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Pre-Trip The flights made me do it...

I can't believe I'm actually starting a new pre-trip thread this year. After our last trip in December 2018 (trip report here), we swore our next trip wouldn't be until 2021. Many reasons for that decision, but a lot had to do with this little guy, who is now 10 months:

IMG_6928.JPG


Going with a baby was going to be tough in a lot of ways, especially when also going with his 5 year old sister. Different nap schedules, unknown eating schedules, stroller decisions (the thought of a double stroller terrifies me), babies being fussy etc, all coupled with the fact that this is the one year we have both in daycare/pre-school/private school whatever you want to call it (but is still very much not cheap). So what changed?

K's grandmother lives in Naples, about 3-3.5 hours from Disney, and we've been wanting to visit for awhile. We last visited her when C was 2, and had a great time. Recently she was diagnosed with alzheimers, and after having two grandparents of mine go through that battle, we knew visiting her became much more timely. When I was looking at flights, I happened to compare the flights to Ft Myers to those to/from Orlando, and noticed that the flights from Orlando back to DC especially were quite a bit cheaper.... I actually checked this multiple times to make sure I wasn't just lying to myself.

Not gonna lie, we still have our concerns. A lot of this trip will be up in the air until we are there, and even then, we will just have to go with the flow quite the bit, which is not in our nature. We're planners - I like to look at projected wait times, figure out how to max out FPs, and color code spread sheets. I may have already started some spread sheets, but the focus this trip will be just trying to let the kids experience Disney together. With that said, it's going to be a short trip. Going for a full week, trying to experience everything is just not in the cards right now and honestly sounds exhausting. A short trip to experience the magic sounds just about right.

One other thing helps with this trip - L is the most laid back baby, who smiles at everyone, and is just overly curious and observant. C is the best big sister to him - they always make each other laugh, and even when she goes through the "I thought I had until she was a teenager" attitudes, the second he's around, she brightens right back up.

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To make this even more fun in the not planning, yet actually planning game, is we are going in 3 months! We just booked last night so plans are still very rough, but here's what we got:

Who: Me (Frank), wife K, daughter C and baby L
When: April 25-28 in Naples, April 28 - May 1 at All Star Music

We stayed at ASM back for C's first trip in 2017, and overall really enjoyed it.

IMG_2231.JPG


We would've preferred AS Movies, but booking 3 months before means you can't be too choosy. If Movies opens, we'll probably switch, but any of the values I think will be fun with L at this age, as I'm pretty sure he'll love all the big icons.

I'll follow-up with the rough day by day plans in another post later!
 
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RememberWhen

Well-Known Member
Kids are sooo cute! I think you’ll have a great time! We went at Christmas in 2018 when the kids were 1.5 and 6.5, so a bit older than your two, and it went far better than we expected. Go with the flo and have fun. (And take full advantage of baby swap! Our older one loved that he could ride twice and have some fun with each parent while the other stayed with the baby).
 

belledream

Well-Known Member
Oooh, it's happening!! I will definitely be following along... cause I'm going to be needing everything including the double stroller recommendation for our trip next year! ;)

Glad you're able to spend time with family and also make some wonderful memories!
 

KellBelle

Premium Member
Sorry for the bad circumstances driving the visit, but I am looking forward to your adventures. I know looking back, you will be so happy that you all went.
 

meggo819

Well-Known Member
the thought of a double stroller terrifies me

Do y’all use a carrier to wear the baby at all? I’d try to bring a single stroller that either kid can ride in. Your 5 year old probably won’t need it much anyway and when she does, you could wear baby boy. My 2 cents 🤷‍♀️
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Kids are sooo cute! I think you’ll have a great time! We went at Christmas in 2018 when the kids were 1.5 and 6.5, so a bit older than your two, and it went far better than we expected. Go with the flo and have fun. (And take full advantage of baby swap! Our older one loved that he could ride twice and have some fun with each parent while the other stayed with the baby).

Thank you! That's a good point that I had thought of like a year ago when I first considered moving up the 2021 trip for a hot second, and then forgot all about it :banghead:

Following! Beautiful children!! So sorry about Grandma and glad you're able to visit, and combine it with a Disney trip!

Thank you!

