DISNEY!

Thank you Disney Social Media Moms for including our family in your Celebration! 

A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to attend a Disney Event in Orlando because I became a Disney Social Media Mom this year. WHAAAAAAAT?

Anyways, these are the photos from that trip. We were able to spend a few days at Disney World and then go on a Disney Cruise to Castaway Cay! It was amazing to escape the freezing cold winter weather and warm up in sunny Florida. Plus that humidity worked wonders on Eddie’s hair! That kid just kills me with cuteness. Read through our experiences or just scroll to the bottom for my recommendations, as usual 🙂

By now, our kids are pro’s at traveling! Eddie is a bit hit and miss, but generally, he is a great little companion to have, plus he gets a lot of “aw’s” and giggles out of strangers 🙂 Ha! I must say, Gordon is a CHAMPION DAD and took Eddie most of the time on our flights while I was sitting with Brooke and Blake. I married well. What can I say?

Disney World

We stayed at the Port Orleans Resort at Disney World. It felt a bit like a maze at first, but we got the hang of it once we figured out where our room was in relation to the pool. Haha! I must say, it’s so convenient staying at a Disney Resort. You can catch a ride to all things Disney! Also, Park Hopper Magic Bands and Fast Passes were amazing to have. We could do whatever we wanted on our timeline.

I was mostly worried about making sure the boys had a good nap in each day so we could stay out later in the evenings for fireworks shows and the later magic hours in the park. Most days, we were able to head back to the room to ensure this happened. The time zone change worked in our favor too, thankfully 🙂

During one of those naps, Brooke and I snuck away and swam for two hours at the resort’s pool. It wasn’t very busy and was actually really fun! If we were to do this trip all over again, I’d allot more time for playing at the pool! My kids are water babies.

We are wearing matching swimsuits from Raising Wild (I have the Erika…super comfy one-piece that covers you in the places you want to be covered in.)

Our second evening, we were able to see a lights show at the Animal Kingdom. Eddie was past his bedtime, so I was at the back with him in the Baby Bjorn, but the other two were glued to it. Really fun if you have little-ish ones.

I just need to take a moment to say (1) look how crazy curly Eddie’s hair was and (2) our stroller is a freaking work-horse. Lots of storage, such a smooth ride and it has a roller board for Blake who can sit, stand and jump on and off as he pleases. It worked so well for us.

Hello, lover!

Gosh, I love that man.

Something I forgot to mention was we needed a lot of storage on our stroller because Disney lets you bring in your own food! So we got an Amazon Prime Now order delivered to our room at Disney and had healthy snacks on hand the whole time we were there. Water bottles, bananas, tubes of yogurt, cheese sticks, crackers, applesauce pouches, etc.  Someone recommended that we do that and holy moly, what a smart idea that was!

We were able to take the ferry into the Magic Kingdom and I took Ed out of the stroller for a little so he could feel the wind in his hair! So many luscious locks on that boy!

Like, things were a little out of control, but just like his mama’s hair, you can’t really tame it when the humidity is at sticky levels. So, we both embraced it! (Also, do you see his little tiny yellow magic band? Ahh! Insert all the heart eyed emojis here!)

He’s telling us a story…with pointing and all!

I made my family do a mini photo shoot in front of the castle because these are the memories I want to remember. AND I’M THE MOM AND I’M IN CHARGE.

I only had to say that four times to let it sink in and get smiles out of my kids. Plus I bribed them with Dole Whip. (aka that pineapple ice cream we had in Hawaii!)

Magic Kingdom happened on February 8th, Brooke’s Birthday! We celebrated at Disney World with her. Talk about memorable, right? Lucky girl. For her birthday I gave her a shopping spree at Disney…mostly because I didn’t want to pack presents that she would unwrap and we would just bring home again. So, I let her pick out 3 things to buy that would fit in our luggage. It worked out perfectly; she got what she wanted and I became the best mom in the world.

I love this girl!!

But Blake-man was having a little too much fun NOT looking at the camera. Ha! These are the best we got. I’ll take it 🙂 MEMORIES IN THE BANK!

He is seriously too cute for his own good.

Once we got around to getting a picture of Eddie, we had a small crowd watching/wanting our prime photo location. It was pretty prime, if I say so myself. The cute kids help too though 😉

I mean, seriously. Ovaries=exploded.

My very favorite photo ever of Gordon and I!! Thank you Brooke for your photography skills!

I love this bald and beefy man. *sigh*

I love him, I love him, I love him

and where he goes I’ll follow, I’ll follow, I’ll follow

he’ll always be my true love, my true love, my true love

for now until forever, forever forever.

Name that tune….

So, the kids smiled and I made good on the promise to get them Dole Whip! Brooke, sleeping Eddie and I waited in line while Gordon and Blake rode Aladdin’s magic carpets.

If I could buy a soft serve machine and the mix to make this, I definitely would.

