It's been over a month since our first trip as a family to Disney World. It was so much fun and Grace still talks about it from time to time, especially when Mickey Mouse is on the Disney Channel. I am hardly a Disney expert so if you are looking for advice from someone who really knows what they are talking about, go visit Sarah at Disney Mom Style. Here are a few things that we learned and want to remember for next time.
1. You can bring in a small cooler and you should not even consider going in without one. We packed ours with juice and waters and I was so glad considering how bad the humidity was that day.
2. There are lots of ways to do Disney. I did a little research before our trip but I really just wanted to experience it myself this first time as a family and then figure out how to plan an all out Disney vacation in a few years. So that brings me to walking into Disney... we had no clue where to start first! I noticed another family on the ferry with us who had their i-phone out punching away choosing which ride to do first. They were obviously Disney pros! I hope to be that Disney savvy by the time we go back so we can pack as much as possible into one day.
3. Get there early! We didn't actually get into the park until 10:00 and by that time the lines were already long.
4. If we ever go back when it's hot I will do what someone very smart did for their toddler's stroller: attach a battery powered fan even if that means I have to use duct-tape like these parents did. That child looked amazingly cool and I'm positive that mine was burning up... Exhibit A
5. I wish I had packed Grace a sandwich. We paid $6 for an Uncrustable. You can buy an entire box of those "Lazy Sandwiches" as my mother calls them for less than $6!!!! I would still spend the $20 Jon and I spent on our lunches because it got us into cold air conditioning for just a little while.
6. Disney is such an amazing place. When Grace was taking a nap in her stroller Jon and I split an ice cream sundae and just sat back and took it all in. It's beyond any other amusement park in the world. No detail is left undone. I read that if a large tree branch falls off a tree during the night, Disney workers dig up the tree and replace it before the park opens the following morning. It really is the most magical place on earth!
Now, as for spending a long time in the car I learned a lot as well! Grace cried ONE time at the end of the ride home and we were so amazed at how wonderful she was.
1. Again, a cooler is a must. It saved us time and money.
2. I stopped by the Dollar Tree the day before we left and spent $10 on anything I thought Grace might find interesting like stickers, glow sticks for when it got dark, cars and more and it was the perfect thing to pull out when she seemed to be getting bored.
3. DVR player. Don't think about traveling without it.
4. Extra everything at an arm's reach. Extra, drinks, pacifiers, blankets, toys, you name it.
5. We left after eating a big lunch at our favorite Mexican place around 1:00pm. Grace quickly fell asleep and slept for almost 2 hours. Around 5 we stopped at a rest stop and she ran around for a little while, then we got back on the road. I think we stopped again around 8:00 and ate a late supper, changed her into pajamas and she slept until we arrived in Orlando at 11:00. The only problem with this is that when we got there, Jon and I were exhausted and Grace was full of energy. I don't think we got her back to sleep until after 2:00am. It was still worth it to have her not be miserable in her car seat for so long. It was a trip I'll never forget and I'm so glad we had the chance to do it!