Pre-Trip The Trip I've (literally) labored for...

Jambo! As a lifelong Disney fanatic (this will be trip ~57 to WDW, plus 1 incredible trip to DLP for my 30th birthday, and a trip to DL when I was 6 months old) I have dreamed of the day when I would be able to stroll into the Magic Kingdom with my own child.

Fast forward to August 29, 2019, .after refusing to come on his own...a slooowww induction process…. Being stuck and eventually evicted via c-section, our son Harrison James Montague was born weighing in at 9lbs 6oz. And 22” long exactly on my due date! The first two things I scheduled during pregnancy were 1) an induction on my due date, as my doc said I didn’t need to go a day past due if I didn’t want to (I sure as *BLEEP* was not being preggo a day longer than necessary) and 2) a trip to WDW for his first birthday and his very first haircut scheduled at Harmony Barber Shop for 9AM on Tuesday, September 1, 2020. Blissfully unaware of COVID-19 I was at the time, obviously. But let’s start with intros:


Cast of Characters
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Me (Megan) - 33 year old from Indianapolis, Indiana. I graduated from Michigan State (GO GREEN!!), am a huge Spartan fan, and work as a fundraising executive in the nonprofit sector. I am often described as loving wine, dogs and Disney. I also enjoy staying active via my Peloton.
Lifelong mostly annual Disney traveler. 2019 is the first calendar year in my life I didn’t set foot in Disney park, but whoa pregnancy and taking on a new job and compromising with my dearest husband who gives into my wishes 99% of the time won out. . Longtime WDW magic lurker, first time trip reporter.

James - My sweet husband. LOVES to travel….but is ‘meh’ on Disney. Works hard, plays harder. Is a consultant by day. He’s also the brain of our real estate investment/rental operation. He loves negotiating deals and funny enough admitted he’s been keeping a close eye on the DVC resale market. We’ve been together only twice to WDW. He’s what I would describe as a compliant participant when it comes to Disney. We’ve discussed often and he’s stated he’d be willing to go every other year perhaps. He prefers international travel and adventurous domestic travel. I prefer both AND Disney too but DH is also much more financially responsible than me. He does a surprise trip every year for me and for my 30th birthday/several months before our wedding, surprised me with a week trip to Paris to buy my wedding shoes, explore and also worked in a 3 day stay at DLP. We also have a trip booked (COVID-willing) for Japan in March 2021 that includes Tokyo Disney!
So, while Disney is just not quite his thing, I’m hoping this trip flips the switch for him as he’s a very active and engaged dad who adores our son.

Harrison - Almost 1 year old. Has a larger than life personality, absolutely zero fear of anything, and is almost walking. Loves food, Buzz Lightyear, and is known (by other less biased folks than his own parents) as the happiest kid you’ll ever meet. I think he knew in utero that I’d booked him a haircut because he was born with a TON of hair and has a literal mop going right now that is even worse since these photos were taking over a month ago!
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So, the 3 of us are all super active, adventurous, and fearless!

Other characters include:
Jake - my mid-20s BIL. Works in software sales and while in Indy on rotation as part of a management training program, lived with us for 3 month before Harrison was born and up until he was 6 months old. Moved to Jacksonville, FL for work right before COVID hit. We all love Jake!

Abbie - my late 20s SIL who quite frankly is a walking dumpster fire. We aren’t particularly close. Lives with my ILs in Cincinnati, along with my 18 month old niece Hazel who will also be meeting up with us at the tail end on this trip.

UP NEXT: Plan A! And then Plan B! And then Plan C!
 

MonorailMegan

Member
Original Poster
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Slight Detour - Pre-trip 1st Birthday Celebration: Prepping for the Mouse!

Photos are too cute not to share, but I'm probably biased because he's mine 😜

On Saturday, August 29th, my sweet baby boy turned 1 year old 😭 and we celebrated of course with a low key, immediate family only, Mickey-themed affair! He’s a great eater and dove face first into the cake made by my dad, just like my dad made when my brothers and I were children. Pro Tip for Black Icing: Use *black* cocoa powder instead of black food coloring. The resulting frosting is a striking dark black that tastes like Oreos! Harrison was a fan!

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And the aftermath.....
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And We’re Off!!!!!

Monday, August 31st - We head to the airport (via a ride from my younger brother who is staying at our house and watching our two 95lb-each, lovable but zany dogs) at a leisurely 9AM for an 11:30AM flight. Our last trip via air travel with Harrison was to Colorado for a work/leisure combo trip the week before COVID shut the world down. He was not mobile then, only on the verge of crawling, so we knew this was going to be interesting! We came armed with a diaper bag full of toys and snacks. I know I can always buy this kid off with food!

We unnervously checked our suitcases and I nervously checked our fancy-but-worth-every-penny stroller in it’s fancy-but-worth-every-penny protective travel case like the crazy person that I am. Spoiler alert: it made it in one piece. Nervousness unfounded.
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I finally worked up the nerve (thanks to a household shortage of luggage tags) to use my beloved monorail luggage tag acquired on a previous WDW trip. I’d never used it as I had convinced myself it would be lost in airport luggage handling hysteria in the first 10 minutes. Spoiler alert: it also made it in one piece, both ways!
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We carried nothing on but our diaper bag backpack and checked our two suitcases and the stroller. This was key to our survival and quick pass through security. After trying to get his energy out by letting him treat the airport terminal like a jungle gym while also trying to prevent him from licking everything like he so desperately wanted, we boarded and had a great flight.

