So, since it is Thursday and I just said in my goals that I will be dedicating Thursday to travel, here is my first travel dedicated post.
As many of you know, I have an insane love for all things Disney, especially Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line. I am currently planning our son's first trip to Disney over Thanksgiving Week and have been thinking quite a bit about how different this trip will be for us. The pacing will be different, we won't be able to schedule like normal, we will have to think about things like naps, bedtime, what restaurants are appropriate, etc.
Lucking, my specialization in Disney travel has been a huge help! At first I was totally out of my element, but I started to think about this trip from a different perspective, "what do I want to get out of this trip", and it sort of fell into place. What is important to me is that we get to see the experience from Connor's perspective. He will have just turned 1 a month prior, and will still be so completely in awe of everything. Now, keep in mind, this is a kid who loves lights, fireworks, water, animals, etc. The lightshows, jumping fountains, fireworks and special effects will be mesmerizing to him, and luckily he doesn't seem to mind loud noises! We also plan on getting his first haircut at The Harmony Barbershop on Main Street; U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom!
For those of you who don't know, Disney caters to babies more than you might think. There are infant care stations at all the parks, and they offer nursing rooms, clean changing areas, play rooms stocked with toys, an area with highchairs where you can feed babies and toddlers, etc. These locations are free of charge to use, and sell things like formula, and diapers if you run out. There are also playgrounds scattered throughout Disney property with soft floors and smaller "attractions" where babies and young toddlers can play while adults take a bit of a rest from the hustle of the theme park crowd. Often these playgrounds are located near larger attractions and offer you the option of playing at these playgrounds while others in your party ride the rides. Two such locations are at Magic Kingdom at the exit to Splash Mountain, and at EPCOT Center at the exit of Mission: Space. Perfect for us since Chris enjoys both of those attractions, while I do not!
Another fantastic amenity offered at Disney Parks is the "Rider Swap" option. This option is great because it allows one rider to ride while the other waits with their child, then they swap people without having to wait in the line a second time. Normally this wouldn't matter to much to me, as I'm not much of a ride person, but Chris is, and he will enjoy this feature! Although my parents are going with us this trip and Chris is glad to have my dad there to enjoy some of the more thrilling attractions with him instead of having to ride alone for once!
Disney actually has an entire experience worth of advice for parents with babies and smaller children that they call "magical beginnings", you can see the height requirements for their rides, find out which rides baby can sit on your lap for, find the best dining options for small children, print personalized park maps, etc. It is great!
In addition to researching and blogging on my own, I also follow several Disney related blogs, and have one in particular that allows me to combine my love of Disney travel with my love of food. My blog today is a shout-out to this excellent blog, The Disney Food Blog. This site has everything for the Disney Foodie, and if you don't know it, Disney has some fantastic food! The pictures and reviews are excellent, the details they share are well-placed and you can just feel the love they have for the product when you read their blog. Check it out at http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/!