Oooh, it's happening!! I will definitely be following along... cause I'm going to be needing everything including the double stroller recommendation for our trip next year! ;)

Glad you're able to spend time with family and also make some wonderful memories!

Thanks! Right now we're leaning away from double stroller, because we won't need it all the time. But I'm guessing our minds will change a lot over the next few months. I'll let you know what we decide, and how it goes!


Sorry for the bad circumstances driving the visit, but I am looking forward to your adventures. I know looking back, you will be so happy that you all went.

Thank you! It really is like all the Disney commercials say - they're only young once!

Do y’all use a carrier to wear the baby at all? I’d try to bring a single stroller that either kid can ride in. Your 5 year old probably won’t need it much anyway and when she does, you could wear baby boy. My 2 cents 🤷‍♀️

We've been thinking about this. We sometimes do, but he's at the phase right now that he hates anything constraining him, but who knows if that'll change. At the moment at least we're leaning away from the double stroller, because like you said the 5 year old won't need it a ton, and I think it'll just cause more of a headache than anything else. So we're thinking baby wear if he's up for that (we'll have to try it again as it gets closer), or possibly bring two strollers - one that we can just park for most of the day (maybe an umbrella one even), and then one we'll keep closer.
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member

Easy easy easy and it folds up SMALL. Small enough to fit through the normal x-ray machines in the airport.

Also, that's a very short trip you're looking at. I know conventional wisdom says "shorter trip is less stress" but I think the opposite is true. The longer your trip, the more you can relax and spread out your plans.

Also, going with a baby is extremely easy and extremely worth it, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

'97 CBR, '01 offsite, '04 POFQ, '08 offsite, '09 offsite, '10 offsite, '11 OKW, '11-'14 local, '12 AOA

*FIRST DAUGHTER BORN HERE*

'15 AKL, '16 SSR, '16 FW, '17 AKL, '17 OKW

*SECOND DAUGHTER BORN HERE*

'18 offsite, '18 AOA, '19 DLH/GCH, '19 FW, '20 WL, '20 Aulani

*FIRST SON BORN HERE*
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Our plans are still very rough. To the point where we haven't purchased flights or park tickets yet. This is one of the most complicated trips we've had to do with car rental, flying to different airports etc, so we're trying to go slow as much as we can. And the Hopper app has been my best friend pricing out flights and telling me when to book :p

This is what we got so far:

April 25th - Fly from the DC region to Ft Myers, probably in the am. We have one airport (Dulles) very close to our house that we'd prefer to fly from, but flights can be more limited. If there's a much better deal, we'll head closer to DC to fly from Reagan.

We're going to pick up a rental car at the airport, and then spend the next 3 nights in Naples. My wife's grandmother offered us to stay with her, as she has an extra bedroom with a crib, and we're weighing that out. We can spend more time together, but we don't know how much having two young kids around could throw things out of wack. We're having other family members weigh in and will decide as it gets closer, since getting a hotel room in Naples at the end of April isn't that rough!

April 28th - After having breakfast together, we're going to drive up to WDW and return the car at the Car Care Center. We're also not telling C about going to Disney until we pass under the sign. We like surprises, but we're also a bit worried if we told her before the trip that it would overshadow the first half.

This day we'll then spend at the pool, before heading to Disney Springs for dinner at Homecomin' and walking around a bit.

April 29th - Magic Kingdom. We may book an ADR, but will probably just do QS to keep the schedule fairly free. We're going to try to make HEA, but we'll see how the kids do! The funny thing is that C is always a better stroller napper than an in hotel room napper. We'll see how L does, and if we have to go back to the room, we always can.

April 30th - Epcot. May try for an ADR at Via Napoli, but otherwise, keeping it free.

May 1st - EMM at MK, following by flight home that night. This is the day that may be a tad stressful, but we're eyeing a 7pm flight that should have the kids sleep, and still allow for 6 hours in the park.

Yep, we're skipping HS and AK and going to Epcot "for the kids". Part of that is because of two sisters who have taken over Norway, part of it is the Seas, and then there's that WS is our happy place.

Now to make that much shorter than normal list of rides, to start thinking about FPs since we only have a month to do so!
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster

Easy easy easy and it folds up SMALL. Small enough to fit through the normal x-ray machines in the airport.

