Our first family Disney trip EVER!!!! We surprised the kids on Christmas morning with a Scavenger Hunt for an incredible surprise!
We hopped on a night flight and nearly missed it because this 2 year old refused to let security check her mini backpack. I have to give her credit for the most epic airport situation we’ve had. We all fell asleep at midnight, slept in til 7am to make it over to the new Riviera Resort (absolutely stunning and super family friendly!) and Magic Kingdom! Y’all, we watched each kid have their magical moment. Throughout the evening, Aaron and I had a sweet time chatting about their magical highlight reels. It was precious & tender & 100% lived up to the hype! I even had my ‘moment‘ that made me teary-eyed when a war veteran paid for our family’s lunch. It doesn’t seem to matter how old we are, we’re all creating magical experiences for one another as we reach out to sprinkle kindness. See our airport pic HERE. 99% of these photos were shot from my old iphone since we didn’t want to lug around a heavy camera around the park with our 4 kiddos.
Disney Creator’s Celebration!
Last year, I opened up the COOLEST surprise email!
Our family was invited to attend the 2020 Disney Creator’s Celebration event! We’ve never been to Disney as a family and this was our perfect opportunity! We spent 3 nights at Disney World and 3 nights on a Disney cruise. We paid a small percentage of the trip and were honored to do it! This trip was filled with amazing experiences and conferences listening to inspirational speakers. Our kids are full-fledged magical believers in princesses and all things Disney which made them THE PERFECT ages to go! A lot of our trip was planned and scheduled for us. We received magic bands that allowed us to use FastPass at any time (CRAZY, y’all). This let us hit as many rides and shows as we could so that I could share it all on my instagram stories for you to see. It’s gonna be hard to go back to real lines and scheduling Fastpasses, haha. You can book your Fastpasses 30 days in advance, and 60 days in advance if you stay at a Disney Resort. You can book 3 Fastpasses in advance at 1 park. Once you’ve used those passes, you can book additional passes 1 at a time!
Biggest thing I quickly learned was to drop all expectations for everyone. The kids were missing a lot of sleep and weren’t quite themselves 100% of the time. This trip wasn’t the time to teach them their manners or how to get along with everyone around them, etc.. Kids don’t learn well when they’re tired and I don’t easily tap into my patience reserves when I’m tired. So, our typical behaviors were going to be out of sorts and THE BEST thing Aaron and I did was go with the flow and extend a whole lotta grace to them and ourselves. Vacations can be incredible the moment we’ve accepted it’s not the place to correct non-essential behavior. This is the time to Pick Your Battles wisely. If your kids aren’t in real danger or putting others in danger, Let It GO.
NOT TALL ENOUGH TO RIDE?
Avery was able to go on most of the rides, but we did the “Rider Swap” for the few rides where she missed the mark! She’ll be 3 in a few weeks and I think a 4 year old would be able to ride nearly everything! If your child isn’t tall enough, simply tell the Disney worker when you reach the front of the line that you’ll do a “rider swap” which means as soon as 1 parent completes the ride, the other parent can go straight into the Fastpass lane and immediately ride with up to 3 kids!
HOW WE SPENT 3 DAYS AT DISNEY!
We spent 2 days at Magic Kingdom, 1/2 day at Animal Kingdom, 1/2 day at Hollywood Studios, and a late night evening at Epcot (for the incredible fireworks show, Frozen Ride, & Soarin’: all amazing!). Next time, I’d want to spend SO MUCH MORE TIME at every park, haha. There is simply so much to DO & SEE & EAT! I just can’t wait to go back!!! It was so helpful to stay at a Disney Resort so that we could easily hop from park to park using the free transportation. We brought the stroller into Magic Kingdom on day #1 and it was so convenient to toss our bags and refillable water bottles (definitely a must since kids are ALWAYS thirsty!) on to. But, Avery loves to walk. The next day, we packed MUCH lighter with 1 backpack and skipped the stroller. You can bring a soft small cooler packed with healthy snacks inside. We bought snacks and drinks at the parks and it honestly felt easier to zip around without a stroller since we spent a few 1/2 days at the parks. If you have a baby/toddler that easily naps in a stroller and you plan to be at the park all day, definitely bring a stroller! Avery naps well in my ring sling so I used that a few times in the evenings. Also, it was hotter than I expected. I wore t-shirts with shorts & mom jeans. I wore flip flops and white sneakers. The sneakers were more comfy! My kiddos loved their sandals! Avery had a blister on the afternoon that she wore her pink crocks. Bring lots of bandaids in case anyone gets a blister! We brought cheap rain ponchos and small umbrellas but never needed them.
