The First Trip as a Family of 4 - April 13-21, 2018

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by LSUlakes, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. LSUlakes

    LSUlakes DIS Veteran

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    Hello and thanks for coming check out my pre-trip report / planning phase. We made it twice to Walt Disney World in 2016 for marathon weekend (I ran the marathon only) and again in early November as part of a DD's and my birthday celebration. Since a trip in 2017 was not to be, I tried to create a little magic at home as seen below.

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    So lets meet some of the cast of our next trip!
    From left to right is myself Jerry, Hannah (age 3 at the time of this photo), and my amazing wife Cherie. This picture was taken on our last night at Epcot last November during EMH. We were ready to leave but DD wanted to ride the "Epcot!" again. Yes she calls Spaceship Earth - The Epcot and at around 10:45 PM asked that we stay to ride the Epcot. Great memory of how excited she was to be in the park and also amazed how she was still so full of energy!
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    So at this point you may be asking, well I thought this was a family trip of four and this is only three. Well a few short weeks later we were blessed with new of our newest member of the family.

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    So a few months after discovering this news we decided to plan a trip in 2018, and the goal was to go at a time when the parks are not overly busy and the weather has a chance to be pleasant, or at least a little cooler than the summer months. After a lot of research we picked April since this is likely our last trip we can take before DD is in real school and we cant take her out of school for vacation.

    During this time a friend of mine and his family decided they would like to join us since he lives out of state and this trip would be fun for everyone involved. So now we are a group of 8 (4 Adults 4 Children all 4 or less). Pictures not yet available as I havent asked if he would approve is this.

    Booking the Trip and How Disney Finalized the Name of our Child:

    It's time to book our trip finally and I start filling out all the information required for the group. Well I get to the last name of our group of 4.... I felt we had talked enough about what name we were going to call of new baby, but it wasn't 100%. I'm sitting here thinking, I gotta call DW to make sure because correcting a misspelled name on a reservation is a pain, but the wrong name all together would be like pulling out teeth.
    The conversation went something like this:
    Me: Hey are we sure we are going to name the baby Luke Jospeh?
    DW: Ummm why? Is someone pressuring you into a Jr?
    Me: Nope.
    DW: Well why are you asking me this?
    Me: I'm booking our trip to WDW, and I need to put his name as the guest. Just want to make sure we agree this is the one we want to go with.
    DW: Your telling me a Disney trip is going to help make the final decision on DS name?
    Me: Yes, and we only have a few minutes before it probably kicks me off and I have to start over.
    DW: Well do you like the name?
    Me: Very much!
    DW: Me too, so go ahead lol.

    I would like to thank Disney for speeding up that process. :laughing:

    The Final Piece of the Puzzle and Resort Choice:

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    Everyone reading along, meet the fourth member of the family, Mr Luke Joseph born August 2, 2017. This picture was taken while we were still at the hospital.
    The reason for the trip is because we just love going to Disney World and we haven't been in the Spring before. I am looking forward to Flower and Garden Festival and a different season in the parks. It should also be interesting to see how things go with a infant.

    Resort choice. When we first talked about the trip we thought about staying at the Port Orleans French Quarter. It has been on our list of places to go, but we ultimately decided to stay at Pop Century this trip. This will be our first time to the property and by the time we go, I think a majority of the refurbishment will be completed. Hopefully we end up with a refurbished room! We went with Pop, because for nearly the same money we are able to extend out stay with going with Pop, and when it really came down to it. we wanted more park time over a moderate resort. Maybe next time PORFQ!

    Stay tuned as my next few post will go over ADR's, Trick or Treating, and DD's B-day with a very special guest!
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
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  2. LSUlakes

    LSUlakes DIS Veteran

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    Reserved TOC
     
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  4. LSUlakes

    LSUlakes DIS Veteran

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    Advanced Dining Reservations:

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    There is something fun about the 180 day mark with making ADR's, but yet the trip is still so far away. However, the week leading up to that day calls for more Disney discussion around the house than usual! For this trip we are not doing any of the dining plans, as we have found the bringing young children to a table service many days in a row does not work out well. So instead we just pay out of pocket and do a few table services and quick services. This year we also decide to try all new table service locations. We had plenty of options since there are so many possible options so that was not that a big of a deal. The waking up before 5:00 AM on a Sunday morning to make ADR's is not all that fun however, but do what we must as some of our reservations are for tables of 8. Without further delay we ended up with the final reservations:

    4/16 - 50's Prime Time Cafe' for dinner at Hollywood Studios
    4/17 - Chip 'n' Dale's Harvest Feast Breakfast at The Garden Grill for breakfast at Epcot
    4/18 - Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue for dinner at The Campgrounds
    4/19 - Yak and Yeti for dinner at Animal Kingdom
    4/20 - Be Our Guest for lunch at Magic Kingdom.

