Monday, September 19, 2011

Countdown to Disney!!!

Calling all Disney fanatics!!! I need your help tonight!!

Somehow, in the middle of all the craziness that has been our lives this past month, I totally passed by the 2 month countdown to our Disney trip!!!! I was literally keeping a day-by-day countdown in my head and somehow it went from 4 months to less than 2!! Luckily, we have our plane tickets, house booked, and our general itinerary put together. I have my special meal reservations made and Addie has her Bippity Boppity Boutique giftcard burning a hole in her pocket. I hear the words "Special Princess Makeover" at least 3 times a day. Every. Single. Day. But I do love that she is as excited as I am!!

But now comes the really hard part. Deciding which attractions are must-sees, and which should be saved for another trip. We are really working with only 2, half-days in the park and then a special night in the park for Mickey Christmas. So in that time, we have a LOT of ground to cover...



I mean...where do you even begin? I have 3 awesome Disney planner books and I have a ton of pages tabbed. But a book really only tells you so much. It can tell me that a particular ride is suitable for my kids ages and what it is about, but what I really want to know is...what attractions did you or your kids really enjoy?

And I have to take into consideration that my kids will be roughly 4 and 2 years old. What rides are worth it? What rides should we skip? What attractions could potentially scare them (I'm talking about you, Pirates of the Caribbean!) We will only be visiting the Magic Kingdom with the kids this trip (although Eric and I will be hitting up Epcot for the food and wine fest :-)

So in the Magic Kingdom, what are the most appealing attractions for my kids at their age?

Should we buy park tickets before we leave, since we are pretty certain of the days we want to go?

Where should we buy the tickets? I've heard a lot of talk about discount tickets on the internet.

Is the Disney photo pass worth the money? 

Are there any great money-saving tips you've learned from experience? Those always make me happy!

I know I have a list of Disney Gurus to contact (I'm talking to you Kate, Marie and Cousin Janis), but it's always nice to get as much insight on this topic as possible. I am feeling a little overwhelmed looking at my books tonight. I know the key is just to go with the flow and have fun, but I also don't want to waste time wandering around the park either. You know me and my planning :-)

Well thanks for the help in advance friends!!! I think Addie and I are going to sit down this weekend and make a paper chain link to countdown the days until we live. I think she will get a kick out of that...and so will I :-)

12 comments:

  1. We are headed to Disney in December & I'm so excited! Unlike you, I have absolutely NOTHING planned LOL

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  2. Okay...just off the top of my head....Peter Pan ride is cool for the kids but always has a crazy wait....never seen it under an hour, so as soon as you get in go get a fast pass for it! Addie can race the go carts (Sean loves them) Buzz Light Year ride in tomorrow land is really cool and they will both prob want to go multiple times. Skip the Carousel of Progress, there is a reason it never has a line...its very slow and you are suck on it....my nephew was 18 months and had a crazy melt down and we just had to sit there with him screaming for the longest 5 mins of my life with everyone staring! Blake will probably really like Its a Small world.Also they just redid the Winnie the Pooh ride and Sean likes it.The Tea cups ride Sean likes but Hunter crys everytime you spin it. The train is always nice to take them on to get a break. Addie will love walking through Minnie Mouse's house (it has cool stuff like a fridge she can open and see all of minnie's food and an oven she can turn on. You can also get in a line after going through her house to see her. Right around Minnie and Mickey's houses there is a cool roller coaster (i forget the name...something with Goofy) that Addie is tall enough to ride....Sean LOVES it. A nice break for you will be a little park in the same area just a little further up (train is there too) Kids can climb and slide while you sit and rest. Sean actually loves Pirates of the Caribbean but he loves pirates so Im sure that is why. He does have me hold his hand when it gets really dark but thinks its really cool. Ive never taken him to the Haunted mansion b/c I think he may be too frighten. Oh and The Swiss Family Tree house is neat to walk through...right around there is a magic carpet ride Sean really likes. Okay....thats all I got off the top of my head! Im sure Nancy has some great tips as well!

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  3. Okay, here's my off the top of my head list too...

    First, before I forget, when we were there in August, Mickey's toontown was closed because they are building a whole new Princess area with Belle as the focus. So, that means, no Mickey and Minnie's houses, no Barnyard stormer, and if you get on the train, there are only two stops, so make sure they are where you want to be ;)

    Both of my kids love the Pooh ride, Mickey's Phillirmagic Show, Small World, Buzz Lightyear, The Monster's Inc Laugh Floor, The Country Bears, The Alladin Magic Carpet Ride, and the carosel. Also, both of my kids go on Pirates, and the Haunted Mansion. P sometimes will hide his eyes, but he is generally okay. They both have fun waiting areas, which they like.

    The Bippity Boppity Boutique is soooo amazing! Awesome that you have a gift card though...super expensive! There is also a "pirates league" that Blake can go to to have a pirate make-up and costume experience. We took P in August but he actually didn't go through with it. He was convinced they should make him look like Spiderman! Ha!

