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Old 09-28-2010, 02:31 PM   #1
Kaleigh
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The Little Things You Do Together-Mom/20 month old-First Trip,Dad in Iraq-1 day left!

Background
Back in March, DH (James) and I (Kaleigh) decided that we would finally take the plunge and introduce our daughter, Veronica, to our Disney obsession. We have travelled together as a couple to WDW for 8 years, visiting at least once a year, sometimes more. Veronica was born Jan 09 and has stayed with the grands for the last few trips as we just didn't feel ready to take her. But, in March we decided that we would set it up perfectly to have a wonderful trip in Sept.




The plan: We would do a split stay between 2 excellent, close to parks resorts: the Poly and the Beach Club. We would be on the DxDp because we love to eat and V is good in restaurants. I got all my ADRs at 180+ days out, including 2 Le Celliers, an Ohana, our first trip to Yachtsman and Citricos and some other nice things. As the trip got closer, we started thinking about MNSSHP and my mom signed on to make a bo-peep costume (Toy Story) and were pretty close to buying tickets for that.

The world stops: Almost exactly 6 weeks from our vacation dates, James comes home and says that he is 99 percent likely to deploy to Iraq and would leave for training.... in three weeks.

Last edited by Kaleigh; 10-13-2010 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 09-28-2010, 03:24 PM   #2
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Cancelled... or not?
As soon as we got the orders, I called upon my amazing TA to cancel the trip for us. The most painful part was cancelling all those ADRs (I did give dissers the heads up for the good ones)
A few days later, James and I are talking and he says that he wouldn't mind missing V's first trip. He is the type of person who really wants to do what he wants to do without much planning. Plus, we like to do the same things and go during slow times, so it almost always works perfectly. But, with a toddler, you have to adapt and take it slow which was concerning me a little for our previously planned trip.
I have always wanted to go to Mousefest or one of those Disney fan gatherings, but know James would not be up for it, so I never pressed the issue. But, with him not being around and us living within easy driving distance to the world, I started thinking about going to WDWToday's Reunion in early December. James said he had no issue with it, so I called my TA to start looking at rates. I mentioned it off hand to my mother, who was immediately interested in going along to help with Veronica. So, I booked the trip for me, my parents and Veronica and am really excited about it, but....
I start thinking about reunion and know that I am going to be busy at events. Then I begin looking at the Food and Wine details and have always wanted to really take my time with that. And I think about Veronica riding things/ seeing things for the first time possibly without me unless I skip out on some of the events. I had planned on getting a new annual pass in December anyway, so what is a month and a half? So, I check rates for myself online just to see if POFQ is available since that would be my first choice that is not a deluxe. It is available and discounted. Any Disney addict knows what comes next...
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:30 AM   #3
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The New Plan
So, of course, I booked it and now I have 2 trips planned. One in October with just my daughter and I, and one in December for Reunion with my parents as well. I am not telling the rest of the family about this trip with my daughter because I know they'll think I am crazy. My head is swimming with how to plan this trip because it will be so different from what I've done before. Here is what I have so far:

The night before the trip, V has her first dance performance at the local fair at 6:00. We will be packed and ready to go. As soon as she is finished, we will drive for as long as I can go. The entire drive is 7 hours, so I would like to get 3 or 4 done. We will have our dog, Annie, with us and she will be staying at the new kennel on property which, luckily, is near Port Orleans.

But, it means that I have to try to find a dog-friendly hotel room that night which isn't always easy. Not sure if I should book something ahead of time or what. The next morning, we drive the rest of the way in and go pick up my new annual pass at Shades of Green first thing because I am getting an AP discount at the kennel and hotel. So then, on to the kennel and POFQ. I am planning on requesting a ground floor so I don't have to mess with stairs, but I am not sure if I need to make any other requests. All the buildings at this resort seem really close, and we have a car. (If someone has a suggestion for a request, let me know)
So that gets us there. But where will we go first and where are my ADR's? Stay tuned.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:10 AM   #4
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How to take a toddler?

The first park
So, I happened to get my ADRs before I knew about V's dance performance the day before, and I thought we would be getting there that day. The first ADR I got was at noon that day at Epcot: Via Napoli. Reasons? James and I went to Naples this past May on the Disney Med cruise and I want to see if the pizza compares.

