Last week our little family, and YaYa and Poppy (My parents) set off on an adventure to Disney World. Fun, magical, amazing… Words simply do not do it justice. I blogged a few days ago about how I lost all of our photos when my iPhone crashed, but I was able to salvage a few from text messages I sent to family and friends as well as social media. Yay!
Before we left I made a few gift bags for the plane and added some antibacterial gel to the handles, super handy for a germ-a-phobe like myself. We hung two on the handle of our stroller each day, one for the boys and one for the girls.
Our flight left on a Monday morning, we were pulling into the airport when my phone rang, it was my Mom.. “We just had a wreck outside the entrance to the airport.” When my parents met us in the terminal they filled us in on what happened. An illegal alien had hit them and didn’t have their driver’s license. When my Dad called the police they told him to just get their information and leave. I guess this happens so frequently an Officer cannot be dispatched to assist. The man smelled like alcohol and still had a bracelet on his arm from a bar. Their car isn’t too bad and both of them were fine, although they did develop neck pain a few days into our trip, they were for the most part okay.
After we checked our bags and got through security, I made my parents drink a couple of bloody mary’s to ease the frustration 🙂
We drove to DFW and flew out of Dallas Love Field because it was WAY less expensive than flying out of San Antonio, and we could take our son/dog, Patton, to my Brother and Sister-In-Law’s house for the week. Dalls Love Field? Gorgeous airport, stellar service, super fast and efficient security check.
After a quick layover in New Orleans we landed in Orlando, woo hoo! Our driver, Abdul, loaded our luggage into the van, and even had carseats for the girls, and we were off to the Happiest Place on Earth with old school disco tunes blaring and Abdul dancing behind the wheel. A fabulous start! We all sang a little MJ and some Elton John and before we knew it we were at our resort. We stayed in the park at the Military resort Shades of Green. We had stayed there 8 years prior on our honeymoon and really liked it. Since it was already late afternoon we got settled in, went to dinner and got to bed early.
Our first day we headed straight to The Magic Kingdom! I was beyond excited because all I remembered from our last visit was how childlike I felt the first time I saw Cinderella’s Castle as we walked down Main Street USA, and from the monorail.
Sidenote for all of you parents of small children, you definitely want to bring your own stroller. We debated it and ended up deciding to take it and added a bike lock to prevent the apparently very common problem of stroller theft. I’m SO glad we did. There was no way our kids would have been able to sleep in the rented strollers from Disney, and you have to rent and return them daily which means more waiting in lines in the Florida humidity with kiddos (and Mamas) who are ready to go ride Splash Mountain already 🙂 There are companies that rent jogging strollers to you in the area, but they are expensive and you could just put that money towards your own stroller. It was super handy in the airport as well, we gate checked it.
Back to our first day, we started off clockwise and worked our way around The Magic Kingdom. I was surprised at how many rides Evie (our 17 month old) could ride! Pirates of the Caribbean, The Little Mermaid, Winnie the Pooh, The Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan etc.. her favorite definitely being “It’s a Small World” 🙂 She clapped and did her signature one shoulder wiggle dance move the entire time.
Somewhere between Splash Mountain and that railroad roller coaster ride, I caught a glimpse of this stud…My Husband rockin’ the fanny pack.
We took turns riding the rides Evie was too small for, she was napping quite a bit so this wasn’t as large a task as I had feared. Chloe, our 5 year old could ride most everything except for Space Mountain but it was closed while we were there so that didn’t end up being a problem.
My Husband and I agreed that our favorite part of the day was when Chloe met Cinderella and Aurora at The Princess Fairytale Hall. The way they have it setup is a dream for little ones. We had a “fast pass” so we went down our own little hallway and stood behind a velvet rope until a butler came and got us. (I think it was a butler?) Everything is decorated so elegantly and definitely feels like you’re in Cinderella’s castle. Then the butler opens this large door and Cinderella is standing in the middle of a beautiful room on what Chloe describes as “the most gorgeous rug I’ve ever seen” and says “come on in I’m so excited to meet you!” Chloe froze out of excitement and nerves, so did I 🙂 It really was magical. After spending at least 5 minutes just talking to Chloe, Cinderella showed Chloe over to Princess Aurora who also spent quite a bit of time just talking with Chloe…and Evie after she leapt out of my arms giggling and ran over to them. Here is the moment Chloe met Cinderella 🙂
Day 2 we headed to Epcot, I had to wear my Pretty Darn Cute Design t-shirt 🙂
This park was neat, but I didn’t remember it being my favorite last time. Chloe had fun doing things like Soarin’, Finding Nemo, and the little rides in Mexico and Norway. But for the most part this day was just a LOT of walking and only a few things here and there for the kiddos. That night we stayed for “Illuminations” and that was really neat. Plus, Epcot has lots of food and beer which made it a bit more fun for adults.
