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Old 01-14-2013, 12:33 PM   #16
Join Date: Jul 2010
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I went with three 3 year olds that turned 4 on our trip. We only spent a 1/2 day at HS and a 1/2 day at AK. We went from one park to the other. My kids were too small for TOT and Rnrc. In HS, we did TSM and a few shows. In AK we did the Safari, Festival of the lion king and very little else. We do live near the Bronx Zoo so the zoo part wasn't a big draw for us.

We spent 2 days at Epcot and two at MK. Both parks seemed to have way more for little ones to do. I would get to the parks early and than return to the hotel around 4 or 5. My kids were exhausted at that point. My kids were not nappers at 4 and the hours were certainly not long enough to justify mid-day breaks. I would feel differently in the summer though.

I have to admit that I scheduled two dinners and neither went well and I was very disappointed. My kids were too exhaused to sit through a sit down meal for dinner. If I had to do it all over again, sit down breakfasts and lunches were the way to go. The meals seemed to take very long in every restaurant and my kids would lose patience. One of my sons is autistic so that adds to it but I got antsy during Disney Meals. Most took well over an hour and the service was always slow.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:37 PM   #17
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Character buffets are the way to go IMO. No wait on food and kids get excited for the characters. Keeps everyone happy.

Check out my trip report with my 3 kids at the Beach Club we had reservations.
1/2-10 Trip Report

From: Rochester, NY
2011-Animal Kingdom Lodge
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:39 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by sachilles View Post
I don't think our departure day will result in any park time now that I think it through. We do have 7 day park hoppers, and it's only $30 more than a 6 day, so I'm content to hang on to them in case of flight changes or anything. We are debating adding another nights stay, as the latest discount offer free'd up some budget.
We are usually play it by ear type of people. The thing that kills me is being on the table service dining plan, everyone seems to suggest that we make our table service reservations now. I'm not a big fan of that. Given an early may visit, is it unrealistic to find ourselves in one area, decide we are hungry and walk up to a table service place? As long as we are content to wait an hour can we wonder around a bit and come back to that spot?
I still plan to make reservations ahead of time, but have my phone to call and change/cancel(or the my disney experience app).
Knowing my child, I don't see a stroller nap happening especially with all the new eye candy for him. They only way he usually naps is in a semi quiet semi dark place away from the excitement. We are now in that stage where we are debating the whole nap thing anyway. I'm not going to lie, the naps will be as much for the wife and I as it is for the little guy. Perhaps we won't nap every day. As most of you know sometimes if you aren't proactive with that stuff you pay the price later at the most miss-opportune time.

We are staying at the Caribbean. Geographically speaking it looks like we are pretty close to Epcot and the studios. I'm guessing those are fairly short bus trips compared to MK and AK?

My son will like rides, but he'll enjoy the edu-tainment options as well. It's going to be close to see if he gets to the 40" which is the cut off for a bunch or rides I know he'd enjoy. With shoes on he's at 39+ right now.
On this topic, the grand prix cars in tomorrow land, he'll be able to drive them with a parent in the car right. I realize his adult co-driver will have to operate the gas pedal, but they'll let him behind the wheel right? Being racing fanatics, that'll be a heart breaker if he can't take the wheel.

We are country folks, so if there is any place that might not be as "new" and exciting to him is Animal Kingdom. I know it's not a zoo. However we've been to a few zoos, and seeing wildlife is an everyday occurrence here. So I don't see it as having the wow factor compared to the other three parks.
I could envision us taking extra time at Epcot at the expense of AK.
You will be fine with the Grand Prix cars. My 2 year old DD drove them with my DH pressing the gas. She was only around 36 inches at the time.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:25 PM   #19
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Four is such a fun age at WDW!!!

A couple of thoughts from our last trip when our youngest had just turned 5 as well as years experience taking boys to WDW.

-Hoppers are your friend! It makes it much easier to be spontaneous. You can spend most of the day at one park and then hop to another for dinner.

-We always do MK our first FULL day there but never arrival day. The kid will be tireder and over stimulated and arriving in the afternoon lines will be longer. We ALWAYS do a short early night with dinner at Epcot. We might ride one or two things there and often take the monorail from Epcot to the TTC and back to Epcot just because little boys love the monorail. We never make an ADR for this night and just take what we can get get by asking at Guest Services at the resort. Chances are good your room will be ready.

-We plan ADR's for the other days. Always. May is not supper crowded but walk-ins with little ones will result in a long wait. Late Breakfast or Early Lunch ARD's for Character meals are easy to plan and so fun for kids. Saves tons of time waiting in lines for Characters.

-We do Rope Drop ALWAYS. We only do AM EMH at MK and sometimes at AK. There is just not enough to do at the other two at EMH if you little one does not hit 40 inches.

-Our boys have always LOVED all four parks. At 5, DS said HS was his favorite, never would have thought it.

-AT four, we find a rest is necessary, not really naps. I slept more than he did. We have always taken a few low key, play alone toys for down time. Think legos, a few match box cars etc.

He can certainly drive the cars with you doing the gas. Time your visit there. SLOW moving line and little boys LOVE that place. Don't sell AK short. There are wonderful shows there that DS loves and it is just a beautiful place to enjoy. For some reason DS loves the parade there, though it is my least favorite one. The Donald breakfast Character meal there is excellent. If you have early risers. An 8:00 ARD before the park opens is great.

Other great meal choices in other parks:
Epcot- Garden Gill Character meal- Mickey...Chip and Dale etc
MK- Chrystal Palace- Pooh and friends (B, L, D)
Holly Wood and Vine- Playhouse Mickey and friends.

GG is family style and the rest are buffet.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:51 PM   #20
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Your son can drive the cars... it's debatable whether he can drive them well. Mine can't.

If you have neck problems don't even try, lol!!
The little dude and Me

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Old 01-14-2013, 09:00 PM   #21
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Waitsfield VT
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Originally Posted by msmama View Post
Your son can drive the cars... it's debatable whether he can drive them well. Mine can't.

If you have neck problems don't even try, lol!!
should be fun.
Thankfully he has some experience. I actually have a race car, that he can sit in my lap and drive around the pits with me working the pedals. Slowly of course. He's also has one of those battery operated sit in toys. I do hope he's a better driver than me though.

Last edited by sachilles; 01-14-2013 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:19 AM   #22
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We are planning same type of schedule except on arrival day going to do a late lunch at DD. I figured it might be a good way to start getting DD who will turn 4 on our 2nd full day ready and introduced to the Magic. Plus good time to get shopping in and not give up park time.
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