Contributed by: Amy Eastman (NDM#242) Amy is the DDL Babies and Toddlers Blogger. She is also the creator of Growing Up Disney.
I recently ran across a personality test, and, according to it, I am Winnie the Pooh. My first time through, the test determined that I was Owl. Pooh is my favorite character, so I was glad that my honest answers to the second set of questions came back as the silly old bear.
Posted in Children, Crafts, Games, Lifestyle, Parents, Technology Tagged crafts, Disney, Disney childhood, movies, online games, Winnie the Pooh
My “Tink” has been to Walt Disney World twice now, once for her first birthday and again at 18 months. Between her need for naps and my pregnancy on the more recent trip, she didn’t ride much so we haven’t yet personally experienced attraction meltdown.
However, I have done some research on this for the future. Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers (2011) has some great information on attractions that can be too much for little ones. The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2011 (Unofficial Guides) is another good resource for parents. Arm yourself with some information and you can help keep your trip a positive experience for the whole family.
Posted in Lifestyle, Parents, Planning, Relationships, Vacation Tagged characters, dark rides, fears, fireworks, It's Tough to be a Bug!, Mad Hatter, Pirates of the Caribbean, preschooler, scary attractions, toddler, Voyage of the Little Mermaid
I’ve been wanting to get this off my chest since I first watched Toy Story 3 and now that Tink loves the trilogy, I just can’t take it any more.
Lotso is obviously set up as the main evil character in the movie. He has turned heartless thanks to losing the love of his life, Daisy. Yes, he snapped and went over the edge but Daisy wasn’t to blame. It was her parents. Seriously, I know it’s a cartoon where toys go on grand adventures so I should just let this go, but any good parent knows you have to keep up with a child’s favorite toys. Leave behind the lovees? Only if we are running for our lives. And Daisy’s parents would have had to do quite a snow job to convince her to accept a new Lotso in place of the one she had loved so much.
A cute, little, smart, Disney loving one, but a monster no less.
Tink has been getting her regular dose of Disney her whole life (just under two years). She insists on her Mickey, Minnie, Eeyore, and Ariel dolls for naps and bedtime. Her favorite show is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Yesterday, after she saw a little bit of a Tinkerbell movie, she was saying, “I’m Tinkerbell.” (Well, yes, Baby, you are.) She travels like a champ and went to Walt Disney World for her first birthday and at 18 months.
Posted in Children, Lifestyle, Music, Parents, Relationships Tagged Children, Disney childhood, music, parenting, toddler, Walt Disney World, Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress
Q. Do all Walt Disney World restaurants provide high chairs and booster seats?
A. Walt Disney World restaurants are fully prepared for small children so getting a high chair or a booster seat is not a problem. At table service restaurants, simply request one when you check in for your reservation. The Cast Members will take care of getting a seat for the little one(s) to the table. Counter service restaurants will have a stash somewhere, but they can be harder to find, particularly in the sprawling locations like Pecos Bill’s, so simply ask a Cast Member for help. Carts or stands will not have anything available, but I have a few tricks I’ll share below.
Posted in Children, Dining Tips, Lifestyle, Relationships Tagged afternoon break, booster seats, Children, dining, Disney Lifestyle, highchairs, parenting, planning, pre-schooler, restaurants, toddler
Tink eats her fruits and veggies so well that I really can’t complain that she’s otherwise picky and almost entirely vegetarian (by her own choice.) At home or visiting family, it’s not a big deal since I can cook for her easily. I checked the menus before our October/November Walt Disney World trip, but I admit to not being aware of how hard it was going to be to feed her. With a little more preparation, it would have been far easier and far less frustrating, so I hope you can learn from my mistakes.
Posted in Children, Fitness, Parents, Relationships, Restaurants, Travel Tips Tagged baby, counter service, food, fruit, Lunch, toddler
My husband recently accepted a job offer with his current company. This offer requires us to move 1,200+ miles away, so I’ve started staging the house to sell. Professional stagers tell you to pack away all family pictures because potential buyers need to be able to see themselves in the home. Note I said THE home, not YOUR home. Pictures of your family distract buyers from taking in the details of and hopefully falling in love with the house.
(WDW is a place for families and so is my blog. I write with my brother and father and posed this question to my team to get you several perspectives.)
Knowing that not everyone has the luxury of going to WDW every year and have grandparents along to babysit, how old should a child be before you take them to WDW for the first time?
Amy: This is a question where the right answer varies for each family.
Believe it or not, in my family’s nearly forty years of visiting Walt Disney World, none of us had ever stepped foot into a first aid station. We broke that streak on our recent trip. Tink woke from a nap in her stroller at Epcot and was not her usually perky self. She clung to my mom and then to me and didn’t want to lift her little head from our shoulders. Tink felt hot, so we headed for the first aid station, which at Epcot is located between Future World and World Showcase at the Odyssey Center.
I leave for Walt Disney World tomorrow morning. I am excited but always have those last minute, “Did I pack everything?” concerns. My biggest worry is flying alone with my 18 month old, but that’s another story. It’s not too hard to pack for myself, but I rely on my spreadsheets to pack for “Tink.”