On our 3rd day we headed to Animal Kingdom. Such a neat park filled with lots of fun things for the kiddos to do. My favorite thing being the “It’s Tough to be a Bug” show under the massive tree. Also of note from this day is Expedition Everest, the newest roller coaster (I think anyway). I was super stoked to ride this bad boy only to discover mid ride that I no longer have the stomach for roller coasters. I felt off the rest of the day, but somehow managed to keep my lunch we had just eaten 5 minutes prior. Since this park closes relatively early, we headed to The Magic Kingdom for the Wishes fireworks show and the light parade. Both were amazing, and Chloe even yelled “Wow! Gorgeous!” during the fireworks finale. My heart melted, she was having so much fun 🙂
This is definitely my second favorite park. I love the cheesiness of The Great American Movie Ride, but mainly because of the Munchkin Land set towards the end 🙂 I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here before, but The Wizard of Oz has been my favorite movie since I was a little girl, I just love it. Later in the afternoon when it was Evie’s nap time, everyone wanted to go see the Indiana Jones show, but I stayed with Evie who definitely wouldn’t have tolerated the crowd and noises. We walked around for a little while before I saw what can only be described as the holy grail of concession stands. Funnel cakes and beer.
I was in my happy place. The best part of this day was the aforementioned funnel cake with beer, and watching my Mom freak out on The Tower of Terror. She actually grabbed a complete stranger and then asked him if he was okay after she screamed the entire ride. He kindly replied “I”m fine, are YOU ok?” and the entire car erupted in laughter. I failed to mention to my Mom that this ride was even remotely scary, I told her it was just fun and really neat 🙂 I guess she hadn’t seen those doors opening on the outside of the building all morning lol. Aerosmith Rockin’ Roller Coaster? I no longer have the stomach for that one either, what happened to me? I blame children. That evening we hung around for Fantasmic which was lovely, but very loud if you’re near a speaker fyi. I’m so old.
The Magic Kingdom Part 2
On our last day we started the morning off by riding a few rides at Hollywood Studios that we missed the day before and then headed back to The Magic Kingdom. My favorite 🙂 We rode all of our favorite rides again and a few we missed the first time. I made one last attempt to grab an opening for Chloe at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique but they were still booked and had been for weeks. So we did the next best thing, went shopping at the little Castle Couture shop right outside the castle. That was too much fun, and very expensive. But so much fun 🙂 They have a replica of the dress Cinderella’s animal friends made for her in there that Chloe flipped out over. We went to each section of the store so Chloe could decide which Princess she wanted to be, but she ultimately decided on the star of the show..Cinderella. That next week when we got home, we stayed at my parent’s for a day before driving back to San Antonio and Chloe had to show off her new dress and accessories. Her cousin John told her she was beautiful 🙂
The trip was a blast and something we definitely cannot wait to do again 🙂
A few Disney tips for parents with small children
- Take your own stroller that your kids can comfortably sleep in, strollers (single and double) can go on the monorail.
- Bring snacks so you’re not searching out little things for the kiddos to eat in between rides, chances are what you need is on the other side of the park.
- Don’t plan your day around your kids naps, let them nap whenever and wherever you are.
- Don’t over plan your trip, we didn’t do this because I know we are not great at being places on time. You can make reservations for meals etc but when you have little ones you just never know what you’re going to be up for and neither are you likely able to be on time.
- Comfy shoes and socks for everyone. I wore very comfortable tennis shoes and socks, but still had a few blisters on my toes from walking all day every day.
- The best advice I can give is to go into your trip knowing patience is required when there are large crowds, but especially at Disney World. Tons of families running around so excited to be there, and sometimes pretty long lines can lead to frustration if you’re not prepared. Also, Florida is humid. Don’t wear makeup if you do not have to 🙂 When we go back it will definitely be in a winter month, because I’m not a fan of heat and humidity on vacation 🙂 I get enough of that at home in Texas lol
I’ll add to this as I think of things, and welcome your suggestions in the comments as well!