We had a great time in Orlando visiting grandparents and Disney! I feel like everyone always says sooooo much about Disney that it can be overwhelming so I am just gonna throw out a few bullet points and summarize!
This was our 1st real travel experience as a family of 4. Def takes more work and planning but was totally doable and enjoyable. The biggest melt down moments were in the airport on our way home ( trying to get luggage and kids and car when it was 19 degrees outside and were still dressed for Florida weather) and usually at the end of each day on the way back to house from the Disney parks, sister would be about an hour or 2 past her bedtime and get fussy or SCREAM in her car seat. Can't say that I blame her.
Fenn absolutely LOVED the whole travel experience. Airports are awesome to him! Planes, moving sidewalks, trams, baggage claim, indoor playground, bathrooms with those loud hand dryers etc. We brought and checked both car seats. In the future I will probably rent car seats as those were a pain to deal with. I also packed way too much crap for the plane ride. I had visions of Fenn's 1st flight when we flew to Arizona for the AU championship game and he blew out his diaper 3 times in a row ruining all the extra outfits I had for him! ha Next flight I will take: cup with lid for Fenn, diaper changing stuff, hand sanitizer, nursing shawl, snacks, and iPad mini and it will all be in a backpack. the end.
Visiting Granpa & Gloria and meeting all their people. We had a great time over there! Sister napped like a champ at their house and just did everything she was supposed to!
Our favorite meal while there was the Breakfast at Crystal Palace.
I thought this picture of them holding hands and walking with my mom was so sweet... and hilarious because my mom is wearing a super hero backpack!
This picture is a nice summary of the chaos! We went to Disney with my mom, Brother, SIL, and nephew. A HUGE Thank you to my parents who paid for our family bonding experience! It was super fun. I especially loved spending time with my Bro and SIL since we never see them for longer than 2 hours at a time. We even got to all go to dinner together while Bebe babysat our wild boys! My SIL Jade is 6 mos pregnant so she was a real trooper during all this walking!
Family pic on day 1! It was cold but still great. Sister stayed in that Ergo all day errr day! I even walked around while nursing her in that thing. Every missed work out since her birth in June was totally compensated for on this trip of walking 12 hours a day with 20+ pounds strapped to me all day!
- We had a great time, but the more peeps you add to Disney the harder it is to get around and do everything. Even just the added Sister to this trip compared to last year's trip changed things significantly.
- We generally rent a house off property to save money on this trip but in future years we will stay on property for a variety of reasons. Magic Bands being a big part of that. and Transportation. Last year driving to the park was no big deal, but this year with a baby who had been a really good sport all day, that extra 30mins-1hr time of leaving was rough. ( our house was 3 miles from Disney Gate, but still have to get to parking lot, ride tram to gates, then ride boat or monorail to the actual park. It is pretty time consuming)
- I do not think we will ever be the people who go to Disney for a week. I don't know that we should ever do more than 3 days at parks in one trip. 12 hour days are hard on parents and hard on kids. I loved that we had some off days to visit the grands. That might change as kids get older but for now, 3 days is perfect!
- I think that having reservations in at least one restaurant each day is a must. I loved the breakfast at Crystal Palace and wish we had done that every day, or an early dinner at about 5ish. That time to rest and recharge is nice if you want to stay all day till 8 or 10pm!
- Animal Kingdom was awesome. It was like being in a different country. The food at this park was better than the others and its as very pretty , scenic and fun. Awesome roller coasters too. I underestimated how much we would like AK! ( I almost punched a guys teeth out there for snatching our chair from our table at lunch, but that's another story) ha
- We did the memory maker pass and it was not worth it for us. There were 1 or 2 days we rarely even saw any photographers, and it was def not convenient to stop and have everyone pose on the way to here or there. In the end we had 18 pictures on that pass ( that includes the ride pics) so we paid $150 for 18 pictures.. You can do cool things on the website like adding graphics though ( see picture above)
- This year, since we flew I rented a stroller and baby gear down there. I used a site called " A Baby's Best Friend" where you can log on and rent everything under the sun. They will deliver it and pick it up no matter where you stay basically and that was very nice and convenient. Next time I plan to bring our own stroller and not need other gear. So it was a good experience, and super easy, but I will cut that expense from our next trip.
- I think the 4D movie experiences are incredible! The Mickey's philharmonic at Magic Kingdom and The Bug's Life one at Animal Kingdom are amazing. Sit close to the front.
- Fenn rode his 1st roller coaster ever this year and HE LOVED IT. I was so worried that maybe we were not making the best decision with that, and as soon as it started going he burst out laughing and stuck his arms in the air like all the teens on the ride were doing. It was SUPER cute and then Erik and I started laughing. It was a great moment and was cool to have family there this year to watch sister so that we could do stuff like this together. ( it was thunder mountain at MK)
- I never knew before, but there is a special hat shop in beginning area of Magic Kingdom next to Tony's restaurant that sells all sorts of mickey type hats and they will monogram for you right there on the spot. If you plan to buy one of those hats, go there!
I feel like I am leaving out 100's of details but I really needed to blog this before I forgot about it, and also I think the brevity might be appreciated when it comes to Disney Talk. Just for sake of reference Fenn is 3.5 years old and sister 7 months at the time of this trip!