HS day is fine as long as they are ok with the little one getting to do very little. If they wanted to incorporate more things the child would enjoy I might suggest the Disney Jr dance party or Frozen Sing Along. Both of those things would have kept my children’s attention at that age I believe. I haven’t been to the Cars show, but it might fit the same bill.
AK day looks good. They can at least enjoy the more zoo like aspects of the park with the baby.
MK looks good since they can leave after a couple of hours of attractions and jus walk back to contemporary for naps.
I also recommend that they plan some time to stop and smell the roses with a child that age. They will find that the carousel, the light up sidewalks at Epcot (if they aren’t torn up by all the crazy construction), the casey’s splash and soak, etc. are nearly as much fun for toddlers as the main attractions. And it is fun to grab a snack and let the little run/toddle around and enjoy some fun.
You might want to see whether they actually need to head back to hotel for an 11 am nap from HS or AK or if baby can sleep in stroller/baby carrier? It seems kind of counterproductive to head to a park that opens at 9 to leave at 1000-1015 after doing only a couple attractions in order to get back in time to put the kid to bed at 11 am (if they have to walk back to park entrance and to car/bus and then head back to resort it may take 30 min-45 min of travel). Check with them to see whether this useful and necessary. We never did mid-day breaks for naps but we scheduled stroller time for a couple of hours in the afternoons (cruising world showcase, watching street shows) at least for the parent on nap duty. Then we made sure to get to bed at reasonable times. I understand some people can pull off an after lunch break to enable naps from 1-3 pm or 2-4 but 11 seems difficult with parks opening at 9 am. Id be worried that the baby would fall asleep in transit at 1040 and then not transfer from bus to stroller to hotel room bed. But only the parents know, but its something to think about.
I made extensive plans for a trip where my in laws were watching my baby often while we were in the same hotel. Baby changed the day we arrived b/c he was so excited to see the in laws and would do whatever they said! I had the worst time getting him to eat any solid foods and suddenly he loved them if Nana gave them. I think he was around 18 months.
Agree to be flexible with nap - 11 is early! Staying at the Contemporary makes going back easy but do you think she’ll stroller nap? That way you can get more park time or at least be more flexible. I found that with the heat and excited 2.5 yo passed out in the stroller on his own everyday. Sometimes it was later than usual- 2ish and another day it was immediately after lunch.
Glad you’re not trying night shows though. Be flexible and good luck!
Hear is my honest feedback (which you asked for) … I don’t love this plan for a 16 month old.
(1) This plan goes well past the 7:30 bedtime. They family will have to be finishing up their last attraction around 7:10pm just to get back to their room at the CR by 7:30 pm.
(2) A number of attractions that can appeal to a 16 month old (ie Carousel, Small World, Magic Carpets) are at the end of the day and may end being cut out of the plan due dinner/bedtime/end of day crankiness, etc. I would move those rides to earlier in the day. In addition, from experience with my little guy at 13 months and 23 months, the Carousel and Small World were such favorites that we rode those multiple times. When Mom and Dad see the smiles and looks on the face of their child, they may want multiple rides on those also.
(3) Instead of going back to MK for lunch at Skipper’s Canteen or Cosmic Rays, I would recommend Contempo Cafe at the CR since that is where they are staying. To save even more time, Mom or Dad can even pick lunch up to go while 16 month old is sleeping and then the 3 of them can eat lunch in the room before heading the park. This should save precious park time (and I think the food at Contempo Cafe is one of the better Quick Service options at Disney).
(4) Carrying a 16 month old up all those steps at the Swiss Family Treehouse sounds miserable to me. I would skip it unless Mom or Dad is a huge fan and it is a “must do”.
(5) I wouldn’t bring a 16 month old on the Teacups or Haunted Mansion. Others may disagree.
I’ll just comment that, for my first trip with my son when he was 18 months old, I scheduled no time for characters meet and greets outside of character meals (was on DDP and trying to get best value). I was thinking he had no interest and neither did we. This was based on recent previous reactions to Santa Claus and mascots at local games and such. At Disney however, he went crazy for the characters, particularly the fur characters. After seeing how excited he got meeting Winnie the Pooh characters and the pure love and joy on his face when he interacted with these characters, we ended up changing our plans to incorporate a lot more meet and greets. We also ended up ditching our scheduled nap back at the hotel after the first two days in favor of stroller naps (which I also had thought would not work due to previous experience). His interactions with the characters are some of my favorite memories and pictures from that trip.
I agree with most of this. Early morning fantasyland is biggest hit for us because that’s the time of day kids are typically in the best mood. By evening, they will Likely be too tuckered to be excited for their favorite rides. Skip Swiss treehouse unless it’s on their must-do. And I’d also skip SC and instead do Contempo to avoid being too ambitious.
For naps, consider if there is a time change. For us, Disney is an hour ahead so we can get away with slightly later naps. My kids don’t sleep in public and even though my oldest doesn’t nap now, a 2-3 hour afternoon break in the room is a MUST. If they are paying for Contemporary location they should use it! Most kids can’t hang that long in the parks and really enjoy it IMO.
Fair point … it varies from child to child. When DS was 13 months at WDW, he might not have known the difference (we had a 3 year with us who definitely did not want to try HM), but when DS was 23 months old, he was afraid of skeletons so we did not try HM with him.
You may understand this, but just in case you don’t …
You can’t pick up a same day FP for FoP unless you either (a) modify your Navi River Journey FP into a FoP FP or (b) finish scanning your FP at Navi (and also use your other 2 FPs). Since you are riding Navi around 5:45 pm (which is currently after the last same day FP drop), your odds of getting a same day FoP FP that late in the day are very, very slim. Of course, your plan may be to modify your Navi FP to FoP same day, in which case you have a chance, particularly at the same day FP drop times.
Thanks, that day did feel a little light for him. However, he is fully Star Wars obsessed (like his parents), so I know they plan to spend a lot of time in Galaxy’s Edge (and I think I’m going to add a meet Chewie). I watched a YouTube on Cars and am not sure it is his cup of tea, but I’ll take a look at Disney Jr!
I think a lot of this will be done with my brother while my SIL and I do the bigger rides. He has zero interest in riding the big rides, so they’ll have a bit of hangout time. I do want to make sure they have time to enjoy seeing the parks through his eyes though!
I haven’t broached this subject with her yet, but am going to try soon. I don’t think she understands how long disney transportation takes…and that leaving for a nap will kill a large portion of their day.
I really appreciate all of this feedback! I do not have children, so this is totally foreign territory for me…and once I show all this to my SIL, she may just toss it out anyway. I tried to balance their rides with his rides, but I see what you mean about all those casual rides being jammed together at the end. I’m also going to keep trying to modify that Peter Pan fastpass…they just bought their tickets last week, so my FP+ options were pretty limited.
I will suggest Contempo Cafe for lunch. She had mentioned that the only sit down meal they would do would be lunchtime, and I was trying to pick the best options for Gluten Free.
Thank you for mentioning this! It is definitely important for people to know. Luckily, I am familiar with the modify/same day drop game. The only way I’ve ever gotten FOP is with same day drops (I never plan far enough in advance). I always scoop up the Navi in case it doesn’t work out and then start trying right away at 11:01. If we succeed, my SIL and I will ride FOP while my brother keeps his Navi to ride with the little one.