OH MY GOODNESS. We just took the kids to Disney for a few days, and it was nothing short of magical. I had a feeling this would be a really good trip, just because of their ages. Grey is 4, so he understands a lot more than he did last time we took him when he was 2 1/2. Mila is 10 months, and super chill, so I knew she would love seeing all the characters and things to see, while snuggled up with me in a sling or carrier, or in the stroller.
Grey was able to go on most of the rides, including Splash Mountain and Tower of Terror - his two faves if you ask him :) The great thing about Disney World, is babies can go on almost everything too. They just sit in your lap!
One thing that made the trip extremely enjoyable and easy was having a freaking amazing travel agent help up. There are just sooo many ins and outs to know with Disney, and it’s really overwhelming if you aren’t an expert.
HIRE A TRAVEL AGENT.
Kira Gartner was our girl, and she was a DREAM to work with. She also helped us with our Hawaii trip we took in March, when Mila was 8 weeks old and Grey was 3!
Here is her info:
Cell phone: 267-481-2930
FB Page: Blue Sky Destinations
STAY | POLYNESIAN
HOT TIP! Google Disney crowd calendar - it’ll tell you the least crowded times to go. Both times we have gone, we went the week after Thanksgiving and it was PERFECTION.
Kira booked our hotel for us - and got us a MUCH better room for our family than what I had come up with. We ended up doing one of the “villas” at the Polynesian. Basically was the exact same price as a regular room, but had a small kitchenette and TWO bathrooms. So we were able to use the second bathroom as Mila’s “room” and put the pack-n-play (which was already in the room) there. It was amazing for her to be able to have a quiet place to nap and sleep, while Grey could play in the other room with us. It had a little hallway where Mila the kids could run/crawl up and down to let some energy out.
She also helped up book our Fast Passes, Dining reservations, and helped us plan out the parks so that we had a general idea of what the heck we were doing. We did the Dining Plan too, and she explained it to us, and told us where to use each credit. It was a massive help, and I cannot imagine planning Disney without her help.
The Polynesian is our favorite hotel, and we stayed there when we went two years ago, too. The monorail runs right through it - so you can easily just roll your stroller on, and head right to the Magic Kingdom or Epcot. We like staying on property because you get extra Magic hours (the parks are open later and open earlier certain days) plus taking the Disney Magical Express from the airport is LITERALLY MAGIC. When you check your bags at the airport, you don’t see them again until you get to the hotel. It is a freaking dream. You just follow the Disney signs at the airport, and then hop on the bus. It’s a quick 30ish minute ride to your hotel.
Same coming home! You can check your bags AT THE HOTEL and get your boarding passes. Then, you head to the airport, hop on your plane, and pick up your bags at your final destination. I will say, we missed the Disney Magical Express bus to the airport, but we just grabbed an Uber (we had Mila’s car seat, and you can request an Uber with a carseat, so we did that for Grey) and that ended up being super easy. I actually liked doing that better to go home! Everyone is tired of waiting for anything, so just the idea of calling a car, hopping in, and going was a treat.
RENT A STROLLER.
We rented a stroller from Kingdom Stroller rentals - they deliver and pick up from your hotel! DO NOT BRING YOUR OWN STROLLER. Just rent one from Kingdom. It’s easy, and they come with a cooler and a rain cover. We had a sign made to put on our stroller so we knew it was ours when we were at the park. SO FUN!
You can also rent other gear from them, but the hotel included a Pack-n-Play, so we didn’t need to rent anything else.
FOOD + DINING PLAN
We always do the Dining Plan, because we like easy, and we like snacks. ;) We do the dining plan that has a few table service meals, a few quick service meals, and some snacks. We always go to the California Grill when we go to Disney. It’s at the Contemporary hotel and is freaking ammmazing. This year, we got a babysitter from Kids Nite Out and had a few hours together, just Chris and me. (And Brittany and + Toph haha, who were also in Disney the same time we were!)
We also went to the Luau at the Polynesian - it was a lot of fun and both kids LOVED IT. The food was good, and the show entertained them both. We stayed until the end because Grey was obsessed with seeing the guy do the fire dance. (future pyro? only time will tell.)
We used our snack credits for pretzels, dole whips, coffees, etc
Here are the places we ate and what we loved!
California Grill (Contemporary) - love it for adults. AMAZING wine selection. steak is insane, sushi is delish. We used our Table Service credits here (2 per person)
Be Our Guest (Magic Kingdom) - we did this for brunch with our Quick Service credits. It was nothing short of magic. It feels like you’re in the castle, and the food was so so good. Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious ;) Also, the only place in MK you can get an alcoholic drink, so mimosa it up.
Tusker House (Animal Kingdom) - character breakfast! Food was good and buffet style. I mean, can you have too many Mickey waffles? The answer is no.
Hollywood + Vine (Hollywood Studios) - another character breakfast buffet with Vampira, Doc McStuffins, and some other ones.
Epcot has some delishhh food. Mexico has bangin’ empanadas and rice + beans. France, like helloooo pastries and baguettes and butter.
Mickey Pretzels - yum
Dole Whip - heaven
Mickey Ice cream - is it all that special? Maybe not, but ice cream shaped like mickey is a must
Le Fou’s Brew - Gaston’s tavern in MK - SO GOOD. They also used to have this ham and cheese pretzel that was amazing but they didn’t have it this time, and I was saaaaad. They also have cinnamon buns the size of your head.
