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Old 05-17-2014, 04:55 PM   #1
dtr_angel
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Laugh, Splash, Giggle & Play - Disney the toddler's way! May 2014 TR Updated 9/27 x3

Welcome to my third trip report! This was our 6th trip to Disney, but there were so many firsts for us. This trip was completely different than our first 5. This time instead of flying, staying on site, and only using Disney transportation we drove from Maryland (!), stayed off site, and drove ourselves around. The best part?



WE'RE ANNUAL PASSHOLDERS!

There is no time to be sad about this trip ending because we're about to experience a year of Disney! This trip went so well than in addition to a trip that we have planned for my 30th birthday in December, we're going to squeeze another WDW trip in before our AP/TiW expires next year!

This was our first trip as a family of three. We sure did miss having Uncle Brandan with us though and cannot wait for him to join us again sometime.
For those of you who may not know my crazy bunch, I'm Melissa and right now I'm 29. I currently answer to "Mom" which is the greatest title I could have ever asked for. Sometimes I use my other title "RN" and play nurse at the hospital. I'm blessed to be able to work a PRN position and haven't worked more than 2 days/month since my little one was 5.5 months old. My husband Daniel loves going to Disney World just as much as I do. He is also 29 right now. He works hard as a freight conductor (he builds trains and takes them apart) to earn the money we need to take these amazing trips together. Our little guy was born in July 2012 and is the light of our lives. He was 21 months old on this trip. His first trip was last year at 9 months old.



All three of us!



So much changes in a year! Disney was so different with an infant last year vs. a toddler this year. We had so much fun!

This trip went really well although not according to plan most days (that's okay though! changing plans on the fly is fun!) If you are looking for a trip report with lots of drama, something that might include a family missing their flight TO Disney, this trip report is not going to be for you. However, this one might be

We're late for a very important date! (My May 2103 trip report)

This trip report might be for you if:
-You want to hear all the details of a fun trip with a smart and spirited toddler
-You will enjoy seeing a ton of pictures of said toddler
-You want to see pictures of all the delicious snacks & food we consumed while on vacation (we took pictures BEFORE we ate the food in most cases)
-You are interested in the adventures that come along with driving 16 hours each way to Disney
-You want to hear all about our first offsite adventure and our time spent outside the Disney bubble as well as our time spent inside the Disney parks
-You want to see pictures & hear about character interactions with TWENTY Disney characters (some we even met 2-3 different times!)

If you took the quiz above and answered yes to at least one, this trip report might be for you and I encourage you to join me as I re-tell the story of our May 2014 trip to Disney World. Enjoy the ride, it's time for...

Laugh, Splash, Giggle & Play - Disney the toddler's way! Our first offsite adventure May 2014

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Last edited by dtr_angel; 09-27-2014 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 05-17-2014, 04:58 PM   #2
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Trip Plans

I didn't do a PTR, so here's a quick run down of what our plans were before we left. We were really flexible since we did not know how Gavin was going to do this year. Toddlers are so different from infants.

Thursday May 1 - Leave around 6am. Drive to Augusta, GA. Check in to Hampton Inn. Spend the evening with my friend Jenn & her family. Drive back to hotel. Get some sleep.

Friday May 2 - wake up as early as possible. Have free breakfast or grab something for in the car. Get on the road to Orlando. Stop when necessary but no long meal stops. Get groceries from Publix on Vineland Ave in Orlando. Call to go order in to Outback. Pick up outback Order. Head to Windsor Hills and get into condo. Eat, unload car, and get ready for a night at the Magic Kingdom. Upgrade tickets to APs, get TiW card, pick up Memory Maker card.

FP+ 4:45-5:45pm Meet Mickey Mouse
get pictures taken on Main Street USA
ride the People mover
buzz/monsters inc if we have time to kill
FP+ 5:45-6:45 Space Mountain/rider swap (take Gavin on CoP, buzz, or people mover)
mad tea party
FP+ 6:50-7:50 Pooh
7:40 dinner ADR at Crystal Palace
pictures on Main Street in the dark
MESP/Wishes IF we are not to tired, but probably not
(Originally we were not going to the park at all on arrival day. The reason we added this was because the people mover was scheduled to go down for refurb on Saturday 5/3. I really wanted a picture of the three of us on it just like we got last year (it was Gavin's first ride!) so we made this plan to squeeze some time in at MK that night. It ended up not being necessary as they pushed the rehab back to June but oh well, it was a great night and I'm glad we went!)

