Blog Archive

Friday, September 28, 2012

Disney Vacation: Day 1 (Downtown Disney)

You can see all our vacation days at the following links:

Disney: Day 1 (Downtown Disney)
Disney: Day 2 (Animal Kingdom)
Disney: Day 3 (Downown Disney and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party)
Disney: Day 4 (Universal's Islands of Adventure)
Disney: Day 5 (Magic Kingdom)

So we took a little vacation to Disney this past week.  The next few posts will be a recap of the vacation (so skip them if you have no interest in Disney, etc.)  I'm writing my recaps for a couple reasons: 1) So I remember the trip and can share with Sam when he gets older, 2) To give reviews, tips, etc for those who might be planning a trip to Disney with a toddler.

We flew out of the Flint airport, but had a short layover in Atlanta.  We took a Delta plane, which at this time doesn't charge for carry-on luggage.  We checked one bag ($25 fee) and were able to bring the diaper bag, carry on bag, and stroller on the plane for free. 

Sam was not charged for his ticket (Since he is 23 months.  They don't charge until toddlers are 2 years old) so he sat on our laps for the flights.  Some things that kept him most entertained were stickers, crayons and coloring, Elmo dvds, apps on phones and tablets, books and snacks.

 Waiting at the airport...  We tried to let Sam walk around as much as possible at the airport since he'd be sitting for so long on the plane. It seemed to help.
Playing games on the tablet

When we arrived in Orlando, we took the Disney Magical Express bus to our hotel.  This bus is complimentary for all hotel guests.  It was a nice bus and played a movie that told about the Disney parks and showed cartoons.  Sam was entertained which was nice since it had been a long day of traveling.

We stayed at the Pop Century Resort.  It is a value resort, but I thought the hotel was just fine.  The rooms were small (I meant to take a picture, but forgot).  The hotel had 3 pools and a kiddie pool and a large store and dining area.  The whole resort area is decorated in a kind of crazy way with large icons from the different era.  i.e. our hotel room was right behind a 3 story tall "Lady" from Lady and the Tramp.

The hotel, and I'm assuming all the hotels, did a few cute "extra" things to add to the trip.

This washcloth was folded in the window, Sam liked it!

Sam got a voicemail from Goofy welcoming him to his first visit to Disney World.  We also got pins. :)

We headed to Downtown Disney when we got there.  There are buses that run from each hotel to the different parks and areas of "Disney."  Downtown Disney is an area with stores and restaurants.

We got dinner at the Wolfgang Puck Express Restaurant.  As a part of our vacation package we recieved "free dining" from Disney.  That means we got a table service meal (think sit-down restaurant), a quick service meal (think fast food style), and a snack each day.  The Wolfgang Puck Express Restaurant counts as a quick-service meal, but is just as good, if not better, than a table-service meal.

Eric and Carrie are enjoying their meal! :)

 Sam and me after dinner.... Sam was not included in the dining plan (again, under 2) but they allow us to share food with him. 
Family photo with Buzz Lightyear. 
Downtown Disney has lots of fun toy shops and fun things to look at, it was very busy the entire time we were there until we left close to 10 pm.
Sam fell asleep on the bus ride back to the hotel.  The hotel does provide pack n plays and sheets (Mickey of course!) for the pack n play for no additional charge.
We were already exhausted before even heading to any of the parks!


  1. I enjoyed reading your Disney posts. We have a daughter who just turned two, and I've been toying with the idea of heading to Disney in February, but I'm worried she's too young. It seems like your little guy had fun. Overall, would you recommend seeing Disney with such a young child?

  2. We had a lot of fun! Sam loved it, he rode on many of the rides and liked seeing all the characters and the atmosphere of Disney. I know he won't remember the trip, but it's a fun memory for us and we'll remind him with the pictures. :) Sam was completely free on our trip (no charge for his flight, park tickets, and he shared our food). Sam is pretty easy going and we really enjoyed the trip, I'd recommend it. :)

  3. Oh, and look into booking at a Disney resort while they are offering free dining.