Monday, January 31, 2011

We did the "Baby Trip"!

We are back, and our first trip to WDW with a baby was a big success.  Some things went as planned, some did not.  We usually hit rope drops, and then head back to the room for a re-set at about noon.  This time we did not.  Our Grand Daughter usually fell asleep in the stroller for her mid-day nap, and that worked out great!  I kept the touring plans simple and easily changeable, and this was a great way to go.  We never made an actual "rope drop" at any of the parks, but we did get there at opening a few times, and it worked out well.  The lower Jan. crowds made it no problem to still get in lots of touring without hitting the rides hard.  At 15 months of age, she was able to eat pretty much whatever we ate, so feeding was a breeze!  The Fillet Mignon at Le Cellier was so tender, even SHE could enjoy some.  Her first official ride at WDW was The Gran Fiesta Tour at the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot, and she LOVED IT!  Grandma and I enjoyed watching her little head move from side to side looking at all of the colorful characters and things to see as she sat between Mommy and Daddy in the row in front of us.  It was so much fun to introduce all 3 of them to new attractions and great eateries.  The Baby Stations at all of the parks are great places to do a diaper change and a quick re-set when needed.  I had never been in one, and was quite impressed.  What rides & attractions did baby get to experience on her maiden trip?  well...  Gan Fiesta Tour, Journey into Imagination, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush, Spaceship Earth, Lunch at Le Cellier, The Monorail, Honey I Shrunk The Kids Playground, Walt Disney: One Man's Dream, A performance of Disney Channel Rocks, Lunch at Sci-Fi Dine-In, The Pixar Parade, Downtown Disney, Kilimanjaro Safari, Dinner at O'Hana, Lunch at Flame Tree BBQ, Triceratops Spin (twice), Wildlife Express Train, Rafiki's Planet Watch, and the petting Zoo at Conservation Station, she met Pluto, Goofy, Flick, and Pinocchio, Dinner at Sanaa, The Carousel, Peter Pan's Flight, The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, It's a Small World, visited Minnie Mouse's House, The Country Bear Jamboree, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, The Jungle Cruise, tasted her first Dole Whip, Lunch at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe, The TTA Peoplemover, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Wishes Fireworks from the bus stop, And lots of fun seeing the animals at Kidani Village!  That's a lot of fun packed into a few days.  The memories now exist, and I look forward to showing her the pictures of her first ever visit to Walt Disney World.  The group even talked Grandpa into riding Rock n' Roller coaster with Aerosmith!  And I LOVED it!  We enjoyed one evening taking care of our little Grandy, feeding her, playing with her, and mostly watching her! - while Mommy and Daddy enjoyed a nice night out exploring the Jambo House and a dinner at Jiko.  We made Spaghetti and meatballs in our room and had a great time with our little cutie.  She did great, and I learned a lot about touring with a baby.  We are looking forward to many more trips with her in the future.  And if little Brother or Sister come along some day, we'll be so much more confident about how to do it.  My fountain of youth has nourished me once again. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Disney touring plan "X-Factor".... a Baby!

  In 1994, I made my first visit to WDW.  Our family of 4 included two kids, ages 10 & 12.  The planning was exciting and everyone could watch the planning videos (VHS!).  We all had input into the touring plans for each day.  Everyone could express how they felt about certain plans.  Where to eat?  What to ride?  When to get up?  It all made sense.  We had a great time.

  In Sept. 2009, we went as a couple.  Our "return" to this magical place.  A whole new world of planning tools.  New attractions. New places to eat.  New touring plans.  Everything made sense.  Again, we had a great time.

  In April. 2010, we returned for a 3rd time.  This time we brought my parents (81 & 79 years old).  They left the planning to us, and we drew up a 5 night vacation that was filled with memorable fun.  We felt confident that we could put together a trip that would be fun for all of us, without too much wear and tear on my folks.  And other than getting "roughed up" on Dinosaur, and getting "soaked" on Splash Mountain, it went off great.  It all made sense, and we had another great time!

  Now, it's time to plan a new trip.  My Wife and I, our Daughter & Son-In-Law, and... "the X-Factor"... our Grand-Daughter (15 Months old)!

  In putting together touring plans, I'm not sure what rides she (Grand Daughter) will enjoy.  What attractions will be appropriate?  How will the 2 hour time change affect her?  What will send her into "baby melt-down" mode?  What will scare her?  How will she handle the flight?  What will she eat & when?  What do we do with the stroller?  What if it rains?  How long can she go in a theme park?  The more I plan, the more questions that arise.  I'm sure her parents know the answers to most of these questions.  It's the worrying Grandpa in me that makes things worse than they really are sometimes.  I take comfort in knowing that there are lots of other babies every day at WDW.  How do THEY do it?  I mean, after all, they have actual Baby Stations in the parks, so I guess babies are welcome there! I also take comfort in the confident way that her parents seem to say... "She'll be FINE!". 

  I've just continued to plug away with the planning.  Keeping in contact with our Daughter about the plans as they are made.  When it comes to the planning she tells me "You're the expert!", but when it comes to the "baby factor", it's right back at her... "You're the expert!".  I've got the plans made up.  They are, in no way, "Commando Touring Plans".  I've left lots of wiggle room, and space to change plans on the fly.  I've read in many places, how there is a great debate on taking babies to WDW.  It's true that she will not remember the trip.  But it's also true that WE WILL remember this trip!  I look forward to showing her pictures and video from her first trip to Walt Disney World.  And, there will also be 4 other people tagging along for the fun too!

  This is going to be an interesting trip.  I'm sure we will all learn a lot from this one.  She could end up being the "Guinea Pig" for her little Brothers and/or Sisters that could be making future journeys to The World.  It all sounds so scientific, but in the end, just like most things in life, I expect that it will mostly fall into place.  And before we know it, we'll be back home saying... "Remember when...." from this trip.

  I look forward to this trip.  I think we will all learn a lot from that week.  I'm also confident that we will create another book of memories just as we did in '94, '09, and '10. The first trip, the return trip, the parents trip, and now the baby trip will all hold special memories that we will be looking back at fondly for many years to come.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Welcome to Disney's Fountain of Youth!

This is the first posting, and I thank you for taking time to stop in.  This blog is simple.  It's just one man's place to express his love of all things Disney.  As the world takes it's toll on this old guy, there is a place that I have found, where I become well again.  I forget my aches and pains, I don't tremble and sweat from job stress.  Rather, I get sleepless and excited at the planning and possibilities of a trip to Walt DisneyWorld in Orlando, or Disneyland Resort in Anaheim!  While planning for our first return visit to WDW in Sept. of 2009, I discovered a whole Sub-Culture that existed, and I didn't have any idea about it!  Books, Podcasts, Websites, Blogs, DVD's, Television shows, and so much more, all there for the taking.  As I hang on for a few more years, before I become eligible for retirement, I will fill my canteen with water from my Fountain of Youth - Disney World and sip often!  I hope you will enjoy the ramblings of a tired old guy who (along with his Wife) LOVES ALL THINGS DISNEY.  Stay Tuned.