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Old 09-25-2013, 07:56 PM   #1
RatherBeInAK
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You want to ride Dumbo again??! – a Sept TR with two young children - *New - 2/6*

You want to ride Dumbo again??! a September trip report with two young children


Hello and welcome!
This is my first trip report here on the DIS boards! I'm so excited to share our adventure with all of you. I really enjoyed reading other trip reports while I was preparing for our vacation so I wanted to share my experience.

First, our cast of characters:

Me! My name is Rachel and I'm fairly new to these boards. I'm a mother of two amazing children. The last time I went to Disney World was in 1991 when I was 10. My family went three times when I was a child and I have some very fond memories of our vacations there. I was really looking forward to visiting as an adult and sharing the fun with my children.


Next is my wonderful husband, Travis. He's a great sport. This trip wasn't necessarily one he was super excited about. He's been to Disney before and didn't love it. I was hoping this trip might win him over.



Then there is my sweet little boy. He's 2 ½ and is an energetic, fun-loving, happy little guy and a joy to be around. I'll call him Little Bear in this report. He got that nickname when he was little because he would growl when he got excited about something, especially food!



Last, but not least, is my precious baby girl. She's 5 months old and is the sweetest, happiest, most laid-back, best-natured, little girl you've ever met. I call her Buttercup because of her sweet and sunny personality.




If you're wondering how a trip went with two young children in the heat of September...keep reading!

Chapter Index:


9/14/13 - Getting There
Countdown and a Long Drive

9/15/13 - Animal Kingdom
No Chompy Alligators
Too Shy to Dance
How did it DO that??

9/16/13 - Epcot
Sharks, and Turtles, and Dolphins, Oh My!
Very Serious Questions

Meeting the Mouse
The Ride with the Horses

9/17/13 - Magic Kingdom
A Pirate Ship, a Honey Pot and a BUS!
Taking a Tea Cup out for a Spin
My Secret Weapons
A Moment of Panic
The Best Ride EVER!!!
Post-Barnstormer Tai Chi

9/18/13 - Animal Kingdom

Do You Want to Meet Rafiki?
Nemo!!
Dancing on the Dominoes

9/19/13 - Magic Kingdom
The Purple Door
Playful Chipmunks
A Dolphin??!
Fireworks!


A Future Trip Report Announcement






Last edited by RatherBeInAK; 02-06-2014 at 02:59 PM. Reason: updating the chapter index
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:25 PM   #2
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What kind if carrier is your husband wearing here? And what stroller did you go with? We are taking my DS (will be 5 months) in November. I'm looking forward to your TR
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:53 PM   #3
RatherBeInAK
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It's a Pognae carrier and I love it. It works well for my husband but I really got it because it fits my petite frame really well. A lot of the popular carriers don't cinch down enough to fit a petite person. The Pognae fits me perfectly. It distributes the weight so nicely and it's got a great zippered area that unzips to reveal mesh. It helps to keep the baby cool. I think it's the only carrier with that feature. It's not visible in the picture but I'll be posting some later where it is visible.
As for the stroller, we rented the City Mini double from Apple and were happy with it. Buttercup spent most of her time in the carrier but there were times when I was hot and just wanted a break from carrying her. The stroller was great for that.
I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:22 PM   #4
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Countdown and a Long Drive

9/14/13 - Countdown and a Long Drive



Two weeks before the trip I told Little Bear we were going to go to Disney World. His response was: “Oh.” That was completely understandable since he didn’t have a clue what Disney World was like. Those words meant nothing to him. Travis and I started watching the park segments on our free trip planning DVD with him. It was SO fun to watch them with him for the first time. He gasped a couple times and would turn to one of us and smile but quickly look back at the DVD because he didn’t want to miss anything. We watched those clips over and over together over the next couple weeks. It helped him get excited and it prepared him for the size of the characters. At one point I asked him if he’d like to meet Goofy and Donald and give them a hug (they were the ones featured more on the video). His response was, “No. Goofy is too big and Donald is too snappy.” We continued to watch the videos and eventually he was really excited about seeing Donald and Goofy.

The week before our trip I started a countdown with Little Bear. Given his age, that seemed like a good time to start. I cut some Mickey silhouettes out of some old paint chips and put one up for every “sleep” until our trip. He was so excited to wake up in the morning or from his nap and remove one. It was also a great educational opportunity because we could work on number recognition. It was also a good pre-subtraction exercise.

The day finally came when the last Mickey came down from our countdown.


Travis and I had packed the car so that as soon as Little Bear woke from his nap we could leave. Fortunately Buttercup had woken up from her nap and finished eating right before Little Bear woke up from his nap. He took down the last Mickey, I gave him a special trip journal I had made for him and we were off!








