Trip Report —Club Med + WDW

Hi all, we have a 9 day trip that combines 5.5 days at Club Med Sandpiper with 4 days (3 full days, 2 half days) at WDW. I thought I would do a joint trip report for both since I thought this kind of trip might be interesting to others. Our specific trip is with a large group of lgbt families that take over a different all-inclusive resort each year. This year an add-on option was Disney World, which is how I got involved with all this Lines madness in the first place.

Day 1 (Saturday, July 14) and Day 2 (Sunday, July 15)
Flew out of Rochester MN at 5:30 AM, changed at O’Hare (dear god, huge airport with a tight connection. I RAN at least a mile pushing a double stroller). Then flew into West Palm Beach. Nice airport but very confusing what we were supposed to do next. Found out airport restricts people coming in from busses to organize groups—strange. Eventually we found our people and our bus to the resort (all transfers were included).
We swam, then went to orientation and dinner. There is the most amazing chocolate bread at all Club Meds. It comes in both white chocolate and dark and I could eat it and nothing else.
Resort impressions: Club Med is really lovely. Our room is older and the shower area is a little gross, but the room is big and has a nice balcony. I slipped getting into the bathtub and hurt my elbow. They apologized and gave us a rubber bath mat to go inside the bathtub—they seemed very relieved I didn’t want anything else. We have a queen sized bed, two daybeds, and a crib. We could have gotten a smaller room but thought kiddo 2 might need a bed rather than a crib so got the nicer room. Turns out he is still in the crib but we appreciate the space. Club Med provides the crib (pack’nplay) and bedding, a stroller for our use, a baby bathtub, and access to a room stocked with formula, milk, yogurt, fruit, and cereal 24/7.
Our previous all-inclusive were on ocean beaches and this is on a river, so meh on beach swimming. Still, there is a nice regular pool, a lap pool, an adult only pool and hot tub, a kid pool with slides, and a baby wading pool. There is a toddler playground and a bigger playground, along with basketball courts, tennis courts, a trapeze, kayaks, paddle birds, sailboats, and more. That’s all included. Renting jet skis or motorboats costs extra. My 6 year old is off at the kids club now doing theater camp, circus camp, and pool time. Kids club is included for kids 4 and up, but costs extra for 0-3. I am in the room with our two year old who is napping. We tried napping out in a cabana (there are many and just first come first serve) but he kept popping up to say hello to passers-by. He seems thrilled to see so many same-sex families; he keeps commenting that the people “match” like his parents. Adorably, he said, “hi two peoples!” to several of the couples we passed. We love feeling included and relaxed on these trips, but they are at least as much about helping our kids see that there are other families like ours. Every family here is lgbtq, and there are hundreds of us.
What else? There is a very nice daycare facility for the little kids, but it does cost extra. $45 for 4 hours, $90 for 8. I assume we will do it at some point but it is tough to spend more money than we are already paying this trip. There is also a pajama club for all kids, 7-11pm for $35. Way cheaper than Disney prices but still adds up quickly.
Our group organizes some activities but Club Med also puts on its own. I attended aqua gym, run by Club Med, but our group was having a panel discussion about foster care and adopting from foster care. Tonight there is a queer comic for the adults and some sort of supervised kids superhero party. Basically this is glorious and I would be so sad to leave Thursday except we’ll be headed to WDW!
A few more notes: food is good. All buffet except for one sit down restaurant (reservations required but cost included). Food is decently labeled with ingredients but staff happy to give more info. No dedicated gluten free cooking area but food without gluten included. My wife is allergic to melon and they made her a special sangria without melon after she asked about the regular sangria and found out she couldn’t have it. I am not a big drinker but have enjoyed the non-alcoholic smoothies and frozen lemonade so far. When we got off the bus they handed us champagne (and sparkling water with lime for the kids). So there’s that.
Thanks for reading! I’ll be back with more updates.


One note—we flew United and they put ALL of us separately, spread out across the plane, even the 2 year old. We asked politely for them to put us together and they said no because we had the basic economy seats, even though we knew the flight wasn’t full. My wife said “really? You are going to seat my two year old alone?” Eventually the flight attendant said fine, she could put us together at the back of the plane. We said thanks, that sounds great—so then we were sat all together and there were extra seats all around us! Her attitude was so bizarre. Flight attendant on the plane itself was lovely, though—she even gave our children fancy gummy bears at 7:45 AM and answered all of my 6 year old’s questions about life as a flight attendant.