    Disney's Photo Pass is free. They give you a card and everytime that a cast member takes your pic, you give them that card. When you go home, all the pics they took will be online and you can order them if you want to. Any of those photo op places will also take your picture with your camera for you, so don't be shy, just hand it to them. I like to have them on my camera, then I decide which came out better.

    As far as the tickets, you can just buy a two-day pass. Undercover Tourist sells the tix, but honestly, there really is never much of a discount. Maybe a few dollars, but you just want to buy them ahead of time for convenience. You can even just buy them on Disney's website. You don't have to know the exact dates you are going. They expire 14 days from your first use. (Of course, double check this and don't trust me 100%...I still have major baby brain, but I'm pretty sure that's the deal.)

    Also, get the Undercover Tourist app for your phone. There is a free version that is just as good. It will tell you about the rides, the wait times, the park hours, and even has a gps to show you how to get where you want to be. It also has many of the menus for the different dining areas.

    Okay, soooo, that's a book. Email me if you want any more info and I'll be happy to share! So jealous and really wish we were going the same time!!! Next time for sure!!! :)

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  4. Ooo, few more things. If you don't have the Disney Visa Card, get it. You get a Disney Gift card just for signing up, you earn Disney rewards points that are also like a gift card, and you get discounts at the gift shops in Disney.

    Oh, and that map is of Disneyland. Probably just a google image error, but wanted you to know, lol. No Critterland in Orlando ;)

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  5. Have a beautiful time at Disney! I was there when my girl was around 2 years old along ago! Now she´s 18. It´s a nice place,time goes fast....

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  6. WOW...thanks so much ladies!!!! Ashley and Nancy, I should have totally added you guys to my Disney Guru list :-) You two really are the experts, so I appreciate all the help. Check your e-mails often this month...I know I am going to have questions. Ha!

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  7. I am so excited for you guys and your Disney trip. Small World and Peter Pan would be my top two picks for your kiddos.

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  8. You need to go to tourguidemike.com
    It works, and is amazing. It costs $22, and is worth every penny and then some. You put in your kids ages, the dates you will be there, where you are staying, and it tells you how to tackle the park in the amount of time you are there the fastest way, and the attractions/rides appropriate for your kids ages. Print out his full sample tour after you put this info in, and follow it exactly. That is what we did, and we were there on Spring Break, the busiest time of the year, and we NEVER waited in line. :) He steers you opposite of the typical crowd, and even tells you a secret path. I have two little boys that were very happy, and a niece and nephew that were happy too. You do have to get up early, though!!! Have a great trip. I can't wait to go back!!

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  9. Girl, time to meet for coffee... ASAP! i can't wait for a Disney date with you! :-)

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  10. I want to go!!!! I have great memories from Disney Land (cali girl) and Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean!!!

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  11. Hey there, Jen! Omigosh, I'm so excited for you and your family, as you're all going to have an awesome time at Disney!!!! It is ALWAYS a magical experience, all the attractions and staff are just fantastic. Magic Kingdom is a family favorite, it has the best rides and attractions, especially for young children! My husband and I (who are currently childless) throughly enjoy it as well. All the rides in Fantasyland and Mickey's Toontown Fair caters to very young children. Your best bet would be to enter the park and head left, you will be able to squeeze everything in as you make your way through the entire park in a big circle. Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean should also be suitable, and after that there will be a huge tree house, which is very cool. There is a train that takes you to the separate lands, but you might find yourself back tracking. Oh and the carousel was a lot of fun, for us. I definitely recommend it, especially for your little girl. I am 24 and enjoyed picking out my white, pink, purple, and green 'pony' lol! She is absolutely going to LOVE the Princess makeover, it is way too cute!!! A small amount of advice would be to shop a local Target, as they carry the Disney Princess dresses for a FRACTION of Disney's price. You can take it from there :) Email me with any questions, I'm only 1 hour from Disney, we go every year! Have fun!!!

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  12. So in the Magic Kingdom, what are the most appealing attractions for my kids at their age? when we took our boys at that age..they most liked anything in fantasy land but you may want to skip the snow white ride as it may scare little ones. They loved space ranger spin in tomrrowland and the jungle boat ride in adventureland. Most of the shows are great for the kids and give you some time off your feet so I reccomend taking in as many as you can.

    Should we buy park tickets before we leave, since we are pretty certain of the days we want to go?
    We are a military family so we buy when we get there to get the discounts , but if you are willing to take in a 1-2 hour time share tour and can say no to them in the end you can get your tickets for free.

    Is the Disney photo pass worth the money? yes , yes and yes , we go every 2 years and get one everytime..you get some of the most amazing pics of the whole family and remember you can pic out only the ones you want to save money and not buy the whole cd

    Are there any great money-saving tips you've learned from experience? Those always make me happy!
    bring your own refillable water bottle as water there is $3 a bottle or more , also we take in a small soft cooler with snacks to cut down cost..dont forget to pack extra socks in case yours get wet , wet feet =sore feet.

    Also another tip is to go against the crowd most peopl do disney starting in adventureland so start in tomorrowland and go against the crowd, lines tend to be shorter this way. Have fun !!

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