Absolute Beginners (And a few old hats)... A Blended Family Trip July 2022

Starting to think a bit more carefully about planning this trip…

Our party -
I’m Becca, 39 and this is my 12th trip - my last was a week solo in August 2019.
DP Pete, 46, well-travelled but a Disney first timer.
DSS x 2 aged 13 and 11, Disney first timers
DS x 2 aged 10 and 8 - last trip was 2017
DD aged 6 - last trip was 2017
TBC but most likely DS - will be four months

7/23, 13 nights in a 2BR at BWV, on rented points. Nervous as can be about what happens if the world caves in again, but honestly, it was the best option that allowed us to have three separate sleeping areas, connected, and onsite. We have Ultimate tickets, so adding Genie+ wasn’t a terrible price, so we went ahead and did that.

Some early thoughts -

  1. Best form of transport from the airport. Would usually rent a car but that plus parking per night cost feels prohibitively expensive.
  2. Stroller rental companies.
  3. Aiming for two days on, one day off.
  4. Does one have to get (and activate) a park pass in order to just wander the F&W booths in the evening?
  5. Probably going to order Magic Bands via a VPN because I don’t want the kerfuffle of doing things on my phone with terrible battery life. Just figuring out when to wait to do this.
  6. Flight arrives at 8pm. I’d traditionally do a first night something at the Poly but this is probably mad after a day’s travelling. How to lower-key achieve that feeling.
  7. I like doing everything. Even the meh stuff. Except maybe the Dumbo-variants and kiddie-coasters, I probably skip those. I have been terrified by the Haunted Mansion since I was five. That has not gone away with age. I don’t do that. I’ve weaned myself to the extent that I can listen to the music in the car, though.
  8. How to create magic for gamer teens/tweens.
  9. Is Garden Grocer still the best bet for those coming from overseas?
  10. Kennedy Space Center day trips - organised or DIY somehow?

If anyone has any thoughts or advice, I’d be grateful! Also I’ve travelled with a teeny baby twice before, as well as lots of times as a solo mum with three kids, so please don’t worry about that.

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As you are a veteran, you know the attractions and activities that are available. Here are a few I can think of for those with a gamer mentality:

  • Shooting Arcade
  • Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin - There are particular targets that provide high-value points. Have them research the targets and see if they can achieve Galactic Hero status.
  • A Pirate’s Advetures - solving clues to find the booty
  • Toy Story Midway Mania - Have them research all the team combinations that are available in the midway game and see if they are able to unlock them for extra points.
  • Touring plans! - Have them each try and plan a day in the parks where they compete to see who was able to save the most time in lines.
  • 50th Anniversary Statue Hunt - Don’t give them the interactive map, give them a list of characters to find and then hunt them down and take selfies with each for points.
  • Hidden Mickey Hunt - See who can find the most hidden Mickey’s.

There are plenty more, but that is a start!

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We still use Garden Grocer. They’ve never let us down. Book earlier for a bigger discount.

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I traveled with my teen and tween last June and had a blast. They particularly loved HS and riding ToTand RnR multiple times. This was before G+ but if you RD HS one day and make that your priority or do it end of day then you may be able to achieve this.
They loved shopping at Mitsukoshi in Japan as well as in DS.
Because it was so hot we at least one TS meal a day. In park favorites were Ak Yak and Yeti, Epcot SAI, HS Sci Fi , MK Plaza.
What they wanted to do most each day? Swim at the resort pool and eat there and go to the water park (BB was the only one open and we went almost every day!)

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If you are staying DVC, you don’t have to pay for parking at the hotel or parks. That is the case even if you are renting points.


Also check out the Mears Connect from MCO thread for transportation. I’m not sure how to link it here for you.

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You do have to have park passes to go to festival booths in Epcot. If you have park hoppers you can always walk over from your resort to check them out. It seems like park hoppers would be something you definitely will want if you don’t already have them.

So park hoppers come automatically with UK tickets… I was just thinking with that whole need to book a park pass and activate it by going to the park before you’re allowed to hop… If we had a lazy day by the pool but wanted to spend a couple of hours in Epcot in the evening… is that even a possibility nowadays?

You would need to have your park reservation be for first park you go to that day even if it is past 2 pm. But on my recent trip all parks were still available and I could change park reservations last minute. That may not always be the case so I would try to anticipate the days you may only go to Epcot late day and make that your park reservation.
Someone please correct me if I am wrong!

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My recent trip to DLR with my 2 boys = thrill rides x 10. They could not get enough of the RnR equivalent (Incredicoaster) And for us, also Harry Potter at Universal. Winter… so no water parks.

Scavenger hunts are great, Club Cool a must, pool time, and some independence time away from parents - trusted to go have fun, and responsibly meet up at the agreed upon time snd place. Ie. While the adults are winding their way thru World Showcase, they might prefer to go to Club Cool and wait in queue for Guardians!

Sounds like an epic trip!

Movies on the lawn,

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Ie. Thinking of the 13 and 11 year old on the independence front.

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Okay, so this was my thought - that probably 13, 11 and 10 (will all have had a birthday between now and the trip) would be able to do a few things on their own. 8, love him, has a tendency to get over-excited and giggly when hanging with the bigger boys and no adults, so for everyone’s sanity he can stay with me.

I wonder what the sitter situation would be if we decided to have an adults only night. I remember feeling utterly fleeced last time I used the Disney ones - she demanded a tip and she was already incredibly expensive. Also - I paid her for a service and there’s a service charge on top? That doesn’t make sense at all. So I’m pretty reluctant to have to pay for a six-child sitter when really I just need an adult in charge of the younger three.

Disney isn’t offering childcare right now.

You’d have these two options though-


I do not think you need to be a Swan/Dolphin guest to participate in Camp Dolphin.

Sorry, yes I did mean Kids Nite Out as I don’t think Disney has done its own babysitting at any point when I’ve had children there.