First trip, trying to do all the things

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by Andrea Hoover, Mar 14, 2019 at 1:21 PM.

  1. Andrea Hoover

    Andrea Hoover Earning My Ears

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    Hi! This is my first post.. I listen to the podcasts and read the boards but I'm very new to this world. I'm taking my 2 kids with a large age gap next week for our first (only?) trip. I never thought we'd be able to go (single mom) & I'm not sure the stars will align just right for another trip and my oldest is already 9. I want to make sure we don't miss anything we'll regret. My 2 yr old is getting her first haircut at Harmony Barbershop. We're doing the Frozen Ever After dessert party, EMM at MK, Tusker House - ROL package, Hollywood and Vine for breakfast - Fantasmic package, and I have a fastpass for the safari & Na'Vi river journey at AK. Unfortunately my son won't be able to go on a lot of the rides since his sister is too short for most and I can't let him go alone of course. The rides won't be a big priority but experiences are. I've got reminders for the shows and parades at the different parks besides the ones we have dining packages for.

    Are there any other experiences I should make a point to get to? We're staying off property (except for our first night) and I'm driving from WI. Tansportation isn't much of an issue but we don't have a ton of time. I don't know how much time we'll get at Disney Springs. The 5 park days are Mon - Fri and we have to fit in resort things/Disney Springs during that. We can't do anything Sat. I kind of wanted to do After Hours at MK but I'm not sure if that's too much because we'll be going all day at AK that day. Any tips for things to fit in to make this a trip to remember? Super nervous about posting but anxious for tips or helpful advice on anything I might be missing. Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Shellyred8

    Shellyred8 I'd rather be at Disney

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    I would put Disney Springs at the bottom of your list and if you don't get to it, no big deal. There really isn't that much to do there for the kiddos, so they will most likely end up getting bored after a short time. I would put more focus on the parks, as those will be more enjoyable for the kiddos.

    You seem to have a lot of stuff "planned", which I understand is needed for those particular things. But mentally prepare yourself to let those plans fly out the window. Be flexible and go with what the kiddos are feeling like. For example, you might stumble upon the Country Bears outside goofing off. If your kiddos are having fun interacting with them, don't pull them away (probably kicking and screaming) just to rush off to something you have "planned". These are the types of experiences that will stick with them. :)

    I'm planning my first trip with a friend and her 2yo twins (girls trip!). I'm excited, but it's going to be a huge change for me, as it's usually just me and DH. My friend and I are taking this approach: we will plan things, but we are prepared to change those plans based on how the twins are doing. So, we will plan fast passes, but most likely not anything that has a fee associated with it.

    We are going to make sure to go to the following rides at MK: Carousel, Small World, Peter Pan (FP!), Little Mermaid. We are not sure how they will do on dark rides, so we are going to try one and see how they do and then play it by ear from there.

    Also, hats off to you for doing that drive from WI!! That's a long haul! :car:

    I hope you have a great trip!!!
     
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  4. stephk1981

    stephk1981 Mouseketeer

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    Please think about hiring a sitter for your DD 2. You can use kids nite out, in room, or to accompany you to the park. This will allow your 9 year old to go on larger rides with you. My DH has only accompanied us on two of the past 5 trips. I have used KNO the other 3 times for DD1, they have been amazing. It allows me to take DS10 on rides he would otherwise miss. Even if you only use them for part of a day, it will be nice for your 9 year old. Otherwise, pack lots of snacks to save $ in parks! I really hope the three of you have a magical amazing trip ❤️
     
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  5. unrequited23

    unrequited23 DIS Veteran

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    Just throwing this out there...A child needs to be 7 yrs old to ride alone on rides for which they meet the height requirements, you might be able to have the whole family wait in line with your oldest and just let him ride by himself while you and his little sister walk thru the ride vehicle to the exit (I'm picturing this working for a roller coaster like SDD or SDMT.) I have no experience with this, but it seems like it might be possible though probably up to the discretion of the CMs working at the time.

