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Old 04-19-2013, 01:44 PM   #1
Deslovesdisney08
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Last family trip was a bummer...tips NEEDED!

I am new to DIS, this is actually my first post, so if I'm in the wrong forum please point me where to go. However, last Christmas me and my husband took our daughter who at the time was 21 months to disney world we went for only three days and the parks were so crowded!! She was scared of characters if they were too close but loved them from afar also with such little time and such long lines we didn't get to do much

This is where my question comes to play... We want to take both of our girls this next December on touring plans it says that Dec7 to dec 12 won't be as bad as the week of Christmas, the time we went last year! What are fun things that both a 2 1/2 and a 1 1/2 can do in parks? Also should we do dining plan? Last year we had to cancel character dining because our daughter was terrified of characters being that close, but she loved princesses...what are the best princess meals? Also this trip will be on our wedding anniversary how do I make sure that disney knows so we can celebrate as much as possible?


I am very new to DW I only went twice as a small child then I only liked USO so I will take all the help and tips I can get!

Thanks!
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:53 PM   #2
tanyaandallie
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Early December is FAR better than Christmas time. Christmas is one of the absolute most crowded times of the year. Utter craziness that time of year.

I would try and take your daughter's dislike of characters in stride and not push the issue. My dd hated characters for a very long time, even princesses. She was ok from a distance and she was ok if I was in the picture with her. So, we have a ton of pictures of me holding the kids in the pictures.

I would start doing a ton of reading to make your trip a bit more smooth this time! There is so much you can do that is fun for your kiddos!
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:07 PM   #3
Theaberdeenkid
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Try this link for Disney for Toddlers,

http://wdwprepschool.com/a-toddler-c...rld-trip-plan/


As for dining plan, I wouldn't for kids that age. I can't imagine they would eat one meal between the two of them. I have a 4 and 6 year old and last time we went a lot of food was thrown into the trash. If you are going to do dining plans I would do one for the adults. I know at the quick serve it may say kids meal, but it's probably enough food for an adult. Plus being that age you are probably going to take a few breaks during the day for naps and other kiddie needs, you can always eat the main meals back at the room and just carry around some snacks at the parks.

Oh, my daughter still doesn't like any of the characters with the big heads. Remember to a child Mickey Mouse is just a six foot rat, so just stick to fairy and princesses. But I would save your money on character/princess meals until they are a little older.

As for your anniversary, I don't know where you are staying, if it's on site you can have that comment put on your reservation, also tell them at the front desk during check in.

Last edited by Theaberdeenkid; 04-19-2013 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:09 PM   #4
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You can get a Happy Anniversary button at your resort or any of the theme parks as well....to give that extra bit of magic to your stay!
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:42 PM   #5
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When we took our DS to Disney for the first time he was terrified of characters on our first day. Even the major characters, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, etc were too much for him. Day two was better. As OP said, he loved them from a safe distance. Then on day four something clicked. He saw Tigger at a meet and greet and ran to him and actually launched himself at Tigger. My wife and I have no idea what triggered the change . We were patient and content to watch from a distance with him. Probably the best thing we did was not push him. He went to them when he was ready. Also, the CM's in character costumes have always been great, in my opinion, and seem to interact with a child on each child's comfort level.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:09 PM   #6
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Welcome to the DIS!

I would definitely go earlier in December - the parks will still be beautifully decorated, but there won't be as many people.

My best friend has daughters and they love to go to the Princess breakfast at Akershus, in Norway at Epcot.

Before I made an assessment of whether the dining plan would work for you, I'd want to know how you plan to eat - if your girls are big eaters or eat very little, if you'd prefer to eat a sit-down meal every day or mostly counter-service meals.

When you check in, get anniversary buttons and many CMs will wish you a happy anniversary on your trip. You may get a little special treatment here and there but I wouldn't expect anything big.

Hope you have a great time planning! Now that you've found the DIS, you're already a step ahead!
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:15 PM   #7
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First of all... early December is significantly less crowded than Christmas week, so that's definitely a good first step.

Things they will both enjoy depend largely on them. My son is 2 1/2 and he LOVES the characters. It took him a bit to warm up, but now he runs into their arms openly. If he hadn't liked the characters, we wouldn't have done so many this trip. I purposely scheduled our only character meal for our last morning here, so that if he ended up being opposed to them early in the trip, I could cancel the meal without penalty.

Most of the rides at Disney can accommodate small children. If you and your husband want to ride more intense attractions, you can utilize the Rider Swap program, which allows one of you to wait in line first, while the other waits with the kids, then the other can use a special pass to ride with a shorter line later. DH and I have tended towards using the Single Rider line instead, but it's up to you.

Most shows are great with small children. DS particularly loved the Festival of the Lion King at Animal Kingdom and the Disney Junior Live! show at Hollywood Studios.

I don't think the dining plan is the best choice with small children. Most of the dining at Disney can still be cancelled without penalty, and I enjoy that flexibility. With the Dining plan, I would be tempted to keep reservations that I knew wouldn't go over well, because I wanted to "get my money's worth." In general, it's best to calculate the cost of all the meals you want to do, and compare it to the dining plan. For the trip we're currently on, it would have cost close to $200 more for us to be on the regular dining plan.
Since neither of your children is over 3, it probably won't be a good value for you, because their meals are already included "off your plate" at buffets, and you may be tempted to buy separate meals for them at other places anyways.

For your celebration, you'll want to make sure that you pick up a button to wear around. You may also be able to add it to your dining reservations.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:42 PM   #8
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As far as the "face" character meals go...there aren't many.

Cinderella's Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom is the priciest. I only did it for dinner back when the characters didn't circulate at that time, so I don't know how the interaction is. 2 TS credits on the dining plan.

