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  1. #1

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    A different kind of Trip

    So this is a trip report but not exactly a trip report. My wife and I took my turning 2 year old son to WDW for our first family trip with our DVC membership. We drove down from NJ to Florida on Friday the 13th and arrived Saturday afternoon after stopping in Florence, SC for the night.

    We purchased our DVC membership last year during the time they were giving out bonus points so we used our bonus points at Saratoga Springs since Animal Kingdom Lodge isn't open yet for us. Let me tell you we were lucky to get a room that faced Downtown Disney right on the water.

    My wife and I were a bit worried how the trip would go with our son being as young as he is and set very low expectations for ourselves. What happened was actually a wonderful vacation and a great introduction to Disney for our son and DVC for us.

    We purchased a 6 day parkhopper for the two of us giving us the option of going to a park every day if we decided to be adventureous.(the 5 day ticket was $20 less)

    Sunday we decided to make Magic Kingdom his first official park. Being that this was his first visit we chose to use Photopass to record our "Official Family Photo". While this is a good idea I also recommend asking them to take a picture with your camera as well.

    It was actually more of a challenge to us than expected, we purchased a small stroller to bring that was light and easy to fold, but getting on and off the bus was more cumbersome than I imagined. Then there was the fact that my son saw everyone else walking and wanted to do the same thing as well even though its still not to sure on his feet. His tolerance level also was a bit surprising. I expected him to be able to last about 4-5 hours before needing a break but he seemed to hit his threshold after about 2-3 hours.
    This is where I started thinking about how all those other parents must of felt when I was here before the "kid." Our next decision was actually one of the best and I understand that its not always an option, however. If you have a car or can get one and are staying on property and you have little kids it might be good for you to drive. We drove to parks after the second day and found it much easier to come and go when we wanted, especially with a tired toddler.

    We left the park about 3 hours after we entered, not riding one ride, but happy because we were on vacation and my son did well. That night we walked to Downtown Disney from our room and started a new tradition of finishing the walk with a Wetzel Pretzel.

    This is where I want to break from the trip report thing. If I told you what we did the rest of the trip it would be boring, but why I wanted to write this was to convey how wonderful it is to slow down at the parks. Our routine for the rest of the trip was to wake up and shower to leave about 9-10 to a park and come home about 1 for a nap (both us and our son). We would then eat and pack up to go to another park around 4-5 and come home again about 7-8 at night and then walk over to DTD for our Wetzel Pretzel. There were variations since the Spectromagic parade and all of its lights were a hit we caught it with friends a second night. We celebrated his second birthday with dinner at Chef Mickey's and with family around we met for lunch and dinner one night.

    What surprised me the most about the trip is that I didn't feel bad about not going on Space Mountain, or Everest, or even Haunted Mansion. I felt good about what we did do: the parades, character dining, Finding Nemo ride , Turtle Talk and Monster's Inc. I know some people might think that it was a waste of money, but it was surprisingly enjoyable to just walk around and people watch.

    I don't know what future trips will be like with my son, we plan to go back probably in 2011, but I hope that we can keep some of the things that we started this trip going. The most important thing I learned this time, after 5-6 times being at WDW before is to relax and enjoy myself.

    Oh and that Wetzel Pretzels are a good way to cap off any night.

  2. #2

    • De la Terre la Luke
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    Re: A different kind of Trip

    I think your trip sounds great! You managed to enjoy your time without feeling the pressure to do absolutely everything in the parks. You spent some quality time with your family and created lasting memories for your son!

  3. #3

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    Re: A different kind of Trip

    Your trip sounds restful! That is the kind I am hoping to take this Aug. We typically do the parks comando style - but do to the heat and humidity of the summer, we are planning to take it easy. We have been enough times that if we miss something, thats ok - and who are we kidding - we will be back for more another time

    DVC worth it to you? I really want to but have reservations...
    "First of all I would like to make one thing perfectly clear.
    I never explain anything." Mary Poppins
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/26132873@N00/

  4. #4

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    Re: A different kind of Trip

    DVC was well worth it for us, but I don't think it is for everyone. My wife and I like to take mini trips as well since we can't always do big vacations due to her family living out west. We have committed 1-2 weeks a year to visiting them so depending on what year it is we will bank our points for the next year or take a few mini trips to area places. Also I like the exchange rates for RCI destinations.
    It took 3 years for us to make our decision and we are glad we did. We are even thinking about taking a trip with our friends in a few years and banking points so we all stay together in the park.

  5. #5

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    Re: A different kind of Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by ragrobyn View Post
    Your trip sounds restful! That is the kind I am hoping to take this Aug. We typically do the parks comando style.
    Comando style is the worst way to enjoy the parks me thinks. You do not have the time to stop and soak up the theming and leads to too much stress and running around. I guess I am just to old to do that anymore.

  6. #6

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    Re: A different kind of Trip

    TDLFAN I don't know how old you are but I'm 32 and I don't know if its maturity or being a father but I enjoyed myself much more this last time taking it easy than I ever did. I think I have done my last commando trip

  7. #7

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    Re: A different kind of Trip

    First off I want to commend you for NOT going commando and pushing your son to try to get everything in, I see it all the time when I'm in the parks and I think that's why some folks get turned off by Disney Parks since they feel rushed and stressed out the whole time.

    I'm glad you had a good time and your choices definitely helped to make it so. I've been taking my daughter to the parks since she was about 18 months old and it's a different experience every time but it's always fun at Disney!
    Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

  8. #8

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    Re: A different kind of Trip

    My personal strategy is, given two daughters 5 and 2 years old, to plan NOTHING except the dinner shows *I* really want to see... ( Hoop-de-doo, Poly luau) and stuff which needs hard reservations, ( Princess dining ) it's pretty much let them do whatever they want at their own pace.

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