May 22, 2014

Disney World with (2) two year olds! Part One of the Journey.

We went to Disney last month. We had a BLAST. A tiring crazy blast, but still a blast. Traveling with two little ones is always interesting- but Sienna and Stella really did well for how young they are. My overall conclusion is this: Disney with a toddler is so much fun because their eyes light up with joy so frequently you can't even capture it, but it's exhausting and you need a super good plan to prepare yourself. Worth it? Yes. Tiring? Heck yeah. 

Prep: Just stay at a Disney hotel. Make it easy on yourself. If you want to do Magic Kingdom (the only park necessary for toddlers in my opinion) stay at a Monorail hotel or a ferry hotel for quick transport. Get magic bands and fast pass plus. All worth it.  We had a meal plan and it was easy and made things go fast but still unsure if it was worth it money-wise.

Airport/Flight: We booked an 8 am flight which seemed uber early, meaning we'd need to be out our door and in the car on the road by 6am or earlier. Shockingly, it worked totally fine with some milk and a half asleep babe in the car. Also we always have J drop Sienna and I off at the terminal and THEN go park. We check bags curbside and meet up inside. In the airport, we had each girl wheel their own small backpack bag. GENIUS I tell you. I only carried sienna's onto the plane, she was obsessed with it otherwise. 

Stella + Sienna in their pink airport outfits with wheelie Minnie backpacks
 We packed a TON in her little backpack (tablet with movies, new small toys, coloring books, etc) and let her pull out things as she got bored. We went with these headphones and S was finicky with them. She did learn eventually she could only hear her movies with them on, but still was variable on if she wanted them. In my bag? Jelly beans, m&ms and other "bribery" devices. When you're on a plane, you just need your kid to buckle the darn buckle at take off and not to slither on the floor. 

She probably just had a jelly bean and was told to sit and watch Mickey for awhile. 

The jellybeans were a lifesaver. Oh and stickers. We let her just put them everywhere and then cleaned them up at the end of the flight. 

1. My sister in law taught us this trick: One parent boards the plane, the other waits with the toddler until the last possible second and THEN boards. Avoids chaos and sitting time.
2. Bring your kid treats they don't usually have, it really does help to entice them to exhibit nice lovely behavior on the flight. 
3. Headphones are hard- practice a lot before you actually go on the plane. 
4. Get them their own bag they can carry/wheel. Saves a ton of energy. 
5. Pray that you don't have delays- this flight was pretty easy and we were thankful.

Disney Express Transportation: So I have some major mixed feelings on Disney Express. They do take your luggage to the resort for you which is awesome, but it takes awhile. I'd say between landing and checking into our room, it took a total of 2 hours. We may have saved major time by a taxi, but the girls actually did amazing on the Disney Express bus and sat still. I think they were just impressed they weren't tethered by car seats. So pros: everything taken care of for you, no worrying about luggage. Cons: takes awhile and could be hard if you had super overtired kids. Also your luggage gets there about 2-3 hours after you. So pack things you need (like your kid's sound machine for nap time).

Checking in/Setting up: We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge Villas and we were impressed from the moment we arrived at the hotel. Super fast check in (with our magic bands!) I strongly suggest if you have toddlers in diapers who still drink milk ordering your supplies from a local company who delivers right to the hotel instead of lugging all of that with you on the plane. Garden Grocer had our food there before we arrived, and anything cold stayed with the bell service in a fridge. Genius on both Disney and the grocer's account. When we arrived, the food was brought directly to our room! We also rented strollers ( from Kingdom Strollers)  and the bell hop brought them RIGHT to us! So nice for our tired toddlers. This check in was seamless, our room was ready early, and they pointed us right to the in hotel cafe for lunch (we were starving).  And the girls were already so excited they could barely contain themselves. I think just day one was enough for them to want to come back!

So part one is, with two (sometimes headstrong) toddlers, we had a pretty smooth travel day. We prepped appropriately and were so glad. . Next up is the details on our great hotel and the pools (amazing) and what to do on a non-park day in Disney (probably Sienna's favorite day of all!)



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