Friday, February 24, 2012

We're Going To Disney World!

And I'll give you three guesses as to who in our family is the most excited...
(hint: it's not James, or Juliet, or my husband). :D

I am just busting in anticipation of this trip. I've been to Disney World once before, and to Disneyland twice, but those were times before I had kids, and in those cases I was with people who just sort of tolerated my starry-eyed giddiness. What can I say, Disney just brings out the kid in me! This time, however, I will be with two kids and no one will think twice of their mouse ear wearing, dole whip eating, it's a small world riding, character photo oping mother! They'll just think I'm a super-committed-to-having-fun kind of mom! Ha! Little do they know... ;)

Just about everything is planned and booked. I went on sort of a Disney planning frenzy, spending hours researching and reviewing. I loved every minute of it. Well, once I got a foothold on the basics, that is. Man, there's A LOT to planning a Disney trip - to meal plan or not to meal plan, to park hopper or not to park hopper, etc., etc.

Anyway, it's been about a week since I booked as much as I could and since then I've been feeling a little nostalgic for my busy Disney planning days. :) What's a planning freak to do when she has six looong months to wait??

Pinterest to the rescue!! I found some neat ideas on Pinterest and have been busy replicating some of them. First on the must make list was this...

Our Disney World countdown, inspired by this Etsy shop. I found this image on Google Images and made the sign and number cards on Picnik. I plan on making some variation of this about 10 days before we leave for the trip.

I also made a Disney World savings jar, which we'll (hopefully) fill up with spare change, and any money made from the baby items we plan on selling later this summer. I was inspired by this idea.

I'll have more to share in the coming months, but in the meantime I wondered if any of you who've been to Disney World would mind sharing your thoughts/tips/advice/favorites? I'd love to hear them!

Edited to add: Click here to see more posts in this series.

~Thank you for your comments!~


Anonymous said...

What fun!! You guys will have a blast! I haven't been in a long time. I was in high school the last time I went but it was with my softball team (we played at disney world)! We only had one partial day at the park and didn't get to plan anything beforehand :-P Can't wait to hear all about it!

RockerMom said...

How exciting!! I've been twice, myself. I love it (I'm a total Epcot nerd). We are trying to save money to take Robbie sometime in the future. I so hope we are able to make it happen. I love your countdown and your change jar. :)

Nicole said...

We just got back a couple weeks ago. There's nothing as cool as experiencing Disney with your kids!
A quick tip, I stalked the Disney stores website and bought our souviners on clearance and brought them with. Then I made sure to tell my 5 year old that any toys they sell there we could get online. That helped with the "wants" since EVERY ride dumps out in a toy shop!

Jackie said...

My best advice is to buy or borrow Steve Birnbaum's guide to Disney World. It explains EVERYTHING, and has the best tips. I have gone several times (even now that my kids are grown)and I still use this guide. I can't wait to take my grandkids.

Zonnah said...

Lol, I thought so after seeing all your pins lately
Have fun!

Counting Coconuts said...

Thanks for the tips!!

@TheRockerMom: Me too!! LOVE Epcot. In fact, we chose our lodgings to be within walking distance of Epcot so we could hop over anytime! :)

Jen said...

I live in the Orlando area and we go to the parks multiple times a month.... feel free to shoot me an email directly with any questions or just to chat about things!

Unknown said...

Fun fun fun! I'm a Disney lover myself and had annual passes long before my kids were born. ;)

Amber said...

Yay! We just came back from Disney last Friday. We are HUGE fans! My best advice would be to get on if you are not already. It is a fantastic resource. We have a 2.5 year old and made sure that we took him back to the hotel each day for naps and stayed as close to his regular sleep schedule as possible. Last time (at 14 months) we didn't do that and he got sick midweek, then slept for almost 14 hours straight. :(

Then just have FUN! :)

Gidget Girl Reading said...

I thought you might be when I saw all your pins :)

congrats! my girls can't stand costumed characters so disney would not be good for us.

Have a blast!

bgorden said...

I am at the tail end of a series on my blog with TONS of tips & advice for going to Disney =-) My latest is here - - see the bottom for links to the other posts in the series =-)

teampr8 said...

How fun! We went to DW a few yrs ago with a 8, 6, 3 and 9mo old. Neither my hubby or I had been since our teens. I planned for a long time. Out of 20 guide books, like the unofficial series best, and the corresponding website. Brought notes of all the little things we didnt want to miss that were good down time activities-trying to pull sword out of stone, finding tinkerbell in the shop in MK, hidden mickey searches.

Read a ton of books and watched a lot of movies about disney characters with the kids. Also watched the travel channel series on the disney parks-put it on the dvr for the kids. We played disney trivia each night at dinner to help kids learn about characters, parks, what to expect etc.

Take in all the advice and do what suits you best as far as schedule. I'll second the suggestion to buy things ahead of time, we brought new disney themed water bottles (can get free refills at all the parks), disney temp tattos, new tshirts and light up toys (for after dark parade) the Mickey fairy left a little something each night for kids. A lot cheaper than stuff in park.
Use fast passes and definatley use child swaps so you can both ride the rides with each kiddo without having to get back in line.
Stop at city hall or info desks to get 1st visit pins, will get kids attention, called mine out to dance on a float in a parade.

Love the passport program at Epcot for kids.

Last bit of advice came from a former security person at disney, put all the kids identifying info, room info and your contact info in permanant marker on the inside of their shoe and make sure they know if they get lost to find a cast member and show them that info.

Unknown said...

We are going for the first time this October and can't wait! You might check out these blogs:

They have both recently posted several posts about where to eat, where to visit at each place. Really good info!

Mid South Moma said...

How fun, I'm excited for you!! We also are going this year and I can't wait. We are going with a 4 and 3yr old and a baby who will be almost 1 by then.

Sarah said...

I can't wait for our Disney trip! I have no idea when we'll go (it will probably only happen once or twice) but I'm sure I'll be more excited than anyone else too! I can't wait to see your preparation posts.

Nichole said...

How fun! I've only been to Disney World twice, but we live close to Disneyland and have been countless times.

Belledancr - becky said...

we all (me my husband & Natalie 4 yrs old) just went to disney world for our first time! Outside of the summer heat, we loved it. Going back in January 2013! Not sure when you are going but the only thing we were let down with was the not so scary halloween party. we didnt even think twice about the cost because it is my daughters favorite holiday. But we just didn't think the expense was worth it. The trick or treating spots were extremely far apart and for what she got it was quite disappointing. We LOVED Akershus, crystal palace, O'hana's
and Dining in Cinderella's royal castle for character meals.
Natalie liked the character spot at animal kingdom the best for meeting characters.
Adults favorite breakfast was at Boma. Adults favortie dinner was The Yachtsman steakhouse. Their pantable white chocolate dessert was also a thrill for Natalie.
we definitely took the advice to leave the parks after lunch every day and went back to our resort either chilled out in our room, went to the pool and i have to say she never once had a meltdown.
we also rented a stroller and were so very glad that we did, she'd get tired of walking and just ask to ride. plus it carried our backpack (sunscreen, sunglasses, hand wipes, personal fan)
take plenty of glow sticks (bracelets, necklaces, wands for you all)- what they sell at disney is expensive HAVE FUN!

Anonymous said...

I love Disneyland. My husband and I go there alone but it’s more fun with lots of kids!

Unknown said...

What a wonderful family bonding time at WDW! We will be there next month and the kids can't wait.

izza said...

You are very creative! Disney World Vacation is really my dream escapade since I was a kid and now I am on my way to reach it with my hubby and kids!


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