Disney... Party of Three! - Rescheduled Date TBD (New 5/17 - Cancellation Details)

SimplyGoofy

"You are not Mickey Mouse... you are a rat!"
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Disney… Party of Three!

May 2020 Pre-Trip Report


Hello! :wave:

I am SO EXCITED to be planning our upcoming trip – it will be a very different trip for me!

I was lucky enough to travel to Disney World four times in nearly annual trips from 2012-2016. My travel companion on three of those trips was my sister, Anika, and the final trip included my mom, Becky. Neither of those fabulous folks will be traveling with me this time, however, as my family has changed since 2016:




Say hello to my husband, G, our daughter, M, and me, Jenny! We don’t get nearly enough photos with all three of us, but this one seems most appropriate as it’s another spot with great food, entertainment and rides. We love our state fair!

I met G a few months before my 2016 trip. Obviously things went well, as we got married and then had our fabulous daughter. I’d always dreamed about taking a family to Disney… and now I am! Holy cow!
:hyper:

I am equal parts absolutely thrilled and completely nervous. I can’t wait to go back to Disney World for the first time in four years and am super pumped to show G how great Disney can be. I am beside-myself excited to introduce M to the magic.

So why am I nervous? I haven’t been to the World in four years (so many changes!), I’m not traveling with a super-fan (G is… willing to go?), and I’ve never traveled with a small child at Disney (naps, sippy cups, rider swap… WHAT?!). I want to ensure that this is the first of MANY family trips and that won’t happen if things don’t go well.

Basically, I need to have tons of great, carefully crafted plans… and be willing to calmly and happily throw all of them out the window if things aren’t going well.


Yep. No tall order there.


:rotfl2:

Thank goodness for the DISboards, where I can yammer on about plans without driving my husband crazy. Other than a general budget plan he said he’s fine with anything I plan. :thumbsup2

And there's so much to plan! Resort choice, park days, ADRs, Fastpass+ selections...yikes!

Here we go! It’s going to be a wild ride!

Up Next: Introductions
 
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SimplyGoofy

"You are not Mickey Mouse... you are a rat!"
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
The Party of Three

Family Introductions


First up is me, Jenny:



I’ve been a Disney fan since childhood and this will be my ninth trip to Disney World. I love thrill rides like Tower of Terror and Expedition Everest, but also classics like Haunted Mansion and Carousel of Progress. One of my favorite parts of Disney World is the food (I have an ADR problem) and I am trying to imagine a Disney trip without Wishes. Outside of Disney, I’m a stay-at-home mom to my awesome daughter and love cooking, decorating, and Target.

My travel and life companion is my husband, G:




G has been to Disney World twice, once as an adult and once for a work conference, so perhaps the third time’s a charm. He enjoys most non-spinning rides so I think we’ll get along well at Disney. G loves visiting the National Parks and spending time outdoors. He doesn’t have much time for hobbies, but anytime he’s not with us you can find him kayaking, hiking, or playing his guitar (and as of this winter, likely trying out his new cross country skis).

Our youngest traveler is our daughter, M:




M is currently 15 months and will be nearly 23 months at the time of our trip. She’s already walking steadily and seems to be adding more and more words, so I think it will be a fun age to bring her to Disney World for the first time. I know many brave people manage it, but I wanted M to be old enough to travel without baby food or without worrying about multiple naps per day. M happily sat in Santa’s lap and practically wanted to pet the Easter bunny, so I’m optimistic about character meet and greets. She also loves being thrown up in the air, swinging, and being spun in a chair, so I’m hoping she’ll be my ride buddy in the years to come!

That’s our party of three!

Up Next:
Where to Stay?
 
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  • katefl

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 19, 2012
    Following along! I am about to be posting a very (eerily) similar pre trip report! We are taking my 1 year old next May and I haven't been in around 4 years and I want all the help on how to handle this as a mommy and not just an adult enjoying her disney time!
     

    Isabelle12345

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2019
    Following along!
    We went last year for just one day in MK when my daughter was 23 months old... and we got hooked! I LOVED it!
    It is indeed a magical time to visit WDW! Have fun planning!
     
  • SimplyGoofy

    "You are not Mickey Mouse... you are a rat!"
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2011
    Following along! I am about to be posting a very (eerily) similar pre trip report! We are taking my 1 year old next May and I haven't been in around 4 years and I want all the help on how to handle this as a mommy and not just an adult enjoying her disney time!
    :welcome:

    Thank you so much for joining (and congrats on being first!).