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Thanks to COVID, we had a free middle seat for our would-be lap child, and DH and I determined that we will definitely be springing for a seat for Harrison and any other future kiddos once they are even remotely mobile in the future. No way we would’ve survived trying to keep him in our lap!

Harrison started out belted in like a BIG boy. We didn't even make it to the runway before he was done with this, but it was cute for the 2 minutes it lasted.

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Then, the last hour of the two hour flight..... 🥳🥳🥳
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MonorailMegan

Member
Original Poster
We landed at about 1:30PM. We got our luggage and onto the Magical Express in record time.
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However, the ride to our resort was loooonggg…. We were the very last stop. Harrison wasn’t super pumped and we’d exhausted all available snacks by the time we finally got to the hotel. James and I both agreed we’d actually *pay* for ME if it meant direct service. Or at least somewhat direct/not taking an hour and twenty minutes to get to our hotel with a small impatient toddler dictator in tow.

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We finally arrive and thankfully our room is ready, and with online check in, we just proceed directly to the room. We try to squeeze in a nap for Harrison (and for us!) before our early evening dining reservations Sanaa! Harrison was way too excited to nap, and James was busy trying to step into all of my room photos. 🙄
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We *LOVED* the savanna view and do not regret spending the extra $, even if we didn't spend a ton of time in the room. Not sure I'd spring for that again, especially once park hours start heading back towards "normal" since we are usually "open to close" park goers. unless I was with a Disney first timer or something else called for the special occasion.
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5PM rolls around and we head down to Sanaa! James and I ate there in 2016 on our last trip and enjoyed it. This time was no different, thankfully. It was our first direct interaction with "COVID Disney" and honestly, did not feel any less magical. The food was delicious. I failed to take any food photos because we were starving and literally inhaled the bread service as soon as it hit the table. I did capture Harrison coloring with crayons for the first time. He opted for the butter chicken (as did I!) and loved it. James got the African-inspired Biryani with Chicken. He really loves African cuisine and loved what he had too.


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The best part was not long after we sat down, we caught Harrison smiling at something further away. A cast member was standing near the waiter station and making all kinds of faces and gestures and waving at him. The same cast member brought over and gifted him a light-up Buzz Lightyear....his favorite!! Glow-y Buzz, as we called him, was a lifesaver during this dinner and throughout the trip when we needed a distraction.

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Just about the time we'd finished as much as we could eat, Harrison was trending towards total meltdown so we headed off the storm, requested his "Pumba's Dessert Grub" to go, and packed up our leftovers. When we got to the room, we realized they'd packed up an adult "happy birthday" dessert clearly meant for us, after they heard us mention Harrison was celebrating his birthday with this trip. Yay James and I for keeping a tiny human alive for a whole year!!

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Although we are normally pretty generous tippers, we delighted in leaving very large tips for all of our servers this trip. Two reasons: 1) they all were so great with Harrison, even while I know they were watching him sprinkle a portion of his meal all over the floor bc #MessyEater and 2) I know they'd been out of work for such a long time and I really appreciated that they came back and provided such great service even under odd circumstances and during such uncertain times. It felt that the magic never missed a beat, in terms of service, this trip.

We grabbed our Amazon PrimeNow groceries, mostly milk, assorted snacks and frozen waffles for Harrison and cold brew coffee for James and I, from Bell Services (who did a fab job keeping everything the right temp. This was our first adventure into grocery delivery at WDW and I am thoroughly impressed.


JAMES (DH) DISNEY LOVE STATUS UPDATE: “Eh, I’d come every few years.”
I’ll weave this throughout the TR, so you can see the progression. 😉When we last visited WDW together in 2016, we went to one of those DVC presentations since they offered us a $100 gift card to be mailed to our home afterwards. After that trip, James said he could see coming to WDW “Every few years.” I've spent every year ever since trying to persuade him otherwise, to which he responded by taking me to Disneyland Paris as part of a France trip and mentioned visiting other Disney parks around the world as a means of compromise.
**Store the nugget about the $100 gift card, folks. It will be coming back around. 😂
 
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Cetta

Well-Known Member
I can 100% relate to your in laws! I could go on forever! I live in Noblesville, maybe we should meet up and dish on our in-law problems lol My mother in law won't say things directly to me, it's always in a roundabout way. My sister in law is princess who can do no wrong and is catered to nonstop. My poor husband is just a second thought to the whole family and treated as so. It's hard when we are all sitting around the table with my husband telling a story and they just interrupt him or just completely ignore what he is saying. I swear it's like mental abuse sometimes. I guess I am lucky in the fact that my in laws would never go to Disney, they have never even been to the ocean or out of the Midwest. I can't wait to read about how this all plays out!
 

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