Monday, November 15, 2010

Stop and Smell the Roses

If you are traveling to Walt Disney World with a toddler, your commando touring days are over.  Sure, you could push everyone and rush from attraction to attraction, but WHY?  Families planning the "once in a lifetime" trip to WDW generally will wait until kids are older and can remember the trip.  So those of us who are watching little ones toddle down Main Street are more likely regular guests.    

The Growing Up Disney family (minus my dear husband who had to travel for business) recently took a long vacation to WDW.  Tink is 18 months old and was a champ on the trip.

Here are a few observations from this adventure:

1.  An afternoon break is key.  Some kids need to go back to the hotel to nap or older children might prefer a dip in the pool.  For Tink, the stroller was a fine place to nap.  We'd find a relatively cool and quiet spot and let her snooze.  It's a great chance to people-watch, grab a cool drink, or catch up on some blogging (maybe that's just me.)
Catching some ZZZs in Adventureland

2.  You may miss stuff.  Even with all those days, there were attractions that I didn't see and places I wanted to show Tink that just didn't happen.  Well, other than Captain EO, I've seen it before and I'll see it again.  (With EO, I did see it before, but I was hoping to catch this run.)  And while I really wanted to take Tink to Country Bears and Jungle Cruise, she's surely not lying in her crib fretting about it as I type this.  Attractions Tink especially enjoyed included Festival of the Lion King, Monsters Inc Laugh Floor, The Tiki Room: Under New Management, and Playhouse Disney Live on Stage.
Tink really liked "Hello Humans"
Check out the accidental mouse ears
Dancing at Playhouse Disney: Live on Stage
Fascinated by Festival of the Lion King

3.  Little ones enjoy the little things.  We had the privilege of spending some time in the parks with my cousin and his family on their very first Walt Disney World vacation.  Tink loved the attention she got from the older girls.  She thought she was big stuff.  Tink also had a blast at the Lego store at Downtown Disney.  She loved the slide and it didn't take her too long to get the hang of climbing the stairs and crossing the bridge to get to the slide.  She would giggle while running from the slide back to the stairs to start it all over.  We then let her check out one of the Duplo tables and build to her little heart's content.  Wow, she was so intense about stacking those little bricks.  And by the way, it was free.  On our last full day, we went to Magic Kingdom.  As you pass under the train station to the right, there is an area most people walk right by.  For some reason, we stopped and Tink had the best time, running and giggling and giving out hugs.  I took about 50 pictures of this moment of pure joy.  I would bet she was the happiest little girl at the happiest place on earth.
Tink thought my cousin's daughters were fantastic
(and they are pretty special!)
The small playground at the Lego store was
a tremendous hit
I had no idea she'd be so intense about
building with Duplos.
Pure joy.


  1. Love it sis, and just an idea but the nap... Can that apply to me next time?

  2. LOVE, Love, LOVE that last pic. You make some great points about making time for the most important. I 2nd the afternoon break and also for us splitting up so that Ben got in early or stayed later (with a parent) while one of us returned with the baby made out trip great.

  3. what wonderful pictures! and I think every point that you made can be applied to everyone -- whether you have a toddler or you're single and in your twenties. taking a break, knowing you're not going to see everything and enjoy the little things are great disney mantras.

  4. We all need to remember to "stop and smell the roses". It is the little things in life that bring us the most joy. Running back and forth into loving arms, picking up a leaf or a flower all bring joy and wonder into the eyes of a child. I still remember sitting on main street with my little girl watching the 3-o'clock parade...

  5. Very cute!! Can't wait for Noah to really enjoy the parks more.. hopefully he will at 13 months. Hopefully the stroller nap will work for us, too!

  6. Excellent tips! Never in all our travels to WDW, did my husband and I ever think we would make our way to Cinderella's "Horse Go Round," as my two year old called it, first thing upon entering Magic Kingdom. But on this past trip, we did! My daughers rode it several times and even better, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain were still there after finishing all of Fantasyland and the kids' first choice rides!


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