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Old 09-05-2012, 10:43 AM   #1
singoldsby
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Disney with toddler (2Y9M) - Help me with my dining plan.

Hello,

These are the restaurants/experiences we have for our December trip. I just want to see if people think we have the right balance of character meals, sit down meals, etc. We are going for 8 days/7 nights and are on the dining plan. As of right now, we are paying for three out of pocket. We will have a car, staying at AoA in a Little Mermaid room, and there are three of us (my husband, myself, and our daughter who is 2.9)

So tell me if you think we are going to be pushing her too hard, or just right. I tend to prefer to overplan and then cut back later rather than underplan and then be seeking things during (if that makes any sense)

Arrive Sat - (Park - MK)
Counter Service - in case we have to cancel and just stay at the hotel or need to leave the park early

Sunday - AK(morning)/HS(afternoon)
Breakfast - Tusker House Character, Lunch - Mama Melrose Fantasmic Package

Monday - Epcot
Lunch - Le Cellier Candlelight Processional Package

Tuesday - MK
Be Our Guest dinner before Christmas Party

Wednesday - Epcot afternoon (my husband is going to Universal on his own this day, so it is just me and my daughter)
Ohana breakfast, Cape May dinner (meeting up with a family friend for dinner)

Thursday - MK
Mickey Backyard BBQ - dinner

Friday - HS - Morning, AK - Afternoon
Hollywood and Vine breakfast, Ohana dinner

Saturday - MK until Magic Express
CRT breakfast

Thank you!
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:09 PM   #2
jillianjigs7
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Everything sounds good to me! Our daughter is 2.5 and will be almost 3 when we go in December too :-) You will have a great time - and the places you chose to eat are yummy!
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:06 AM   #3
PoohsBees
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If you are on the dining plan- MAX out the character meals, it is a great value. We did the same, went right before my DD turned 3- what an awesome deal! No park admission, no food costs. Take a comfy stroller and don't worry...she can nap in the stroller.
We went to MK our first night, watched the fireworks, the electric light parade twice!, and rode on all the fantasyland rides that usually have long lines during evening magic hours. Didn't leave 'til near midnight- NO PROBLEM, she was happy as a clam. The lure of Disney does wonders for the bounce-back of a toddler. Next day- she just napped in her stroller (in AK) a bit longer while we relaxed too.
We did Tusker House (wonderful characters and food), Crystal Palace twice(love Pooh!), Akershus for the Princesses, etc. I'm so jealous you got Mickeys BBQ! We stayed at FW- but it was sold out. It's better to reserve and cancel (w/24 hrs) than miss out. We skipped Fantasmic because I didn't want to risk freaking her out- and she doesn't recognize most of those characters anyway thanks to disney locking all the movies in the vault!! (sore subject) Ditto for Ohana- she saw Stich in a parade and is still confused as to who he is Character dining is great for the younger set, it gives them a chance to be withthe characters without having to be super close, or stand in line for hours.
Sounds like you have a great plan. That is the best thing you can do- make a good plan, but be ready to totally switch it up if you need to.
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:25 AM   #4
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I love that you didn't over plan your meals. Our little one gets inpatient with too much time in the restaurants. We were there 2 weeks, and about all we could get her to eat without an argument was fresh fruit. She loved when we stopped at the Farmers Market at DHS. She just wanted to eat light while we were there. Too much to see and do to eat seriously. Ours loved the characters, but is still not too sure about face characters (like the princesses) at least with the character meals you will get a fill for how she will react befor deciding if you should stand in line. Good luck, and have fun!
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:59 AM   #5
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Does your daughter like the characters? You may want to do a 'trial' character visit that first day at MK to see how she reacts. The characters terrified my son last visit so a character meal would have been a disaster.

Do you go out to eat often with your child now? We don't because it stresses me out worrying about keeping my boy quiet and well behaved and sitting for sooooo long, even though he has always been well behaved. The thought of so many sit down meals with a toddler sounds like hell to me, but I'm probably in the minority here. Just something to consider though. If you don't enjoy eating out with your kid at home, it won't be any different at Disney.

