Toddler and Fireworks

DH and I will be taking our DD2.5 for her second trip in late April. We are thinking about keeping her out late one night during the trip to see the MK fireworks but can’t decide which day! Normally we start the bedtime routine at 7:30/7:45ish and she is asleep at 8:30 at the latest (she generally wakes up around 5:30/6 every morning).

Option 1: Arrival day (Tuesday, CL 8)- flight leaves DCA at 6:55 am and planning to be at MK for lunch. fireworks at 9 pm - doing 8:00 am breakfast at Akershus the next morning.

Option 2: Night before departure (Friday, CL 3), will be rope dropping MK, fireworks at 9 pm. Next morning will be rope dropping AK (Navi, not FOP) and staying there until we head back to the hotel for DME around 3:00 pm.

I know that the real answer is “whichever works best for her and the family”, but I’m indecisive and like to hear others thoughts.

Thanks in advance!

Honestly I would skip it altogether. It’s not worth it IMO - they don’t know what they’re missing and actually might be scared of the noise. If you do decide to do it, definitely your last night only otherwise you’ll have an overtired toddler at the parks the next day. Don’t book any parties for it either in case you decide to bail at the last minute.

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We took my daughter at the same age and she has the same bedtime … I feel like travel days can be so exhausting that I don’t know if my daughter would stay awake for fireworks at 9pm after an early flight, even with a nap in between.

For our next trip in April, i’m planning on keep her up late only on the day before we leave simply because I feel like there’s less chance of a meltdown earlier in the trip if she’s somewhat close to her regular bedtime and not getting overtired.

We take up a lot of time with going back for naps and trying to get in a decent bedtime but my 3.5 year old would not enjoy herself without taking those breaks!

My 3 year old is not a fan of big noises like that. We will watch from GF where we are staying. But you could watch from one of the monorail resorts or TTC, if you think noise would be an issue. My daughter is in bed by 8 but vacation at a hotel usually a little later… so def possible to see it I think. Maybe last night.

For background, we took our daughter to the fireworks when she was a little over 2.5 and again at almost 3.5, and our son when he was 1.5 and a little over 2, so all around your daughter’s age. Their bedtime routine is the same as yours.

My first instinct would be to do the lower CL day, since a 3 could get you a better spot and out of the park faster than a CL8. It’s hard to keep young kids entertained (and awake!) while you wait for the show to start, and then the extreme crowding as everyone leaves the park is difficult to manage with a stroller (we always get the stroller stuck in the parade tracks), plus you will be getting home pretty late after waiting in the the monorail/boat lines (unless you are just walking to Contemporary- that would be so nice!).

My second instinct is to do whatever works best for you and your husband - not your daughter! 2/3 times we have watched the fireworks, the kids fell asleep before or during the show. Every time, they were both passed out in strollers right afterward and stayed mostly asleep until we got home (this obviously only applies if your DD can sleep in the stroller!). They got to sleep, while my husband and I had to manage strollers, transportation, and late bedtimes, so it impacted us much more than them.

Our kids think the show is neat, but they prefer to watch the show on YouTube because in-person (from their perspective) it’s loud, crowded, and waiting for it gets boring. I wouldn’t go out of my way for them to watch it, but we have made time to watch it because it is one of MY highlights of the trip! Kid’s reactions/moods are hard to predict, so I’d go for the time that you think works best for you and your husband to enjoy the show and function well the next day, then bring a sticker book, snacks, and a comfy stroller for your daughter, and hope for the best! :+1:t2:

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We did the “one night of fireworks” on our last trip with DS4 and DS1. We had the luxury of a 10 day drip and we waited until I think day 7 or 8, so towards the end. I, too, was worried that if we did it early it might set us up for problems later in the trip. I did keep them on relatively normal bedtimes for the entire trip, but bedtime and wake time did creep a little later as the trip went on. (Worked in our favor as daylight savings was the weekend we came home!)

Is there any way that you can work things out to have a late start morning the next day? The two choices you provide with rope drops the following day seem less than ideal to me.

We also had to work our HEA night around the party season so we knew that it was going to be bonkers crowded. We “staged” our stroller at Tony’s and then did a couple things like Buzz and Peoplemover to keep everybody occupied that “late” and then pretty much ran and squeezed in where ever we could fit in the middle of Main Street. I had carriers for both kids so that we could just stand and I didn’t want to wait. I think it was perfect. I had headphones for the baby but he didn’t really like them on and to be honest, the fireworks were not as loud as I was expecting! (My dad does a 4th of July show at home and it’s WAY louder, I assume because we are closer.)

I have six kids. I love fireworks. We always stay for fireworks. If they were tired they slept in the stroller.

This! We put them to bed when we got to the bed and we got them up early the next morning.

You know your toddler. My kids have all been laid back travelers and they all have been good stroller sleepers. Tantrums and melt downs weren’t a problem in general and never came up on vacations. Do whatever makes it feel like a vacation for you and DH!

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My suggestion would be the last night & plan a Possibly later start the next day. I always find departure day stressful trying to finish the last bit of packing, double checking the room, resort airline checkin, etc.

I had no trouble taking very young kids to fireworks. If tired they slept in the stroller. We stayed out very late with them. Standard bedtime really doesn’t exist during vacations for us. We do whatever works out best. I usually had a day with a babysitter where they’d go to sleep really early to make up for the late nights.

I recommend doing it towards the end if your trip in case the long day wears her out. I also recommend not planning on rope drop for the next morning. My 2 and 3 year old slept a little later than normal the morning after the HEA fireworks. My kids do not like the noise of fireworks since brought noise cancelling headphones. I think they would have wanted to leave if we did not have the headphones for them. If she has never been to fireworks before, you may want to consider bringing a set.

When we took our DS at 2.5, we also planned one night of fireworks. He normally went to bed between 7:30-8:00 - we took midday breaks for naps and kept his bedtime pretty regular. He was not a stroller sleeper, even at Disney.

We had 8 days, and booked a Happily Ever After dessert party for our last night. We slept in that day and had a relaxed morning. I thought we’d get to MK in the afternoon, but we all ended up wanting to go around 10:30 am and enjoy our last day. We still took a midday nap break and returned around 6:00 pm. We left the next day with a 9:00 am flight.