in , , by Gavin and Kylie Plus 4, 4:25 AM
We took off to Disney World over Spring Break this year, and while I was worried it was going to be more work than it was worth, we were all pleasantly surprised!  We had such a good time and I already have plans to go back.  There are obviously LOTS of different ways that you can do and visit Disney but I really feel like for the ages of our kids, we didn't really have any complaints!

We took off early Monday morning and our only goal for the day was to get checked into our VRBO house and get groceries ordered.  If we have learned anything from past trips of traveling with our kids, it is to set your expectations low for travel days and realistically the whole trip.  Over tired and over stimulated kids can be nothing short of a disaster.  We were also super fortunate to be traveling with my parents so we had a coupe of extra sets of hands.  My brother and sister in law also met us in Florida to spend the week with us. 

As for the plane, always pay the couple of extra dollars to pick your seats.  I didn't do this once when the girls were babies and Treyton was 3, and they placed Gavin, Treyton, and me like 5 rows apart each and said they couldn't do anything to help us since the flight was full.  Thankfully there were nice people on board that were willing to move.  Trigg was a "lap child" on this flight but we got super lucky and had an open seat in our row.   Our kids get their iPads/tablets VERY little at home so when we got seated on the plane, I let them have them and had downloaded their favorite Netflix and Disney shows on them. 

In the past, I had packed a backpack full of activities for each kid.  Having littles carry their own backpack is just a bit of a nightmare though.  This time around, we had Treyton carry his backpack that held everyones iPad/tablet, 2 coloring books, and some crayons.  That was it and it was enough to keep everyone occupied the whole flight.

Trigg got a little restless towards the end of the flight and literally fell asleep as we were landing.  We rented a 12 passenger van ahead of time and were able to easily get that picked up at the airport.  A couple of thoughts on this!  I have tried to save money in the past on rental cars--JUST DON'T!  Make sure you rent from a well known rental company.  You are guaranteed to have a nicer vehicle.  We have also rented carseats in the past from the rental companies and they are always nicer/cleaner from places like AVIS, Enterprise, and Alamo.  We took our own carseats this time around because it was going to be super expensive to rent them.  I bought these carseat bags ahead of time and we put two seats in each one, and then used our double BOB stroller to cart them and Trigg through the airport.  It was actually much easier than I had anticipated.

Second thought--if possible, fly to and from smaller airports.  We were a but further away from Disney when we landed but we absolutely saved time getting our luggage and rental car.  Gavin was able to walk straight up to the desk for the van and our luggage was already on the carousel by the time we made it to baggage claim.

And lastly, check your carseats with your luggage.  They fly free with every airline we have ever used.  Keep your stroller and gate check it.  While your child may not always want to ride in it, it's a savior to get everything to the gate and serves as a bit of a pack mule.

We had about an hour drive to our VRBO.  This is where I feel like you can do Disney in two very different ways.  I am not totally sure which one is a better bang for your buck but staying in a VRBO was the best route for us with our kids being so little still.  I am sure that staying on a Disney resort also works well for little kids but we really enjoyed being in our own house.

On a resort: You can shuttle to and from the airport and to the parks so no rental car.  You can bundle meals and park tickets for a cheaper price.  But, the resorts are EXPENSIVE to stay at.  There are lots of different price points, but still spendy.  By the time we were committed to going to Disney, we weren't able to get enough rooms for all of us at one spot.

At a VRBO: We did have to rent a vehicle and then pay for parking at the parks.  We were able to eat most meals at our house so just went to Walmart and got groceries.  This allowed us to make breakfast and supper each night except for ordering pizza once, and then we ate lunch at the parks the two days we went but then ate at our house the other days.  Our house was in a gated community that had parks, a small water park and large pool, miniature golf, and our favorite part--our own pool and hot tub.   It also had themed Disney rooms that our kids thought were pretty cool.  Our house was only a 10 minute drive from the parks and like two minutes from a Walmart.

