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Old 06-08-2013, 04:31 PM   #16
glassslippergirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teresa Pitman View Post
I love his reaction to the princesses! Already a ladies' man!!

And he looks adorable when he sleeps.

I was impressed by the Tavern, too. When I was there, people were eating these GIANT cinnamon buns - I mean buns as big as their whole heads. I didn't have one but I was impressed.

TP
He actually flirted, not just with the Princesses, but with the pretty CM's too. What will we do when he gets older?

We tried a cinnamon roll on the second half of our trip-- review forthcoming, but generally size was the most impressive thing about it. What did you think of the other food there?
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:03 AM   #17
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That's the best reaction to Dumbo I have ever seen! He obviously loved it!

Sorry to hear he didn't sleep well at the hotel, though.

TP
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Originally Posted by bluejasmine View Post
Omg! Your son is so adorable! He always looks so happy!!!! Dumbo pics were just priceless! Made my day!

ASMU/POR Dec 16-22, 2012 & BWI Sept 8-15, 2013
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Your son is SO cute!
Thanks! He had so much fun on Dumbo. Your comments have really brightened my day.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:37 AM   #18
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The Force Is Strong with This One

The Force Is Strong with This One

After a rough night in his first hotel, DS did not wake until almost 8:00, so rope drop at DHS was out of the question. We headed to the Pop Century food court for breakfast. Boy was it crowded, but after a long time in line, I had a really yummy waffle, and DH had a bagel sandwich. He wanted to have the Bounty Platter, which has a little bit of everything breakfast—eggs, potatoes, sausage, bacon, biscuit, French toast—but they were waiting on French toast, and he had stood in line for so long, he took what they had. No pictures because my phone was sitting in a bag of rice in our room trying to dry out from our pool escapade the day before, but I was so pleased with the waffle that I looked up a recipe when I got home and found a pretty good duplicate, so we can have Disney waffles anytime!

It was off to DHS for Star Wars Weekends. Through the years, this has become a big event for our little family. We first went in 2009 for DH’s birthday. This was the year Disney was giving a free day on your birthday. We had so much fun that DH surprised me with AP’s so that we could go more.

In 2010, my eighty-five year old grandma was visiting when we wanted to go. We didn’t let that stop us and invited her to come along. She agreed though I’m pretty sure she had never heard of Star Wars. Chewbacca kissed her hand during the motorcade. It made an impression on her. Now in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, she still talks about the time she went to Disney World and saw “all those people dressed up—I’ve never seen anything like that.” I can’t find a picture from that trip, but here Grandma is on her most recent trip in 2011. She always has been a big Disney World fan.


279387700000001 by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

Two thousand eleven was our coup de grace—all four SWW! We even saw the opening ceremony for the Star Tours grand re-opening, complete with George Lucas!

And last year, with DS’s arrival just a month and a half away, we really got into the spirit with our shirts.


IMG_7526 by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

So with our SWW history, we were super excited for DS’s first experience. This was it:


IMG_0802_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:35 AM   #19
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Following along. Looks like we were at SWW on the same weekend Babies first trip is such an amazing one. Your son is so cute I hate that he had trouble sleeping in the hotel. Looks like Dumbo was an awesome choice for a first ride

I totally know what you mean about the "rule enforcers" in Florida. My parents moved there 15 years ago. They have a really nice heated pool in their community but we would never allow our kids to go in it when we visited them (even when they got older). I always tell my DH if I ever get that stuck in my ways please just put me down
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:36 PM   #20
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Following along. Looks like we were at SWW on the same weekend Babies first trip is such an amazing one. Your son is so cute I hate that he had trouble sleeping in the hotel. Looks like Dumbo was an awesome choice for a first ride

I totally know what you mean about the "rule enforcers" in Florida. My parents moved there 15 years ago. They have a really nice heated pool in their community but we would never allow our kids to go in it when we visited them (even when they got older). I always tell my DH if I ever get that stuck in my ways please just put me down
Welcome. I hope you also had a great time at SWW. After we saw how much DS liked the pool at Disney World, we did try the pool in our community. No one made a fuss, so I guess we should have tried earlier. It was a lot of fun.
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:44 PM   #21
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All About the Stuff

All About the Stuff

With sleeping DS in tow, we made the mad dash to get TSMM fastpasses. It was 10:30, and we knew we were likely to be out of luck. Yep, the FP’s were for 8:30 that night, so they would be brightening someone else’s day on our way out of the park. It was now time for DH’s favorite part of SWW. Bobba’s Bounty, Jabba’s Hut, Darth’s Mall—no matter what you call the store, he is all about the merchandise. Every year, his friend—a huge Star Wars collector—sends DH with a list of merchandise to pick up for him. Add that to DH’s own purchases, and we always leave the Darth’s Mall with a big bag of stuff. This year was no exception.


sww merch 4 by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

Jason Fry, author of Star Wars The Clone Wars Episode Guide was there signing copies of his book. DH got one signed for DS.