    Wow, we definitely have a lot in common! I'll be sure to join in our your PTR and hopefully we can help one another with the planning! I'm quite hopeful that both of us can figure out a plan that will lead to fun for us AND fun for our family.

    Joining in!

    M is adorable! Sounds like it'll be a fun trip!
    :welcome:

    Thank you so much for joining in, Kelly!

    It will be a different trip for me (less thrill rides, earlier bedtimes, etc.), but I think it will be a different type of fun. I'm excited to introduce M to Disney World and introduce my husband to how much fun Disney can be!

    Also, thank you! I certainly think M is adorable, but I'm a bit biased. :goodvibes

    Following along!
    We went last year for just one day in MK when my daughter was 23 months old... and we got hooked! I LOVED it!
    It is indeed a magical time to visit WDW! Have fun planning!
    :welcome:

    Thank you for following!

    Thank you for your glowing endorsement of a 23-month-old at Disney World - I'm anticipating spending the most time at MK. I know the planning will have some additional challenges, but I think it will still be loads of fun to plan!

    Joining in! You have such a lovely family and your daughter is such a cutie! Can't wait to hear what you will plan!
    :welcome:

    Thank you for joining in Alexis!

    Thank you so much! It will be fun to figure out a trip that will be fun for everyone - most importantly for the one-year-old (although I'd love to include some extra fun things for mom and dad, too!).
     

    SimplyGoofy

    "You are not Mickey Mouse... you are a rat!"
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2011
    How Much Do We Want to Spend?
    a.k.a. Good Grief, Which Resort Should We Choose?!

    In the past, my resort choice was driven by my personal preference, our park plans, or where I could find a great deal for the amenities I wanted. My 2012-2016 trips included a great variety of resorts, from Pop Century to Coronado Springs Resort to Animal Kingdom Lodge to the Grand Floridian. I’ve been happy at the values and happy at the deluxes. That said…

    Good grief, what has happened to the room prices in the past four years?!
    :scared1: Even with using discounts in the past, I can’t remember the rack rate for a VALUE being nearly $200/night! No wonder there are so many complaints about how expensive Disney can be!

    Bringing my husband and daughter along to Disney World brings considerations that I’ve never worried about before. I joke with my husband that the amount of luggage we require has tripled or quadrupled since we had M, as we now have to bring along a diaper bag, toys, books, food implements, and 1,0001 other things that we never needed to worry about before. As appealing as the refurbed rooms at Pop Century look, I’m concerned about squeezing in the stroller and finding a good place to wash the sippy cups without feeling cramped.

    My other consideration is our ease in getting to the parks and to the resorts for dining reservations. This is the first time I’ll have to worry about lugging along a stroller to the parks and using a car seat to use any kind of car transportation.

    With that in mind, here are the resorts I’m considering…

    Art of Animation




    I visited AoA back in 2015 when we were staying next door at Pop Century and LOVED it. Although it wouldn’t be quite as economical as the Little Mermaid rooms, we’d likely swing for a suite in order to give us extra space, two bathrooms, and a kitchenette for all our sippy cup washing needs.



    (Image from Google)

    We’ve slanted toward booking suites since M’s birth in order to provide our own “rooms” during our stay. This worked out very well on our summer vacation in June but worked HORRIBLY when we traveled to a wedding a few weeks ago. M is now old enough to be more aware that she’s not at home and made it clear she was only content to sleep in her Pack N Play just a few feet away from us.

    So perhaps having multiple rooms is no longer important? Kids change so much so quickly that what doesn’t work now could certainly work months from now.

    The other pluses of AoA include the multiple pools, the dedicated bus service, and the delicious Land of Flavors food court. It would be a great choice! The downsides include the higher price for the suite (although perhaps lower than the other considerations), the need to deal with the stroller on the bus for all four parks, the difficulty of getting to resort restaurants, and the fact that the suites don’t tend to allow discounts.


    Port Orleans French Quarter

    The moderate resorts tend to be my sweet spot – enough amenities that boost them above the values but a more reasonable price point. Port Orleans Riverside is probably my favorite, but I also enjoyed my stay at Coronado Springs Resort. The downside to the moderates is that they’re quite large and spread out and as such Caribbean Beach has never appealed to me. That leads us to...



    (Image from Google)

    I’ve heard nothing but great things about Port Orleans French Quarter. Since I love its sister resort, the fact that it includes similar perks in a smaller footprint is very appealing. We wouldn’t have as much space as the suite at AoA, but it’s a bigger room than the regular values and there should be enough space to stash our things. I think M sleeping in the same room as us will probably happen anyway, so the lack of a second room is likely a nonissue.