We drove for a few hours before stopping for dinner. We were able to meet my mother for dinner so it was a nice diversion from the drive. Although, from then on if I told him we were going to eat in a restaurant he asked if “Ama” was going to be there.
We arrived in the WDW area very late at night and stayed in an offsite hotel for our first night. I was tired but excited. We were finally there!

Last edited by RatherBeInAK; 10-01-2013 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:56 AM   #5
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Hi Rachel. You have a lovely family and I'm looking forward to hearing about your trip. How different is it to come back after all those years and bring your own children? I imagine it was very thrilling!

That photo of you in Dumbo is awesome!!
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Old 09-27-2013, 03:22 PM   #6
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Hi Rachel. You have a lovely family and I'm looking forward to hearing about your trip. How different is it to come back after all those years and bring your own children? I imagine it was very thrilling!
Thanks Brenda! It was so fun seeing so many familiar things again as an adult. I remember riding the Peter Pan ride for the last time on our trip in '91 and promising myself that one day I'd be back. I had no idea that the next time I would ride it would be with my own children! It was wonderful. I can't wait to go back!
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Old 09-27-2013, 03:36 PM   #7
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No Chompy Alligators

9/15/13 - No Chompy Alligators



Little Bear had a terrible time going to sleeping in the car and was rather groggy when he woke up in our hotel room that morning. He also woke up with a cold. I had suspected that he was fighting one that week but was doing a good job fending it off. The late night and lack of sleep did it though and the cold got a foothold.

Little Bear woke up early enough that I thought we actually had a chance to check into our hotel and still make it to the park, if not for rope drop, pretty close to it. We quickly got everyone ready, loaded our car, and went to find the All Star Movies Resort. Travis pulled up and saw red carpet. He looked at me and said, “I don’t have to pull up to the red carpet do I? I am NOT pulling up to the red carpet." So he let me out a foot away from the red carpet and I walked up to the door on the black tile instead. I had checked in online and I was pleased to see that the line was very short compared to the line for regular check-in. There was only one other person in line ahead of me. I was a little concerned though when I saw that no one was even at the computer. I asked the couple in front of me if they had been waiting long. They said they had not been waiting long at all. They pointed to a man behind the concierge desk and explained that he had been helping the online check-in line too. So we waited, and waited, and waited some more. It was pretty frustrating. I was anxious to get our tickets so we could get to the Animal Kingdom! When the man we had presumably been waiting for got up to go on break or end his shift, I finally went up to the desk and got the attention of a manager. I told him very nicely that we had been waiting a long time and asked if there was someone who could help us. He came right over and started checking in the couple in front of me. Moments later a girl behind the concierge desk motioned me over. After that the check-in process went quickly. I got our tickets and the cast member told me the good news that not only had we gotten the toy story building (and the Buzz section, no less) like I had requested but the room was already ready. I was very surprised and pleased. After unloading our things into our room and going back over to the main building to get our stroller we were finally ready to head to the Animal Kingdom! I was so excited.

(Obviously I am new to writing trip reports since I don’t have any lobby pictures or room pictures. I don’t even have the obligatory Mickey towel picture! I will have some pictures of our resort up later but you have to wait until the evening we went “exploring” around our hotel. Sorry for the wordiness, there are pictures ahead!)

We arrived at AK about 1 hour after park opening. I had my game plan and my map and I was ready to go. Can you tell yet that I’ve got a type A personality? I used the touring plans on easywdw when making my plans (supplemented with information from these boards, of course) and was beyond pleased with Josh’s information and accuracy. In fact, I had printed off his maps of the parks before I left and found myself using those instead of the official maps because they were so much easier to use. But I digress.
At 10:00 it felt like there were a considerable number of people there already, so I wasn't sure how long the wait would be for Kilimanjaro Safari. We headed straight there anyway. When we got there the crowds had thinned a bit and I was surprised to see a wait of only 10 minutes listed. I was even more surprised when we all but walked right on. We boarded the truck with Little Bear seated between Travis and I.


He was nervous about "chompy alligators.” When watching the trip planning DVD I think there was a segment showing people on the Wild Africa Trek watching some crocodiles that were moving around. Maybe they were being fed? I don’t remember. It obviously didn’t make much of an impact on me but it sure did on my son. He had worried a little for the two days prior to our trip about “chompy alligators”. He was worried that they would “chomp” him or his things. He wanted his favorite stuffed animal to remain in the hotel room so it didn’t get chomped by an alligator. He wanted me to hold his trip journal because he didn’t want it to get chomped by an alligator. He was really concerned about his safety despite lots of reassurance. We had a great guide who really got into the part. We got a good look at many animals like rhinos, hippos, giraffes (and babies), lions, and zebras.







