Traveling to WDW from the UK Day 2

Hollywood studios balloons, hollywood studios Christmas, Hollywood studios gifts, Disney's Hollywood studios

By Nine

Day 2 of 9/23/2012

These are the memoirs from our last trip to WDW , September 2012. It was our first trip with our then 2 year old daughter. This will be a warts and all style diary, with all the good points and the not so good of taking a pre-schooler.

Cast – me (Nine), 32, ex-cop, full time mummy and Disney-aholic. 5th time to Walt Disney World. Love Magic Kingdom and Tower of Terror.

DH (Disney Husband ~ Steve), 33, lawyer, loves Tampa Bay Rays, Animal Kingdom and Tower of Terror. 7th trip

DD (Disney Daughter ~ Felicity or Tink), 2 yrs 9mths, 1st trip to Walt Disney World, been once to Disneyland Paris. Loves It’s a Small World.

After initially waking up at 2:22am and the 4, we all finally got up at 6:30, not too bad for a first day!
Showers, baths and breakfasts occurred and we were finally out of the door at 8:30.
We headed straight to Hollywood Studios waving to Mickey and Minnie as we drove into The World. We parked in Stage 42, just 4 rows in woop woop.
We actually walked in rather than get the tram for the first time (love going out of High Season) and went straight to Will Call to get the tickets and Tink’s First Visit button.
The initial plan was to head to Toy Story Mania right away but DD saw a line with Goofy and Pluto and ran straight over. This was a major breakthrough as just a few months ago at Disneyland Paris she cried when she saw the big characters up close.
We were so glad we did this and she loved meeting them, she wasn’t scared or shy at all and loved giving them kisses, cuddles, posing for photos and getting their autographs. It was just magical and I was super glad I hadnt bothered to put any mascara on today lol.
 tink and sorcer mickey
After this success we headed over the the animation building to meet Mickey. We were a bit early so we played on the computers for a bit and did some colouring. My determination and patience paid off as we were first in line to meet The Main Mouse. I don’t really have any words to describe the moment she ran over to kiss and cuddle him and the whole crowd collectively went “awwww”. She showed him her Mickey backpack and gave him her autograph book as if she did it every day. I will never forget that moment and for me it was worth every penny we saved to get there.
After we left DH noticed that the Disney Junior show was due to start so we quickly got in line for that. This again was just amazing. The characters we saw (Mickey and gang, Handy Manny, Little Einstein’s and Jake) were really good and DD loved all the singing, dancing and interaction. This was by far her favourite show that we saw. The look on her face was just pure joy and excitement and yet again mama was balling her eyes out lol.
After all this excitement we decided it was time for something to eat as we’d only had a quick breakfast in the room and it was now almost dinner time back home.
We headed into Starring Rolls and got Tink the kids power pack (loved this – juice, cookie, carrot sticks, yoghurt, cheese and goldfish), I had a bagel and juice and DH decided he was starving and had a feast! A Black Forrest sandwich (which was huge! ), chips, apple, cinnamon roll and a coke. Lol, he was a hungry boy. As it was now 11:30 and getting hot and busy, we headed back out of the park and back to the hotel for a rest.

After a nice long nap for Tink and a rest for us, we decided to head off to Super Target for a few snack essentials and dinner, you know what I mean, sweets, chips, drinks, CDs, make-up, clothes, toys … all the things you need for a healthy start to the day? DD had a great time running around choosing cookies and Halloween things (including a treat bucket for $1 that she loved) and soon some cereal and bread became $60. We decided to get something to eat in the room as DD was quickly reaching over-tiredness already so just got some microwave pasta, TGI chicken and salad. We stopped off at Walgreen’s for magazine and newspapers and then back to the hotel for dinner. Tink was bathed and asleep by 8, we followed suit by 10.
Looking forward to AK tomorrow and meeting more characters!

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Janine Pipe, married mom of 2 year old Tink, living in Swindon in the UK.  DLP shareholder and lifelong WDW fan.  Always planning the next trip and making the most of all things Disney in England.  Has been told her house resembles a Disney Store.



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Traveling to the Walt Disney World Resort from the United Kingdom Part 2

By Janine P.

