She's STILL too young to go! Christmas w/a 17mo! UPDATE 2/5!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by harleyquinn, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    She's not too young!! I've created a bit of confusion with the TR title. My DD had a wonderful trip both times we went to WDW and so did we. My title refers to all of the wet blankets that told me I was crazy. If you are contimplating a trip for your under 2 yo, I'm sure you've come across at least one wet blanket.

    Welcome! If you've come looking for tips about taking a baby/toddler to WDW, you've come to the right place! My August TR and PTR (in my signature) are full of tons of imformation and details about our trip with a 13 mo. They aren't very long threads (not a ton of chatter), and very readable.

    So on to Christmas! The very short and short-on-information PTR is in my signature.

    I feel so blessed to have been able to not only go to WDW twice in one year, but to share those trips with my beautiful DD and wonderful DH. On to introductions!
    Me: Sarah 30 year old Children's Librarian. Disney-a-holic. This is my 8th trip to WDW since 2003. I had never been as a child.
    DH: Justin (The_Horned_King) 31, middle school Art teacher. Responsible for my Disney-a-holicness. This is his 9th trip to WDW; went twice as a child.
    And the star of the show DD: Lilliana. She turned 17 months on the trip. This is her second adventure at WDW.

    DD and I at Ohana in August:
    [​IMG]
    DD and DH in Toontown in August:
    [​IMG]

    In the past we've stayed at POR 3 times, POFQ 1, POP 1, ASSports 2. DH stayed offsite and camped as a kid.

    For this adventure we rented vacation club points and stayed deluxe (plus) for the very first time. We stayed at a studio in the Boardwalk Villas.

    This is my second trip at Christmas time. My mom and I went the second week of December in 2008 when I was 8 weeks pregnant with DD. It was a nightmare. I was super sick and super hormonal and missed DH like crazy.

    We stayed December 18-24 and drove from Cleveland.

    I used TourGuideMike for the trip and also tried out RideMax for the first time.

    I can't wait to tell you all about our adventure!!:santa:
     
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  3. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    I've been a loyal TGM customer for a couple of years now. While the outdatedness of a lot of the articles drives me nuts, I find the message boards wonderful and the membership is more than paid for by joining a photopass share.

    I was very concerned about crazy crowd levels, so I decided to try RideMax. I will not purchase it again. We are very much not a "be here at this time and ride this and then this and then this," kind of family. We are a get there right after rope drop and leave in the afternoon type of family.

    If you've read the other report, you know that I was SUPER organized for the August trip. I was sooo concerned about doing everything I could to make a trip with a baby successful. This time? Not so much! I guess since I had done so much 4 months earlier, my brain just let this trip slide. Besides, getting ready for a trip right before Christmas is really crazy.

    DH was sick the week before we were supposed to leave and I caught it too. So we both stayed home, and I was able to get a lot of packing done. :teeth: We managed to get all the Christmas presents ready to go. The plan was to celebrate with the family on the 26th.

    The weather forecast drove me nuts. Most of you have probably heard how cold it's been. We had layers and layers and layers. I'm amazed we fit it all into 3 suitcases.

    Here was the packing list:
    Car
    1. GPS
    2. DVD player/DVDs
    3. Music
    4. Toys (magnadoodle, bubbles, glow sticks)
    5. Blankets/pillow
    6. Baby neck pillow

    Toiletries
    1. Shampoo
    2. Body wash
    3. Deodorant
    4. Toothbrush/paste
    5. Hairbrush
    6. Face wash/lotion
    7. Contacts/solution/cases
    8. Glasses/cases
    9. Hair ties
    10. Shaving stuff
    11. Lotion
    12. Feminine junk

    Weather related
    1. Sun block (baby & adult)
    2. Hats/gloves
    3. blanket for stroller
    4. Water/water bottle carabineer
    5. Ponchos
    6. Sunglasses
    7. Chapstick


    Misc.
    1. Cellphone/charger
    2. Cameras/chargers/SD cards
    3. Ziplocks
    4. Meds (immodium, gas x, advil/Tylenol/Excedrin)
    5. Moleskin, blister bandaids, bandaid footrub
    6. Baggalini/fanny pack
    7. All in one laundry sheets
    8. Gum/candy
    9. DS/chargers/games
    10. Journal for trip report
    12. Ponchos
    13. Shoes (crocs, tevas)
    14. Ear plugs
    16. ADR List
    17. Credit cards/cash/Disney rewards card
    18. Touring plans

