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Old 05-25-2011, 03:54 PM   #1
CandleontheWater
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A fearless trip report- May 12-18th 2011

The Fearless Trip report- May 12-18 2011
Dateline: Orlando- Oct 2010- after a week of pre-dawn wake up calls from our 10 month old son, my husband stands in the middle of our Saratoga Spring studio and shouts, “We are never going to Disney again”

Dateline: Alexandria, Virginia- January 2011- after honoring her husband’s wishes for a WHOLE THREE MONTHS, Marissa goes ahead and books another Disney vacation for May. Husband reluctantly acquiesces.

I’m calling this story the fearless trip report for two reasons, the first being that you really have to be fearless to take a toddler to Walt Disney World. They are not known to be the easiest traveling companions, and can get downright persnickety when things don’t go their way. They are mercurial little creatures, but when the stars align, there is nothing better than seeing the unfettered joy on the face of a child.

The second reason is that even though we’re WDW veterans, and have taken our son Everett to Disney three times in the first 10 months of his life, we still went into this trip with a lot of fears. We all know that no two Disney trips are the same, but I think that is doubly true when it comes to trips with babies and toddlers. Each month brings new changes and challenges, enough to cast doubts into the hearts of even the most hardened WDW travellers. In the days leading up to our May adventure I asked myself- “Would this be the trip he became afraid of the characters?”, ”What about the fireworks?”, “Would he tolerate being confined to the stroller all day?” “Would he still like the rides, or potentially even worse, would he scream when it came time to get off them?”, “Would he eat any Disney food?” and most important if you have read our last report “Would we get any sleep?”

All of these questions swirled in my head as I was preparing, and I did my best to put them out of my mind, repeating my mantra “A day at Disney is always better than a day at home”.

Of course there were a few setbacks in the days leading up to our trip that made me extra wary, including a disastrous meeting with the Easter Bunny, a hunger strike, a giant tantrum in the mall over being removed from the merry-go-round, and a bad cold which lead to Everett waking up screaming multiple times a night. None of these instances did anything to instill confidence in taking Everett back to Disney, nevertheless we persevered.

I am happy to report that not only did we survive this latest Disney adventure, but we thrived! That’s not saying it was all pixie dust and rainbows, but we didn’t have any character or ride meltdowns, Everett did not starve, and we did sleep, well most nights…

So if you’d like to join us on another adventure of toddler proportions please stick around, because next time we’ll meet the cast and get this show on the road- or in the air.

So here is the list!
Episode 1- the update in which we travel to the airport like normal people
Episode 2- the update in which you meet the crew
Episode 3- the update in which we were the least popular people on the plane
Episode 4- the update in which I held up an entire bus
Episode 5- the update the contains the low point of the trip
Episode 6- the one in which good friends are reunited
Episode 7- the update in which we meet Barfy
Episode 8-The update in which we hang out with some real characters-pt 1
Episode 8-The update in which we hang out with some real characters-pt 2
Episode 9-the update where I make four grown men ride It’s a Small World
Episode 10: the update that includes a shave and a haircut- alright just a haircut

Episode 11: the update with some new happy haunts
Episode 12: The update where we get a little goofy
Episode 13: the update with dangerous scooter antics
Episode 14: The update with multiple thwarted photo-ops
Episode 15: The update with a dream come true!
Episode 16: The update that is hummus flavored
Episode 17: The update in which we get stuck in a Ditch
Episode 18: The update with mixed ethic stereotypes
Episode 19 the update in which there will be shenanigans
Episode 21: The update in which there will be blood- (take 1)
Episode 22- the update with a sad goodbye
Episode 23- the update in which exciting Disney news is learned!
Episode 24- the update in which Everett gets licensed to drive
Episode 25- the update in which Everett ruins a magical moment
Episode 26- the update in which there will be blood, part II
Episode 27- the update with the dreaded pool poop- warning- not for the squeamish!
Episode 28- the update with the poor people at POR
Episode 29- the update in which Everett is not satisfied with the playground
Episode 30- the update in which I stand around and stare at strangers in orange flight suits
Episode 31- The update in which Everett attempts to jump in a fountain- take 1
Episode 32- the update in which I force DH to take the chicken exit
Episode 33- the update that is all washed up!
Episode 34- the update in which Everett attempts to jump in a fountain- part II
Episode 35- the update in which I forget to take pictures
Episode 36- the update in which there will be no playgrounds
Episode 37- the update in which we board Magical Depress

