Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Magic Happened

We survived our first (only?) family trip to Disney World. We joined my parents, sister/BIL and their twins. We did 5 full days at the the parks plus one day at Universal for Harry Potter World. It was exhausting, and hot, and crowded, and I gained about 5 lbs from cheetos, trying every candy variety at Honeydukes, frozen margaritas and soft pretzels with "cheese-flavored dip" and I'm really glad to be home and back into my healthy routine.

It was also incredibly fun. There was nothing to do but jump right in and be present and enjoy the overstimulation and the family togetherness and indulgence. I feel like we packed SO MUCH into one week, more than an entire seasons worth of fun that we typically dole out to ourselves in small dribs and drabs and this time just opened up the water hose and went for it.

  • Rollercoasters! All of them! Especially how much the kids were into them---they weren't scared of anything and all the kids' favorite rides were the long coasters. thankfully there were only 3 rides the entire trip that had a 48" minimum that L couldn't ride.
  • Riding the Hogwarts Express. Aaagh. Dream come true! Also: Butterbeer and Honeydukes (not Ollivanders because they were hawking $50 wands and there were tantrums)
  • Seeing B (the same B who HATES smiling for pictures and barely tolerates hugs) LIGHT UP when hugged & took a pic with Mickey, Goofy, Keilo Ren.
  • Seeing the kids get super interested in all the countries at Epcot and ask about when we would visit Japan and France and Canada and Britain and how we need to learn the languages first so we can ask questions and order food. I mean Disney is fine, but YES we would love to travel more
  • Getting to take some fabulous pictures with all of us (we did pay for the Memory Maker, so you could have a photographer take it so you can all be in the shot)
  • Watching all 4 kids make up games and share treats, and have inside jokes and just love on each other
I'm not going to post details and tips, because there are plenty of bloggers who do that, but in case you are wondering: we stayed off site in a time share condo (frugal!) and mostly ate breakfast & dinner at home, with lunch in the park for the adults & packed sandwiches for the kids (plus loads of purchased snacks and treats). This did mean we had to drive about 30 minutes, park and ride to the entrance which added time onto either end of the day. Only one day did we stay until closing (9pm) to watch fireworks. That day we had dinner in Mexico. Because we were off site, we didn't get the prime fast passes so we had to wait quite a while for a few rides (space mountain) but we got lucky a few times and were able to get on certain rides with no wait by strategic planning/obsessive wait time checking. We did not do any character breakfasts or reserved dining so I have no idea about any of that. No one needed a stroller. WE did have park hopper but only used it once, on the last day, since we finished Hollywood Studios by 3pm and drove over to Epcot for a bit. All 4 kids said their favorite park was Animal Kingdom, but I think its just because that ended up being the coolest and smoothest overall day. G hated hated HATED Magic Kingdom. He was such a trooper the whole trip. He is not a fan of Harry Potter or Disney but really went along with everything and tolerated my family without a peep of complaint.

I'm happy to answer any questions about the trip, but really I'm ready to get back into the game of planning, productivity, parenting, etc...


  1. DH's extended family (and my little family minus me) will be going in early summer. I hope they have lots of fun too! We did so much planning over break.

  2. So which do you like better: doling out the fun in small doses or going for one mega dose like you did in Disney?

    1. Well the mega dose is rare to be able to do, so the ideal would be a mix.