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Old 04-12-2014, 10:22 AM   #1
delyrium
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"I'm going to see my SISTER!" A first timer's trip report with little kids

Hi all! I wasn't sure whether to do one of these, but I have the sense that no one in my real life really wants to hear the level of detail that I want to go into about our trip.

Here we are. Starting with me. Kind of a cynic about all things Disney, but with very high expectations for our trip. I never went to Disney as a child, and was always envious of everyone who got to go, so this was the culmination of a childhood dream. I planned obsessively to get us there, and drove my family crazy.



Then there's R- He's a tinkerer and a collector. He gets a kick out of mechanical things, and can seem very serious at times, but has the heart of a child. He went to Disney with his family once when he was a teenager, so in the early nineties.



And here are our little ones. Amelia, almost 6 years old, Olaf-lover and ninja wanna-be. She's feisty and goofy and full of love. And Oliver the Octopus Dumptruck, as he calls himself. He is by turns eager to please and very strong-willed. In short, he's almost 3 years old.



So, here’s the plan. We fly in on April 2, and stay seven nights at Port Orleans Riverside. We plan on six days in the parks- two at MK, two at Epcot, and a day each at DHS and AK. I have a pretty precise plan, but I don’t want to be too tied to it. Things can get hairy with the kids, and who knows how they’ll handle everything? I guess we’ll find out.
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Old 04-12-2014, 10:23 AM   #2
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Part 1: “Here we go into outer space!”- A plane ride, arrival, and Epcot.
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Old 04-12-2014, 10:43 AM   #3
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We had told the kids about the trip about a month and a half before hand, giving them ample time to get mentally prepared, while giving R and I ample time to get tired of Amelia telling everyone “WE ARE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD IN 27 DAYS!”



We did most of our packing the day before, and had some real trouble making compromises on what toy friends we could bring. We finally settled on their little lemur toys, who were our close companions for the whole trip. They helped us through the plane ride, along with some lunchables and a viewing of Frozen on the iPad. It went very smoothly, except that my seat mate was a bit of a loon. R was on one side of the aisle with the kids, and I was on the other side with a mother and daughter.


We arrived at MCO, and were very impressed with the airport, as well as the signage and staff in the Disney Magical Express area. I felt that this was a good sign of things to come.



It took longer than we’d hoped to get to POR from the airport- really I had no idea what to expect. I did not expect to get teary eyed when seeing the the Disney World sign for the first time, but I totally did.

I’d hoped to get to Epcot by noon, with a 10:25 arrival time at the airport. I had a FP for Soarin’ that expired at 1:40, so I was a little anxious. When we finally arrived at the resort, the line for online checkin was pretty long. I had faxed a request for a certain section of the resort, and a ground floor room, but there was no indication the fax was received. I was starting to get a little irritated. But the kids were happy, watching Mickey cartoons on the TV in front of the checkin desk. We got our first visit pins, and I got my birthday pin, and we were off to our room.




We snacked on the rest of the lunchables, got the kids out of their winter clothes, and prepared to get the bus to Epcot.

When we got there, we had about twenty minutes to find our way to Soarin and claim our FP, so we really had to hustle. We got there with just a few minutes to spare. R agreed to take Oliver, and A and I went in the FP line. This is where things really went south. For our first ride, that we’d rushed to get to, and ignored all the sights on the way, the line was 40 minutes. That’s a conservative estimate. We kept going through what R later started calling “decoy lines” without knowing how much farther there would be to go. I texted R at one point, and he said he was doing okay, and that he and Oliver were having fun going up and down the escalators. I texted back “Disney-riffic!!” Eventually he figured out that they could go on The Land while they waited. Oliver loved it. Amelia though, was started to get more and more nervous about the ride, and started to consider that she might be afraid of heights, and I wished we could just get on already and be done.

Finally, we got to the front of the line, and rode Soarin. It was lovely. Amelia said, “I didn’t LIKE it… I LOVED it!!!” The cast members in the ride were awesome and funny, too.

After we reconnected with R and O, we decided that we were all starving and could do with some food, so we stopped at Sunshine Seasons. I had the rotisserie chicken, and R had the steak and blue sandwich. Both were good, and our first foray into Disney dining was less expensive than we’d feared. We did not purchase the dining plan. A random cast member stopped by the table and gave the kids stickers, which was one more small event where we started to realize that Disney is a different sort of place.

R thought Amelia and I should go on The Land, too, so we did. I enjoyed it, but Amelia was spooked by the parts with lightning.

Next was Nemo. The ride was enchanting, though Amelia was not a fan of the big scary fish. The aquariums were great, and when one of the scuba divers waved to Amelia from inside the tank, she was thrilled.



We headed toward the World Showcase, and on the way we found the Monsters U playscape, which the kids loved, and we found it a relatively shady spot for the grownups to take a rest.





I rested for a couple minutes, but by now it was around five o’clock, and I’d read this was a good time to find a short wait for Anna and Elsa. I got to Norway, and asked a CM about wait times. “An hour to an hour and a half- it’s not that bad right now!” “… it’s really not,” said I. But I just could not bring myself to do it right then. it was hot, and we’d been up since five, and I was exhausted. Oh, well.

By then, the kids (okay, Amelia) had been bugging us for souvenirs for long enough that we had to crack. So, we went into Mouse Gear and got some mouse ears.

Not these ones (though Maleficent is my favorite)



These ones.



After that, we were ready to meet some friends. I wasn’t sure how Oliver would react to the characters, but he seemed to like them okay.





We had a FP for illuminations, and there was some mega confusion about how to find the viewing area, but eventually we did find it. I got the kids a snack, and grown-up drinks for the grown-ups, and we settled into our spot, along with some other families and a number of very friendly ducks. Illuminations was incredible- some of the best fireworks I’ve seen.

Back to the resort, on a very crowded bus. We had some bit of difficulty getting the kids to sleep in an unfamiliar place, and we all had to be up bright and early the next morning for Animal Kingdom!
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