Also, that's a very short trip you're looking at. I know conventional wisdom says "shorter trip is less stress" but I think the opposite is true. The longer your trip, the more you can relax and spread out your plans.

Also, going with a baby is extremely easy and extremely worth it, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

'97 CBR, '01 offsite, '04 POFQ, '08 offsite, '09 offsite, '10 offsite, '11 OKW, '11-'14 local, '12 AOA

*FIRST DAUGHTER BORN HERE*

'15 AKL, '16 SSR, '16 FW, '17 AKL, '17 OKW

*SECOND DAUGHTER BORN HERE*

'18 offsite, '18 AOA, '19 DLH/GCH, '19 FW, '20 WL, '20 Aulani

*FIRST SON BORN HERE*

Interesting, thanks for sending that. I've seen the sit and stands, but not one where there is also a seat on the back. That might just be what we need.

We're looking at this trip as a bonus trip, so going into it with not a whole lot that we HAVE to do. At this point to it's just a sleep thing too we're worried about - we've never all 4 slept in one room before. The baby sleeps well, but can be quite loud. And if he disturbs the sleep of the 5 year old, I don't think she'll last more than a few nights. Or us at that point haha
 

HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
Sounds like a lot of fun!!! It's always interesting when you're blending a family trip into a Disney trip, but I know how that goes. My parents and brother live in south FL and we've had a few where we've done the combo Disney/Fam trip. I can also understand wanting to fly out of Dulles...not that I've ever lived in the DC area, but I've connected through there and flown to visit friends in the area and I think it's the easiest of the bunch.

As for a stroller, everyone is different, but on our kids' first trip we went with our Sit n Stand. It was fine for us at home, but we really disliked it at WDW. I know there are all kinds of different brands and models, but my friend who tried hers out at WDW last June had many of my same issues. I found that they don't fold as well for buses (or for extra space in your resort room) and don't corner or maneuver as well for stores and other tighter park spaces. They also weren't very comfortable in it when it came to longer days in the parks. My kids are now 11 and 13, but by their second trip (8 months after their first), I opted to rent a City Mini Double...one of the best trip decisions I ever made. Like I said, everyone is different, but that thing folded up better/more easily, it felt lighter (even though I don't think it was-possibly more of a perception with bulk), it was so much easier to push around the parks, and my kids were more comfortable in it. Not that they were ever good stroller nappers, but they actually took a couple of naps in it that first time we rented one.
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Your children are so cute! And I agree with others that your son looks just like you. I can’t wait to hear all about it.

Thank you!

Sounds like a lot of fun!!! It's always interesting when you're blending a family trip into a Disney trip, but I know how that goes. My parents and brother live in south FL and we've had a few where we've done the combo Disney/Fam trip. I can also understand wanting to fly out of Dulles...not that I've ever lived in the DC area, but I've connected through there and flown to visit friends in the area and I think it's the easiest of the bunch.

As for a stroller, everyone is different, but on our kids' first trip we went with our Sit n Stand. It was fine for us at home, but we really disliked it at WDW. I know there are all kinds of different brands and models, but my friend who tried hers out at WDW last June had many of my same issues. I found that they don't fold as well for buses (or for extra space in your resort room) and don't corner or maneuver as well for stores and other tighter park spaces. They also weren't very comfortable in it when it came to longer days in the parks. My kids are now 11 and 13, but by their second trip (8 months after their first), I opted to rent a City Mini Double...one of the best trip decisions I ever made. Like I said, everyone is different, but that thing folded up better/more easily, it felt lighter (even though I don't think it was-possibly more of a perception with bulk), it was so much easier to push around the parks, and my kids were more comfortable in it. Not that they were ever good stroller nappers, but they actually took a couple of naps in it that first time we rented one.

Dulles is a lot newer, and the parking lot tends to be really easy to navigate. Plus, it's only 20 minutes from our house while Reagan ends up being an hour or so. Possible, but not preferred.

