Yep, we took our not-quite-two-year-old to Walt Disney World! Kenji had work training at the Disney Institute, so of course Audrey and I had to tag along.
We flew down Saturday morning, but it was early afternoon (naptime) by the time we checked in at the hotel. So we spent the first part of our trip in the lobby while Audrey snoozed in the stroller.
Once she was up, we headed to the Magic Kingdom.
The vintage steam train was one of Audrey’s favorite discoveries.
The other: the carousel (of course!).
We only covered about a quarter of the park, but we did get on a few toddler-friendly rides. “It’s a Small World” really took me back to own childhood visit to Disney World, way back in 1985.
The iconic castle was lovely all lit up in the evening. After dinner and the spin on the Winnie the Pooh ride, we called it a night.
Our first full day at Disney was jam packed.
First, Audrey met a bunch of characters over breakfast. Thankfully the costumes didn’t scare her.
She liked “Bear”…
and the Mad “Hakaka”…
but she wasn’t quite as impressed with Alice or Mary Poppins.
After breakfast, we headed to the Animal Kingdom park. There we went on a ride that felt like an authentic safari, complete with giraffes, zebras, rhinos, and other animals right outside the car windows.
Kenji headed to the first session of his work training in the early afternoon, right around the time I started walking Audrey (in her stroller) in a loop around the quietest part of the park I could find: the outdoor food court.
After her brief nap, the two of us did more exploring.
Audrey liked “Dinoland,” where she could actually touch the (fake) animals.
Even better: the petting zoo, where she could pet a real animal! (The abundance of germs throughout the park freaked me out a bit, but no where more than here. Not to mention the proximity of the goats’ legs and mouths to my little girl. Eek.)
After a long day, we had dinner, headed back to the hotel, and reunited with Kenji. Audrey was out like a light and I was happy to make use of the minty foot rub provided by the hotel.
On to Epcot! But, with a more modest plan of attack, since the combination of short naps and late bedtimes was taking a toll on our toddler (and me).
We explored the park in the morning; our favorite stop was the “Nemo & Friends” ride/aquarium. The tanks were huge and filled with gorgeous fish.
After lunch Audrey finally got a good, long nap — in her bed! And I got some much-needed work done.
Then we took the train back over to Epcot to see the World Showcase and meet Kenji for dinner. We ate at a Mexican restaurant across the walkway from a “house” (pyramid) Audrey enjoyed. Here she is on one of her many trips inside it.
To the pool! The hotel had a nice pool with a kid-friendly splash park, so Audrey and I spent the morning there. She was more interested in watching other kids play in the splash park and climbing onto the poolside chairs than actually getting into the water, but hey, that kept her entertained.
She also tried to climb into the fountain and uprooted a flower (saying “uh-oh” as she did).
After another solid post-lunch nap, we headed back to the Magic Kingdom — with Kenji, who was done for the day by mid-afternoon.
For our last night, we made sure to catch the light parade and evening fireworks. After a final ride on the carousel, Audrey conked out in her stroller.
Home! Disney made the whole checking out process as painless as possible, but it was still a hectic morning between getting Audrey dressed and moving, finishing packing, getting out an e-newsletter on deadline, and schlepping all the bags downstairs.
It was nice to come home, but we had a great trip! Even though Audrey likely won’t remember it, we have lots of fond memories to tell her about.
And like my mom said, when she’s begging us for a trip to Disney we can tell her “But you’ve already been!”