Any minute that we weren't at a Disney park, we were in the pool and/or hot tub in our backyard or at the pool like two blocks away.  If you asked my kids their favorite part of the trip, it would be swimming.  They swam for HOURS every single day--like the first thing they did when they woke up and they swam until it was time to shower and go to bed.

Here is my favorite maternity suit! And the black one from this picture.  It isn't maternity but I just sized up one and it fit at 25 weeks pregnant really well.  I know that there are conflicting opinions about puddle jumpers as well but our kids do really well with them at our pond and they were light weight to put in our suitcase as well.  We use actual life jackets when we are at the river and boating but it makes playing in the sand with toys much easier when they wear these.

Our first full day was spend at Magic Kingdom!  We rode the ferry from the parking lot to the front gates of the park.  The rides opened at 9 so we made it to the park around 8 and never waited in line to get into the parks.  We were able to hit several rides right as they opened and waited in very short lines.

Click HERE to visit the Magic Factory ear shop and make sure to follow them on Instagram to find out when their sales are!

If you ask my kids their favorite ride of the entire trip, the girls would say the horses--aka the carousel which was the very first ride we hopped on.

The Peter Pan ride was also a family favorite.  So many of the "rides" that were a trip through the movie and the animation in them is so impressive.  Trigg and I (being pregnant) could ride all of these.

We paid for the Genie+ service with all of our tickets and it made a HUGE difference in waiting in lines.  We could make our first selection at 7am each morning so I did a little research on which ones we should use our passes for and made sure to select one of these first.  You can make a new Genie+ selection every 120 minutes.  So we would find rides with short lines until our Genie+ ride was up, hit that ride, and typically would make another selection in that time as well.  We never waited in a line longer than 30 minutes so it was very doable for our kids.

Disney's mobile dining was also super slick!  It is all in the app that you use to make your ride selections.  You could pick your restaurant and time, order your food, and then tell them when you arrived and they would let you know when your food was ready.  Then we talked up to the window and our food was ready to pick up.  We had looked into making reservations at actual "sit down" restaurants but had just decided to go this route and it worked really well for our family.   We were able to fit it in when we had a lull in rides and were able to time it so our food was ready as we walked up.

As soon as we finished lunch, we hit up the tea cups.  Trigg had fallen asleep in the stroller so Gavin hung out with him.

He was such a trooper and napped in the stroller for several hours as we kept moving through the park.

The parade may be their favorite part of Magic Kingdom.  They got to see all of the characters and the music and dancing were really entertaining.  They quickly made friends with a girl sitting on the curb beside them and she explained any float they weren't sure what it was.

All smiling at one time was not our strong suit!

They all scored a hat as the day got warm and Treyton was able to wear his Magic Factory ears on his hat.  My brother and sister in law own the Magic Factory and 3D print a huge selection of Disney themed ears.  We all had several pairs we could sport throughout the parks.

Pit stop for some snacks! The smoothies and ice cream hit the spot.

Triggy was up and ready to rumble!  We had used a Genie+ selection to get us all on the Dumbo ride.

This was our last ride of the day around 3pm.  We were all getting tired and our kids just wanted to go back to the house to swim.  I feel like we hit most of the rides they were able to ride and saw most of the park.  At that point, we were going to get some supper, let the kids rest, and then possibly come back for the fireworks at 9.

It was a wee bit bright and this was the best picture we got.  Haha!

The girls both crashed on our walk out of the park and for the ferry ride back to our van.

It ended up raining fairly hard that night so Gavin and I stayed home with our kids while Kolton, Emmy, and my parents went back for the fireworks.  Sounds like we really missed out but our kids were fast asleep by 9 and we felt like getting them to bed for the next full day at Animal Kingdom was probably the right move.  This would have been a time when staying on a Disney resort would have been nice.  We could have easily went back for naps a bit earlier in the day and then rallied to make it back to the fireworks.

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  1. May I ask more about the VRBO?

    1. Yes! We stayed in the Windsor Hills community in Kissimmee, FL!

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