Three Grandparents, Four Parents, A Toddler, and A Baby Went To Disney World

25 Apr

Well, we are home from Orlando. We’ve been home for a week, but my in-laws stopped by for a visit for a few days. Life is finally back to normal, at least as normal as things get around here.

My camera broke while we were at Hollywood Studios – the retractable lens can’t retract, so there won’t be many photographs for a few weeks. I am finishing up the teething guards for the crib because I changed the design slightly. They are now more firmly attached, but the process is more labor-intensive. I’ll finish the photographs with my iPhone and post the tutorial this weekend.

I never thought I would be the mother who takes her nine month old baby to Walt Disney World. Babies that age can’t appreciate an amusement park and aren’t going to remember it anyways. But it was my nephew’s second birthday, his parents live close to Orlando, he loves Mickey Mouse, and I love my nephew. So that’s how it happened. And we all had a great time.

A little digression, to provide a contrast to how we experienced Disney World as parents of a near-toddler. The last time I went to Disney was ten years ago, with my husband (although we weren’t married at that point), my parents, my sister, and my little brother. I was twenty, my sis was eighteen, my brother was nine. And we did everything the parks had to offer, twice over, and we had an amazing time. We got up early, stayed up late, took surfing lessons at Blizzard Beach, ate sushi, raced surreys at the Boardwalk, and went dancing.

Now a decade and two babies later, this trip to Disney World was very different – just as fun, but in a different way. We all got up early (’cause that’s the way the babies roll), and got to the parks early. We rode four or five rides, mostly baby-friendly rides, but the adults took turns riding a roller-coaster as well. By eleven o’clock, we headed back to the hotel rooms for lunches and naps. The afternoon was at the hotel pool, followed by the second nap. Then we went out for dinner, rode one or two more rides, and went back to the hotel for bedtime. And it was magical. The look on Daisy’s face as we rode through It’s A Small World was priceless – she stared with her jaw-dropped and swiveled her head to try to see it all. One pro tip – take your baby carrier (Beco, Ergo, whatever) to Disney. Strollers are everywhere, but it is a hassle to fold the stroller up and carry it over the turnstile to get on the train and the bus. And you have to park the stroller before you get on the rides.

Disney is very, very accommodating to special diets. We ate out for every dinner, and I never felt deprived. At The Wave restaurant at the Contemporary Hotel, I could eat everything on the menu (including pasta), with slight modifications. That never happens to me, and so it was perhaps the most magical aspect of my vacation.

As a result of our excellent vacation, we’re all planning on going back again soon. Disney convinced me that it is a great vacation for children of all ages and their parents and their grandparents. Yes, it is expensive. But there are ways of mitigating the expense. And a care-free vacation that is enjoyed by the entire family, without stress and squabbles, is worth some expense. Daisy probably won’t remember this trip, but the rest of us will, and that’s good enough for me.

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