Trip Report Free before 3 are Memories for Me

SMJS

Member
Original Poster
Hello readers,

I am SMJS and I read lots of reports on this forum. So I thought I would try to write one, especially for anyone who is interested in an experience with an 8 month old baby visiting with his parents on December 30th.

I first visited at 8 months old with my parents in 1987-a trip I don't remember of course but photos I look at fondly. I've been to WDW many times since then and my husband and I went on a Disney Cruise to Alaska for our honeymoon in 2014. We are from the Bahamas so the flight to Orlando is only an hour. We normally fly Bahamasair or JetBlue but flew Southwest with a connection in FLL because we waited so late to book our flights and direct flights were not an option. Hubby was not interested in driving from FLL so we flew two planes for around 30 minutes each. Anyway this was our first trip with baby and first time staying offsite. Some of my family was also in Orlando and we did other things but I am only including the Disney bits and bobs. So here goes.

Our Disney trip consists of a Character Breakfast at the Four Seasons and one half day at the Magic Kingdom. We agonized over this plan so much. We wondered if we should take the baby to two parks or settle on one park as the warm-up for the future. So the breakfast ended up being the warm-up and the half-day was the full race. We were so exhausted after that half-day we did not make it back for the fireworks that evening. Plus I had two grandmas messaging me from the sunshine at home about the rain they see forecast in Orlando and to make sure our baby does not get wet. They tried to give me a hard time about taking him to WDW in the first place but I did not succumb. Free before 3 are memories for me was my motto. I did keep him dry though and sent photos to prove he was having a smiling good time.

We went to the Four Seasons on December 27th and enjoyed the picturesque drive into the resort. After receiving a valet ticket and unloading the stroller, strapping the baby bag to the stroller, placing the car seat in the stroller, placing shoulder bag on body, making sure I left no essential toys in the car we released the stroller brakes and started our walk inside to the restaurant. We passed through the check-in area, went down a hallway and used some elevators to go up or down I don't remember. The resort is very reminiscent of the One and Only Ocean Club at home and the overall atmosphere was very bright and airy.

We opted for outdoor seating and settled in to a type of lanai area with windows facing a pathway. This "outdoor" seating is completely covered so if it was raining I am sure we would not have gotten wet. The buffet options seemed limited but were more than enough and high quality except for the eggs. They tasted like fast food eggs to me.
I was very nervous about character interaction for J. as my baby photos consist of me looking very unhappy in character interactions. I did not show him photos of any characters or do anything like this. No worries for me though he only displayed curiosity. Mickey and Minnie came multiple times to the table. It was never-ending but never felt intrusive. Maybe the fifth time Minnie came J. finally smiled and reached out his arms. A female CM got him to smile facing the camera. We also took our mandatory photo with Goofy. Goofy came once but Mickey and Minnie came about fifteen times. If I ever do this breakfast again I may keep a tally. The restaurant was not full at our time slot of 11 am but they took their time at each table. I overheard an older couple eating breakfast telling a CM they didn't need to come back. J was due for a feed at some point during the breakfast but he is often excited when we go out and cannot stay focused long enough to finish a bottle so once we were done seeing Mickey and Minnie about twenty times, we packed up and left. On the way out we checked out a chocolate display with penguins which had some amazing detail. I would definitely do this again when he is older. It was worth its value in my opinion.

The next two days consisted of rest until our Magic Kingdom visit on the 30th. We bought our tickets online and I made three fastpass plus reservations, then I linked them with card tickets at the Disney Character warehouse at Premium Outlet that night. We decided the night before not to rush but to try to arrive as close to opening time as possible. J. is always in a good mood in the morning and if his first morning nap is 2 hours he is in a good mood for the rest of the day. If not then it's not such a great day of trying to convince him napping is a good idea. No one has to convince me of that.

Our airbnb was a 17 minute drive from the park even with traffic and this was the first time we were not using park transportation. Another reason we didn't stay onsite was because of the stroller. We knew at a non-monorail resort using a bus would require stroller fold-up and unfolding and I'm not sure if we're just lazy but we were trying to make this as easy on us as possible. I don't like holding up any line and I prefer everything is just in the car. On the way in we had a 10 second debate on $50 preferred parking well savings on accommodations meant we didn't feel too bad about dishing out $50 to have less walking so we paid and turned our hazard lights on keeping them on all the way in to the parking. We got two mini bottles of Dasani water as we got inside the parking area.

We unloaded and started our walk not needing the tram and better yet not needing to fold up our stroller. My husband suggested taking the boat which we had never done before- not even as a kid I had been on it as my family would say we have boats at home. Yes we do but do we have boats that look upon the horizon of Cinderella Castle.....noooooooo. We walked straight onto the ferry-boat and were one of the first three families entering at that exact moment. We parked the strolled at the front and waited maybe 10 minutes before departing. A nice hazy and cloudy sky further awaited us upon the horizon.

