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Disney World {and a few helpful hints}

Needless to say we had the BEST time in Disney World. Thank you to everyone who followed along via twitter, instagram, and facebook. Also sorry to those who may have gotten a bit Disney'ed out by me. Ha. We were there nine days and did all the parks with downtime intermingled. Both the Mr and I came home with some sort of cold that had gotten the best of us, but it was so worth it. The kiddos were super fun and had the time of their lives.

We stayed in Port Orleans Riverside and I could not recommend it enough. The staff were all super kind. The rooms were rather nice. The pools were so much fun even though it was too cold for me to take a dunk. We also took carriage rides and biked around.

We could not leave without at least one pic of the Mr and I so Ellie took on the challenge and I must I love it! May have a budding photographer on our hands.

I really can't believe how old she is starting to look.

Little man KJ officially became a momma's boy. He seriously would not leave my side unless riding a roller coaster with dad. I didn't realize he even missed me since starting school, but this trip proved other wise. Love him more than I can ever express.

Of course what is Disney World without a little dressing up? This was for one of the character dinners in Epcot. Serious highlight for Ellie.

Yes, we managed to get a pic with EVERY princess that mattered for Ellie. She was beaming day and night and KJ could not have cared less.

The trip would not have been as wonderful without this man. The bonding time he got with Ellie and KJ is worth every exhausting moment. He worked hard planning every detail which at first I so thought was nuts, but now really am so thankful for. To be honest having him all to myself for a bit was rather nice too. Sometimes life gets in the way and you don't even realizing what your missing.

A few tips for ENJOYING Disney:

- Plan out every detail... restaurants, downtime, etc, etc. I seriously think that is what kept us from bickering and the children remaining peaceful. It was sad seeing families fight and children being less than stellar to say it nicely.

- Disney does food allergies well. I being Gluten free was not a problem. If you book a restaurant let them know you are gluten free and a chef will walk you through the possibilities and even make you special desserts. Boma in Animal Kingdom was my favorite. Left needing to wear sweatpants good. Quick service meals and breakfasts also have options. Just mention it to someone and they will carefully make you something. Also I was tipped off by  a sweet reader about Babycakes NYC in Downtown Disney. They have cookies, donuts, and cupcakes. I won't ever admit how many times I went and how much I indulged.

- We borrowed a BOB double stroller and it was a life saver!!! It kept the kiddos from getting too exhausted and kept our pace up. Saw so many parents carrying around their much too big children and I can not imagine the havoc on backs it caused. You can rent them there, but they aren't the cheapest and since we were driving we had the room to lug one about.

- If you are on a meal plan like we were bring cash for tips. Makes for some happy wait staff.

- Make sure to pack for not only the predicted weather, but also for a swing. It was expected to be in the high 80's, but with Sandy pushing the cold air down it was in the 50's! Luckily for us I am always cold so I always pack for chilly nights just in case. The Mr thought I was being silly, but after seeing whole families searching for winter wear while we out he thought my over packing wasn't so bad.

- Enjoy it!!! Disney is so much fun and you don't have to do/see everything, its seriously okay. I think the hussel and bussel made some people overwhelmed and lent to the fighting and temper tantrums. So sad really.

- favorites in order with a 7 and 5 year old... Epcot hands down was a winner (went twice). Magic Kingdom which we didn't love 18 months ago on our first trip. Kids hated it then love it now (went three times). Not sure if that had to do with age. Animal Kingdom we really do adore, but only went to it once. I feel once you do it once then you really don't have a need to do it again during the first trip (went once). Then Hollywood came in last (went once). It really was neat. We truly loved it all, but after riding a few of the rides we honestly started to feel sick. Ha. Probably great for older kids or people who love the need for speed.

- Last two days of our trip we stayed at Art of Animation. It's a little cheaper, brand new and loads of fun. My and KJ's favorite part was Radiator Springs. The pool had cabanas made out of orange cones. It was so neat. The downside compared to Port Orleans were the beds were only full's. This is not practical for a 6'6 husband, two children, and myself. No coffee maker which is a MUST for me, and it was way more crowded with the younger folk. That's not necessarily awful, but a bit hectic at times.