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That is so bizarre. How did they think a 2 year old would get along on his own? Glad it worked out in the end.

That’s ridiculous!!

Ugh, the dreaded UA basic economy! I booked that once without realizing it. Luckily I was flying alone. I’ll only book BE if it’s for a solo traveler.

I’m glad the FA on board was so cool though!

Yay for a nice long trip!!!

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Update, Monday and Tuesday:
Resort life is lovely and going too quickly. Monday I did a spin class and water aerobics that together allowed me to eat five million loaves of chocolate bread with no guilt. Vacation math. I went to a “Disney mixer” about which I posted in the app: basically a whole bunch of people admitting they hadn’t decided which parks they were visiting and/or hadn’t bought tickets yet. Just…wow. We will be there Thursday night! Then we had pool time as a family and then had reservations at the one non-buffet restaurant. It was kind of a disaster. It took 2 hours with a fixed menu! Yes, my wife is gluten free but they just told her what on the menu she could and could not order. She is also allergic to melon so the only desert she could have with neither was the citrus parfait. Somehow their definition of citrus includes melon? So she couldn’t eat anything. My alligator appetizer, steak, and flan were all delicious, though.
Evening activities were a family game show like the newlyweds game and then a glo party. It is all fun but the kids are getting tired. Need to get them both some rest before Disney.

Today we all slept later and then I went kayaking and paddle boarding with DD6 after breakfast. She was quickly bored and jumped out to make sandcastles on the beach with DS2 and my wife. Oh well. We all got frosty drinks and played in the pool until lunch. After lunch DD6 went to theater camp and a scavenger hunt while my wife took DS2 to the room to nap. I went waterskiing (!!) and then to the adult-only pool and bar to recover. I am proud of myself for doing it. Now my wife and DD6 are at the dance club with new friends while I wait for DS2 to wake up from his 3 hr nap. At least one kid will be well rested.


Sounds like you’re having a great time!

Update, Wednesday and Thursday (July 18 and 19):
I stopped wearing my watch. I had my phone but the watch/Fitbit was too much. I wasn’t doing any walking worth noting and I couldn’t wear it in the pool, which is where I was 90% of the time.
I can’t really talk about what I did Wednesday because it really was just eat/pool/drink/pool, repeat all day. Our rainbow floatie was still afloat so we spent a lot of time in it.
My daughter went to theater camp again—she had a line in their show, so was very excited. We all got to the show 20 minutes early to sit in the front row and watch her, which was a great idea because the rest of the show was incredible. Theater camp was run by actual broadway and off-broadway performers and musicians. They all performed Disney medleys loosely arranged around the idea of a fairytale and learning to be proud of who you are. I don’t know most names but my daughter’s direct instructor was Aly Palmer from the grrl-rock band Betty. Very cool. We missed the learn to DJ workshop but it was run by a really fun DJ who performs a lot in NYC if you ever have the chance to hear her, DJ Rockaway.
Today we had to finish packing our stuff and get it outside our room. Made me very glad I canceled our split stay and our Disney time will be all at one hotel (POFQ). I hate packing. We did manage to make one suitcase Disney and the other “don’t open until we get home” so that helped. It does not appear we will have quite enough diapers. Trying to decide whether to put in a last minute prime now order or risk not having enough or…whatever our other options are. We have 13 diapers left, not counting swim diapers, and 3 Park days, a travel day, and the rest of today. Cutting it close! Kiddo is 2.5.
Today I took the 6 year old tubing. It was great fun. She was terrified but afterward said she wanted a time turner so we could go back and do it again. She even wanted to cancel Disney and stay at the resort so we could do more tubing! We squeezed in a quick dip in the pool before we left instead.
Her love of the tubing bodes well for the roller coasters, I think!
Thanks for reading all this. We will be at POFQ in an hour or so. I got our room info and my room request wasn’t fulfilled at all. I asked for building 4 first floor, close to busses and the food court. I got building 1, far from everything. At least it is first floor and the resort is pretty small. Here are some photos of our trip thus far. image|665x499


Sounds wonderful, love the pics! Building 1 isn’t far at all!

Shenkel list/trip report over in the app, though I will try to write more here, too.

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I don’t understand why they don’t sit families together when there are extra seats in the plane! We flew a budget airline overseas last year and after we were sure boarding was done asked if we could change seats to spread out some. They denied us and said we weren’t allowed to change seats after we’d been given our seat assignments. I kinda get it, but when the flight is 2/3 free…just annoys me. Total money grab. Anyways, I’m glad they eventually sat you together!