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Old 10-07-2012, 12:45 PM   #46
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Count me in!! Enjoying your TR..
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:49 PM   #47
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That was a delightful installment. Allie's dress is just darling and I liked being able to see the back of it while she was on the carrousel. You just have to have more girls so you can use all those precious outfits again and again
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:00 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by SoNotAPrincess View Post
I'm really enjoying your report...great photos and excellent storytelling...kudos! Allie's outfits are precious (I'm in awe of your seamstress abilities)! It's been a long time since I've been to Disney with a toddler, and you're bringing back lots of fond memories of "way back when"!
Welcome! Thanks for following along. I'm glad we are bringing back fond toddler memories, toddlers can be challenging at times, especially when she doesn't want to wear the dress Mommy wants her to wear if you know what I mean
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Count me in!! Enjoying your TR..
Welcome, you are counted! Ok we aren't really keeping a count but we're still really glad you found our TR and liked it enough to stick around.
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That was a delightful installment. Allie's dress is just darling and I liked being able to see the back of it while she was on the carrousel. You just have to have more girls so you can use all those precious outfits again and again
Ha! If Paul could put in an order for another baby it'd be a boy but I don't see another one in the future anytime soon. It would interfere too much with Disney! We are glad you're enjoying following along ~Melissa
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:46 PM   #49
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PhotoPass Pics

This isn't another full day update yet, but we just did our PhotoPass photo download so now we have the pictures that Disney photograpers took and we thought we'd share a few from the days we've already covered in the TR. We stoppped to have pictures taken each day, and it is neat to have ones with everybody in them. We found that some of the photographers are really enthusiastic about their job, and came up with different poses for us to do.

Here Allie was alseep before we made it out of AK on Monday:


Here is where we met Daisy at Epcot after Chef Mickey's:


As expected Allie looks tortured in some of the character ones, but Melissa and Stitch were both enthusiastic once Melissa shared that Stitch was her favorite.


The better photographers would come up with extra fun things to do, like this, where we saw Tinkerbelle but Allie must have missed her...


And here we got to smooch Allie in front of the castle:


Finally, at the end of our first day at Epcot I think Allie was about done. She looked better in some of the pictures, but we laughed at this one:


Overall we are glad that we got the PhotoPass. Between pictures we had them take at WDW and some more we did over a couple DLR trips once we got home we had over 280 pictures. We had pre-purchased the Photo CD for $100 before the price went up, and ordering the download was really easy. Once we bought it, we could redeem it at any time for all of the pictures in our account. The only trick is pictures only stay in the account for 30 days, so we figured we'd have a month from our first day at WDW to get as many as we wanted. They would have shipped us a CD for an extra $4.95 shipping but instead we chose to do an instant download. That was no additional cost, and we had the full resolution images the same day. Next time we would more seriously consider PhotoPass Plus, where you get the character meal and ride photos as well, and that currently costs $169.95 if you pre-order it before your trip.

We will be including PhotoPass pictures from the rest of the trip as we cover it, so stay tuned...
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:09 PM   #50
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Where's Perry?


Paul got up early today and watched the sunrise from the balcony while Allie and I slept in and recovered from her antics the night before. I got up and took a shower while Paul went down to get more strawberry waffles (what I wouldn't give for those right now!). Once again they were delish!

Allie wasn’t exactly hopping out of bed this morning, so it took a little coaxing to get her dressed and ready. The process started with watching some Mickey Mouse in bed with her stuffed friends:


She decided that she wanted to wear her new Mickey ears, and that wearing her Pirate dress would be ok so she could show Jake her Scully bird on it at lunch. (Since we had an ADR at Hollywood and Vine).



We headed to DHS after breakfast and our first stop was the Great Movie Ride. I had wanted to ride it on our last trip but we never got that far. We all rode and I enjoyed it. It was probably a little intense for Allie and I wouldn't have made her ride it had I known about the shoot out or especially the scene from Alien. Luckily she just snuggled close and missed the scary parts.


After that we went over to see what time the next Voyage of the Little Mermaid was and we had about 30 mins so we went and got a picture with Jake and then walked over to a gift shop where Allie picked out a stuffed Perry the Platypus (Allie tends to get what she wants when Mommy wants it too, which was definitely the case with the stuffed Perry) and we pressed another penny.

Allie was a little wild at this point, so we stopped and ran around in circles outside of the Animation building. She had a ball chasing me, then having me chase her, then climbing up and down the steps.

