View Full Version : Going to Walt Disney World

02-17-2006, 02:03 PM
So we booked our vacation with DS (who will be 23 months) to Walt Disney World, we will be staying at the Port Orleans French Quarters. I thought I would get good info here but only find one post about character meals so I'm hoping I can get this thread jumping again. I'm looking for any advice/info about going to Disney with a 23 month old, are character meals worth it, how much time should we spend at the parks, what are the best places to eat, what rides will DS like best, how are the cribs are the Disney hotels, etc...

Would love to hear from you, thanks!

02-18-2006, 10:50 AM
Some things that would be helpful to know: How many days are you going to be there and what time of year are you going? Is this your DS's first time going to a Disney theme park - has he ever seen a character IRL before?

We were sort of lucky that our ds loves the characters but some children are afraid of them because they're adult-sized which can be surprising when you're used to seeing them on tv. :) One tip I've read is to have your child watch the free planning DVD (order it off of disneyworld.com) and always talk about the characters as BIG ie. BIG Pooh bear, BIG Mickey, etc. I'm not sure how much of an impact this will make on a 23mos old but if he understands the difference between big & small then it might help prepare him a little bit. As for character meals I think they are worth it if you and your dc like the characters. We've had breakfast at Crystal Palace (MK) w/Pooh & friends, Cape May (Yacht club) with Minnie, Chip & Dale (really good meal too, IMO), Cinderella's Royal Table (Great if you love the princesses, but also very expensive & hard to reserve). Here's the allearsnet Character Meal page: http://www.allearsnet.com/din/cb.htm
You should also check out the Disney Dining Plan and see if that is something that will save you money (we figure it will save us money so I think it's worth looking into at least, if you haven't already). The Disboards has an FAQ posted on it: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1023429

I really like allearsnet.com for planning info. You can see pictures of the resorts and menus for all the restaurants. Here's a link to their Infant & Toddler FAQ which you should find helpful: http://www.allearsnet.com/pl/infant.htm

As for how much time to spend in the parks, my recommendation is to try and get there early because the crowds are usually a lot lighter. Some people swear by taking a midday break back at the hotel for naps or pool-time however our ds always slept in his stroller so that is when DH and I would take turns riding the "Big" rides like Splash Mtn, BTMRR, Space Mtn, etc. Before we had ds we always did the parks "commando" style so that is just us! I would say play it that by ear. Sometimes a trip back to the resort and a dip in the pool is just what the dr. ordered. :) I also suggest using Child Swap, Fast Pass, and the Baby Care centers!

I'm not sure about the cribs at Disney because ds coslept with us. I think they do have a limited number of cribs at the deluxe resorts and many of the resorts have PnP's in the room. We stayed at The Boardwalk Villas (we're DVC members) and our villa had a PnP and a Mickey-themed pnp sheet. You can also rent a crib from A Baby's Best Friend (www.abbf.com). I've seen a lot of recommendations for them on The Disboards. I believe they bring it and set it up for you. They also rent toddler beds, strollers, high chairs, and lots of other baby "necessities". I've never personally used their services though (just looked into it once).

Rides: we took ds on every ride/attraction that didn't have a height requirment. He loves just about everything. The only things we had a problem w/ were the 3-D movies like Mickey's Philharmagic, Honey I shrunk the audience, Muppets... Kids his age won't keep the glasses on and some of the loud noises and effects scared him. I love Mickey's Philharmagic however I will probably skip those shows in the future until ds is a bit older.

That's all I can think of for now. Let me know if you have any questions!

02-20-2006, 10:25 PM
We just got back and stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside. I have stayed at the French Quarter before. I like the food court better at Riverside (jmo).

Run right now and join Tour Guide Mike's website. It is invaluable. If you google a search for a discount, you should find a $3 off code. Seriously, it is well worth the money. www.tourguidemike.com

We loved the meal plan! It was money well spent and saved.

As far as character meals, our favorites are Crystal Palace for breakfast (Winnie the Pooh and friends) and Chef Mickey's (Mickey and classic characters). I have heard good things about 1900 Park Fare as well. We love Le Celier in Canada. The mushroom filet mignon is to die for!

DS has been to Disney 3x now. His favorite rides are Dumbo and Spaceship Earth. He pretty much enjoyed everything and took it all in. Definitely follow TGM's advice on how to tour Magic Kingdom with young children. We rode everything in Fantasyland minus Philharmagic in 30 minutes!! He will save you time and money!!

Enjoy your trip!!!

02-23-2006, 01:09 PM
Thanks for all the info, Allears.net is an awsome site! We will be going in Mid May for 7 days and staying at the Port Orleans FQ. This will be DS's first time at Disney but he has seen Sesame street characters before and loved them! It's nice to know that your DS was able to enjoy man rides. I wish my DS would nap in his stroller but he simply does not! We plan to bring our Techno but I'm wondering if something lighter should be in order, especially since he doesn't make much use of the recline feature...

02-24-2006, 04:54 PM
The Techno looks similar in size & weight to the stroller we use (Kidco LS2000). I would take it - you never know, your ds might surprise you and take a few short naps there. My ds doesn't normally nap in his stroller, just when we're in the parks, so you never know. WDW is a big place and he'll be spending quite a bit of time in the stroller, so why not be comfy? :-) Plus it's familiar to him...

Have a great trip!

02-24-2006, 09:11 PM
A few things my DS loved when we did our WDW trip last year. He was 23 months at the time:

-Dumbo ride
-Buzz ride
-Water sprinklers at Donals Boat (Mickeys Toon town)
-Sea attraction at Epcot
-Dino ride at AK (similar to Dumbo)
-Safari ride at AK
-Lion King outdoor show at AK
-PlayHouse Disney Show at MGM
-Character breakfast at Polynesian

Some of the simplest pleasures were the best: getting him a Mickey balloon as soon as we got in the park, buying his Mickey ears hat, letting him pick out a giant ice pop to eat, pool time at the hotel.

Have a great time!!!