I’m going to be very very honest: I used to think, ‘why would anyone go to Disneyworld for a vacation when they have the world at their fingertips??’ I know: snob! And how unoriginal of me, right? It’s so easy to write things off, while, to quote the cashier at my last grocery store run, ‘enjoyment is an art, it’s taken me a lifetime of practice.’ Um, wow!
Not to mention, this is a downer of a way to start a post about the Most Magical Place on Earth. Disneybashing.. It’s just, I thought Id always opt for Paris, London or Athens given the chance to travel. Like all the cool kids, right?
And then there’s this ethos, ever see the previews for Disney bluerays? The happy family in pristine fabulously appointed home, gave me a good eyeroll as my own family ran about the mess of a hollow we called a living room.
But I’ve changed. I get it Walt, I really do! I’m sincere, and I’ve been softened. There is no delight like that of a toddler meeting Mickey Mouse. When I became a parent, I learned to follow my sons lead and just enjoy things as they’re found enjoyable. Let go a bit, have fun. Hang that self-preoccupation. If it’s fun, it’s fun. And not every moment of life will be fun, so why find some reason to scorn those moments that are? Thank you, Mickey, Walt, and Crew for making our trip SO MUCH FUN!
We met Mickey 4 times!
And here I go, the new convert:
I’d highly recommend, if you can spare the cost, doing a character meal. They’re a great chance to meet a bunch of characters at once, while enjoying a yummy meal. Guess what? Meeting the characters was surprisingly exciting and fun for us big people too!
Everything I read said you had to book these waaaaay in advance. Nope! For Pooh and the rest we just took a buzzer like any old time at a popular restaurant. My favorite was breakfast at the Contemporary.
I’m genuinely thrilled lol
They were all so darn charming and sweet, I especially loved Pluto and Donald. Honestly, their spunk made my day as much as Munchies. Not to mention that each of those experiences happened at an all-you-can-eat-buffets… Pricey? Yep. Do it. Turn over those couch cushions, scrounge those pennies, and enjoy!
Can we talk about food? To keep our budgets and waistlines in check we brought a few of our own snacks that keep well, like dried fruit and nuts, larabars, and would grab fruit and veggie packs as we found them. Most of my meals I opted for veggies and a protein of some sort.
But we were also on vacation! So relax! Those are the times to enjoy a little. Oooooh did that giant sundae we shared on Mainstreet during the Electric Lights Parade taste good.
I worried a lot about all the travel involved, to and from the air port, from our hotel to the parks and back again and back again between naptime. My little boy just detests sitting still. But it was not a problem. Not once. After he caught on to what this whole thing was all about, he was game and demonstrating the zen-like patience of a true Disney-master.
nevertheless, have some backup- who knew the felt-backs of bus seats would make such great sticker boards??
My sons favorite ride was definitely Small World. We rode it 4 times.
He also said this was one of his favorite rides:
He would request ‘the fountain ride.’ Folks, when you’re with a toddler, everything has the potential to be a fascinating and new experience. I didn’t mind the chance to sit and regroup while my LO enjoyed his ‘fountain ride.’
Disneyworld can be exhausting for toddlers, with the new routine and all the excitement. We took advantage of his nap times, and would go back to our motel during the heat of the day to rest, and eat, all ready to head back out for the afternoon and evening.
We stayed at one of the cheaper motel options that was part of the Disneyworld resorts line-up. I’m really glad we did, especially since we were consistently returning there midday as a means of preserving of our sanity. It felt like a contiguous part of the whole experience!
a giant Dalmatian!
During these nap-breaks I’d fit in some exercise. I would do a 30-minute brutalizing met-con routine- I had two different plans and would alternate them- and then follow that by maybe an additional 10-15 minutes of lower intensity cardio. This I did in the small space between the main ‘bedroom’ and the bathroom, like where the sink and vanity were, while my dear son dreamed of Mickey pops and Piglet dolls.
This isn’t the exact routine, but something like this:
The cardio would be some jogging or dancing in place. Inside. Out of the heat. While the baby slept. Pure genius.
Even when you can’t have access to heavy weights or whatever equipment or space you might use, if you’re motivated, you can still find ways to challenge yourself and keep that intensity high. Progress is all about intensity.
We also walked a bunch, all over the park. In short, fitting in fitness was not a problem. It was easy, and a fun change of pace from my normal lifting routine.
Guess what? Despite not really paying too close attention to how I ate, while also feasting at those buffets, my clothes were actually looser on the way home. Not really what needs to happen on vacation, but I’m just trying to say health and enjoyment can go hand in hand. And this is a bit of a fitness/health blog 😉 so you’re going to hear how I took care of those things on a trip!
All in all it was magical. People warned us that traveling there with a toddler would be a waste. Nothing could be further from the truth. I can’t think of a better place to have gone with a toddler. Simply smashing, my dears! If you’re on the fence about whether to ‘wait till Sally’s [or maybe it’s Avery these days] older,’ get off that fence and onto Kayak! Book those flights and look forward to the fun any parents of toddlers deserves.
**sigh** I think I missed my calling as a Disneyworld dancer
Most of all, though, what made it SO memorable was all the time I spent with these two people:
They’re my favorite people in the whole wide world. And I got to take them home with me 🙂
Do you have tips for doing Disney with a toddler?
How do you keep to your fitness and health commitments, while still enjoying your vacation as much as possible?
Let me know in the comments!