We’re 10 days out and I just can’t handle the waiting, so I thought I’d post a little pre-trip synopsis a la @TheProphetPaul. Feedback and thoughts are certainly appreciated!
My parents and grandparents took my brother and I to MK for 1 day. I think we were 2 and 4. My dad’s work gave them free tickets, and my grandmother will tell you it was not much fun. In fact, she tried to talk me out of this trip by sharing how they waited in line to see Mickey and then I didn’t want to hug him. Thank goodness we have FP now (and this site)! DH has never been and I feel like a newbie as well.
This all began last January when DH said he was researching conferences for his boss to pitch as part of their department budget and one takes place in Orlando. Nothing ended up coming from that, but it sent me down the Disney rabbit hole and I never climbed out. Initially, I thought we would be taking a vacation without our DS2 this year now that he’s a little bit older and easier for the grandparents to care for. But then I got bit by the Disney bug and it sounded like a ton of fun, and really like the only vacation we would enjoy bringing a toddler on.
I started my research and compiled a budget to prove to DH that we could do WDW affordably. (The budget has since been stretched a smidge, but not much.) He wasn’t too difficult to convince, especially since my grandparents live 2 hours from WDW and we were already planning to make a short trip to visit them with DS2. (Which naturally means I can subtract airfare and rental car from our budget, right?)
We decided to stay off-site, because it would allow us to keep DS2’s sleep routine as close to normal as possible, without us hiding in the bathroom or outside the hotel room door waiting for him to fall asleep. We booked a 1 bedroom condo on Airbnb about 10-15 minutes away from the parks. And since we already needed the rental car for part of our trip, adding the few extra days was nominal. With parking, rental car, and Airbnb all totaled, it would have been a little cheaper to stay at Pop, so I’m a little sad to stay outside the bubble. But we shared a room with DS2 over the summer and it wasn’t our favorite, so I think we made the right decision.
Since we’ll be leaving the park for a long afternoon break, we kept things pretty simple and decided not to do any TS to maximize park time. And TS with DS2 is not very fun right now. We’ll be mobile ordering as much as possible. And one of us will run out and grab dinner during nap time so we can eat on the go. Here’s our itinerary and highlights:
T Jan 22:
Exploring AoA Cars section and eating lunch
Checking into Airbnb for nap
MK 5-8:30 - Meet Mickey FP, eat dole whip, see the fireworks
W Jan 23:
AK 9-12:30 - FOLK, Navi, meet Mickey & Minnie, Eight Spoon Cafe
AK 5-8 - Safari FP at 5 (hopefully not too dark), Satu’li Canteen, Rivers of Light
Th Jan 24:
MK 9-12:30 - Meet Pooh & Tigger, BoG lunch ADR
Afternoon solo touring time for me - Splash FP, HM, Sleepy Hollow waffle, parade!!!
MK 5-8:30 - Move It Shake It MousekeDance It (hopefully this is cute! DS2 loves MM Clubhouse!) and ETWB FP
F Jan 25:
EP 9-12:30 - Character Spot, Nemo, FEA, Germany trains, Tangierine Cafe
Afternoon solo touring time for me - macaron ice cream sandwich, Impressions de France, meet Belle, explore WS, Soarin (4th FP?)
EP 5-8:30 - hopefully a 4th FP Soarin for DH, Les Halles dinner, 3 Caballeros
We’re tentatively skipping Illuminations. DS2 goes to bed at 7 when we’re at home, so it just seems unrealistic. And I think ROL and HEA will hold his attention much better.
Sat Jan 26:
AK 9-12:30 - Boneyard with Pluto, Nemo, Flame Tree BBQ, Safari FP at 12
Evening plans are flexible. The current plan is AKL and dinner at the Mara.
Sun Jan 27:
HS 9-1 - RD AS2, TSM FP, Star Tours, Beauty & the Beast Live
Drive to my grandparents’ house
I’ve been packing since we hit 25 days. I made 6 pairs of ears for the parks. I typed up our TP in Word with my added notes so I can print them out like rack cards. I’m packing disposable coffee cups so I can drink my chai on the way to the park instead of stopping at Starbucks. I’ve had multiple conversations with DH about whether or not everything will fit in our car to get to the airport and how we’re going to carry it all to the rental car. DH and all my friends think these things are nuts, but you guys get it… so thanks.