We went inside the Animation building and met Pooh, Allie was really excited to get to see him but looks tortured as usual in the pictures. It had started to rain while we were inside so we went to catch the Mermaid show but just missed it. If you want to see this show the CM said we needed to be 10 minutes early. We didn't end up getting to see it this trip, maybe we'll catch it next time.
I wanted to grab a couple of cupcakes at Starring Rolls for later so we headed over there. It was pretty busy with people trying to stay out of the rain but even with a line out the door it didn't take long to pick out a Butterfinger and a red velvet cupcake. I got them to go and by the time we were done there the rain had died down. We still had some time before our lunch ADR at Hollywood and Vine so we checked out One Man’s Dream. It was neat seeing all of the Disney memorabilia and history I really enjoyed the walk through before the show. Allie got bored pretty quick but she was a good girl and pretty patient. It turns out we had seen the movie before at Disneyland during the 50th anniversary but it’s still a good one.

I really enjoyed the waiting area and all the models and displays in there too. I finally found the Ariel ride, it was just a scale model of the one in CA. The new Fantasyland looks like it is going to be really neat, and they had a large model of it on display, so we’ll have to come back to see that once it is open. The movie was nice, but I kept compulsively checking my watch during it because we were rapidly approaching our noon ADR time.

It was finally time for lunch and it didn't take long to get seated and the restaurant was pretty quiet. The characters came around and were great with Allie even though she wasn't so great with them. Since the restaurant was so quiet everyone came around at least twice. I wish she had enjoyed the interaction more because we got more here than the other character meals. Oh well, she still enjoyed being in the same room as Jake, Manny, June, and Oso and the food was great.


I was really impressed with the food at Hollywood and Vine. Walking in I figured it would be a pretty basic buffet, with the characters as the main reason to go. The buffet line started with lots of salad options, then some already assembled sandwiches with cold cuts. They were amazing. I would probably have done the buffet for the sandwiches alone. The rest of the food was really good too, with lots of different things to try. I particularly enjoyed a meat and pasta dish, and the traditional Mickey chicken nuggets, but I also tried Salmon, and at least three other “main course” dishes that were all very good. After my dessert of a brownie topped with soft serve ice cream, I was stuffed.
On the way out Allie fell in love with the backdrop with the painted characters and wanted her picture taken with every one. It was slightly hysterical.



After lunch we headed back over to Muppet Vision. Grandma and Grandpa rode it while we walked around the shop and got to meet Phineas and Ferb. They were so excited to see Perry! Allie acted tortured as usual.


We meandered around while waiting for Grandma and Grandpa and ended up over by the Christmas store with the "snow" out front. Allie had fun climbing on it and chatting with the snowman.


We had to drag Allie away when Grandma and Grandpa came so we could go back over to the other side of the park to see the Beauty and the Beast stage show. We got there about 5 minutes late but they let us in anyway and there was plenty of seating left. It was a great show and I think Allie enjoyed it.


I thought the studio backlot tour sounded like fun and it was something Allie could do so we headed back across the park in that direction. We definitely didn't earn any points for touring efficiency but it helped burn off lunch .

Grandma decided to shop on the main street while we walked back to do the tram tour. Grandpa thought the whole park would just be like the tram tour, so he was really impressed with HS overall and the neat stuff it had to offer. I thought the tour was pretty neat, and particularly enjoyed the prop room that had all sorts of items from movies and TV shows. My favorite item in there was the Binford 6100 riding lawn mower from Home Improvement. Very cool!

I really enjoyed the part where you drive through the costume shop and would love to see more of that sometime. Allie got a little freaked out by Catastrophe Canyon but made it through ok with no tears. After the tour we met back up with Grandma and it was time to check out the cupcakes. Unfortunately the red velvet completely melted and I worried about the safety of the cream cheese frosting so I just tossed it . The butterfinger cupcake fared much better though and was divine! Don't worry about the red velvet I wasn't leaving Disney World without trying one

We were done with DHS for the day so we decided to head over to Epcot via the Friendship Boats.


These boats were another thing that we totally missed on our first trip. We actually had no idea how close HS and Epcot were, since we only visited HS once and only by Bus. We are generally fans of boats, and riding these one was cool too. They were lower profile than some other Disney boats, because they have to fit under some very low bridges. Like other boats at WDW, they aren’t the fastest option, but they are fun, and it was a way to get to International Gateway without a whole lot of walking.

It was a nice boat ride with stops at the Swan and Dolphin, Yacht and Beach Club, and Boardwalk. We got off at International Gateway and headed over to Japan. Nancy wanted to buy a Japanese puzzle box for her sister's birthday, they'd had one when they were growing up.


