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Old 06-01-2009, 04:24 PM   #1
clomahony
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Disney w/2 Preschoolers-Yes, I've lost my mind

Hello all,

I am new to writing trip reports but I've learned and and enjoyed them so much that I thought I'd pass along one of my own.

Cast of Characters:

Me-Karen (40) accountant and mother of 3 (only 2 are preschoolers) from Washington, DC

DS - (5) starting Kindergarden next September so this may be our last off season trip. He's also fearless and very, very active.

DD (3) - my little princess who has now decided that she's afraid of almost everything which made this trip much more challenging.


Staying at All Stars Movies for our 2nd year in a row, preferred room with dining plan for 10 day, 9 nights.

I'm trying to figure out how I upload pictures from photobucket so I'll post that really soon.

This is our 5th trip to Disney after finding that I loved it after our August 2006 trip although my DH and oldest DS (19) are not big fans so they stayed home.

More to come...
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August 2006 - Villas at Wilderness Lodge
November 2006 - Port Orleans Riverside
September 2007 - Disneyland, November 2007 - Sheraton Vistana
April 2008 - All Stars Movies
May 2009 - All Stars Movies
June 2010 - Vistana
January 2011 - Disneyland, December 2011 - Animal Kingdom Lodge

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Old 06-01-2009, 04:31 PM   #2
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Here's a photo of us from our November 2007 trip. Saddly I don't have a lot of pictures (only about 150) as I am usually found behind a very heavy double stroller so I didn't get a lot of chances to take pictures.
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August 2006 - Villas at Wilderness Lodge
November 2006 - Port Orleans Riverside
September 2007 - Disneyland, November 2007 - Sheraton Vistana
April 2008 - All Stars Movies
May 2009 - All Stars Movies
June 2010 - Vistana
January 2011 - Disneyland, December 2011 - Animal Kingdom Lodge

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Old 06-01-2009, 04:42 PM   #3
clomahony
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Yay! It uploaded.

Just to give you some background on us. I've wanted to do a Disney trip for years now but my DH didn't want to go given the cost and the fact that he loves relaxing vacations like a cruise or the beach. Disney is many things but relaxing - well, not for him.

Finally, in August 2006, we were at Club Med in West Palm Beach and I planned a 2 day getaway to Disney staying at the Wilderness Lodge Villas. Well long story short, I loved Disney so much, we did not go back to Club Med but kept extending our stay at Disney until we had to go home.

The biggest downside was that I had done no research at all on Disney. Disney veterans will love this but I tried to make reservations for LeCellier for one of the evenings we were there the same day and couldn't understand that it was already booked for our entire stay.

After doing research by reading books, I planned another trip for November 2007 at Port Orleans Riverside ...
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August 2006 - Villas at Wilderness Lodge
November 2006 - Port Orleans Riverside
September 2007 - Disneyland, November 2007 - Sheraton Vistana
April 2008 - All Stars Movies
May 2009 - All Stars Movies
June 2010 - Vistana
January 2011 - Disneyland, December 2011 - Animal Kingdom Lodge

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Old 06-01-2009, 07:24 PM   #4
clomahony
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So to continue...

In November 2006, we went stayed at Port Orleans Riverside in the Alligator Bayou section for 5 days. We flew down on US Air and rented a car which worked out really well for us.

While there we went to the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party which was so packed we could barely walk but at least I knew enough to make ADR's.

After that trip, I still felt there was so much we had missed that I planned a trip in November 2007. This time I tried staying off property using my parents time share at the Sheraton Vistana Villages. We drove down with my DH, DSister and DN as well as DS, DD and myself for a week.

As much as I had a good time, it lacked that magical feeling you get staying at a Disney property.

