How to enjoy Disney with 5 little kids! (Sept 2013)
This is a pre-trip planner/report for our Aug 31st to Sept 14th, 2013 Disney trip!
Me (40) : Obsessed with most things Disney, especially planning trips to the parks. This affliction keeps getting worse! I must have several future trips planned or life just doesn't seem right. Our next trip after this will be November 2013 with our extended family too! Woohoo! Plenty to plan! Besides planning where we'll be each day with detailed touring plans and where we'll eat with ADRs at 180 days, I usually make special shirts for us and other special touches.
DH (43) : Fortunately also a big Disney fan! He'll turn 43 on labor day. Lucky man get's to celebrate his bday at Disney...again. DH is a stay-at-home dad who does most of the homeschooling for our kids. So he is an amazing hands on dad!
Here we are at a MNSSHP in 2009 (our family has expanded since then!)
Jacob (8) : A Disney planner in the making. He loves all the rides and can tell you all the differences between WDW parks and DL parks. He's tall enough and brave enough to ride everything and loves it all, especially rollercoasters.
This is Jacob before his second WDW trip at 3yrs old.
Max and Jake on Goofy's Barnstormer (Feb 2013)
Max (7) : He'll be 7 in June. He does NOT like rides very much at all. He flat out refuses many of them...even rides that babies can go on. This makes things a little difficult because it forces us to split up even more than we would otherwise. He doesn't complain about sitting around waiting though. He takes in the sights and the snacks!
Jake and Max on our first Disney Cruise in 2009
Max enjoing his Agent P power pack in Epcot (Feb 2013)
Ella (4) : She'll be so happy when she is tall enough for all the rides! She wants to go on everything. She's been a fan of Tower of Terror since she was tall enough at 3yrs old. A very girly girl, she can't get enough of the princesses and likes to shop for jewelry.
Ella (7mos.) on her first Disney Cruise
This is Ella at the age of her 2nd WDW trip. This was actually taken at Islands of Adventure. She's been a theme park baby from the start! Always loves it!
A 2011 WDW trip at the Beach Club
Ella in Epcot in Feb 2013
Zoe (2) : So far she is up for everything. She also gets mad when she's left out of anything. Hopefully she'll stay a ride lover too. She's a little bossy girl, but also sweet.
Zoe enjoying dessert at Trail's End in Feb 2013
Baby boy (3 months) : Our baby is expected to arrive in early to mid June. This will be his first trip!
To give you an idea of our Disney experience:
This will be my 11th trip to WDW; DH's 12th; Jacob's 10th; Max's 9th; Ella's 6th; Zoe's 3rd; and the baby's 1st.
We've got a good tally for DL too... me 4; DH 4; Jacob 3; Max 3; Ella 2; Zoe 2
And this will be our 3rd Disney cruise (except for Zoe and the new baby. It will be their first!)
I've really started working on the plans for this trip because the 180 day mark is Monday! That means we NEED dining reservations! Yikes! That means we need to figure out our park days. So I spent a lot of time on easyWDW and touringplans yesterday roughing out our plans. Here's what I came up with...
Sat Aug 31:
Lunch at Biergarten at 12:15pm
Check into Bay Lake Tower (2 bedroom villa)
Dinner at Contempo Cafe
Sun Sept 1:
Breakfast at Kona Cafe 8:45am
Dinner at Chef Mickey's 5:45pm
Mon Sept 2:
DH's birthday!/ Labor Day
Dinner at Garden Grill 4:05pm
Tue Sept 3:
Lunch at Hollywood & Vine 12:30pm
Rest in evening
Wed Sept 4:
Dinner at Be Our Guest 4:10pm
Thu Sept 5:
Dinner at 'Ohana 6:35pm
Fri Sept 6:
Lunch at Crystal Palace 11:30am
Pool time at Bay Lake Tower and pack for the cruise
Dinner at Contempo Cafe
Sat Sept 7:
Transport to Port Canaveral
Disney Fantasy Cruise!
Sept 7-14th We'll be on a Disney cruise. The Fantasy! Yay! We're sailing the Eastern Caribbean with stops in St. Maarten and St. Thomas as well as Castaway Cay. I'm sure I'll add some details about this too. This is our 3rd Disney cruise. The kids have been on 1 or 2 RCCL cruises with us too.
Then we fly home on Sept 14th.
This may look like a lot to do with our pack of little people, but we're pretty experienced (with Disney and little people) and always ready to change plans when necessary. I planned a little more to do than we will probably do, just to give us some options. Wait until you see our touring plans!
I'm also in the mood to make a bunch of matching t-shirts for this crazy 2 week trip. Maybe it's just my nesting instinct right now. But hopefully I will do that. The kids always like that. (Want to see examples? Look at our May 2010 TR in my signature. I made lots for that trip too.)
We added 3 more nights at the beginning of our trip. (See how we added 3 nights for $300 on page 3 of this thread if you wish.)
So now we check into Art of Animation resort on Wednesday Aug 28th and then follow the plans above after that! I toned down the above plans some too. No planned park hopping now...a more relaxed pace overall.
Wed Aug 28:
Fly into Orlando (late afternoon)
Check into AoA
Dinner at Landscape of Flavor
Thu Aug 29:
Lunch at Yak & Yeti 12:30pm
Fri Aug 30:
Lunch at The Plaza Restaurant 12:05pm
Pool at AoA
Dinner at Everything Pop
So any comments/suggestions before I begin to make ADRs next week? Crossing my fingers that we get what we want.
Anyone else going during this time?