    Baby List
    1. Diapers
    2. Wipes
    3. Food—graham crackers, cheerios, tube purees, yogurt bites
    4. Sippy cups/cup tether
    5. Wet bag
    6. Outfits prebagged
    7. Toys—Mickey, little people?
    8. Tiny Diner
    9. Stroller/ray shade/rain cover/stroller bag
    11. Baby shampoo/wash/lotion/powder
    12. Swim diapers
    14. Wash cloths
    15. Hairbrush
    16. Baby medicines (teething tablets, motrin)
    17. Teethers

    (Ignore the missing numbers. They are things I deleted from the last trip!)
     
  4. BrooklynnsMommy

    BrooklynnsMommy DIS Veteran

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    I'm jumping on because your title caught my eye. My oldest daughter (4) took her first trip to Disney at 11 months old and has been 13 times since. My youngest daughter (20 months) took her first trip at 3 months and has been 6 times since. I love all the memories that I have of them enjoying Disney even though they won't remember those first trips I sure do! Can't wait to see and hear more.
     
  5. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    December 17
    DH headed off to work, and I had pretty much everything done. Lily and I went to her last class of Gymboree and stopped at my library for a bit. She decided to take her nap around 1 and I took one with her since I had no idea what the ride would be like.

    DH got home around 3 and we did the last minute things you do, stopped at Wendy's and we were on the road by 4.

    The drive for the August trip was exhausting for me as I was constantly entertaining Lily. (see that trip report for a list of all the stuff I brought!) She would only settle for a DVD for short periods. This drive was so much better. I even got to drive a few times to give DH a break. She still perfered to have me in the back with her and naps were a bit of a struggle, but it was so much easier overall.

    I started off the drive. The stupid GPS detoured us again for some odd reason (see first TR) and I ended up driving through 25 mph streets for a bit instead of going through Akron. I wanted to ignore the detour but DH said we should just follow it.

    Driving through the mountains of VA and WV in the dark was awful. We hoped to make it just into NC, but we ended up stopping at a Hampton Inn less than an hour from the NC border. We managed to get in 7.5 hours the first day, and we were pretty happy about that.

    Lily woke up early the next morning. She totally knew what was going on. She kept saying, "bye, bye" and walking to the door of the room. Hampton Inn's have fresh waffles you make yourself in the morning. They were very nummy. We hit a little rain in the afternoon, but everything went really smoothly until we hit Orlando.

    It was around 5 when we hit downtown Orlando. The sky was completely clear, but the road was a MESS. We saw NINE accidents. I have no idea what the heck was happening, but it was terrible. I think it took us 40 minutes to go what should have been 15. There was something going on at Amway (I think?) arena, so that explained some of the traffic, but even once we got past that, we kept coming across more accidents.

    Why in the world do FL drivers feel the need to cut across stop and go traffic? I'm not talking about trying to exit, but cutting back and forth and getting no where (and causing accidents). I could never live around that area. And none of the accidents were actually on the road by the time we got to them. In Ohio when this happens, traffic picks up right before the accident and people move along. In FL there's traffic for another mile after the accident as people actually STOP to rubber neck. Ugh!

    Enough of that! :teeth:
    We made it to the BoardWalk with only one wrong turn! ;) I was SOOO excited to be staying there.

    One big thing I learned from the last TR was to take more pictures! We depended on the Photopass too much and then it took FOREVER to get it from the share.
    So the next post will let you bask in photo goodness!
     
  6. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    I LOVE your reports, and I think we're friends on Facebook? lol :goodvibes You're one of the people that inspired me to take my trips and ignore the nay-sayers!

    Which BTW is what the title refers to. I don't think she was too young to go...just the haters. :thumbsup2
     
  7. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    BoardWalk pics!

    [​IMG]
    No we didn't smuggle her in for some reason. ;)
    [​IMG]
    Yes, we were in the room for mere seconds and it's already destroyed.
    [​IMG]
    I thought this area looked small from pics online, but it was very big with lots of cabinets.
    [​IMG]
    Kitchenette complete with corkscrew. Too bad I forgot the wine.
    [​IMG]
    Taken after I had a shower about 3 minutes after we arrived...I was nasty from the drive. The poor CM at check in must have thought that I dipped my head in oil.
    [​IMG]
    Pull out sofa. DH not included. I couldn't find a pic of this anywhere!
    [​IMG]
    I love this pic. She looks so grown up!