    For additional pluses, we would enjoy the dedicated bus service, the chance to share the POR amenities, and that fabulous boat to Disney Springs. Plus, I’d finally get a chance to try the beignets! The downsides include that these rooms have the least space of my contenders, the need to fold and lug the stroller onto the buses for all four parks, and I’d be washing all her cups and implements in the bathroom sink. Also, with the exception of Disney Springs, getting to the non-park restaurants would be just as challenging here as it would at AoA.


    Polynesian Village Resort Villas

    One of the highlights of our 2015 trip was our two-night stay at the Grand Floridian. We spent one full day at the resort to enjoy the dining and amenities – and there are many! Unfortunately, that was the day I was quite sick with a sinus infection, but I still remember how lovely it was to walk across the resort to get to our ADRs. The quick trip to the Magic Kingdom on the monorail was pretty awesome, too!

    I can’t deny the appeal of having easy transportation to Magic Kingdom with a stroller. Being able to wheel M directly onto the monorail without having to pull her out and fold up the stroller would be glorious. The Poly has the additional appeal of a fairly short walk to the TTC to catch the Epcot monorail. With that, we’d only have to use the bus to get to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom (and Disney Springs if we decide to incorporate it into our trip).

    The other major perk of the Magic Kingdom monorail resorts is the easy trip to SO MANY RESTAURANTS. Multiple character meals, signature dining, and pre-park breakfasts are just a short walk, monorail ride, or boat ride away. As I’m someone with an ADR problem this would be delightful. It’s much more difficult to take an Uber with a one-year-old (lugging around the car seat for the rest of the day wouldn’t be very fun) and I’d hate to rely on the Minnie Vans as I’ve read they can be hard to snag. I don’t know that I’d like the additional stress – this trip may be stressful enough!

    The studio villas have greater appeal that the regular rooms due to the room setup. We only need a single regular bed as M will still be sleeping in a Pack N Play. We’d love the couch over an extra bed! I’d also love the kitchenette so we wouldn’t have to wash M’s things in the bathroom sink. The split bathroom would be great as well to make getting ready easier for everyone. Wouldn't this room be lovely?



    (Image from Google)

    The Poly is the most appealing MK area resort due to its theme, its walkability to the TTC, and its short monorail ride (or walk) to the multiple Grand Floridian restaurants. I think M would be the happiest here as there are two great pools and the scenery is lovely. She loves the outdoors so I think the tropical theme would be fun for her. It also may finally give me the chance to visit Trader Sam’s!



    Obviously, I’m leaning toward the Poly… but goodness, the price! :eek: Renting points seems to be the more economical choice than booking directly, but I’m new to this point renting business. Have any of you successfully rented points? Was it an easy experience?


    I’d love your thoughts on DVC point rental or any positives you have on my other resort choices. I’m still open to the possibilities – and I’d love to hear about your experiences at other resorts as well! Nothing is booked yet so I’m happy to consider anything!
     

    acciobrain

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 18, 2014
    Hi! Following along! We're going in May 2020 also!

    Just my 2 cents: we stayed at AoA when my DS was 1 week shy of his 2nd birthday. I have no regrets about choosing that resort. We got the bed rails for the pull out couch and he did great with it. It was really convenient to have the kitchenette because he couldn't wait for us to get dressed and ready before drinking his first cup of milk and having a little breakfast. Also, he absolutely loved the splash pad next to the Big Blue Pool.

    Excited to see what you choose and how your planning goes!
     

    Eeyore daily

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2019
    Following along!

    This all sounds so exciting! Personally if you could swing getting a rental for Poly I would do that. Your reasons of wanting it even made me want it lol! That way you still get a kitchenette to wash the sippy cups but at a nicer location.
     
  • missangelalexis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 27, 2012
    It sounds like the Poly is definitely what you're leaning towards - and for good reason! It seems to have everything you will need. If you can swing it, you should do it!
     

    lvcourtneyy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2012
    Following along!

    I would go for the Poly studio! We stayed there for two nights a few years back and it was so spacious compared to other DVC studios. Plus, with your daughter's age, I think you'll be spending a lot of time at Magic Kingdom and it will definitely be more convenient to be on the monorail.

    We've rented DVC points twice- once from David's to stay at Disney's Hilton Head resort and for our upcoming trip this month, we rented from the DVC rental store to stay at OKW.

    At David's we had to pay a deposit for them to search for availability for us and then the full balance was due right away. With the DVC rental store, we paid in two installments. We haven't taken the trip yet obviously for our OKW reservation but so far, both experiences have been easy. The only part I don't like about it is the cancellation policy which is pretty much non-refundable.
     