Here are some photos from that trip:











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August 2006 - Villas at Wilderness Lodge
November 2006 - Port Orleans Riverside
September 2007 - Disneyland, November 2007 - Sheraton Vistana
April 2008 - All Stars Movies
May 2009 - All Stars Movies
June 2010 - Vistana
January 2011 - Disneyland, December 2011 - Animal Kingdom Lodge

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Old 06-01-2009, 07:39 PM   #5
poegirl30
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You are one brave mom! Subscribing!
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:13 PM   #6
reyasmommy
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Well at least your daughter doesn't seem scared of the characters? My DD now 3 was terrifed which made things a little hard on our last disney vacation. We're planning a trip in March and hope she's outgrown her fear a bit.

look forward to more.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:27 PM   #7
jana616
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I can't wait to read more about your trip! I have a 4 year old and 2 year old, and we're getting ready for their first trip. You are so brave to do that on your own-good for you!
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2009 trip report-"Stop drinking out of that puddle"-our first family trip with 2 and 4 year olds!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2285467


2009 PTR! 100 Days til Our First Family Trip!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2190617
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:53 AM   #8
tarak
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I've thought about taking my two older kids to the World and leave DH and DS behind (DH says he can't take going more than once every few years - DS is only 1 1/2, so he can't express his opinion just yet). The girls are 4 1/2 and 6 - problem is that DD6 loves to go on everything and DD4 didn't like any of the faster rides, so if it's just me, someone is unhappy. I've thought about asking my sister if she'd be interested in going, though. That way we can switch off.
My hat is off to you for taking such a trip on by yourself!
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:57 AM   #9
clomahony
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poegirl30
You are one brave mom! Subscribing!


Thanks for reading. I'm not so much brave but a little selfish because I love Disney and am really lucky my 2 little ones love it too so I have a good excuse to go down as much as often.
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August 2006 - Villas at Wilderness Lodge
November 2006 - Port Orleans Riverside
September 2007 - Disneyland, November 2007 - Sheraton Vistana
April 2008 - All Stars Movies
May 2009 - All Stars Movies
June 2010 - Vistana
January 2011 - Disneyland, December 2011 - Animal Kingdom Lodge


Last edited by clomahony; 06-02-2009 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:04 AM   #10
clomahony
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reyasmommy

Well at least your daughter doesn't seem scared of the characters? My DD now 3 was terrifed which made things a little hard on our last disney vacation. We're planning a trip in March and hope she's outgrown her fear a bit.

Thanks for reading. This was the first year DD was scared of the characters although she loved the princesses and the fairies. Generally, she liked the "human" characters, the girl cartoon characters and Mickey (although she still doesn't believe that Mickey's a boy) and would go up to them but Pluto, Goofy or Pirates and the like she would hide behind me. Which is the exact opposite of my son who hid under the table from the Princesses at the Norway princess lunch.
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August 2006 - Villas at Wilderness Lodge
November 2006 - Port Orleans Riverside
September 2007 - Disneyland, November 2007 - Sheraton Vistana
April 2008 - All Stars Movies
May 2009 - All Stars Movies
June 2010 - Vistana
January 2011 - Disneyland, December 2011 - Animal Kingdom Lodge


Last edited by clomahony; 06-02-2009 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:09 AM   #11
clomahony
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jana616

I can't wait to read more about your trip! I have a 4 year old and 2 year old, and we're getting ready for their first trip. You are so brave to do that on your own-good for you!


Thanks for reading. It's a little scary doing these for the first time - you think no one will read it. Good luck for your upcoming trip. I know there are a lot of people who might disagree but I found those ages great for going to Disney because they do so much to ensure that every age has fun and to be fair I owe a great big thank you for all the people who helped us on our trip from the people who would give up a seat so I could hold my DD to those who helped carry my not so light stroller on and off the bus. Saddly it didn't happen very often but when it did, it really made the trip more special.

Just an FYI, having a car available really helps tremendously. I didn't have one this trip and I really found it to be much more difficult.
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August 2006 - Villas at Wilderness Lodge
November 2006 - Port Orleans Riverside
September 2007 - Disneyland, November 2007 - Sheraton Vistana
April 2008 - All Stars Movies
May 2009 - All Stars Movies
June 2010 - Vistana
January 2011 - Disneyland, December 2011 - Animal Kingdom Lodge


Last edited by clomahony; 06-02-2009 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:14 AM   #12
clomahony
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tarak

I've thought about taking my two older kids to the World and leave DH and DS behind (DH says he can't take going more than once every few years - DS is only 1 1/2, so he can't express his opinion just yet). The girls are 4 1/2 and 6 - problem is that DD6 loves to go on everything and DD4 didn't like any of the faster rides, so if it's just me, someone is unhappy. I've thought about asking my sister if she'd be interested in going, though. That way we can switch off.

