Our Magical Trip to Disney

21 May

Last week we went to Florida for my brother’s graduation at Embry Riddle in Daytona.  We knew flew into Orlando so we decided to take the girls to Disney for a couple of days.  I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure if they were old enough.  I always said I would take them at 5 or 6, but to my amazement it turned out to be a great age, even for my youngest-who won’t remember but while she was there it was heaven to her.  Some tips and suggestions for traveling that helped me survive our mini-vacation:

Packing: Never easy with two kids, especially for a 3 1/2 year-old who is very particular about what she wears and gets hot very easily (not ideal for the Florida temperatures).  Prior to going, I ordered Diapers.com to my brother’s house so he could have diapers and wipes ready for us to cut back on what we had to bring.  Call hotels to see if it is possible to ship them there.  It makes a big difference not to have to worry about packing diapers or buying them when you get there.

The Flight: It was a little stressful getting to the airport.  We almost missed our flight because the traffic was HORRIBLE leaving the city.  Thank goodness we gave ourself over 2 hours otherwise we would have definitely missed our flight.  The excitement of seeing my brother and the “princess” made the flight to Florida pretty easy.  It helped that we left around dinner time so we stopped for food. I hate to admit that I am that parent who gives McDonald’s but I have to say the happy meal really kept them “happy” during take-off and it was the closest place to our gate since we were about to miss the flight.  It wasn’t until after beverages were served that they wanted the IPAD’s. I had multiple Disney movies and a variety of applications downloaded for them on our IPAD’s, new is always better because it will keep them engaged a little longer and as a little gift for our trip I bought adorable iHome Minnie Mouse headphones to go with the Disney theme. My 2-year-old broke hers within the first 5 minutes of using them by pulling them out of the seat socket, she had used them to watch tv on that back of the seat in front of her…bummer.  The way back from Florida wasn’t as easy.  They both have difficulty saying goodbye so when they had to leave their grandfather, it was the beginning of many screaming episodes that we had no idea would be in store.  I tried doing dinner again but my youngest was so over-tired she screamed the entire time the fasten seatbelt sign was on.  After about 45 min she finally fell asleep and remained asleep the rest of the flight. My older daughter entertained herself by drawing pictures of princesses over and over.  I always carry a pen and crayons and blank paper because she loves art.  After 3 long hours on both flights, we survived and we weren’t thrown off, even with the temper tantrum.

Disney: It was very hard to do the parks in just 2 days, especially with little ones.  They loved it and it was a very magical experience for them but Disney is pretty expensive and you want to get your money’s worth and see it all.   We were with so many people, 11 total, that it was hard getting everyone up and out the door in the morning so both days we didn’t make it into the park until 12.  In the future we will get there when it first opens, stay for a little while, go back to the hotel to rest a bit and then hit the parks again in the afternoon.  I had no idea how exhausting it would be.

Animal Kingdom: The first park we visited was Animal Kingdom.  We got there late and of course there was the usual afternoon Florida Thunderstorm that wouldn’t let up so we had to leave.  Luckily, we were able to visit Kilimanjaro Safaris® Expedition, the highlight of the day because they saw giraffe, cheetahs, elephants, alligators, hippos, and more close up.  After we walked past the gorillas and chimpanzees which they loved because we had just seen the Chimpanzee movie in the theater.  We also visited the Finding Nemo musical but the girls and I had to leave early because one is sensitive to noise and on top of that got scared by the shark.  I was able to catch about 10 minutes and thought it was very cute.  Next time.  Just before the down pour and lightning, the girls were able to catch Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade, if I could have only caught the girls expressions when their favorite Disney characters came around the bend.  It was unbelievable the excitement, smiles, and awes that came from them.  Maddie made a pit stop as we were dashing through the rain to get a unicorn painted on her face.  I should have done that earlier in the day because you can go back through out the day and get it touched up for free.  Overall, it was a great park for their age but I wish we had seen more of the attractions.

Magic Kingdom: The name says it all.  It is as magical going as a parent then as a child.  Seeing the joy, happiness, laughter and priceless expressions my girls had while we were there was a magical experience in itself.  When I went on It’s a Small World, I loved it just as much as I did as a kid.  Maddie was able to go to the Bippidy Boppidy Boutique, which made her think she really was a princess getting ready in Cinderella’s Castle (review to come), and their favorite attractions were the Mad Tea Party, It’s a Small World, the Parade’s and MEETING the princesses and Tinkerbell.  My two-year-old was so excited she was forcing her way past Maddie to get her autograph book signed first.  Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the fire works because we got such a late start in the morning, the girls weren’t able to get a nap in between.  We are definitely planning another trip back but next time we will prepare more and get out the door earlier.  We also will take advantage of the Fast Track passes.  We didn’t realize that you can get more than one until later in the day.  

Until next time, we have wonderful memories, 2 Minnie princess hats and an awesome popcorn set for when we watch our favorite Disney movies!  Can’t wait for our next Magical Adventure!

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