Meeting the Mouse


[image source]

It's no surprise that I like to travel and I tend to prefer the more exotic locales to the closer, easier type. So it might surprise you that I'm beyond excited about our next trip: meeting the mouse via a short Disney Cruise and one day at Magic Kingdom.

We have cruised before but we have never gone with Disney. I've never heard anything but amazing reviews so I'm dying of curiosity - what is so magical about it? why does it command so much of a premium vs. other cruise lines? Does it really live up to the hype? We picked a 3 day to get a taste of it to see for ourselves.

Since we were going to be to in the area we figured we would add on to our little trip by spending a couple of days in Orlando and taking Aggie to Magic Kingdom. Whether she is too young or not is definitely up for debate. Some say its too soon and some tell me its the perfect age. We plan to take it easy by doing the park for just one day and not try to cram too much in. Time will tell if it was a good call.

So for those of you have been on a Disney cruise or Magic Kingdom, I'd love to hear suggestions/tips/reviews. Especially would love to know what activities/rides should I seek out for the highest fun factor with a 2 year old.




38 comments:

  1. How exciting! I highly recommend visiting the online forum disboards.com. I don't think our trips would have been nearly as much fun without the planning I did as a result of the advice I received there. I wish I could give you more info about the cruise, but we've only been to the parks. I wouldn't worry about age. My kids had more fun at Disney as toddlers and preschoolers than any other age.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer. I have looked at those but its overwhelming. Most threads seem to focus on much more extensive trips than I am taking. I definitely have read a lot but I feel even more lost now.

      Delete
  2. We just got back from Disney World with our two year old and 5 month old. It is never too early for Disney (if you're planning on returning when they are older, at least) but you do need to travel differently than you would with older kids.
    The highlights of the trip for our two year old were meeting Buzz Lightyear (finding a character or two that Aggie may recognize and wouldn't be afraid of would be fun) and riding the Dumbo and Winnie the Pooh rides. There is a FANTASTIC play area geared for ages 2-5 to the right of the entrance for Splash Mountain that we spent quite a bit of time at.
    One lesser known fact is if you are traveling with a child who doesn't meet the height requirements for a ride you or your husband would like to go on, you can ask the cast member at the entrance to the queue for a "rider swap" ticket. This ticket will allow the second adult (and up to 2 additional guests) to go through the fastpass line without a fastpass scheduled so you can catch up with your group. My husband and I took turns on some of the bigger attractions and loved being able to send someone through more quickly the second time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I didn't know there was a play area in the park. I'm sure that will be great to burn off a little energy. I'm a little concerned about how she will deal with lines - two year olds are not known for their patience :)

      We will definitely go back and do a more extensive multi park trip eventually but one day of over stimulation seemed like enough for us now.

      Delete
    2. Lines are hard at any age! Many of the rides geared toward younger kids (Little Mermaid, Pooh, Peter Pan) have fun interactive elements in the queues to help pass the time. We relied heavily on the fastpass+ program to zip through the rides that we thought would be the biggest hit first thing in the day. We let him choose if he wanted to stand in line and he actually did pretty well for the things he really wanted to do. Bringing small bottles of bubbles, a small drawing pad, and playing phone games are super useful too!

      Delete
  3. This trip is about seeing Disney through her eyes so to me, it is so magical. I could care less about big rides so we never used the parent options. I love Dumbo and Pooh type rides. And yes, I waited 45 minutes to meet Tinkerbell with Molly when she was 5. I am so glad that I did because when she was 8 she didn't care about it nearly as much. At 5 she was meeting the "real" Tinkerbell :) And the photo shows it. Take lots of photos. Some suggestions: Buy some glow necklaces or braclets here and bring them with you. Throwing out a $25 glow necklace thing is a waste and those are the toys that get thrown in the trash in a month or two. Buy her a cute, on sale, stuffed animal here and bring it with you. Surprise her with it after a ride or two or 10. She will be just as happy as if you purchased the $50 stuffed one in the Disney shop LOL...She must have a princess type outfit at Disney IMO. Wear super comfortable shoes that can get wet. There are a few sprinkler type areas and Aggie will find her way into at least one of them LOL..Have fun and remember: You don't have to do the whole park in that one day. She has NO idea what is there so if you go on a few rides, watch a fun Parade, take some photos and a have a nice treat she is happy. If you stress out about seeing everything, it is just not fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michele. Good point on the glow necklaces, Im sure she will love that.

