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Disney World Planning Thread 2018

  1. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @erinbaderin: that’s the same time the flight we took this year departed. We always fly home on the spring ahead time change day so 6:30am feels like 5:30am 😴. Security at MCO can be a bit of a nightmare so leave yourself lots of time, ubering will be quicker for sure! I think actually the Minnie Vans are now taking people to the airport. Not sure of the cost though. They were great when we used them around WDW because they have 2 car seats ready to go.

  2. skinnycow

    pear / 1538 posts

    We just got back from our trip yesterday and had such a great time! I'll come back tomorrow with details

    I have a question in the meantime... anyone take an infant? Would you recommend it? I'm trying to talk DH into going back next year (Dec 2019) and we're TTC starting next month. He's hesitant to commit without knowing how old/if we'll have another kid by then. Also - what the heck do they do to get everyone addicted?! We just got home yesterday and I'm already planning again.

  3. bloved

    persimmon / 1102 posts

    @skinnycow: I took a 4 month old. He was super easy; the only problem is that WE were neurotic first time parents who over stressed about everything. With a second child I think it would be very easy to do just knowing that babies are much more flexible than you think!

  4. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @skinnycow: so glad you had a great trip!! Can’t wait to hear all about it I’ve never taken a baby before (we left Dd2 at home with grandparents when she was baby 🙈) but my sister brought her 8 month old this year and he was totally fine. It was much easier than I thought it would be.

  5. Ajsmommy

    nectarine / 2757 posts

    @skinnycow: we went when DS was 10 mos and it was fine. It went way smoother than I had anticipated however we made the decision to adhere to bedtime through out the week so although there were a few nights where dinner reservations were right at or around bedtime we pretty much had the kiddo's in bed within an hour or so of their regular bedtime and then we let them sleep in until they woke naturally. I think this helped them not to get too overtired/cranky

  6. skinnycow

    pear / 1538 posts

    We stayed at Art of Animation in one of the Little Mermaid standard rooms. It was fine but I think we’ll stay at one of the Deluxe resorts next time we go. We had 5 park days – 1 each at AK, EP, HS and 2 at MK.

    We got to Orlando on Sunday afternoon and hung out at the resort and had dinner at Ohana. The dinner was great and DD loved the entertainment. Our waitress spilled an entire glass of ice water on me, so that wasn’t great… we got free drinks and a discount out of it, though!

    Epcot – it rained ALL DAY. Kind of frustrating but we put our ponchos on and rolled with it. DD loved the Nemo ride and the aquarium. We ate at Via Napoli for lunch (delicious!) and Biergarten which was just okay.

    MK Day 1 – lines weren’t too bad so we rode pretty much everything without a height limit. DD did not enjoy Barnstormer… as soon as it started moving she yelled “all done, all done, all done!” until the ride stopped. We ate at BOG before park opening, BOG for lunch, and Jungle Nav Co for dinner.

    HS – we only stayed for half the day. We did Toy Story Mania, met Olaf, met Mickey & Minnie, and the Frozen show. DD had kind of a meltdown at the Frozen show so we skipped Disney Junior. We ate at Sci Fi Diner which was good but rushed because DD was in a bad mood. We went to Raglan Road (at DS) for dinner – one of our favorites from our last trip! The bread pudding is so good!

    MK Day 2 – we hit all DD’s favorites from Day 1 and left after lunch (at the Plaza).

    AK – this was DD’s favorite day! She loved Navi River Journey, Kilimanjaro Safari, and the Lion King show. We had lunch at Flame Tree. It was one of our favorites on our last trip but was just okay this time… maybe they were having a bad day.

    Overall it was a great trip! I think next time we will build in a little more rest time – I thought DD would be able to go all day with a stroller nap but she was exhausted by midday most days.

  7. skinnycow

    pear / 1538 posts

    @bloved: @Charm54: @Ajsmommy: Thanks for the input! Maybe I'll be able to convince DH

  8. mediagirl

    hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25483 posts

    Is this what Disney looks like all the time? I'm having a minor heart attack over the size of that crowd....