My hat is off to you for taking such a trip on by yourself!

What great ages to go to Disney but I know your issue. My son was upset he never got to go on the Pirates of the Carrabean (excuse my spelling - not one of my strong suits) or Barnstromer because DD was way too scared to get on them. Likewise, I felt a bit guilty because I'd take DD on Haunted Mansion and other rides she felt were scary. I tried to make them more fun by emphasising that they were pretend and pointing out the funny bits to her but I may never get her on Ellen's Energy Universe or in the T Rex restraunt again.
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August 2006 - Villas at Wilderness Lodge
November 2006 - Port Orleans Riverside
September 2007 - Disneyland, November 2007 - Sheraton Vistana
April 2008 - All Stars Movies
May 2009 - All Stars Movies
June 2010 - Vistana
January 2011 - Disneyland, December 2011 - Animal Kingdom Lodge

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Old 06-02-2009, 04:00 PM   #13
clomahony
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So to continue, after 3 trips with various family members, I decided to take the little kids to Disney off season (April, 2007) and enjoy the milder weather and smaller crowds. And after staying offsite last time, I really wanted to stay onsite. So I bit the bullet and decided to try the All Stars Movies resort.

I drove down over 2 days staying overnight in Savannah and spent 7 days at Disney and 2 at Universal Studios Orlando (staying at the Doubletree near Universal). By myself, that was a loooonnnnngggg drive but we made it with no issues.

We really enjoyed the All Stars Movies resort. We ended up in the Mighty Ducks section on the first floor by the pool. The weather was perfect and it was crowded but not overly crowded.

Again we took it slow (never even made it to Epcot or Downtown Disney once) but we had so much fun. We did the Family Magic Tour at Magic Kingdom which was really hard with a double stroller by my DS loved it and even got to hold Captain Hook's hook in the photo.

I'll have to upload the picture that I have for this trip tonight when I get home because they are all on my home computer right now.

We rode the Haunted Mansion for the first time and loved it and my kids could not get enough of the teacups (getting dizzy just thinking about it).

More to come...
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August 2006 - Villas at Wilderness Lodge
November 2006 - Port Orleans Riverside
September 2007 - Disneyland, November 2007 - Sheraton Vistana
April 2008 - All Stars Movies
May 2009 - All Stars Movies
June 2010 - Vistana
January 2011 - Disneyland, December 2011 - Animal Kingdom Lodge

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Old 06-03-2009, 01:01 PM   #14
poegirl30
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Oh, wow! that is a long drive with two little ones! Glad that you didn't have any problems. Can't wait to see the pix!
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:19 PM   #15
clomahony
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Unfortunately, I got home too late last night so I'll try to post those pictures tonight.

But to carryon with the story...

When we got home in April 2008, the economy started to show real signs of slow down and because I work in commercial real estate development it started to hit our projects. By summer, it was freefall and the company started layoffs.

I was lucky to survive but it meant more work for me and by year end it was just crazy. When audit season rolled around, I was stressed beyond imagination and in February I was walking in the subway when I felt something snap in the back of my head and started to have serious head and balance problems. Well it turns out, I had a major stroke and was very very lucky that I could still walk and talk, etc.

After spending a week in the hospital and they could not find a reason why this happened, I went home and back to work but with a new focus on life - my family especially my kids.

So seeing I was having a very difficult time with work, my husband said I should look into another Disney trip since they were running so many specials. About a week later, I got an e-mail from Disney on a special where adults paid full price and the kids got free hotel, park tickets and dining which saved us a lot of $$$.

So I booked the trip and booked plane tickets with US Air for May 9 - 18, 2008 and started my countdown which I found really helped me cope with all the issues that came up.
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August 2006 - Villas at Wilderness Lodge
November 2006 - Port Orleans Riverside
September 2007 - Disneyland, November 2007 - Sheraton Vistana
April 2008 - All Stars Movies
May 2009 - All Stars Movies
June 2010 - Vistana
January 2011 - Disneyland, December 2011 - Animal Kingdom Lodge

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