- If anyone seriously wants to see our whole iterniary I will be more than happy to email it to you. I mean the Mr. rocked it.

If you really feel inclined you can see a little bit more of our trip here! Just scroll down a tad.

Don't forget about the Minted giveaway going on down below. The winner is announced on Monday!!!

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Reader Comments (20)

Hi Paula!

Would you share your itinerary with me? My cousin is going in two weeks and her children are older than mine so I'd like to pass it along to her. Glad you had a great time!!


November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

So happy you had the best time! These are the memories your kids will cherish for many years to come!

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarianne

Hey Paula!

Thanks for sharing all these tips and beautiful pictures! So glad you had such a wonderful time. I would love to see the itinerary. Would you care to e-mail it to me? My e-mail is mari.feitosa@gmail.com

I am coming to the US in the end of December and will be staying for 6 months. Who knows if a trip to Disneyworld isn't in God's plan in between those 6 months?! #dreaming :-)

Thank you!

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMari Feitosa

your pictures are worth way more than a thousand words...or however that saying goes. They really capture the magic that I'm sure you must have all felt!

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterl o v e l y t h i n g s

I would love to see your itinerary! I'm leaving Sunday for 5 days with just my oldest then going back with the whole fam for a week in January (yes, nuts, but the hubs has a conference and I could not pass up the chance to go TWICE! I love Disney!) I've planned it all out, but I like to look at how other families with boys the same age as my son do it to make sure I'm not missing anything! It really is the MOST fun for the kiddos-- we will visit plenty of "real" places when they are older, but for now, Disney has my dollars! melissatarleton@gmail.com

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Hi! I would love to have a copy of your Disney plans, My family is going in early December and we are using a planner....one that I am having a difficult time getting a hold of! Eek!!! My email address is ltidmore@gmail.com. Thanks so much!!!

November 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLara

I'd love it, as well! We are in the midst of planning a trip for our four year old! caroline.elizabeth@gmail.com

November 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

I would love to see your itinerary if you wouldn't mind sharing it .. We are going Sunday - Saturday next week (thanksgiving week).

Thank you so much!!

November 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFran

Ok I would SO love a copy of your itinerary! :)

November 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Hi! I would love a copy your itinerary if you don't mind sharing! These pictures are adorable!

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrook

Wow looks like you had a wonderful time at Disney. Your photographs look so happy :) x

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterApril Louise

last pic is by far my favorite! Oh what a sweet memory to have. Thank you for sharing Xx

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersunny

I love seeing all of your pics (and home redo's, especially Ellie's room!). This post is perfect timing -- we are headed there on Wednesday! I just had someone tell me not to take a "nice" stroller because you have to leave it outside of rides and someone might help themselves to your nice stroller. Any thoughts? Just wondered what you thought since you've been so recently. Thanks!

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterashley

What sweet family photos. The kiddos will remember that trip forever. :-)

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Looks like so much fun! I LOVE the pic of Ellie and Cinderella - her sweet face it precious!! When we get ready to plan a trip I will definitely have J call Kellen - the thought of going with 5 stresses me a bit - we may have to leave a few behind :)

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

It sounds like a success of a trip!
I am afraid to take my brood... I am thinking that 2 at the age of 3 would be too much stress so waiting till they are at least 5 and then the others would be 11 and 13 respectively and even then I am afraid LOL.
Your tips are genius I will have to show to my hubbie when we start seriously planning.
The pictures are awesome as usual.

November 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGayletrini

Magical Pictures! Really enjoyed this. Love your blog. Such great tips.

November 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGina

I'm so glad you all loved Disney (and BabyCakes!). We were there a month before you went. Your kids are the same ages as ours, and we loved the same things you listed. We are already looking forward to going back!

November 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrebecca.k

I am so glad to have found this website -- can you send me your itinerary please? It would be a lifesaver.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

I know you wrote this post awhile ago :) but if you still have the itinerary I would love it!! Thanks a ton!

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterchelsey

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