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Old 09-13-2010, 09:29 AM   #1
Princess&JackMom
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1st time report: The Magical Labor Day Week with the Twins at WL

We are back from our first full trip to the World with our 4 year old twins and this is my first trip report. I will try to be brief.

It was truly a magical time. And for those of you considering going with 4 year olds or going the first week of September, you can’t pick a better time. It was a little hot but not unbearable and a little rain really helped (the rain did not impede us in any way; in fact, I hoped for rain at one point at HS because it was so hot there.)

First, there were no crowds at all. We literally walked on most rides with no wait. The only waits at MK were for Dumbo (about 15 minutes) and meeting the Princesses (10 minutes); I should say we do not get to the parks before 10 so there probably wasn't a wait before then. At MK it rained one night and we road Tea Cup 3x in a row without getting up (or getting sick) and then moved to Pooh for two rides then did Buzz 3x in a row. It was fab! It rained a little the next two days (maybe 15 minutes at a time) and that was it. At AK, we went on Everest with little wait and went on the rapids 4x in a row. The place was a ghost town after 4 (we went there the day after EMH).

The longest wait time of the week we saw was at HS with TSM. We got to the park after 10 and got a FP for it to come back at 2:40 and when we came in to do it, the regular line wait was 60 minutes so we only did that once. Still, for my twins, it was similar to Buzz and they liked Buzz better (I think because the gun at Buzz is easier to use for them).

We arrived at WL on Labor Day. The Magical Express was waiting for us and we got right on and after we checked in to our room, our bags arrived a few minutes later.
We really enjoyed staying at WL. The standard room was a little small for us but it worked out because we really only slept there. Next time, when our twins our older, we will have to do a bigger room. While we only had a woods view, we had a great location, room 3112, around the corner from the elevator and right off the lobby. The room was super quiet (maybe because there weren’t many people staying that week?).

The twins’ favorite thing about the hotel? Running down the long ramp to Roaring Fork and the docks each morning. My daughter loved the pool, too, and I absolutely loved taking the boat to MK. The bus to AK was a little long from WL.

We also did the QSDP for this trip and that worked out great. However, I don’t think we got the most use out of our refillable mugs because my children don’t drink soda. We did end up with a lot of beverages, though, because my husband and I each got two drinks every morning with our breakfast so we never were without water or juice or milk. If would do QSDP again the next time we stay on property, though we did have to struggle a bit the last day to use up all our snack credits. We thought the breakfast at Roaring Fork was great; we only had snacks and drinks there the rest of the time so I can't really comment on lunch or dinner.

My DD went on every ride she was tall enough for, even ones I thought were too scary for her. I didn’t want her to do Snow White, but she insisted and liked it. My DS is a little more timid and he was actually asleep at that time so he missed that but they both did Haunted Mansion and Pirates. My DD also did Dinosaur at AK and was a little scared but she understood it was pretend (my son did not want to go on it). They both liked the play areas the best (at AK and HS) though they really wanted to keep going on rides so next trip we probably won’t do HS as there aren’t enough rides there for them. My DD also found every water splash area and loved getting soaked. My DS doesn't like getting splashed with his clothes on so she usually went in those while he was napping.

On our last day the twins went to the Pirate League. My DD loved it; my son was tired and wasn’t really in the mood for it but his pirate was able to get him to wear a little make up and once he heard he would get a sword and get some treasure he behaved better and enjoyed it. He did, however, immediately fall asleep after we left. The photos in the secret room came out great so I had to buy them. Spent a little more $$ there than I expected but again, this is not something they are going to do every trip so the expense was worth it.

All in all, a great first experience for them. I am still recovering though as I got blisters on day three from my Crocs.

The coolest part for me was being at the parks and staying to closing and being the last one in an area. I had never seen the parks so empty (after 7 at HS and after 5 at AK). We ran into characters left and right with no to little waits and Photopass photographers were everywhere.

