WDW with a Toddler, or A Tour of WDW Play Areas - May 2012 - *FIN 5/30*
Hello! This is my first pre-trip report (I've posted completed reports on other sites before), so please bear with me. I'm posting mainly because I want to share my excitement and love for planning with others who hopefully feel the same way. As much as my DH supports my habit, he just doesn't get into it like I do.
First up, the cast:
Me, Tiffany, 31 years old (I turn 32 the last day of our trip). First and foremost, I'm a mother to a precious baby boy.
DH, Nick, 33 years old. An amazing father and husband. Here he is with our DS; I can't find any pics of DH by himself!
(I have a confession to make: For the longest time, I thought DH stood for "Disney husband," DS stood for "Disney son," etc. I much prefer my definitions than the real ones, so I'm going to stick with those. ;) )
DS, Andrew, 15 months old. Our pride and joy. The sweetest, smartest, most beautiful first child I could imagine. DH and I feel so blessed to be his parents.
And just for fun, our family.
We live about two hours from the World but don't get there nearly as often as I'd like. Hopefully that will change in the future.
Our Disney History:
My parents, younger brother and I took our first trip to WDW in 1988. I was 8, my brother 3 – and we were hooked. So much so that whenever my parents asked us where we wanted to go on vacation, we were in agreement: Disney World! (We didn’t always get our wish.) My family returned to DB’s and my happy place in 1991, staying at the Beach Club (we stayed offsite on our first trip); in 1995, staying at what was then Dixie Landings; and in 1999, staying at one of the All-Stars (I can’t remember which).
After graduating from LSU in 2003, I moved to Southwest Florida, where I met DH. His family didn’t really take vacations while he was growing up, and he had never been to Disney World (the horror!). I made it my mission to change that. We took a trip to Orlando for Easter weekend 2005, staying off I-Drive (it was a free stay; what can I say?) but visiting the Disney parks. We returned to Disney property in September 2007, staying at Caribbean Beach; in October 2008, staying at one of the hotels near Downtown Disney; in May 2009, staying at Port Orleans Riverside; and in October 2009, again staying at Port Orleans Riverside. On our latest trip, in May 2010, we stayed at my promised land: Port Orleans French Quarter. We tried every other trip to stay there, but it just never worked out. It’s such a small resort that it tends to book up fast – especially the discounted rooms with king beds.
All of our trips have been two- or three-day trips, usually for Food & Wine. We can't handle much more than that (our bank account or our bodies; Disney World is exhausting!). DH isn’t nearly as big a fan as me, but he loves that it makes me so happy (I’m the same way with him and spring training ;) ) and he’s just as eager to see DS experience everything.
Why We're Going:
This trip has been in the making since DH and I took our last trip in May 2010 (two years between trips … yikes!). I was about halfway through my pregnancy and already dreaming of bringing our firstborn to the World.
The plan was to go for DS' first birthday and Food & Wine in October 2011, but we had some unexpected expenses come up and made the difficult yet responsible decision to postpone our trip until the spring. It wasn’t easy for me to cancel the October trip – we had a resort reservation, ADRs and an appointment for DS' first haircut at Harmony Barber Shop – but we already have a lot going on in the fall, what with the baby’s birthday, holidays and college football (geaux Tigers!), so a spring trip will provide a nice break. Plus, it will be our first true family vacation. We fly to New Orleans and Nashville to visit our families often, but this trip it’s just the three of us.
We’re celebrating DS' first visit and my 32nd birthday, as well as the amazing father and husband that is DH. Now, on with the show!
Our babies are the same age. DD will be 15 months next week, and we plan to take her for her first real trip this coming December. I am SOOOOO excited!!
I can't wait to see all that you plan and how it goes taking your son. I am going to be starting a PTR as well.
Keep those updates a-coming! :thumbsup2
We are going into it knowing we won't be able to see and do everything we want (which is OK since we've taken a few trips as just the two of us); we just want to see the World through our DS' eyes. He loves "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse," so I'm anxious to see how he is with the characters.
How to post photos
I've tried inserting images from Flickr and Facebook, but neither works. Can someone offer pointers? TIA!
Never mind -- tofubeast taught me!
Plan for Day 1: Epcot
Help us choose a stroller!
Plan for Day 2: Animal Kingdom
Change of plans
Trip report from our last trip in 2010!
Ordering a Mickey shirt for baby's first trip
Booked a mini portrait session!
Plan for Day 3: Magic Kingdom
Our ADRs (Don't get too excited - there are only two of them) ;)
Buying "stuff" for our trip
DS' shirt is here!
Changed our resort
PhotoPass & packing for park days
Bought our tickets!
Online check-in day
What I'm planning to eat & buy
Our final plans
Day 1, Part 1 - Our Arrival
Day 1, Part 2 - Portrait Session at the Poly
Day 2 - Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney
Day 3, Part 1 - Magic Kingdom
Day 3, Part 2 - Magic Kingdom
Day 4 - Epcot, then home :(
We chose early May for a few reasons:
More later on our resort choice, touring plans, ADRs and The Great Stroller Debate! :)
Try using tinypic.com
That works for me. You've inspired me to start my pre trip report this afternoon. I'll have a link in my siggie soon.
DD was born 4 days after your son!! Yay scorpios!!
