Full disclosure: I used to write fanfiction. It’s how I met my lovely friend, Emily, who I finally met in person after three years of e-mails, Skype calls, and iMessages. This vacation was significant for many reasons, we were celebrating a birthday, meeting up with friends and family, and taking our first real vacation in years. We did some traveling last year but it was always for an event and as a result had very little downtime. This vacation, although jam packed with fun was a lot more laid back.
Our vacation began last Saturday. We left the house at around 10:30am and made a couple of stops before getting on the turnpike. Diego slept for most of the ride and when he wasn’t sleeping he was happily singing along to whatever was playing on the radio. Instead of heading straight for our hotel we stopped at my husband’s aunt’s house to see his grandmother. We had a nice little visit before finally making our way to our hotel.
I have to give my friend credit for finding our amazing accommodations. The Sheraton Vistana Villages Resort on Internatonal Drive was nothing short of wonderful. Our room had a dining area, living room, kitchenette and separate bedroom as well as a screen covered balcony. The resort was very family friendly and located close to pretty much anything you’d want to do in the Orlando area.
We didn’t do much on our first night there, my friend was pretty tired from her trans-Atlantic journey and the day had worn us all out. Sunday was spent by the pool and we ended our day with dinner at Smokey Bones. Dinner was delicious and a little uncomfortable for me as I spectacularly spilled a glass of ice water on myself. My husband got a little wet as well but I bared the brunt of my clumsiness. I spent our entire dinner sitting in damp clothing! Still, it was a small mercy that it was water and not soda.
The one disappointment during our trip was having to cancel our visit to Magic Kingdom. Diego had a bad night and that prompted us to make the decision to stay in bed and skip our visit. We later noticed that Diego is having a tooth come in so that was probably the reason he kept waking up that night as he is usually a good sleeper. It was the only night during our stay that he did not sleep straight through. I guess this just wasn’t our time to visit the park. That’s the thing about traveling with toddlers, you never know when they will throw a wrench in your plans. I suppose other parents might have chosen to go ahead with their plans but I just couldn’t do that to us. Diego would have been cranky after getting such few hours of sleep and the day was hot. It would have been the worst possibly scenario under which to take him to DisneyWorld for the first time.
Even though we didn’t get to do every single thing we had wanted to (days seem longer in your head when you create your holiday wishlist) we still had a really good vacation. I only wish it had been longer!
We will be going to the Magic Kingdom for one day in May and I have been researching all about enjoying the park with a toddler. There is so much about the park that I did not know and would have no need to know if I didn’t have a child.
I’m still at the stage where I need baby changing stations in bathrooms. These are not hard to come by and if worse comes to worse I can always change him in the car. I’ve actually done this a lot as public restrooms smell foul and I’d rather not be in there for extended periods of time. However, Disney has a dedicated baby care centers in their parks that offer changing tables, high chairs, microwaves, nursing rooms, and a little store selling forgotten essentials.
Diego doesn’t need much aside from diaper, wipes, a change of clothes and maybe some water and snacks. I don’t want to pack a heavy diaper bag even though I won’t be carrying it on my shoulders. Our stroller has a nice sized basket where I can store it. Speaking of our stroller, I am unsure if we will be bringing it with us or opting for an inexpensive umbrella stroller. The downside to this stroller is the lack of canopy and storage basket. The benefits include a small, compact fold that will allow us to pop in and out of the tram and monorail with ease. It would also free up space in our trunk. I still haven’t decided but I am leaning more towards just bringing the stroller we already have along. It’s only for one day and I’m sure we will manage.
As I’ve done some research I have been amazed at all the differing opinions and forums that focus on traveling with children. Some parents are professional advice givers and seekers. It’s almost amusing to read the rants about people cutting them off in line or preventing them to catch up to their spouse as they navigate the parks. They must be gluttons for punishment because some of these families practically live at Disney. I did manage to glean some knowledge, such as: the trams have carts with space for a stroller, you can roll your stroller right onto the monorail, strollers can be rented, strollers are often stolen so park it at your peril.
Disney allows you to bring food and drink into the parks and some families bring a little cooler with them in order to save some money. That is perhaps a good idea if you’re going to spend a week or more at the parks but for this trip of ours that is overkill. I will gladly spend money on food at the park. I am not hauling meals with us. While on vacation I expect to spend money so this is an expense I have planned for but I can definitely see the need and value of cutting down costs wherever possible.
The hotel we are staying at is located on International Drive and according to Google Maps it’s ten minutes away from Disney. We had thought about taking the hotel shuttle to the park but Florida law requires children of car seat age to ride in one unless the vehicle is a coach bus. We will definitely be driving to Disney.
I’m a little nervous about a lot of things, such as how Diego will react to the crowds and my own pesky anxiety rearing its ugly head but I am sure that I will handle it. I am beyond excited for this trip and I cannot wait!