6 Things I Learned from Our Trip to Disney World

A few weeks ago, we packed up our matching Mickey shirts, Magic Bands and sunscreen and headed down to the “happiest place on Earth” – Disney World! I am a total Disney person; I’ve always loved the movies, the Disney channel and have dreamt of the day we would take our kids to this magical place. I’d only visited for a few hours while in high school and my husband had never been, so to say we were excited is an understatement. I went in with very high expectations and somehow they were mostly met! I did learn a thing or two from this trip, so if you’re planning a vacation with Mickey, hopefully these thoughts are helpful!

Here are 6 things I learned from our trip to Disney World:
1. Use a Disney Expert

As soon as we decided we wanted to plan the trip, I reached out to friends who had recently been there. Most of them highly recommended using a Disney expert to help plan the trip, so I contacted a referral IMG_1830 editfrom a friend. She was a lifesaver! She took care of everything and answered all of my questions, even the silly ones! There is a lot that goes into organizing and coordinating a visit to Disney World and she was so incredibly helpful. I suggest asking around to find someone to help! Our expert was free for us to use (she is compensated by Disney), and allowed us to focus on all the fun, rather than the stress of planning.

2.Leave Room for Down Time

We traveled with our 4-year-old and two and a half-year-old, who obviously are not capable of going nonstop for 12 hours… and neither are we! Our original plans did not leave much room for resting or naps, as I just assumed the kids would nap “on the go.” They did to a point, but they also needed time away from the crowds and abundance of stimulation. We spent more time at our resort than I thought we would, but it was their favorite place!  We could find a quiet spot to play, take a relaxing bike ride or swim in one of the pools.

3.Download the App, but Don’t Overuse ItIMG_1810 edit

The “My Disney Experience” App is so helpful, with info like wait time for rides, where to find your favorite characters and locating nearby dining options. I used it A LOT. But, after my husband commented that I was looking at my phone more than the scenery, I realized he was right. While the technology is useful and did help organize our time, I stopped obsessing over it. If we were able to catch a new Fast pass – great. But the moments I remember from the week were not found by opening up that app on my phone.

4. The Trip will be Magical…but Not Every Moment

As a parent, I’m sure you already know this about time with children – and even life in general! But there was something about this trip where I just assumed the magic and charm of it all would charm my young children into angels and my husband and I into parents who never argue. {HAHAHA} The kids had meltdowns, we missed a reservation or two, we argued over stupid things… basically real life followed us to Orlando. Of course it did! However, we are still ALL looking forward to going back. The majority of the trip was pure magic and the quality time we spent together and the memories we made outweigh any of the reality that snuck in.

5.Take Advantage of Delivery

We utilized three companies on our trip that made things MUCH easier. We used Amazon Prime to have diapers delivered directly to the hotel. Since we were flying, we didn’t want to pack a ton of them. We rented a stroller from Kingdom Strollers and were very happy with their service! We also used Garden Grocer to have a few items (water, Gatorade, snacks, fruit) delivered straight to our room. There was minimal extra cost for these things and it was well worth it!

6.Your Kids Won’t Know What They’re Missing

This was a big one for me. I had been told this before we left and my husband reminded me of this as well.  Our first day at Magic Kingdom was very rainy and we just didn’t get to do much. We also had to cancel a few of the meals we had planned because of timing or realizing it was too much for our kids. I was admittedly disappointed, but the thing I didn’t originally think of… my kids didn’t know any different. Honestly, they were as fascinated by the hotel landline phone as they were the castle, and they just wanted to spend time with us. We made a point not to tell them anything we were doing until right before it happened (just in case) and I got over my worry of not getting to “do it all.” After all, that just means we have to plan another trip!

Disney Main

Weeks later, I am still missing our time spent at Disney World. There is something about that place that just sticks with you and makes you focus on what is truly important. There is so much more I could share about our trip (and even more that I learned!), but part of the magic is also discovering it for yourself. Embrace the chaos of a Disney trip and let the magic take over!

Featured image credit: Walt Disney World website.

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 6.33.50 PMAbout Andrea:

A native Cincinnatian, Andrea has experienced life in all four corners of this city. After growing up on the west side, she headed north to attend Miami University, then moved east to Hyde Park and now lives in Northern Kentucky with her family.

When she’s not playing trains and doing the “hot dog dance” as a stay-at-home mom to her two toddlers, Andrea is busy writing for Cincinnati publications and brainstorming ideas for her next children’s book! With a newfound passion for fitness and overall health, she spends a lot of time at her family gym and loves to play outside.

Andrea worked in education for several years and has a special love for children’s literature. She loves showing her children all our city has to offer and enjoys sharing her finds with other parents. Her favorite spots include the Cincinnati Zoo (although she steers clear of the bird house), her local library and any playground.



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