Well, I'm making a change to our wish list already! Changing Tutto Italia to Biergarten after reviewing the menu. Just doesn't look that good. DH gets to choose since it's his birthday and he picked Biergarten. That makes 4 ADRs in a row for buffets. The kids will be thrilled and it's likely the best strategy with a 3 month old and a 2 yr old anyway.
The Chef Mickey's night I thought was slim chances we'd go there, but in talking wih the kids, thay'd rather go to CM than go to DHS that night. We'll see what happens! They certainly LOVE CM for some reason.
I just dug up and added some Disney pictures to the intro post. Maybe this will get a little participation going on?
Helloooo! Anybody there? :rolleyes1
One of the things I want to do today is search for designs (DISigns) for t-shirts for this trip. First, let me share some pictures to get me inspired.
These are t-shirts I've made for other trips...
All 4 kids wore these on the plane to Orlando.
These were just for the kids too. Yellow for my boys and their boy cousin and a pink variation for their girl cousin.
The Cars designs were for the boys to wear at Hollywood Studios (MGM studios back then!)
The numbers on the shirts represent the kids' ages.
I made these for adults and kids. One design for each individual family.
Another fun design for the kids.
This was my first attempt at making shirts. Pretty good I think. We've done it for many trips since then.
These were for an extended family trip in 2007. We shared a Grand Villa at the Boardwalk Resort. We just had Jacob and Max. DH's SIL and her family came with. They had 2 kids as well. They all had a ball. DH's mom and stepdad were with us too. Everyone got along well for the week. We had a blast and it has started a tradition. We all took a trip together in 2010 too and will all be together again in November of this year! We stayed in a Grand Villa at Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary in 2010 and will stay at a Grand Villa at Animal Kingdom Lodge this year.
I'll post more shirts and maybe other projects in upcoming posts.
These are from the 2007 trip too. I forgot I made so many!
These were for me and DH and MIL and FIL for our first ever MNSSHP.
I made these just for my boys for Epcot
These were also just for my boys for Animal Kingdom
My niece and nephew were really into High School Musical. So I made these for them and they wore them to Animal Kingdom.
I made Epcot Passports for all the kids. They were designed by a talented person on the Creative DISign board here on the DISBoards. (As were all the t-shirt designs.)
The kids received these special letters from characters (;)) inviting them to special dinners and events throughout our trip.
I made each kid an autograph book too.
We brought this journal along that all the adults wrote in during our trip. Good memories!
We ordered these "bracelets" online. They had our cell phone numbers on them in case a kid got lost. They wore them constantly and thankfully were never needed.
This is a little glimpse into the planning worksheets I made for each day of our trip. I had planned which parks to go to on which day based on crowd estimates from various sources as well the order of rides to go on each day. This was an essential key to a successful "relaxing" trip with kids.
After the trip, I took all of our photos as well as the photos from MIL and SIL and created a mosaic (using a computer program.) I made three framed poster size prints of it. One for each household.
I think that's it for that trip!
The next shirts are from a 2008 trip to San Diego Zoo, Seaworld, Legoland, and Disneyland. I was pregnant with Ella on this trip.
Each of the boys had one of these shirts for our visits to the zoo and Legoland.
The four of us wore these. The stick figures were the front of the shirt and the other picture was on the back.
These were long sleeve shirts I made for the boys just because they liked these designs. They wore them in San Francisco before the theme park portion of our trip began.
A shirt for DH, me, and matching shirts for the boys for a Disneyland day.
Shirts for a California Adventure day
More shirts to wear to Disneyland
Couldn't find a shirt for DH that was quite the same color as the rest
Seaworld shirts: Design on the front, name on the back
That's it for this trip!
Want more? I can try to find more if there is an interest.
Hello! I'll be your reader! I havent read all the way through but my husband is a SAHD too - its been great. Look forward to reading your plans! We have a Universal trip but Disney is a ways off sadly.
Thanks for joining in!
When are you going to Universal? How many kids do you have? How does your DH like being a SAHD? Mine loves it!
Im in! I have read some of your other trip reports recently. It looks like you guys have so much fun:goodvibes
I am a SAHM and homeschooled years ago...but the kiddos are in public school now. I do share you love of all things Disney:cool1:
I also had my last baby at 40...she is such a wonderful addition! We are done at 4, although I would have love to have had more. Our third put a screetching halt to that for a while:rolleyes: She is, ahem...high maintanance, shall we say:rolleyes:
I would love to do a cruise someday. We did one back in 1994 with our oldest DD(4 at the time) and it was The Big Red Boat then. The ships look so beautiful now.
Looking forward to reading more since we arent heading back until June 2014:sad2:
I love all the shirts you made! So crafty. I have always wanted to try my hand at making some, but with my kids being the ages they are (23, 17, 14, and 5) I have some that put up a fight. LOL
Are these shirts iron-ons? How/where did you get these? I would love to make some matching shirts. We are going in November. I've already bought the pattern to make DD-5 turning 6 while at WDW her Cinderella dress.
Now this thread is getting some attention! I have 3 kids, too funny, I have a Max and an Ella as well!!
We are off to Uni on spring break (eek-dh has to be nearby for a work thing...but we will go early and use express pass...plus my kids are small so we wont do a lot of the major roller coasters.) I am excited for the Minion ride and HP world!
I am drooling over your planning pages...love those! I have spent way toooooo many hours on the DiSign forum....need to get busy and get to bookmarking Uni stuff! What brand iron on transfers did you use? I want to make some "muggle" shirts or something cute maybe.
Oh forgot-my husband loves staying at home. He has done it for 8 years, I do think this year he is feeling ready to get back to work but overall we have loved it. It raised some eyebrows when we first decided but....its been the right thing for us.
Joining in. Loving the shirt designs.
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