We are just back from a trip with 7 adults and 2 13-month-old babies, who love Mickey and Minnie and the characters! One baby doesn’t mind loud music (such as FotLK) and the other prefers quieter (though she slept through 2 fireworks shows!). We stayed in a Kidani 2 bedroom (DH, me, DS23, DS28, wife, baby) and studio (1 DS30, wife and baby) savanna-view villas. Our rooms weren’t together and they were opposite ways off the lobby on the first floor, but luckily not too far from the lobby (not too close, either J). I had requested that the rooms be close together and on lowest level, so it worked out pretty well.
We had awesome weather! I planned that we would go before the time change so it wouldn’t be dark too early. We definitely took things slow and had relaxation stops that we’ve NEVER had in WDW before!
I used Touringplans.com to customize my own plans and printed them out on a sheet of paper, one for each day, with relaxed walking and breaks, and we pretty much followed them every day. It ended up being more crowded than predicted, but still tolerable. We have been during REALLY busy times and this was not that, luckily. We did not go to HS. We did 2 days in each of the other parks. The first 3 days were early starts then back at the resort by dinner, though we did stay for Illuminations on the 3rd night because the next day was a relaxed start. The last 3 days were relaxed starts and staying for fireworks. The last (6th) day when we just went to AK to use the 3 midday fps I made and then went back to enjoy the pool, as I promised DH that I would make our last day feel like a vacation. I do not like thrill rides, so I was in charge of the babies who were in a good-quality umbrella double stroller – the only stroller we had. Otherwise the moms used the carriers. Some had breakfast in the villa while others had breakfast in Sanaa or The Mara (must-have Mickey waffles!). We didn’t really eat in the villas as much as I hoped.
We used child swap a couple of times – for FoP and 7DMT.
We arrived Sat. Oct. 28th to cloudy, drizzly, rainy weather. Three of the guys drove from MD at 8 p.m. the night before and arrived by 10:30 a.m. enjoyed the pool and then lunched at The Mara. The rest of us flew and we all had dinner at The Mara. Bedtime was by 10 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 29th was dry and sunny but very breezy and cool/cold! We made it to the bus stop by about 7 a.m. (still dark!) for the 7:15 bus to the Magic Kingdom which opened @ 8 a.m. Because of the two babies, we decided to take it slowly and do things completely different than our commando style. We stayed together for the most part but the two families with the babies sometimes broke away from us if they needed to go to the Baby Stations, which they enjoyed. After seeing the welcome show, we started in Frontierland: Aladdin Magic Carpet ride* (2 x w/o getting off); Jungle Cruise, Pirates, BTMRR, small snack break on the way to watch the new Muppets show near Hall of Presidents, HM, Small World, PP(fp), lunch break at Starlight Café, Laugh Floor, PeopleMover, (didn’t want to wait for Buzz or Astro Orbiter), SM (fp), 7 DMT (fp), Philharmagic, .
- after a rainy night, it’s good to have a towel or diapering mat to dry off outdoor seats – Aladdin and Jungle Cruise, to name a couple!
- LOVED the new Welcome show and the Muppets show – got there for the first show and stood right up to the roped area.
- had to talk DS28 into going into Laugh Floor because he’s afraid to get picked…he got picked as Randall, who can disappear, so DS28 stooped on the floor in front of his seat and wasn’t there when they panned the camera back to him J. His baby started crying and he took her out but that was the end of his stint anyway. Very funny!!
- My guys are very upset that they seemed to have changed Space M and slowed down certain parts. It was not a must-do 2nd time for anyone in my group.
We left about 5 (it was a party night). Dinner at The Mara. I thought they used to have sushi in the refrigerator area, but they didn’t this time. DH and I tried to sit out by the “bonfire” but it was pretty chilly
Monday, Oct. 30th was dry and sunny and, again, very breezy and cool/cold! We made it to the bus stop about 8 for the AK which opened at 9. Luckily I had snagged fps for FOP, so we headed past that long line on the right and went right onto the NRJ, FotLK, safari (fp), Gorilla Trail, EE (fp), Yak & Yeti Café, FoA (fp/baby swap); Kali (fp). I forgot my earplugs and Advil, so I passed when others went to Dinosaur! I saved that for the last day. I took one of the babies on Triceratops spin. Some did Primeval Whirl. We didn’t stay for the night show.
- NRJ was nice but, like I’ve read other reviews, we would have liked more animatronics
- I still get chills at the end of FotLK!
- FoA was so cool and we all loved it! I couldn’t ride it more than once in a row because I felt a little motion sickness. I was really screaming at parts on this ride. Well done!!
- Love all the musical acts that we ran into!
- DDiL got handed a large waffle ice cream cone from a cast member as she was walking with all of us!
Tuesday, Oct. 31 was dry, sunny and a little less cool/breezy – beautiful! Some of us dressed up for Halloween and we saw some awesome costumes during the day at Epcot and later at the bus stop for people going to the MK! Got to the bus stop at 8 a.m. for Epcot opening at 9. Walked quickly to Soarin’, then used unnecessary fp for the boat ride. On to the Living Seas (saved Turtle Talk for next day), SE (fp), Mexico boat ride, FEA (fp), Journey w/Figment… I won’t go into detail but we did lots of walking to try different foods at the many countries and stayed for Illuminations.