      She really isn't into characters just yet plus she will see them on the ship so I probably won't be standing in line just yet for them. Next time. But totally agree that this trip is for her so we'll be focusing on the things she would find fun.

      Good point on the shoes.

      Delete
  4. Disney is SO MUCH FUN! We took my two-year-old with us, and we had a blast. I recommend the 3-D movies and the Peter Pan rides. Also, make sure you take advantage of the stroller stand-by option. That will allow you and your husband not to wait in such long lines for the older kid rides!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! What is the stroller stand by?

      Delete
    2. It is actually called the ride switch program and it works GREAT! Here is a link to the program: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/rider-switch/

      Delete
  5. Bring an umbrella stroller! We did the cruise when our son was 2 (for his 2nd birthday). It was fantastic, he loved every minute. But the big boat was a lot for him. He'd walk and ride in the stroller and it was never in the way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh totally - we are bringing our fold up umbrella stroller. While she does a fair bit of walking, there is no way she would make it without one.

      Delete
  6. Disney is AMAZING with kiddos at any age (including those of us in our 30's)! I have a TON of advice, but here are my main pointers for Magic Kingdom: (1) Dining: You can make dining reservations 180 days in advance (so if you are inside of that window, make the reservations ASAP, if you are outside, make then on the first day available). If you can, make a breakfast reservation at Cinderella's Royal Table and get the first reservation available. The first reservations occur before the park opens (8:00 am-8:30 am), so you get early entry and can stroll down a nearly empty Main Street and take pictures in front of the castle with no one around, except the Fast Pass photographers. It’s fantastic! Otherwise, I would still recommend Cindy’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner b/c you get personal time and photo ops with 6-8 of the princesses while you eat (they come around and visit each table). The experience is a lot of fun and the food is great! For your other meals, you can just do quick service meals. If you can’t get Cindy’s, the Crystal Palace is fantastic for toddlers b/c it’s all the characters from Winnie the Pooh. (2) Rides: If you are staying at a Disney hotel, you can make 3 Fast Pass reservations per guest 60 days in advance. If you are off property, you can make them 30 days in advance. For toddlers, top recommendations: (a) Dumbo (FP+ if possible), (b) Enchanted Tales with Belle (FP+ if possible, 100% coolest thing in Fantasy land), (c) Peter Pan’s Flight (FP+ if possible), (d) It’s a Small World, (e) Philharmagic, (f) Under the Sea Journey, (g) Prince Charming Carrousel, (h) Mad Tea Party, (i) Winnie the Pooh, and (j) Country Bear Jamboree. Other rides that can be good for toddler are Magic Carpets with Aladdin (like Dumbo), Pirates of the Caribbean (dark ride, so might be scary), and Jungle Cruise. This is obviously a lot of rides, so just go at your own pace and ride what looks fun to you guys. And if there is a ride that Aggie likes, ride it as many times as she wants. (3) Parades: The parades are wonderful for little ones. They have an afternoon parade around 3:00 and then the Electrical Parade at night. A good spot that I have found is at the front of the park by the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom or Harmony Barber Shop. This is the end of the route, but still, get there early (at least 30 minutes) and park yourself with a tasty drink and some ice cream and relax a bit. (4) Fireworks: The best angle to watch the fireworks is on Main Street or in front of the castle. Obviously, these will be busy, but the views can’t be beat! (5) Baby Care Center: This is an awesome Baby Care Center between the Crystal Palace and Main Street. If Aggie needs some quiet time or wants to nap, you can go here to get some down time in A/C. This is probably more than you have asked for, but I have a ton more advice if you would like!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG, this is awesome! Thank you for all the tips and suggestions. My family and I are headed to Disney this May for 8 days with two 3 year olds and a 6 year old. Two boys, one girl. We are all super duper excited! I will definitely be saving your comment to refer to later when we're finalizing all of our plans :)

      Delete
    2. Oh this is super amazing and helpful! Thank you so much for the ride info...its the most confusing bit. I'm going to write these down.

      We weren't able to get any decent breakfast reservations but we did get lunch reservations at Be Your Guest and dinner reservations at Cinderellas Royal Table. What are your thoughts on those?