  9. 808love

    pomelo / 5840 posts

    @mediagirl: No it doesn’t. But that is a beautiful pic. That also looks like a special event so it crowds up during parades and such like that on non-busy days. I’ve always gone off-peak and early mornings, but I think it is like that at Christmas and probably summer.

  10. 808love

    pomelo / 5840 posts

    This is a non -busy day crowd last month. I actually have special photos that looks like there is nobody on the street with us. (That’s not us in the pic.)

  11. skinnycow

    pear / 1538 posts

    @mediagirl: No! Our MK days were predicted crowd levels 5-7 on the days we went and it wasn't even close to being that crowded.

  12. mediagirl

    hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25483 posts

    @808love: this looks very manageable!!
    @skinnycow: that makes me feel so much better!

  13. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @mediagirl: the only time I’ve seen it look like that is Christmas Day. Every other time of year I have gone has been super manageable!

  14. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4707 posts

    @Charm54: Do you remember when you bought your tickets last year? I keep hearing that there’s going to be a price bump in July, but I also want to hold out in hopes that there’s a Canadian resident discount...

  15. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @erinbaderin: Last year Canadian tickets were released in September. The year before that it was May. I’m holding out hope that they are going to release them again this fall, but never a guarantee for sure.

  16. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    Just found out we got the rental through Davids for Beach club in March. I was nervous because we put our requests in a long time ago but they did come through! Now let the planning begin 🤗

  17. Hypatia

    apricot / 400 posts

    We're planning on going in December 2019! Our kids will be nearly three and five.

    The last time we went, DD was almost three. The major thing we're considering doing differently was that before, we brought most of our own food. We ate mostly peanut butter sandwiches and snacks, with maybe three meals out. It saved a bunch of money, but it was also stressful. We are really torn about what to do next time.

  18. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4707 posts

    @Charm54: Yay!

  19. 808love

    pomelo / 5840 posts

    @Hypatia: When DD was younger and barely ate anything, we used to bring her food. Now we mainly eat there, one nice restaurant a day and mobile ordering makes it really convenient.

  20. Hypatia

    apricot / 400 posts

    @808love: Thanks! I think we'll try a hybrid of the two. Is the mobile ordering through theain Disney app?

    All the resorts except the Values come with a coffee maker. I think I'm going to use that as much as I can to prepare hot meals in the room with the hot water. Instant oatmeal, grits, rice, hot dogs, Ramen, Mac and Cheese, condensed soup... Not the healthiest, but I'll pair them with fresh fruit and veggies.

  21. 808love

    pomelo / 5840 posts

    @Hypatia: Yes it is through the app now. You can preplan the meals while killing time like standing in line for a ride and then don’t press submit until you are walking up to the restaurant. Don’t do it too early or they will cancel your order. They may make an exception and look it up for you but you are creating a hassle. (Yes I know this from experience.)
    But if you time it right, it is simply perfection. Also you are genius to use the coffee maker for that! We are going to Disney Tokyo this summer so I’m totally going to put your idea to use.

  22. Hypatia

    apricot / 400 posts

    @808love: Thanks! That's really helpful.

    Ha, I don't know if I'm a genius or just lazy. Other moms might meal prep organic kale they harvested from their gardens while I'm over here looking up every food with "instant" in the name.

    I just read that some Disney rooms have kuerigs, so you may want to call to check about which kind of coffee maker they have. You can still make hot water with a kuerig, but without the coffee pot, you'd need to bring your own pot to put soup or hot dogs in. I have a Stanley camp pot that's super light that I'd use for that (I think they sell for around $10). And then you have to bring or buy paper plates and bowls and utensils. And I might bring a collapsible measuring cup. But I think it's doable!

    Speaking of camping, I just realized I forgot about Mountain House meals! You just add hot water right to the bag. The stroganoff and lasagna ones are pretty good for what they are. I'll test a few more before we go. You can find them in the camping section of Wal-Mart or on Amazon.

  23. mediagirl

    hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25483 posts

    Getting the memory maker was the best decision we made on this trip, well that and using a travel agent. I had so few pictures on my phone but the pro pics were fantastic!