    So that's the studio. I was very happy with the size and the location. We were right off the main hall, steps away from the all important elevators and bus stop. The main lobby is actually on the second floor, so we had a balcony. I specifically took pics of the view from the balcony, but apparently didn't upload them to FB. We had a view of the pool. We only spent a tiny bit of time out there, because it was just too cold, and we were always doing something else.

    So what did I think of the resort? Am I now a deluxe/dvc snob?

    ...ugh. I hate to be negative so early in the report. The resort was probably the only negative thing about the trip. It wasn't actually bad or anything, but there were so many downsides.
    Pros:
    1. LOVE the location, so convenient to parks/table service restuarants/entertainment
    2. Pool was a lot of fun
    3. The decor is beautiful and relaxing
    4. Cms were very nice, especially the lifeguards and at all the little food places on the Boardwalk.

    Cons:
    1. It was LOUD. We've only ever stayed at the values and mods before. I have never experienced the level of noise we had. We were woken every morning by families in the rooms next to/above or below us. Every night the same families kept us awake. The afternoons for naps were hard, because the pool DJ was so loud. I can only imagine what it would have been like with actual people in the pool. The hallways were terribly noisey. But the the worst noise was the darn doors! They were sooo loud when they closed. And you couldn't be quiet with them! I tried! The mods have the crazy loud toilets, but the doors were so much worse.

    2. We really missed having 2 actual beds. I knew this was going to be an issue going in, but the pull out was more uncomfortable than I had hoped.

    3. It is absoultely ridiculous that the Epcot resorts share buses to AK. You pay so much to be there and the buses were worse than the mods/values. The MK bus wasn't bad at all. Very comprable to the other resorts. But the AK bus was awful, because it stopped EVERYWHERE. We were on the AK bus for 42 minutes leaving in the afternoon. We hit a shift change which added about 6 minutes, but then we stopped at the Swan, Dolphin, Yacht and Beach Clubs. (I knew this going in, but it still stunk.)

    4. No quick service options. It's really hard to be on the dining plan and get your QS credits in for any value unless you walk over to Epcot's WS. The only place you can use it is at the Bakery and they have very few options.

    5. Pain in the behind to fill refilable mugs. You do get to know the CMs pretty well though!

    With all that said, I think the resort is nice and would think a stay there with adults only would be nice. You are more able to enjoy the nightlife or walk over to WS.

    Next post: more resort photos!
     
  8. uncw89

    uncw89 DIS Veteran

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    HI! I'm joining in! We were there at the same time as you and also at the Boardwalk. We were in a studio on the 5th floor with a pool view. We didn't have the noise issue that you had though. It was me DH and DS (almost 10). We had a great time. I love the Boardwalk area. You are right about the counter service options though, they need to figure out how to resolve that issue. Over at the Beach Club, they have a little quick service type place in the store, but it's not like a real CS place.
     
  9. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    Welcome!!
    I've done a lot of research about BW, and I really haven't seen anyone complain about the noise. I wonder if it was because we were so close to the lobby? but we didn't hear lobby noise as much as neighbor noise.

    And I wanted to say that I don't blame the neighbors at all. At Disney you have to expect to have kids all around and DD did her share of noise making, but I've never heard neighbors to the extent we did.:confused3
     
  10. jc040404

    jc040404 DIS Veteran

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    Subbing! Loved your last TR and wanna keep up on this one. :goodvibes Wild about the noise at BW. I wouldn't expect this at all. Good to know that this was about the only negative of your trip though!
     
  11. RooRach0906

    RooRach0906 "Oh Goody, Horray!"

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    Sarah Im Joining In!!! Cant wait to read about the fun you had!!! I can not wait until we go at Christmas or even take Annabelle for the first time.:goodvibes
     
  12. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    Hi Rachel! I have a couple updates ready to go!