    Also, if your son is into Star Wars, the Jedi Training Academy was a huge hit with my boys. And plan some pool time.
     
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  6. MousetersInc

    MousetersInc Mouseketeer

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    I'm planning our first trip too, so my advice is untried. But I'd say there's danger in the title of this thread: of course we know we can't do all the things in 5 days. I'd encourage you to actively plan for rest. I've got a 9-yr old and a 7-yr old and am already planning midday returns to the hotel; I'd do so a lot harder when they were 2. (Of course, they could sleep in a stroller in a shady corner of the park back then...)

    Anyway, I've left intentional "forks" in our plans where, if we're full of energy we can just keep going until park close and if we're pooped we can just hang by the pool.
    I'd also encourage a balance between getting once-in-a-lifetime ride experiences and scheduling more restful things like playing in the Boneyard at AK or exploring Tom Sawyer Island in MK.
     
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  7. Andrea Hoover

    Andrea Hoover Earning My Ears

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    Great tips, thanks! I know I want DS for the food (the Ganachery!) but it won't mean much to my kids lol so I won't be upset if we miss it. The only plans I'm going to make sure we don't miss are the ones I already paid for, EMM and the dessert party. The meals won't be a problem to get the kids to my daughter loves food and we've got a lot of movies in so shell recognize the characters. Plus if I tell her there's Mickey waffles, she'll go no problem haha. I'll do my best to remember to enjoy the moments instead of rushing to the next "thing."

    Good luck on your trip too and have fun!
    It's going to be a completely different experience with kids! I keep that in mind when I scroll my IG feed as that's where I get most of my WDW info from.
     
  8. Andrea Hoover

    Andrea Hoover Earning My Ears

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    I saw a Disney kids event at a resort but it had a 3 yo age requirement. I didn't know about KNO. It would mean the world to my 9 yo to have some time alone with me in the parks. Thanks! I'm going to look into that.
     
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  9. Magical2017

    Magical2017 Mouseketeer

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    I have found going with the "I won't see it all on this trip" attitude relives stress. If you don't make one ride/attraction, there is something else to replace that you might love just as much. One of our boys' earliest memories was Tom Sawyer Island and playing in the forts and caves. We skipped a headliner FP because there was just pure joy there. Even for a one and done trip, everything will still be magical even if you miss something. Try to do big 3 big attractions/meals/things each person wants to do and try to make that happen during your stay and enjoy your vacation.
     
  10. Andrea Hoover

    Andrea Hoover Earning My Ears

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    Very true.. I agree. I want to do "all the things" but it's definitely not possible.. I'm looking forward to the play area at Epcot, the Boneyard, etc and enjoying the magic of just having some time with my kids in a magical place. I'm nervous about driving back to the hotel for a break and getting back to the parks since we aren't on property for our park days but rest is def important too.. I'll have the stroller and hoping my DD will nap in there. An afternoon at the pool sounds amazing. I don't want to miss the vacation aspect by cramming every second with activity at the parks. I more so just want to make sure we don't get back and I realize I missed something because I didn't know about it. Like I had no idea I could hire in room sitters! I'm loving all the helpful info :)
     
  11. stephk1981

    stephk1981 Mouseketeer

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    They can be pricey, but if you are able to swing it.....do the 4 hour minimum and try to just do rope drop in the morning at one park with DS9.... You will be able to do quite a few things, then head back to your hotel get DD2 take a break and go back to the park as a family. DD1 was a surprise, and DS10 was used to doing Disney with just me or me and DH when DH goes.....so using KNO has been a lifesaver. The 9 year old is old enough to really have great memories. The 2 year old won't remember that you left her with a sitter for 4 hours. I'm so excited you are doing this for your babies. Good luck and have a great time
     
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  12. Magical2017

    Magical2017 Mouseketeer

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    You can plan for it all and then alter plans based on how you feel. I love "The Unofficial Guide to WDW." There is great advice--you can get a copy from most local libraries. Just get the current year's version. There is a discussion about how you are only as strong as the most tired or grumpy person in the group. Sometimes going back to the hotel for a nap and escaping the parks can be a gift. Other times, stopping for a snack or skipping rope drop and sleeping in are what everyone needs. The book is full of information like sitters, etc. so that you can plan accordingly.
     
