If you have been following me on Snap or Instastories, I am sure that you saw a lot of my family vacation to Disney. We went with a VERY large group of 13, 7 adults and 6 kids. We stayed in an Airbnb in Kissimee, which is about 15-20 minutes from Orlando. Because the kids varied in ages, we decided on 3 different parks to accommodate all. We decided on Sea World, Busch Gardens, and of course, Magic Kingdom.
Because my kids are 5 and 1, we were most excited for Magic Kingdom. We had dreams and thoughts of princesses, castles, fun rides, and MICKEY. I was so excited for the day (maybe more than the kids 🙂 ) I made sure the kids had their Mickey clothes and we all wore matching red Chucks to prepare for a day of fun in the park. Overall, we had such a good time. But there were definitely some moments that I loved, some I hated, and some things I would do differently next time. Below I talk about the good, the bad, and the unforgettable moments.
- The ability to spend lots of time with family and watch kids have such a good time. Cherish the moments. Even during the hustle and bustle, stop and take the time to enjoy the moment.
- Staying in Kissimmee allowed us to be close to the parks without shelling out Disney money. We had days where the kids just played in the pool and enjoyed each others company. This also gave the adults a rest day to prepare or recuperate from park days.
- All the different things the kids saw and experienced: from dolphin shows, to characters, to lots of different animals and rides.
- We bought tickets in advance, so there was less chaos and less cost at the park door.
- Mickey and Minnie, DUH!
- The heat: Everyone talks about the heat in Florida but you won’t understand unless you are in it, in a park, with 6 kids!! I would definitely recommend going in any season but summer. But if you are brave and decide to go during summer months, freeze water bottles, buy water fan sprays before going to the park because they double in cost at the park, and dress loosely and light.
- The rain: It rains on and off throughout the day in Florida. If you are not prepared, it can truly ruin your day. Our Sea World trip was cut short due to torrential downpour. I recommend buying ponchos ahead of time because they also triple in cost at the park.
- The money: Even when you prepare, it is so easy to spend a lot of money. I planned to bring lunches, not buy souvenirs, and to really do Disney on a budget. But we got sucked into wanting to experience everything and ended up spending over 500 dollars just in spending money, not including admission to parks.
- Different agendas: Going with a large group can be difficult when everyone wants to do different things. Although I believe we did a good job of catering to all members of the group, there were times when it felt like it was impossible to appease everyone. I would recommend planning ahead of time what everyone wants to do and being okay with splitting up so that everyone leaves happy.
- Kid’s Mood Swings: Even in the happiest place on Earth, kids find reasons to have tantrums and spoil the experience. Zoie spent a large portion of the day being bratty due to not getting toys she wants, being hot, and many other reasons. I recommend mentally preparing your children of things that they should expect. Next time, I will give Zoie a budget and let her know she can spend her money as she wishes. She can spend it all one toy or ice cream. But however she spends it she must be content with her purchase.
- The Fantasy Parade: Watching how excited Zoie got to see Belle, Princess Tiana, Elsa and Anna, Ariel, Cinderella, Elena of Avalor, Tinkerbell, and Mickey and Minnie. Zack(1) even got excited when Mickey and Minnie came down. He pointed and yelled “Mickey Mouse”.
- Main Street and the Castle: No matter how many times I see it, it is still just as beautiful. It has a truly magical feel that makes everyone feel like a kid again.
- Riding the rides with Zack: It was exciting that my one-year-old was able to experience a lot of the rides. He enjoyed the Dumbo ride and Aladdin magic carpet ride.
- The pictures of my memories: Since I have been back, I have not stopped looking at all the pictures of the kids enjoying themselves, the adults enjoying themselves and all the magic of Disney
Now its time for pictures: (All million of them!!!)
Tips for Next Time:
- Freeze LOTS of bottles of water. The amount of water we went through in a day was record-breaking. You can bring small coolers into Disney so it pays to be prepared with water.
- Plan out your day. If you plan out your day thoroughly, you can ensure that you do everything that you planned to do in the day.
- Bring a back-up pair of shoes. I wore my Converse and my feet were hurting mid-day. I wished I had flip-flops the entire time.
- Do your fast passes early in the day. You can get fast passes for 3 rides so you don’t have to wait in line. The best rides like Splash Mountain and Space Mountain go quickly so we were unable to get passes for these rides and the wait was about 50 minutes.
- Buy ponchos from Walmart ahead of time. Because it rains so frequently, you should be prepared ahead of time and not be forced to spend 10-12 dollars on one in the parks.
- Bring lots of snacks for the kids. The heat and extreme amounts of walking can be a lot for them. Snacks in between help ease the stress of the day.
- The Fireworks show at 9PM is a must. It was so beautiful and while the fireworks are playing, the castle lights up with animations of different movies and characters. It does get extremely crowded so you should get there early to secure a spot.
- Prep your child ahead of time. There are toys, souvenirs, ice cream, etc all over the place. Explain what they can expect to get before time to reduce the chances of tantrums.
- Last but not least, take a lot of pictures and try to have fun. Although Disney is fun, it can be stressful. Try not to be stressed and enjoy the moment.