We could not make any more FP+ reservations until after we got to Disney and upgraded to APs, so the rest of the plans were loose since we didn't know what kind of FP+ we were going to get a few days out

Saturday May 3 - Epcot
Head to TT first and rider swap (take Gavin to the Mission Space play area while we trade)
Rider Swap on Mission Space
The Seas - Nemo/Turtle Talk
FP+ Soarin/Rider Swap
Character Spot (didn't realize this was a Tier 1 until we were there, had thought we would FP+)
Head to World Showcase
meet Donald in Mexico
get school bread in Norway
Maelstrom (also could not FP+ this because of TT/Soarin')
Lunch - CS in America
grab snacks in Germany, Japan, and France
Get Disney Visa picture at 1pm
If we have time to space - Spaceship Earth, Club Cool, Innoventions, Imagination Pavillion (Gavin might like this)

After our break at the condo for Gavin's nap, order Giordano's pizza for dinner, swim & relax!

Sunday May 4 - Magic Kingdom
(hopefully meet up with khertz & marDgreen88 who will also be at MK today!)
*IF* 7DMT is open, get to MK super early and head there first. Daniel will wait first to ride standby while I take Gavin to meet Ariel and ride Under the Sea. Then Daniel will take Gavin to ride the carousel and get a snack at Gaston's. I will meet them there when I am done. (This did not happen haha)
If not, we all go to Under the Sea first.
FP+ ETWB
Mad Tea Party/Storybook Circus - Dumbo & character meets
FP+ Peter Pan
Lunch at Be Our Guest
FP+ Rapunzel & Cinderella
take train from FL to exit
break at the condo for Gavin's nap
swim & make steaks for dinner at the condo and relax

Monday May 5th - Hollywood Studios
Daniel rides RnRC standby
Ride TSM standby
meet Buzz & Woody

in no particular order...
meet Mike & Sulley starting
meet Donald and Daisy
meet Minnie
snack at Starring Rolls
get pictures taken with Lightening & Mater
Meet Chip, Dale, Pluto & Goofy
see Disney Jr. show
let Gavin play at HISTK playground while Daniel rides ToT/RnRC?
FP+ Star Tours
FP+ TSM
Great Movie Ride if we have time
-break at the condo to nap-
Characterpalooza 6pm
dinner ADR 50's PT 6:55pm
back to the condo right after dinner
(I had been stalking for a 50's PT or Sci Fi ADR for Sunday night to do characterpalooza that night before eating and going back to the condo. I had no luck getting ADRs for decent times so we did have Beaches & Cream booked for the night we planned to do characer palooza (drive to DHS, see characters, take a boat to the boardwalk, eat at B&C and then boat back to DHS) luckily I snagged an ADR for 50's PT not too long before we left which made things a lot easier!)

Tuesday May 6th - AK
Rider Swap EE
Dinosaur (D rides first while M/G do Triceratops Spin, then D takes G to boneyard to play)
Finding Nemo the Musical 11am
Jungle Trek to see tigers
FP+ safari
Lunch ADR 12:45 Tusker House
Rafiki's Planet watch IF it's not too late
break at the condo for Gavin's nap
Dinner ADR at Boma 5:55pm
(seriously wish I would've realized before we were seated at Tusker House for lunch that day that 2 Disney buffets in one day is not a good idea...)

Wednesday May 7th - 7DMT?
Rider swap BTMRR/Splash
Liberty Square Riverboat
TSI
Pirates
Jungle Cruise
Lunch 1:35 LTT
If we have time - HM, Magic Carpets, Meet Aladdin
break at the condo for Gavin's nap
dinner off site at Miller's Ale House

Thursday May 8th - last day
did not make plans
lunch at MK with a very special DIS friend at 1:05
leave in the evening
hopefully Gavin sleeps all night while we take turns driving
arrive home sometime in the afternoon on Friday

Daniel goes back to work at 4pm on Saturday 5/10
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June 1998 Offsite // June 2008 Pop Century // March 2009 Pop Century // August 2009 Wilderness Lodge // May 2011 Animal Kingdom Lodge CL // May 2013 Art of Animation Nemo Suite // May 2014 Windsor Hills // October 2014 All Star Sports // December 2014 Grand Floridian, Beach Club & Windsor Hills

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Old 05-17-2014, 05:07 PM   #3
MeeskaMomma
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I am in ::

Our DS is just a year older than yours. I can't wait to see the food pictures.
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Old 05-17-2014, 06:28 PM   #4
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So excited about this!!!

Sounds like a lot of fun.

I'm in!

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Old 05-17-2014, 06:29 PM   #5
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Yes to all of the quiz questions! I'm in and can't wait to hear all about your trip! So glad you had a wonderful time.
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:29 PM   #6
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Joining in on your TR!!!
We were there around the same dates, and by looking at your schedule, we were at MK the same day you were!!!

Can't wait to hear more!!
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:40 AM   #7
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Of course, you know I am in!!
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:46 AM   #8
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Yay!! I'm here, of course!
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Old 05-18-2014, 02:22 PM   #9
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joining in
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Old 05-18-2014, 02:31 PM   #10
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Joining! Interested to see how things went with toddler Gavin compared to your last TR.

Oh, and congrats on the Annual Passes!
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**In Progress** It's kind of fun to do the impossible - Disney World with a 1 month old - A Trip Report: 08/25-08-29/14
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Old 05-18-2014, 09:41 PM   #11
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I read your last trip report and am excited to read this one. My daughter is a month older then your son and we also just returned after driving from MD.
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:28 PM   #12
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Joining in! Looking forward to hearing all about your trip and the drive from Maryland! We live in the DC area and I've been contemplating about driving down to Disney on one of our future trips so I'm very curious to hear how all things went.
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:50 PM   #13
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Joining in!! Going with our toddler next year !!
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:48 AM   #14
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I'm here! Better late than never! It's taken me awhile to catch up since my trip, but I'm slowly getting there.


Gavin's 21 months old?! What? I guess since I've been reading your TR from when he was 9 months old, I forget how quickly time passes. From the sounds of your intro, though, that was a great age to take him to Disney. Your excitement in how wonderful your trip was has made me excited to read all about it!


And YAY for being Annual Passholders!!! Isn't it the greatest? You just feel so happy knowing you have year-long access to the parks.
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:54 PM   #15
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Pre-Trip Randomness

The days leading up to our trip were nothing like the days leading up to our trip last May. I stayed organized, on top of our to do list and didn't feel stressed at all. In fact, I did some spring cleaning (those random things you don't do often like washing the shower curtain, etc) and cleaned the entire house top to bottom. Everything was packed and ready to go.

We only had one minor pre-trip snafu (except for Gavin having the worst stomach virus but luckily he had fully recovered well before it was time to go!). DH and I have the same kind of vehicle - Jeep Grand Cherokee Limiteds. My Jeep pretty much became the family Jeep, we drove it every time all 3 of us needed to go somewhere together. This made no sense considering my Jeep is a V8 Hemi and his is a straight 6, but anyway... after Gavin outgrew his infant bucket seat I got the fancy convertible seat (the brand new Chicco Nextfit when it came out last April and I LOVE it) At that time we didn't invest in a second seat because it was so rare that Daniel needed to take Gavin somewhere in his Jeep. Eventually I ordered a cheap Cosco Scenara seat for $39 from Walmart as a "just in case" for his Jeep. Well we could not get it installed tight enough. I thought it was the brand of the seat, so I returned it and bought another Nextfit. Almost $200, but hey you can't put a price on safety. I knew I wanted the "better" seat in his Jeep anyway for when we drove to FL in May so at least we didn't have to play musical car seats before the trip. We had the same issue trying to install the fancy Nextfit in his Jeep. We knew we had to figure something out before the trip because it did not make sense to take my Jeep that averages about 12 miles to the gallon on a good day. Not that his is any better, but still. (In case any of you are wondering why we both drive such gas hogs we live in the mountains where it is practically winter 9 months out of the year. We both have jobs that require us to get to work not matter what the weather conditions are) We luckily found a program through the local Health Dept. that managed to get the seat installed safely in DH's Jeep in April. We were estactic! We had the oil changed and his Jeep got a clean bill of health for our upcoming trip. 2 days before we left we had an appointment to have it detailed. Silly to do it before it getting dirty on the road but we thought it would be more comfortable if his Jeep didn't smell like railroad and who doesn't love a clean car? I told him to tell them not to touch the car seat and figured they would probably just work around it. It's not like his back seat was that dirty anyway. Of course he forgot to tell them not to touch the car seat and they uninstalled it. Plus the cleanear they used on the leather seats made it very slippery. Did I mention that it took the lady that installed it a while and some fancy well placed pool noodles to get it in there correctly? DH was sure he remembered how she did it. We drove Gavin less than 5 miles to his dentist appt and Gavin kept pulling on his neck and saying "ow". I insisted it was not installed correctly. DH insisted it was. Needless to say we argued the entire way home from the dentist. I told him that I was not taking his Jeep to FL and we would have to take mine. DH was not happy and insisted I was over-reacting. I was serious. I told him if he could get the lady to look at it and tell him it was in there right, we could take it. Otherwise we could have to scramble the next morning and get my oil changed and gas it up (we had also already filled his tank up and mine was empty). He told me there was no way they would be able to work him in that day but I told him to call anyway. To our luck, the same lady was available to check our car seat out in an hour! HAH! I told you so! SO whew, all is well and we were set to leave the next day.
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