Advice/experiences with 3 year old and 12 month old?

PSM

Active Member
Original Poster
With our second boy due in June, we likely won't be going on another family vacation until mid next year at the earliest. There's simply no way my wife will want to go to Disney while still breast-feeding and pumping - plus have a toddler - and she wants to breast feed until the baby is about a year old like she did with our first (we then took him to WDW on his first birthday).

That said, it's never too early to start planning the next trip! So, I'm really just looking to get the creative and inspirational juices flowing. I don't necessarily have any specific questions to ask; I'm more seeking any random thoughts and advice anyone can share based on their own experiences in a similar situation.

A few key details that likely won't change are:

- We'll be staying at either a Moderate hotel or a family suite at Art of Animation or All-Star Music. Wife won't want a standard room at a Value and we can't afford Deluxe.

- The trip will probably include anywhere from 5-7 full days, plus the two travel days.

- Flying in from out of state on direct 2-hour flight, Magical Express from the airport.

- We like pool time, so that will be included even at the expense of the extra park time I enjoy (with two little kids, it seems sacrificing park time for pool time makes a lot of sense, so I'm 100% on board with that).

Other than that, much of it is undecided, so really any input or stories could be helpful. Thanks!
 

HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
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I think a lot hinges on you guys when they're that young.

-Good stroller nappers can stay in the parks all day while those who don't probably need a daily nap break back at the resort.
-Kids who can deviate from their home routines may be able to go to later dinners, fireworks, etc. while ones who need to keep a strict schedule will likely have to have all planning around that to maintain it while on vacation.
-Little kids means bringing more stuff and a bigger stroller. We found that summer trips meant less to pack than winter trips and trips with diaper age kids means more changes of clothes. We opted for rooms with more space when our kids were young for this reason.
-With those ages, you may also want to look into having things delivered vs. packing/flying with some of the necessities. In other words, you don't want to use suitcase space on diapers and such.
-Most people don't know how their kids will respond to characters, but I went pretty heavy with character dining plans when ours were younger...especially pre-park opening breakfasts, so character stuff wouldn't eat away too much at our park time.

One thing we also did when ours were younger was divide and conquer. In those early days, there were always things the older one was tall enough to do, but not the younger one. So, one of us would ride Barnstormer or something like that with the older one while the other would go off with the younger one and find a play area or attraction with no height restrictions. I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of right now.
 
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aliceismad

Well-Known Member
Personally I would look into renting DVC points. We have stayed at Animal Kingdom - Kidani and Bay Lake Tower in studio rooms for not much more than a moderate and less than a suite at Animation. Bay Lake Tower was exceptionally convenient with a small kiddo after spending time at Magic Kingdom or Epcot. (We split that stay and spend the first half at POFQ, which was fine.) I would also look for a hotel with a splash pad, if your kiddo likes that. Mine does and it made a big difference. POFQ has a nice splash area, as does Kidani and Grand Floridian. Not sure about the other hotels. Swan/Dolphin might also be a good to look into, since they are boat/walking distance to Epcot and HS.
 
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PSM

Active Member
Original Poster
I think a lot hinges on you guys when they're that young.

-Good stroller nappers can stay in the parks all day while those who don't probably need a daily nap break back at the resort.
-Kids who can deviate from their home routines may be able to go to later dinners, fireworks, etc. while ones who need to keep a strict schedule will likely have to have all planning around that to maintain it while on vacation.
-Little kids means bringing more stuff and a bigger stroller. We found that summer trips meant less to pack than winter trips and trips with diaper age kids means more changes of clothes. We opted for rooms with more space when our kids were young for this reason.
-With those ages, you may also want to look into having things delivered vs. packing/flying with some of the necessities. In other words, you don't want to use suitcase space on diapers and such.
-Most people don't know how their kids will respond to characters, but I went pretty heavy with character dining plans when ours were younger...especially pre-park opening breakfasts, so character stuff wouldn't eat away too much at our park time.