Donuts - also the size of your head. In all parks
BABYSITTING | KID’S NITE OUT
We had a babysitter from Kid’s Nite Out come to the hotel at 6, and stay until around 11. We’ve never had a babysitter while on vacation, but I figured Disney was the best place to start! I figured she could put Mila down for bed, play with Grey a while, and then he would fall asleep. Welllll, Grey had other plans. I prepped him all day about the babysitter coming, and he was so excited. But the second she walked in, he lost his shit and started crying and begging us not to leave. We headed out, and by the time we got downstairs, she had texted and said he had fallen asleep!!!! HA. He was so tired. So, she put Mila to bed, and we had a nice dinner, some drinks in pineapples with friends, and headed back. Honestly, we had planned to go to the Magic Kingdom again but we were freaking exhausted too. We are losers. Sorry, not sorry.
MAGIC KINGDOM - we did one day here and easily could have done another!
SPLASH MOUNTAIN - holllllla! I was SO freakin’ excited that Grey was tall enough to ride Splash Mountain. This basicallyyyy is the moment I have been waiting for as a parent. We did the Parent Swap for this - it was great! You go to the guy manning the line, and tell him you wanna swap. He then gives the parent waiting with the baby a fast pass. So Chris and Mila went off and walked around while Grey and I waited in line. Grey and I rode, and then met up with Chris and Mila. Chris and Grey then went in the fast pass line and Grey got to ride twice! It was so easy!
DUMBO - Mila loved this so much, and the best part is the kids play in a playland inside while you wait. So genius.
PETER PAN - I don’t even like Peter Pan stuff that much but this ride is sweet.
WINNIE THE POOH - the line is actually super fun and interactive, and the ride is super cute. Both kids loved this.
SMALL WORLD - I loved this as a kid, but it’s like 10 minutes long, and I knew Grey would be bored so we skipped it this time! But I do love it so much!
HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS - we did one day here, it was fun, but there isn’t a ton for little kids besides Toy Story Land.
TOY STORY MANIA! was super fun and you shoot these balls at different targets. Mila LOVED IT too.
ALIEN SWIRLING SAUCERS was cool, Grey loved it.
TOWER OF TERROR - this was the big thing. I was so excited to take Grey on it (andddd a little nervous) - turns out… HE IS MY CHILD AND LOVES SCARY RIDES!!!!! He is still talking about how “the falling ride” was his favorite.
FROZEN SING-A-LONG - I thought this would be characters singing, but it’s more watching songs from the movie and singing along with a little show. The kids seemed to like it, but were a little bored. I sang every word though sooooo whatever.
ANIMAL KINGDOM - we did one day here, and I looove it. Again, not as much to do as Magic Kingdom, but MK is the best soooo what are ya gonna do.
KILIMANJARO SAFARIS - it’s a safari. with real animals. it’s so cool. the crocodiles are MASSIVE.
NA’VI RIVER JOURNEY - they opened Avatar world here and it’s SWEET even if you have never seen the movie. It is pretttty magical. Both kids loved this ride! We didn’t do the other Avatar ride, because the wait was 3 hours and I’m not a complete psycho.
EXPEDITION EVEREST - we didn’t go on this (Grey is still too short) but OMG it is one of my faves. I cannot wait to take him on it next trip. I rode it 3 times last time we came.
GORILLA FALLS EXPLORATION TRAIL - great for when you want your baby to nap. Lots of animals to see and a pretty little walk.
EPCOT - we basically got off the plane and came to Epcot to ride this ride.
FROZEN EVER AFTER - Grey LOVES Elsa and Anna so I knew we HAD TO RIDE THIS RIDE. Kira was awesome and made sure we got a fast pass for this. It’s basically as magical as you would imagine.
TRAVELING WITH KIDS TIPS
I wrote this blog a few months back, right after we traveled with both kids to Hawaii.
A few things we did different this time:
I always bring the kids carseats on the plane, and strap them in. For Grey this time, we skipped the carseat altogether, knowing it was a short flight and we wouldn’t need the car seat at all in Disney. The Magic express, kids just sit in your lap or buckle in next to you. We only brought Mila’s carseat on the plane, and It worked out great because she napped both flights there and back almost the whole time.
I also used the Tula and the ring sling this whole trip. The Tula I used the most, as Mila is in this phase of popping her seat when she in the sling. In the Tula, she can’t do that, and it’s super comfortable for me to throw on and off, and easy to put on in a rush.
The sling I used when we were heading into a ride with a FastPass - because I knew she wouldn’t be in it long. Grey also wants to be in the sling sometimes, (I know. Awwww) so I used it for him a few times also. Right now I am using a double linen Wildbird sling - the color in these pics is Cinnamon.
Also, I used this Fawn Design fanny pack the whole time. GUYS. It was a lifesaver. I kept my phone, Grey’s Magic band, a few calming oils, a thieves hand purifier, and a lip balm in it. It was comfortable and lends itself well to baby wearing.
We kept a backpack under the stroller with diapers, wipes, bottles, changes of clothes, etc for the kids.
MICKEY’S VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS PARTY
I had zero idea what this was when we booked it. Basically, the park closes early, and you have to have a special ticket (which you purchase) to get back into Magic Kingdom for the party. There is a show and parade, and lots of little stops along the way with treats like cookies and hot cocoa. The castle is lit up and gorgeous! We stayed for just a little and then left - we were all tired! It was very cool though, and I can see why people love it!
Also, it was as cold as it looks! Weather was in the 50’s and 60’ so we bought blankets, sweatshirts, gloves, and hats while we were there!