As for Photopass, we did the pre-order of the CD so I tried to use them as often as we could because I didn’t want to bring my big Canon camera. It worked out great. Their photos of us were beautiful. We ended up with about 140 Photopass pictures I would say 135 were usable (meaning we were all looking at the camera), so it was definitely worth the $99. After I added borders, we ended up with more than 400 photos (I do wish they had more borders, though). I would definitely do it again.

I hope this helps anyone thinking of going next September with twins or little ones who want to stay at WL. It was a great time and seeing the joy and twinkle in the kids’ eyes as they saw the characters (especially when they saw Mickey) was worth every penny! Though, for my son, I think next time we will stay at a Monorail hotel because that was his favorite part of the trip.
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:14 AM   #2
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Great report

Sounds like you had a wonderful time. We are taking DD 4 in 19 days!
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:26 AM   #3
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Photos!

How about showing us some of the Photos!
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:57 AM   #4
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Thanks for the report. I'll be traveling with our two LOs in a few months - have a few questions for you about Magical Express...

About how long did it take from the time you landed until you arrived on WDW property?
Did your kids get restless waiting for check in and the bus?
Was there one side of the bus that was better for seeing MK in the distance? Were your kids about to see through the windows fairly well or would they have had to stand on the seats?

Thanks!
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:14 PM   #5
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I will try to post some pics soon. I just ordered the Photopass CD and those have most of my character shots.

As for Magical Express, they say it can take longer depending on when you arrive, but our flight came in a little after 1 pm. It'd say it was about 20 minutes to get to the MK area. We had to make a stop at Grand Floridian first then to WL so that added on some time. The side didn't matter because you first glimpse MK on the left as you are driving in, then once you headed toward GF, the right side was better, then left again as we headed to WL. It may depend on what hotel you are visiting first to see what was the better view. Overall, it was a shorter trip to and from the airport than I imagined it would be.

At check in, there was a TV set up nearby with two kids sized rocking chairs that the kids were thrilled to play with while we checked in so they didn't have time to get restless. Plus, I did online check in so everything was ready and there was no line so time at check in was short.

We didn't have much of a wait time for buses/boats. The one night we had to wait was when we went to Ft. Wilderness for the Chip n Dale sing along. We had to wait about 10 minutes for the bus and the kids were occupied by watching the other buses (I should add my son LOVES buses so he was completely happy waiting to ride one).

They were able to see out the windows of the Magical Express bus while sitting, but they had to sit on their knees or a lap to look out the windows of the regular Disney transportation buses. My DS always had to be looking out the window so he was on his knees all the time; my DD was happy to sit on my lap because she was usually cold on the buses (the air was blasting!)
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:44 PM   #6
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Sounds like a Magical trip! A co-worker stayed at WL in May and he loved the resort (it was their first family trip to WDW.) Only thing he didn't like was they were in the Villas side (they rented points) and thought the location was too far from all the action plus they weren't impressed with the woods view. I wish the Villas side were a little closer to the pool, etc.

I would consider going to WDW the first week in Sept but don't think I could stand the heat. We went to Disneyland back in Sept 1983 and loved how quiet the Park was.
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:47 PM   #7
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I was worried about the heat but our hot NY summer helped prepare us for it and it wasn't so bad. It did take more of a toll on my son as he does not do well in very hot weather so his energy was zapped.

Here is my first attempt at posting a photo.
This is from the WL lobby while we were checking in:
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:50 PM   #8
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Magical Express

Here we have just gotten on ME at the airport.
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:55 PM   #9
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We met Mickey after catching the Disney Animation movie at HS. There was like a 5 minute wait to see him and no wait for Snow White, Marry Poppins, Captain Hook, and Mr. Incredible (alas, my twins had no interest in meeting any of them, except my daughter for Snow White).
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:00 PM   #10
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Towel friends

We found great towel animals each day on returning to our room. They were quite creative and incorporated our twins' stuffed puppies each time. It may be hard to tell from this angle, but this one is a large alligator surrounded by the puppies.
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