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 Age for 1st time Disney

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PostSubject: Age for 1st time Disney   Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:44 pm

Hey everyone. I'm heading to Orlando the first week of March and I wasnt planning on doing Disney unitl I noticed that disney has a special for military families. My husband would get a free 5 day hopper pass including water parks and he is allowed companion tickets for $99 each and an extra $25 if we want to add hopper/water park option. I will only have 2 of my kids with me, a just turned 3 yr old and a 23 month. It's been about 6 yrs since I've gone to the theme parks and I'm wondering if it's worth it given my children's ages. Yet that price is hard to give up. Any opinions?
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:52 pm

I don't think kids that age would get much from the water parks.

That being said, the first time we went to WDW my DD was just 4 and my DS was 24 months (just past his second birthday). They both had a fantastic time! We were in a situation similar to yours: we wouldn't have gone out of our way to go to Disney with the kids that age, but we were in the area and it seemed like an ideal opportunity.

My kids have always loved being tossed in the air and swung around by Dad, so the intensity of the rides did not bother them at all. In fact, I have fond memories of my 24 month old son lying on the bench of the teacups with the whole thing spinning around so fast I could barely lift my head, and he was laughing and giggling the entire time. In fact, It think the teacups were his favorite ride, after Buzz Lightyear (he was very into Toy Story at the time). If your kids are into the Disney movies/Mickey then they will really be entranced.

Be aware that they may not take to large characters well (Woody from Toy Story is about 9 or 10 feet tall with the hat on!) and if they're bad with the dark you may want to prepare them for the dark rides, or skip those. I gave my kids glow bracelets and they loved having them in the dark rides, so we didn't have any issues.

For the price, I would say that it is worth trying it for a couple of days. Just take it slow and focus on things you think your kids would enjoy. I'll bet they could spend a full day just playing in Toontown!

Have fun!
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:59 pm

Thanks Helen. I think for a while with my older boys we went once or twice a year from age 2..but now the prices are ridiculously high. They dont like to get close to big characters so we would have to keep our distance. They actually love waterparks...the kiddie areas but the weather might not be that warm then. This price seems too good to pass up and I might just have to forego relaxing and do the theme parks instead. Thanks for your insight
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:28 pm

The water parks are generally for older kids, although I think Typhoon Lagoon has a toddler area. If you want water play in the parks, Epcot has dancing fountains (the water that leaps out of holes and into other holes) for kids to play with and MK has Donald's Boat water play in Toontown.

Preparing your kids helps a LOT. Order the free vacation planning DVD from Disney and have them watch it, so they know what to expect. Re-familiarize them with their favorite Disney movies, and explain how big those characters are IRL. If you think they'll be a little scared of a ride, explain it to them in advance. For example, for Pirates we explained what the pirates were doing, and that no one got hurt, and that there would be a couple of skeletons. They were okay with that. With Splash Mountain (which my son LOVED at age 3) they saw the drop at the beginning, but we explained that we would be holding them and they would be fine (but wet), and they agreed to try it. It turned out to be one of their favourite rides! As long as you're not too dead set on what you *must* do, I think you'll have a good time following their lead.
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:40 pm

They love all things Mickey right now and fight over mickey slippers. Now I have to covince DH to give it a try....hope the first week of March isnt too crowded....otherwise we will just have to do fastpasses.
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:01 pm

My family is a Disney family and have been going to the parks since the eldest was 2 (she is now 16!). I would say at those prices it would be hard to turn down. I would also suggest going ahead and getting the park hopper. It is nice to go to one park in the morning and another one later in the day/evening especially if you are stayig on park property. Remeber those under 3 do not need park tickets. Also you do know about Shades of Green don't you? It is the on-site hotel for the military. I do know that it is hard to get into but just wanted you to know about it. Also other hotels near the parks also offer military discounts.
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:11 pm

Greta wrote:
My family is a Disney family and have been going to the parks since the eldest was 2 (she is now 16!). I would say at those prices it would be hard to turn down. I would also suggest going ahead and getting the park hopper. It is nice to go to one park in the morning and another one later in the day/evening especially if you are stayig on park property. Remeber those under 3 do not need park tickets. Also you do know about Shades of Green don't you? It is the on-site hotel for the military. I do know that it is hard to get into but just wanted you to know about it. Also other hotels near the parks also offer military discounts.

Thanks Greta,

Those prices seem hard to resist...I'm convinced but it's my husband that will be difficult to convince...due to the crowds mostly. Any idea how crowded it will be March 1-7? Shades of Green is difficult to get in since my husband is retired after 24 yrs. We are staying in a timeshare that we booked a while ago and I wasnt planning disney its just someone pointed out the rate and usually the specials only apply to active military.
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:16 pm

My son's first Disney trip was when he was 3 and he loved it. Early March might be a little crowded with the Spring Break crowds. We will be there President's Week which I hear is usually very crowded. It will be an adjustment for us as we usually go there in the Fall when crowds are light. Best advice would be to get to the parks very early and get fast passes early too.
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:38 pm

Thanks for the advice chrystine. I usually go during the school breaks...so I am use to the crowds even though I dont like them.
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:41 pm

I'm with you Penny, I don't like them either but what can you do? You have to take your opportunities as they come Smile Crowded day at Disney still beats being at work.
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:45 pm

chrystine wrote:
I'm with you Penny, I don't like them either but what can you do? You have to take your opportunities as they come Smile Crowded day at Disney still beats being at work.

