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Old 12-08-2011, 05:06 PM   #16
Josi96
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I usually just read the DIS but your post compelled me to post. We tried to do Deluxe DP with my girls in May when then were 1.5 and 3.5. It was a disaster. They usually enjoy restraunts, but two long sit down meals a day was just too much. I also agree with PP that it also just takes so much time away from the parks. It was also tough to tear them away from somewhere they were having fun to make it to an ADR. DD 3 had several meltdowns over this. Reading your post actually gave me bad flashbacks!

I agree with PP that you should drop the late ADR's and focus on getting to the parks as early as possible. We actually ended up skipping most of our ADRs towards the end and had a much better time, but we wasted all the money we spent on the Deluxe plan.

Please consider scaling things down, I would hate for you to have as many regrets about your trip as we did! We are going back in January for a redo with one TS a day if that and those are mostly buffets that won't take as long.

Disney really is a magical place, but melting down children can quickly put a damper on that.
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:09 AM   #17
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We'll have to feed them a big snack around 5pm and pack the iPad with a Disney movie for emergencies! I wonder if it would be considered rude to play a movie at a low volume at the dinner table at a place like Le Cellier?
Yes it would be rude!!!
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:54 AM   #18
amystevekai&bump
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[QUOTE=SATX78209;43421882] We'll have to feed them a big snack around 5pm and pack the iPad with a Disney movie for emergencies! I wonder if it would be considered rude to play a movie at a low volume at the dinner table at a place like Le Cellier? (I would personally rather hear the murmur of a movie over the whining of children any day of the week...)

QUOTE]

I know the prev poster thinks it is rude - and for older children/teens I would agree, as they should generally be able to manage in a restaurant for a couple of hours without the need for entertainment.

But I agree with you, due to the age of your children, I would much prefer to see them happily sat nicely watching a tv screen (at a VERY low volume!) than seeing (and hearing) them upset whilst you are trying to have a nice dinner.

Last christmas we ate at Le Cellier with our 2 boys who were then 3 and 6 years old. We had booked an early dinner (6pm), but I hadn't anticipated how much the jet lag from the UK would affect them (even though we were almost a week into our vacation at that point). Both boys fell asleep with their heads on the table before the starters even arrived!!!

DH and I continued to finish our meal and then boxed up the boys meal to eat when we got back to the hotel. I am not sure whether other people thought us 'rude' or 'mean' to let our children sleep at the dinner table while we ate - we hadn't planned for it, but it was what happened and we just went with it!!!

As long as you are not disturbing other diners with loud screaming, rowdy behaviour or running around etc, then I say if someone else has a problem - its their problem - not yours!!
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:05 AM   #19
kvnchapman
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They will be thrilled with this awesome surprise!! Here are my pointers as a mom of 5 who has taken kids between the ages of 2 and 10:
1. Use touringplans.com
2. Understand and use Fastpass and babyswap. (On the adult only rides, you will only need 1 FP, because they will give you a babyswap pass at the ride)
3. Arrive at ropedrop!!!
4. Pack lots of snacks, comfort items and some novel toys to take in the diaper bag.
5. Know where the baby centers are in each park - these can be invaluable.
6. Plan for a 3 hour break, from the time you depart a park until you return to a park.
7. Bring the Ipad! It's great for movies during lunch and/or dinner or other long waits.
8. Bring/rent a double stroller - the 3 year old will need it too.
9. We've done the dlx dining plan. It's nice, but does require a LOT of time sitting. Young kids seem to do better at ADRs while they are fresh in the morning - see if you can get H&V or CP for breakfast and TH for breakfast or lunch.
10. Do a few adult things - don't miss Soarin, Rock n Roller, Dinosaur or Everest, or Space Mountain.
11. There are some very reputable nanny services if you and DW would like a romantic evening out.
Have fun!!!
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:50 PM   #20
SATX78209
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Thank you, everyone for taking the time to offer some feedback. I'm amazed at how much great advice and how much time so many of you have put into your responses.

What I'm hearing loud and clear is that, yes, it is VERY important to be at the park as close to rope drop as possible. With that in mind we're probably going to need to do everything (wake up, eat, nap, etc) at least an hour earlier than the normal routine. If that is the case, I don't think we'll be able to pull off more than one late evening dinner, if that.

One of the big reasons for scheduling so many sit down meals is that our kids have trouble slowing down enough to eat a good meal during hectic vacations when we're "eating on the run". I felt like table service meals will help ensure they eat a decent amount at meal time. The #1 meltdown prevention strategies (MPS, can I coin that?) is to keep them well fed, and the #2 MPS is to keep them well rested.

