First Time Trip for a Seasoned Disney Vet

juniorthomas

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I've been to The World so many times, I've lost count. Whenever family members or friends (or, let's face it, people I don't even know) mention taking a trip to Disney, I turn into a tour guide of sorts, spouting off buckets of information that they'll never remember in a failed attempt to try to vicariously enjoy their WDW trip with them.

Since the day my daughter, now three years old, was born, I've been slowly getting myself more and more excited for the day I get to take her to Disney. That day is coming early next year. Now, I know we'll have an amazing time no matter what we do, but I want to be sure I get the right perspective for this trip.

You see, I've only ever traveled to Disney from the perspective of an action loving little boy to a teenager to a grown up (of sorts). Now I get to see Disney from the view of a parent, trying to tailor our visit to the likes of a three year old girl.

So please, let me know: what are the BEST things I need to make sure my daughter sees while we're at WDW? She's a HUGE Princess fan, and we've already got a princess dinner (Akershus) scheduled. If you have enjoyed a Disney trip with your a little girl, tell me what I need to know so I can make sure her visit is perfect! (ie - any tips for how the Akershus dinner with the princesses works, or how I can make sure she doesn't miss out on anything? Should I/Can I ask WDW Resorts to have something big planned upon our arrival?)
 

NYwdwfan

Well-Known Member
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Did you look into the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique? Maybe the same day as the Akershus dinner? I loved dinner there - you have your photo taken with Belle when you arrive and then the other princesses (we had Snow White, Ariel, Aurora and Jasmine, I think?) came to the table.
 

Lucky

Well-Known Member
Going with young kids it's definitely a different experience. My daughter was 4 when we first took her. Her favorite was Minnie, and one of her favorite moments was when Minnie waved toward us in Spectromagic. (She was most into the princesses on our next two trips, when she was 5 or 6.) She liked the parades, the castle stage show, and the nighttime shows (Wishes, Fantasmic). She loved the Barnstormer, but not all 4 year olds (whether boy or girl) would be that adventurous. Other than doing all of the less-intense rides I would recommend a lot of the shows, like VotLM at DHS. You might schedule a princess breakfast too, at CRT. With new Fantasyland opening it will be the perfect time to have a young daughter to bring to WDW.
 

luv

Well-Known Member
You never know what little kids are going to like. So, do the little kid stuff and find out. :) And be sure to slow down. If the child wants to follow a bug along the rock and isn't in anyone's way, take some time out and let them watch the bug. If the kid doesn't like Pooh, don't push it because you wanted a picture.

So often, parents are more concerned with their own fun, fulfilling their vision of what a good time would have been...getting the pictures they wanted to get, etc. the child's actual happiness ends up a distant second to the documentation of the parent's idea of what should have made them happy.

If the kid wants to play in the water, but the line for Peter Pan is building, skip Peter Pan. Let the kid play and have fun.

You have had your fun your way. Now let your child have their fun their way. You will both be happier that way. I swear.

And don't go to ITTBAB!!!
 

rsoxguy

Well-Known Member
I started taking my daughter when she was about two. From my experience (with a disclaimer that every kid is different) I would say that you just need to enter the park and let her see and experience everything through her own eyes. Lead her to some obvious choices, but in truth, you will soon learn the things that she enjoys the most. Your job is to enjoy watching her. Time flies.
 

DisneyDebNJ

Well-Known Member
I've been to The World so many times, I've lost count. Whenever family members or friends (or, let's face it, people I don't even know) mention taking a trip to Disney, I turn into a tour guide of sorts, spouting off buckets of information that they'll never remember in a failed attempt to try to vicariously enjoy their WDW trip with them.

Since the day my daughter, now three years old, was born, I've been slowly getting myself more and more excited for the day I get to take her to Disney. That day is coming early next year. Now, I know we'll have an amazing time no matter what we do, but I want to be sure I get the right perspective for this trip.

You see, I've only ever traveled to Disney from the perspective of an action loving little boy to a teenager to a grown up (of sorts). Now I get to see Disney from the view of a parent, trying to tailor our visit to the likes of a three year old girl.

So please, let me know: what are the BEST things I need to make sure my daughter sees while we're at WDW? She's a HUGE Princess fan, and we've already got a princess dinner (Akershus) scheduled. If you have enjoyed a Disney trip with your a little girl, tell me what I need to know so I can make sure her visit is perfect! (ie - any tips for how the Akershus dinner with the princesses works, or how I can make sure she doesn't miss out on anything? Should I/Can I ask WDW Resorts to have something big planned upon our arrival?)
Firstly, congratulations to you and your family for planning a trip, that you all will remember for the rest of your lives!!!! We started taking our DS (who is now 23) when he was 3 years old. The first time he saw the fab 5, especially Mickey, he went insane, and to this day I remember his expression. Bippity Boppity Boop that @NYwdwfan suggested is an excellent idea. Its so cute to see other vacationers bow to the *Princesses*. A meal at Cinderella's Royal Table is something your DD would probably thoroughly enjoy. The meet and greets for a child's first visit, is the BEST, bar none. Upon arrival, your daughter will get a *1st visit* button, and the CMs make it special. Yes, when you call Disney, explain this is your daughter's first visit, and they will make a slew of suggestions. Personally, mull them over, come back to WDWMAGIC, and ask ANY questions, regarding any suggestions Disney makes. There are MANY special surprises you can plan, a basket or balloons in your room, special tours, a cake delivered to any restaurant .... the list goes on and on. Be prepared to bring a box of kleenex, your daughter's reactions to this magical vacation, will bring tears to your eyes. Have a wonderful time planning! Wishing you and yours alot of pixie dust!!!
 