  13. sponica

    sponica DIS Veteran

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    Don't try to see/do it all. Pick like 3 things a day that are must dos for you, anything beyond that is icing on the cake. My 20 month old liked climbing on the park benches.

    The upside to this being a first(?) trip for you is that you can't regret missing what you don't know is there....if that makes sense.
     
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  14. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    My biggest tips: don't plan an early morning following a late night. You know your kids, but WDW is exhausting, and minimal sleep for multiple days makes everyone grumpy. Plan some downtime.

    The majority of attractions do not have height requirements. Your little one can do several rides along with big brother and mom! Also, if your son really wants to do a ride, children can ride alone at age 7 (assuming you are comfortable with that) -- or hang near the queue and find a family with an odd number of children near your son's age. Most would be more than happy to make a new friend for a ride.

    So important! I fear you all will be so exhausted by the end of the week that you can't enjoy the last couple of days. Plan one day mid-week to hang at the resort. Or maybe just a morning at the park then back to the resort. The kids will enjoy and remember that afternoon at the pool as much -- if not more -- than the planned activities.

    Don't underestimate the time involved to go somewhere else for a meal. Getting to the front of the park and out to your car, driving in traffic, finding a new parking space, walking to the restaurant. It's recommended to arrive 20 minutes early for ADRs, and you may not be seated on time. Plan at least an hour for the meal, probably 90 minutes based on the ADR time to allow leeway. Then back to the park. That's an easy way to completely kill an afternoon or evening. Eat your meals in the park where you are, or at a resort on your way out for the day.

    There will always be something else you didn't get to do. Whether it's a ride closed for maintenance, or a ride that went down and you didn't make it back later in the day. The sooner you can come to terms with not doing everything, the less stressful it all seems.

    Enjoy your vacation!
     
  15. bigbabyblues

    bigbabyblues DIS Veteran

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    The bolded doesn't work unless the younger child is tall enough to ride the attraction and just doesn't want to. She cannot enter the line unless she meets the height requirement.
     
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  16. Andrea Hoover

    Andrea Hoover Earning My Ears

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    Good to know! Thanks!
     
  17. Andrea Hoover

    Andrea Hoover Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for the tips!
     
  18. tinkerjo

    tinkerjo Crazy Disney nut

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    I also have a huge age range in kids so we would take a friend for the older kid so they would have a ride buddy but 9 is a little young unless maybe there is an older cousin or something that would be willing to go. Honestly though since this is your first time, there is so much you can all do as a family that I do think missing out on the “big rides” will be that big of a deal.
     
  19. sponica

    sponica DIS Veteran

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    @Andrea Hoover I've been 8 times, I've still yet to see or do everything. It's too big.

    But no trip for me is complete unless i do the following things: ride dumbo (yes even as a mid 30 something), its a small world, pirates of the caribbean (my may trip I didn't go on it, and I'm still kicking myself). ride the safari in AK, expedition everest, now FOP is on that list. Epcot eat/drink my way around the world. Hollywood studios: Muppets 3d, star tours.

    My husband has a different list.

    I would focus on the experiences that embody Disney to you in your head, especially with your kids going for the first time. Will not getting a picture in front of the castle haunt you forever? DO IT!
     
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  20. bit413

    bit413 Earning My Ears

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    I have let my daughter ride when she wants to ride something I won't. I wait at the exit and it has been fine. I recommend letting him ride!
     
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  21. bit413

    bit413 Earning My Ears

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    I have been in your position. I overplanned. Don't do it. Every truly great memory I have at Disney happened spontaneously. I have learned to live by this rule: have everyone pick one thing they have to do in a day, the rest will seem as extra magic.
     
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