      I waited like 5 minutes to sign up for the fast passes and there were a few already totally gone (like the frozen princesses!). The ones we got were Peter Pan, Under the Sea and Enchanted Tales. I figured the Dumbo one wouldn't be so bad but it sounds like maybe I should do that one instead? It seems so counter intuitive to plan when Im going to go on a ride months in advance but I suppose I best get used to the idea :)

      Delete
    3. RAM1780 - So glad that the suggestions helped!
      Stefanie - Girl, you scored the jackpot on your dining reservations! Be Our Guest is one of the best themed restaurants in all of Disney World. The Imagineers went above and beyond on it! And the beauty about BOG lunch reservations is that it is "quick service" speed, but table service quality food and atmosphere. Be sure to take some time after you eat to explore the different rooms (especially the West Wing to see the rose). And Cindy's anytime is wonderful! The food, theming, and picture opportunities with the Princesses are great! With respect to breakfast, you can bring in your own snacks and water. So eat before you head to the park, and enjoy a snack if you get hungry before lunch.
      And your FP+ are great too! They revamped Dumbo a few years ago and now have two rides that run simultaneously and a fun play area/holding room for the kiddos before the ride. They give you buzzer when you arrive, Aggie can play, and when it's your turn, you held to the line. So since you were able to FP+ Peter Pan and Enchanted Tales, I wouldn't change those.
      And with the Frozen Princesses, if you arrive to the park at rope drop, head straight there b/c this will be the shortest lines all day. If you can't make it to the park at rope drop, and the line is 1-2 hours long to see Elsa and Ana, they make appearances in the parades. So you won't get one-on-one time...but Aggie can see them and you won't have to wait in those huge lines with a toddler! :-)
      Oh, and one more tip, go to all the photopass locations for great picture opportunities. You can get a photopass if you want, but the Photopass Photographers will also take pictures with your camera. That way, you can get great pictures with all three of you in it!
      Feel free to email me if there is anything else that I can help you with!

      Delete
    4. Thanks again - you are the best. I tried to get a Frozen princess fast pass but those were booked within a minute. It's okay though - I think she is a bit young to really care too much about meeting someone dressed up like Elsa. She tends to think all princesses are Elsa anyway so I think we are covered. Thanks for the suggestion to look around at BOG - I would have never thought to do that.

      Delete
    5. You can use the fastpasses anytime within the 1 hour window. And after you use all 3, you can go to a fastpass kiosk (marked as FP+ on the Magic Kingdom maps) and request another one, one at a time.

      Delete
  7. We have never done a Disney cruise (mainly because being stuck on a boat terrifies me!), but we did take the boys to Disney last November and had the BEST time ever. Perron was 5 and a half and Grayson was not quite three and they both loved every single minute of it. I am a huge trip planner so I went way overboard, but I will say do not go to disney and plan to fly by the seat of your pants. Everything has gotten so big, scheduled, and crazy that you can not just go and see where the day takes you any more. I would also highly recommend using a Disney Travel Planner for booking the trip. They are a completely free service to the consumer and they help make managing the logistics a breeze. Have so much fun and enjoy every second of it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I have one. It hasn't been that helpful mostly b/c Im just going for one day so there is only so much they can do. But I have gotten reservations and fast passes as much as I could. It's hard to plan for something you haven't done in 20 years though :)

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  9. We did the Cinderella's castle lunch -- pricey, but it got us out of the heat at a critical time of the day and you see about 5 or 6 princesses all in one fell swoop. We then didn't wait in any long, hot lines when we saw princesses scattered around the park. We also spent the money to stay in a Disney hotel -- the Wilderness Lodge. It turned out to be great -- the hotel was nice, had a great pool, and you can take a ferry boat over to the Magic Kingdom. The ferry ride was fun and such an easy way to get back-and-forth. I also did a lot of planning -- my husband scoffed about it in the months leading up to the trip, but once there, the planning and reading really kicked in and we hardly spent any time in lines. He was completely converted and thanked me for all of the research. We used The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World as our bible and really followed the suggested plans for visiting the various rides and attractions -- and if I recall correctly, there are lots of plan options depending on how much time you have, what your interests are, how old your kids are, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Iggy. We are staying on property so we are close by for naps, etc. We are only in the park one day so aside from fast pass and dining reservations, I don't think there is much other advance planning I can do, right?

