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  1. #1
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    Jul 2008
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    Default Taking children, please ease my anxiety.

    So my husband and I are having serious WDW fever. We have two children now, will be 2.5 and 4.5 by the time we want to go. We have taken our son when he was 13 months and that was not bad at all. We want to just go ahead and do it, but are looking for encouragement re: taking small children. One of the things we have learned from having children is that they are prone to their routine. I have listened to podcasts regarding taking children, read sections in the guides of books about it. and I know it can work. My son is about 4.5 and he is quite a bit stubborn at times. We KNOW that we can't push them and have to be sensitive to their cues. DH and I love WDW so much, and we have gone many times alone so we know the ropes pretty much. We are looking at late September. We are definitely also going to go only about 4-5 days instead of our typical 7-8 (even 9) days. We actually plan on driving....... Any encouragement appreciated!!
    Next trip - Sep29-Oct4! Free QS dining at POP. First trip with both kids. (6th total visit)
    "In dreams you will lose your heartache"

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  3. #2
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    Oct 2004
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    Santa Rosa Beach, FL
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    It sounds like you pretty much have the advice you need to do it. Just go at their pace. That's critical. Too many parents ruin their trip because they push push push and we're going to have fun dang it! Then they get mad when their kids have a meltdown in the parks. If you realize you can't do everything, take it at the kids' pace then you'll have wonderful trip with lots of great memories.
    Chris, aka Strmchsr
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning, Guests with Special Needs, and Weather Guru

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    East Brunswick, NJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmandaChan View Post
    So my husband and I are having serious WDW fever. We have two children now, will be 2.5 and 4.5 by the time we want to go. We have taken our son when he was 13 months and that was not bad at all. We want to just go ahead and do it, but are looking for encouragement re: taking small children. One of the things we have learned from having children is that they are prone to their routine. I have listened to podcasts regarding taking children, read sections in the guides of books about it. and I know it can work. My son is about 4.5 and he is quite a bit stubborn at times. We KNOW that we can't push them and have to be sensitive to their cues. DH and I love WDW so much, and we have gone many times alone so we know the ropes pretty much. We are looking at late September. We are definitely also going to go only about 4-5 days instead of our typical 7-8 (even 9) days. We actually plan on driving....... Any encouragement appreciated!!
    ....I don't think you should have all that anxiety. Your children seem like a good age (from what I've seen) to enjoy WDW.

    ....how far would you be driving to get there? We have always driven ...and my youngest (first trip) was 7 yrs old ...and still ...no problems with that aspect (she slept most of the way)
    April '04- POP
    "Jersey Week" '04 - ASM
    "Jersey Week" '05- POP
    "Jersey Week" '06- POP
    "Jersey Week"'07- DCL & POP
    "Jersey Week" '08- POP
    Dec '09- Jan '10- POP
    Aug-Sept '10- POP
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    Aug '17 - POP

  5. #4
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    Feb 2004
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    No need to stress!!! We have taken our children since they were 2 years old and 9 months old, and pretty much every year since. They are now 14 and 12! Those Disney trips when they were 2-4 years old were some of my favorite trips, and still stand out as some of my fondest memories. Just follow the great advise you have already read about, go at the children's pace, and take tons of pics!!!!

    We have always driven to Disney, even when they were babies. Our drive is 12 hours, and my kids have always done extremely well. A DVD player is worth its weight in gold on long road trips with kids. Also pack snacks that are easy to eat on the road, small toys, favorite pillow/blanket/plush toy, invest in a brand new DVD that they will want to watch over and over. Sometimes I would make little goody bags. If they behaved I would give them a bag every few hours. I would pack small sticker books, snacks, Disney things in these goody bags. It gave them something to look forward to and was an incentive to be good. Let them run off some energy during gas and bathroom breaks. Everyone feels better after a little stretch outside the car.

    Have fun!!!
    Denise

    Resorts we've stayed at in 20+ trips: ASMo, ASMu, ASSp, PC, CSR, CBR, POR, POFQ, WL, AKL Jambo, AKL Kidani, Poly, Contemporary, BC, YC, BWV, OKW, SSR, Swan, Shades of Green, Vero Beach, Disneyland Resort

    Next Trip: ???

  6. #5
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    Apr 2003
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    Massachusetts
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    We took our son on his first trip when he was almost 2. I'll echo the good advice you've gotten from others: Go at your children's pace, let them nap when they need it, and don't stress about it. If they can sleep in strollers, there are quiet places in each park to let them do so, otherwise, make plans to go back to your hotel for their usual nap time, or just to relax for a while even if they don't need naps.

    Don't expect to "get as much done" as when it was just the two of you, but make sure to appreciate seeing the park though their eyes. I still think back on my not quite 2 year old son (now in his 20s) walking along a few steps ahead of us, looking for every manhole and utility box in Epcot, identifying its shape, and trying to find Mickey's outline on the cover.

    Enjoy every minute of your trip!
    WDW Visitor since 1973, DVC member since 2000

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Nikki=Tampa, Carolyn=Switzerland
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    Default Define what Success Looks like!

