A Disney-addicted mom braves the August (2010) heat! *11/28 Update!*

DrMomof3

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
So here we are! Finally enjoying our trip to Disney!!!

Introductions are in order:
I'm Amanda. A 38 year old doctor with 3 children. And mostly importantly, I'm a Disney Addict (with a capital A).
DH is Tom. A 41 year old doctor who enjoys Disney but doesn't get involved with much of the pre-trip planning.
We have 3 children:
Nathaniel, age 6. Nathaniel is a classic 1st born male. Slow to warm-up to new people and things, rigid, stubborn, and smart as a whip. He's an amazing artist and plays violin. He's small for his age but makes up for it with his talent and personality.
Jessica, age 4. Jessica is 4 going on 16. And I don't necessarily mean that in a good way! :rolleyes: She loves Princesses but is slowly transitioning to Hannah Montana and High School Musical. She's extremely verbal (which also means she talks a lot). She's super tall for her age so she and Nathaniel almost look like twins.
Zachary, age 2. Zachary is as much the 3rd child as the other 2 fit their birth-orders. He's hilariously funny and pretty easy-going. He's charming and sweet. He loves to sing and dance. Zachary also has some significant motor delays (we're still working on a diagnosis - either Cerebral Palsy or Benign Congenital Hypotonia) which make it hard for him to walk for long periods of time.

This is our 5th trip to Disney as a family. We went in January, 2008 when I was pregnant with Zachary. We had 2 trips in 2009 - May and December. Tom and I came down here for a weekend in April, 2010 (without kids). And finally our BIG August, 2010 trip.

Here's a link to my PTR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2397375

Amanda
 

DrMomof3

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
I started planning this trip in January. I decided that we should stay in BCV because SAB would be awesome in the August heat. I knew from experience that we're half day at parks/half day at pool type of people (I know, the shame! ;) ) so I wanted a great pool. Since we were planning a week-long trip, I wanted the convenience of a kitchen and washer/dryer. Luckily I got a 40% off PIN and booked the trip. The original plan was Sunday - Saturday however this changed.
Airfare was outrageously expensive. So we ended up booking Southwest out of Islip airport (at least 90 minutes from our house) on Saturday afternoon. We added a night to our stay (which went from a split stay to just an extra night at BCV) and we were set. DH and I have APs and we bought APs for the kids. No dining plan for us. I find the dining plan frustrating and limiting.
A few weeks prior to our trip, my DH drops a bomb on me. He needs to go to Dallas on 8/20 until the afternoon of 8/21. He'll fly from Dallas to Orlando. "You'll be ok flying alone with 3 little kids, right dear????" :eek: And so the plan was hatched.

Amanda
 

DrMomof3

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
My DH is Jewish (and so are my kids) and I'm not. Jewish holidays start at sundown the night before the actual holiday. The evening of the holiday (think Christmas Eve but it isn't until sundown) is called Erev Whatever Holiday (Example: Erev Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year that starts at sundown the night before the New Year). With that background, I'm calling Friday Erev Disney. :thumbsup2
Tom left for Dallas on a 1:30pm. I worked in the morning (a few small OR cases and then a quick visit to the Children's Hospital to visit a post-op patient) and was home by early afternoon. I finished some laundry, finished the packing, straightened up, and braced myself. My nanny picked up the older 2 children from their last day of summer camp and dropped them off before getting Zachary from daycare. We had our typical Friday night Shabbat dinner (which is pizza in my house!) and the children insisted on performing all the blessings. We also added Disney to our blessings!
All seemed to be going well until Jessica had the mother of all meltdowns. Screaming, crying hysterics. NOT an auspicious beginning to solo travel. Yikes!
I finally had all 3 kids asleep and sent my nanny home. I finished up my last minute stuff and finally got to bed. Tom and I sent text messages until about 10:30pm and then off to sleep.
I was pretty stressed about the trip and really didn't sleep well at all.

Amanda
 
  • DrMomof3

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 9, 2010
    Zachary made sure to limit my sleep even further by waking up at 5:15am. He's never been a good sleeper (I'm still waiting for my 1st week where he sleeps through the night all 7 nights!) so this isn't surprising at all! I turned on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (of course!) and hopped in the shower. My other 2 were up by 6:30am. I had made matching shirts with Perry (need to upload pics!). The kids had never seen their new shirts and they were thrilled. Zachary, of course, managed 2 poopy diapers before we even left the house. :rolleyes: Which made me a little nervous since we've had issue with bodily fluids on previous trips.
    In the past we have always taken early morning flights to Disney. My DH always complains that we're exhausted from waking up early. I have to say I prefer the early morning flight to the "sitting around all day waiting for our trip to start" that we experienced this time! :happytv: The natives were getting restless!!!
    My nanny uses our car during the week and wants to have the car while we're on vacation. The price she paid was coming with us to Islip Airport. She arrived just after 9:30am and we starting loading the car. We were ready to go by 10:15am. We then went to pick up her sister (so she would have company on the way back). Next stop: Doggie Hotel. Yes, we have a 65 lb Black Lab named Buffy. We have a fabulous person who takes Buffy when we're away. Getting to her house is tricky and my DH usually does it. He left us a fabulous map with directions. My nanny messed it up and I drove right past the house (which is on a one-way street). We drove around in circles a few times but finally dropped Buffy off.
    On the road by 11am!!!!
    I had never been to Islip Airport before nor had I ever flown Southwest. Google Maps said 90 minutes but Long Island traffic can be tricky, especially in the summer. I'm also chronically early for things so we got an early start. There was NO traffic at all!!! I was shocked! Jessica had to use the potty about 2/3 of the way to Islip and we got a little lost getting back on the highway. Even with that we were at the airport by 1pm. Zachary managed another poopy diaper which we changed in the car at the curbside check-in.