Last edited by CandleontheWater; 10-19-2011 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:07 PM   #2
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I am on board for this trip report. We have been to Disney with our grandsons from the time they were 5 months and 2 years of age, and yes we have had the meltdowns, scared of dark places, rides, characters, etc etc... but as they have gotten older and now are 8 and 4, we have so much fun with them and 105 days, we will be doing it again with them.... So I cannot wait to read more of your report.
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:14 PM   #3
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Episode 1- the update in which we travel to the airport like normal people

So, how do you get to the airport? I’m betting it probably involves getting in a car and driving, and then parking in the long term lot, or maybe you have a nice friend who is willing to drop you off, or maybe even you spring for a towncar or limo- all perfectly normal options.

In our house, normal is generally eschewed for cheap.

You see, We live in Alexandria VA, right outside of DC, and only three metro stops from Regan National Airport; and it is a very easy 10 minute walk to the metro station. Taking the metro to the airport seems logical, if you are one person, with a small rolly suitcase, but if you are three people, with three gigantic suitcases, a stroller and a car seat, it becomes a little more of a production, especially when you are trying to get to the airport during rush hour. I suppose it would be very good practice for living the life of hobos, hopping boxcars and riding the rails across the country, circa 1932!

This trip, we skipped the whole hobo routine and went to the airport like normal people.

I had taken enough flights over the year to earn my free ticket on Southwest, and paying for one ticket on Southwest (and long term parking) was cheaper than two tickets out of Regan National. This time cheaper actually worked in my favor, and I was pleased as punch to drive the 45 minutes to Baltimore-Washington Airport.

The morning we left on vacation was the usual flurry of last minute packing and panicking, but we somehow managed to get out of the house at a husband approved time (usually DH likes to be at the airport roughly a week before our flight departs “Just to be on the safe side” ). I even had time to run to Walgreens and buy batteries for my little point and shoot camera, even though DH was not thrilled with the last minute errand.

We took the dreaded Baltimore-Washington turnpike out to BWI, which is notorious for having traffic 24 hours a day, but the only other option was to take the Beltway, which is notorious for having traffic for 72 hours a day (don’t ask how, just chalk it up to bureaucratic nonsense).

When we got on the road and found ourselves to be actually moving faster than snail speed, I thought that perhaps the rapture, which was supposed to be coming on the 22nd, was 10 days early! But then I remember that I was living in Washington DC, so that would have had no effect on the local population, so maybe we were just lucky.

When we arrived at BWI, DH dropped DS, me and all our luggage in front of Southwest departures and went to go park the car. While we waiting DS helpfully identified every vehicle that drove by, and I was treated to 20 minutes of “car, car, car, car, CAR, car, car!”

When DH arrived back unscathed from the long term parking we headed inside to check in and go through security, all which was fairly fast and efficient. We’ve gotten really good at getting through the security lines, and I’m happy to say that we are actually faster than some casual travelers. I think the people behind us were thrilled.

Once through we went ahead and got some lunch- DH had pizza, and I fed Everett the PB&J sandwich we had brought from home along with some raisins and a yogurt. I had actually packed an entire suitcase of food for Everett to eat at Disney. We were having some issues with Everett eating lately, and had just gone through a food strike. I figured I would bring him one meal into the parks each day, something that I knew he would eat, so even if he refused to eat Disney food, he wouldn’t (technically) starve. This also pleased DH, because it would be cheaper- so it was a win-win plan.

After DH inhaled his pizza, I went and got Arby’s and we switched off feeding Everett, when we were all finished, we headed back to the gate.
Walking to the gate I saw a plane with the State Seal of Florida on the side, and I got really exciting thinking it was our aircraft- unfortunately it wasn’t, but its still pretty cool!



I went up to the service desk, to ask if the flight was full and to get a gate check for the stroller and carseat. Of course the flight was packed, I should have figured, but I was hoping for a miracle so I could bring on the carseat. I know there are a lot of conflicting opinions on buying an airplane seat for babies, but we are firmly in the “no seat until 2” camp. I cross my fingers for an empty seat, but mostly I just hold Everett on my lap, and it has pretty much worked out fine.