    The only one we have done before is BOG, but since it's a quick service I am ok with it being a repeat and also thing it's one of the better quick service options in Magic Kingdom. We usually go to 50's at Hollywood Studios as a must, and I have heard mixed reviews about Sci-Fi, so I'm a little nervous. Very excited about the breakfast and Hoop-Dee-Doo and a not to worried about dinner at Yak and Yeti.
    Staying on topic about food for a moment, we haven't picked out quick service locations yet as where we are in the park will have more to do with those locations than the food that is served. Maybe a few exceptions to that rule for at least Animal Kingdom and Epcot. You will also learn as we go on, I have a unhealthy love for the cinnamon rolls at Gastons Tavern in Magic Kingdom! SO GOOD!!!! My last trip on the last night I ordered 5 to go! I was alone ordering them and the cast member gave me a bit of a strange look lol. I was able to enjoy them for breakfast for a few days when I got home though! I have plans to do the same and maybe more this trip! I had someone freeze them for me and they are still good after defrosting.

    Halloween and Birthdays:

    This year DD wanted to dress up as Elsa and the plan was everyone in the family would be a character in the film as well. As things would have it though, the time to make Mom and Dads costume was not in the cards, but Luke did get to join in on the fun for his first trick or treat. The weather was very nice for us this year with temps around 65 that evening!

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    My Mickey ears are from our honeymoon trip 8 years ago. I just tried to make it fun for DD and she thought it was great. So a win right? Everyone, including myself was very pleased with Olaf. I know I am a little bias here, but that kiddo looks so stinking cute in that picture.

    DD and I share the birthday weekend with my birthday being November 5, and hers the day after. I ended up celebrating on Saturday in which we just had family over and watched the football that night. Our team lost :(. On Sunday was DD's party and she was looking very forward to the event.

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    So the picture is not the greatest, but Elsa was really good. She even sang a happy birthday and the all to well known "Let it Go" which the children enjoyed very much. She also played different games with them and they ended with a tea party. DD was very excited and she is even more excited about a trip to WDW that is unfortunately ~ 5 month out.

    Hope yall have enjoyed the content thus far. I will update with new developments as they happen. FP+ Window isnt until February so we have some time to start planning and getting ready for that. We are also thinking about maybe doing the dessert park for HAE, or some other type of extra event. We do know which days we are going to which parks, but I am a little torn between spending two days in Epcot and only one in AK. I think I want to spend two in AK and one in Epcot, but there is not a whole lot for the younger ones to do in AK, but I do not want to miss something in Avatar Land as I have not experienced it yet. Choices choices....

    Edit to remove Sci-Fi and replaced with 50's Prime Time
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
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  5. Sailormoon2

    Sailormoon2 DIS Veteran

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    Baby Olaf is sooo super cute!!
     
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  6. ZellyB

    ZellyB DIS Veteran

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    Joining in, Jerry. Love your sweet kids and it's adorable that a trip to Disney is what triggered you to settle fully on Luke's name choice. That Halloween picture is great! Looking forward to reading along.
     
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  7. Alexsandra

    Alexsandra Ready for the next adventure

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    First off, I love how Disney helped finalize your baby's name. I love "Luke" by the way, it's a great name!

    Pop is a good choice especially with the refurbished rooms. They are really nice! Plus you get more for your money there.

    Sci-fi definitely has a cool theme. Your daughter will love it but be warned, it is very, very dark in there and not the best place when you have a child in a high chair. You won't be able to see you child's face. Also you sit in a car that has three seats facing forward. The seating only fits two people so one of you will be sitting alone with a high chair on the side of the car. iT is not the most comfortable place with a baby. I went when my youngest was 8 months and I regretted our choice because of those reasons. The food is ok if you stick to burgers & onion rings. I personally would swap it out for 50's Prime time.

    Love Luke's costume as Olaf! Too cute!

    As for the park touring. I would keep AKL for one day. One day is enough! I would however switch Epcot's second day with MK. MK has the most child friendly rides where as Epcot will have very little for your daughter to enjoy. MK is too hard to navigate all in one day, especially if your daughter wants to do any meet and greets.

    Can't wait to hear more...
     
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  8. LSUlakes

    LSUlakes DIS Veteran

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    Thanks and glad you joined in!

    This was my concern and I think just hearing it from someone else, confirms it. I will talk with DW about the options and we may end up back at 50's... which isnt really that bad of thing IMO.

    We are planning on going to MK for 3 days already out of 7 park days total. Perhaps the second day at Epcot could have a early evening, but we are such a sucker for the night time shows. Thank you for your suggestions as well as for the compliments and for reading along!
     