One thing we also did when ours were younger was divide and conquer. In those early days, there were always things the older one was tall enough to do, but not the younger one. So, one of us would ride Barnstormer or something like that with the older one while the other would go off with the younger one and find a play area or attraction with no height restrictions. I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of right now.
Really good things to think about and exactly the types of thoughts I'm looking for. Thanks so much!
Personally I would look into renting DVC points. We have stayed at Animal Kingdom - Kidani and Bay Lake Tower in studio rooms for not much more than a moderate and less than a suite at Animation. Bay Lake Tower was exceptionally convenient with a small kiddo after spending time at Magic Kingdom or Epcot. (We split that stay and spend the first half at POFQ, which was fine.) I would also look for a hotel with a splash pad, if your kiddo likes that. Mine does and it made a big difference. POFQ has a nice splash area, as does Kidani and Grand Floridian. Not sure about the other hotels. Swan/Dolphin might also be a good to look into, since they are boat/walking distance to Epcot and HS.
I have thought about renting DVC points before but never went through with it. I'll look into it again. Also, a good splash pad is a must!
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
Really good things to think about and exactly the types of thoughts I'm looking for. Thanks so much!

I have thought about renting DVC points before but never went through with it. I'll look into it again. Also, a good splash pad is a must!
You also might consider the square footage of the rooms. A suite at Animation would be bigger than DVC studios, of course, and has two bathrooms. The BLT studio was on the smaller side, which doesn't bother us at all, but might be more problematic with two little ones.The studios at Poly and Grand Floridian have both a bathtub and a separate shower, which I know some people like so two people can get washed up at once.

If your kids love a good splash pad, you might look into which resorts have zero-entry pools. Also look into which hotels have playgrounds. Not all of them do.

Another thing to consider is the stroller situation. I believe you can take strollers on the monorail without having to fold them up, which makes the monorail hotels very appealing to those with small kiddos. With just one kiddo, we took a small umbrella stroller so it wasn't a big deal to fold it up for buses, but if you have a double stroller, I'm sure that's more difficult, especially at the end of the night if kiddos are sleeping.

Our kiddo absolutely loves the monorail as well as the boat trip from POFQ to Disney Springs. I believe POFQ, POR, SSR, and OKW all have a boat to Disney Springs. Of course there's also boat transportation in the Magic Kingdom area and on Crescent Lake between Epcot and HS.
 
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jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
One of the main "issues" that I have seen people have is that they think that they can still tour like they did before they had kids. I recommend several things... keeping their sleep schedule as much as possible, and that means that if they had a rough night and are still sleeping in the morning, do not wake them up. That will lead to a tired and cranky baby all day. Make sure they are well hydrated. We kept giving them sips of water all day long every 15 minutes or so. Make sure that the food that they eat for the main meals is healthy. Processed foods will eventually drag them down. Getting a rotisserie chicken and some green beans in them will do more for their stamina then anything else. Know that it is OK to spend a half an hour just looking at the ducks if that is what is making them happy at the time. The biggest thing is to just pay attention to them and see how they are feeling at the time. Most "melt downs" can be thwarted before they start if you see that your child is hungry, tired, had enough, etc. We started taking our kids when they were 1 & 2 years old and they have been every year since(they are now 18 & 19). I loved it when they were little and still believed all of it was real. Have a great trip.
 

cat hem

Active Member
The first time we took our kids they were 2.5 and 4. We only had an umbrella stroller (quick easy to fold) and as an additional accessory - we brought my parents! They were fantastic, took the tired kids back to the room, DH and I could tour later into the night. Worked out great for us. Back then the AOA wasn't built so we had two adjoining rooms at CB.
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
We've been going two or three times per year since my oldest was about six months old. She's now 5, her sister is 2, and baby brother just joined us. Our two biggest tips are 1) avoid the heat (whether you go in the winter or leave the parks midday) and 2) get plenty of sleep. Everything else is easy.

This stroller is awesome. Fits both kids very comfortably and folds up small enough to fit through the scanner at the airport.


FWIW, my wife says nursing at Disney is super easy but to leave the pump at home. It's not worth all of the extra equipment (pumps, bottles, refrigeration, etc.)
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
If you find yourself in the midst of potty-training the toddler while at WDW (or even in the months just after), my advice is to stop and have everybody use the restroom every time you go by one. It's easy to get so distracted at WDW that you aren't really listening to your body and don't realize you have to go until you really have to go!
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
We've done those ages (though not together) the 3yo could be the wildcard. Are they napping? Are they terrible in their 2s already as 3s can be worse? Are you willing to split up if one melts and the other doesn't? What about potty training? Those are truly bigger issues than the 1yo in our experience.
 
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