Yep. That’s what I said! The six letter word: DISNEY!
We went against everything normal and ordinary and hit Disney not too long ago. Those that know me know that this was hard for me to do. Not because I didn’t want to go, but because once I hit schedules and structured days, I typically like to stay in them. My lovely and wonderful husband talked me OUT of this. Lord knows how he did that; I’m still trying to figure that whole thing out. I’m proud, and slightly enamored by him for that reason. Seriously! I’m in awe that he somehow got me to agree to this whole idea.
So, fast forward to the ‘after-post’ of the Disney trip. Did we have a blast? OH. MY. GOSH. We LOVED IT! I cannot imagine NOT taking my kids and not going. You know all those people that say, “You HAVE to take your kids to Disney!”. I was one of those people-parents that said, “No I don’t. Stop telling me what to do. I don’t HAVE to take my kids anywhere, thank you very much.” I’m here to say, really, you HAVE to take your kids to Disney! My mindset has totally changed. It was amazingly exhausting, but amazingly magical.
Because of this, I have a few tips to give you, my busy momma friend!
1. Get a Disney planner. As a working mom, there is no possible way I could have planned a Disney trip. Not a stitch of it, my friend. We had a phenomenal planner; Heather with Off to Neverland Travel. She was amazing and even saved us a couple hundred in the whole planning process! Everything was perfectly planned; even the location of things as we traveled from one show to the next, and to one dinner to the next event. I couldn’t have done it; not even close. And, to top it off, she supplied us with Disney ears BEFORE our trip! It made it even more exciting!
2. Get iron on transferable images for shirts. Boy, I wanted those family matching shirts. The sweet “everyone has the same shirt” get-up. However, I didn’t want to pay $25 a pop for them. So, instead, I searched on Etsy for iron on downloads. This saved me you guys. I could go anywhere for a plain white or gray shirt. I ended up snatching some from Target and other places on the cheap and just ironed on those downloadable transfers. I probably saved us about $100+, and they looked just as cute as anyone else’s.
3. Take your camera. Do I even have to say this? But when I say take your camera, I mean TAKE YOUR CAMERA. It’s a pain to wag the thing around, but my goodness, those pictures. I am already having extreme nostalgia when looking back on them. Bite the bullet and take your real live big camera every stinkin’ place you go. I still took pictures with my phone, but the pictures from my camera just don’t do the phone pics justice. Even with today’s amazing camera-phone technology.
4. Surprise your kids. If you can. If this is the first trip for you, I say go all out and surprise them. Now, this is the one time I actually splurged on shirts. I wanted them to have great shirts the day we took off. But, I still took to Etsy for these. We woke our kids up one morning and said, “hey…do you want to board a plane and go to Disney!?!” Listen, I have a son that is very much like me. He loves to know what’s about to happen (he’s a scheduler like “yours truly”). However, he LOVED this surprise! My kids are 5 and 11. I don’t want to say there is a perfect age to take your kids to Disney, because, heck, I’m 36 and I loved it! I will say though, the 5+ age and the 11+ age seemed perfect for our family to take in the whole experience and not kill each other in the process.
5. Do it all. We packed a lot into 4 small and short days. We were dead exhausted every single night. But we didn’t leave one minute unturned. There were times where the Coach and I would look at each other and say, “should we”? And we did. Was it worth it? YES. We were happy exhausted at the end of the day if that makes sense. We did everything we could. I waited with the little firecracker while the man and boy rode rides we couldn’t, we tried many different snacks that we didn’t and did like, we saw shows that we loved, we experienced things that we probably would divert next time. With that being said, we came home loving the entire experience! Every single moment.
6. Pack light and be comfortable. I would love to say that we actually did pack light. I’m not sure my husband would agree, but I think I did pretty well! Here’s the thing, y’all. We all want to believe we will look adorable in Disney. And while you may, you still want to be comfy without packing 6 different pairs of shoes or 10 different shorts. To add to that, who knows about that weather?? Florida weather can be unpredictable so I always packed a hat in my bag as well as a poncho. Every. Single. Day. When I packed, I literally got myself prepared to be comfortable and packed more caps than I did outfits. And you know what? That absolutely did the job, and with our somewhat matchy iron on shirts, we looked great enjoying Disney! I hate to break it to ya’, but no one cares what you wear or look like in Disney!
7. Take a stroller. I say this to people that have kids up to at least 6. Heck, if I could’ve gotten a stroller, I would’ve! We made the mistake of leaving ours the first day and ended up renting one. While the one we rented was great, I couldn’t imagine renting one every single day! While it’s a pain to travel and fly with a stroller, it will save you some serious cash!
So there you have it my dear lovely friends! That’s our Disney Wrap-Up! If you haven’t yet gone, even if time restricts, try to find a long weekend to take off and go. Take your kiddos and enjoy every moment. No matter how short, no matter the circumstance, stop the hamster wheel and go. Personally, I’m great at spinning that hamster wheel and had to stop, leave it behind, and take off. It truly was memories made for a lifetime.