Me in Naples (trip report in signature)


And, of course, it is new so I want to try it. I hope I can get there in time, but I might see about either pushing it back or changing it to dinner and just stay at the resort until V is done with her afternoon nap.
Must Do's At Epcot
Here are the things I think she'll enjoy at Epcot:
Nemo Ride
Living Seas Play Area and Aquarium
Turtle Talk with Crush
Living with the Land
Journey Into the Imagination
El Rio Del Tiempo
Spaceship Earth

Maybes
Here are some things I am not sure about, but possibly willing to try:
Water Fountain Show
Maelstrom
Illuminations
Childrens water play area
Various musical acts in WS (she loves music)

Any other ideas/suggestions? I plan on taking it slow, but I think we'll get through these attractions without much issue considering they never/rarely have waits. I tried to get an ADR for Garden Grill that day to replace Via Napoli to introduce her to characters and food that might be more her speed. Will probably keep trying. Any dining ideas would be great also!
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:46 PM   #5
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Wow, no one cares about my trip! Oh well, guess it is a good place to put my thoughts down and organize.
Update
Pretty sure I am going to cancel that Via Napoli reservation and just snack at Food and Wine booths, making sure that V gets a good nap before we head to the park.

The Second Day
So, after looking at my touring plans and crowd calendars, I decided to hold off on the Magic Kingdom until the third day, so Saturday will be Animal Kingdom/Studios. (or MK or Epcot again depending on how we feel and how early we finish)
I have an ADR at Yak and Yeti for an early lunch. I have eaten there before and really enjoyed it, so I am looking forward to it.
As for rides/etc., here are my must do's with Veronica.

Must Do
Kilamangaro Safaris
Finding Nemo Musical
Festival of the Lion King
Character Trails
Dinosaur Dumbo Knockoff

Maybes
Rafiki Train and Petting Area

Looking at it, this list looks short, but I think that it will take longer than normal with a toddler. I am really excited about her seeing the shows because she loves music so much. If anyone has suggestions about AK with a toddler, let me know! Oh, wait... No one is reading this, so who would post that stuff?
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:07 PM   #6
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hello!
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Old 10-03-2010, 01:20 AM   #7
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Hi Kaleigh! Great detail in your pre trip report. I'm glad you talked about it in chat room. You all are so cute! Hey, we did rafiki's planet watch for the first time in June, and really enjoyed it. If your daughter likes animals, they have a nice petting zone.

Looking forward to reading more!
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Old 10-03-2010, 03:01 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=Kaleigh;38445473]Wow, no one cares about my trip! Oh well, guess it is a good place to put my thoughts down and organize.
QUOTE]

LOL. I chuckled with that comment. We care, we care, I promise we care!

I'd like to blame the upcoming anticipation for Halloween for why no one's responded. Sounds like a good excuse to me. That or there is probably another controversial thread in the Theme Park stratergies that everyone is reading.

Don't worry about your lists being short, you'll have a toddler with you and you know that is going to leave you open for a lot of little extra adventures.

I'm sorry that your hubbie wasn't able to join you on your daughter's first trip.

DF and I went to Via Naploi last month. I felt the food was pretty good so I can't wait to see how you feel about the comparison. I'd like to suggest Whispering Canyon cafe for one of your meals. I went back in Aug when my sister & nieces came to visit and we had such a blast. It's a great place to be entertained. If you don't go on this trip, def schedule an ADR when you go with your parents in Dec. You will not regret it.
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All in the Golden Afternoon... a TR of the Flower & Garden show at Epcot
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:33 AM   #9
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Hi boulder and Hallie! Thanks for posting!
[QUOTE=smileycrissy;38449370]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleigh View Post
Wow, no one cares about my trip! Oh well, guess it is a good place to put my thoughts down and organize.
QUOTE]

LOL. I chuckled with that comment. We care, we care, I promise we care!

I'd like to blame the upcoming anticipation for Halloween for why no one's responded. Sounds like a good excuse to me. That or there is probably another controversial thread in the Theme Park stratergies that everyone is reading.

Don't worry about your lists being short, you'll have a toddler with you and you know that is going to leave you open for a lot of little extra adventures.

I'm sorry that your hubbie wasn't able to join you on your daughter's first trip.