Akershus is in Epcot. It's slightly less expensive than CRT. I haven't done it.

Then there's 1900 Park Fare. Not princesses exactly, but "face" characters. Breakfast has Alice & Wonderland characters and Mary Poppins.
Dinner has Cinderella and her Step Family - The interaction here is fantastic, in my opinion.
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:21 PM   #9
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We first took our DD at 23 months to DW and for the first 3/4 days she was scared of characters and wouldn't go near them unless she was being carried, but after the first 3/4 days she loved them and would run up to them by the end of the two weeks! We have done Akershu's in Epcot 3 times and we love it there to meet the Princess's.
Tusker house breakfast is also a favourite of my daughter's to meet Donald, Mickey, Minnie & Daisy.
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theaberdeenkid View Post

Oh, my daughter still doesn't like any of the characters with the big heads. Remember to a child Mickey Mouse is just a six foot rat, so just stick to fairy and princesses. But I would save your money on character/princess meals until they are a little older.

Wanted to second this. Boy did we learn THAT the hard way! A seven foot dog in a chef hat was not my 1 year old's idea of a good time. Some babies probably love the characters but you cannot take it as a given! We started her first trip to DL with dinner at Goofy's Kitchen and only the Fairy Godmother was able to approach without her sobbing.
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:34 PM   #11
Deslovesdisney08
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WOW thank you to everyone for feedback! I was thinking that maybe one person would answer but Thats awesome that I received more feedback!

So glad that begining of December will be less crowded than last time! As for character interaction me and my DH def won't be pushing anything on the babies maybe since we will be there more than three days this time my girls will open up more to the idea of them LMBO!

Character meals we only had one last time and it was lunch at tusker house and oh were we embarassed my little girl would scream anytime a character got near our table! I even told our waiter to tell them to skip us, but I don't think they got the message till she got really really loud! However from the picture from Donald you would never know because I held her In it and she was smiling so big! Lol! So thank you for that tip maybe we will try to stand in line and if me or DH hold them Maybe they will be fine.


My DDs are pretty good about sitting down for ts meals so I know we will wanna have atleast one a day I'm hoping that we can do a couple with princesses! I think I have pics of me at the 1900 park fare because I have one of lady tremaine and me lol but not sure if it is or not. I know I've read a lot of posts saying that ppl bring cold breakfasts but we will be flying in so not sure if we would be able to do that so I'm guessing we will be buying three meals a day..

Also thank u for the info about anniversary buttons I've also seen posts about getting special things at dinner? ( yes I lurked disboards a couple weeks before joining lol)

As for shows we saw the beauty and the beast and the FOTLK and my daughter did love those! We could never get a spot were we could actually see a parade so I'm hoping with lower crowds we can watch parades daily! Ah that would be amazing!

Anyone know what rides were their kids favorites?
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:48 PM   #12
ChitownFamily
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Welcome!
The difference between Christmas and a slower time is like night & Day..I really can't emphasis that enough!

As you can see in my signature, i have done the week between christmas & new years- & i don't ever need to do it again!!!!
I wouldn't even go if i was offered a free trip!! to me, the crowd level is a critical part of my vacation magic. We went this past year the week after thanksgiving, it is one of the slowest & cheapest weeks. I HIGHLY recommend it!!! Thanksgiving is crazy also! The week after thanksgiving, is a 1-3 on the crowd calendars (touringplans) the number keeps going up to 10 =the closer you get to christmas.

ETA: I just peeked at your week on touring plans- FANTASTIC week to go!!! Have a great time!
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:35 PM   #13
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I've never done the dining plan, but not sure if you have to pay for it when they are under 3, so it's a matter of how you think the adults will use it. For me, OOP is better. We did the Perfectly Princess Tea (Aurora) at GF and my 4 year old loved it; there's another one there which has the Alice in wonderland Characters, but I don't think it's a full meal and my friend said adults dont' stay for the event, they have tea and decorate cupcakes.
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:12 PM   #14
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I've never done the dining plan, but not sure if you have to pay for it when they are under 3, so it's a matter of how you think the adults will use it. For me, OOP is better. We did the Perfectly Princess Tea (Aurora) at GF and my 4 year old loved it; there's another one there which has the Alice in wonderland Characters, but I don't think it's a full meal and my friend said adults dont' stay for the event, they have tea and decorate cupcakes.
You don't have to buy a dining plan for a child that young, they let them eat off of an adults plate or its mostly cheaper to just pay for a kids meal at the restaurant - they are usually only $10. I know when my aunt took her small boys she just paid for their meals out of pocket or they ate off of her plate!
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:08 AM   #15
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Our first trip with all three kids was when my youngest was 3. My middle son LOVES characters (and all the princesses). Our first character meal (Crystal Palace) I have a great picture (I'm a terrible mom ) of my youngest with tears steaming down his face. He was so scared the characters! We had to figure out something - one LOVED it and one hated it. So, we had our youngest bring his favorite stuffed frog with him. Froggy got his picture taken with all the characters and our youngest thought that was so much fun. We took pictures of Froggy with the characters - even the photopass people did. It was fun watching the characters interact with Froggy. Chip and Dale played with him for quite awhile and some of the princesses kissed him (hoping for their prince?). Pluto tried to eat him! It was a lot of fun for the whole family and we even made a book called "Froggy's Adventure at Disney World" and gave it to my son at Christmas. We took pictures of him enjoying coffee on the balcony at the Animal Kingdom Lodge; watching TV; getting ready for a bath... everything we could think of. Froggy has gone on three trips with us. This past year youngest got his picture taken with Mickey and some of his friends but still used Froggy for the other ones.
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