    I am a Disney vet - been going since I was 9 months old....(I am now 43). So, when I went with my family for the first time (they were 2 and 4), I SHOULD have been totally prepared!!

    unfortunately, I made a BIG rookie move by not accounting for their schedules, etc. The kids have travelled a lot and are very flexible and so, I kind of planned my usual heavy schedule and even though I was ok with skipping many of the agenda items, having them written down was kind of a mistake. I was driven my the schedule and it stressed me out which translated to my husband, sister, etc.

    I underestimated time to/from a park to our hotel. I underestimated time to find a place to eat, etc.

    In hind site, I would have chosen 1 key thing to do each day (maybe 1 for each of them) and planned to that 1 thing. Everything that happens before / after would just be relaxed and fun.

    The number 1 piece of advice I would give you is to RELAX and just go with the flow. If you only do 3 rides at MK - who cares? Take pix, enjoy the little moments and those first pix you'll get of them on what will be their favorite rides. Find the playgrounds, the pools, etc... don't kill yourself to maximize the value of a park ticket. *Although I would recommend going to Fantasyland as early in the day as you can possible muster.

    Have fun!!
    Carolyn & Nikki - Two sisters whose first visit was the day before the Magic began...and have been hooked ever since!

  8. #7
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    May 2004
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    New England area, after 30+ years in Az
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    Relax have fun, seems like you know what you are doing. And remember "Are we there yet?" = I want to go to Disney now!
    Three years in Connecticut and loving it
    Next trip in Jan 2017 I hope!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    We didn't really stick to our kids schedules- just do what you can, pace it to your kids mood for that day and enjoy the little things. I remember we spent a lot of time on activities the girls were fascinated with that I would normally just walk on by. We had a stroller if they could not handle long days or late night parades and they just would sleep while we enjoyed. Hope you have a great time!
    We'll Go On....Off To Neverland

    Wishes!

    It's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow....Where Dreams Really Do Come True

    Never Forget It was All Started By A Mouse....TTFN

  10. #9
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    Jul 2004
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    You know your children better than anyone, that being said go at your own pace and take your time. Remember they are going to be overwhelmed from the moment they walk through the gates. It's very exciting to watch them react to the larger than life attractions. Have fun and don't put too much thought into getting it all lot done in a day. There will be plenty of trips to come I’m sure, so take your time and feel out the day by the way they walk up in the morning. When you need a break take one… I see so many families pushing to keep going when the little ones are dragging along. Take 20 minutes or more and let those little ones take a break. Even the ones in the strollers need to get out and stretch… And remember we have all been through the melt downs, they are not fun, but we get through them and move on. Usually they mean your children need a break…. Good luck
    Been there, done that and going back!!! See ya real soon !!!

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    I just went with my 2.5 yr old nephew and his 4.5 year old sister. We took lots of breaks to do what they wanted, had lots of snacks, and went back to the hotel every afternoon for some pool time and a rest. As long as we kept their routine pretty normal, they were great.

    I say go, and have a great time!
    Meg

    40 trips (plus two to Disneyland, and one to Disneyland Paris) and counting!

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Miller County, Missouri
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    Default It's all good

    I hear you on the quite stubborn at times. You can survive a stubborn moment at WDW.

    Our extended family were at WDW when my niece's little girl was a couple of months past two. Despite having a very nice stroller she refused to ride in it. Just being a stubborn kid. She'd much rather be carried.

    It was late afternoon at Epcot early in our week long trip, and we were heading across World Showcase Lagoon to eat supper. We were insisting that she ride in the stroller and wheeled her onto the Friendship. It was nearly full so we were scattered around in various seats, instead of sitting together.

    My grandniece cried and hollered the whole trip over. It was one long trip. She was clearly saying "want out!" over and over. Her mother can be as stubborn and ignored her.

    The two older ladies I was sitting near did not know I was with the cause of the ruckus. They merely said sympathetically, poor little thing, but did not expect the mother to remove the child from the stroller. They knew what was going on.

    My niece was fairly mortified at her daughter's behavior even tho she refused to give in and take her from the stroller. I did tell her that the folks I was sitting near were not unhappy with her choice - obviously the kid was not hurt and merely unhappy at being in the stroller. But she was still embarrassed.

    The major upside to this is that for the rest of the week, when it was time to ride in the stroller, my grandniece offered no argument and rode peacefully.

    Normally, when my grandniece would have a stubborn moment we would remove her from wherever. Even the thought of being removed usually ended the stubborn moment. At WDW we had thought we might have to do this at an attraction and had planned for one of us to take her back to the room. But on our way to supper, removal didn't seem like something we wanted to do.

    It was nice to have the stroller became something good instead of awful and good to know that the whole boat didn't think my niece was a horrible parent.

    So go, and roll with the stubborn moments. Try to have a plan but be prepared for other stuff to happen.

    Jan

  13. #12
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    Dec 2007
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    Central Texas
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    Don't forget to plan for the splash fountains they have in the parks for the little ones (or anyone, really!)

    There is the Casey Junior one in the new Fantasy Land, there is one between Future World and World Showcase in Epcot and there is even the one at Downtown Disney.