- No one excited to do TT since they changed the theme from crash dummies, but they did it once or twice in the two days we were there.
- Loved the Chinese Acrobats’ new act (always love to see them). So glad there is still the chair balancer in France and the whistle-blowing servant in Italy (who picked DH to throw a basketball), and all of the acts we saw, including the Jammitors.
- Food and Wine – yummy! We played the Ratatouille sticker “game” and the passports with stickers to mark where we ate.
- Stayed for Illunimations! two nights and I now know one of the worst places to stand – in front of the ferry entrance near Jeoffry’s/bathroom! DS30 picked it so he could be close to Futureworld for quick exit with baby. We stood in an awesome spot the next day!
- LOVED the Norway Frozen Ever After ride!! Wished I could have gotten another fp since I wanted to do it again but refuse to wait too long. Got splashed.
- Actually sat on the grass near Ellen’s departed ride to let the babies play – I have never let my family relax like this before!
- Lucked out and spotted Mickey on an “alley-way” near America with only a couple people waiting for a photo. The babies were so excited! One of my granddaughters tried to eat his nose and then cried the entire time Mickey walked away (which was a very long walk to the gate and we laughed because he had that “Mickey walk” the entire long way), but he waved goodbye one last time before going out the gate.
Wednesday, Nov. 1 we went back to Epcot, a little later. Weather was still great but warmer. No shade on paths at Epcot. Walked to Turtle Talk through gift shop, SE (fp), Visa photo op w/Pluto and Minnie (DD and hubby met up for that so we could all be together), saw China movie for the first time in forever. Ate our way around again. Just took it slow and casual and stayed for Illuminations!.
Thursday, Nov. 2, we got to the Magic Kingdom (somewhat decorated and airing music for Christmas) earlier than I had plans for, so we walked up the Treehouse, saw Country Bear Jamboree, took the train from Frontierland to Fantasyland, walked to PeopleMover, Carousel, and then to our Barbershop appointments for the girls*, split up (DH and DS23 played Sorcerer game) and watched the parade from different areas, let the babies play in the fenced in grass in front of Crystal Palace, ADR Crystal Palace dinner at 3:35 which included Pooh . DD and her husband (who was on Military leave, staying at ASM) and his parents (staying for 2 nights at BWI) joined us. It turned out being our treat for everyone, so I was happy that there was a DVC discount! Excellent buffet and we all stuffed ourselves. Waited for all the characters to visit us and Tigger actually came a second time, since some of us were still “pigging” out. BTMRR (fp), HM (fp) was down the rest of the day(?), so we got fp for Buzz and went on 7DMT (fp). DDiL and I took the babies on Dumbo and the others joined for a second ride.
- I highly recommend a first haircut at the Harmony Barbershop! It was so cute. We thought both girls would cry but they didn’t. We had the same person cut both and he gave the first baby a couple of toys and he put Mickey stickers all over the second baby, which was so clever!! He only snipped a little off the ends to put in a baggie and they got little Mickey Ears and a certificate. We got great photos.
- Crystal Palace dinner was my only ADR for the entire trip and it was a welcome meal toward the end of our vacation!
Friday, Nov. 3rd we slept in and relaxed while waiting for DD and hubby to visit our resort, as they had a lunch ADR at Sanaa. Then the rest of us went to AK about 11:30 to use our 3 fp for FoP, Safari, Kali. We also did Dinosaur! (I remembered my Advil and ear plugs ) We stayed a bit and then enjoyed the pool altogether at Kidani – we haven’t all been in a pool together since my kids were little, so this was a goal of mine for this trip and a highlight when it actually happened! I had brought pulled pork, buns and bbq sauce from home which I was going to throw out but DH and I ate some of it the last night while everyone else went to the Mara and ordered in pizza. DH and I sat out by the “bonfire” and animals with cocktails.
Never did see Tiki Birds, Little Mermaid ride, Winnie-the-Pooh, Tough to Be a Bug, the night show at AK, Nemo show. The only cm I thought was “off” was a young girl at Dumbo when we responded to how many people were in our party – I can’t even explain it. Some mother in one of the bathrooms was yelling curse words at her child in another stall because they accidentally missed the toilet and peed on their shoes. It was inexcusable what she was shouting in a bathroom with other adults and small children. Her poor child (who was upset and apologizing to his mom who was in another stall).
I got a Dole Whip and 3 frozen bananas! Saw a family with “matching” shirts and each one said “9 Days of Dole Whips (or Mickey pretzels or whatever their favorite is)” and I thought that was awesome! My kids who are parents definitely enjoyed themselves but didn’t think being with 13 month-old toddlers or paying for a lot of their own meals was as magical as their past trips , though they did enjoy watching their child’s reactions to everything on their first real vacation. …oh yeah, also logged in more than 20,000 steps a day! Our feet were very achy by the time we caught the bus each day.
Magical Express worked very well for us. Took our checked bags to the resort on the bus with us but checked our luggage at the resort for the way home.
It was a great trip! The weather played a big part, as well as the fact that none of us were sick or hurt. I am someone who tends to focus on the positive, so I think this trip was magical!