I can't wait to "plan" with you. And yay Scorpios indeed. :)
I've been to WDW in early May. Such a great time. The parks won't be too busy. The flower show at EPCOT is beautiful. You picked a perfect time!
Yay your pics work!! What a cute little boy!! Such a sweetie. I've started my PTR as well if you wish to join me too! Link in siggie.
We tend to stick with moderate resorts. As much as we would love to stay in a deluxe, it just isn’t in our budget right now; even with discounts there’s a substantial difference between the moderates and deluxes, and I can’t help but think about what else that money could be going toward (tickets, meals, souvenirs).
We've stayed at (in order of preference) Port Orleans French Quarter, Port Orleans Riverside and Caribbean Beach before, but we're always up for trying something new. We love the look of the resort and the fact that it's the most "deluxe" of the mods.
As soon as the spring room-only discounts were released (late November or early December – I can’t remember if those were for Florida residents or what), I booked a king-bed room at Coronado Springs. I think our savings was 25 percent … not too shabby.
DH and I can sleep in a queen bed if we absolutely have to, but we sleep much better when we have a king to crash in. We will have a Pack ‘n Play in the room, and I’ll bring our PnP mattress from home (it’s this one). DS is not a good sleeper when we travel (he isn’t a good sleeper at all, actually), so I am under no illusions that he will sleep through the night while we’re there … but I’m hoping he’s worn out enough that he sleeps OK. I will take “OK” over “not at all” any night of the week.
I love CSR!! A perfect place to stay during Cinco de Mayo!! Check out my old TR from 2007. Some pics of CSR. We also stayed there in 2009 right after they renovated the rooms. CSR is actually my fave of the 2 mods I have stayed at. While it tends to get a lot of convention peeps, they are often 'locked' away in their workshops and banquet halls. So you never really see them and it makes the pools and Disney buses less busy. The grounds are so pretty and the pool is awesome. I believe it has the longest slide of all the mods. Check out the CSR thread on the the Disney resorts board. Lots of great info there.
We usually do mods too, but this time we decided to rent from a DVC owner. We shall see how that all goes!
Good idea to bring your own P&P. Since you and I only have to drive a few hours, it makes sense to bring some of our own stuff from home. We were actually able to put the P&P by the sink at Pop last Sept and close the drape, that way there was some privacy and shielded sleeping baby from the lights of the TV. You may be able to do that at CSR as well. Their room is nicer than the other mods in that instead of a drape, there is actually a sliding door. That might also guard against noise and tv, etc.
Joining in ! I love family PTR/TR's :love:
My twins were 10 months old the first time they went to Disney and have been every year since !
Looking forward to hearing about your plans ! :thumbsup2
I LOVE the CSR thread -- the pics on the first couple of pages are so enticting! -- and I'm going to start reading your '07 report today. So glad to hear y'all enjoy the resort!
Ten months is such a fun age, isn't it? Actually, I think every stage has been fun -- except maybe the first few months. Those were just exhausting! ;)
99 days to go!
I totally missed the 100-day mark yesterday ... but 99 days to go sounds even better. ;)
Soon I will be posting our plans for each day, along with the story of our ever-changing ADRs. (I just can't make up my mind!)
Plan for Day 1: Epcot
Our original plan was to make the drive to the World after having lunch at home, checking into CSR and exploring a bit before having dinner and calling it an early night. Then the Wild for 3 passes came out (what a great deal those are – 3 days for only $99?!), and I realized we would have to use all three days before the end of May. That called for a slight change in plans. We’re now planning to make the two-hour drive after breakfast, check into CSR and hit Epcot for a few hours. Since it’s our first day, we don’t want to push DS too hard and we still hope to make it an early night, but we might take DS to the Dig Site or the pool before turning in.
We don’t have a must-do list, but I did put together a list of attractions I think DS will enjoy at each park. However, since it’s all new to him, we will just follow his lead and go at his pace. If DH and I have to ride something, we will use the single-rider line (if available), utilize rider swap or do our own version of baby swap. :)
Here are our “attractions to aim for” at Epcot:
• The Seas with Nemo & Friends – Because DS looooves fish (all animals, in fact).
• Turtle Talk with Crush – Do y’all think he will be too young for this? He will be 18 months at the time. His attention span isn’t super long, but I’m sure he will be taken in by the talking turtle.
• Journey Into Imagination with Figment – One of my all-time favorites, so I have to share it with my DS.
• Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros – DS will love all of the colors and sounds in this one.
• Innoventions – The last few times I’ve been in Innoventions, it’s been pretty uncrowded, so – if nothing else – this will be a good place for DS to walk around and explore. I’m sure he will tire of his stroller after a couple of hours.
• Disney Visa Character Meet ‘N’ Greet, 1:30-4:30 p.m. in Innoventions West – This will be DS’ first experience with characters. I have a couple of character meals booked, so this will be the litmus test for whether we keep those reservations. Does anyone have any pointers for the meet ‘n’ greet? Is there a “slow” time to go?
• Bead Outpost (between China and Germany, I believe) – I’ve read so much about this kiosk and think it sounds so neat. I’m especially excited that these are Disney souvenirs without being blatantly Disney.
• Soarin’ – This is DH’s and my favorite ride at Epcot, and we hope to “rider swap” Soarin’. Maybe we will get FPs as soon as we get to Epcot…
Please let me know if you have any answers or suggestions!
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