A couple of years ago, my oldest kid Noah started asking how far Disney World was. Even though I had never mentioned Disney World before, he learned about this far away place from preschool and friends. While he’d seen Disney movies and shows, we’d never talked about Disney World before as I didn’t want to mention it until we were ready for a trip. Since Ethan our youngest turned two, Disney World has been on our family to-do list. And this year, we felt our kids were the perfect age to go and actually enjoy it (ages 6 and 3). So when I got invited to the Disney Social Media Mom Celebration, I flipped because I knew they’d get to experience Disney even sooner than I had hoped!
We flew into Orlando on May 9 and spent almost an entire week hopping from park to park. On the one day that us bloggers had our conference, the kids and Daddy Roo headed to Animal Kingdom. The rest of the time we enjoyed the parks together (and sometimes with friends who were also there for the conference). Here are some memory-making moments during our trip.
When I pictured going to Disney World, my first vision was of the kids seeing Cinderella’s castle for the first time. They’ve never actually seen the movie, but they know the castle. After all, its image emblazons the beginning of every Disney movie we know. They were totally excited to see it, so much so Ethan couldn’t stop looking at it!
Before the conference’s welcome reception, we squeezed in a few hours at the Magic Kingdom, living up every few seconds.
During our stay in Disney, we ended up at the Magic Kingdom three times, giving us a chance to do so many things like ride the Astro Orbiter, zoom on the Tomorrowland Speedway and take a dip Under the Sea.
We wore the kids OUT every day! Sometimes that was good (easy to get to sleep) but other times not so good (meltdowns at the park). Nevertheless we took it in stride and keep them hydrated and fed.
Hollywood Studios is all about action, and action we saw! I don’t think the kids really knew what I meant about “stunt show” until we sat down to watch Lights Motor Action (we had actually dined on the set a couple of nights before). The look on their faces when they saw Lightning McQueen ACTUALLY DRIVING was priceless. That’s their favorite Disney movie so to see it come to life was Disney magic in action.
While we didn’t get to do the Jedi training, we did watch it. The kids couldn’t believe they were actually seeing Darth Vader. (Neither could I.) And after we enjoyed the ever-popular Toy Story Mania ride (twice), a green army man got the kids marching with him. His costume was AWESOME.
Every thing was action-packed. Even the stuff they thought they wouldn’t like. They had fits about going into the Muppet*Vision 3D. “It will be boooooring.” Guess what? They laughed, smiled and BEGGED to do it again.
For souvenirs at Hollywood Studios, they even got to make their own light sabers. Side note: Did you notice the two souvenirs we bought the kids were weapons? Swords and sabers. Why do we do that to ourselves?
We sort of did Epcot in spurts like Magic Kingdom. While many of the rides were for kids taller than Ethan, there’s plenty to do and explore in Epcot for kids of all ages. The both liked Captain EO (even though they were skeptical) and they begged to do Journey into Imagination again. I thought they might be bored with the ride inside the Epcot ball (Spaceship Earth) but man oh man, that was all they talked about!
Noah kept hearing all about Test Track but we knew the lines would be bad so we used the morning Extra Magic Hours and went straight to the ride to get a Fast Pass. It ended up being one of his favorites and he had a blast designing his own car.
What a great time of year to come to Epcot too. The International Flower and Garden Festival happens at Epcot every year around this time so an already magical place becomes downright gorgeous with colorful flowers and creative topiaries everywhere (though remind me to clean off my lens next time or at least photoshop the smudges out of the sky).
I smiled so much at Disney watching the kids enjoy the magic. The temper tantrums and meltdowns are worth the looks of their faces and the joy in their laughs. You guys. I can’t explain to you the magic these kids felt at Disney World (although if you’ve been, I’m sure you know). They were in awe of all that surrounded them. I can only imagine what they dreamed of.
Disclosure: I attended the Disney Social Media Moms Conference and received discounted rates and tickets to various events and attractions. Any opinions and magical moments are entirely my own.