Favorite Attractions

For the little little ones, we loved Dumbo, magic carpets, Buzz Lightyear and the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival (a favorite for Brooke and Blake).

For us older folk, we loved Tower of Terror (right off the ride, Brooke told me “my butt didn’t even touch the seat!”), Soarin’, Rockin’ Roller Coaster, Test Track and Expedition Everest. We wish me had more time without the kiddos to ride OR we wish they were bigger so they could ride with us, but oh well.

It was certainly fun to see the excitement on our children’s faces as we were on all these rides 🙂 Disney is seriously magical for that very reason.

Disney Wonder Cruise

My kids were so excited to board the Cruise Ship after our few days at Disney World. I was looking forward to it too! I’m the only one who had been on a cruise before (a non-Disney one), so I was unsure how things would go/how we would sleep/how they would handle it/if I would go insane.

WELL, turns out we liked the cruise better than the parks! Whaaaat? How’s that for a shocker.

The cruise ship had less people, lots of food options, free child watch for Brooke and Blake and pools in front of a big screen showing Disney movies all the live long day. We didn’t have to work through huge crowds of people or wait in line for rides. Plus, like I mentioned above, my kids are water babies, so they live for time in the pool.

I cannot recommend a Disney Cruise enough, especially if you have kids. It was amazing and we are probably going to go back on a 7-day Disney cruise in the near future. That’s how much we loved it.

Even if you don’t have kids, I’d recommend a Disney Cruise….mainly because there are adult only sections that are NEVER BUSY because everyone else brought their kids! You’d be really smart to go without those little ankle biters. Just sayin’.

Sleeping and Rooming

Did you know that I was *this close* to canceling our entire vacation because our sweet Eddie was NOT sleeping through the night when we booked this trip? Well I was!

I was really worried that I was going to be up in the night with him or that everyone else would wake up to him screaming because we were all sleeping and staying in the same state room. Meaning: close quarters and NO WALLS to divide us. Remember: we were a family of FIVE that brought FOUR suitcases and FOUR backpacks, plus a stroller, trying to sleep in the same 300 square feet.

Miraculously though, one week before we left, Eddie started sleeping 10-11 hour stretches at night. There is a God and he does love me. It still was a family trip instead of a vacation, but that was a nice perk.

Our rooming situation turned out to be totally fine and I was worried for nothing. There was plenty of room and I surprisingly did not feel cramped, which I thought I would be. The stroller went into the closet, the luggage fit under the bed and the backpacks were lined up against one of the walls.

And see that couch above? It turned into a bunk bed for Brooke and Blake. We were also given a pack n’ play for Ed which was smaller than a crib and really convenient to move where we needed it.

The curtains were also really helpful too. We could turn the lights off in the kids’ part of the room, close the curtains and watch TV or talk with our lights on. At bedtime, we also blasted the fan sound from this white noise app. Anything to make those rascals go to bed!

Food

I love that the price for this cruise ship is all inclusive; meaning, you can eat whatever you want whenever you want. We were assigned the early dining time at 5:45 and loved going to these different dining rooms for our meals. A lot of the Disney Magic happens here, so its definitely something you don’t want to miss! Our favorite was probably Tiana’s Place (the beignets are amazing!), followed by Animator’s Palate (you’ll get to see Mickey!)

Around the cruise ship, Daisy’s Delights was where we headed for healthy snacks. (Salads, fresh fruit, etc.)

Gordon and I did share a burger one evening (which was amazing!!) and we tried the pizza too, but the free-flowing soda machines stole my heart.

The breakfast buffet at Cabanas was also surprisingly good too. I was surprised at how good the food was and how great the selections were. Mind you, I was reaching for the eggs, sausage and fresh fruit. Eddie LOVED the Mickey waffles and Blake could not get enough of the blueberry pancakes. For how many people they have to feed with that buffet, I was pleasantly surprised.

Tiana came to every table for pictures! This was one of Brooke’s favorite parts of the trip.

Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay was the best part of the whole experience for my little family. Blake could dig in the sand all day and Brooke could swim. They were in heaven. We had lots of beach chairs all together under cool umbrellas and everything was all quite close in proximity.  It really was as relaxing as it could be. Watching my shirtless husband hold a sleeping baby while I’m holding an ice cold diet coke, lounging on a beach chair watching my two other children play happily on the beach….yeah. Doesn’t get much better then that.

After (free) lunch, Gordon took Eddie back to the ship to get out of the sun while I stuck around with the two older kiddos. We had to board the ship by 4, so we were heading back at 3:30.

The beach was busy, but not annoyingly busy where you couldn’t play. It was perfection. Next time, I want to rent some bikes and lounge on the hammocks.

#momlife Making sure one kid doesn’t fall while watching the other kids in the sand.

Brooke made some friends! These are Kristyn’s kids from the blog Lil’ Luna. They did not want to leave the water! We were also seated right by them at dinner each night too 🙂

Cutie pie Blake heading back to the ship.