With all that in mind I decided to add early ADRs so that we have the option to drop the late reservation. Flying Fish and Yatchmen were no problem to move to earlier, but Le Cellier and Akershus don't have availability as of now. I hate to cancel the Akershus ADR since I think it would be a great introduction to characters, but I'll let my wife decide on what we do with this. I can live without Le Cellier, so I'm fairly positive that will get canceled. New dinner reservations as follows:

27th either 6:00pm Bistro de Paris or 8:15 pm Akershus
28th 6:10pm Cape May Cafe
29th 5:55pm Flying Fish
30th 5:45pm Yatchsmen's Steakhouse
31st 7:45 pm Hollywood & Vine or room service or counter service at resort

I think we'll keep the DDP just to keep things flexible and low stress. Even if we don't come out ahead I'll be happy not letting meal cost influence our decisions while on vacation. Also, it's worth noting that I'm in no way married to the meal plan; If we end up wanting to cancel an ADR because the kids are having too much fun at one of the parks, then so be it.

Now on to the park planning....

I think we'll probably follow the touringplans for small children but I want to cut a hand full of the rides that I don't think the kids will like with non-waiting in line activities. Anyone have any suggestions for things your kids have enjoyed that didn't require battling crowds?
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:15 PM   #21
nklooz
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I think you'll be much happier w/these ADR times!

Something you could try, if you decide against the late Akershus ADR, would be too just get exposure that evening to characters at Epcot.

Here's a link to learn where & when you can meet different characters in Epcot:

www.wdwent.com

Then, if you really want to do Akershus, you could see if you could get a breakfast ADR for your departure day, a nice parting character breakfast.

But, just so you can make a decision, I'd say this is around where you'll end up:

8:15 ADR
8:30 Seated
10:20 ish done
10:45 back to BCV
So, then you're at kids in bed by 11 at the earliest

I'd say this is a best case scenario. I agree that Akeshus would be a nice character meal, but I don't think you want a first night that is that late. Keep checking for earlier times each day, just in case.

Have a blast!
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:28 PM   #22
Art 1
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You are asking for advice. Mine would be to take a babysitter along.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:12 PM   #23
MSaboCLBR
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You should not have a problem getting into Hollywood Studios on the 31st. Remember there are stages of closing. If you are staying on property and using Disney transportation then you will get in. It is a very rare day when HS reaches stage 4 closings.
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:51 PM   #24
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OT but can I ask a Q? How to you get a Disney movie onto your iPad?

I have a new iPad I am bringing and would love to be able to watch Disney movies on the plane on the way to MCO.

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SATX78209 View Post
Raenstoirm, Thanks for the reply! Yes, we bought park hopper passes for all the days and deluxe meal plans. Good point on the late dinners. We have an hour working in our favor since we are wired to central time zone, but the kids will likely be somewhat fussy by that time. We'll have to feed them a big snack around 5pm and pack the iPad with a Disney movie for emergencies! I wonder if it would be considered rude to play a movie at a low volume at the dinner table at a place like Le Cellier? (I would personally rather hear the murmur of a movie over the whining of children any day of the week...)

With the time difference the mornings will be the real problem. They get up at 7:00am CST so that is 8:00 eastern. I guess we'll have to get a later start on the day than what I was originally thinking. Hopefully that doesn't totally throw a wrench in our plans.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:13 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plutolovr View Post
Yes it would be rude!!!
Not rude at all. Do what works best for you.
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:29 AM   #26
RumpleMom
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Your earlier ADRs is a better strategy.

The weather can be comfortable or very cold for little ones to be out in late at night.

Please don't wait too long to tell DW. There is a lot of packing to be done. You need an assortment of clothes for the unpredictable weather.

I have worn a swimsuit in early January, and on another trip needed a winter coat, hat and gloves.
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:33 AM   #27
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Quote:
27th either 6:00pm Bistro de Paris or 8:15 pm Akershus
Stick with Akershus. Bistro does not have a kis's menu for a good reason.
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:38 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by RumpleMom View Post
Your earlier ADRs is a better strategy.

The weather can be comfortable or very cold for little ones to be out in late at night.

Please don't wait too long to tell DW. There is a lot of packing to be done. You need an assortment of clothes for the unpredictable weather.

I have worn a swimsuit in early January, and on another trip needed a winter coat, hat and gloves.

I have to disagree with this. I would LOVE and be so surprised and excited if my husband gave this to me as a relatively last minute surprise and had all of the details and packing for the kids underway, laundry done, etc. I'd want enough time (say an evening) to make sure I could pack and confirm that the kid's packing was done well. But, I would LOVE the last minute surprise. Point is - something like this is completely dependent on a person's personality, and you know best how/when your wife will want the surprise delivered.

Have a blast!
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:39 AM   #29
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ETA: Only disagreeing with the don't wait to long to surrpise her part, not the unpredictable weather part.
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:55 AM   #30
SATX78209
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I think she'll be so excited about the trip that she won't worry too much about packing. Plus we travel all the time so she has the packing thing down to an art. That being said, we will be out of town (not too far of a drive) at her parent house for Christmas this year so there will need to be some casual subtle encouragements dropped prior to leaving to help things go smoothly such as "Let me give you a hand picking up the house before we leave; Think about how refreshing it will be to come home to a clean organized house after the chaos of Christmas!" (She'll take that hook-line-n-sinker).

Thanks for the advice on Bistro. I read some reviews on the restaurants board and now see that it's not on the dining plan (don't know how I missed that...). It looks like we could get away with taking our kids there for a 6pm seating, but it would be slightly inappropriate.
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