We did it, you guys. We survived the planning. The buildup. The exhaustive research. We’re finally on the other end of our Disney trip, and because I lugged my DSLR all the way to Florida and carried it everywhere except for the pool, I thought this was worthy of the blog. :)
Grateful for being able to keep bedtime routines while traveling. Also, we learned that Q is a huge fan of pull-out sofa beds. I’m pretty sure it’s the novelty, but hey, not questioning it.
Pictured above is what you get with two first-time flyers. “Daddy, this is a huge TV!”
Happy to report that the kids did great on their first flight! Those headphones were a huge game changer – they even came with built-in audio splitters. (This will only make sense to those of you who only have one tablet and two kids whom you are desperately trying to quietly entertain for the duration of the flight). Another pro-tip that worked beautifully was giving the kids applesauce pouches at takeoff to help with ears popping.
We also packed snacks galore. I have to give the MVP award to dum-dum lollipops for creating a small, yet extremely effective tool. (Just assume that all of these tips came from someone smarter than me!)
Touching down in Orlando also means immediately touching Mickey’s nose! Since we stayed at a Disney resort (Fort Wilderness Campgrounds), transportation to the resort was provided to us via the Disney Magical Express aka a charter bus. The kids were amazed that there were tvs inside the bus, which made the 30-minute ride VERY convenient.
Even though we arrived relatively early on our first day, we didn’t want to over schedule ourselves, so we took our time acquainting ourselves with our cabin and surroundings, and then ultimately decided to rent a golf cart (our first unplanned expense) and hit up the pool.
A couple of notes here if you’re interested! We loved staying in a cabin. We had our own kitchen, and the bedroom (incl. a queen and bunk bed) was separate from the living space, so we were able to put the kids down every night while we cleaned up dinner, made plans for the next day, etc.
We also ordered Amazon same-day groceries to the cabin as soon as we landed in Orlando. Jay and I made a general list before we left, so it was just a matter of processing the order. The only hiccup was that I had to call the front desk to confirm that they had our groceries, which they then delivered to our cabin and even placed the cold items in the fridge.
After the pool, we hunted down some dinner and took advantage of the playground by the marina.
Overcast and rainy – not the forecast we were looking for, but we made it work! We caught one of the first ferries to the park. We waited 10 minutes for our ferry at the marina, and it was an ~8-minute ride.
Can you tell it’s raining? The apparent upside to all of this? Little to no crowds!
Ruby’s first glimpse of Cinderella’s castle…<3
We tried to watch Disney movies before our trip so that our kiddos would know the characters. Even if your kiddo isn’t into characters, Magic Kingdom has so many themed areas (almost everything is themed!) that it makes it feel, well, magical. Ruby loved meeting these leading ladies. Spinning teacups! One of the things I loved most is there were many, many rides/shows/experiences that our family could enjoy together. A photo of Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Minnie and Mickey singing together. Sadly enough, Ruby was napping in the stroller and missed the entire performance. :(
But not to worry – she woke up for the festival of fantasy parade, in where I took a bajillion photos because let’s face it, the magic catches up to you as an adult too! The above photo was taken in the 10-minute window of the entire day when the sun decided to make an appearance. Despite being unprepared for the weather, we loved Magic Kingdom and could’ve spent several more days here. Each kid received an “allowance” that they could put toward toys/trinkets. We helped them keep track, and they did pretty well with the concept. Ruby and Tink = bffs. On our next full day, we had a “non-park” day, and the only thing we scheduled was a character dining experience at the Polynesian Resort (Ohana). We caught a ride on the monorail and enjoyed peeking into other resort hotels. Ruby surprised us all when she jumped in front of Mickey to close out the music parade. These are the memories we will never forget.You might be wondering, “what is Ruby hiding in those cheeks?!” Jay and I honestly think she thought breakfast was going to be done when the characters came over, so she stuffed as much food as she could beforehand. A well-earned nap before an outing to Disney Springs. Transportation was conveniently provided as a continuous loop. Quentin discovered a love and talent for Legos during the trip! We ventured to Hollywood Studios on Thursday for a Frozen sing-a-long show complete with SNOW. Ruby was entranced. Quentin wasn’t a fan of the special effects. After exploring Toy Story Land, we ended up going back to the cabin to enjoy the pool one last time.Phew – did you make it to the end?! This trip proved to us that we can do anything together. After a 2:30 a.m. start to our return trip, the longest airport security line you have ever seen, a 3-hour boarding delay with two gate changes, and a 3-hr drive waiting for us after touch down, you are probably sympathizing for us and the state of our kids. Thankfully and most surprisingly, our kids were champs through it all, and we would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Except we’d pack ponchos and more dum-dums. And book a later return flight. ;)
Thanks for following along!