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Old 06-09-2014, 02:07 PM   #1
NicholeB630
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A little advice from other parents with young kids? Please

We have a trip booked for Dec 7th - 14th. My kids will be daughter turning 6 Jan 7th and son 2 and 7 months. We do a lot. We go places a lot, dinner, shopping, we just got back from the FL Keys and spent a week in San Diego this past December when son was 1 and 7 months. Right now he is at an age where of course he doesn't really listen, he goes opposite directions you want him to, he gets cranky (as does the 5 year old) throws fits (but not horrible) Anyways I am starting to second guess our trip. I really want to go. I love Disney we went back when son was 9 months and daughter 4. We only had 4 days so it was rushed we didn't do a lot and it was more crowded than we expected. We had a good time but not a great time. This time were going a whole week, I will have it really planned, I know do book dinning way in advance which is actually tomorrow and we just will have better all around knowledge of the parks. I am second guessing it because I am afraid that it just wont be as enjoyable as I think it will be. I am afraid my son will just be totally exhausting all day and everyone will be getting grumpy. I know he wont remember it and that he wont really even understand what Disney is and where we are. I think he'll def know some characters and he loves the rides we've ridden before ect. This wont be the only time we can go. I planned on this trip and then not going again until son is around 5/6 and daughter around 8/9 so we can afford to take more Disney trips. I am wondering if I should just wait another year when son will be 3 and hopefully a bit more understanding and more verbal and listening a little more (hopefully). I have planned this so much and have done so much research I just dont know. Other parents with kids of small ages what would you do? Would you still go knowing you can go again when both kids are older or wait another year and just suck up the sadness of canceling this trip? My little guy is pretty easy going and easily entertained by things but he is still a typical 2 year old and I am not sure how much he will change in the next 7 months.
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:26 PM   #2
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I think you need to go into this trip knowing what your kids will tolerate. I think planning character meals is still fine, just know that like in any other restaurant it may be necessary to take baby out if it is overwhelming him. I probably wouldn't plan on any 'boring' sit down meals but I certainly would give your older daughter the character meal experience (that is right in the short period of time that they understand the movies and truly believe in the magic). Just plan for a mid-day break. If the time comes closer and you think he could nap in the stroller, great! But I wouldn't plan anything you have to reserve this far in advance for the middle of the day. I think it is also wise to not have your hopes too high for fireworks. They might or might not be feasable. I don't think it's reason to cancel the trip altogether but I wouldn't plan on going full speed ahead, just think of it as a more relaxed trip. The thing about toddlers is they are unpredictable and can be testy (as I am sure you know ) don't set yourself up for disappointment by expecting to do too much but it could be a very fun trip!

Oops, forgot to answer the wwyd. Personally, we would wait a year. Actually, we specifically planned our next trip for next fall because we don't wish to go with a child under the age of 4. I think a trip with a child under that could be very fun, but we will probably only go to Disney one or two more times with all the kids so timing is important. I want our youngest to be at least 40" (he should be by then, he only has 2" to go in the next year and a half) and I'd really like if we are done with naps by then. In your situation, I think either could be great since you plan on going again in a few years but if you already have it planned I'd go with it and try not to worry too much.
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:30 PM   #3
Maggie at the Fort
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I would go and know that there are going to be limitations on what you can do. We went with my daughter at 1.5 years and again at 3.5 years and on that trip my son was almost 1. They do get tired. They can't do everything. We did have to split up a few times to deal with some grumpiness.
One evening after a long rest at our camper,we went back to the magic kingdom, met Mickey, came out and saw the Main St. Electrical Parade and my daughter sweetly said, "I'm tired. Can we go back?" We never made it 100 feet from the tunnels under the train station. Sometimes you just have to shrug and realize you can't do it all.
One thing to remember, is that this vacation he is free. If you wait until he is 3, then you have to buy tickets and pay for him for Character meals etc.
We actually found 3 to be much more challenging behaviorally than 2.
We are planning on going back in Jan with a 4 almost 5 year old and 2 year old. We will see how it goes!

