To go or not to go
About This Page: This is a discussion on To go or not to go within the Planning Your Adventure: Your Plans for Walt Disney World, part of the PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel; Opinions needed, please. We are wanting to return to WDW (especially with the free dining). In the past, we have ...
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Opinions needed, please. We are wanting to return to WDW (especially with the free dining). In the past, we have gone in early Dec. and early Jan.. We would really like to do early Sept. (I know no free dining @ that time) or early Oct. this time around. So here is the catch. We have a little guy who is going to be 22 months old and well.... he is a typical two year old. We also have a 14 yr old and 10 yr old. We want the trip to be a good one and not a nightmare. Should we wait a year until he has learned to manage his emotions a little better or should we go for it and scale back on some of the activities? Also, what are your opinions on early Sept. vs. early Oct. as far as crowds go? Thanks!!
If I had a choice, I'd vote for October simply because you are almost out of hurricane season. I also think that while it's still pretty warm in October it's not as unbearable as it can be in September. We've only been once in September but we'll never do it again as we hit the Awful Weather Jackpot. A tropical storm stalled right off the coast and we had rain every single day. I don't mean the quick downpours that FL is known for, I mean 8 straight days of non stop rain. And it was humid as all get out. Forget about the two year old, that kind of weather will make the adults and older kids cranky.
I'm trying to think of our trips. DS was 10 months his first time, 20 months his second time and 25 months his third trip and 37 months his fourth trip. We were definitely well into the terrible twos on his third trip but I really don't remember any major meltdowns on that trip or his fourth trip. I will say, the trip we took when he was 37 months old, my Dad had passed away the week before our trip and we took things very slow and low key on that trip. My Mom insisted that we take the kids and get away or we would have cancelled, but we just focused on doing whatever the kids wanted to do, visiting places that PopPop had been with them the previous trip, that sort of thing, so it was just a low key kind of trip.
If you can take your own stroller I would recommend it. If not, I swear by Orlando Stroller Rental. Obviously, only you know your child but our ds was a pretty laid back kid who would let us know if he was tired. He would crawl up in the stroller and take power naps or take one long nap around his normal nap time. His sister is 6.5 years older so during nap time I would send her off with Daddy to do the rides that the little one wasn't able to do. This was back before I had a kindle or anything like so I would stick a book into the diaper bag and read while he slept and Daddy and dd did rides. My dd was the kind of kid who needed to be in her crib to sleep, ds could sleep anywhere and did. The noise didn't seem to bother him at all and there was only one time on our trip when he was 20 months that we actually headed back to our resort to let him nap in the afternoon. Daddy and big sis took advantage of that and had a fantastic three hours at the pool! Mommy took advantage of the three hour nap and napped right along side of him.
We've been doing the dining plan for years now and so it was nice to know we were having a sit down meal every day and that we weren't just going to be feeding him *junk*. Really, that goes for both of the kids but especially when they are little, having choices other than pizza, hot dogs and chicken nuggets is nice.
I think Disney is do-able at his age. The general consensus with Disney families is that their kids behave better at Disney than they do at home. There's a lot of eye candy to keep them busy and just a lot to do in general to keep them busy and wear them out. If you decide to go, keep in mind that he's 22 months old and be prepared for melt downs. Not that my kids don't ever act up but one of the things I hate to see at Disney is totally stressed out parents yelling at their kids. I get that you're spending a ton of money to be there but behaving like a child yourself isn't going to help the situation. I've found with my kids that distractions could often head off meltdowns, even something as simple as saying: Hey, there's Mickey! can be a distraction. And the old standbys, don't let him get overly hungry or overly tired, that's usually a fool proof way to head off meltdowns. I've heard in recent years Disney is very relaxed about what food and drinks are brought in, we always carried favorite snacks and bottles of water for the kids. Even standing in line you can offer a quick snack and drink. If you think taking him into a store would cause a case of the gimmes, avoid them at all costs. We all know how seductive those stores can be. DS's favorites at the time were Mickey and Pluto so one of us hit the store in our resort on the first day and picked up a Mickey stuffed animal one time and a Pluto stuffed animal the second time, that helped head off a lot of the gimmes. We also had light spinners from previous trips that were dd's that we were able to give him those as a distraction at night. You could get one of them on eBay before your trip. Mickey Mouse Light Chaser Spinner Toy, Disney Parks Sorcerer | eBay
My only disappointment with our trip when he was 20 months old was we did MNSSHP and ds was just young to hang late. The kids did get to trick or treat and they had a good time but dd, dh and I could have stayed for until close and we ended up heading back to our resort probably two hours before close because ds was just tired and getting cranky. So it seemed like a lot of money for something we only got to enjoy about half of, but really, he was still itty bitty and it wasn't his fault.
Hope some of this helps! I'm sure others will have other suggestions as well!
Me ~ Christina; DH ~ '92; DD ~ '99; DS ~ '06
My reasons for breathing!!! MGM Studios October 2007
I would say early October due to the weather and MNSSHP. As for your childs age it depends on the kid. We took our son for the first time at 17 months for 12 days in August heat and he was great. Going on rides and really enjoying himself. He did great with the character meets too, they are so memorable when they are that small. Both my kids went for the first time around the same age. Each even had their first harcuts there. Good luck planning your trip, have a great time whenever you decide to visit.
We took my son at 20 months and I don't remember it being horrible. He loved the characters and the rides and loved seeing everything. We did MNSSHP and he adored it. But he was also a great napper...and midday, everyday, he conked out right in his stroller for a good 1-2 hours.
Stephanie- Mom to Jaden and Emerson, Wife to Keith, Novelist
I'd say wait a year, your little guy will be a little older & then you'll be looking out for free dining to go along with the trip.
Sept. vs Oct. - I've been both months & I can actually say I like Sept. better. I know it's hot and weather is unpredictable, but the crowds were low. We rode so many rides multiple times it was crazy! We're going back again this Sept., partly because it is when my kids have a few days off from school & because there is free dining. If you can stand the heat it is a great time to go.
I can't help you with the 2 yr old situation, but out of those choices I would definitely go with Oct for one reason and one reason only - MNSSHP. We go every year and it's my family's favorite thing at the World.