Much to Little Bear’s relief there were no alligators or crocodiles, chompy or otherwise. Little Bear absolutely loved the "wibbley, wobbly truck ride.”


Buttercup liked it too.



Up next...more fun in the Animal Kingdom!




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Old 09-30-2013, 09:18 PM   #8
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Too Shy to Dance

9/15/13 - Too Shy to Dance



(Note to self: Next time take more pictures!)
(Note to everyone else: I will have more pictures once we get to the other parks. I'm not sure why I took so few in AK.)

After our safari we started to head to the Nemo musical but realized that we wouldn't make it in time. So we went to the Festival of the Lion King instead. It was amazing! We had wonderful seats in the elephant section. We were on the end of the third row and could see everything perfectly. The show was spectacular. The music, the dancing, and the vibrant colors were all wonderful. I liked that it was based on the Lion king and used all the familiar songs but didn't try to retell the story. Buttercup was sitting in my lap and she absolutely loved it. She spent the entire show with wide eyes and kicking with excitement. When the time came for the kids to dance around the stage Little Bear was asked to go up and dance. Much to my surprise for a brief moment I thought he was going to go. He was sitting in Travis’ lap and started moving like he was going to get out. It turns out he was just trying to scoot even further back on Travis’ lap. He was too shy to go. There was an outgoing little girl behind us who was probably five years old or so. Because Little Bear turned down his invitation she got to go. I was glad she got to dance; I suspect it was the highlight of her vacation. I thought it was so cute how they involved the kids. Some of them really got into it! At the very end one of the monkeys came up to say hi and give Little Bear a high five. Little Bear told me later that he was "too shy" to give the monkey a high five. Little Bear is often fairly reserved around new people (let alone monkeys) so it wasn’t a huge surprise. He was also not feeling completely himself due to his cold.
At one point fairly early during the show Travis looked over at the elephant float beside us and saw the bird dancer sitting on it doing some motions with her arms. Meanwhile, all the other dancers were on stage. He wondered to himself if she ever felt badly that she didn’t get to dance and instead just got to do arm motions on the float. He laughed at himself later when she got out there and was clearly one of the stars of the show!
After the Lion King got out we headed over to Flame Tree for some lunch. I was really looking forward to eating there since I had heard so many good things about it. I was a little disappointed. I got the ribs and chicken plate. The chicken was dry though the ribs were pretty good. The beans were just okay. Travis ate all my coleslaw since I’m not a big fan of coleslaw in general. I knew from my research that they only had mousse for dessert so that wasn’t a surprise. I cannot handle eating creamy things like mousse so, though it wasn’t a surprise, I still thought it was unfortunate that they didn’t have any other options. I wouldn’t have bothered with dessert at all except that we had free quick service dining.
After lunch we stopped for a quick picture in front of the Tree of Life and then drove back to our hotel for a nap. DS really needed a good rest and I didn't think he'd get one in the park.

Keep reading because it turned out to be not your average nap time!

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Last edited by RatherBeInAK; 10-01-2013 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:07 PM   #9
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Joining in!

I love the count down! I didn't do one for our last trip, but I really want to do one this time so I have been enjoying seeing all the great ideas on here.

It was so sweet that little bear was worried about the choppy alligators.

My little guy was wary of the dressed up creatures too.

I look forward to reading more!
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:16 AM   #10
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The Lion King show is one of my favorites. Can't wait to hear about this nap!
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:56 AM   #11
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Following along! We're headed down in May with my DD who will be just shy of 3yr old, and my nephew who isn't born yet but will be about 5m old when we go! So, I'm really happy to hear your report!
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:44 PM   #12
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Following along! We're headed down in May with my DD who will be just shy of 3yr old, and my nephew who isn't born yet but will be about 5m old when we go! So, I'm really happy to hear your report!
We will be there with our 3 year old in May as well!
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:34 PM   #13
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Hello and welcome to MeeskaMomma, vleeth, and familyabgar! I'm so glad you're following this TR. I hope you enjoy it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeeskaMomma View Post
I love the count down! I didn't do one for our last trip, but I really want to do one this time so I have been enjoying seeing all the great ideas on here.
Thanks! The best part was that it came together in about 15 minutes the night before I started it. I wanted to do something but didn't have to to prep anything. So I scrounged around for some old paint chips and a Mickey cookie cutter. 15 minutes later we were ready to count down! As an accidental bonus, since they were all paint samples that I had considered for my walls they all coordinated with my decorating scheme.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vleeth View Post
The Lion King show is one of my favorites. Can't wait to hear about this nap!
Hopefully I won't keep you in suspense too long. I'm hoping to get the post up tonight. We'll see how that goes.