  9. LSUlakes

    LSUlakes DIS Veteran

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    Thank you. Saw your post on the running thread. Glad you found the link and thanks for reading along.
     
  10. Alexsandra

    Alexsandra Ready for the next adventure

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    Oh sorry, I didn't realize that you are doing MK on 3 days. That is plenty for sure. So yes I would stick to Epcot on 2 days. I would do a full day at Epcot with a break in the afternoon and on day two, a half day. That way you can sleep in, and enjoy the resort and pool.

    That being said, I haven't been to AK since they built the new Avatar land so I might be wrong. I still feel like you will have enough with one day there if you plan it out well. You can totally do 2 days at AK if you are planning visiting at a slower pace or if you plan to take an afternoon break. I find Rafiki's Planet watch eats up a lot of time if you want to add that. You can easily spend a half day in Maharajah Jungle Trek and Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and seeing the Flights of Wonder which my children always love.
     
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  11. LSUlakes

    LSUlakes DIS Veteran

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    We made our way to Rafikis area on our last trip and it's easy to burn a lot of time over there. DD enjoyed that part of the park very much! Flights of Wonder is my favorite show in AK. I am not sure if its a rumor or not, but I've heard they are planning on changing the show up, but its still supposed to be about the birds. Guess we will see. Going off past experiences with only one child, who at her youngest age of going was 2, we arrived for rope drop and left when the park closed. We had brought our stroller from home and DD is very comfortable in it as I push her in it while I run. So taking naps in it worked very well. Now DS could change all of that up. He has a few more months before he will be big enough to get in the stroller for me to run with him, but the plan is to get him comfortable in the double stroller. If not, then we will most likely have to get use to the idea of returning to the room for a nap. Thanks again for the suggestions and comments. Its nice to read about someone else experiences so I can see things from a different point of view.
     
  12. LSUlakes

    LSUlakes DIS Veteran

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    Update to ADR's:

    So after some research and talking to a few other folks, it seems as @Alexsandra had mentioned Sci-Fi just isn't going to work for our family this trip. I was looking forward to the experience and thought it would have worked out but theres to much evidence saying other wise. So we made the switch to 50's Prime Time!
     
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  13. Capang

    Capang DIS Veteran

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    Jumping in to follow along! 50s is a fun atmosphere and the food was pretty good last summer.
     
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  14. McNs

    McNs DIS Veteran

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    We went to 50’s - it was classic! As usual with me I knew what was coming up but hadn’t pre warned the family. We had a great server, woman from New York who must have been well in her 70’s. She hammer it up just the right amount, DD11 was instructed to stay off her phone (she did) and DD8 was instructed to eat her veges (she did!). They both go on about that meal as being their least favourite, but we one if my favourites for the experience!

    Thought the food was average at best though...
     
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  15. Alexsandra

    Alexsandra Ready for the next adventure

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    Happy to help. I hope they do change Flights of Wonder, just to change it up a bit.

    You made the right choice for your family.
     
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  16. ZellyB

    ZellyB DIS Veteran

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    We love 50's Prime Time. We had a great server as well and the kids really enjoyed it!
     
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  17. LSUlakes

    LSUlakes DIS Veteran

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    DW sent me a text this morning from Facebook feature thing that shows you post on this day deal. Todays picture is from Hollywood Studios and DW sent it to me with a sad face emoji. I sent her back a picture of the countdown to our next trip. We are 149 days to go! It's also funny that 50's has been talked about so much, because a year ago today we all sat together at 50's for dinner. The fried chicken is awesome! I also got a milkshake to go to drink while watching maybe Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam. I think that show happens a little before park close because I want to say I rode ToT and TSMM before we left the park, maybe not though... Anyway, I want to go back now!
     
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  18. LSUlakes

    LSUlakes DIS Veteran

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    The Annual Pass:

    When we first discussed the April trip, the idea of follow up trips did not really come up. However, we talked about how we would like to take DD to partake in the MNSSHP and how this year would be our last chance to do so without having to take her out of real school. When playing around with budgets and dates, it made more sense to just go ahead and get a AP. DW thought I was a little crazy for that idea though. I decided before I made the big push for the AP I needed to do some additional research and cost analysis. What I found is that, we would save ~$500 on trip #2 with the purchase of the AP. This also takes in consideration the memory maker, which we always purchase. I also decided I wanted to give marathon weekend another go for 2019, so we would end up with 3 trips with our AP. Going over these points, and budgets, plus possible discounts she was sold! I'm very excited about all of the upcoming trips in 2018 - 2019!
     
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  19. Alexsandra

    Alexsandra Ready for the next adventure

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    Sounds like a good idea!
     
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  20. LSUlakes

    LSUlakes DIS Veteran

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    Meant to post the a few days ago, but we are officially in double digits with days left! As of today, we have 94 days to go!
     
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