  24. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @Hypatia: Why not just invest in an electric tea kettle or hot pot? For under $25, you can reuse it for other trips or at home and you have a larger volume of water.

    We eat a lot of quick service when we go to Disney. We can order 2 meals and the three of us can eat from it no problem. I always have a few pouches of applesauce, a roll of crackers, cereal bars and single serve peanut butter to either stand in place of a meal or supplement one we purchase. Plus I bring instant lemonade and iced tea to flavor water.

  25. skinnycow

    pear / 1538 posts

    @mediagirl: Yes! I decided last minute to do memory maker and it was great. I hardly took any photos but we got SO many good ones from memory maker.

  26. mediagirl

    hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25483 posts

    @skinnycow: ours was a last minute decision, too. And we took full advantage of every photographer we saw!!

    @Hypatia: pb sandwiches were our go-to. We were camping so we had access to more stuff for cooking but we took a gallon size bag and stuffed it full of pb sandwiches, Nabs, gummies (key), apples and other snacky things. They got us through.

    At the parks, we didn't have a meal plan (and I'm glad we didn't). We had one big meal (late lunch) in Epcot, then we bought snacks to supplement like the refillable popcorn bin and a gigantic mickey mouse chocolate dipped chocolate chip cookie (amazing).

  27. Hypatia

    apricot / 400 posts

    @looch: That's a good idea! But we'll be trying to pack as little as possible, so if there was already a coffee pot there, it'd be one less thing to worry about.

  28. Anagram

    eggplant / 11274 posts

    @Hypatia: also check into renting points for a stay onsite at one of the villas. Even the studios have a mini kitchen with microwave, fridge, and sometimes stove/oven. We stayed in a villa for less than booking 2 regular rooms at rack rate (we needed two rooms because we went with our inlaws) and it had a full kitchen. I didn't do any real cooking, but we ate breakfast in our room every day (we had a 2 bedroom suite with a full living room and dining table) and usually the kids had dinner in the room at night, but I did easy stuff like frozen lasagna, steamer vegetables, meatballs, etc. For breakfast, we did quick stuff--some cereal, cereal bars, muffins, lots of fruit, etc. I'll see if I can find pics of our room. We only ate out lunch every day with the kids, and it was all quick serve except for our one big reservations at Cinderella's RT. The adults also ate breakfast in our suite, and then dinner for adults was a mashup, because we took turns babysitting the kids and going out--DH and I went out twice after kid bed times and ate in the parks, inlaws went out twice and I honestly don't remember what they ate for dinners those nights. It was really easy, and my kids don't eat a lot of the "kid foods" that are available on the kids menus.

  29. Anagram

    eggplant / 11274 posts

    @Hypatia: I can't find the pics, but here is a link that shows all the rooms. http://www.dvcrequest.com/boardwalk-villas.asp

  30. Hypatia

    apricot / 400 posts

    @Anagram: Thank you! Great tips.

    I'm wondering what to do about our daughter, who will be one month shy of six at the time. She walks everywhere and doesn't nap, but...it's Disney. She will be way too big for a City Mini stroller (we have a single and considered renting a double until we checked the weight limit).

    She recently walked 6 miles at a theme park, so I'd like to think that by next December, she'll be fine. But I would hate to have her upset that her three year old sister gets a stroller and a nap, but she doesn't. (We tried going back to the hotel to nap last time and it was a huge time suck;; DH says never again). What do you guys think? Can the average six year old go without a stroller or rest time at Disney?

  31. mediagirl

    hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25483 posts

    @Hypatia: our 6 year old (well, one day shy of 6)walked all day at Epcot our first day. Our second day, she was done at 2, we took a break (we camped at Fort wilderness and took the boat back for a nap). Came back for fireworks and she was fine again. Third day.... We needed the stroller. She. Was. Done. We took an old Maclaren umbrella stroller.

  32. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4707 posts

    @Hypatia: What about renting a wagon? I’ve seen rave reviews of the Keenz wagon on Disney Facebook pages, and apparently even bigger kids can nap in them, although they may have to take turns.