Good luck!
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:37 PM   #4
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We went when my son was 2 and 4 months, my daughter was 5 and a few months, and my son was just short of 9. It was a blast. We knew going in that something would have to give, and for us it was late nights - we were at the parks close to open every day but rarely out past 7-8. My 2-year-old crashed in the stroller every day after lunch so that helped a lot. He loved the rides in MK and for the other parks where there wasn't as many rides for him, he surprisingly enjoyed hanging out in the stroller and taking it all in. He loved meeting characters. Rider swap helped a lot. I did avoid midday reservations because I wasn't sure what to expect, though there were a couple days where we did a later lunch and those were fine - for example we had a later reservation at Biergarten one day, and once we got back outside in the stroller he conked out, which made for a nice stroll around World Showcase. I really wasn't sure what to expect with him because he's a runner, but he had a great time. Nine months later he's still talking about the "Goofy ride" (Barnstormer). Plus he was free! I'm so glad we didn't wait. I hope to go again when he's about 5 and can ride most of the rides.
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:07 PM   #5
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I'd absolutely go! Our last trip my DD was newly 6 and DS was 2 years 9 months. It was an awesome trip. We kept the pace slow and stopped frequently for snacks and rests and lots of playtime - basically just followed their lead and we all had a great time.
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:13 PM   #6
NicholeB630
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Thank you all so much!! Your input helps for sure! I def plan on morning dinning reservations and dinners not to late and mid day breaks! I just want to be able to do a lot and meet characters daughters favorite thing to do!! But with doing 4 character meals that will help get those done!! My kids are early risers and both MK days I'm shooting for a 8am ADR at crystal palace and 8am BBB then other days were doing parks without early am magic hours so being at parks at 9 is nothing!! My only concern is the MVMCP I really want to do and I want them to see parade but I don't want to wait for hours for the 7:30 parade to start so we get a good spot. But I don't know if they will last till 10 one? That is so late after a day in the park.
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:26 PM   #7
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We have a 2 and 4 year old (just turned) and will be heading back in October. We have done 3 trips now with the oldest (2 with the youngest).

I can not stress enough how important it is to go back to your hotel and rest in the afternoon. Even if your little one won't sleep, the downtime in a quiet, dark room helps settle. Plus, it allows your daughter time to play in the pool and gives you all a much needed break.

We use the play areas a lot. My boys love The Laughing Place and the Dumbo queue. For some reason, this simple play helps reset them. And my DH and I use that time to ride swap on Splash Mountain.

We went to MVMCP last Nov. We did not go to the parks until 4pm and spent the day being lazy and napping. We made it until closing, though the then 3.5 yo turned into a cranky mess at around 11:30.

The parade is awesome. We decided to hang out at the Woody and Jesse dance party in the Diamond Horseshoe about an hour prior to parade start. One adult stood outside with the double stroller and held our spot while the other was inside with the kiddos dancing and having a great time. We ended up with great seats and happy kids.
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:33 PM   #8
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My kids have been better behaved at two than at three. . . . .
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:34 PM   #9
NicholeB630
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whositsandwhatsits View Post
We have a 2 and 4 year old (just turned) and will be heading back in October. We have done 3 trips now with the oldest (2 with the youngest).

I can not stress enough how important it is to go back to your hotel and rest in the afternoon. Even if your little one won't sleep, the downtime in a quiet, dark room helps settle. Plus, it allows your daughter time to play in the pool and gives you all a much needed break.

We use the play areas a lot. My boys love The Laughing Place and the Dumbo queue. For some reason, this simple play helps reset them. And my DH and I use that time to ride swap on Splash Mountain.

We went to MVMCP last Nov. We did not go to the parks until 4pm and spent the day being lazy and napping. We made it until closing, though the then 3.5 yo turned into a cranky mess at around 11:30.

The parade is awesome. We decided to hang out at the Woody and Jesse dance party in the Diamond Horseshoe about an hour prior to parade start. One adult stood outside with the double stroller and held our spot while the other was inside with the kiddos dancing and having a great time. We ended up with great seats and happy kids.

Did you have a decent spot for the parade? And you said only an hour earlier than it started? I think we could handle that and one parent holding the spot with stroller sounds like a good idea. I am sure my DH would be fine sitting for a bit. Are the dance parties super crowded or not to bad? We will def take breaks and the day of the Christmas party we will be at MK earlier in the day but we have to if we want two days at that park and I really want a down day with no parks. But I plan on taking a longer break that day, go back to room after lunch and then not heading back till around dinner or right after if we decide to just eat in room. We will do Crystal palace that morning and try and get Frontierland and Adventure land done. With FP to thunder mountain, haunted mansion and peter pan.
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:41 PM   #10
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I would go, your kids are morning people so you can get to the parks early before it gets crazy then go back to the hotel for a swim break if it's nice out. My son is actually very good at WDW because there is a lot to keep him entertained and he gets worn out. If you go to MVMCP I would just be prepared for the fact that your ds may fall asleep, if that's not okay with you I would skip it. Maybe that could be a special mommy/dd evening and your son could go out for a fun character dinner with daddy and then go to sleep early.
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:55 PM   #11
NicholeB630
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Quote:
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I would go, your kids are morning people so you can get to the parks early before it gets crazy then go back to the hotel for a swim break if it's nice out. My son is actually very good at WDW because there is a lot to keep him entertained and he gets worn out. If you go to MVMCP I would just be prepared for the fact that your ds may fall asleep, if that's not okay with you I would skip it. Maybe that could be a special mommy/dd evening and your son could go out for a fun character dinner with daddy and then go to sleep early.
Were def going to keep the trip! I planned to do the MVMCP on Tuesday night after a long break at room and then Wednesday is a day off at parks so no need to get up to early and rush out. I am going to schedule chef mickeys that morning but not till later like 9. I'll be up at 5:45 tomorrow to book all our ADR
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicholeB630 View Post
Did you have a decent spot for the parade? And you said only an hour earlier than it started? I think we could handle that and one parent holding the spot with stroller sounds like a good idea. I am sure my DH would be fine sitting for a bit. Are the dance parties super crowded or not to bad? We will def take breaks and the day of the Christmas party we will be at MK earlier in the day but we have to if we want two days at that park and I really want a down day with no parks. But I plan on taking a longer break that day, go back to room after lunch and then not heading back till around dinner or right after if we decide to just eat in room. We will do Crystal palace that morning and try and get Frontierland and Adventure land done. With FP to thunder mountain, haunted mansion and peter pan.
The dance party ebbed and flowed, but overall there was plenty of room. We LOVED the dance party (they played a lot of fun songs that moms and dads dig). We would switch by bringing our kids out for a breather and then the other parent would go in.