IMG_0821_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

The inscription was quite nice: “For Michael—Hope you enjoy these tales from the galaxy far, far, away.” Fry even signed his name in a Star Wars language—like those they use on the flight schedules in line for Star Tours.

The funny thing was that DS was in full “Casanova” mode. He couldn’t have cared less about the author signing a book for him, but a cute CM off to his right got all of his attention. He would not stop smiling at her. I am not sure that DS will ever appreciate the contents of the book since the future of the Clone Wars series is up in the air, but it is so nice that DH was so excited to share the series with him. If nothing else, I am sure that someday they will be able to share tips on flirting.

I think DH’s favorite find was this tee-shirt. It duplicates the art from the original posters advertising episode 6, which was originally called Revenge of the Jedi, then changed to Return of the Jedi. He has always wanted one of the original posters, but they are rare and incredibly expensive. He was happy with this $30 substitute.


sww merch by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

This was my favorite find. It’s a calendar with all of the logos for SWW past and present.


sww merch 6 by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

During our first two SWW, 2009 and 2010, the special merchandise area was really small, and there was a long line just to enter. With the re-imagining of Star Tours in 2011, the big merchandise tent was introduced behind ToT and next to RnR. It was luxurious with so much space for merchandise, and we could shop without climbing over other people. This year, the merchandise tent was there still, but the crowding was back. D-Tech, which makes personalized items like your head on Han Solo in carbonite or on a Storm Trooper, took up almost half the tent.


dtech panorama by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

I have not used any D-Tech services, so I cannot comment on that, but I do wish they made the tent bigger or something to accommodate D-Tech and all of the other merchandise comfortable.

We sent our purchases to the front of the park and headed to our first attraction of the day, but DH was enticed by a sign for a truffle oil, bacon, macaroni and cheese topped gourmet hotdog from a food stand just outside RnR. So we stopped for lunch. DH had the aforementioned hot dog (I tried the mac and cheese which topped it—really good), and I had the BBQ chicken which had a flavorful rub on it. We traded sides, so DH had my baked beans and cole slaw, and I had his potato chips. I wasn’t expecting to get lunch then and there, but I’m glad we did. Fairfax Fare never struck me as much of a place for a meal since it is outdoors, and I’m not really a hotdog fan, but had we not eaten there, I probably would have just had chicken nuggets and fries from some other counter service place, and I would have missed out on something more tasty.

After our lunchtime diversion, it was again time for our first attraction of the day—The Muppets. For the first time, we looked for and found the key under the mat (in the queue, off to the right just as you enter the building):


muppets by glassslippergirl, on Flickr


muppets key by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

DS didn’t love the show, but he did discover a new game. Standing on the floor in front of my chair, he would bend down and “hide,” then pop up again, all smiles.

When the show was over, we headed for the baby center to try out the changing and nursing facilities, but on the way there, DS decided it was naptime. We found a cool, quiet spot and let him sleep.
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Old 06-20-2013, 05:12 PM   #22
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The Best Part of the Day

The Best Part of the Day

Since DS had not napped when we went to the hotel the day before, we decided to go against the advice of legions of Disers and skip the afternoon hotel break. DS slept in his stroller for over an hour; then, we headed to the baby center. We found for the rest of our days at Disney that it worked best for us to skip the afternoon break in favor of stroller naps. We did not make it to fireworks, but we didn't really expect to with a ten-month-old.

Then, it was time to use our Star Tours FP’s and try child swap for the first time. DH made the line first while DS and I played outside the store. He liked standing at these barred openings and looking at the crowds pass below.


star tours 2 by glassslippergirl, on Flickr


star tours 3 by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

Since the ride was renovated in 2011, we have always talked about the variety of ride opportunities. After our first rides, DH worked out the math:

2 possible openings (Darth Vader or buzz droid) x 3 possible first destinations (Tatooine,
Kashyyk, Hoth) x 3 possible Rebel transmissions (Leia, Yoda, Admiral Akbar) x3 possible second destinations (Coruscant, Death Star, Naboo) = 54 possible rides.

