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Old 01-20-2012, 10:49 AM   #1
Elleshoodat
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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 Ė 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 didnít always get our wish.) My family returned to DBís 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 canít remember which).

After graduating from LSU in 2003, I moved to Southwest Florida, where I met DH. His family didnít 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. Itís such a small resort that it tends to book up fast Ė 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 isnít nearly as big a fan as me, but he loves that it makes me so happy (Iím the same way with him and spring training ) and heís 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 Ö 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 wasnít easy for me to cancel the October trip Ė we had a resort reservation, ADRs and an appointment for DS' first haircut at Harmony Barber Shop Ė but we already have a lot going on in the fall, what with the babyís 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 itís just the three of us.

Weíre celebrating DS' first visit and my 32nd birthday, as well as the amazing father and husband that is DH. Now, on with the show!
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Thanksgiving 1988, Offsite * June 1991, Beach Club * Easter 1995, Dixie Landings * June 1999, All-Star Movies * Easter 2005, Offsite * September 2007, Caribbean Beach * October 2008, Lake Buena Vista Best Western * May 2009, Port Orleans Riverside * October 2009, Port Orleans Riverside * April 2010, Port Orleans French Quarter * May 2012, Port Orleans French Quarter (Read our trip report here!) * October 2013, Wilderness Lodge

Last edited by Elleshoodat; 04-26-2012 at 08:26 AM. Reason: Updating thread title
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:04 PM   #2
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I'm subscribing!!

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!
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:29 PM   #3
Elleshoodat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tofubeast View Post
I'm subscribing!!

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!
Oh, how neat! When is your DD's birthday? My DS was born October 21.

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.
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Thanksgiving 1988, Offsite * June 1991, Beach Club * Easter 1995, Dixie Landings * June 1999, All-Star Movies * Easter 2005, Offsite * September 2007, Caribbean Beach * October 2008, Lake Buena Vista Best Western * May 2009, Port Orleans Riverside * October 2009, Port Orleans Riverside * April 2010, Port Orleans French Quarter * May 2012, Port Orleans French Quarter (Read our trip report here!) * October 2013, Wilderness Lodge
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:30 PM   #4
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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!
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Elleshoodat * DH * DS * DS

Thanksgiving 1988, Offsite * June 1991, Beach Club * Easter 1995, Dixie Landings * June 1999, All-Star Movies * Easter 2005, Offsite * September 2007, Caribbean Beach * October 2008, Lake Buena Vista Best Western * May 2009, Port Orleans Riverside * October 2009, Port Orleans Riverside * April 2010, Port Orleans French Quarter * May 2012, Port Orleans French Quarter (Read our trip report here!) * October 2013, Wilderness Lodge

Last edited by Elleshoodat; 01-20-2012 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:31 PM   #5
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Chapters

Pre-Trip Report:

The Dates

The Resort

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

Trip Report:

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

Post-trip thoughts
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Elleshoodat * DH * DS * DS

Thanksgiving 1988, Offsite * June 1991, Beach Club * Easter 1995, Dixie Landings * June 1999, All-Star Movies * Easter 2005, Offsite * September 2007, Caribbean Beach * October 2008, Lake Buena Vista Best Western * May 2009, Port Orleans Riverside * October 2009, Port Orleans Riverside * April 2010, Port Orleans French Quarter * May 2012, Port Orleans French Quarter (Read our trip report here!) * October 2013, Wilderness Lodge

Last edited by Elleshoodat; 05-30-2012 at 11:01 AM. Reason: Adding chapter links
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:44 PM   #6
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The Dates

We chose early May for a few reasons:
  1. Moderate crowds. TouringPlans.com's crowd calendar shows May 2, 3 and 4 as a 6, 7 and 8, respectively. Not dead-of-winter uncrowded, but not Christmas-holidays crowded, either.
  2. Warm -- but not HOT -- weather. (If I'm being honest with myself, I know it's *really* warm this time of year. But it still isn't July/August warm.)
  3. Cinco de Tee-oh! My birthday is on May 5 -- which was awesome in my college and pre-baby years, but now it's not nearly as fun ... unless we throw Disney into the mix.
I'm all about spending long weekends at Disney World, but for this -- our first "real" family vacation -- I want it to feel like a vacation. We plan to get onto property midmorning Wednesday, spend two-and-a-half days in the parks and drive home midday Saturday, giving us time to relax, do laundry, etc. before going back to work on Monday.

More later on our resort choice, touring plans, ADRs and The Great Stroller Debate!
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Elleshoodat * DH * DS * DS

Thanksgiving 1988, Offsite * June 1991, Beach Club * Easter 1995, Dixie Landings * June 1999, All-Star Movies * Easter 2005, Offsite * September 2007, Caribbean Beach * October 2008, Lake Buena Vista Best Western * May 2009, Port Orleans Riverside * October 2009, Port Orleans Riverside * April 2010, Port Orleans French Quarter * May 2012, Port Orleans French Quarter (Read our trip report here!) * October 2013, Wilderness Lodge
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:04 PM   #7
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Joining in! Buying stuff for the trip is one of the best parts of the trip! I bought a VB bag for our last Disney trip and it was one of the best things I've bought. I'm sure your little one will appreciate the fan. I wish we had thought of that when our children were in strollers.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinderella crazy View Post
Joining in! Buying stuff for the trip is one of the best parts of the trip! I bought a VB bag for our last Disney trip and it was one of the best things I've bought. I'm sure your little one will appreciate the fan. I wish we had thought of that when our children were in strollers.
Thanks for joining in! There are all sorts of things stores convince you that you "need" for babies and little kids, but I really think the fan will come in handy. If nothing else, it should hold his attention for a while.