      Delete
    2. Read up on tips and tricks for the magic kingdom on Pinterest or some of the Disney blogs. Before our trips I always read Disney Tourist Blog (you will love the photography), Touring Plans, and WDW Prep School. Pinterest can lead you to lots of great tips, snacks, etc. Those little tricks that people share can save you a lot of time and energy and get you some special experiences.

      Delete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. When we went to Disney, we did not have any kids, but we ended up having a really good time (though I was skeptical!). I would suggest getting the Photopass. It was so convenient to stop almost anywhere and have someone take our picture and then at the end we were sent a CD/online gallery with all the pictures. This might be too much for one day, but I felt like it made things a little easier.

    Also, even as adults, we both absolutely loved the Peter Pan ride! : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ashley. I have gone as an adult (years ago) and really enjoyed how well everything is put together. It really is impressive.

      Delete
  12. We did very little research other than how to use the fast pass system and just had a great time as a family exploring and enjoying what we saw and wanted to do. I think it's similar to trips overseas in this way- you realize you won't see it all in one trip, so enjoy the highlights and those other gems you find along the way! Have so much fun!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. One of the best part of Disney Cruises is the fact that the ENTIRE Disney catalog of movies is available in your stateroom, on your TV, for free.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Also I meant to add that Disney Cruise lines have bigger staterooms than other cruise lines, so that tends to drive up prices.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sounds like you're getting some great advice. You may want to read Dixie Delights blog. She's a Disney World and cruise expert!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Haven't been on the cruise but have been to Disney Land twice. Hubs wants to go back with the girls again but I'm done. It's nice but too much money and noise for me.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've never been to Disney, not even Disneyland Paris and I live close by. So I can't really comment on there sorry.

    The reason I write today is because I have been nominated for A Lovely Blog Award that I know is obviously to get to know new bloggers, but thinking about my favourite blogs, I could not do without mentioning you.

    I always loved your down to earth approach to blogging. I find Agatha very lovely. Your parties and invitations just blow my mind every time and more importantly I admire you for traveling so much. You're really are my inspiration on that subject. So my award nomination is really about telling you how much I enjoy reading your blog, really.

    Obviously, don't feel obligated to participate, I understand you're not a new blogger anymore. Here's my contribution and infos if you're curious though: http://ravacholle.blogspot.be/2015/03/oh-my-ive-been-tagged-nominated-even.html

    x

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have been a Travel Consultant for over 20 years. I did the 3 night Disney Cruise and it IS magical. There are a lot of hidden surprises (that I will not divulge as not to spoil your trip) but they are wonderful and fabulous for kids. The food is fabulous and abundant. I had goosebumps throughout my experience on Disney (due to all those little and big special extras). Disney and the Disney cruise will be magical for Aggie (especially Mom and Dad) because you get to see her joy.Disney and the Disney cruise was one of the highlights of my career , its over 10 years since I have been there and I still have magical memories. Have a wonderful trip !!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have had two amazing holidays with my family at Walt Disney World and would go back in an instant! Stayed at Fort Wilderness and Port Orleans and both were brilliant. As to suggestions with a very young child, I would definitely say watch a parade in Magic Kingdom. Get in position early (suggest using the time to have a snack, little nap whilst you wait) and then you will have a good view as everything passes by you, an easy and relaxing way to enjoy seeing loads of the characters. Hope you enjoy the cruise and have a wonderful time - Margaret, Buckinghamshire, England.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I think we are one of the only families in the USA who has ZERO desire to do Disney. Makes me have a stomach ache thinking about it, plus I do not like princesses or the princess culture. So did my daughter growing up. With that being said, I feel like my kids will be in therapy as adults for our having refused to do Disney. As a child I loved the Polynesian village!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Growing up we never went to Disney and I distinctly remember watching those commercials and feeling totally bummed about it. So obviously my reaction is to go in the complete opposite direction.

      Plus as an adult, I'm always impressed about how well they put these things together. Even if you don't appreciate the storytelling or the scenery, you have to be impressed by the coordination of it all!

      Delete
  21. I worked on the Disney Wonder as a performer and I can attest that Disney is MAGICAL! Drink the proverbial kool-aid and have a blast!

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you think. I ♥ comments.

If you are asking a question, please be sure to type in your email address so I can respond directly to you.

Follow @ Instagram

© 2007-2016 Brooklyn Limestone. All Rights Reserved.
Back to Top