In trying to keep Allie busy while Grandma was buying her box she picked out a Choco Kitty (friend of Hello Kitty) stuffed toy and a teeny tiny notebook. When we went to the register to pay for her new toys she asked the CM for a sticker (she suddenly asked every CM she saw for a sticker, a HUGE change from crying every time one offered one to her earlier in the trip. Toddlers can be so unpredictable sometimes), he felt bad because he didn't have any stickers so he gave her an origami crane. She LOVED that crane to death! Actually he is still in one piece he just doesn't flap his wings anymore. She liked the crane so much I went over and found an origami book so we could play with it some at home. It's still in the wrapper though, maybe we'll play with it this weekend After shopping in Japan Grandma was tired so Grandpa escorted her to the front of the park to catch a bus. I was ready for a snack and it was a warm afternoon so we decided to check another snack option off our list and found Kaki Gori. We got the cherry, tangerine, melon flavors and it was so yummy. A perfect refreshing snack.


While we were enjoying our shave ice we got to meet some Epcot ducks. They were particularly friendly and like goldfish crackers :-) We continued around to Germany where we got large cokes (for other fountain diet coke aficionados you can get large fountain drinks in Germany for one snack credit. We enjoy those much better than the bottled version )

Mmmm Coke… It was hard to resist getting another pretzel since we were there, but I was still full from lunch, cupcakes, and Kaki Gori so we just got drinks. We walked through the rest of World Showcase again and stopped to look at the model train display. It is neat how many different things there are to see in this part of the park. We worked our way toward the front of the park and Future World, and caught a picture of a rainbow over the Illuminations Globe.


We still hadn't done Club Cool and I was curious so we headed up that way. Allie really liked the ginger ale soda and I actually liked Beverly. Most people greatly dislike it but I'm just weird I guess. The other sodas were interesting too and the watermelon one stands out as being tasty too.


We met up with Grandpa near the front of the park and decided to go check out another resort so we hopped on a bus to Port Orleans Riverside. The resort is very pretty and I really liked the ruralness of it. It felt like a place that we might want to stay in the future. We did a pretty good walk around the resort and checked out Old Man Island and the Aligator Bayou sections along with the Mansions. We also saw a turtle in the lake, he was pretty big.


After we got our fill there we decided to go to DTD for dinner because Jim really wanted to try the meatloaf sandwich at Wolfgang Puck Express. We took the boat down there and it only took about 20 minutes. When we got to the restaurant the line was out the door but we waited anyway. When we got to the front of the line they informed us that they had sold out of the meatloaf. I really didn't want to try and go elsewhere for dinner since it was already pretty late, almost 9:30 so we just ordered other things. I got the margherita pizza and I think Paul got spaghetti and meatballs with cheesecake and creme brule for dessert. I really enjoyed the pizza, it was nice and light and very yummy.
I was bummed by the lack of the awesome meatloaf sandwich, and if by ourselves Grandpa and I would have walked out and tried Earl of Sandwich instead, but I really did enjoy the food we did eat. Grandpa particularly enjoyed the meatballs and said they were the best he has had, and he has tried a bunch. I thought they were good, but prefer ones from a local Italian place here. Melissa’s pizza was awesome though, and had such a unique mix of flavors that went great together. I would order it again, and it left me thinking this Wolfgang Puck guy can cook!
After dinner Allie really wanted to ride the carousel so we did that and got to be the only ones on it because the token machine was broken. She loved having her pick of the ponies.


We were pretty tired by now so we got on the bus and headed for home.

It was a nice quick trip and we were back at WL within half an hour. It had been a long day and a really big loop, but we had covered a lot of things we wanted to see. I was glad we didn’t have to get up early the next day though, when our only ADR was for a dinner show…
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:20 PM   #51
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Great update. Very cool to have your pick of ponies to ride.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:13 PM   #52
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You really did a lot that day! Club Cool is always one of our favorite stops, with the Vegi Beta being my favorite. The Hollywood & Vine buffet looks like it might be something worth considering for our February trip.