DF and I went to Via Naploi last month. I felt the food was pretty good so I can't wait to see how you feel about the comparison. I'd like to suggest Whispering Canyon cafe for one of your meals. I went back in Aug when my sister & nieces came to visit and we had such a blast. It's a great place to be entertained. If you don't go on this trip, def schedule an ADR when you go with your parents in Dec. You will not regret it.
We have done Whispering Canyon before and it was one of my ADRs for the big trip we had. For this one, I am not sure which day we would go because on MK day we have a CP ressie. But it is always in the back of my mind. I figure you can't go wrong not having to get up from the table with a toddler. I really want to try Via Napoli, but have read some reviews that service is slow and they don't have bread for her to munch on while waiting. Thanks for reading!
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Old 10-03-2010, 03:15 PM   #10
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My Dining Dilemma

So, I really enjoy trying new restaurants and new cuisines. DH, not so much. He has gotten a lot better recently, but really likes the comfort of eating what he knows he likes. Chilis is his favorite restaurant, and if he had the choice, he would probably rather eat there way more often. As a result, we have been fairly conservative with our Disney dining in the past. We have also been on the dining plan for many trips, so we have never tried any signature restaurants. I keep hearing amazing things about Jiko, have always wanted to try Citricos, among others like Flying Fish. Here is the thing: should I try them on this trip? I could theoretically enjoy them without worrying about how critical or not James would be, but it would just be me and Veronica. She is good in restaurants, but she does like to be eating and gets annoyed if things take too long. Advice?
Just for fun, dessert pic from the cruise.
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:05 PM   #11
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great trip report!
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:37 PM   #12
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A Random Pic

V climbing stairs on a boat. I just think she looks cute here. Notice my gorgeous pedicure...
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:46 PM   #13
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HI kal! Some random thoughts

I would probably leave in the morning. Get a fresh start at 6 or so then get there around lunchtime, check in and ready to go. You never leave the recital when you think you will and night driving is not something I enjoy, YMMV

When you are at Epcot, check out the chinese acrobats too. Your DD will enjoy those too!

I would indulge in dining. Why not? Book whichever one you want to try the most, early on and see how she does. You can also tell yur server you would like to pace things quicker than normal

The only one I would not suggest is Bistro. Least child friendly of them all

BUt if Jiko is on your list, go for it! You can walk around the viewing areas before/after dinner and V can see all the animals

Sounds like a great trip and we will have to see if our paths cross while you are there
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:23 PM   #14
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The Third Day

Day 3 is a big day for us because it is MAGIC KINGDOM day! I never realized how many rides little ones can go on at MK until I started planning this trip. (Silly me!) So for this one, we are following the "Dumbo or Die in a Day" touring plan. Well, sort of. I am using it as a guide and planning on watching Veronica to see what she likes and what she wants to do again/more of. And... I think I have decided to take her to the Halloween Party that night. She loves to dance and I think she will like the dance parties with the characters. Plus, it will give me a good opportunity to get more photopass pictures of her AND, she can wear her costume that my mom worked so hard on more than once. Before we cancelled the other trip, we had decided that V would go as

Yep, Bo Peep. James and I didn't want her to be one of the myriad of princesses, so this seemed like a good fit. I am excited to see her in the costume and will post pics after we get it this weekend!
Just a little side note:
I took V to the zoo today by myself for the first time just to see how the harness + stroller thing would work (and, of course to have fun) and it was so great. She loved seeing the animals. We rode the train, which she was in awe about. Everytime we saw it for the rest of the day, she kept saying "too, too" (choo choo) I let her play on the big playground to her heart's content and she went down for a good nap when we got home. I hope this is a sign of things to come at Disney!

Must Do's
Dumbo
Peter Pan
Winnie the Pooh
Carousel
TTA
Buzz
Country Bears
Jungle Cruise
Tom Sawyer Island
Train
Any play area she wants to stop at
Mickey and Minnie's houses
Magic Carpets

Maybes
Indy or whatever the cars are called
Pirates
Tiki Room
Philharmagic
Haunted Mansion
Swiss Family Treehouse
Liberty Boat thing (I have never ridden this)

I wish Small World wasn't in refurb because I know she would love it. Oh well, December is not far away.
And I will leave you with a fun pic from the last trip James and I took before we knew we were having V. We found out about 3 weeks later...
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:19 PM   #15
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great update
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