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.