Everett and the stroller pre-folding

I folded up the stroller and DH and Everett went to look for more “CAR!” out the window.


not only do I not buy my toddler a seat, but I leash him too- gasp!



Let me digress into a rant here for a second, I love my stroller, I really do. I have an Uppa Baby Vista and I think it is just about the most perfect stroller known to man, that is, except for the travel bag. The travel bag must have been developed by demons intent on ruining any vacation before it begins. It is the TIGHTEST fit imaginable, and you have to pull and tug and fight and grunt and generally look like a crazy person wrestling on the floor with an inanimate object. The first time we tried to use the bag, I let DH give it a try, and after about 15 minutes of struggling, I intervened just before he was going to throw it out onto the tarmac to be run over by a plane. I managed to get it in, but not without effort. I have called the company and told them of my trial and tribulations, and they have thanked me for my imput. If the Uppa Baby Vista wasn’t the most wonderful stroller in the universe (outside of the travel bag), I would find another means of conveying Everett around.

Next up- scheduling our flight during nap time was a great idea- right?
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:39 PM   #4
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Great so far, and I can't wait to read more! I love your comments on the traffic! Here I thought we just always have bad timing when it comes to leaving for the beach!

I think I need to leash my 4 year old! Thanks for the reminder. I'll put it on my to do list, especially if we try to go without renting a stroller this time!
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:40 PM   #5
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Still reading your last TR, but subscribing to this one!
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerDeb View Post
I am on board for this trip report. We have been to Disney with our grandsons from the time they were 5 months and 2 years of age, and yes we have had the meltdowns, scared of dark places, rides, characters, etc etc... but as they have gotten older and now are 8 and 4, we have so much fun with them and 105 days, we will be doing it again with them.... So I cannot wait to read more of your report.
How fun to have had so many trips with your grandsons! I'm sure you have made some great memories, and have survived the not so great times as well! I hope the time flies by until your next trip!
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:20 PM   #7
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Great so far, and I can't wait to read more! I love your comments on the traffic! Here I thought we just always have bad timing when it comes to leaving for the beach!

I think I need to leash my 4 year old! Thanks for the reminder. I'll put it on my to do list, especially if we try to go without renting a stroller this time!
Thank you for reading along! I am definitely pro-leash, I think if you have a wanderer or runner, it saves a lot of unnecessary heart-ache. We got ours on Amazon, and I was thrilled to find one that was Disney themed.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:44 PM   #8
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Episode 2- the update in which you meet the crew

So I realized that I forgot to introduce you guys to the motley crew- so I’ll do this quick and dirty-

I am Marissa, I’m 33 years old, and I am the driving force behind all our Disney trips. I took my first trip at the tender age of nine months old back in 1978, and this was my 50th (!!!) trip to Walt Disney World. I moved to Florida in 2001, and lived there until 2009, so for a while I was part of the trip of the month club. I really miss living in Florida, but there is a slim chance we’ll be moving back to Jacksonville next June (fingers crossed!)


Everett and I at the cherry blossom festival in DC

DH- Mark is 29 years old, and has really come to appreciate (maybe even love) Disney. He had been a few times before we met, but that all changed when we moved to Jacksonville Florida in 2005 and I convinced him to get annual passes (because of all the money we would save).


my little family at the St. Patrick Day Parade in Old Town Alexandria

DS- Everett is 17 months old and this was his 4th Disney trip. I’m really hoping that all this early exposure will lead to a life-long love of the mouse. He is a high spirited child, and can be a handful, but already has a great sense of humor and knows how to make me laugh.


this is from Everett's 15 month photoshoot

DMOM- She is the reason that I am so passionate about Disney. She and my Dad took their honeymoon at Disney in 1975, and they took us on yearly trips growing up. My dad was unfortunately not able to get the time off work to join us this time around, but DMOM was excited to join us for another fun filled trip and to graciously play babysitter while we went on the big kid rides and spend some time with our friends.


my mom and dad with Everett at his baptism party

My friends Bryan and Amy join us on the trip, some of you may know Bryan from the All About the Mouse Disney Podcast


Me, Bryan and Amy, doing what we do best!

Shane from the Communicore Online Disney Podcast will also be making an appearance, as well as Steve from the MuppetCast.

