the MK (we once ride five times without getting off so my toddler could enjoy a nice nap) or to the Finding Nemo show at AK (where mommy enjoyed the show and baby a nap), etc. could turn the whole day around.

Just keep your sense of humor!

And we always watch the Disney Sing Along Songs videos that show the characters before we head out and talk about what they are going to see. My six year old has finally figured out that the "Main Street" we see in one is of DisneyLAND not the MK, but he still loves watching that video.

lovetogowdw
05-09-2012, 12:00 PM
How did I forget about this one?

On our last trip the youngest was 15 months old. Second night he was a bit fussy overnight and actually woke up and woke me up (hard to do at WDW).

The next day he was cranky (not at all normal for him, but I just chalked it up to not his normal bed, not his normal routine). My friend who joined us at MK said "he looks a bit flushed", and I attributed it to too many layers (it was December and that day it had warmed up) and stripped off one layer. A bit later she noticed "he's tugging at his ear . . ." and the UH OH warning went off.

We went to the first aid station (these are in every park and usually next to the baby care center -- which, by the way, is a great place to go for those really nasty diaper changes) and they checked his temp and yep, he had a fever. They gave him a dose of an infant fever reducer (Tylenol?) and the number for the nearest CentraCare urgent treatment center. http://www.centracare.org/VisitingOrlando/tabid/14606/Default.aspx

We didn't have a vehicle with us (flew in, used Magical Express and park buses the whole trip), so CentraCare was a lifesaver. Before you leave for your trip check their website and put their phone number in your mobile phone. They will pick you up and drop you off on WDW property, but the location doesn't have to be the same. For example, they picked us up at the Swan and then dropped us off at Downtown Disney to meet up with my older son who was with grandparents while we went to the doctor. They dispensed his medication on site (so didn't have to go to yet another location for that) and they have appointments, so we had minimal wait time at their facility. Don't get me wrong, the whole process was probably around 3-4 hours. But hey, we left with antibiotic in hand and were picked up and delivered back exactly as planned.

Bottom line - if your toddler is cranky, there might be a reason. Be prepared for those little medical emergencies.

kmb584
05-09-2012, 06:08 PM
LOL - I'm howling at kmb584's remarks on sleep at WDW. I, too, count on at least seven hours of continuous sleep ONLY when I'm at WDW because it is the only time my kids are so worn out and I'm so worn out that no one wakes up all night!

Happy to see that I'm not the only one who banks on Disney sleep! :cloud9:

Disney World is the equivalent of Ambien for Toddlers, and for that I will be forever grateful! :worship: