1st Family Trip with a Pre-K'er, a 2 year old and a puking baby!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by cheryterese, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. cheryterese

    cheryterese DIS Veteran

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    Hello interested readers! We returned from our 10 day First Family Trip to Disney World late Thursday night (2/4/10), and despite a few challenges here and there (including the above mentioned puking baby!) our trip was a wonderful one! Our family is comprised of DH (Rick, 38), Me (Cheryl, 38), DS1 (Sam, 4), DD (Madeleine, 2) and DS2 (Matthew, 18 months).

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    I'm excited to write this trip report in hopes of keeping post Disney trip planning and trip blues at bay! I also hope to be helpful to other families with young children that may be setting out on their first trip in return for all the fantastic information I received from other DIS'ers!

    Happy reading!

    Table of Contents:
    1. Day 1 (Tuesday, January 27th, 2010): Flight and Arrival
    2. Rental House
    3. Day 2 (Wednesday, January 28th, 2010): First Morning at the Magic Kingdom!
    4. First Morning at the Magic Kingdom: Rides!
    5. Matthew's First Haircut!
    6. First Evening at the Magic Kingdom
    7. Day 3 (Thursday, January 28th, 2010): Epcot Morning & Lunch at Biergarten
    8. Afternoon around the World Showcase at Epcot
    9. Day 4 (Friday, January 29th, 2010): The Itinerary Goes Awry aka My Crabby Day (Magic Kingdom with stepdaughter and inlaws)
    10. Dinner at Tony's Town Square and our Magic Kingdom evening
    11. Day 5 (Saturday, January 30th, 2010): Back to Epcot and the puking begins!
    12. Evening at Epcot with a sick baby
    13. Day 6 (Sunday, January 31st, 2010): A very full and chilly day at DHS!
    14. Tower of Terror!
    15. DHS Late Afternoon & Evening
    16. Day 7 (Monday, February 1st, 2010): Back to the Magic Kingdom!
    17. The rest of our day in the Magic Kingdom
     
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  3. cheryterese

    cheryterese DIS Veteran

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    Day 1 (Tuesday, January 27th, 2010): Flight and Arrival

    We had a 1:40PM flight out of Buffalo, NY, about an hour north of where we live. It was freezing in Buffalo and the curbside check-in was chaotic but soon enough we were in the air. This was the first flight for our kids, so the older two were very excited. My husband is a very anxious flyer, so I was nervous about managing him and the kids!

    Below are a few airport/plane pictures: Sam wheeling his suitcase through the airport, Sam and Madeleine watching our plane arrive, Rick and Matthew on the airplane, and Sam and Madeleine on the airplane.

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    We ended up checking the car seat that Sam is sitting in for the flight home because it was such a nuisance! It was Madeleine's car seat (Sam's was a simple booster and went in the overhead bins because they told us it was not FAA approved) but when we boarded the plane they told us it had to go by the window and since Sam wanted to sit by the window he had to sit in it. It was cumbersome to carry through the airport and since we had more checked baggage allowance than we used we just checked it on the return flight and brought our two strollers on the plane instead, which we hadn't known we could do on our initial flight (but wish we had known for ease of child tranporting!).

    Coming up next: Our Rental House!
     
  4. Charlefours

    Charlefours DIS Veteran

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    :wave2: Hello!! I cannot believe I am the first responder, let alone on the first page!! :goodvibes I am looking forward to reading your TR--we are taking my DD on her first trip (DH and mine second ever trip) this September!!
     
  5. cheryterese

    cheryterese DIS Veteran

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    Welcome, and yay, a reader!:cool1:
     
  6. katykate

    katykate Earning My Ears

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    They're so precious!! Looks like they had fun!
     
  7. cheryterese

    cheryterese DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! And yes, they had a great time. Sam enjoyed every second of the trip (except for The Tower of Terror - more on that later!) and has been talking about it nonstop since we returned home.
     
  8. cheryterese

    cheryterese DIS Veteran

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    How old is your daughter?
     
  9. cheryterese

    cheryterese DIS Veteran

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    Rental House

    We had an uneventful flight and picked up our rental car without issue. The only problem we had was transporting all of our luggage and children through the airport! We had kids in both strollers with luggage piled on top, on our backs and being pulled behind us. That was crazy!

    As soon as we walked outside we were greeted with the beautiful Florida sun and warm-ish temps (high 60's) which felt like heaven after the freezing temps we had just left in Buffalo. Sam and Madeleine found a fountain to play by while we got ourselves organized and then we were off to get groceries and see our rental house.

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    We had gone back and forth about staying on or off-site for our trip. Rick and I had been to Disney World twice before. Once on our honeymoon when we stayed at The Wilderness Lodge, and once after we miscarried a baby and stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter. We loved both of the hotels, but with three little kids, two still taking afternoon naps, we felt the added space of a rental house was the way to go. We ended up with a place in Indian Ridge Oaks, about 10 miles south of the parks, and were very happy with it. We'll definitely stay there again on future trips. Below are some pictures of the kids in front of the house, the kids room and in the private pool in the backyard. One note, wherever you end up staying be sure to plan in time for your kids to swim. Our kids enjoyed the pool as much as the parks!

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    Coming up next: Our first morning in the Magic Kingdom and Baby's First Haircut at the Magic Kingdom Barber Shop!
     
  10. loveysbydesign

    loveysbydesign I can pinch a penny so hard you can hear it scream

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    Loving it so far! How far was the drive from IRO? We've always stayed at Windsor Hills but are loooking at other options this trip. Do you have alink to the place you stayed at?
     
  11. PrncessA

    PrncessA DIS Veteran

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    popcorn::

    I'm in!!
     
  12. cheryterese

    cheryterese DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! (And I'm waiting for more on yours!)
     
  13. cheryterese

    cheryterese DIS Veteran

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    IRO - Irlo Bronson? Not sure what you mean. Sorry!
    I think we passed Windsor Hills on the way to our place - south of 192 on 545 and then a right on Sand Hill Rd. It took about 10 minutes to get to the park parking lots.

    Here's a link to our house:
    http://www.lastminutevillas.net/villa/704/beautiful-luxury-family-villa.html

    I contacted the owner direct and she was fantastic. We loved the place. In addition to what you can see from the photos posted on that site, there's a huge master bathroom with giant shower, walk in closet and very deep 2 person tub as well as third and fourth bedrooms - one with two twins and one with a double (or queen?) and there is a bathroom between them in a small hallway. We paid $122 per night (value season rates because our trip was end of January and beginning of February) including pool heat and taxes. The pool was very warm and we had no problem swimming in it even on the chillier days and in the chilly evenings (the problem was getting out!).
     
  14. cheryterese

    cheryterese DIS Veteran

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    Day 2 (Wednesday, January 27th, 2010): First Morning at the Magic Kingdom!

    I had set my alarm for 6:15am to be sure we were all ready to be out of the house a few minutes before 8. I had done an obsessive amount of research for this trip and one thing I read again and again was to get to the parks before opening. I had put together daily itinineraries using RideMax which my husband took one look at and rolled his eyes! He did end up thanking me later for all my planning though. Our kids are early risers and Sam and Madeleine, who were sharing a bedroom for the trip, were in our bathroom by 6:40 excited to go! My husband got them and the baby (who was also chatting in his pack-n-play in another bedroom) up and dressed. I had put outfits for the first few days for each child in date marked plastic baggies. This was a wonderful idea I got from reading PrncessA's trip report (Thanks!) and helped my husband tremendously, thereby helping me because he could dress everyone without needing my help. We gathered for a breakfast of cereal (which I choked down - too excited) and were out the door on schedule. Approximately 10 minutes later we saw this:

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    And a few minutes later (DH switched lanes just before I took this picture so I got this lovely truck as well):

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    Yahoo! We were there! We were directed to park in the Minnie Lot, which was near enough to the TTC to walk, and as soon as we could unload the strollers and load in the kids and bags we were off. We had brought two strollers from home. One was a typical baby stroller with a seat that reclined which we brought for our 18 month old in hopes of getting him to sleep there in the afternoons we would not be returning to our house, and the other was a single jogging stroller which we used as a double by having our daughter sit in the actual seat and our son in the footrest. Here's a picture of how we rolled:

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    We quickly found the sidewalk and then the TTC. I had read that if there was a boat docked at the TTC to take that, but if there wasn't to take the monorail. There was no boat, so we headed up the monorail ramp. Sam was extremely excited about riding the monorail and had talked about it for several months before leaving for our trip. We got right on and since it wasn't busy were able to wheel the strollers right on without folding them up, which was great. Sam was a bundle of excitement on the monorail seat and grinning from ear to ear. Here's some photos of us on the monorail for the first time:

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    We arrived at the Magic Kingdom, rolled down the ramp, had our bags checked and went through the ticket turnstiles. Whew! So much work to get to the Magic Kingdom! It was still only about 8:40, so we positioned ourselves in front of the flowers/Train Station for the opening ceremonies. I forgot to get a picture of this, but it was wonderful! We all enjoyed it and the kids were ecstatic when Mickey and friends got off the train. At the end of the countdown following the ceremony they popped out streamers and threw confetti and based on my kid's reactions you would have thought this was what we had come all this way for! Sam and Madeleine were out of their stroller seats in an instant picking up streamers and showing them to us. We quickly gathered them back in for our sprint down Main Street in hopes of arriving at Dumbo before the line was too long.

    Coming up next: Would we make it to Dumbo in time and would I relax enough with our RideMax schedule to enjoy our morning?
     
  15. Jo*Mama

    Jo*Mama Earning My Ears

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    I'm loving this TR! My boys are 4 and 2, and we're going on our first trip in two weeks so this is a huge help......please keep going as you can!!! I had noticed that a lot of your threads before your trip were very relevant to us, and I'm glad to see you follow up with this TR!:cheer2:
     
  16. cheryterese

    cheryterese DIS Veteran

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    Thanks, and welcome! The kids have been sick, but I'm hoping to get another entry in later today when they're sleeping! I thought this was great ages for the older two for their first trip, especially my 4 year old who had the time of his life and was so excited about all of it!! It was so fun to watch. My 2 year old had fun, for sure, but each morning when we'd head out she'd say, "Where are we going?". Then when we'd drive under the Disney signs she'd remember. :)
     
  17. cheryterese

    cheryterese DIS Veteran

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    First Morning at the Magic Kingdom: Rides!

    I have never been at the Magic Kingdom at park opening and it was incredible! All of the shop keepers and workers on Main Street (including the custodial staff!) were standing on the sides of the street with big hands attached to their hands, waving to us, welcoming us and saying "Good Morning". Sam and Madeleine were waving back and Madeleine was yelling, "There's Cinderella's Castle!" over and over again. Definitely a magical entrance to the MK! We were able to take it all in all the while walking as quickly as we could pushing two strollers toward our ultimate goal: Dumbo! As we walked up the ramp to go through Cinderella's Castle we noticed that there was no crane and that the construction mess seemed minimal. I was very happy about that. We walked through the castle (more cast members waving and greeting us), and right to the line for Dumbo. We were on in the second group and our morning ride fest was off!

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    The line for Dumbo was already out the end of the covering, so we passed up a second ride and walked to Peter Pan, leaving our strollers parked at Dumbo. Peter Pan is my husband's favorite Fantasyland ride and I waited in line with him for many hours for several rides on our Honeymoon before I knew anything about trip planning, the DIS and RideMax! We walked right on this morning and when we got off saw that there was no line so rode it again.

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    We then walked over to The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh, which is my favorite Fantasyland ride. I would ride it even if I didn't have kids! Seriously, who wouldn't be happy seeing this:

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    We walked right on to this ride as well. When we were coming to the unloading area Sam said, "I want to ride this again!". There was a bit of a line at this point and the CM, upon hearing him, said, "You want to ride this again? Well just go right here" and she let us through the FastPass gate. A little Disney magic for our first day at the Magic Kingdom!

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    After we finished with Winnie-the-Pooh it was time to head over to Toontown to ride Goofy's Barnstormer. For those of you who don't know, it actually opens 15 minutes before the posted 10am opening time and we were hoping to ride the Barnstormer before the line got real long. We loaded the kids back in the stroller and arrived there just before opening. We waited a few minutes and then the cast members did the countdown and threw out more confetti and streamers. Again, major excitement for my kids!

    Sam and Madeleine have ridden kiddie coasters at a couple of amusement parks and, having never ridden the Barnstormer myself, I thought they would be fine. We walked right onto the ride (after walking through the very long line area!) and found out that I could only ride with one kid. Sam has always ridden anything he is tall enough for as long as he has a parent riding with him, with an arm around him. I knew that Madeleine couldn't ride this by herself, so told Sam he would have to ride alone since Madeleine was smaller. He started freaking out before the ride even started due to this. I was really surprised at the intensity of the ride and both kids were screaming and crying through the entire thing. When it was over Madeleine said, "I never want to ride that again, EVER!" The CM announced that anyone who wanted to stay on and ride again could, since there was no one waiting, but I knew we needed to get off. After meeting up with Rick and Matthew and calming the kids down, I asked Sam if he'd like to try the ride again with Daddy sitting next to him with his arm around him. He did and they did. Sam loved it (just needed that reassurance) and they rode 2x without getting off. They're in the middle car in this picture:

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    By the end of the trip Sam was riding on his own no problem:

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    When they came back to where the rest of us were waiting (Madeleine was having the time of her life chasing birds and Matthew was snacking), Sam asked if I would ride it with him. There was still no line and we rode twice without getting off. What started as a major fear factor had now become Sam's favorite ride.