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Originally Posted by familyabgar View Post
Following along! We're headed down in May with my DD who will be just shy of 3yr old, and my nephew who isn't born yet but will be about 5m old when we go! So, I'm really happy to hear your report!
I'm sure you'll have a great time! I think 5 months is an easy age. They're old enough that they're not so fragile and yet they're still quite portable.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:11 PM   #14
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How did it DO that??

9/15/13 - How did it DO that??



Back at our hotel room we got the kids settled into their beds for their naps. They had just fallen asleep when the phone, while on speaker phone, started dialing all by itself. I was about a foot away from it at the time and I jumped back wondering if I had somehow pushed a button. I quickly picked up the phone and took it off speaker hoping that it wouldn’t wake our little ones. The front desk answered and asked how they could help me. I am sure the next several words out of my mouth were completely unintelligible. I was still in shock that just 5 seconds before I had been peacefully resting on the bed and now I was talking to someone at the front desk. I finally managed to communicate that our phone had dialed them all by itself. The girl on the other end of the line sounded almost as surprised as I felt and said she would have a technician come out to our room. I told her that our children we’re napping and asked if he could come later and we could just unplug the phone in the meantime. She was very emphatic that it could not be unplugged. “Disney phones work differently than phones at home,” she said. I didn't say it but I thought, you’re telling me! My phone at home doesn’t call people all by itself! So I thanked her for her help, hung up and settled back down. Ten minutes later the phone dialed the front desk again. Once again I jumped to silence it, explain the problem to the front desk, and tell them someone was already coming to look at it. That happened two more times during that nap time.

Buttercup woke up shortly after the last call so I put her in the carrier and took her out so she wouldn’t wake up Little Bear. I took advantage of the opportunity to explore our hotel and get my refillable mug. I filled my mug with ice water and Buttercup and I set off to explore. It really is such a cute resort. I loved the theming, especially of the Toy Story section. I will have pictures of that section up later when we explored the resort as a family. Buttercup started getting antsy so I let her take a sip of water out of my mug. With her first sip she was shocked and almost glared at me. But then she went back for a second and third sip. After that she thought it was pretty much the most amazing thing EVER. She squirmed around in my arms trying to get to my mug if I held it out of her reach.

Meanwhile, the phone technician came to the room and examined our phone. His conclusion was that a button had gotten stuck down. According to Travis, the man ran his hand over the buttons and left. The phone was quiet for the rest of the nap time. But was it silenced for good?

Since AK was open until 7:00 that night we headed back to the park after Little Bear woke from his nap. We knew we wouldn’t have much time there at all but we still wanted to do whatever we could. When we arrived at the gate they warned us that we only had 30 minutes left. Undeterred we headed straight back to Little Bear’s favorite thing so far, the safari. Our guide wasn't as good and there weren't as many animals out as before but the animals that were out were more visible than before. The hippo was actually out and walking around not just submerged. The male lion was on the very top of "pride rock," and the giraffes were right by the path.





Little Bear loved it and I'm glad we went back again even if it was only for one thing.

We drove over to Downtown Disney for dinner. We ate at Wolfgang Pack express and thought the meal was an excellent counter service restaurant. Using real plates and utensils during the meal made it feel so much nicer. The food was good too. It was dark when we left the restaurant and the place was beautiful. The trees were lit with twinkling lights but not in a way that said "Christmas" as much as "magical". It looked like the branches were covered with fireflies that all signaled at different times. It was really beautiful. Little Bear enjoyed seeing the "volcano" shoot out fire. When he had watched the trip planning DVD he saw a segment about the hot air balloon and found it fascinating. So he got really excited when he saw the hot air balloon rise up and take someone for a short ride.

Our first day was wonderful. The last time I had been to WDW was when Discovery Island was in existence. I had been looking forward to experiencing AK for the first time and really enjoyed it. There was so much we didn’t get to do so I was glad we would have another day there later in the week.
Up next is our day in Epcot!

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Old 10-02-2013, 12:20 PM   #15
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That phone thing is weird!!! For the record we were able to unplug our phones to keep our toddler from calling random people. So maybe they just don't want you unplugging phones. I don't know, maybe it is a safety concern? :confused2:

It sounds like your second safari ride was well worth it!

I look forward to hearing about Epcot.
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