I do not remember when security check was but it was painless. I had been observing families with strollers in the past and saw what was done well and what wasn't all of J's things were in ziploc bags all you had to was pull them out and have a look. Then put them back and zip the bag up. I didn't put anything in the stroller basket until we were done with that.

Ok I am going to pause for a moment and add pictures along with completion soon. To anyone who is reading -thanks!
 

MegRuss626

Well-Known Member
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I’m with you on going while they’re “free”. A dear friend of mine brought up the point while I was pregnant with my daughter. So many people stress “oh they’ll never remember” but as adults, how many details do you remember about a vacation you took 10 years ago? I know I don’t remember every last detail. We took my daughter at 15 months and I’m sure she doesn’t “remember” but she loves looking at the pictures now. We’re even going to take her in April before she turns 3!
 

Ayn

New Member
I'm a terrible lurker on these boards but have to say that I love your title and wish that I would have thought of that "come back" all the times people felt the need to comment on my taking children on vacation at a young age. I have wonderful memories of vacations with babies strapped to my front/back and or pushed/pulled one in a stroller/cart. Go have fun with that baby and make many memories!
 

celluloid

Well-Known Member
I’m with you on going while they’re “free”. A dear friend of mine brought up the point while I was pregnant with my daughter. So many people stress “oh they’ll never remember” but as adults, how many details do you remember about a vacation you took 10 years ago? I know I don’t remember every last detail. We took my daughter at 15 months and I’m sure she doesn’t “remember” but she loves looking at the pictures now. We’re even going to take her in April before she turns 3!
Great points.
I always use the statement. "They may not remember, but I will."

Also, people do not give kids enough credit. My son is not typical but he recalls things from when he was 2 and he is nearly 5.
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
I also agree about the memories being for the parents.
And besides, kids are always learning. Who knows what synapses Mickey helps form😎
Can’t wait to hear more!
 

SMJS

Member
Original Poster
I'm back with an update after a very long while, but having a baby in quarantine is certainly no picnic and the Bahamas is taking it's sweet time making decisions on when and how to release us back to the beaches. We started our lockdown in March which was a very slight introduction to social distancing. They basically told us stay home except for essentials and you may go to the beach to exercise etc but some people decided it was time to have the ultimate beach parties so we are banned from the beaches :(.
Here's a chocolate display from the Four Seasons that smelled amazing.
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Continuing from my first post, we entered Magic Kingdom after a painless security and headed to breakfast because I was hungry and ever since my first trip with just hubby we always eat hot dogs and fries from Casey's Corner for breakfast. We have never waited on any long lines for food because by the time we go for food we are usually hangry-it's a bad habit but it's the truth. He ordered while I went to the Baby Care Centre to change J. The centre was clean and well laid out two other moms were in there and it was peacefully quiet. In the meantime hubby sent me this photo
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The hot dog on the left is mine 🤨 is it enough cheese?....I hope so haha no ketchup for me nor relish not this day anyway.
After we started our slew of fastpasses- Winnie the Pooh where my child looked bewildered but I think he enjoyed the honey parts-kid is obsessed with the color yellow he always picks the yellow toy.

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Horrid photo-but don't use flash on rides and I thought his bib looked pretty cool. Do all bibs glow on this ride or is it just the lighting? I have no idea but nice memories for me again.
We then headed to the Little Mermaid which always breaks down for me in the same spot in Florida and California. We listened to Under the Sea on replay interjected by Sebastian a few times until we kept moving along. Is Samuel E. Wright truly Jamaican? I'm going to google it. I just googled it-he's not.
After the Little Mermaid we had a fastpass for It's a Small World but had some time so we just enjoyed the ambiance and came upon the band which hubby really enjoyed.
It's a Small World had a long fastpass line-it's Christmas I guess but it wasn't too bad.Baby J didn't look at anything but it was relaxing regardless. After this we went to Tomorrowland for Carousel of Progress but he kept crying except when we switched scenes - so that was the most uncomfortable attraction. We were glad when that was over. At this point it was raining and we wanted to have a rest.
That rest turned into the end of the day. We were so tired lol I'm so glad we went though and I would do it again but I would definitely stay on property even if it's just for my one park day I would need a two night stay if we were on property we would have definitely gone back.

We went to Disney Springs the next day and enjoyed food and shopping. All in all a great trip and learning experience for WDW with baby.

Thanks for reading and I'm going to just add these two photos. My first trip to Disney was October 1987 at 8 months old. Baby J was nine months old and we both met Minnie as our first character which was not on purpose but definitely I love having these two photos. Minnie certainly has aged well lol.

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SMJS

Member
Original Poster
I forgot to add these photos before posting so these but Mickey and Minnie played Peek-a-boo -they were really sweet and the penguins had a whole delicious layout in the lobby.
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