    SimplyGoofy

    "You are not Mickey Mouse... you are a rat!"
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2011
    Hi! Following along! We're going in May 2020 also!
    :welcome: Thank you so much for joining in!

    May is such a great time to go! Are we going to be there around the same time or are you going in early May? Good luck on your planning!

    Just my 2 cents: we stayed at AoA when my DS was 1 week shy of his 2nd birthday. I have no regrets about choosing that resort. We got the bed rails for the pull out couch and he did great with it. It was really convenient to have the kitchenette because he couldn't wait for us to get dressed and ready before drinking his first cup of milk and having a little breakfast. Also, he absolutely loved the splash pad next to the Big Blue Pool.

    Excited to see what you choose and how your planning goes!
    I'm still considering my options, so thank you so much for your thoughts! M will be nearly the same age on our trip so it means a lot that you had a great experience at AoA. The kitchenette would be awesome and I'd love having a dedicated sink and an easy place to keep snacks. The Big Blue Pool is one of the most appealing parts of AoA as I thought it looked awesome - and I didn't even realize there was a splash pad!

    Following along!

    This all sounds so exciting! Personally if you could swing getting a rental for Poly I would do that. Your reasons of wanting it even made me want it lol! That way you still get a kitchenette to wash the sippy cups but at a nicer location.
    :welcome: Thank you so much for joining in!

    I think it would be the easiest resort transportation-wise and would allow plenty for the adults to do during naptime. I figure we may switch off a few afternoons so one of us could go to the pool/read a book on the beach/try out the boats while the other parents sits in the room with M.

    After washing bottles and bibs in multiple bathrooms on our June vacation (including one TINY sink in a Glacier National Park lodge), having a dedicated "kitchen" sink would be delightful.

    It sounds like the Poly is definitely what you're leaning towards - and for good reason! It seems to have everything you will need. If you can swing it, you should do it!
    It is definitely the most appealing due to location and amenities. Courtney's endorsement of the ease of points rental may push me over the edge and lead me to book it!

    Following along!
    :welcome: Courtney! Thank you so much for joining in!

    I would go for the Poly studio! We stayed there for two nights a few years back and it was so spacious compared to other DVC studios. Plus, with your daughter's age, I think you'll be spending a lot of time at Magic Kingdom and it will definitely be more convenient to be on the monorail.
    These are my thoughts exactly! The extra space would be awesome and the most attractions that are toddler friendly are definitely in MK. I think it would allow us to be more flexible with our evenings which is the biggest question mark right now. It would be nice to be able to pop over to MK for an hour or two upon request (and then bail quickly if M needs to head to bed).

    We've rented DVC points twice- once from David's to stay at Disney's Hilton Head resort and for our upcoming trip this month, we rented from the DVC rental store to stay at OKW.

    At David's we had to pay a deposit for them to search for availability for us and then the full balance was due right away. With the DVC rental store, we paid in two installments. We haven't taken the trip yet obviously for our OKW reservation but so far, both experiences have been easy. The only part I don't like about it is the cancellation policy which is pretty much non-refundable.
    THANK YOU so much for your experience of renting points! These are the two companies I'm looking at - I'm more familiar with David's but may look at DVC Rental Store first so I could get additional rewards on my Disney Visa. (Darn David's being in Canada - why doesn't the Disney Visa have no international transaction fees?!)

    The non-refundability is really the only negative as far as I can see on the points rental. I'm less concerned for this trip as our dates won't change due to my husband's work schedule and the hurricane threat is pretty much non-existent in May. Your endorsement of the ease of points rental really helps my decision to book this way! Thank you, again! :goodvibes
     

    kimberwee

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2011
    Obviously, I’m leaning toward the Poly… but goodness, the price! :eek: Renting points seems to be the more economical choice than booking directly, but I’m new to this point renting business. Have any of you successfully rented points? Was it an easy experience?