    (And can I please steal your DD's name if we have another girl? I really love the name Belle/Bella, but I wanted something a bit longer and there are so many Isabelle/Isabella's around here, but Annabelle would be perfect! Especially with Lilliana! --Of course we have no immediate plans for another kid. lol)
     
  13. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    December 18th cont.
    After my shower, I unpacked us and Lily was still running around, so we decided to explore.
    So more BW pics:

    Gingerbread display...smelled so good!
    [​IMG]
    Hidden Mickey and gingerbread detail
    [​IMG]
    This is as close to the Belle Vue Lounge as we got.
    [​IMG]
    Fireplace with super weird chair
    [​IMG]
    Blurry BW at night
    [​IMG]


    Okay, here they come...creepy clown pool pics, at night no less...you clownophobes have been warned :teeth:
    [​IMG]
    DH swears this is a ghost and not steam.
    [​IMG]
    BoardWalk entrance is beautiful, especially at night
    [​IMG]

    I want to buy points for BWV just to go every year and take pictures of Lily in this chair to see her growth (yes even with the noise! ;))
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The BW is really beautiful at night, but it was cold and time for Lily to go to sleep. We had an early day at MK tomorrow!
     
  14. december

    december DIS Veteran

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    I'm in-subscribing to come back and read later!
     
  15. RooRach0906

    RooRach0906 "Oh Goody, Horray!"

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    Of Course you can steal;) the name Annabelle. I have to be honest I love the name but really my husband picked it. We didnt want something super popular and something that could be shortened. Loving the update! I just updated my Signature and I think you will like the new picture. Its one of her stocking stuffers.
     
  16. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    Hi!! :wave2:
    OMG I love it!! Sooo cute!:love:
     
  17. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    Day 2, December 19th
    I woke DH up around 6:50 and told him to get in the shower. Lily popped up and said, “Mou Mou!!!” Which is her version of Mickey Mouse. She was so excited. It’s moments like these that make me laugh in the face of people who hate on us for taking her to WDW.

    She ran over to the door and said, “Knock, knock, Bye, Bye. Mou Mou!” I told her we had to get ready and dressed before we could see Mickey. It was one of her most cooperative mornings ever. She really hates getting her diaper changed, but she was great this morning.

    We walked out on the balcony to get an idea of the temperature. The high was supposed to be 63 I think, and according to the Weather Channel it was currently 53 degrees. It felt warmer than that to us, so we didn’t get super bundled, but I did put Lily in her big fleece sweater with a couple of layers. We would soon learn that our balcony was always at least 5 degrees warmer than any other place in Disney World.

    We managed to get out of the room and to the bus stop and the bus pulled right up. As I said before, we never had issues with the MK bus. I realized at the stop that I had forgotten Lily’s snacks. If you’ve read the August TR, you know that the snacks were the only thing that got us through the bus rides. Well, I was in for a surprise as Lily loved the buses this time. She totally knew it meant that she was going to visit Mickey. She was so excited. I wish I had video, but I had her and DH had the stroller, so no extra hands.

    We made it to the park just after 8am. We tend to try and miss rope drop. I know its not a very TGM thing to do, but I really can’t stand waiting in the mass of people. I much prefer to show up a bit after that rush and walk into an empty looking park. It’s especially doable once you realize that we weren’t planning on hitting any of the big name rides. No mountains or Soarin or headliners for us.

    I was VERY concerned about crowd levels (did I say that already? ) I figured today might be our very best chance to have low crowds, since I figured a lot of people would be arriving today. Well, we walked into a cold and very quiet park!! I was thrilled. Before we left, I told DH that I really wanted to take my time and enjoy the parks without rushing from one thing to the next. I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it while worrying about the ginormous crowds making the lines longer and longer, but you’ll see how I did.

    So this is what we saw when we got into MK:
    [​IMG]
    I’m not sure why my head is the only thing in the picture. DH didn’t take another one after this. I think I might have told him we’d get one with all of us from a Photopass Photog later.
    Here you can see the wonderful lack of that rope drop crush:
    [​IMG]

    ETA Photopass:
    [​IMG]
    (She is clearly thinking, "My castle is right there, why are we stopping?!")

    [​IMG]

    Lily was super happy to see her castle. Before we left I kept telling her we were going to see her castle and she would totally light up. A couple days before we left we were watching one of the HGTV specials and it had the castle and she gasped and put her little hands up to her mouth and said, “See! See!” She may not remember the August trip 10 years from now, but she definitely remembers it now.

