>> Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Growing up, my parents took my sister and I to Disney World at least once a year from the time I was born until we were out of high school. Before my grandpa retired, his office was on Disney property. Therefore, we were incredibly lucky that we basically had season passes to the most magical place in the world! My parents would load us in the car and drive through the night from St. Louis to Orlando to see my dad's parents and Micky Mouse. And even now, many years later, after my parents divorced and my grandparent's passed away, we continue to find our way back every few years.
It's no surprise or secret that I've been dreaming of taking Jackson to Disney since the day he was born. Having experienced the magic so many times before, I have been chomping at the bit to go as a Mommy and see it all through Jackson's eyes. So, you can imagine the excitement when my mom called 9 days before Christmas and told us that Santa was taking the family to Disney - the day after Christmas!
Let me back-up and say that my mom and step-dad were planning on taking the family to Aruba this summer, as our Christmas gift. They were in the process of booking our plane tickets and my sister and I half joking, told our mom that a trip to Disney would be better than a week in Aruba. Just to float the idea out there... Don't get me wrong, the trip to St. John's last summer was amazing. But, packing up 3 jeeps loads of us, washing beach towels and packing coolers every.single.day and protecting 2 babies from the Caribbean sun wasn't exactly paradise. It was a great time, but it was a lot of work and travel, especially with 11 people.
So, back to Disney.
Seeing Disney at Christmas time was on all of our bucket lists (and everyone else in the world, it's the busiest week for Disney. Go the week before or after). So, we were totally pushing for Disney at Christmas, but for next year...not in 10 days! But, my parents totally have a life's too short to wait, pack your bags, let's go attitude, so the trip was booked!
We drove from Louisiana, it was about a 12 hour drive. Totally doable, but it was a long trip for the babies. The last 2 hours were hell both coming and going. We left at 4AM going, and were at the parks that night by 7PM. Coming home, we didn't leave until early afternoon and got home around 3AM. Since my parents sprung for the whole trip, Mr. and I rented a beastly suburban for the road trip. It was nice to have the extra space and only have to take 2 vehicles.
|Morning pit stop for fresh diapers, gas and clothes!|
Pro's for this hotel also included being able to walk to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and the BoardWalk. I can't begin to tell you how nice it was to be able to walk to the parks as well as all the the BoardWalk has to offer. From the ESPN Zone to the Dance Hall, we hit it all!
We got our Disney tickets through Travelocity.com with our hotel. My parent's got us each 3-day park hoppers, which came with 2 extra days. Buy 3, get 2 FREE. I will say that 3 days at Disney with two babies was perfect. By the 4th day, we were exhausted and by the 5th day you couldn't pay us to do another day.
I bought the Disney Photo Pass, but I also brought my camera. I was thankful to have both - the photos that Disney took were not great and the night pictures sucked. This was by far my biggest disappointment. The night photos were so terrible and blurry I had to delete them. The majority of the character photos were blurry too. However, having photos of us all together was worth the $99. Just be sure and have the photographer take the photo with your camera as well as theirs.
|First night - first photo - utter disappointment in Photo Pass|
|Group shot - Epcot - Photo Pass Highlight|
|Mickey ears for lunch:)|
|Waving hi to all his friends, from the Liberty Tree Tavern|
|Pooh Bear, first character sighting!|
|Grandparents and the babies, headed home so we could enjoy extra magic hours until 3AM|
|So bummed that this is the only pic we have "out" with the siblings! Test Track, Epcot...before we got escorted out after extra magic hours ended:)|