My wife and I took a several trips between the time we were married (2004, honeymooned and stayed at GF), and when we had kids (last trip being in 2010.) We're going next April with our 7 year old son and our newborn son (who will be 10 1/2 months at the time). Was just wondering if anyone had tips for traveling with an infant and/or older child. Obviously this trip will be very different than our past trips, we're really looking forward to sharing Disney with them.
I don't have many tips for you yet, but I'm going in 4 days (yay!) with my 6-year old son and nearly 1-year old daughter, so almost the same scenario as you.
This will be my son's first trip and I didn't want to put it off just because we have a baby. Based on advice I've read, I've planned for the usual midday breaks and I'm also going light in the evenings. I think we'll only do two nighttime shows over 7 nights. I also want to maximize our time at the hotel (YC), so in addition to lots of time in the great pool, I plan to take advantage of the hotel activities (movies, campfires, tie-dying, etc.) and the Boardwalk area. I think this will be a great way to keep my son entertained while having the flexibility for one of us to be in the room with the baby, if needed.
I'll happily share any insights from our trip here too!
@Hoyasaxa00 please do! It does sound like almost the exact same scenario - we don't want to put it off for our older son just because we have an infant... And, to top it off, we are also staying at the YC, so I'm really looking forward to hearing your insights.
Have a great trip!
We had great trips with baby+older kids. WDW is so great because there is so much you can take a baby on and keep the entire family together. We brought our baby bjorn, which made me feel secure about rides that go up (like Dumbo). It also helped because you can't bring a stroller in line with you. I used longer rides (eg, train, safari) to breastfeed so it wouldn't slow us down. For the rides that you can't bring a baby, rider swap is wonderful and your 7 year old will be happy that he gets to ride twice, courtesy of his baby brother.
DON'T OVER PLAN. Have a plan - but if people want to watch something or get distracted - ENJOY THE MOMENT. If the little one gets cranky and needs to go back to the room - role with it. My wife and I actually split things up too. I have gone to the park with just one of them and then the rest meet us at the park. Or if one is cranky (sometimes it is my wife) people go back to the room.
If the kids want to splash in the fountain or love watching the duckies - that is what we do. I know internally I am counting how I am losing ROI on my tickets - but once that is done - just being in the MOMENT is what is important.
Oh and don't leave ANYTHING of importance in the stroller. We actually had diapers taken one time. I guess they needed them more than we did
Thanks @felicia3333, those are good tips, especially about the bjorn. Might make things easier.
@Tigger613 - that's good advice. The Disney planner in me wants to plan things like my wife and I used to do when it was just the two of us - but I have to remember that spontaneity is sometimes what leads to those "magical" moments.
So on a trip (now 8 years ago - yikes) my daughter was all dressed up in her BBB regalia from the day before. She and I went to MK before the wife and son were ready. I wanted to hit a few rides - she wanted to do Pooh over and over and over again. I suggested we try something else - but she (sweetly) asked that we do it just one more time (several times). I finally decided - am I here to ride rides or am I here to spend time with my family. So eight years later - what part of the trip do I remember and have the fondest memories of? Yup - riding Pooh 10 times in a row with my little princess.
I agree completely with @Tigger613.
Also, I wouldn't wait for the melt down moment. Build in daily breaks that both the little one and the 7 yr old will enjoy. MK's Casey Jr Splash & Soak, AK Boneyard, The play area inside Nemo & Friends, and I'm not sure if Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground is still open with all of the construction?
We used to leave the park at noon for a lunch back at our resort and pool time. Often our toddler would be asleep by the time we made it back to the resort. I was really glad that we stayed on the monorail loop during those years. It made a huge difference knowing that we could escape quickly from MK if things got out of hand.
Enjoy your trip!
i LOVE how parents melt down when the kids melt down. "DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY I AM SPENDING - I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU ARE CRYING!!!" Really you have no idea why a small kid is crying - hmm - was up late, is up early, been on feet all day, been standing in line, its 3,000 degrees at 500% humidity - hmm - let me think - WHY would the kid be cranky?!?!
I totally agree with your comment on "don't wait for the meltdown'. My wife is great at knowing what the early warning signs were - we didn't always catch it - but in most cases did