Did you go to Disney Junior - Live on Stage? We went to that show one very cold January day, just to get warm. It looked like it would be cute for young kids.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:09 AM   #53
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I'm loving reliving the trip

I'm the guy lucky enough to be Allie's Grandpa, Paul's Dad, and Melissa's father in law. I just read the TR for the first time, and I'm loving it. Melissa and Paul did so much planning for this trip, and EVERY decision they made was perfect. The hotel, the dining plan, Allie's outfits, EVERYTHING, was well thought out and just a joy. Melissa and Paul are such great parents, and being with them and Allie for 10 days and watching them parent was fantastic. Grandma and I both think this was the best vacation we've taken in our 40 years together. Thanks guys!
I'm looking forward to reading about the rest of my vacation!!
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:52 AM   #54
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Great update. Very cool to have your pick of ponies to ride.
Yes, she loved it. Even though it is a tiny carousel compared to MK, she still wanted to ride and had a ball, so it was worth a few dollars.

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You really did a lot that day! Club Cool is always one of our favorite stops, with the Vegi Beta being my favorite. The Hollywood & Vine buffet looks like it might be something worth considering for our February trip.

Did you go to Disney Junior - Live on Stage? We went to that show one very cold January day, just to get warm. It looked like it would be cute for young kids.
It definitely felt like a full day. I loved the variety we were able to fit in though. We had heard so much about Club Cool that we had to try it, and it was really fun. Hollywood and Vine surprised us with the food quality, and it had the best character interaction of any of our character meals all trip.

We didn't do Disney Junior Live on Stage this trip, but we have done it multiple times at home and Allie loves it, especially the gold debloons at the end. We figured we'd skip it to save time for different things we can't do closer to home, and because sitting on the floor wouldn't have been great for Grandma and Grandpa. Based on her choice of morning television though it is something she enjoys.

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Originally Posted by Grandpa Jim View Post
I'm the guy lucky enough to be Allie's Grandpa, Paul's Dad, and Melissa's father in law. I just read the TR for the first time, and I'm loving it. Melissa and Paul did so much planning for this trip, and EVERY decision they made was perfect. The hotel, the dining plan, Allie's outfits, EVERYTHING, was well thought out and just a joy. Melissa and Paul are such great parents, and being with them and Allie for 10 days and watching them parent was fantastic. Grandma and I both think this was the best vacation we've taken in our 40 years together. Thanks guys!
I'm looking forward to reading about the rest of my vacation!!
Aww, thanks Dad! We had the best trip, and reliving it in the TR is a kick. It is so neat that everything worked out so well. We're glad to have you in on the online version too!
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:08 PM   #55
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We just started planning a trip for next summer when our daughter will be almost 3. Your report is exactly what I've been looking for! I am enjoying seeing how a toddler handled and reacted to everything. She's adorable and I love the outfits!
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:38 PM   #56
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We just started planning a trip for next summer when our daughter will be almost 3. Your report is exactly what I've been looking for! I am enjoying seeing how a toddler handled and reacted to everything. She's adorable and I love the outfits!
Awesome! I am glad you found the TR, and that it gives you some useful information.

We wondered when would be the best time for her first WDW trip, and are so glad we decided to take her when we did. She clearly remembers the fun she had on the trip, and was old enough to pick her favorite things and ask to do them again. (Hence all the trips through Small World and the carousel rides).

Traveling around with her wasn't that difficult, but we are so glad we got a nice but small folding stroller (Baby Jogger City Mini) for the trip. As you can see, that was her napping spot of choice.

As for food, the dining plan worked really well because Disney is so great about kids under three. At all the buffet meals she was treated like a regular guest and given drinks and a plate, all at no charge. We thought we would be buying her lots more meals, but we only purchased one meal for her at LTT. The rest of the time she shared QS with us or enjoyed her snacks. Nobody went hungry, that's for sure.

One more thing that we enjoyed during the trip was the lack of crowds by going in September. This meant we didn't have to wait for much, which made things go nice and smoothly. I'm not sure how early in the summer you are planning on going, but going late and avoiding the crowds worked for us.

If there's any other questions you have feel free to ask and we'll share what we did. For us it worked out great and we are so glad we went. Happy planning and enjoy your trip!
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:03 PM   #57
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Kastle Family Trip Report