    We stopped and got some photopass pictures in front of the tree and castle. Sooo glad we did that.
    DH and I like to skip breakfast in WDW, especially when on the DP, because you are usually so full in the morning, but I always worry about a meltdown from DD if she doesn’t get some food. So in the spirit of taking it easy, we stopped and got a cinnamon roll from the bakery on Main Street. Yummo. Lily ate a lot more of it this time than she did in August. We should have gotten 2. Best snack credit for breakfast. (and yes, I was officially off of my Weight Watchers life style from this point forward! ;))

    DH took some terrible pics of us in front of the castle that I won’t share and we were through to fantasyland. I sent DH to FP Peter, but the whole area was very quiet. Lily and I headed over to Pooh to wait for him and then we headed to the queue. The new queue is awesome! I would have taken pictures, but there was no line. I think it’s great that they added some features that are perfect for entertaining a preschooler. Lily kept saying, “no, no, no” as we were loading. She did fine, but didn’t enjoy it as much as last time. I was a bit bummed and worried about what that meant for the rest of the trip.

    Before we went on Pooh, I asked the very nice CM handling the strollers if Toontown would be opening early today as the park opened early. He said, “yes, very good job. It opens 45 minutes after the park opens, but no one knows that and it’s very quiet on mornings like today!” Yippee! I said something about maybe actually catching the fairies and he told me that he still needed to catch Rosetta and Terence, but he had met the rest. So it’s not just a mystery to the guests who will be back there. Once we got off of Pooh, it was 8:47ish, so we headed over. There was one lone CM at the pin kiosk waving her Mickey hands at us. I realized that we may actually get to see the fairies. We didn’t make it to TT early enough in August (usually about 5 minutes after TT had opened) and the wait was 50 minutes by the time we got there. So DH parked the stroller, while I took DD in to see that they had a 15 minute wait! Woo-hoo! This is the best indication of just how low the crowds were this morning.

    So we walked in and I was telling the mom behind us (they were going to see the Princesses) that they should totally go see the fairies next, because they were so hard to catch without a huge wait. We walked up and the princesses had a bit of a line, but no one was there for the fairies!!! SQUEAL! Lol 2 minutes later a CM comes out and takes us down the hallway explaining that we are shrinking to fairy size. At this point I realize this is Lily’s first greet of the trip and I worry a little about her reaction, but we kept moving. And this is what we discovered:
    [​IMG]

    Tink coming to Rosetta's rescue
    [​IMG]

    Not interested in Tink either?!
    [​IMG]
    Pefect Tink pose
    [​IMG]
    Note to self (and all of you). When taking pictures near the groud with a little one, get on your knees like the characters and you will look a lot more comfortable.
    This one is cute, too bad I'm looking at the Photopass person again. It's a trend.
    [​IMG]

    PP:
    [​IMG]

    Love this with the background stuff:
    [​IMG]

    And the final fairy?
    Vidia! My purple pair! (BTW how annoying is it that Vidia isn’t pictured in any of the borders you can use on the PP website?)
    [​IMG]

    Lily was pretty much done by now
    [​IMG]
    This one is cute, but where am I looking?! You guessed it!
    [​IMG]

    The fairies all gushed about the “beautiful rainbow striped caterpillar, and what a unique butterfly she would be. Lol It was very cute, but sooo much faster than I thought it would be. I didn’t have time to enjoy the theming or get a lot of interaction, but I can see how this will be awesome when she’s older. They definitely get into character. Vidia sounded just like Vidia. I doubt Rosetta sounded like Kristen Chenoweth, but I can’t remember.
    More to come...
     
  18. december

    december DIS Veteran

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    Katie loved Pooh in June, but was scared of it in Oct???? She didn't have any problems on Snow White, or Haunted Mansion, but cried on Pooh. Also, she had a meltdown whenever we saw a character. I hope by next summer she is over that! I have some sing along videos with the full size characters that she loves, and I'm hoping that gets her over her fear.

    Your description of the DVC resort has me very happy that I found a good deal at Windsor Hills!
     
  19. harleyquinn

    harleyquinn <font color=red>Wishes she could take photos of th

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    I have those DVDs too! Lily loves the Disneyland one. We actually caught the CMs singing the "Mainstreet USA" song last time. It was too cool.

    I've heard nothing but good things about Windsor Hills!
     
  20. december

    december DIS Veteran

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    We have a DL and WDW version-watching the WDW one now. She got a flu shot this morning, and is really clingy, so I just crawled into my bed and put it in. I got them with rewards pts through disney movie rewards.
     
  21. Maria Rose

    Maria Rose Earning My Ears

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    I'm loving your trip report! We're planning on taking our DS for his first trip to the world when he is around 15 months old, so I'm getting a lot of valuable tips through reading your report!!! Can't wait for more.
    _________
    Maria Rose
     

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