So after riding separately, we compared notes. DH got the Darth Vader opening scene (his favorite), then visited Hoth (another favorite of his), got the Princess Leia transmission, and ended at Naboo. When it was my turn, I got the buzz droid opening, then visited Kashyyk, got the Yoda transmission, and ended at Coruscant (my favorite landing scene where the ship hits the droid, causing him to say “Stop!” then drop to the ground—it makes me chuckle every time).

It was getting late in the afternoon, so before heading back to the hotel, we decided to head to one more attraction. In all my trips to DHS since it first opened, I had never had occasion to visit this place, so it was a total surprise to me as well as to DS. It was the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids movie play set. What a little gem! DS was the smallest child there, but that didn’t stop him from playing with everything he could. He loved pulling himself up on the blades of grass.


shrunk 2 by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

We danced on the bouncy ground.


shrunk by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

And he went back and forth under this arch at least ten times:


shrunk 7 by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

But when he found the water wall, he camped out for about half an hour—I think the happiest half hour of his life so far.


shrunk 6 by glassslippergirl, on Flickr


shrunk 5 by glassslippergirl, on Flickr


shrunk 4 by glassslippergirl, on Flickr


shrunk 3 by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

Now soaking wet but oh so happy, we headed out of the playground stopping for my favorite father-son picture of the trip:


with daddy at shrunk by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

Then, it was off to the baby center for a wardrobe change and a walk to the parking lot to head back to the hotel. Since we enjoyed our breakfast at the Pop Century food court so much, we headed back there for dinner. I had the pepperoni pizza bread with salad, and DH had the pork shank. Portions were very generous for the money, and DH could not stop talking about the mashed potatoes that came with his pork. It was already 8:00—someone’s bedtime—so we settled in for what would hopefully be a better night in the hotel. It was a little better; we had worked him so hard he fell right to sleep and didn’t wake until 3:30. But it was rough from then until morning.

We awoke super-tired but ready to see Mickey at the Cape May Café.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:38 PM   #23
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He just could NOT be any cuter! I love the photos of him playing at the water wall, and the one on his Daddy's shoulders.

I am really loving your TR - love seeing how much fun it is even for the littlest visitors.

Teresa
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:52 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Teresa Pitman View Post
He just could NOT be any cuter! I love the photos of him playing at the water wall, and the one on his Daddy's shoulders.

I am really loving your TR - love seeing how much fun it is even for the littlest visitors.

Teresa
Thank you. I am glad you are enjoying.
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:43 AM   #25
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Everything Popped

Everything Popped

When we woke up, it was time to gather our things and get ready for check out from Pop Century, so I will start with a little review of our stay there. Like I said at the start of this trip report, we rarely stay on Disney property. We figure that the more money we save on lodgings, the more often we can come to Disney World. I did a lot of comparison shopping for this leg of our trip and did find a good value at Pop for the weekend. We also thought that, with DS in tow, it might be more convenient having the Disney transportation.

In all, we loved the hotel itself. The food at Everything Pop was so excellent that, though we usually go off site to save a few dollars on meals, we ate there twice and enjoyed it thoroughly both times. The pool was fun, and we were very close to it. We were, however, far from the main building. This was a problem after checking in, when we realized that they had written the wrong room number on our key case. After hauling all of our stuff up the elevator and spending ten minutes trying to get into the wrong room, we called the front desk, who wanted us to come back and sort out the problem. DH was not happy about that and eventually got them to tell us over the phone what room we were really in (the man at the desk had transposed the first two numbers). But it was fun to take the long walk to Century Hall for our meals because there were so many things to see along the way. DS loved the giant foosball game, and after getting lost once, we quickly learned to turn left at the big Mr. Potato Head. We even found it easy to locate our room once we realized that the eighties building decoration was a giant Pac-Man game and our room was behind the giant Blinky.


IMG_1265_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

The room would have been adequate for us before DS came along, but now it was small for our needs. We had to push the table into a corner to make room for DS’s pack-n-play. We ended up keeping the stroller in the car so we didn’t have to literally climb over it. I don’t know how families without a car could make it work. Also, I know this has been said before about value resorts, but the noise is pretty bad. We woke up to our next-door neighbors on the first night when they returned late from the parks and on the second night when they left at 3:30 a.m. to catch the ME. I can only imagine how bothered they were by DS’s rather loud nighttime waking.

I liked that there was a curtain separating the sink area from the bed area. This made it easier for us to get ready for bed after DS had fallen asleep. And, of course, it is always fun to look for hidden Mickeys in the bathroom wallpaper


IMG_1272_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

and shower curtain


IMG_1273_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

and hotel carpet.