We could have spent a full 12 hour day here at the park but decided to break it up! On a day that I was in a conference, Aaron took all 4 of the kids here for 6 hours by himself! He said it was SO MUCH FUN! I’m lucky to be his and our kiddos are blessed to call him daddy! TIP: Bring lots of glow stick bracelets & necklaces to wear at night. It was SO easy to keep track of the kids and they were able to always see where we were!
- SEVEN DWARFS MINE TRAIN– Our favorite rollercoaster ride in Magic Kingdom! Heigh Ho! Height requirement is 38″ and Avery was able to join for this short, family ride. Snag a Fastpass for this ride since it’s typically packed!
- PETER PAN’S FLIGHT– Our family boarded a colorful pirate ship and set a smooth sail into Never Land! The ride was 3 minutes long and it was a darling adventure flying through all of Peter Pan scenes. Highly recommend snagging a Fastpass for this ride or making it to this ride as soon as the park opens.
- ENCHANTED TAILS WITH BELLE– This was the cutest show that you won’t want to miss! It was an interactive story telling of Beauty & The Beast. The show is indoors and is a great way to beat the heat and take a rest. A few of my kiddos and Aaron were chosen to play a part in the show and I was cracking up laughing for most of it haha. Best part, everyone gets to meet Belle and snap a photo with her. She was lovely! Lines are typically shorter for this show.
- DUMBO THE FLYING ELEPHANT– This was a fun flying carousel ride that all of us enjoyed! If the lines aren’t too long, skip the Fastpass and enjoy the use of the indoor play area for kids while you wait. There were also 2 Dumbo rides to help cut down on long wait times.
- MAGIC CARPETS OF ALADDIN– This ride felt identical to the Dumbo ride! Tip: steer the carpet up unless you want to a surprise splash of water!
- MONSTERS INC LAUGH FLOOR– This was so funny! It’s an indoor interactive comedy show that had all 6 of us giggling. It’s a great way to escape the heat and relax in between rides. Don’t be surprised if you become part of the show! Wait time wasn’t long.
- SPEEDWAY– This was LOUD and fun! The 6 of us split up into 2 cars and jetted off! I still remember doing this ride when I was little and I remember the cars going a lot faster as a kid, haha. The workers let my car with the twins take an additional lap to let the twins swap drivers (so nice of them!).
- MAD TEA PARTY– The kids loved this classic ride! They spun the tea cup as fast as they could and my head was spinning by the end of it! Skip the Fastpass since the line goes fast.
- UNDER THE SEA: MERMAID RIDE– We stepped into a clamshell and took a ride through Ariel’s world in a musical adventure. Savannah’s favorite character is Ariel and it was so precious to ride with her. Pure magic!
- PRINCE CHARMING CAROUSEL– All of the kids scattered to find their favorite horse to ride. I rode next to Avery she absolutely loved it! Be sure to glance up at the ceiling, the paintings are spectacular! Tip: find Cinderella’s horse “Cindy” (golden bow tailed-horse)!
