Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Baby and Toddler Tips!!

I've traveled to Walt Disney World many times with babies and toddlers. My oldest, now 9, we took as a toddler twice- when she was 2-1/2 and 4. My youngest, now 4, has gone at 9 months, 20 months, and 2 months shy of 3. And honestly, it really wasn't that big of a deal! But as I've always done with any trip we take, I plan ahead and plan smart. Go with flexibility and common sense.

First of all, taking a child under 3 is great because they are FREE! Who doesn't like free??? If you do the dining plan, children can eat from your plate or if it is a buffet, they eat off the buffet for free. We always brought food for the kids- things like fruit cups, pb crackers, dried fruit, trail mix, breakfast bars, etc.. Things that had nutritional value and they could eat as meals. That way we weren't limited on what we could order. This upcoming trip will be our first paying for our son, which stinks on some levels. (Yuck...over $200 for his park pass!) But it will be nice to not have to bring tons of food with us and he gets all his own counter meals like his sister.

WDW is THE MOST kid-friendly place on the planet. We've taken other vacations with the kids and it's not as easy. In Disney, there are kid care centers in each park. A place for parents to feed, change, play with the little ones if they need a break and some quiet time. A large percentage of attractions in the parks are suitable for kids of all ages. Try going to a Six Flags or other amusement park...there's very little for parents to do with small children. And most of it the parents cannot also ride with the children. The cast members who work at WDW know how to deal with children. They aren't uncomfortable around little ones. They know how to speak to them to make them smile.

I know many people use the argument of "the kids will never remember." Yeah, probably not. But the kids sure have a blast while they're there. The parents have fun and have memories of the fun had. Family time is very important for our family, and vacations are too. It's very hard to completely relax and forget about bills and responsibilities while at home. So for us, leaving home is a big part of complete rest and relaxation. We enjoy doing fun things with our kids and so what if they don't remember. We do. And I have the photos to prove it.

I know for some families, a Disney trip is a once in a lifetime event, so yes, it is smarter to wait until the children are old enough to fully take advantage of everything the parks have to offer and be old enough to remember it. If that is the case, I think 5-7 is a great age. They are still young enough to "get" the magic and still believe, but should be tall enough to ride most rides. They'd still have to skip some though. Our daughter has always been a peanut, so at 9, she is finally tall enough for Rock n Roller Coaster (minimum height requirement is 48"). And if we'd waited til she was this age to take her for the first time, we would have missed out on all the memories she's made, playing with the characters, still believing that she was meeting the REAL Mickey and Cinderella. She's past that now...she knows there's someone inside the costume. She knows they're actors. I wouldn't have wanted to give up the memories of her smiles and the excitement in her eyes meeting them when she was 2-1/2 and 4.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Updated Scrapbooking Page!!!!

I've FINALLY finished my Disney Scrapbook from our big 10th Anniversary trip in 2008. Yeah...only took me 3-1/2 years. but it's done and I uploaded a bunch more pics today. I have a bunch more but for some odd reason I'm having trouble uploading the pics to my computer from my phone. New computer...still figuring it out! :)

Check out the new pics here!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Officially changed our reservation today.

I'm sad my parents are not going (well...they still haven't given a 100% no..but 99.9%) but it sure was exciting talking with the Disney reservations lady on the phone to change our reservation today!!

So what I did was this: I took my parents off the reservation and switched it to a standard room at Art of Animation...since The Little Mermaid section is opening earlier than planned! Yippee!! If my parents decide they are in, all we gotta do it make a new reservation just for them in a standard room. It is cheaper for us to stay in standard rooms anyway, even with us splitting the suite (Those things are awesome, but way pricey! Two standard rooms is cheaper...but a good amount.)

But I did change the dates too. Unfortunately, my parents places of employment make it kinda difficult. My dad can only take M-F...so that means we had to go Sat-Sat...and flights will be more $$. And my mom can't take any vacation in December. But she wanted to go at Christmas time. So we were going Nov 10-17th. Parks are all decked out by then, so it was good. Hubby did not have that vacation though. He can probably get it. At his job, vacation is assigned...you get it when they give it to you...and his vacation is actually the last week of Nov and first of Dec. So since it's just us, we switched it to then..and a Wed-Wed to save on airfare. If my parents can go..we'll just switch the dates back. No biggie. (Hopefully)

So anyway, if you made it through all that babbling, thanks! We're pretty excited. I am in total Disney World withdrawal here. Our last family vacation was Nov/Dec 2010, and then me and DD took a short trip in March 2011. It's been a LOOOOOONG time since I've gone a year without a trip, let alone a year and 8 months.

And we already have our 2013 trip semi-worked out! We're heading West!!!! Yep! DISNEYLAND!!!! And most importantly, the new Carsland!! I was at Disneyland when I was a kid when my mom and step dad lived in San Fransisco. I am so eager to get back..and see the place as an adult and appreciate the park Walt created and was there to see finished. The plan is 5 days at Disneyland and then another 5 touring So Cal! :) Doing it in August, so I hope that will be a good time to visit! :) It will be way pricier than we're used to paying for...but hopefully we can swing it!