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Disney Family Travel

Disney Part 3 Disney and our Toddler

Disney.(Warning, the post is picture heavy)

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With a toddler.

There were many many many folks giving me advice on what to do, how to do it and what to get on first.  My obsessive nature almost got the best of me and allowed me to plan our day within an inch of it’s life.  But Pookah is 3 going on 4.  You can’t really PLAN with a toddler.

So my plan became…..follow the toddlers lead.

And it worked…for the most part.

Disney invoves a LOT of walking.  And this from a family that only saw HALF of the park.  We started in Fantasyland. Because frankly, that’s where all the toddler rides are.

We did the teacups

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The race cars

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Dumbo and a roller coaster…..

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And just on this note, I must say, this was supposed to be an “intro” roller coaster? Hell, I screamed my way through it! I am ashamed, because my toddler giggled madly the whole time. No fear that boy. None.

We took a break then and let Pookah run through the spinklers. Awesome way to cool off.

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We walked around and found our way to the Disney show and saw Captain Hook and Mickey and them…

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And then made our way to tomorrow land for a cool off ride…..

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( Yes, he is dancing down the street)

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and then a loooong line for

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Around this time, Pookah started getting cranky and I knew it was time for a break.  After a battle over using the bathroom, I physically picked up the child and headed for the exit.

He cried….

And then he passed out before we even got to the car

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We had a lunch and a longer nap back at the hotel, and when we woke up, it was raining.

Hard.

But that’s Florida for you.

We headed back over to the park anyway and decided to get Ponchos

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I didn’t get photos of the Ponchos because just when I was about to take a photo, the rain stopped.

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mickey ears

We made our way back into the park, intending to go to the other side, but ended up doing the same rides over again. Because that’s what Pookah wanted.

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The sun set and the parade of lights began

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Followed by the awesome display at the castle

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Followed by awesome awesome fireworks.

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It was the perfect ending to the perfect day.

A few points:

  • unlike everyone told us, we didn’t get or need a stroller. I found that as long as we took breaks on rides that let us sit for a while we were fine. Plus, I think our mid day break helped a lot too.  I didn’t feel the need to stay all day just because we had paid for it.  It was all about staying sane. And not letting the toddler get cranky 🙂
  • Get there early.  Since we were there when the park opened, we were able to enjoy a lot of it without the crowds and without the long waits.  By the time we left for our mid day break, it was packed.  Most folks were just getting going by then. And they had long waits and cranky kids.
  • next time, stay on property.  The journey from the actual PARK to our car in the parking lot was actually about 30 minutes round trip.  That could be eliminated by staying in a resort on the property. I loooooved where we stayed ( kiss kiss @brainypintsizer) but the next time when I have more time and more money, we will stay in a resort on the property.  Only one tram to take!
  • Bring your own water and snacks.  Cause Disney ain’t cheap.
  • Buy the cool clothes. AWESOME. They stay cool. ALL. DAY> LONG.
  • Photographers: Pick ONE lens or learn to use your camera phone really well.  I originally was just going to bring my **Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 . But at the last minute, I decided to throw my **Canon EF 35mm f/2 in my bag. That combination with my **Black Rapid Womans Camera Strap made it easy to carry my 7D all day across my body.  Loved it. I didn’t need a camera bag or a heavy purse.  Just an extra battery and CF card just in case in my very light backpack.  I did bring the Tamron out in the evening for the fireworks photos. But only because I wanted the 28mm part of the lens for the fireworks and the zoom for the parade.
  • Claim a spot on the street early for the parade.  People started lining up 2 hours before hand.
  • Let go and let Disney. What I mean is this: don’t overplan. Just go. Just do it. Just enjoy.  It was magical.  And I can’t wait to do it again!!!

What about you guys? Any Disney advice for toddlers?