IMG_1266_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

I know most hotel rooms have them, but a full-length mirror is always useful.


IMG_1286_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

Identifying all the items on the Disney eighties collage was also a fun pastime for DH and me, two children of the eighties. (I have such good memories of listening to the Disco Mickey Mouse album.)


IMG_1269_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

We had hoped to hop over to the Art of Animation resort, but we ran out of time. We had a reservation at Cape May Café, and somebody was ready to go. It was time to get packing.


IMG_1262_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:50 AM   #26
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We're just back from a five-day stay at Pop, and I have to agree with you about the noise. We were on the fourth floor near the bowling pin pool, and we had a hard time getting to sleep most nights because of people shouting, squealing, screaming, and yelling at each other in the pool. There are signs asking people to be quiet after 10:00 p.m. but apparently many ignore them.

I do think it is good value for the money, though!

TP
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:49 AM   #27
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Where’s Mickey? The Saga Continues

Where’s Mickey? The Saga Continues

We headed to the Beach Club for our ADR at Cape May Café. We got there a little early, so DS and I found a comfy chair in the lobby. It had been a rough night in the hotel.


IMG_1297_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

Once we were seated, DS immediately got a visit from Minnie.


IMG_1312_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

We were worried that the masked characters would scare DS. That is why we tried to visit Mickey the very first day on Main Street; if he was scared, we would try to cancel our Cape May reservation. But as you can see, he was immediately enamored by Minnie’s nose.


IMG_1315_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

Donald was our next visitor.


IMG_1329_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

He got a big hug.


IMG_1338_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

Then came Goofy.


IMG_1352_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

We really enjoyed the food at Cape May, even DH who does not usually like buffets. His favorite choice was the Latin American-style scrambled eggs with chorizo sausage. I am not a fan of scrambled eggs, so I asked for an egg-white omelet. I was surprised to learn at our first character breakfast (Chef Mickey) several years ago that special order eggs were an option at these buffets. At Akershus, I had to explain to the Norwegian waiter exactly what I was asking for (egg white dishes are not common in Europe), but the chef was able to accommodate. I was happy they could accommodate here, too.

I loved the chocolate chip muffin. In fact, it may be a weird thing to note, but I thought the chocolate chips they used at Cape May Café were the best I’ve ever had. They were also a delicious topping on my Mickey waffle. I was disappointed but not surprised that by my second trip to the buffet, they had run out of the delicious muffins. Everyone else must have loved them, too.

We had hoped to see Mickey at our table this morning, but he must have taken Memorial Day off. It was our second failed attempt to see Mickey and left us asking, “Where’s Mickey?” The other characters visited often.

IMG_1367_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr


IMG_1383_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr


IMG_1386_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr


IMG_1429_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr


IMG_1449_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

They were great and so patient with DS, who had a penchant for touching their face masks—especially mouths and noses. Just before posing for the last photo above, Minnie had run across an empty booth, open on both sides, to get to DS.

This was my favorite photo of the day, taken by the server.


IMG_1424_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

After breakfast, we walked around the Beach Club and discovered a beautiful solarium. I was fascinated because I had never been in a solarium—they aren’t very common, or necessary, in Florida. In this photo, DS is fascinated by the spinning ceiling fans overhead.


IMG_1502_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

We found this beautiful statue at the entrance to the Beach Club Villas.


IMG_1511_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

Then, we took a short walk along the water where we followed this family of ducks. Mama Duck is in the rear rather than the lead because the last baby duck was a laggard, stopping to check everything out.


IMG_1596_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

Sadly, it was time for DH to return the rental camera lens that took all of these great pictures. We met Ian from the rental company in the Beach Club lobby, too one last look at the hotel’s beauty, and made our way to the parking lot.

DS was asleep before we loaded him into the car, and I was asleep before we were out of the parking lot. Apparently, an accident just outside of Orlando added 40 minutes to the drive home, but I have no recollection of it. We got home and spent a few days regrouping for the second part of our trip the following weekend.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:19 AM   #28
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I love that he was so enthusiastic about the characters!! Great photos - those will be memories you will always cherish! It's funny how some kids find the characters terrifying and others seem to immediately gravitate to them.

I do hope you find Mickey!!

(I also love the first photo of you two dozing on the chair...)

