Last month I was able to check off one of my “bucket list” items.
To take my family to Disney World.
When I learned I was being given the opportunity to attend and help present at a nursing leadership conference in Orlando, FL, I immediately got Brian on board to have him and Miller go with me. We spent our second year wedding anniversary in Orlando visiting close friends and walking miles after miles at Disney. It was my third time at Disney and Brian’s first. While I enjoyed it more, he knew I wanted to come back one day with our future family.
We both knew this was our chance to see our dear friends again and take Miller to one of my favorite places. I literally counted down the days until we got on the plane!
From start to finish, our entire mini vacation was just as we had hoped. Miller flew for the first time with no issues and was SO good. If you follow me on Instagram, you would know Miller is addicted to the movie Trolls – this is where it all started haha. We are thankful for amazing flight staff who helped us to get better seats, the movie Trolls, snacks, books, and the pilots who let Miller sit in the cockpit with them (cue mom tears)!
We had no plans going into our day at Disney because 1) Miller was only 17 months old and 2) We didn’t want the pressure of having time constraints to stress us out. Because of this, we had an absolutely amazing day. Once again, Miller was a champ and napped in his stroller when needed and never complained!
What did we do at Disney with a 17 month old? We started our day at Magic Kingdom, consumed way too much food at Epcot, and ended our day back at Magic Kingdom. We used our FastPass+ passes to ride the Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin ride. We had to be selective in our rides because of Miller’s age and height . . . and if we had to do it again, we’d maybe choose something else over the Pirates ride. As adults, it just was not entertaining nor worth the 1.5 hour wait we almost did three years ago.
The Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin ride was our favorite by far! The smiles on my boys’ faces were absolutely priceless. As an adult, Brian loved the ability to “be a little boy again,” by shooting lasers, and Miller was just so mesmerized by the lights and colors! It was the last activity of our night and worth the wait.
One of our favorite memories of the day was walking through the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse late into the evening as just the three of us. There was not a single person walking through it, leaving so much space for Miller to climb the stairs and us to take our time. We could also see all of the Christmas lights below us which was a sweet moment!
Brian has a passion for international travel and food, therefore, Epcot has always been a must stop for us. While there, we got to enjoy the final day of the Food & Wine Festival, tasting food samples from all Around the World!
Our recommendations when visiting Disney as a family:
- Go with the flow. We personally loved not having set plans.
- Visit The Baby Care Centers when needed for diaper changes, feedings, water, etc. Each park has one and they are absolutely perfect for families with little ones!
- If you are planning on staying for the entire Happily Ever After fireworks show and/or until park closing, be prepared to wait 45 minutes or more to get back to your vehicle. The crowds are the absolute worst when leaving at the end of the night. We left the park at 10pm but did not get to our vehicle until after 11:15pm.
- Bring your own food, snacks, and bottles of water to save money!
- Purchase Park Hopper tickets and use your FastPass+ feature when possible for your three favorite rides! FastPass+ selections can be made up to 30 days in advance!
- Strike up true conversations with the cast members and employees. We received a free slushy drink from a cast member who we joked with and learned about. It was the small details such as this one that made the day so enjoyable.
While in Orlando we also had the opportunity to stay at The Marriott’s Orlando World Center where my boys got to enjoy hours of pool and slide time. Miller’s first time down a water slide quickly turned into fifty times haha.
Hope you find a day you and your family can enjoy time together at Disney!
love always, kylie