Its almost like vacationing with celebrities!

Last edited by CandleontheWater; 05-30-2011 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:47 PM   #9
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I really like your writing style, very funny! I'm following along, but I'm warning you, I mostly lurk haha.
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CandleontheWater View Post
DMOM- She is the reason that I am so passionate about Disney. She and my Dad took their honeymoon at Disney in 1975, and they took us on yearly trips growing up. My dad was unfortunately not able to get the time off work to join us this time around, but DMOM was excited to join us for another fun filled trip and to graciously play babysitter while we went on the big kid rides and spend some time with our friends.
This - I love. I am glad they shared the magic with you. I am glad you enjoy it together now, and that you will pass it on to the next generation. I love the time I get to spend with my girls in Disney World, and even if it is going around three times on the hoe-sies and hanging out in the gift shops and play areas with Bella while the others ride the big stuff, I am still in heaven just being there with my family. I suspect your mom is the same way.

I look forward to new adventures with Everett and his entourage.
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:59 PM   #11
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Following you from PirateKate's TR. Great beginning to a hopefully great trip! Everett is a doll!
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Old 05-29-2011, 12:45 AM   #12
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Enjoying your trip report!
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Old 05-29-2011, 01:01 AM   #13
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I'm hopping on over from PirateKate's TR to join in on your fun! First of all, Everett is adorable! We took our son for his first trip this past December when he was a few months shy of 3. Then, we took him again at the end of April/beginning of May, after he had turned 3 in March. I'm very interested to see how it is to take one even younger than my DS. I've already told my DH that whenever we have a 2nd baby, we won't be able to wait until he/she is almost 3, we will be going when they're much younger. So, I'm starting to do my research! Can't wait to read more!
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Old 05-29-2011, 09:16 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneymoon09 View Post
I really like your writing style, very funny! I'm following along, but I'm warning you, I mostly lurk haha.
Thanks for joining and feel free to lurk away!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeMom View Post
This - I love. I am glad they shared the magic with you. I am glad you enjoy it together now, and that you will pass it on to the next generation. I love the time I get to spend with my girls in Disney World, and even if it is going around three times on the hoe-sies and hanging out in the gift shops and play areas with Bella while the others ride the big stuff, I am still in heaven just being there with my family. I suspect your mom is the same way.

I look forward to new adventures with Everett and his entourage.
I know my mom treasures eveyr moment she gets to spend with Everett. She calls him her "best buddy" and they really are two peas in a pod. He completely adores her and they have so much fun together. I feel so lucky to have her as my mom, and extra lucky that we all get to spend time together in such a magical place. I wish we could live closer and spend more time together, maybe someday soon. I know from reading your trip reports that you understand that there is a special bond between a mother and a daughter, and that a daughters children claim a really special place in a grandmothers heart.

Quote:
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Following you from PirateKate's TR. Great beginning to a hopefully great trip! Everett is a doll!
Thanks for coming over and reading, and thank you for your kind words about Everett!
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Old 05-29-2011, 09:22 AM   #15
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Enjoying your trip report!
Welcome and thank you so much for joining in!

Quote:
Originally Posted by amandaw View Post
I'm hopping on over from PirateKate's TR to join in on your fun! First of all, Everett is adorable! We took our son for his first trip this past December when he was a few months shy of 3. Then, we took him again at the end of April/beginning of May, after he had turned 3 in March. I'm very interested to see how it is to take one even younger than my DS. I've already told my DH that whenever we have a 2nd baby, we won't be able to wait until he/she is almost 3, we will be going when they're much younger. So, I'm starting to do my research! Can't wait to read more!
Thank you for joining me! We took Everett at 4 months, 6 months, 10 months and this trip was at 17 months. I have to say the trip at 4 months was by far the easiest. We had no problems with him sleeping, breastfeeding him in the parks was really easy, and he was happy wherever we were. Six months was a little harder, because we went in the summer when it was super hot, and he wasn't a huge fan of long sit down meals, but he was still mostly fine. Ten months was more of a challenge, but as you will read 17 months was much easier.

I agree that it would be really tough to wait it out with a second child. We had to cancel one trip when I was pregnant and it nearly did me in! I know this goes against all common wisdom, but I think the younger they are the easier it is!
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