…A never ending countdown of Disney trips. Never one to be content with just one Disney trip in the works; I now have two. Training and getting ready for the Royal Family 5k next month. (Tiara and Team Sparkle skirt bought), and I’m now obsessing (Mr. T’s word) about our fall cruise on the Disney Fantasy.
It’s been a few years since we cruised last but I’m so excited to be on Disney’s brand new ship. So much to read about and lots of new stuff like Fish Extenders, Satellite Falls, Aqua duck, Remy, and Pink Champagne Girls. AND…future blog subjects.
Literally…what started out as a nagging little back pain has turned into a painful sciatica attack, rendering me incapable of walking. If Disney World was holding auditions for the Hunchback of Notre Dame character, they would pick me. I’m walking hunched over, dragging my right leg and groaning loudly. It helps when I push the little guy in the stroller because I have something to lean on, so the last few days have not been a total loss. We were able to catch the highlights at Epcot and sample some of the food at the Festival. but we were back in the room early so I could soak in the jacuzzi.
Getting ready to leave the resort at the crack of dawn this morning and God willing, I’ll be home sitting on my heating pad in a few short hours.
This trip was bittersweet. The smiles from my grandson made everything worthwhile, but I’ll sure be happy to get home.
Time to start the countdown for our February trip and hope that with excellent chiropractic care I’ll be able to run the 5K then.
Our previous trips to the Magic Kingdom consisted of Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and mostly sitting on benches and people watching. This is not much fun for a 3 year old, so our day began in Fantasy Land taking in everything that would amuse a toddler. Papa rode the Merry-Go-Round with him and then we made our way through the throngs of people, under the hot sun, to the mecca of rides for little kids “It’s a Small World”. This ride has not changed at all throughout the years, and that’s a good thing. The simplicity is what makes the ride so enchanting for kids. All the dolls, movement and color; enough to capture the attention of a little boy.
Fast Pass for Peter Pan, and then over to Pooh Corner for some character time and to stand in line for the Pooh Ride. We have now been at the park over 4 hours and have not set foot out of Fantasy Land, and it’s already nap time. Back to the hotel for some R&R and to wait for my brother and sister-in-law to arrive.
A long nap later and it’s time for Extra Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom. The plan is to ride the rides during the Electrical Parade, watch “Wishes” and then hope that everyone leaves the park after that, and the best laid plans were…the best laid plans. The park emptied out and we walked on Haunted Mansion, Pirates, Jungle Cruise, Buzz Lightyear, and People Movers, and had enough left-over time to enjoy a Dole Whip. Hopped the midnight bus back to the Boardwalk, and got the little guy in bed with just enough energy for a nightcap on the veranda; Coffee and Bailey’s Irish Cream.
My favorite time at the Magic Kingdom is “empty time”. I hate crowds and heat and waiting in line with an impatient toddler, and we did not have to endure too much of that with the “after dark” touring plan. I highly recommend this for anyone who truly wants to enjoy the Magic Kingdom at its best.
Tomorrow is looking like Hollywood Studios and the long awaited Food & Wine Festival at Epcot.
Day 2 was all about time; veranda time, pool time, nap time, play time, campfire time, and bed time. We had no luck with the Character Breakfast at Cap May Cafe since we did not have reservations. I was able to reserve for Wednesday, so we will get to eat breakfast with Goofy and Minnie during our trip. We headed back to the Boardwalk for breakfast in the room and then we quickly changed into our suits and headed down to the scary clown pool. The water was just a bit chilly, and the little guy was shivering in no time, so the rest of the morning was spent at the playground where he was bullied by a 7 year old girl, who was as sweet as pie when I was around but she quickly changed her demeanor when I was not looking. Where do kids learn this kind of stuff so early? He got back at her by being mean to her little sister, and I only know that because the 7 year old tattled on him. Anyway, it was time for some lunch and a nap. The baby napped and I relaxed on the verandah with my frozen margarita.
With some time to kill before a delicious Home Run Inn pizza dinner in our room, we wandered over to the Community Hall. I have been a DVC member since 1999 and this was the first time I had been there. Pretty cool place, actually. If the kids are between toddler and age 12, it’s a great place to hang out. The little guy found some toys to play with; Legos, tinker toys, and a plethora of parts for Mr. Potato Head, and this weary Grandma got to sit down and watch the Disney movies that are played on their huge big screen TV. I also found out that there is a campfire every night near the pool with marshmallows. We’re in for that!
After dinner we headed to the campfire and got all sticky with marshmallow glue, but it was a lot of fun. Seashore Sweets was calling our name for ice cream cones so after a stop to watch the magicians perform tricks on the Boardwalk we indulged in big ice cream cones. The baby played “Frogger” running back and forth from our bench to the water’s edge to throw acorns to the ducks, and before you know it, bedtime was upon us. Another day over in Walt Disney World and tomorrow the fun begins with Magic Kingdom!
Grandma was well prepared for the 2 hour flight with a 3 year old. I kept pulling tricks out of that diaper bag for the entire flight and all was quiet. I wished I could have said the same thing for the many, many other kids on that 6:30pm flight out of STL. My little guy was an angel and that was all I needed. By the time we got the bags, the car, and arrived at Animal Kingdom Lodge, we were looking at almost the start of another day.
