I am planning my first trip for me (a very young and energetic 49 Mom!) and our youngest son (will be 11) from Oct. 17-21st. We are from NJ and will be in southern CA for a family wedding that weekend (Columbus Day weekend) and although my DH will fly home on Wed. 10/17 with two of our older sons (16 and 14, both in high school and can't miss that much school), I get to stay behind with DS11 for our first visit ever to DL/DCA!!
We've been to WDW 5 times before but DS11 was so young (last trip was in 2008 when he was only 7, and too small for the big rides) and I've always wanted to return to WDW (but timing hasn't worked out, plus we've wanted to do other vacations, see other places - I know, I know! Why, you ask? , and it's harder to convince the older boys, including our 19 y/o college son to go to WDW. I thought this would be a perfect "substitute" for DS11.
I will be busy now trying to read all that I can on the "other side" of MousePlanet as I check in daily but only to read about WDW. We will be staying at my BIL's house in nearby Yorba Linda (about 20 minute drive, I'm told).
Any suggestions (must-sees for either me or DS11 or both, hidden secrets, insider tips, etc.) for our itinerary, I would really appreciate your help! We will likely not do any character meals (with three older brothers, DS11 has grown up a bit "fast") and will not be as concerned about table service restaurants as much. I know he will want to finally go on the "thrill - E-ticket rides" (as will I!) and see some of the shows (though we are not big on the parades). I want to make the most of fast passes and we will likely buy a 4 day ParkHopper passes (no early entry since we aren't staying on-site).
We are very excited and can't wait! Plus, what a special time this will be for me to have with just DS11. Thanks in advance for your help!