Monday, April 11, 2016

How I Survived Disney With My 2 Year Old

Hello Lovlies!

I know, I know, I have been gone a long time. I know. I am sucking at this whole blogging thing lately. I mostly only write when I am inspired to share something that happened in my life. Over the last 6 weeks I have been planning a disney vacation for my family. We are now back from the happiest place on earth, and I want to share with you all how I survived with my two year old.

First of all, let me say that this is not really a how to post. Since all kids are different, and there were definitely moments that I could have planned out better. More than anything this is just a play by play of what worked for my 2 year old and our family. In the hopes that it might help you.

So... here it goes. 5 things about Disney with my 2 year old

1. I learned so much about my child.

Holy bananas! She was so much better than I expected her to be in so many ways. She was also different than I expected her to be in many ways as well. Overall, it was a great trip, but she was definitely surprising overall. My child HATED taking pictures with Santa. In fact, she refused to take photos with him. So I was very fearful that she would react the same way to all of the disney characters. Boy, was I wrong. SO WRONG! This was by and large the best part of our trip. She loved the characters the most. She would wait patiently to see Mickey and Minnie. In fact she met them at every park that we went to. She met them three times. That was about the only thing that she wanted to do. I think that this is mostly due to the fact that she was prepared and comfortable with each of the characters we met. I showed her lots of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and she loved Frozen and has a Belle Lego Figurine. She knew them. They were real to her. Which was the whole reason I wanted to take her. To see that was a once in a lifetime thing.

I thought that she would love rides like Dumbo and Triceratop Spin. Again, a big WRONG! While she did pretty well on Dumbo. She was constantly saying, "I'm done." By the end of the week she was saying firmly, "NO MORE RIDES, MOMMY." Eventhough this hurt my feelings a bit--ultimately I still felt that it was a good trip overall. If I had it all to do all over again. I would show her videos off of YouTube of each ride I plan on taking her on. I have read since our trip that this fact really helps!

2. It doesn't take much to scare permanently scar a 2 year old!

Before our trip a read a lot of posts on other blogs about rides that were best for 2 year olds. I read about rides that might be scary, and I avoided those. However, my child was scared of even the tamest rides. I made the rookie mistake of thinking that a 4-d show like Mickey's Philharmagic was a good idea. (SO STUPID) Like any toddler would be ok with have water thrown in their face in the dark, and having pictures jump out in their face. I wish with everything I have that I didn't take her in that theater. I truly believe she would have been open to more rides if that hadn't been the third thing I took her to on the very first day. The rest of the trip she didn't trust me when I said, "no scary."

3. Three days with a two year old is more than enough

I signed us up for 4 days, and by the end of the third day it was clear that P could not take much more. On our last day, we only brought her in for the last two hours we were at the park. That was fine because she was free. I will tell you though, I secretly was done too after three days. I didn't want to go back for the 4th day, but I was NOT free. So I had to go. It is a lot for the littles. The stimulation they receive there is unlike any other. AND the great thing about Disney is that they will always prorate another day for you. Next time I will book 3 days, and add on a 4th if she seems like she can take it. Same price, but you aren't married to it.

4. Take the big stroller if you dare!

At first, I was just going to bring a very lightweight umbrella stroller to the park. At the eleventh hour, I changed my mind and brought both the lightweight umbrella, and our gigantic jogging stroller. Both were used, and both served great purpose, and both were not without their downsides.
Here are the pros of each:

Umbrella--lightweight, easy to take on the tram and monorail, each to maneuver.
Jogging--reclines, has canopy, has cupholders, has storage

You can see my dilemma. what ended up happening was that we usually took the jogging in the morning because it was the longer stretch at the park and brought the umbrella back in the afternoon after nap. The jogging stroller did not fit on the trams and was hard to maneuver on the monorail even. So I was mostly walking to the park from the car and back with it. Which is fine until you have walked 20,000 steps in one day. That is not an exaggeration either! I didn't want to buy a mid-weight umbrella stroller just for Disney, but I probably should have.

5. Stay in a Disney Resort if you can

We did not stay in a Disney Resort. My mom has a timeshare and traded it. So technically we paid very little to stay in Orlando. The problem was we were about 6-8 miles away from the parks. This may not seem like much, but it became a 45 minute to 1 hour ordeal every time we went or came home. I have a 2 year old who loves to nap, and who becomes a devil without sleep.  AND she will no sleep anywhere like some children. I wasn't willing to keep her there without a nap. So we spent a lot of time traveling to and from the parks. If we stayed in a Disney Resort that time would have been cut in half at least. We could have taken a bus to and from the resort (this also saves $20 a day in parking)! It's the best way to go with a napping child in my opinion. DO IT!

That is it for now. I will be posting more posts on Disney soon. Check back here. I would love to hear about your little ones and how they have done on Disney trips. I know that we are not the norm in many cases.

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