Oh, and I'm just starting in on your PTR, but I wanted to say my husband went to UT and is a huge Vols fan. We have quite the SEC rivalry in our house, LOL.
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Thanksgiving 1988, Offsite * June 1991, Beach Club * Easter 1995, Dixie Landings * June 1999, All-Star Movies * Easter 2005, Offsite * September 2007, Caribbean Beach * October 2008, Lake Buena Vista Best Western * May 2009, Port Orleans Riverside * October 2009, Port Orleans Riverside * April 2010, Port Orleans French Quarter * May 2012, Port Orleans French Quarter (Read our trip report here!) * October 2013, Wilderness Lodge
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:54 AM   #9
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40 days to go!

As of today, our countdown is at 40 days. WOOHOO!!!

That's the length of Lent, so I know I can do it ... but come onnnn, May 2.

Happy Friday, everyone!
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Thanksgiving 1988, Offsite * June 1991, Beach Club * Easter 1995, Dixie Landings * June 1999, All-Star Movies * Easter 2005, Offsite * September 2007, Caribbean Beach * October 2008, Lake Buena Vista Best Western * May 2009, Port Orleans Riverside * October 2009, Port Orleans Riverside * April 2010, Port Orleans French Quarter * May 2012, Port Orleans French Quarter (Read our trip report here!) * October 2013, Wilderness Lodge
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:33 AM   #10
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Hi! Came over from my PTR where you came over from the May FB page (I'm making that sound way more confusing that it has to be!).

Love that you're taking your son for the first time. I'm such a sucker for baby's first trips! I'm curious to see what you guys think of CSR compared to POR and POFQ.


I like your choice of ADRs, and I think the food at each will be a perfect midday meal. Nothing super heavy right in the middle of the (most likely, hot) day, but enough to refuel you and give each of you a chance to escape the heat and crowds for a bit.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elleshoodat View Post
As of today, our countdown is at 40 days. WOOHOO!!!

That's the length of Lent, so I know I can do it ... but come onnnn, May 2.

Happy Friday, everyone!
Yay, 40 days for us as well, we can do that

I am so excited, it's going to be here before we know it!
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elleshoodat View Post
Thanks for joining in! There are all sorts of things stores convince you that you "need" for babies and little kids, but I really think the fan will come in handy. If nothing else, it should hold his attention for a while.

Oh, and I'm just starting in on your PTR, but I wanted to say my husband went to UT and is a huge Vols fan. We have quite the SEC rivalry in our house, LOL.
So are you a Florida fan and he's a UT fan? That could make for some intersting moments at your house... It's been hard to get really excited about the Vols lately.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingact21 View Post
Hi! Came over from my PTR where you came over from the May FB page (I'm making that sound way more confusing that it has to be!).

Love that you're taking your son for the first time. I'm such a sucker for baby's first trips! I'm curious to see what you guys think of CSR compared to POR and POFQ.

I like your choice of ADRs, and I think the food at each will be a perfect midday meal. Nothing super heavy right in the middle of the (most likely, hot) day, but enough to refuel you and give each of you a chance to escape the heat and crowds for a bit.
Thanks for coming over! I'm curious to see what we think of the resort, too. I'm trying to be optimistic, but I didn't care for CBR because of its size and I think CSR is similarly spread out. But we will see!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rienchen View Post
Yay, 40 days for us as well, we can do that

I am so excited, it's going to be here before we know it!
Oh, cool ... I didn't realize we were getting in on the same day! Yes, it will be here before we know it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinderella crazy View Post
So are you a Florida fan and he's a UT fan? That could make for some intersting moments at your house... It's been hard to get really excited about the Vols lately.
Oh, no no no. We are united in our dislike of the Gators, LOL. I went to LSU, which made for some interesting nights early in our relationship but for the last few years hasn't been an issue. I know the time will come, though, when our roles are reversed and the Vols ARE playing well (and my Tigers not so much).
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Thanksgiving 1988, Offsite * June 1991, Beach Club * Easter 1995, Dixie Landings * June 1999, All-Star Movies * Easter 2005, Offsite * September 2007, Caribbean Beach * October 2008, Lake Buena Vista Best Western * May 2009, Port Orleans Riverside * October 2009, Port Orleans Riverside * April 2010, Port Orleans French Quarter * May 2012, Port Orleans French Quarter (Read our trip report here!) * October 2013, Wilderness Lodge
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:29 AM   #14
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Oh, no no no. We are united in our dislike of the Gators, LOL. I went to LSU, which made for some interesting nights early in our relationship but for the last few years hasn't been an issue. I know the time will come, though, when our roles are reversed and the Vols ARE playing well (and my Tigers not so much).
I just wish Peyton would retire, come home to Tennessee and get our team back in shape. One can wish and hope...
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elleshoodat View Post
Oh, cool ... I didn't realize we were getting in on the same day! Yes, it will be here before we know it.
Yes, we're staying at CSR May 2nd until the 12th, wish we could go for longer to make that 9 hour flight worth it but 10 days was all we could afford. We're very thankful for free (quick service) dining!
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