This summer we decided to take our kids (ages 3.5+ and 1.5) to Disney World, and it was nothing less than magical. Our three-year-old was looking forward to it all Spring, and actually would behave better because of the planned trip. (“I’m going to be good today, so I can go to Mickey Mouse’s house and the Princess castle” etc… Bad parenting? I call it a win).
We spent a day at each park, and two at Magical Kingdom (our kids’ favorite). You definitely need to take your walking shoes. On average, we stayed about 10+ hours each day, sometimes more, and still didn’t get to do everything. Most days we walked 10-15 miles. If you’re taking your littles, a stroller is a necessity. We wouldn’t have survived without it. (Spray fans were also necessary for surviving the heat!)
Both of my kids were so excited to meet the characters, and I really liked having the meal plan. We chose the middle option and never went hungry. When we figured it up we spent about as much as it would have cost to pay at the park, but it was nice having it paid up front and not having to worry about if we could afford an extra snack or another character meal, etc. We reserved character meals each evening, and the kids loved them. Even my 1.5 year old enjoyed meeting all of the characters. To see their faces light up made the entire trip worth it. Downside to this: when we got back home and we stopped for pizza, they were still asking who would be at this dinner, haha. Sadly, the magic was over.
My oldest, my daughter, is now obsessed with roller coasters. The majority of the larger roller coasters have a height requirement of 44″ so she’ll be excited to go on those when we go back in three years. She did get to go on some of the medium rides (41″), and those were her favorites. She is definitely a thrill seeker. Splash Mountain and the Barnstormer were two of her favorites, and she still talks about getting splashed on the roller coaster. Of course, she adored all of the princesses and especially The Little Mermaid ride at MK (the baby really enjoyed this one too!). There were actually tons of rides for all heights, so my son got to experience a lot as well. Needless to say, they both had a blast which is what our trip was all about.
This trip is made for planners and schedulers. If you don’t do it right, you’ll spend all your time waiting in lines (which won’t be fun). We had everything pre-planned, from our meals to the times we would ride each ride. Utilize the fast passes! Disney is so generous for allowing you these, because I would pay for them if they weren’t already given.
You get to pre-plan three rides/shows a day. Try to get these as back-to-back and as early as possible, because once you use all three, you get to start scheduling more. Also, schedule the most popular attractions in those first three (since you get to book these way in advance)… If not, there’s no way you’re going to get to do them, because the lines can get up to 4+ hour waits (and that wouldn’t be fun for anyone). Because I’m all about that schedule, this. was. my. jam. We basically got to ride every ride we wanted, we rode probably 10-12 rides a day, and we got to see several AMAZING shows each day as well.
It’s funny how my kids were both so interested in different shows. Like my daughter was so bored at Lion King even though she got to get up with the actors (which how could she be bored?! It was absolutely phenomenal!! Is she even my child??). Then bub was less than impressed with The Little Mermaid show and Frozen Sing-along… I guess you win some and lose some.
Bippity Boppity Boutique was an extraordinary experience for my daughter. They dressed her up like Jasmine (her choice) and treated her like royalty. The next day we went to MK, she also got mermaid makeup and hair at the Pirate’s Cove which was significantly less expensive and she liked this makeup better. We did take our own Ariel costume, because their choices were limited. I was living vicariously through her in these moments… I think I may have even teared up a time or two… Scratch that, I think something was just in my eye… Both provided magical moments and priceless memories, and we will definitely schedule them again. Maybe next time, Bub will even want a pirate makeover?
While it wasn’t a relaxing vacation (really is any vacation with toddlers relaxing??), it was fun-filled from sun-up to sun-down. Overall, we had an amazing time and my daughter cannot wait to go back. We are planning to go back in three years to make more magical memories when our son is a little older (plus, this will be around the time of our daughter’s Kindergarten graduation–what an awesome graduation present!)
And memory maker was 1000% worth the expense!! If you’re photo-obsessed like me, YOU NEED THIS ADD ON!!