Our 18 month old has been to Walt Disney World three times since he was born. But this past trip in June we met the ‘cranky toddler’. Just like clock work (and just like the tour books say) he got cranky around 11 am.
You only really have 3 options when the ‘cranky toddler’ appears:
- Leave the Park and return to the resort for some down time. Tried and true option that always works. Probably the best option, but sometimes you or members of your party want to stay in the park.
- Find somewhere within the park for some downtime. This option is doable but takes some patience on the parent’s part.
- Power on through it. This is the INSANE option that we see all the time in the parks. By dinner the entire family is miserable.
On this trip we were trying to make it to late afternoon before heading out of the parks. We were finding that John just wasn’t doing well after that point and needed his downtime in the room and an early evening. So this June we conquered option 2. Let me share with you some ‘cranky toddler’ highlights.
Turtle Talk with Crush meltdown:
We knew he was getting tired but we actually thought taking him to his favorite place, the Living Seas Aquarium, might help. Boy were we wrong! As we waited for Turtle Talk to begin he began the pre-meltdown frenzy. It started cute but then he started throwing things from the park bag around the waiting area and at other people. For some unknown reason we still went in to Turtle Talk but half way in full meltdown occured and we had to leave.
Problem was we had lunch in Italy a couple of hours later. We had to figure out a way to rejevenate the poor child for the afternoon. Solution – Monorail!! As soon as that train started moving he was out and we were saved. We actually got on the monorail and rode to the TTC and back to Epcot twice. (For future reference one trip to from Epcot to the TTC and back is about 20 minutes.) Once back to Epcot we took a leisurely walk to Italy and he woke up happy as a lark with a nap that was just over an hour.
Monorail passes as a ‘cranky toddler’ solution.
It was the first day of our trip with his Grandparents and I think we got in one ride, Dumbo, before it all went south. He started getting cranky in line for Peter Pan.
For some reason on this trip my parent’s solution for all ‘cranky toddler’ issues was to give him gummy bears. So there we are with an every increasing ‘cranky toddler’ and they are just stuffing gummy bears in his mouth. I do not understand this at all! I do not remember ever getting gummy bears as a child when I acted up. I apologize for the off topic discussion but I am still perplexed about the gummy bear theme of our trip.
But this is where fate turned to our favor. Peter Pan broke down in flight for about 5 minutes and ‘cranky toddler’ fell asleep. After the ride we rolled him to Liberty Square where we found a quiet spot on the porch of the Yankee Trader Gourmet Shop. From here we would take turns going on Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder Railroad as he slept. That porch is great because whoever is left on guard has the rocking chairs to relax in.
Yankee Trader Gourmet Shop’s porch passes as a ‘cranky toddler’ solution.
Tommorrowland sleep deprivation insanity.
But our favorites ‘crank toddler’ solution of the trip was the TTA (Tomorrowland Transit Authority) ride in Tommorowland. I actually think this ride is pure magic. We used this multiple times and it would always be ‘Cranky toddler’ would get on the ride and ‘Sleeping Beauty’ would come off.
We would get on the ride and he would begin to cheer up a bit and enjoy himself. But as soon as he entered the Space Mountain tunnel he would begin to nod off. By the time we exited that tunnel he would be out like a light. The great thing about this ride is if there is no line you can keep riding without moving the sleeping child. Just wave to the Cast Member as you get to towards the exit letting them know you are staying on.
TTA (Tomorrowland Transit Authority) passes as a ‘cranky toddler’ solution.
I hope you have enjoyed our memories of a ‘cranky todder’. Hopefully are next trip will not be so full of these espisodes. But I think we shall have a whole new set of issues as we head into the terrible two’s!