    I’d love your thoughts on DVC point rental or any positives you have on my other resort choices. I’m still open to the possibilities – and I’d love to hear about your experiences at other resorts as well! Nothing is booked yet so I’m happy to consider anything!
    Hi from a fellow "party of 3" family! We are DVC owners at the Poly and have used David's in the past for renting out our points. And, we have had friends rent points from David's with no issue. They have a great reputation. I would start there. To me, it can be cheaper than many of the moderate choices. Honestly, I am shocked at how many people can afford to visit DW each year with the ever-rising resort and ticket prices. You could buy a car for how much a family of 4 would spend staying in a Deluxe Resort, with tickets and food and extras. :sad2: This was honestly one of the main arguments for our purchasing DVC. The price of our vacation between 2012 and 2017 had almost doubled and it was mostly because of the room
     

    SimplyGoofy

    "You are not Mickey Mouse... you are a rat!"
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2011
    @Eeyore daily I forgot to add to my reply above that your DIS name includes my second favorite Disney character! As my favorite character is a bit of a giveaway with my own DIS name ;) I'm always happy to see someone else that honors my #2 guy.

    :love:

    Joining in! :)
    :welcome: Glenn! I'm so glad you're here!

    Hi from a fellow "party of 3" family! We are DVC owners at the Poly and have used David's in the past for renting out our points. And, we have had friends rent points from David's with no issue. They have a great reputation. I would start there. To me, it can be cheaper than many of the moderate choices. Honestly, I am shocked at how many people can afford to visit DW each year with the ever-rising resort and ticket prices. You could buy a car for how much a family of 4 would spend staying in a Deluxe Resort, with tickets and food and extras. :sad2: This was honestly one of the main arguments for our purchasing DVC. The price of our vacation between 2012 and 2017 had almost doubled and it was mostly because of the room
    :welcome:(Kim/Kimberly? - I love to address people by name so excuse my lame attempts at guessing your name from your DIS name!)

    Thank you so much for joining in! And hello to your family of three!

    Thank you for another endorsement for David's! I feel most comfortable about renting from there as I've heard about them for years - I only wish they weren't based in Canada! My husband has a credit card without international transaction fees, but I'd be happier using my Disney card so I can get additional reward dollars! :laughing:

    I'm rather shocked at the price increases as well, particularly for park tickets. I'm also surprised that our one-week hotel cost with the rental points for this trip would be just a bit less than the two-week hotel cost for my 2015 trip. Yes, the 2015 trip included a blend of resorts, but it also included several nights at both the Grand Floridian and the Royal Pacific Resort at Universal! It is crazy!
     

    amazingact21

    Upendi
    Joined
    Nov 6, 2010
    I just realized you had added a new link to your signature when I was replying to your comment on my thread and knew I had to jump over here.
    A daughter's first trip!! How exciting!! This will be quite the memorable trip for you.

    The Polynesian is an awesome choice as far as transportation goes. Not having to get the baby out of the stroller, fold it up, and load onto a bus is pretty priceless. However, all that extra room you would get at AoA would be nice, as well. You would be able to spread out your luggage and kid toys while still having a dedicated sleeping area for either just you two or you both and M.
    I'm sure whichever resort you decide you will be happy with. They each provide their own unique experiences. My only piece of advice would be choose which one you think G would like the best, since this your campaign to get him back for future trips. :rotfl:
     

    cindianne320

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2010
    Can't wait to follow along with your planning!

    I don't think it's been mentioned here yet- but the Skyliner is now open- connecting AoA (and Pop) to Hollywood Studios and Epcot- and looks really easy to bring a stroller on!
     

    ariane37

    Dis veteran
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2012
    OK, I'm not missing out on this!

    I met G a few months before my 2016 trip. Obviously things went well, as we got married and then had our fabulous daughter. I’d always dreamed about taking a family to Disney… and now I am! Holy cow!:hyper:
    Yay!! I didn't realize all this :goodvibes I love going on our adult only trips but going with kids is incredible! I still remember the first couple trips with the boys when they were little :love: It's going to be such a special trip for all of you!
    and I’ve never traveled with a small child at Disney (naps, sippy cups, rider swap… WHAT?!).
    lol, it's funny because I don't remember it being difficult traveling with the kids to Disney when they were little, although Ricky was my tough one and he was already 4 on our first trip. Chris was 11 months and then 14 months and then 23 months and it seemed easy! Yeah you have lots of stuff to bring but you're used to it anyway. I don't even remember making our plans based on them, we just did what we wanted to do and if they ended up needing a break we took it!
    I am trying to imagine a Disney trip without Wishes.
    :sad1:

    As for your resort choice, hmm......POFQ is my favorite mod but like you said you'll have the least space. We've only stayed in a LM room at AoA but part of me kind of wants to try a suite? So I think that's a good choice. But is it weird choosing that over the Poly lol? We aren't fans of the monorail but it's certainly super convenient for strollers. Before I was a TA we rented points quite a few times and it can really make those resorts affordable! We went through private owners from the DIS often but also used David's once or twice and were happy with them. Good luck deciding!
     





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