    Amanda
     

    BabyEeyore

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 3, 2009
    Wow, am I first? :eek: Cool! :lmao: I'm so excited for you and can't wait to hear more! I do hope that there were no hysterics during the flight or major poopy diapers. No fun at all!
     
  • DrMomof3

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 9, 2010
    I had paid the extra $10 per ticket for priority seating and printed my boarding passes at home. I did curbside check-in (while my nanny changed Zachary's diaper!). Amazingly, the curbside check-in was free. We said goodbye to the nanny and entered the airport. I was now alone with 3 kids.
    1st stop: Bathrooms! I made the kids go pee again. Nathaniel will NOT use a woman's bathroom so we've devised a code-word in case a stranger tries to take him (I'm not that worried but it makes me feel a little better). Additionally, each child has a shoe ID with Tom and my phone numbers. The kids have been grilled (ad nauseum) in showing their shoe IDs.
    Next up: Security. I was pretty worried about security. We had 5 carry-on bags plus the stroller. My Kindle and the portable DVD player would need to be taken out of their cases. Shoes needed to be removed (yes, we did Keens with socks!). And Zachary sometimes runs off (I considered and rejected the backpack leash idea). Despite my stress everything went ok. The woman in front of me helped a lot. She made sure my bins of stuff went through the machine. The TSA people were AWESOME. The stroller was too big for the xray machine but they just checked it out and scanned it. They had me go through 1st while carrying Zachary (thank goodness! I was worried he'd have to walk through). The kids came nice. The angels at security then carried ALL of my stuff to the benches so I could take my time getting things together. They even told me to leave the empty bins right at the benches and they'd take care of them. The TSA guy took a few extra minutes to make sure I knew where the elevator was and how to get to my gate. I cannot emphasize enough how wonderful the TSA folks at Islip were. :worship:
    We arrived at the gate 90 minutes prior to our flight. I like being there early! I let the kids open a few of their carry-on presents (I had bought many surprises for the kids and wrapped them). Nathaniel immediately found Lego Batman. He plugged the DS into an outlet and played until I forced him to turn it off and board the plane. :lmao:
    Zachary and Jessica ran around a bit but were fine. Finally it was time to board!

    Amanda
     
  • DrMomof3

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 9, 2010
    I see the value in paying extra for priority boarding. We had spots A17-A20. Which was great! My plan was to head toward the back of the plane. Jessica by the window. Zachary in the middle. Me on the aisle. Nathaniel across the aisle. Well the best laid plans..... :rolleyes: Nathaniel insisted on a window seat. So Jessica insisted on a window seat. Hilarity insued..... Ok, no. I got creative. Jessica, Zachary, and I sat in the last row of the plane. Nathaniel sat in the window seat in front of Jessica. Luckily he sat next to a really nice girl (maybe age 10?) and her mother.
    The flight was relatively uneventful. There was one super nice Flight Attendant and one not-so-nice one. Nathaniel played his DS for every moment he was allowed. He listened well to the announcements about electronic devices and was awesome. The mom sitting near him couldn't believe that a 6 year old could be so wonderful. :thumbsup2
    Jessica and Zachary were fine. I worked my butt off the entire flight to keep them entertained but we managed. Between snacks and toys we survived the flight. It was exhausting for me but not terrible.
    Tom's flight was slightly delayed so he was able to text me right as I landed. He had gotten a message from garden grocer that our stuff was at BC and ready for us.
    We arrive on time and, after a quick bathroom trip, headed toward the B side to Magical Express. We never got our luggage tags so we had to stop at the desk. The man working there was lovely and relatively quick. Soon we were ready to go. Unfortunately it wasn't so quick from there. We waited (mostly impatiently) for a bus. The driver wasn't particularly helpful or nice (I was hoping to put our carry-on bags below in the cargo area but he made the kids carry all of their stuff on the bus. The kids were hungry, thirsty, tired, and restless. It wasn't an easy ride but we were luckily the 1st stop!
    I had done online check-in so we went to the desk. The guy working there was nice but obviously new. I wanted to know about a "real" crib for Zachary and our groceries. A lovely woman came to help him/us and called Mousekeeping. We were in luck! They had a crib and would bring it shortly. We headed to Bell Services to inquire about our groceries and they promised to send them along.
    At this point we were ready to find out room....

    Amanda
     

    seamama71

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 14, 2010
    yay! I'm so excited that you're finding some time to give us a real-time play-by-play :thumbsup2
    Glad you got there ok - at least to the lobby! Look forward to reading more, whenever you have some time. I imagine you're going to get real busy with FUN :wizard: soon!!
     

    TinkerbellLuvr7

    Tinkerbellluvr7
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2007
    sounds great so far!! Is your airport that you flew out of a small one? I tend to find that smaller airports seem to be more laid back and willing to help those in need! If not, that's still great as well!!!

    Can't wait to hear about the room!!
     

    klacey1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 19, 2008
    Hi, Amanda!! So excited that you started-- and most of all, I'm SO glad that the airport was easy for you! Thank goodness for understanding TSA workers and that random woman!
    Can't wait to hear more! Hope you and your family are having a great time!
     

    starann

    In having children, I have lost my mind, but found
    Joined
    Jun 4, 2008
    Joining the party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:cool1::cool1:

    I jsut sat down to my computer and thought "Amanda and family are actually there, right now. I'm so envious!"
     

    -Hope-

    Always dreaming of adventure...
    Joined
    Dec 5, 2009
    I'm here! I'm so glad that you got the travel day so smoothly! :goodvibes I'm sure it was stressful at times but it seems like it went really well. :thumbsup2 I hope your enjoying yourself and able to relax a little now.
     



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