We did go to the late parade which may have been a factor. But most folks like to watch it on Main Street and by the castle, so it wasn't quite so bad. The crowds were still 4-5 deep though. Having a stroller was key b/c we had folks who kept trying to move closer.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicholeB630 View Post
Did you have a decent spot for the parade? And you said only an hour earlier than it started? I think we could handle that and one parent holding the spot with stroller sounds like a good idea. I am sure my DH would be fine sitting for a bit. Are the dance parties super crowded or not to bad? We will def take breaks and the day of the Christmas party we will be at MK earlier in the day but we have to if we want two days at that park and I really want a down day with no parks. But I plan on taking a longer break that day, go back to room after lunch and then not heading back till around dinner or right after if we decide to just eat in room. We will do Crystal palace that morning and try and get Frontierland and Adventure land done. With FP to thunder mountain, haunted mansion and peter pan.
The dance party ebbed and flowed, but overall there was plenty of room. We LOVED the dance party (they played a lot of fun songs that moms and dads dig). We would switch by bringing our kids out for a breather and then the other parent would go in.

We did go to the late parade which may have been a factor. But most folks like to watch it on Main Street and by the castle, so it wasn't quite so bad. The crowds were still 4-5 deep though. Having a stroller was key b/c we had folks who kept trying to move closer.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:09 PM   #14
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We took our 8 month old and 2.9 year old boys and had the best time. So much so we are going to Disneyland this summer and Disneyworld Halloween party this fall and still teetering on DVC.

My recommendations with little ones:
-Stay onsite. You pay for convenience primarily but with little ones IMO convenience is almost always worth the price
-Research and Plan Ahead. If you know what you want to see, when best time to see it, utilize fast passes accordingly, and most importantly keep your plan fluid, you will have an awesome time.
-Know your child's strengths and limitations when planning.
-Midday breaks are a must. This is where staying onsite is huge! We would ride bus back to resort, eat, cool off at pool, take a nap and be ready to go back around 4 for more. Keeps everyone happy and prevents burnout
-My kids loved Character Meet and Greets but hated the lines. Pick and choose wisely which ones to see as I sensed my 2.9DM wasn't liking meeting the characters enough to wait in some of the lines so we ended up not seeing all the ones we planned. Luckily we did the ones I knew for sure they would want first so it was less disappointing to skip the rest. Character meals (and now fastpass) satisfy a lot of that without the need for patience!

Plan, plan, and plan but don't be a Nazi about your sched, and adjust accordingly and you will have a blast! We prob only saw half the park but my DMs loved it and that gives us new things to do they haven't experienced yet when we go back this year. My 2.9DM (now 3.9) still talks and remembers things from a year ago!
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:10 AM   #15
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I think where you might be setting yourself up to fail is when you say you "want to do a lot." While you may be able to do "a lot" it may not necessarily be what YOU want to (or think you should) be doing.

I'm a firm believer in only going as fast as the slowest member of your party (that said, it's easy for me because there is only 2 of us).

My son was better behaved at 2 than 3 (we skipped 3 because no way was I going anywhere with him at that point).

Maybe prepare yourself for your group to separate so some can ride while others can do whatever (we're big on window shopping at gift shops).

My son is 6 now and we were recently at Disneyland. We rode maybe 10-15 rides (both parks included) over the 5 days were were there, but we were certainly never bored (well, maybe I was, but my son had a great time). I would say if you go in with certain expectations, that's when you'll be disappointed.
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