 

**this post contains affiliate links. If you click, I might get paid…notice I said might….

**All opinions are my own. Disney did not pay me to say any of this. But wouldn’t it have been awesome if they did? LOL

 

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  • Reply
    Reginia - PoisedinPrint.com
    August 9, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Pookah looked like he was TURNT UP… all the way. You’ve captured some great shots. I think it rained when we went to Disney as well. You are so right, Disney’s food isn’t cheap by any means.
    Reginia – PoisedinPrint.com recently posted..Back to School: Top 3 Teacher AppsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Krissy
    August 9, 2013 at 11:55 am

    looks like SO much fun! I agree, you can’t plan at disney, you kind of just have to go with the flow. I did need my stroller though when we took Jas. She gets tired( read:lazy) after just a little bit of walking and i refuse to carry her around that park so stroller it was and it came in handy lol.
    Krissy recently posted..Another Guest PostMy Profile

    • Reply
      LaShawn
      August 9, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      Pookah does not get tired. He has too much damn energy and wants to walk everywhere. We thought about it once we got there, but changed our minds when he didn’t get tired.

  • Reply
    Babs
    August 9, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Great pics!

    We did 3 days at Magic Kingdom and 1 at Epcot and it wasn’t enough! Granted we only did 4-6 hours each day, but I still could have used another day.

    That kiddie rollercoaster was great. Regan LOVED it and also laughed hysterically. I rode Dumbo more times than I care to mention. 🙁

    Here is why I suggest folks with toddlers take a stroller- Regan napped in her stroller. Each day I would lay it down (we rented a fancy one) and she would nap for about 90 minutes. We would park somewhere quiet, eat a dole whip and relax. We didn’t have to worry about trudging back to our resort (we did stay on property) and we saved a lot of time.

    • Reply
      LaShawn
      August 9, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      I think it was also the fact that I wanted a break too! It was HOT! Lol. The next time we go, I hope up go longer. We can at least see the other half of the park and go to another resort! Plus he’ll be older! I can’t wait!

  • Reply
    Quiana
    August 9, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    What a fantastic guide! Nia looked over my shoulder while I was reading and started asking lots of questions including, “Mama, can we go there?” so you may get me into trouble LOL! I didn’t go to Disney until I graduated college as a present and both me and my then-boyfriend/now-husband were completely overwhelmed. I think we’ll wait a few years before venturing back with Nia, but for now I’ll live vicariously through your pictures!
    Quiana recently posted..#BTSStyle with MomtrendsMy Profile

    • Reply
      LaShawn
      August 9, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      It is completely overwhelming!!! Especially if you try to overplan it! That’s why my advice is to just go with the flow….

  • Reply
    Kita
    August 9, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Great guide. Love the pictures the fireworks are my fav so cool.
    Kita recently posted..Whats going on KitaMy Profile

  • Reply
    Andrea
    August 10, 2013 at 8:59 am

    How fun! Loved the pictures and the advice. We are leaving for our first family vacation ever…and we’re going to Disney! 41 days, baby! Did you guys visit any of the other Disney parks? If so, what did you think of them?

  • Reply
    Mrs. Pancakes
    August 10, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Yes this is exactly how I think of Disney world…dancing down the street enjoying every single moment. This makes me wanna plan a Disney trip in the next few years!!!

  • Reply
    Mo at Mocadeaux
    August 14, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Beautiful pictures! Growing up in Florida, I’ve been to WDW many times but have never seen a photo of Cinderella’s castle as beautiful as the one you took after the rain. I also loved the photo of Pookah conked out on the monorail! We are planning a trip to take our grandsons to WDW for the first time next year. Thanks for the great tips!
    Mo at Mocadeaux recently posted..Words of WisdomMy Profile

    • Reply
      LaShawn
      August 14, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      thank you so much!! It was such a magical place! We are already planning to go back!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    October 17, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Love love love your pictures!! We went to Disney World last December with 8, 4, and 2 year olds. These tips are great and we did most of the same things. We’re going again in March!

    • Reply
      LaShawn
      October 22, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      thank you! I love Disney and we are planning another trip next thanksgiving! It’s an awesome place for toddlers.

  • Reply
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