Ever since I found out I was pregnant I had dreamed of taking my daughter Tink to the Walt Disney World Resort.  She did come with us inutero and caused me no end of grief including a trip to the emergency room where our first scan of her at just 6 weeks was performed by a Tower of Terror Cast Member (she was also employed by Celebration Hospital just to clarify!).
So as soon as she was born we began to think about when we could take her back.  We even snuck in a 2 night stay at Disneyland Paris.  But nothing prepared me for actually being at Walt Disney World with my husband and child.
Let me give you a heads up, I’m a crier.  I cry when we land in the US. I cry when I see the first Walt Disney World sign.  I cry on the monorail and I bawl like a baby when I’m on Main Street.  This was all amplified by about a million having Tink in tow.
We decided just to potter about Downtown Disney the first evening as it had been a long flight and I sniffled all the way round, culminating in a few good tears at Tinks first visit to World of Disney.
There were plenty of tears the first morning walking into Disney’s Hollywood Studios and even more when she had her first character experience, running up to Goofy and Pluto and giving them big kisses.  There was no shyness here, just pure excitement and pleasure.  But the biggest heart wrenching mama sobbing moment of that first day (and maybe the holiday?) was her meeting Mickey at Animation Courtyard.  Sorcerers Apprentice Mickey is my favorite anyway but add in the hugeness of the moment (and we were first in line) and the water works started good and proper.  Tink just ran into Mickeys arms and literally the whole crowd waiting collectively went ‘aw’.  Sniff.  This really was the moment when husband and I looked at each other and thought, that alone was worth all the months of saving and planning.
Every character interaction we had was amazing and we made full use of Photo Pass and now have over 400 wonderful photos to look at.  Tink was a bit more shy with the Princesses and Tinkerbell, mainly I think because they tried to engage with her and at just over 2 and half years old, although she doesn’t stop nattering at home she can be quite reserved with new people.  With fur characters she really came into her own, her favorite trick was to take a stuffed toy of that character to meet them, they loved that and we even ended up getting our Mexican Donald from EPCOT signed by the big duck which was pretty cool.
The character dining was a big hit too.  We did Play and Dine at Hollywood and Vine, DHS with Handy Manny, Oso, June from Little Einsteins and Tinks firm favorite, Jake.  This was great fun and not as loud or hectic as I had been warned, just right as it is aimed at pre-schoolers.  We also ate at Cape May at the Beach Club breakfast.  This featured Donald, Goofy and Minnie and again it was just fab.  I’d love to stay here one day, what a wonderful resort.  We were however glad that we didn’t have to pay for madam to eat (they’re both buffets so under 3’s are free) as she was too busy looking at the characters to eat much, even the cakes didn’t tempt her.
Tink was also remarkably good and brave on rides.  Her favorite by far is It’s A Small World and we had to ride it hundreds of times.  I still have to sing her the song as part of her bedtime routine …
When we went to DLP in the summer she rode a couple of things, Buzz and Peter Pan, and didn’t really like them, in fact she said Buzz scared her.  So we didn’t hold out much hope in WDW.  But she was a changed child and even did Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion!!!  Now she was a little bit scared of those, but not in a get me out of here kinda way, just she cuddled into me a bit more during the dark bits.  Rollercoasters didn’t phase her at all, she held her arms up on Goofys Barmstormer shouting ‘weeeeee’ all the way round.  I’ll have her Space Mountain next time no prob 😉
She also LOVED the shows, especially the Disney Junior show.  I can just picture her now dancing all the way through, singing along and shouting to the characters on stage.  Well done Disney for a wonderful performance.
One of the things I really liked was the way the CMs interact with the little ones.  If she was wearing a Princess dress they’d call her Princess.  When she was dressed up like Tink they asked her about the fairies.  They were always waving at her and she got a couple of extra cookies.  I do believe WDW is a place for all people of all ages but I was 21 my first visit, I’m so glad Tink will always know she went when everything really was still pure magic and the CMs really do add to this.
We all really enjoyed taking our time and doing some rides and shows which were new for us too, such as the Disney Junior stuff and more sedate rides we had bypassed before (shame on us) such as Carousel of Progress and Jungle Cruise.  We also enjoyed exploring World Showcase through a 2 year olds eyes and spending time actually with the animals in the Affection Section in AK.  Everything about this holiday was focused on what Tink would want to do and indeed could do (although this mama did fit in one quick ToT ride) and it really worked for us.
This included getting to parks for rope drop, making the most of little or no lines, then heading back to our hotel for a quick rest and nap.  We would then either go back to the parks or shopping and dinner in the evening.  We didn’t make it out late enough to see any parades or fireworks and there was no way we did as much as previous years but this was very much a quality over quantity holiday for us.
One issue we did have (but would have had anywhere) was food and Tink not wanting to eat.  She is not the best eater, more of a snacker but she also doesn’t like to sit up and wait for her food, especially if there is stuff going on.  This did lead to a few ruined meals and tantrums but we always tried to keep in mind she is only 2, she has jeg lag and its like 100 degrees!!!  Bedtime was also an issue, as in she didn’t want to go!!!  Tink and I shared a bed and even when she was exhausted she didn’t go down without a fight a lot of the time, too excited and too much going on I expect but pretty frustrating at the time.  Only a week or so after we got home she dropped her day nap and now goes to bed no problem … typical, if only she’d done that there.  Oh well.
So there we are.  I’ve been totally honest about our first experience of WDW with a toddler.  There were many, many good times, a few did we make the right choice times but on the whole it was A-Mazing and we can’t wait to return in 2014 and do it all again.

