Disney with a Toddler Part 1

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OK, so before I begin a recap of what we did day-to-day, I have a few general trips:

1.  If traveling with family outside of your immediate (aka grandparents) bring/rent another car if you can. Or for a better bargain, make use of your hotel shuttle PLUS a car so that people can be free to do what they need to do.  Confession:  I am a nap nutso.  It isn’t even funny.  This tip was helpful for me.

2.  You don’t NEED to stay in Disney. Yes, it is definitely nice, but it is not the end all be all.  I have stayed at the Swan (as in the Swan and Dolphin) and it was lovely PLUS nearly on the park grounds of Epcot.  IT is NOT a Disney resort, rather a Westin and a Sheraton.  Or, stay in a nearby hotel or timeshare.  That is the route we took.  My parents had bought one YEARS ago and had some weeks banked so we used two weeks to get two two-bedroom condos.  Score.  We stayed at WestGate Resorts.

3.  Park Hopper passes are kind of ambitious with a young child, so I would recommend the single-day tickets based on both that fact and the price difference.  I mean, if you think about it, even if you plan on leaving for naptime and coming back, you will probably double back to the same park you visited in the am as you won’t get that much done each stretch.

4.  What age is best for children?  I would honestly say that it just depends on the parents and the child.  Disney tickets are free for children under three so that is definitely something to consider and was for us (I originally thought it was only free for those under 2).  BUT I will say that MANY people told us, “why would you take him so young to Disney, he will never remember?!”  Guess what, WE WILL.  And it was SO worth it.

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I mean seriously, look at this face! NOTHING will beat this memory!

5. I would recommend not going to the park too many days in a row.  For us, we were there for four days. IT worked best for us to do things not in the park day one, in the park day two, not in the park day 3 and then in the park day 4.  With that, here is a daily recap!

DAY #1:  No parks

We were exhausted from traveling.  So we hung around the condo in the am, walked around the condo grounds a bit (they have a ton of land), had breakfast, and before we knew it, nap time!  After naptime, we went out to the pool to sit for a bit and had a snack.

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We did a lot of much needed “hanging out” as we had travelled from my grandmother’s the day before.  I also took Z to a little Disney movie in the theater at our resort.  He did so well but I don’t think he is quite ready for a full-lentgh film.  He lasted almost an hour through Mulan.

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Then, some serious bath time (with a dog) happened. LOL.

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DAY # 2: Hollywood Studios

The getting into the park thing” took a LOT longer than expected.  Not the driving., That was fast.  So was the tram.

On the tram.

On the tram.

But we were waiting for my cousin who worked at Disney and was joining us while debating what tickets to get.  Bad idea.  Decide what you want BEFORE you get there.  And stick to it.

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Zachy entertained himself while waiting. Don’t you love that stroller? 20 bucks on Amazon!

Anyway once we got in, we actually had a great time and got a lot done.  We first went to the Honey I Shrunk the Audience playground.  Zach played and played and played!  I don’t have any pictures.  Just trust me.  Then we headed over the the Muppet 3-D movie.  My mom and dad stayed with him while husb, my sister and I went on Rock N Roller Coaster via Fast pass.  IT was awesomeeeee!  We walked around a bit and then decided we should take Z back to the condo to nap.  After nap time and a snack, we headed right back to Hollywood studios (as we had a fast pass for Tower of Terror…whatevs don’s judge, Z kept telling us to go on ;)).  We walked around for a bit and then it started raining so we hung out in a store.  All of the sudden it was time for our dinner reservations! We ate that night at the Sci-Fi Diner.  Everyone slept well that night 😉

Here are some more rides I would recommend for your little one in Hollywood studios:

-The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow

-Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream

-Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage

-Disney Junior- Live on Stage!

-Voyage of the Little Mermaid

FYI:  The park is only open until 7pm during the off season (right now).  OK, Part 2 coming soon!