  33. 808love

    pomelo / 5840 posts

    DD went to DisneyLAND California Adventure Park at 6 1/2 and she finally made it all day (just one day- left at sunset) walking, with no stroller. For us, that's all she could handle....maybe she could have had done 2 days but only at DisneyLAND. Disney WORLD is huge though (aside from Hollywood Studios which is smaller in comparison) and if you want to see everything, I would give your 6 yr old a ride.

    When we went to DW at age 7, we got the stroller for the first 3 days. The 4th day she walked with no stroller until 3pm because we had Date Night and the 5th day/night she had no stroller. I'm glad we did it this way because I'm pretty sure she would have been exhausted otherwise. You could do a split thing and have her walk on the last day.

  34. SteelerGirl

    cherry / 148 posts

    I'm taking my 2 year old for the first time in October. Can anyone give me personal experiences with a 2 year old? Right now she hates carousels so I'm not sure if she will like any of the rides! I'm worried she will just be scared. We also haven't exposed her too much to the Disney characters. But I hope over the next three months to get her familiar with them. Any advice on which ones? I don't think she would sit through a whole movie yet.

  35. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4707 posts

    @SteelerGirl: My son is 2 and a bit and while he won’t sit through a full movie, he definitely will watch for a good long time. His favourites are Moana, Frozen, Monsters Inc, and the Jungle Book. The thing I like about movies for kids that young is that they don’t really understand nuance so if it doesn’t look scary it doesn’t bother them (at least in my experience).

  36. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6885 posts

    @SteelerGirl: we’ve taken both our girls at 2.5 and it was a great age. Neither liked the masked characters at that age but they did love the princesses. They both loved the rides (even Dd2 who is a bit more nervous). And they really loved the shows. Disney does a great job and keeping things fast paced and interactive. They would go so excited to see a character on stage. The parade at MK is a huge highlight for kids that little !

    Have a great trip!

  37. buttermilk

    nectarine / 2086 posts

    @SteelerGirl: I took my 2yo last October and she was great! Napped in the stroller on the go. The only things she was scared of were the 3D shows. She got very shy around the characters but still took pictures with and hugged her favorites - Ariel, Minnie Mouse, and Gaston. LOL. We spent the months leading up to it exposing her to the various movies, and we watched the Disney world vacation planning videos (online) together, and I would also show her YouTube videos of the various rides so she had a little familiarity with it. We got her excited for the dumbo ride, beauty & beast show, etc.

  38. skinnycow

    pear / 1538 posts

    @SteelerGirl: We took our 2 year old in May and it was wonderful! She had a great time and did fine with stroller naps. She seriously loved almost every ride we went on. The two that were iffy were:

    1) Barnstormer - she yelled "ALL DONE ALL DONE ALL DONE" the entire ride but then said "so fun" as soon as we got off. So not sure if she liked it lol.
    2) It's Tough to Be a Bug - we should have skipped it. It's dark and there are bugs and effects and DD hated it.

  39. krispi

    clementine / 810 posts

    @SteelerGirl: We aren't going to Disney until September, but Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is one of my daughter's favorite shows. It's geared toward younger kids and has all the traditional characters (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, etc.) If you can find it on the Disney Channel, we set our DVR and then watch when it's convenient for us. My daughter also loves all the princesses. She may not sit still for the whole movie, but she still loves to have them on in the background while she's playing.

  40. SteelerGirl

    cherry / 148 posts

    @erinbaderin: Thank you for the tips on which movies to try!

    @Charm54: We will be sure to check out the parade (plus I love it, too!)

    @buttermilk: watching Disney world vacation planning videos is SUCH a good idea! How were the crowds and weather in October? I can't figure out whether to plan on wearing shorts or pants. And will we be able to swim in October?

    @skinnycow: Your description of Barnstormer sounds like my daughter on carousels- minus the part at the end where she said "so fun!" haha!

    @krispi: Thank you for the tip on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. We will check that out. We have a character dinner with Mickey characters so I really want her to know who they are.

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