I started my packing spreadsheets when she was very small. None of our family lives nearby, so even a visit to Grandma’s house is a big packing ordeal. It was really helpful to have a list of what I needed, broken down by categories. I could check off items as I set them aside. This helped me to pack a little at a time and know exactly what was still needed at the last minute. Granted, I still over-packed. Each time I use the spreadsheet at a new age, I try to revise it and save a new copy. For future kids, I’ll just be able to print off a list and get ready to go.
Does anyone else have to look carefully when you type the word “buffet”? I am a Parrothead as well as a Disney fan and have to make sure I don’t subconsciously start talking about Jimmy. While I am sure he can set out a great spread, this story is about Tusker House, which I think is a great restaurant for little ones.
Tusker House is a buffet restaurant located in Africa in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It has been renovated within the last couple of years. In its former life, this was a quick service dining location. To access the restaurant now, you wind around to the left and back of the building. Here you check in with the hostess and you’ll be given a buzzer. There is plenty of space to wait in the outdoor seating area. My brother wants me to be sure that I mention the Dawa Bar located within this outdoor area. He recommends this little oasis. There was an African drum group playing during our brief wait and somehow Tink (12 months at the time) slept through the band. Once our buzzer went off, we returned to the hostess stand and were taken indoors to one of the restaurant’s dining rooms. Our server was very helpful and gave us a good idea of what we’d find at the buffet.
You’ve decided to take the family to Walt Disney World. Where is the little prince or princess going to sleep? You have some options.
There are a few full-sized cribs available on request at Walt Disney World resorts, but it’s a very small number and they aren’t that great. Generally, when you request a “crib” at WDW, you will be given a basic Graco Pack ‘n Play and one fitted sheet for it. The sheet is Disney-made and not an official Graco one, so the fit isn’t quite as good. However, it was clean and Tink seemed to think it was comfy. If you get the sheet dirty, just call Mousekeeping for another one. We have the travel size Pack ‘n Play at home so I don’t have any of the larger sheets, however lots of people do bring their own sheets. The Pack ‘n Play we used last trip looked almost new but I felt better after giving it a good cleaning with some disinfecting wipes. Keep in mind that these portable cribs do not include a bassinet insert.
I really wanted to be able to share with you a touching story of my little girl’s very first haircut at Harmony Barber Shop at Magic Kingdom park after this fall’s visit. Alas, she’s still rocking the natural pixie cut. Appropriate for a little girl who’s nickname is Tink, but sad for an overly sentimental and neurotic Disney mama. So that those of you who are less follicularly challenged may partake of this very special service, I’ll provide some information now. Maybe I can update this post in a couple of years with my own photos and story.
We flew with “Tink” to Walt Disney World right before and after her first birthday. I am thankful I wasn’t flying alone with her on that first voyage but I am ready to take on the challenge this fall. Tink is a very active, curious, and social little girl. Expecting her not to be this way on a plane full of new people to wave at would have been wrong.
As usual, my husband and I overprepared and overworried. I had enough toys and snacks for Tink’s whole playgroup. When it came down to it, she didn’t need much. We gave her a bottle during each takeoff to help with pressure in her ears. Thankfully our flights were all fairly close to a mealtime, so that helped her keep some sort of a schedule. I had a cup with juice and water for her as well. Be aware that the Nuby spout cup doesn’t handle the pressure of flight well. It’s a great cup on land but not the best for flight day. Tink didn’t want to eat much on travel days so the apple crisps, yogurt drops, and raisins were lifesavers.
Large cushioned changing tables, comfy rocking chairs, and nice high chairs. No, I’m not discussing the selection at the local baby superstore. These are some of the amenities available for infants and toddlers at the Baby Care Centers at Walt Disney World theme parks.
All of the restrooms at the World, both men’s and women’s, are equipped with changing tables. Many are stainless steel so they are sturdy and easy to clean. However, sometimes you (or your child) need to take care of diaper duty in a more relaxed environment than a busy park restroom. Head straight for the Baby Care Center. Here you will find large changing tables with huge paper liners, a shelf to set your things, convenient trash receptacles and facilities to wash up.
Posted in Organization and Plannning, Parents, Relationships Tagged baby, bottle, changing, diaper, feeding, nursing, potty-training, preschoolers, theme parks, toddler
A good stroller can make a day of travel, at Walt Disney World or otherwise, so much easier. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Disney stroller!
My main stroller at home is a Bob Revolution. It is a fantastic stroller for exercise and just being out and about. However, it is rather large and kinda heavy. I decided I needed a lightweight stroller for travel and to have a lighter option for the grandparents. Thus began a huge Internet research project. At the time, I could tell you the pros and cons of a couple dozen strollers. The more I looked, the more I became convinced that Maclaren was the way to go. Some other moms swore by reclining features but I just didn’t think that was worth the premium of both dollars and added weight. I decided on the Maclaren Volo and searched for the best available price.