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys on facebook, on the web at Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or

Janine Pipe, married mom of 2 year old Tink, living in Swindon in the UK.  DLP shareholder and lifelong WDW fan.  Always planning the next trip and making the most of all things Disney in England.  Has been told her house resembles a Disney Store.

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Traveling to the Walt Disney World Resort from the United Kingdom Part 1

By Janine P

We have fairly recently returned from our first trip to the Walt Disney World Resort with our 2 year old daughter, Tink.  My husband and I have both been several times before but this was to be the first taste of America for the smallest Pipe.  She had been to Disneyland Paris with us this June for a very quick 2 night visit and had both thoroughly enjoyed it (we rode It’s a Small World about 1,000 times) and was over-awed (she literally screamed when she saw King Louis and Baloo).  
We booked this trip back in March 2012 for September 22 through October 6, 2012.  This was a short time period of planning for us, but the holiday was very much a last minute decision.  We last visited in 2009 when I was pregnant with Tink and didn’t think that we would be able to afford to return until a planned family visit in 2014.  But sometimes life deals you a card which makes you think just go for it, and so we did.
Being old hands at Florida holidays made the planning and booking process a lot easier.  I still laugh when to think of when the Travel Agent phoned me trying to sell me some tickets to Universal.  No thanks I said, we won’t be going this year.  But do you know about such and such they asked?  This is my 5th and my husbands 7th visit I replied.  Oh was the answer, well you probably know more about it than me then.  Teehee.
We booked the flight, hotel and car hire through said Travel Agent but online rather than in the store which allegedly saved us some time and money.  We booked the tickets to Disney through Disney directly but bought the 14 day Hoppers which are only available for UK customers.  We opted to upgrade our flight to Premium seats which meant we had a dedicated check-in, extra baggage allowance, complimentary food and drinks etc.  Well worth it with a pre-schooler as it was her first flight and 9.5 hours of sitting down with nothing to do was not going to happen!  She actually did pretty well on the flights, refused to sleep the whole way there but made good use of watching Mickey Mouse on the iPad and playing with the huge bag of surprises I’d brought for her.  Luckily she did sleep most of the way home, thank goodness as it was an over-night flight!  There was one small child who was really wailing for part of the flight and I just felt so sorry for them and their parents, it can’t be any fun with a grouchy child and disapproving looks from fellow passengers.  We put her in her PJs and made sure she had her favorite pillow and blanket and that really helped too.  We also brought her bed time sippy cup so she could have her usual milk and hot chocolate, so she had all her bedtime signals.  I really think this worked more than anything to get her to sleep.  A big tip was to buy toddler sized head phones.  The ones provided on the plane would have been way too big and hers were pink, just what every 2 year old princess-in-training wants.
We booked a Dodge Caravan as we wanted plenty of space even though it was just the 3 of us.  We really liked this car and would happily have one again.  It just about fit all the stuff we carted around with us each day!  We chose to take our car seat and stroller rather than hire them Stateside as Tink likes what she knows and knows what she likes.  As the stroller is a MaClaren Volo it is really lightweight and folds up super quick anyway.  Having a stroller was a Godsend, even when Tink didn’t want to use it we laden it up with the bags in the Parks so we could carry extra stuff without worrying about the weight.
As this was a quickie/cheapie holiday we did not stay on-site at WDW but just outside in Lake Buena Vista.  We stayed in the Clarion Inn on Palm Parkway and were about a 2 minute drive from the first WDW sign and just over 5 from DTD.  The hotel was perfect for us as we had requested a ground floor room, lots to do and places to eat with in walking distance and a very short drive to the Parks.  It might not have been as fancy as some of the WDW hotels (Oh Grand Flo I dream of staying in you one day) but it did us fine for what is was needed for and we would happily return.
Please stay tuned for Part 2
Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys on facebook, on the web at Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or
Janine Pipe, married mom of 2 year old Tink, living in Swindon in the UK.  DLP shareholder and lifelong WDW fan.  Always planning the next trip and making the most of all things Disney in England.  Has been told her house resembles a Disney Store.
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