Thanks for that insight. That was a lot of our biggest worries about a sit and stand. We know the citi mini well - it's our sons normal stroller, and the reason we actually got it was because we rented one for our daughter last year at Disney and loved it. To hear that comparison is really helpful!
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Oh boy, figured I probably should update this as I completely let it fall off the grid. Partially life being busy, partially decisions still being made. FP day came and went, and with it our sanity. Kidding really, but being less than 60 days out, we still have a ton to decide/do -

Book our flights
We pretty much decided we will be spending the night of the 1st, but there's no real ideal hotel right now.. We're weighing renting DVC for either that night, or maybe the whole trip based on availability. Or, it seems like each day in the morning hotels do open up. So we have options but ideally we'd like to not switch hotels
Book our hotel for Naples
Book our rental car
Book the dog boarder
Rent the stroller
Buy the random stuff - headphones for L for example

A lot of this goes hand in hand - such as the hotel in Naples and the flights. A lot depends on exactly how my wife's grandmother is doing, and at the same time, that also makes the decisions difficult. But we pretty much decided to get there a bit later, which allows us to book a flight at either airport, and to book the hotel so that I can take the kids there to the pool just in case.

We kept going back and forth on the stroller and were this close to buying a double stroller. But I think @Tuvalu has worn off on me and I just can't buy a double stroller when C is 5.5. She does nap much better in a stroller than in a hotel room, so it honestly just makes sense to have a stroller for her for Disney, but beside this trip and one next year, I don't see using it. So while we were literally talking to someone about buying it used, we figured we'll just bring one stroller to use in the first half, and then rent a double for the Disney portion.

As for a real life update that partially explains our business (and just to brag a bit and add pictures in), C is now super into Tae Kwon Do. Yes, the one who the last trip was in princess dresses, loves pink and favorite animal is the unicorn. She still does, but we probably should've realized this was coming after she declared Merida was her favorite because "she doesn't need a man!" Anyway, between practices, belt tests and competitions we spend at least 10 days a month at some sort of TKD event. She's sparring, breaking boards and overall kicking some butt. Even though she's one of the youngest, she actually came in first in a board breaking competition!

86460032_10103088629313905_1264528007909867520_o.jpg


For people wondering - yes, this means we have to have interesting conversations to make sure she knows sparring is only done in class. And not, as she asked yesterday, to choose a new President for example. :p

Otherwise, we have L's 1st birthday coming up in 2.5 weeks, we're trying to get spring cleaning/purging done before then, like many on here work has a ton of issues lately (we bought a foreign company, yet gave them a lot of the mid-management positions, including my boss), dealing with some family drama, and I decided to renovate one of our bathrooms. Because, who needs sleep right?

More Disney focused post coming up next!
 
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Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
For the Disney portion of the trip, here's our plans as of now:

April 28th
Homecomin' - 5:20 pm

April 29th - Magic Kingdom
General plan is to stick to Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, eat mostly QS, watch the parade from Main Street and try to stay for HEA.

Baby L's First Haircut - 9:40 am (he probably doesn't really have enough hair for this, but how could we not?)
Many Adventures of Pooh - 11:05 am (Just me and C, and possibly L because the bumps make K feel sick, and she has better plans for a FP)..
Meet Ariel - 1:20 pm
Meet Mickey - 2:20 pm
Space Mountain - 3:35 pm (Just K, although I might see if we can do a rider swap)

April 30th - Epcot
Spaceship Earth - 9:00 am
Living with the Land - 10:05 am
Frozen Ever After - 1:15 pm

For food - Flower and Garden booths! We may hit up the Cantina for a break for lunch, or may even pop out of the park for a bit to walk around the Beach Club area. Really going to depend on how the kids are doing/napping in the park.


May 1st - Magic Kingdom
This is the day of the rider swap. I'm not sure how we're going to break it up and right now have a few 2 person FPs that we'll take turns with, and pretty much just go with it.

Pirates - 9:30 am
Splash Mountain - 11:00 am
Big Thunder - 11:30 am
Crystal Palace - 1:05 pm
7DMT - 2:20 pm



Depending on our flight back on the 2nd (and wherever we spend the night of the first), we may try to do one more character meal at a hotel. We'd love to try Topolino's, but nothing is available (as expected). There is still a lot of availability elsewhere though, so I may set up an alert and see what else could be expected.

Also - I went into this trip expecting I wouldn't ride Spaceship Earth again in it's current form. When I found out it would still be open, I was all:

 

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