Hi! This is Gramma Nancy from the Kastle Family trip reports. Reading these reports and seeing the pictures is so much fun!! I'm so glad that Paul and Melissa took the time to record their notes and set up this report. To anyone who is considering going with their kids and grandkids to Disney World, I would just say...DO IT!!!! Your kids can set up everything so that it is fun for everyone. Take enough time so that you can relax when you need to, but still let the young'uns take off and have fun. This trip was truly "Disney Magic" from the young man who came up to us in the hotel lobby (the resort manager) that wanted to know how our trip was going, to the endless cast members that wished us a "Happy Anniversary" with special treats and their good wishes. Most of all, I am glad that we have passed on to our kids an appreciation of Disney quality. They get it and they will also pass it on.
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:16 PM   #58
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I love your TR this is the only one I have actually came back to check on! I love your little ones dresses, they are too cute. We have only a couple more weeks until our trip and we cannot wait. My dad and stepmom are coming along with us so I feel our trip may be a little similar to yours, my daughter calls her "pop pop" every day to tell him how many days until our trip. I have to say I was excited to see grandma and grandpa joined in on the fun here on the DISboards. I hope we can squeeze in as much fun as you were able to during your trip, and that our outfits turn out as good as yours My husband tells me I am trying to fit too much stuff in for such a short trip, and now reading your report I think he is right and we are just going to go with the flow, do what the kids want and go at their pace.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:29 PM   #59
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Unfortunately we have to travel before school starts (DH is a teacher) so it will be in August. DD will be 35 months old for the trip.

I will check out your stroller recommendation -- dumb question but how does that work on the plane, does it count as a carryon? Do you just hand it to them as you board so you can use it in the airport?

Trying to decide how far out we should actually book the tirp, now that our minds are made up to go!
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:54 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njkastle
Hi! This is Gramma Nancy from the Kastle Family trip reports. Reading these reports and seeing the pictures is so much fun!! I'm so glad that Paul and Melissa took the time to record their notes and set up this report. To anyone who is considering going with their kids and grandkids to Disney World, I would just say...DO IT!!!! Your kids can set up everything so that it is fun for everyone. Take enough time so that you can relax when you need to, but still let the young'uns take off and have fun. This trip was truly "Disney Magic" from the young man who came up to us in the hotel lobby (the resort manager) that wanted to know how our trip was going, to the endless cast members that wished us a "Happy Anniversary" with special treats and their good wishes. Most of all, I am glad that we have passed on to our kids an appreciation of Disney quality. They get it and they will also pass it on.
Hi Mom! We're glad you had such a great time, and shared an appreciation of Disney quality. The planning we did though was with a lot of time spent reading these boards and seeing what worked for others. Now part of the fun is sharing it all in one place. We're glad you joined in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nmills
I love your TR this is the only one I have actually came back to check on! I love your little ones dresses, they are too cute. We have only a couple more weeks until our trip and we cannot wait. My dad and stepmom are coming along with us so I feel our trip may be a little similar to yours, my daughter calls her "pop pop" every day to tell him how many days until our trip. I have to say I was excited to see grandma and grandpa joined in on the fun here on the DISboards. I hope we can squeeze in as much fun as you were able to during your trip, and that our outfits turn out as good as yours My husband tells me I am trying to fit too much stuff in for such a short trip, and now reading your report I think he is right and we are just going to go with the flow, do what the kids want and go at their pace.
We are so glad you came back to check on us! I'm glad you are enjoying Allie's wardrobe, sometimes it's challenging to get her dressed in the morning but having new fun things to wear made it better I think. I definitely think going with the flow and going at the youngest ones pace is a good idea, at least with Allie as soon as you start doing too much she pushes back twice as hard and I end up with a screaming crazy toddler. We really enjoyed the flexibility of only having no more than one ADR a day, and that let us do whatever we wanted on a given day. You can still squeeze a bunch in on one day though, stay tuned...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeckyEsq
Unfortunately we have to travel before school starts (DH is a teacher) so it will be in August. DD will be 35 months old for the trip.

I will check out your stroller recommendation -- dumb question but how does that work on the plane, does it count as a carryon? Do you just hand it to them as you board so you can use it in the airport?

Trying to decide how far out we should actually book the tirp, now that our minds are made up to go!
August should still be a lot of fun. You can choose what you want to wait for, and many of Allie's favorites probably wouldn't have the crazy long lines of the most popular rides.

For the stroller, it was the neatest thing to gate check it. It was free, and didn't count against our carry ons and we just handed it to them as we walked on the plane, and it was waiting there for us when we got off. We did have a bag to put it in, which saved the stroller from some wear since now the bag needs to be patched or replaced before next trip, but the stroller came through unscathed. It was VERY nice to have the stroller with us in the airport, especially when we had delays on the way home. The reason we love the city mini is it folds with one hand, which came in very handy on busses and boats, it also fully reclines (for napping on the go), and has a massive sunshade.

I would say book it ASAP. Disney has a great cancellation policy, and some resorts fill up early. If a better deal or promotion comes out, you can get the discounted price by calling even if you are already booked. We did that this time to get free dining. Also, you will want to make sure you are all ready when you get to 180 days before your arrival, so you can make your ADRs.
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