Our Disney Adventures Part 1

Saturday, November 29, 2014

We recently took our very first trip to Disney as a family.  We decided to plan this trip as a special celebration for Reese's 4th birthday.  I had not been to Disney in about 15 years, and Creed about 25 years, so we were almost equally as ecstatic as Reese.  We were excited for this trip to have the true "Disney Experience" everyone always spoke of, the kind where you park your car on the first day not to return until it is time to leave, stay on a fabulous Disney property, eat the fun character meals, and dive into everything Disney.  And we did it.  We had the true Disney Experience and it was everything I imagined and more.

I compared planning our trip much like planning a wedding.  You plan for months and months, even a year in advance, for it to be one of the greatest days and then it is over in the blink of an eye.  When I initially began talking about it with fellow moms that had made the trip before, I quickly learned my planning one month in advance strategy wasn't going to work.  I thought planning the details one month in advance was borderline overboard, but who knew you had to plan at least 6 months in advance???  Absurd!  But true.  I knew I wanted this trip to be special given her age and love for everything Disney right now, and I knew we wouldn't be taking a trip back to Disney for at least another 5 years or so because of the cost of it all, so I wanted to be sure to plan efficiently and cram as much in as I possibly could in 6 days without totally overdoing it and allowing for some leeway in case of overtired toddler syndrome.  I spoke to many moms who had been through it all before and took recommendations for literally months in advance.  I read Birnbaum's Walt Disney World Guide 2014 from front to back, twice.  I took notes, made lists, marked pages, highlighted tips, etc.  I was determined to make this trip as smooth as possible.  I figured if people were crazy enough to do all of these things, I was going to have to do them too!

Planning way, I mean waaay, in advance was well worth it and made the trip much less stressful.  We were able to do almost everything we had wanted and being able to watch Reese take it all in was the most exciting aspect of it all!

We did the 10 hour drive over 2 days so we would not be rushed and we would hit the best sleeping hours for her in the car.  We made it to our resort, the Animal Kingdom Lodge, early in the day to get settled and take advantage of the fantastic pool.  When we checked in, they recognized it was Reese's birthday and made sure to celebrate it right from check in with a princess crown and birthday button.  Her birthday was most definitely celebrated to the max everywhere we went from there on out!

The resort itself was incredible.  Disney knows how to work a theme and the African Safari details were incredible.  I wasn't able to catch the details well enough in photos as these don't begin to show how amazing it was!  Her favorite part of the resort: the surprise bunk beds!

Her love for the water slide and the fact that she could do it by herself was so cute to watch!  

 The safari came right up to the resort and pool areas so we literally had this guy and his friends right up against the pool patio.  So fun!

We headed to Chef Mickey's that night, the Mickey Mouse and character friends dinner at Disney's Contemporary Resort.  These character dinners came highly recommended as not only were they fun, but saved lots of time waiting in lines in the parks to meet the characters. We met Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto!

 We spent Day 2 at Hollywood Studios, Day 3 at Animal Kingdom and Epcot, and Days 4 and 5 at the Magic Kingdom, including the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.  More coming soon!

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