NYwdwfan

Well-Known Member
So often, parents are more concerned with their own fun, fulfilling their vision of what a good time would have been...getting the pictures they wanted to get, etc. the child's actual happiness ends up a distant second to the documentation of the parent's idea of what should have made them happy.
We were having breakfast at Hollywood & Vine and the lady at the next table was forcing her small, crying child to pose with Jake (sans the Neverland Pirates) and actually said - while sporting an ecstatic grin, mind you - "Stop crying and smile - we're having fun!!!". Yeah - um - not all of you are having fun lady.
 

tracyandalex

Well-Known Member
Here is some of our favorites with DD4 (she has been to the world about 5 times already though):
Chef Mickey's
meeting Mickey & Minnie in townhall at MK
Magic Carpets of Aladdin (just like Jasmine!)
PotC
she's iffy with HM, we just remind her that it is all pretend and she's ok
IASW
"the pooh ride"
peter pan
Goofy's Barnstormer
all the parades
all the fireworks
the castle show
Fantasmic
Beauty and the Beast show
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Disney Junior show
Disney Junior breakfast
Kilamajaro safari
Festival of the Lion King
Kali River Rapids
"the Nemo ride"
sometimes she likes to do Turtle Talk with Crush and sometimes no
Imagination (she loves Figment and running around with all the "games" after the ride)
"the Donald ride" in Mexico
TSMM
"the Muppets show"
the monorail
"the Buzz ride"
she also loves to meet every character we see
Biergarten - the dancing
"the Hello Kitty store" - the store in Japan with all the Hello Kitty stuff
Once Upon a Toy at DTD where she makes the Mr. Potato Heads, we always buy her some parts
Philharmagic

A tip - we always let her pick what she wants to do, we basically just follow her around the park. We have already seen everything so we like to go at her pace and let her have fun. OUr daughter can hang, but be sure to be aware of naps. We generally will walk her around in the stroller until she falls asleep cause we hate leaving the parks. While DD is sleeping we do single rider on rides she can't go on.
Enjoy!! This is a great age to take the kids.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
Parades.. Get up front where she will be noticed and the performers will interact with her.

Find out if she can tolerate fireworks.. Not all like the big booms

Figure out her tolerance for sitting in a theater and adapt. Voyage of the little mermaid is a good show for little ones

Understand your family's tolerance for table service and adapt.

Consider an umbrella stroller - it's easier and less obtrusive

Bring small snacks to sustain during the day

The pool might be your favorite attraction
 

juniorthomas

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Did you look into the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique? Maybe the same day as the Akershus dinner? I loved dinner there - you have your photo taken with Belle when you arrive and then the other princesses (we had Snow White, Ariel, Aurora and Jasmine, I think?) came to the table.
Oh my goodness, I had no idea about the BBB. I thought it was just a store. She would completely freak out if she knew she could become a princess! I'm going to have to really think about this one. Thanks for the great idea!
 

stichrules

Active Member
On the BBB get her outfit ahead of time and take it with you and just get the hair and nails package. You can save a whole ton of money this way. We order their dresses from Disney and save anywhere from a 1/4 to 1/2 off. Also, Plan for breaks everyday at the pool. Our GD's love going to the pool every afternoon. Because of this I do not think we have ever had a real meltdown by them. The oldest is 4 and she is goign back for 4 trip in about a month.
 

Nemo14

Well-Known Member
The first time we took our daughter she was 2. She loved everything - balloons, squirrels, you name it. The next time we went she had just turned 5, and just seeing the park through her eyes was the most magical experience for us as parents,. As others have said, go at her pace and just enjoy. They grow up way too fast!
 

juniorthomas

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Firstly, congratulations to you and your family for planning a trip, that you all will remember for the rest of your lives!!!! We started taking our DS (who is now 23) when he was 3 years old. The first time he saw the fab 5, especially Mickey, he went insane, and to this day I remember his expression. Bippity Boppity Boop that @NYwdwfan suggested is an excellent idea. Its so cute to see other vacationers bow to the *Princesses*. A meal at Cinderella's Royal Table is something your DD would probably thoroughly enjoy. The meet and greets for a child's first visit, is the BEST, bar none. Upon arrival, your daughter will get a *1st visit* button, and the CMs make it special. Yes, when you call Disney, explain this is your daughter's first visit, and they will make a slew of suggestions. Personally, mull them over, come back to WDWMAGIC, and ask ANY questions, regarding any suggestions Disney makes. There are MANY special surprises you can plan, a basket or balloons in your room, special tours, a cake delivered to any restaurant .... the list goes on and on. Be prepared to bring a box of kleenex, your daughter's reactions to this magical vacation, will bring tears to your eyes. Have a wonderful time planning! Wishing you and yours alot of pixie dust!!!
Thanks for the kind words. We're really excited. (We still haven't told her yet. We'll likely do it the day of, to make things more interesting!) I'll definitely give them a call to see if there is something special we can cook up. I contemplated the Royal Table, but chose Akershus because we'll be trying Be Our Guest on our day at MK.