- FESTIVAL OF FANTASY PARADE + MICKEY’S ROYAL FRIENDSHIP FAIRE– Both of these parades were filled with our favorite characters dancing and singing the songs we’ve all grown to love! Schedule these shows in between your Fastpass rides so that you can use this time to relax your legs and grab a treat to enjoy. We loved the ice-cream from Plaza Ice Cream Parlor! The Festival of Fantasy is at 3pm and Mickey’s Faire has multiple showtimes! Grab an early seat!
- HAPPILY EVER AFTER FIREWORKS SHOW! PURE MAGIC. Magnificent lasers and projections on Cinderella’s castle were stunning to watch. Find a spot early near the castle and settle in for an 18 minute spectacular show. We snagged a yummy treat for each of the kids and this 100% made me teary-eyed. 17 years ago, I remember watching the fireworks light up the sky while dreaming of bringing my children here. Seeing the Disney characters projected on to the castle while telling a story of every childhood memory caused All The Feelings and magical emotions. This was the perfect end to the sweetest day.
We woke up early and hopped on a bus to Animal Kingdom before the park opened to the public. Our family ate the yummiest breakfast and then we hit the ground running to experience all the rides without the lines! If you stay at a Disney resort, you get Extra Magic Hours in certain parks before & after the general public are allowed in. Check your travel dates and schedule a park when you have that extra VIP access.
- FLIGHT OF PASSAGE– This 3D flight on a banshee was out of this world and our favorite ride in Animal Kingdom! Height requirement is 44″ and Avery is 38″. Aaron took the older 3 on the ride while I took Avery on the river ride next door to this ride. When they got off the ride, I took the twins back on the ride with me and it was absolutely thrilling! I found myself laughing because I was so nervous throughout the experience lol. This is an absolute must-see! Snag a Fastpass because the lines will get long!
- NA’AVI RIVER JOURNEY– This slow boat ride through a glowing rainforest was absolutely beautiful. Fastpass for sure!
- KILIMANJARO SAFARI– This was SUCH a fun guided safari through tons of animals! There were no gates dividing our vehicle from these beautiful giraffes, elephants, baby zebras, hyenas, rhinos, flamingos, lions, and more!
- TRAIN TO RAFIKI’S PLANET– We hopped on the Wildlife Express Train for 7 minute ride over to Rafiki’s Planet. The kids LOVED petting all the animals over in this fun area.
- FESTIVAL OF THE LION KING– This indoor broadway-style show is incredible! You’ll want a seat as close to the stage as possible, be sure to get there early (even with Fastpass you have to be 15 minutes early)! Schedule this in between other activities as a 30 minute rest.
We did NOT spend enough time here!! Hollywood Studios was such a fun experience and I would’ve wanted at LEAST a full day here.
- SLINKY DOG DASH– This rollercoaster was thrilling for our entire family and was the favorite ride in Toy Story Land! Height requirement is 38″ and Avery absolutely LOVED it! We did this ride a few times and used our Fastpass since this was a crowd favorite!
- TOY STORY MANIA– We buckled up in a 4D ride and had a blast shooting our way through 5 different arcade games. Ethan and I were on the same seat and we both could hear each other giggling our way through the ride! Snag a Fastpass for this ride!
- RISE OF THE RESISTANCE– EPIC. No other words to describe this impressive & massive ride. It’s unlike any ride I’ve ever experienced and is so involved! We genuinely felt as if we were transformed into a secret mission and were legit part of a Star Wars movie. Height requirement is 40″ and we did a Rider Swap with Avery. The kids always love the rider swap since they get to tag along twice for the ride! You have to schedule early to get a boarding time since this is the most popular ride in all of Disney!! See our STAR WARS INSTAGRAM PHOTO HERE.
- MILLENNIUM FALCON- So fun!!! Each ride has a capacity of 6 and you play different roles to work together and escape! Height requirement is 38″ which made this ride the most fun family ride since Avery could join!!! She was screaming and pushing buttons and simply living her best fighter life! We stayed in the park until 11pm to ride this a few times!
Thanks Disney for inviting our family to this incredible Creator’s Celebration!