This year has started out being one of the most exciting years we’ve had in a while. We managed to get annual passes to Disney World for the entire family for Christmas and have been enjoying going down to visit the mouse and his friends on pretty much a weekly basis ever since. It’s been amazing and we are having a ton of fun doing it. The kids are always so excited when we tell them we are heading to Disney in the morning and we’ve planned out a couple of big trips for throughout the year too where we will actually stay at one of the hotels for a few days at a time.
Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that making a weekly three hour drive to Disney World, spending ten to twelve hours there, and then driving three hours back has been a bit of a learning experience for us all. It may be fun but it’s certainly isn’t easy and honestly, I think we are pretty crazy for doing it so often. So it may be one of those things that I would caution other families on doing. This trip is not for the faint of heart… or stomach.
Our first trip down went pretty well. We set our alarm clocks for 4:30 am (yes you read that right 4:30 in the morning) and we only hit the snooze button maybe 50 times or so.
We got the kids up, had all of our bags packed with lunches and waters, extra clothes, shoes, socks, sunscreen. You know… the essentials. Then we loaded the kids up in their pajamas in hopes that they would take a nap on the way down and set out on the road! After dropping off the dog with my in-laws, we were only running about two and half hours late. GO US!!!
Well, we made our first mistake deciding to stop at a McDonald’s about an hour into our trip. Completely forgetting that Thing Two has a bad tendency to get car sick when she eats or drinks anything sweet or overly greasy. Shortly after she eats, she starts complaining that her stomach was hurting. So the next 2 hours were spent doing tummy checks making sure that she didn’t need us to pull over for an emergency vomit out of the car. FUN!
Thankfully we managed to make it the entire trip down sans vomit, so that’s a plus.
The next mistake we made was allowing the kids to drink too much water in the car.
Thankfully no accidents in the car, but we did end up having to stop about 5 or 6 different times on the trip down. On top of that, we didn’t really plan out our route in terms of bathroom destinations, so we ended up stopping at a few… not so clean places and leaving immediately to find better facilities.
Bathroom issues and vomit scares aside, the drive down really wasn’t too bad. We did learn to look ahead at better locations to stop though, so at least we could say that it was a learning experience.
By the time we finally made it to Magic Kingdom and parked it was already 11:00 in the morning. Way later than we originally wanted to get there but hey… at least we made it.
Now for mistake number three. Remember how I said we put the kids into the car in their pajamas thinking they would sleep on the trip down? Well they didn’t so much as close their eyes the entire trip down and we were left having to change them all in the parking lot before heading into the park. Now, if you’ve never seen the self parking area of Magic Kingdom, let’s just say that it can be just as crazy as the bag check areas…only with a bunch of cars trying to crowd their way into spaces and excited people running around everywhere. It’s not exactly the best place to have to change clothes. Even with our giant van it was still a bit of a struggle.
We managed to get everyone into their clothes and headed for the tram that would take us to the monorail. Now, the next mistake we made had to do with prep. We packed way too much crap and our stroller just is not good for fast tight breakdown. I guess you could say that it’s just not a Disney stroller. We had three big bags filled with extra clothes and diapers for the kids, food, and lots of water. This just was too much to take and really held us up a lot. Getting the big heavy stroller and all of our bags on and off of the trams was just a pain. Then having to bag check everything was even worse.
Our actual trip in Disney went off without a hitch. We made our first trip to Magic Kingdom since it has pretty much everything in it that a kid could dream of. We were prepared with our fast passes for the day to hop on to some of the better rides and set out for a day of wandering around the park.
We stopped pretty early on and let the kids eat lunch. We figured out that Uncrustables are like the perfect take and go sandwiches so they had those and chips. If you’ve never had them, or just have never taken them with you… I encourage you to go to target and pick up a box. They are the perfect frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They don’t drip and you can freeze them over night and use them to keep the waters and things cold throughout your trip. I just throw the frozen sandwiches into a bag and by the time we are ready for lunch, they have thawed out and are ready to go. Side note… buy them at target because you can get a box of 15 for $9.99 which is a really good deal.
We also had lots of snacks for the kids to have throughout the day. Cuties, granola bars, cereal, you name it we had it.
The kids got to ride a ton of rides including The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and It’s a Small World. Pirates of the Caribbean was a huge success. It really was an amazing day at the park. Nothing beats watching a toddler smile and dance while on It’s a small world for the first time. Or watching their little eyes light up when they see Mickey. It really is magical. And singing it’s a small world for the next 4 days is an added bonus!
And even better than that, they slept like little angels on the trip home. After a 10 hour day at The most magical place on earth, everyone was absolutely exhausted. Which made for a nice quiet trip home.
So, even though our first trip had a few hitches, I’d say that it was a success. We learned a lot about traveling to Disney with five kids and knew what to do the next time we went. It’s now become our much anticipated weekly trip and gives the kids something to look forward to during the week.
Let me know in the comment section below, what was your first trip like to Disney. Did you over pack like we did?
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