Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Ledfords Are Going To Disney!!! Beware, Lots Of Questions?

Last weekend we made the decision to go ahead and plan to take Nicholas to see all of his favorites...Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Peter, Jake, Little Einsteins, Woody, Buzz, Lightning and Mater!  That's right, the Ledfords are headed to Disney World this Fall!!!  He will be a few months over 3 and as much as he loves all of the characters I just mentioned, I KNOW he will love seeing them in person and where they "live".  He knows we are going.  As a matter of fact, he tells me all the time now "Ichas go to Ickey's house!"  Here he is in all of his excitement at Disney on Ice and that was before the show started!!!
We have set up a little spending money fund for him on the island in the kitchen and if he sees any loose change he runs, and I mean runs to put it in his "Ickey house money" jar!  :-)
As we all know, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and pretty much live to plan.  That is where this works out great for me because everyone knows you have to make major plans, far in advance, for Disney.  We've already decided on a resort (we are staying on property) and a date.  Now comes the fun part...picking our meals, outfits (Nicholas has got to have a few appliqued shirts from etsy!), and the trip in general.  I ordered two books from Amazon last week and I was super excited to get them this week!  

While that is super fun and I have quickly become one of those crazy Disney people that I've always made fun of, I am also overwhelmed.  I have not been to Disney since 1994, and have not been to the Magic Kingdom since 1989 and wow!  Things sure have changed!  You don't just show up at the gate, buy a ticket and go in anymore!  Sooooo, on that note, here come the questions!  Meal plans, fast passes, how to spend 3 days effectively and how to give a 3 year old a fun trip is beyond overwhelming for me!

I am 99% sure we want to classic Disney Dining Plan, but is it really worth the extra money from the quick serve plan?  We 100% plan to do one character meal, breakfast at Disney Jr Play and Dine at Hollywood and Vine, so it would pay off that day.  Not to mention he will love meeting his hero Jake in person!  I've also considered breakfast at Chef Mickey, but is it REALLY worth it?  We will be coming from the other side of the property at an All Star resort, so we would have to allow a lot of commute time (estimated 40 minutes), early in the morning.  Also, is it worth not being at the Magic Kingdom at rope drop (whatever that is?!)?  I'm thinking about doing this on the 1st day at MK so he can meet the characters before we get to the park.  I've also read a few blogs/articles that recommend Tony's on the patio for a great view of the parades.  Is that realistic for a front row seat for the Electric parade (my favorite childhood Disney memory)?  Can I get reservations at 180 days out and specifically request patio seating?  And yes, I plan to be up by 6am on that magic 180 day mark to reserve our character breakfasts and table service meals!

Now, can someone explain how I should do Fast Passes for a 3 year old to get the most out of 2 days at the Magic Kingdom and 1 day at Hollywood Studios.  At MK my priorities will be: Peter Pan, Pirates of The Caribbean, Buzz Lightyear, the Speedway, Dumbo (because it is a classic), tea cups, and Small World.  Oh, and Mommy wants to ride the new Ariel ride (don't hate, it's my favorite Disney movie!).

I am beyond excited and between that and my type A planner personality, this is getting to be a sad obsession!  :-)  I'm pretty sure my mom and Michael are about to have me committed over this trip and it is still 8 months away!  Hahaha!