Teresa
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:50 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teresa Pitman View Post
We're just back from a five-day stay at Pop, and I have to agree with you about the noise. We were on the fourth floor near the bowling pin pool, and we had a hard time getting to sleep most nights because of people shouting, squealing, screaming, and yelling at each other in the pool. There are signs asking people to be quiet after 10:00 p.m. but apparently many ignore them.

I do think it is good value for the money, though!

TP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teresa Pitman View Post
I love that he was so enthusiastic about the characters!! Great photos - those will be memories you will always cherish! It's funny how some kids find the characters terrifying and others seem to immediately gravitate to them.

I do hope you find Mickey!!

(I also love the first photo of you two dozing on the chair...)

Teresa
We have always had fun interacting with the characters. Before DS was born, I decided that I was going to win an annual contest at my school by reading to as many Disney characters as I could. The final tally was 58. Their reactions were the best. Darth Vader walked away from me as I read. Duffy covered his eyes at a scary part.

I am glad that DS had a good experience with the characters. Cape May Cafe was highly recommended on these boards for good itneractions, and it did not disappoint.

Sounds like you had a worse time with the noise at Pop Century than we did. But I'm glad you had a good trip. Thanks for reading my trip report.
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:00 AM   #30
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A Decision, a Banner, and Baby Center

A Decision, a Banner, and Baby Center

Before we knew it, it was time for the second half of our son’s first trip to Disney World. We had originally planned to spend two nights on the second weekend just like we had on the first, but DS’s bad hotel experiences (and our subsequent lack of sleep) led us to cancel one night of our stay this weekend. So, like the previous weekend, we would be driving up early on Saturday morning, but, instead of driving home on Monday, we would visit a park on Sunday morning and head for home early that afternoon.

Another plan change came when we were deciding which parks to visit. The initial plan had DH introducing DS to his favorite park, Epcot, on Saturday. But as we talked about our time at MK the previous weekend, we realized that there was so much more there that we wanted to show DS. We just couldn’t decide. At Epcot, there was Living with the Land, Spaceship Earth, and the Chase Disney Visa character experience to do with DS, plus DH and I had not yet experienced Test Track 2.0 (I wanted to surprise DH with the new look which so many have compared to Tron, one of his favorite movies). At MK, there was IASW (my first and favorite ride as a baby); the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh; Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor (a favorite of ours); and Journey of the Little Mermaid (a new experience for all of us). We decided to wait and choose in the moment as we entered the park. Heck, with the rise of FP+, it might be our last chance to ever again be spontaneous at Disney World.

As we drove toward the welcome sign, something caught my eye. A plane carrying a banner was circling over the sign. The banner said, “Warning: Gay Days at Disney.” We were horrified by what some people will do. That banner was both hurtful and unnecessary. Undaunted by the “warning,” we continued on; we had a decision to make. When we came to the split in the road—turn right for Epcot, go straight for MK—DH, the biggest Epcot fan that I have ever met, told me to go straight. Huh? There were just too many fun things still to do with DS at MK, he said; Epcot could wait until our next trip.

We arrived at MK via the ferry boat.


IMG_1765_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

After the long drive, we knew Little Guy needed some tending, so we headed to the baby center. I was expecting it to be like the baby center at DHS—small but efficient. I could not be more wrong! The baby center at MK was HUGE, with a kitchen, changing room, nursing room, and feeding room. First and foremost, I love, love, love the changing tables in both baby centers-- so roomy and with disposable liners! I vowed to never use any other Disney changing tables again—a vow that quickly was forgotten with the next “diaper emergency.” The other amenity that I did not expect was high chairs for feedings, though I preferred the Eddie Bauer high chairs at DHS—really top of the line—to the basic wood ones at MK.


IMG_1776_IJFR by glassslippergirl, on Flickr

Later in the day, I tried the nursing facilities at the baby center and found that I also preferred these at DHS where they had two small, private rooms. At MK, they had a gang nursing room with about eight rocking chairs arranged in a circle all facing the wall for privacy. For an older baby like DS, the mothers and babies coming and going were just too distracting in the gang setting, and we ended up leaving after about ten minutes and using a bottle instead. Though, I have to give credit for the way that Disney monitors that gang nursing room. A cast member diligently guards the door, just opening it enough for mothers and babies pass through and making sure that no men enter.

Okay, that is all for my, I am sure totally boring, review of Disney World’s baby centers. I didn’t even know that these existed before I visited with a baby, but they are a great resource, and I was glad they were there through our trip.

Now, rested, changed, and fed, DS was ready for the more rewarding task of having fun at the Magic Kingdom. We headed to our first ride of the day.


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