    It was only 10am at this point and we had already ridden way more than we thought we'd be able to in this amount of time. Lines were short and crowds were light, which is just what we'd hoped January would be. The Unoffical Guide had rated this day a 7 in crowds, but we never saw it. We did feel we'd had enough of the Barnstormer for one morning though, so moved on to the Mad Tea Party. Sam and Madeleine love spinning rides, so they rode together and I took Matthew on a separate tea cup so he could experience the ride but not spin. Rick can't spin at all, so he took pictures from the sidelines. We had a minor disaster when Sam ended up not being strong enough to spin his tea cup as fast as he would have liked and started crying on the ride, but there was no line when we got off so I handed Matthew off to Rick and took Sam and Madeleine on again, spinning the cup as fast as I could. Bleh! The kids were happy though.

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    We headed over to It's A Small World, which Matthew loved. He clapped his hands and rocked back and forth for the entire ride. It was so cute! After that it was on to Snow White's Scary Adventure. I was a little concerned with the kids being scared on this after reading that other kids had been, but they all loved it and we did it twice (again, no line!).

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    After that it was on to Cinderella's Carrousel. There were hardly any people in line when our ride was over so we stayed on and went around again.

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    Next up was the kid's very first 3-D movie, PhilharMagic. We all loved it and the kids were laughing and reaching for the characters as they appeared to come off the screen.

    After that we headed over to Liberty Square to ride the Haunted Mansion. This was the first thing we had to wait for all morning, but it was only for about 10 minutes. I was a little nervous about the kids being scared on this one as well, but they loved it. We walked over to Frontierland and ate our packed lunch while Rick got FP's for Thunder Mtn and then, while heading back to Main Street, saw there was no line for the Jungle Cruise so rode that too. I remember loving that ride as a kid, and the kids did seem to enjoy it, but Rick and I thought it was really lame! I think now that they have the Safari and the River Rapids at the AK this just isn't as exciting.

    It was around 12:30 at this point and having ridden way more than we thought we would've done by this time we decided to check on the line at the Barber Shop for Matthew's 1st haircut and head "home" for naps. While we were walking down Main Street the "Street Party" parade was coming down so we stopped and enjoyed that. So cute! I loved the music and the stilt walkers were a big hit with Sam. I wish I had taken a picture. Even though this was a minor parade it was my favorite of all the parades we saw on our trip. Once it had passed us by we walked over to the Barber Shop and decided to get Matthew's haircut since there was only one other person in line.

    Coming up next: Matthew's 1st Haircut!
     
  18. Monny2AE

    Monny2AE DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! Hope your kids are feeling better! :goodvibes

    I made my DH ride Winnie the Pooh on our honeymoon- just us, no kids. :lmao: One of my faves too!

    You really lucked out with such short lines! Guess it pays to get there early!
     
  19. tyandskyesmom

    tyandskyesmom DIS Veteran

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    Joining in too...
     
  20. PrncessA

    PrncessA DIS Veteran

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    Great updates! I am so glad you found packing the clothes in ziploc bags helpful! Giving the task of dressing the kids to DH was my goal as well, lol.

    I would have loved to have watched a park openning but we missed them our entire trip. When we were at the MK we either had a VERY early ADR and got in early, went late or went on a EMH morning. We didn't make it to the other parks opennings either! You got quite a bit done your first morning! I'm sorry that Sam had a bad first experience with GBS, but I am glad it all worked out in the end. We plan on letting DS decide if he wants to ride Space Mountain on our next trip, but I am worried that since he will be sitting by himself it might be too much.

    Isn't the line queue for the Barnstormer so LONG!?! It feels like you walk for miles to get there!
     
  21. cheryterese

    cheryterese DIS Veteran

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    :welcome:

    The kids have been sick since we got back from Disney! Last week Madeleine had the stomach flu (Matthew had it on our trip - more on that later) and now Matthew has a temp of 103.6 and Sam has a low fever and a rash all over his body. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day!

    That's funny about Winnie-the-Pooh! I love that we have little kids now so I don't feel so silly riding it!

    And yes, we got so much done on the days we were at the parks before opening. We will definitely be doing that again, especially at this age of early rising children! We did have a few late-start mornings as well and those were a needed break. We noticed a huge difference in the crowds when we did arrive later though.
     

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