Oceaneer Club & Oceaneer Lab

Brooke and Blake LOVED this part of the cruise. The Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab are huge playrooms on board, designated for kids 3-12. Meaning: no adults allowed! We dropped our kids off here daily for at least 4-6 hours because they loved it so much! Disney Wonder staff took good care of them and when we came to pick them up for Dinner, neither of them wanted to leave.

Our last evening on the ship, we let Brooke stay until 10:30! She had so much fun doing crafts and making new friends.

This feature is included in the price of your ticket, so it’s not an extra expense. That may be the best part.

We were able to pay extra for Eddie to go to the It’s a Small World Nursery a few hours as well, though he is a mama’s boy and didn’t like it nearly as much as Brooke and Blake liked their play areas. Oh well. Maybe when he’s older, he’ll like it?!

I really loved how there were these options for parents who do bring their kids on board. Sometimes you just need some quiet time on the Adult-only deck. Am I right, Moms and Dads?

Like I said before, we cannot recommend a Disney Cruise enough. It was amazing and we cannot wait to go back again!

Thanks again to Disney Social Media Moms Celebration for this amazing trip!

Helpful Links from my post

(some affiliate links below!)

Packing cubes–these will save your life! We have several sets in different colors; everyone is assigned a color and a suitcase. They put bottoms in one, shirts in another, underwear, socks and pajamas in another and then shoes in the last one. It makes packing and unpacking a breeze.

Download this free White Noise App to help your kids go to bed/block out other noises. We have been using this one for years!

Converse Chuck Taylors–super comfy for long days on your feet!

Eddie’s Mickey Shirt//Blake’s Mickey Shirt//Brooke’s Tsum Tsum Shirt//Gord & my Mickey Shirts–we like being those people with matching shirts! Ha! It’s cheaper to buy these before you get to the park 🙂

Our awesome Stroller and Wheeled Board {like an attachable sit and stand}–After trying lots of cheaper stroller options, I finally paid the big bucks for the bugaboo donkey. This is the mono donkey with the wheeled board. It is perfection! Lots of storage, adaptable for our kids and that wheeled board is great for Blake to sit, stand or hop on and off. I’d highly highly recommend this stroller.

If you can afford to get extra fast passes, I think that expense it totally worth it. You get 3 free fast passes daily, but if you are limited on time, I’d recommend getting a few more.

I kept switching Eddie between the stroller and the Baby Bjorn throughout this whole trip. It made traveling through the airport super easy.

Eddie’s Moccasins–I love these because Ed will pull any and all socks off, but he hasn’t quite figured out how to get these moccasins off. Ha! WINNING!

My Sunglasses are inexpensive ones from Target. My kids destroy my stuff, so I refuse to pay the big bucks for sunglasses until they are older.

Many of you know I hate lipstick with a passion. Well, this is my new favorite lip gloss that I wore this whole trip. It is glorious. (I have it in Frivolous.)

The most comfortable jeans I wore this entire trip are these Paige Jeans. They are stretch and work really well for women with smaller waists and larger thighs. Most jeans fit me really weirdly (so….they don’t fit me?!) because I have a pear body shape and I’m not stick thin. Oh, and I’m really really short. But, when I found these jeans, it was a glorious miracle. They fit me! Mind you, I wear the cropped jeans as regular jeans, but whatever. It works. I have this pair and this black pair. Within the Paige Jeans brand, if you look for the Verdugo style, you should be good 🙂

Try not to forget to pack sunscreen and a few beach toys for Castaway Cay. Of course they have it on the island, but it’s expensive. Learn from our mistakes. Bring it yourself 🙂 Luckily, we did remember goggles for Brooke.

For the cruise ship, bring lanyards for your key cards. They are your access to getting on and off the boat, your ‘credit card’ of sorts and your key for your room. You can’t punch a hole into it, so you need a lanyard like this one. Buying one before is cheaper than buying one on the boat.

Check-in for your cruise ONLINE before you get there! It makes the process so much quicker. Also, sign the kids up for Oceaneer Club ahead of time too. That way, you just have to pick up your wristbands instead of fill out paperwork.

 

 

 

Read more of our favorites

5 Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Wow! Dream vacay there! Looks like you had so much fun lucky girl!!

    Reply
  2. I just got back from a cruise on the Disney Wonder. This was my second Disney cruise. They are so worth the money! Unfortunately, it was very windy on Castaway Cay day so we barely spent time on the beach.

    Reply
  3. I. love. your pictures! What a great family time that looked simply magical! We are thinking about going for the first time this year, and I’ve been a little overwhelmed at the thought of going but after reading this I am so ready!!! Thanks for letting us in on a peek of your trip together.
    God Bless,
    Leslie
    ps. Now I’m browsing those bathing suits!

    Reply
  4. Looks like you had a memorable experience, I think Disney knows how to do it. The pictures are beautiful. When I take pictures and the kids aren’t looking at the camera (or won’t), always turn out to be my favorite ones. Love your bathing suit too, by the way.

    Reply