A quick glance out of our balcony and I could see shadowy figures in the distance. OMG we had a Savannah view room! The figures were shadowy because I did not have my glasses on. I ran back into the room, grabbed the glasses and much to our delight there were giraffes and antelopes in clear view of the balcony. I’m not sure who was more excited; me or the baby, but it sure was pretty cool.
After a quick 6 hour sleep and breakfast at The Mara, we headed out for shopping and for our move to Boardwalk Villas. As usual, the room was not ready at chek-in, but by the time we finished Downtown Disney, Walmart, Publix, Starbucks, Walgreens and car drop-off at the Dolphin, we received the much awaited text with our room number…not on a high floor as I requested.
Getting ready to march to the front desk to ask to be switched to another room, I looked at the room map and determined that maybe 2nd floor would not be too bad, and when I walked into our room and saw that we were overlooking the Village Green and the Boardwalk with the extended balcony that could easily host a party of 12, I was thrilled! This was one of the rooms that we had always wanted to be in…and we would be able to people watch to our heart’s content from our jammies on the balcony.
So, other than temporarily losing each of our cell phones, a lost (but found) fifth of Bacardi Limon by Bell Services, the first full day was a good one. The little guy was exhausted and in bed by 8pm which left Grandma and Papa some time to site on their balcony drinking coffee and Bailey’s and enjoying the comings and goings on the Boardwalk.
Tomorrow…Breakfast with the characters and pool time.
In a moment of..oh, I don’t know…temporary insanity-I’ve decided to take my 3-year-old grandson to Walt Disney World- sans his mother. I have traded in my adults only Food & Wine Festival, pool napping, margarita drinking, sleeping in vacation for a park hopping tour with a toddler. I’m happy about it! It’s been 20 years since I traveled with a three-year old, so this Grandma had to do some studying on travel do’s and dont’s with little ones.
GrowingupDisney.com has been an excellent source of information, as well as the Disney Mom’s panel. Here is what I have learned so far:
- Pack pipe cleaners- these quiet, soft little things will apparently keep a young one busy on the plane as well as waiting in line at the parks. I’m practicing trying to bend these things into animal shapes to amaze and amuse my grandson, as well as other passengers on the plane.
- CARES-Child Aviation Restraint System- a couple of straps and buckles that will keep your child in the airplane seat, shoulder harnessed, so he does not run screaming through the aisles. Much better than lugging a 50lb monstrosity of a car seat on board.
- Colorforms-these magical stickers can be peeled and re-used again and are perfect for pasting to airplane windows. I’ve bought 3 packages of them. I just have to hope we get a window seat.
- iPad-Kid’s movies- need I say more?
- Diaper bag- did not have one, now I do. Will need something other than my mini-shoulder purse to carry- pull-ups, hand sanitizer, Clorox Wipes, Wet Ones, sippy cup, lighted key chain for the dark rides, Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse playing cards, Matchbox cars, portable snacks, change of clothes, sunscreen and whatever else I can fit in that thing. It’s like a Mary Poppins carpet-bag.
- Tabletoppers- plastic place mats with the “Cars” characters on them. I’m hoping between that and the Matchbox cars,it will buy me enough time to gulp down a quick-service meal before the native gets restless.
Disney has a whole page dedicated to Traveling with Little Ones and lists attractions best suited for..little ones. I was not even aware that some of these existed, especially at Animal Kingdom, since we never go to that park. I, apparently, will be spending lots of time there.
I have not seen a parade in years, but I’m already scoping out the best places to sit on a hard curb for 2 hours so that we have premium viewing, until some inconsiderate family plops down in front of us at the last-minute to block our view.
Out of all the advice, blogs, board postings that I have read, the most important thing I have to bring is patience. Working on that now, and looking forward to watching my grandson experience all the magic that Disney has to offer. If you see a tired, haggard, Grandmother pushing a stroller with a 3-year-old boy, that will be me. I will also have the biggest smile on my face because I am sharing my love for Disney with the next generation.
So, I did a half-marathon the other day…on my bike, but felt that it was time to think about doing a Run Disney event. My blogger friend, Amanda over at Alone in Walt Disney World, participates in a great many of these races. Reading her reports had sparked an interest because they sound like so much fun. I’m not a runner, but I am in pretty good physical condition and do ride my bike a lot, both in spinning class and on the road, and thought “why not enter a Run Disney event?”. The Marathon in January was not an option because I can’t take off work in January, but I did see the Princess Half in February as a possibility. I’m not really ready for running 13.1 miles, but I could easily do the Royal Family 5K. The stars aligned with availability at DVC that week-end, so I can finally say: “I’M RUNNING IN A “RUN DISNEY” EVENT!!
I’m already thinking about my costume, and was tweeted by the lovely ladies over at Team Sparkle, and will probably choose some of their garb for the event. After Halloween, I’ll be looking for some clearance costumes to see if I can find anything “Princess” like, and much to the chagrin of my already full closet, I’ll be looking for some better running shoes. Who knows, I might like this running stuff!
For those of you who are avid “Run Disney’ers” what good insider tips can you provide other newbies like myself?