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Monday, January 4, 2016


Well we did it and came back in one piece. The days leading up to our Disney World trip I was thinking we were half crazy but YOLO was my motto the entire time. So why did we choose Disney? Jon's new company takes Christmas through New Years off which is such a special treat and he also had a companion pass on Southwest in 2015 that expired in the New Year. Free time and free flights we decided to take a short trip as a family of 4. One thing that helped us narrow down where we wanted to go was that it is a direct flight from Austin to Orlando (if you have ever flown with kids you know how important this is!). We used points to fly their, used points to stay at the Dolphin Hotel on Disney property, and the kids tickets into Disney were free because they are both under 3. Boom. Jon had never been to Disney and I thought it would be a fun way to ease our way into the Disney scene. The kids are young and we knew it would be a tad crazy so we went in with low expectations. It's also the busiest time of year that people visit Disney so we didn't want to stress about riding certain rides, staying til dark, etc. So I've had a few people ask me if I would do it again. Well... I can't go back in time so there is that, but I don't know. To be honest it was a lot of work and we were so tired. Disney in general is exhausting but our sweet babes are so well sleep trained that going off schedule was a bit of a doozy. We thought we'd be able to swing no naps for Ford but dude is NOT ready for that. Poor Lucy was such a trooper girl and semi napped on the go. It was hot. Way too hot for December and the humidity was disgusting... making baby wearing and carrying quite...wet. Now I consider myself to be pretty in shape but something about pushing a stroller around a crowd of people at Disney made me feel so out of shape! My feet were killing me by the first afternoon (despite wearing my good workout shoes) and I had shin splints our second day. Whew I am tired thinking about it. But it was wonderful. It was magical y'all. Jon and I are at the point in life where we love to make memories as parents together. Sure Ford doesn't know the difference between Disney World and the Chick Fila play scape but it was such an incredible thing to watch him experience Disney. We switched off riding rides with him and got to ride a few as family. He wasn't so keen on meeting any characters (I expected that) but was in awe of it all. Lots of days in parenting blend together but these days I will remember forever. Ford would giggle and dance and wave to Mickey during the shows and there were many times I was close to tears just watching him have fun. Now that is something I will never forget.

So what else about Disney? I don't think we will go back until all of our children outgrow naps (and we want more than Ford and Lucy so who knows when that will be) and I have already planned it out in my head. Next time I'd love to rent a house close by and drive to the park each day. We stayed at the Disney Dolphin but waiting for the shuttles and packing in like sardines wasn't ideal. It would have been so nice to hop in our own car and drive ourselves back. I didn't realize how HUGE the property is. Magic Kingdom was a good 10-15 minute drive from our hotel. We took a shuttle from the airport which was not the greatest set up because we had to wait at 10pm and didn't get to our hotel until 11pm but it did save us about $100 (and we didn't bring the kids carseats because the shuttle didn't allow them so that saved us two giant bags). So back to my dream trip. I'd rent a house via Air BNB or Homeaway and make sure it had a pool. We'd do 2 days at Disney then take a whole day off to relax and veg by the pool and then we'd do 2 more days at Disney so we could hit all of the parks. One thing that completely shocked us about Disney World was how good the food was. And I am not talking "Oh it was bearable"... it was GOOD! Delicious! We ate on the go because the sit down dining was booked and I didn't want to have to work around a reservation in case the kids needed to nap. We ate burgers, Mickey shaped soft pretzels, pizzas, nachos, and the most delicious homemade peanut butter cups at Magic Kingdom (Jon and I both said, wow this is expensive tasting chocolate!). One thing we were told ahead of time was to pack our own snacks which was key. I packed protein bars, pouches, apples, dried fruit, and a few salty things that kept us full between meals. Our hotel gave us water bottles each day so we brought those but also asked for cups of ice water around the park. Disney World is totally made for children and babies because they have baby care centers in each park. They are nice and air conditioned and equipped with rocking chairs, bottle warmers, diapers, changing tables. Lucy actually napped on me at the baby care center in Animal Kingdom for an hour while Ford and Jon played with the toys they had there. It was so nice to get out of the heat and crowds! It was funny how many kids we saw totally PASSED out in their strollers in the funniest positions. That was not the Hart littles nor will it ever be. I actually said I want to start an Instagram account to show funny Disney sleeping pictures.

A stroller is key and I am so glad we have a nice one. You can rent them at Disney but they look uncomfortable and hard to maneuver. Initially I was nervous having to leave our stroller while on rides but they have specific closed off areas for stroller parking with security to watch (my stroller was expensive yall!). We also brought a big backpack for snacks, diapers, waters, toys. Before we went I bought a few little Mickey/Disney items to give to Ford while we were there so he didn't ask for souvenirs and although he never asked, he loved carrying them around. Fast passes are amazing and I was able to change them from the Disney App on my phone. We split up for the rides Lucy couldn't ride so Ford got to ride so many! You can also view maps and wait times for every ride from the app... gosh I love technology. If you know Ford personally, you'd know he is quite emotional so it wasn't surprising that he was scared of quite a few things while we were there. I guess I forgot that all Disney movies have a villian and he was absolutely freaked out on Buzz Light Year and Little Mermaid. Poor guy! His favorite rides were the ones that go round and round like Dumbo, Aladdin's Magic Carpet, and the Triceratops at Animal Kingdom. He loved the Lion King show and was only interested in about half of the Nemo show and I think all of our favorite was the Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom. We decided 2 days was enough for us and didn't make it to Hollywood Studios or Epcot which is OK since those are geared for older kids/adults. We didn't quite make it to the parades at night but enjoyed watching the fireworks from our hotel. We had 1 room for our family and I was thinking what a disaster it would be with 2 pack and plays but it was pretty large and we were all so exhausted at night that we all went right to sleep and even slept in! So Disney with 2 under 2.... it was chaotic, exhausting, crazy, and so much fun. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have! You can email me here.


Curly Girl Confessions said...

I want to go to Disney as I have never been, but definitely going to wait until our son is like 10! haha. There is no way I nor he nor his Daddy could handle it. :)
Crazy stroller story - a friend of a friend went to the Mozart's Christmas light show and took their child out of the stroller and walked two steps forward to see the show better AND BAM someone grabbed it and took off running with it! How crazy! Those are expensive though and now I will always second guess buying on CL because people in fact do steal strollers.

Bridget said...

I'm exhausted just reading your post :) haha. I have never been to Disney and can't wait to take the kids some day. Good idea though on waiting until they are out of naps. So it'll be awhile before we go...but I know it will be worth the wait!

Laura Darling said...

Sounds like an exhausting but super fun trip! Happy New Year!

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