Saturday, June 27, 2015

Our Special Place

The first time I went to Disney World was when I was in fifth grade. Cinderella's Castle was decorated like a birthday cake and I was there to celebrate twenty-five wonderful years! As I got older, I always wanted to go back. When Erin and I got married, we didn't have a lot of money. We were trying to save for bigger and better things which meant we were being really conservative. I worked two jobs and Erin was slowly working her way up in her field. Jump ahead seven years... we're doing pretty well. Erin has been promoted four times, I left one job and got promoted at the other and we bought a house - hence those bigger and better things!

In 2014, we made our way back to Disney and it instantly became our special place. I've said this before but I don't like doing many things. I camp, I play sports, I watch sports but that's the extent of it sadly. If it's anything Disney though, I'm in! There's just something about being at WDW that changes your perception on life. It obviously was a big part of Walt's vision but I just feel like a kid when I'm there. It's almost like being taken to a place where magical things really do happen. In my mind, they do. It's a magical place and you can really soak it in there. We've gone back a few times now and each time you look forward to it more than the previous time.

We're going back in the fall and we're taking Lily for the first time. The last few times she just wasn't ready but I firmly believe she is now. We've brought our experiences back and have shared them with her and for her, they've really sunk in. She talks about Disney all the time and she's always asking if she can go. We haven't told her that we're going to take her and most likely we won't until the day of the trip but I can't tell you how excited I am to plan this get away. I'm all about making other people happy and when it comes to my daughter I just can not wait to see how she takes this!

Lily with Cinderella at Storyland  June '15
I reached out to Jenn last weekend. Jenn is our AWESOME travel agent from White Glove Destinations. Jenn has helped us plan our vacation each time we've booked a trip to Disney. When I say she's the best I mean it. She makes planning vacation a breeze. She gets us the best deals and if at the time of booking there isn't a good deal available she'll give us the deal when it does become available. Long story short, if you're planning a trip to Disney or want to, contact Jenn! Let her know I sent you! Anyway back on subject, I contacted her about going down for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in October. We got a great deal to go! We're going for four nights and staying at our favorite resort (Pop Century) and as part of Disney's fall deals we get a free meal plan and free park hopper option which means we can go from one park to another at no additional cost each day.

Erin and I have been spending some time planning our trip. We're trying to book a few character meals which is tough to come by with the free dining plans in the fall. They suggest usually planning these at least 180 days out but because we just booked were about 120 days and everything is booked up. Jenn is going to look and see if she can get us in to Cinderella's Royal Table and Hollywood & Vine. She's on a watch list in case something opens up which I hope it does especially at CRT! Other than that we've also purchased our tickets for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party which will be on our last night. This will be our first special event and I'm looking forward to it! Erin and I haven't decided what we're going to get for costumes yet.. I'm sure this could get interesting! Other than that this should be a short and sweet trip. In my opinion, just long enough to keep Lily happy.

We're flying direct to Orlando and getting in around 5:40pm. Perfect flight times for a little one as both flights are direct and no longer than any car ride she's ever had. From MCO we'll be transported by Disney's Magical Express to Pop Century Resort. Once to the resort, we'll settle in, have some dinner and maybe walk around the resort and show Lily all the neat stuff before going to bed and getting a good nights rest.

We plan to spend the first day at Hollywood Studios. My hope is to get a breakfast at Hollywood & Vine in the morning which consists of breakfast with Disney Junior favorites (Jake, Sofia, Doc McStuffins, and Handy Manny). After that, we'll do some rides, some shows, and see some characters. At night, we'll take in Fantasmic which I'm sure she'll absolutely love! Now, we do have the park hopper so in the afternoon we may hop over to Epcot for Finding Nemo and Spaceship Earth!

The second day is dedicated to Magic Kingdom! She talks about "the castle" all the time so for her to be there and to see it will be amazing. I can't wait to see her face when she gets there! My hope is to have breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table with all of the Princesses this day. For her to have a chance to be in the castle would be amazing. I know from our previous experience at CRT it's an awesome experience and one that she would love! During the day we'll do a lot of fun rides and see a lot of shows and characters. I look forward to going on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with her as she loves to watch the video of us from our last trip! At night, I think she'll definitely enjoy Celebrate the Magic and Wishes.

The third and final day at the parks will consist of a morning most likely at Animal Kingdom. She'll enjoy seeing the animals and riding the attractions in the park. A bugs life will be pretty neat! At night, we'll do Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party! For those unfamiliar with this event, the Magic Kingdom is decorated for Halloween and most of your favorite villains will be in the park. Guests can dress in costume and trick or treat. There's a halloween themed parade and fireworks show called Hallo-Wishes.

We'll exit our resort early and head back home on the final day with a direct flight back leaving MCO at 11am. Again, I couldn't have asked for a better flight plan. The times were perfect for having a toddler. Not to mention they're direct flights which are hard to come by these days especially in my area. Needless to say, like any other Disney vacation, I'm looking forward to it!
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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Yep, We're Going Back!

If you follow or have ever read my blog you know one important thing about me.. I love Disney! In April, we went to Disney World for a week and treated the trip like it was going to be our last for some time. We booked expensive dinners, breakfasts, etc. We even added on specials like the park hopper and memory maker and we even flew top of the line in first class. Yep, we were convinced that it was the final trip we'd make before Lily was actually ready to go. We made it clear during that trip that the next time would be Lily's time.

Well... It's Lily's time!

Honestly, I've wanted to go back since the second I got home and walked through the door. For people that know me and for some of you that don't, I don't like doing many things. I like sporting events, camping, and some other things but besides that I don't like doing to much. I absolutely love Disney World. I've always said that there's no where else I'd rather be and it's the truth. The whole time I was there in April I was thinking about how much fun Lily would have and how much she would enjoy seeing the many Disney characters she watches on Disney and Disney Junior. Well, a few days ago I just threw my hands up and said "Erin, let's go back!" Erin hesitated at first but she ultimately decided it would be a great idea.

First of all, we keep saying we'll wait until Lily is ready.. OK. We took her to Story Land this summer and last summer. Last summer I didn't think she was ready. This summer I saw a lot of improvement. I'm not sure about the plane ride but as far as being in the parks I think she's ready. Second, she's three years old. A few more years and she may not care about Sofia, Jake, and the others that she loves so dearly now. That tells me it's time to bring her and let her experience the magic!

Disney World is a magical place and you can feel it when you're in the parks, it doesn't matter what age you are. People are happy there, they're there because they want to be there and it's the happiest place on earth. Lily talks about it all the time, "when I get bigger Daddy I can go to the castle", "see that airplane Daddy, that's how you get to Disney World". How can we not take her?

I think the biggest obstacle will be the plane ride. Although, Erin thinks it might be fine because Lily knows that the plane "is the way you get to the castle". If we can get her through the trip down there I truly believe the rest will be a piece of cake. I'm sure there will be tears and maybe even some screaming at some point but that's a three year old. 90% of the time she's going to be taking in the magic that at home she so often talks about.

I can not wait to see my daughter experience the magic this October!
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