If my son wasn't terrified of the characters I would go with others suggestion and max out on the character meals.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:15 PM   #6
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We did Tusker House character breakfast during our trip this past July and it was the best character meal we have had to date! My son, who turns 3 in November, got so much character interaction and loved playing an instrument during the breakfast "parade." Crystal Palace breakfast is our other must-do.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:31 PM   #7
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We took our son at 2.5 too and is now 4 and going next Friday!!! ))))

We did Tusker House character and he loved it. It was so special, I cried.

I think your choices are good. The only one I am not sure about is Le Cellier. I have never eaten there but I thought it was kind of fancy. Your child might do good but mine wouldnt so I try to stay away from those but like I said, your child may be different than mine.

I am so jealous of Be Our Guest. It is booked the whole entire time we are there.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:40 PM   #8
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Thank you all! We definitely play things by ear. She does like characters (at least right now), but I know that could change fast, so if she is not a fan, we will probably cancel the remaining ones.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:57 AM   #9
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The only thing that would concern me is Sunday. A Tusker House Breakfast and Mama Melrose lunch sounds like a logistical nightmare (to get between the parks in time while still trying to enjoy AK for at least a little bit) and food overload. Is there a way you can make that dinner at Mama Melrose?
We LOVED Tusker House character breakfast. There was a ton of really yummy food. I doubt you'll be at all interested in a bug lunch after that.

Everything else looks great! DS also loved the Backyard BBQ - I'm sure your daughter will too!

Have a great trip!
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:08 AM   #10
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When our kids were little, we only did one TS meal per day - and lots of days only counter service. I would only do one per day, unless your child loves waiting around for a table and sitting still for over an hour at a meal (mine did not at that age!) I would also stick to the character meals. They are typically buffets, so you are in and out quicker, and the characters can keep the kids entertained while the grown ups eat. Also, my kids were terrified of Fantasmic at that age - it has some parts of the show that can be pretty scary. Mine didn't enjoy the show until they were elementary school aged.
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Old 09-13-2012, 01:46 PM   #11
singoldsby
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DopeyDame View Post
The only thing that would concern me is Sunday. A Tusker House Breakfast and Mama Melrose lunch sounds like a logistical nightmare (to get between the parks in time while still trying to enjoy AK for at least a little bit) and food overload. Is there a way you can make that dinner at Mama Melrose?We LOVED Tusker House character breakfast. There was a ton of really yummy food. I doubt you'll be at all interested in a bug lunch after that.

Everything else looks great! DS also loved the Backyard BBQ - I'm sure your daughter will too!

Have a great trip!
UGH...I wish we could! That is the latest reservation we can get. I am planning on driving to the parks this day, so we can take our car right from AK to HS.
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyRegulars View Post
Does your daughter like the characters? You may want to do a 'trial' character visit that first day at MK to see how she reacts. The characters terrified my son last visit so a character meal would have been a disaster.

Do you go out to eat often with your child now? We don't because it stresses me out worrying about keeping my boy quiet and well behaved and sitting for sooooo long, even though he has always been well behaved. The thought of so many sit down meals with a toddler sounds like hell to me, but I'm probably in the minority here. Just something to consider though. If you don't enjoy eating out with your kid at home, it won't be any different at Disney.

If my son wasn't terrified of the characters I would go with others suggestion and max out on the character meals.
I hear you about worrying about the noise...after going out to lots of rather noisy places with my DD, I still remember taking her to a nice sushi place- that was so quiet you could hear a pin drop--we just got our food to go because I felt so inhibited with the silence broken only by my loud-talker.

The good news is- I never felt like we were a hindrance at WDW. All the places we ate were busy active places, so you could probably have a toddler go into total meltdown and no one would notice. (Not to give my girl a bad rap- she doesn't act up, she is just used to being the center of attention- so may be louder than you would like to hear at a neighboring table in a quiet restaurant) Anywhere you think appeals to your kid is likely going to work fine. After all, who is more equipped to deal with the little ones than Disney

I found the character meals were good because my child didn't want to get close to the characters- so it was better for her to have the table btw them as a safety zone. She LOVED seeing them-just not close enough to touch her. If your kid is actually afraid that would be a bad thing though. You'd be really stuck if all your resv. were made and THEN find out. Maybe everyone should seek out a local 'character' experience 1st to be sure....
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