Also, DD and DS - that's a new one for me. I'm definitely using that from now on!
 

juniorthomas

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We were having breakfast at Hollywood & Vine and the lady at the next table was forcing her small, crying child to pose with Jake (sans the Neverland Pirates) and actually said - while sporting an ecstatic grin, mind you - "Stop crying and smile - we're having fun!!!". Yeah - um - not all of you are having fun lady.
Eeeeeesh. I can't imagine they have much fun looking back through that photo album.
 

juniorthomas

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Here is some of our favorites with DD4 (she has been to the world about 5 times already though):
Chef Mickey's
meeting Mickey & Minnie in townhall at MK
Magic Carpets of Aladdin (just like Jasmine!)
PotC
she's iffy with HM, we just remind her that it is all pretend and she's ok
IASW
"the pooh ride"
peter pan
Goofy's Barnstormer
all the parades
all the fireworks
the castle show
Fantasmic
Beauty and the Beast show
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Disney Junior show
Disney Junior breakfast
Kilamajaro safari
Festival of the Lion King
Kali River Rapids
"the Nemo ride"
sometimes she likes to do Turtle Talk with Crush and sometimes no
Imagination (she loves Figment and running around with all the "games" after the ride)
"the Donald ride" in Mexico
TSMM
"the Muppets show"
the monorail
"the Buzz ride"
she also loves to meet every character we see
Biergarten - the dancing
"the Hello Kitty store" - the store in Japan with all the Hello Kitty stuff
Once Upon a Toy at DTD where she makes the Mr. Potato Heads, we always buy her some parts
Philharmagic

A tip - we always let her pick what she wants to do, we basically just follow her around the park. We have already seen everything so we like to go at her pace and let her have fun. OUr daughter can hang, but be sure to be aware of naps. We generally will walk her around in the stroller until she falls asleep cause we hate leaving the parks. While DD is sleeping we do single rider on rides she can't go on.
Enjoy!! This is a great age to take the kids.
What's the strategy for parades? Is that something we need to line up for hours in advance, or does it matter all that much? Obviously, I think it would be a hard sell to convince her that "well, dear, in an hour there will be fun coming along!" Also, I did Fantasmic once and waited in line for an incredibly long period of time. Is that still the norm for that?
 

juniorthomas

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Parades.. Get up front where she will be noticed and the performers will interact with her.

Find out if she can tolerate fireworks.. Not all like the big booms

Figure out her tolerance for sitting in a theater and adapt. Voyage of the little mermaid is a good show for little ones

Understand your family's tolerance for table service and adapt.

Consider an umbrella stroller - it's easier and less obtrusive

Bring small snacks to sustain during the day

The pool might be your favorite attraction
Umbrella stroller - is this one of those slimmer, collapsible models? Or is that something you can rent on or off property?
 

juniorthomas

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
On the BBB get her outfit ahead of time and take it with you and just get the hair and nails package. You can save a whole ton of money this way. We order their dresses from Disney and save anywhere from a 1/4 to 1/2 off. Also, Plan for breaks everyday at the pool. Our GD's love going to the pool every afternoon. Because of this I do not think we have ever had a real meltdown by them. The oldest is 4 and she is goign back for 4 trip in about a month.
Thanks for the tip!

As for the pool, we'll be there in early February. I really want her to be able to enjoy the pool, but the web says it's usually in the 70s around that time of the year. Anyone know if February allows for pool weather in Orlando?
 

flynnibus

Premium Member

ParentsOf4

Well-Known Member
I have a radical suggestion based on my experience. This is her first trip. She will be wowed by everything. Assuming you plan to take her again soon, do not do anything special this trip. Let her enjoy WDW for what it is. Save all the special events for future trips.

Oh, and one more thing. Don't be surprised if she wants to spend all the time at the resort pool.:) One way to handle this is to let her know ahead of times that mornings will be spent at the parks, afternoons will be spent at the pool and taking a nap.;)
 

Cosmic Commando

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the kind words. We're really excited. (We still haven't told her yet. We'll likely do it the day of, to make things more interesting!) I'll definitely give them a call to see if there is something special we can cook up. I contemplated the Royal Table, but chose Akershus because we'll be trying Be Our Guest on our day at MK.

Also, DD and DS - that's a new one for me. I'm definitely using that from now on!
I would TOTALLY tell her the day of or close to it... little kids have no concept of time, so telling a 3YO something is two months away is basically forever.

As far as a stroller, I don't really like the umbrella strollers because I haven't found one with a good shade. Kids can burn really easily getting pushed around in the sun all day. Disney sells a not-quite umbrella stroller (it was around $40 in 2008 when I got mine) in the parks that is decent.
 
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