And it sure beats being in the snow! I cant believe the price they are offering military families either. I need to take advantage of it.
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:49 pm

Generally you want to be at the parks at opening. Go right to Fantasyland and do a bunch of rides, then head into Toontown and do a bunch when it opens an hour after the rest of the park. By that time you'll be ready to maybe do a couple of Fastpass rides if it's getting busy. Have a sit down lunch reservation somewhere for around 1 pm, and then after that you can Fastpass until it's naptime. You should be able to do a lot if you get there early enough. Early March isn't nearly as bad for Spring Break crowds as mid/late March and April/Easter week.
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:52 pm

great! Thanks. Too bad they are too little for my favorite...space moutain. Do they still do baby swap?
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:22 pm

mnmomof4 wrote:
great! Thanks. Too bad they are too little for my favorite...space moutain. Do they still do baby swap?


Yes, they still have baby swap Smile The military special is a great deal- too good to pass up. I wish my hubby was eligible but he has been out of the Navy for awhile. We did the buy 4, get 3 special they are offering and it wasn't so bad. 10 days to go for us!
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:30 pm

chrystine wrote:
mnmomof4 wrote:
great! Thanks. Too bad they are too little for my favorite...space moutain. Do they still do baby swap?


Yes, they still have baby swap Smile The military special is a great deal- too good to pass up. I wish my hubby was eligible but he has been out of the Navy for awhile. We did the buy 4, get 3 special they are offering and it wasn't so bad. 10 days to go for us!

10 days to go to another disney trip? You are probably too yo Laughing ung for your husband to be retired from the military. My husband retired in 02 and now makes more money as a civilian!
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:43 pm

mnmomof4 wrote:
great! Thanks. Too bad they are too little for my favorite...space moutain. Do they still do baby swap?

Yes. It's a special kind of Fastpass. You go up to the person at the front of the ride and say that you want to do the parent swap, and they'll give you a special card to allow you to use the Fastpass lane for the second parent.
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:10 pm

Thanks Helen...I hadnt heard otherwise but I wasnt sure
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:51 am

Yes some rides will do a special fastpass for the 2nd parent. Others, like Space Mountain, will have you wait at the loading platform with the child and when the first parent is getting off the ride, they just switch places.
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:16 am

chrystine wrote:
Yes some rides will do a special fastpass for the 2nd parent. Others, like Space Mountain, will have you wait at the loading platform with the child and when the first parent is getting off the ride, they just switch places.

I do remember seeing them do that years ago. I have a feeling we will just do the kids rides and relax as much as possible...take our time
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:20 am

mnmomof4 wrote:
I do remember seeing them do that years ago. I have a feeling we will just do the kids rides and relax as much as possible...take our time

That is our motto this trip too, especially since I am expecting the parks to be crowded. I figure we will get on whatever rides we can and not obsess about skipping the ones with long lines. I want to spend more time relaxing at the pool, checking out the shops, seeing the shows and enjoying some nice meals.
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:29 am

Christine,

Do you go back to the room during the day? Are you staying on site? We use to be there from opening to close with my older boys...they were such little troopers....hard to believe one is driving now...time sure flies. My DH is still not convince...that is my goal this week...to talk him into it. He think the kids are too little.
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:36 am

Yes we are staying onsite- at Coronado Springs Resort. Normally, we do not go back to our hotel during the day but this time I think we will to break up the day- for a swim or nap Smile We will have a rental car so it shouldn't take too long to go back and forth. Also, we added a dining plan to the trip and I planned some lunches outside of the parks to break up the days. Our son is 8 1/2 now. Last Disney trips, he was 3 and 5 and we pretty much stayed at the parks all day, he would just sleep in his stroller as needed and would usually miss the night parades and fireworks.
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:46 am

That sounds like fun...not too stressful. Since we will have a 5 day pass, I think we might just do 1/2 days here and there. I think the parks close at 8p.m when we are there...other than animal kingdom. I dont like being so busy that you come home feeling you need a vacation. Right when we come back my husband starts 72 hour work weeks for 6 weeks....so this is suppose to be a break for him before it gets stressful for him at work.
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:03 pm

I know what you mean- needing a vacation after a Disney trip. Sounds like you have the right idea this time. What does your hubby do? Mine works at a power plant and he is starting a 6 week outage (working everyday 12 hour shifts) shorly after we return as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Age for 1st time Disney   Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:13 pm

chrystine wrote:
I know what you mean- needing a vacation after a Disney trip. Sounds like you have the right idea this time. What does your hubby do? Mine works at a power plant and he is starting a 6 week outage (working everyday 12 hour shifts) shorly after we return as well.

Hubby works in a nuclear power plant. He use to be a planning supervisor but he was never home so he took a different job and it now a valve engineer. Wow...your husbands sounds just like mine....with his hours during the outage!
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