    Mine never did them, they were older when we went for the first time, but everytime I go by those areas, the little people sure are having a great time....
    Carrie

    CBR: 2/21-2/25/17
    POR: 6/4-6/11/16
    POFQ: 11/15-11/19/15
    8/28-9/1/14 -DL-Dumbo 19.3 C2C
    POR: 1/7-1/14/14 -Dopey 48.6
    POR: 6/11-6/17/13
    ASMu: 1/11-1/15/13 -1st Full 26.2
    ASMu: 9/22-9/28/11
    ASMu: 6/7-6/13/11
    Pop: 1/30-2/6/10
    Pop: 2/1-2/7/09
    Pop: 1/08
    ASMu: 05/06
    Off-site: 12/93

  14. #13
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    Jul 2003
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    Relax. Take a deep breath.

    Just remember to plan according to your children... even as far as more morning time stuff or night time stuff. My kids are definitely night owls so we rarely ever do rope drop; usually just one early (before park opening) breakfast at MK just to walk down an empty main street! The rest of our trips are usually relaxing mornings and then really taking advantage of late park hours and EMH.

    All four of our children have been going since a very early age... two of them started at the age of three, and the other two since they were infants. You just go with the flow! Split up a bit... let them nap in the strollers while you window shop. So on and so forth.

    You will be amazing how taking a trip during those ages (2.5 & 4.5) really change how you see WDW! Make sure you're watching Disney movies to prepare for your trip!!! Plan lots of time for character interaction! There is nothing more exciting then seeing your little one run up to a character to hug and kiss them!!! It's that magic that keeps us going back!!!
    3/88 & 3/91 off site
    3/02 ASMov
    10/03 ASSp
    5/04 adults only!(POP)
    11/04 ASMov
    1/06 CBR
    3/07 5th anniv.(POP)
    2/08 ASMov
    10/10 5k-solo trip!(ASMov)
    2/2011 princess half(POR)
    10/2012 MNSSHP(AoA)
    10/2014 ToT 10-miler(CBR)
    11/2017 family trip(POP)


    FUTURE TRIPS
    1/2019 ASMusic

  15. #14
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    May 2007
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    Wild Wonderful WV
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    Don't stress something you cannot control, and you're not even there yet. The kids will be fine. They will melt down, to be sure, that's when you head back to the resort and play in the pool. Just know that you're not going to see everything and remember to take it slow and easy.....no stress !!
    80 1st./04POR/05POR/06POR/07POR/08POR/09POR/10POR/
    11PORJan/11PORApr/12ASPJun/12AKLJul/12POPNov/13AKL/
    14FQJun/14POPJul/14PORNov/15POPFeb/15FQJun/15AoADec/16ASPNov/17AoAJun/ 17POPSep/18CBJun/19PORApr/

    IN GOD WE TRUST !!

    STEELERS, SIX TIME SUPERBOWL CHAMPS

  16. #15
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    Feb 2006
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    Lafayette, LA
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    You may want to prepare your kids for the physical size of the characters so that they won't be scared or overwhelmed. I have used and recommended a really old DVD called "Disneyland Fun" from the Sing-Along-Songs series. It is kind of cheesy from the '80's, but it shows children interacting with the characters. I found it years ago, and we've never had a problem with my kids being frightened of the characters. It has a lot of classic Disney songs on it, so I don't mind listening to it while they're watching it.
    80&89 Off-site, HONEYMOON 97 Port Orleans, '02 & '03 Offsite, '04 Poly Concierge, '05 Poly,'07 Contemporary, Feb. 08 GF, Dec. '08 Poly, May '10 Offsite, Mar.'11 FW Cabin,May '12 and July'12 Wyndham Bonnet Creek,July'13 Windsor Hills, March '14 AofA, Fourth of July '14 Poly,June 2015 SSR

  17. #16
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    Jul 2005
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    Smile

    Our first trip with our girls they were small, and we did everything you just read from everyone else. We shortened our trip a bit like you're thinking of doing... we went at their pace, let them choose pool time or characters, and believe it or not?? They out-paced us!! We expected our 4.5yr old to need a stroller or nap or early to bed.... NOPE!!! Other than an occasional ride on her dad's shoulders, she was good to go 8am-10pm. I think the excitement just carried her/them.
    I think they will sense your excitement and be fine!
    Blythe

    Past trips -
    3x offsite,May 06 CBR,Oct 07 I'cot 10,Dec 08 CBR,Jan 09 ASMu,Oct 09 CBR/AKL,Jan 11 AsMu,Aug 11 CBR, Oct 11 AKL,Oct 12 I'cot 15,Aug 13 CBR,Aug '14 mini AKL trip

    Next -
    May '17 DL OR June '17 CBR

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    929
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    ahhhh!! we did it! we booked the free dining for the end of September 29-october 4. We are doing the quick service plan and staying at pop, only planning on doing about 3 sit downs on the side because we don't want to overdo it with trying to get the kids to sit down in a restaurant everynight. can't believe we're officially in that planning stage!
    Next trip - Sep29-Oct4! Free QS dining at POP. First trip with both kids. (6th total visit)
    "In dreams you will lose your heartache"

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