I am so thankful that we decided to do this. Elin is currently in the all things princesses stage (does it really ever end?). She is obsessed! In fact that is basically all she plays with all day, everyday. She has two type of princess figurines the mommy figurines (as she has named them) and the baby figurines (these are located at the checkout at Wal-Mart, but be advised you may have to go to 20 different Wal-Marts to find them, yep, that mom). Her favorite princess currently is Punzel in her words, however, it changes daily sometimes hourly. We dress up as a princess, we play with princesses, we watch princess movies, the girl is obsessed. Needless to say her agenda for Disney consisted of finding the princesses.
Just for the record I did not plan this Disney trip, my mom did, so the blog post will not be filled with planning a Disney trip. I do know that she used a travel agent and that it was easy to set up the Magic Bands and Fast Passes. From all the blogs I have read it also appears that travel agent is the way to go, they usually can save you a little money in the long run. The Magic Bands were something new to us. The Mr. and I went to Disney right before we got married and the Fast Pass was the big thing then. Now they have these cute little bands that have everything connected to them, your hotel room, your tickets, your Fast Pass, your Photo Pass, basically everything you need is on that Magic Band. My experience in the planning process consisted of selecting the Magic Band colors, and selecting the Fast Pass activities. I did not know this but when you initially make your Fast Pass selections you can only pick 3, as you complete the activities you can then add more, make sure you just download the App before you go.
The other part of the planning that I did was deciding on what to do with the kids stroller wise. We have a double stroller but I NEVER travel with it when we are flying. Typically when we travel we just take the umbrella strollers with us and they do the trick. Disney was a new ballgame, lots of walking and sunshine (we knew BayBay would need some shade). My sister in law had told us that there are companies that you can rent strollers, pack in plays, car seats, etc. from and she recommended that we go with this option (she has a 4 and 6 year old and they still use the double stroller, easiest way to keep up with your kids in a large crowd). I looked at the Disney strollers but they just didn't seem to work for Baylor, they are hard and plastic, and look like a pain to push. I looked at two different stroller companies:
Both companies carry the same types of strollers. We went with Magic Stroller simply because they were maybe $5.00 cheaper (our stroller had a little more wear and tear on it than my brother and sister in law, they have always rented from Orlando Stroller, probably why ours was cheaper). The nice thing about renting a stroller from one of these companies is that a.) you don't have to worry about anything happening to your stroller at the airport b.) it is there when you check in to your hotel and you just return to the same place c.) they are nice strollers (whoever thought of this idea was a genius). Just make sure when you are renting the stroller that you include the rain cover, its free, and you never know when its going to rain in Florida. Also I know black is more attractive but we went with a color and it was easy to pick out in the stroller parking area. If you do go with black make sure you bring something to tie to your stroller the workers do move the strollers in the area to keep them tidy and make room.
We were in Orlando for one night and one day. We stayed at Disney's Coronado Springs. It wasn't anything to write home about, probably hadn't been updated in 20 years, but it had a comfy bed and a decent breakfast. We didn't get to enjoy the pool, but my brother and sister in law (they had been there for a week) said that the pool was pretty awesome. The hotel itself was huge. Note to all those first time Disney people, make sure you ask the front desk for your "First Time at Disney" button. I did not know this but luckily my sister in law is an experienced Disney goer and made sure that Elin and Baylor both got their buttons. Elin wore hers around with pride all day, nearly impossible to get it off of her because she loved it so much (on a side note we are still wearing our Disney Magic Band, love toddlers).
YaYa Bell and Jude at breakfast
Since we were only doing Disney for a day we went with Magic Kingdom as our park of choice. Magic Kingdom is perfect for a little girl who loves princesses. Our Fast Passes for the day pretty much consisted of meeting Mickey and the Princesses. As usual upon arrival you are blown away with the beauty of Magic Kingdom. Nothing screams Disney like a castle. Elin loved it and was in awe. Our first Fast Pass was pretty much as soon as we entered Magic Kingdom.
Check this link for shirt info (side note she can even get tall man sizes)
We hit the ground running and started with a visit to Rapunzel and friend (which happened to be Princess Tiana, one of Elin's favorites, loves NOLA like mom and dad). I think it is safe to say that Elin was star struck. I feel like she was thinking "wait, they really exist?" Obviously the people who are playing these princesses are amazing at their job, they stay in character no matter what circumstances they face. Rapunzel was perfect hugged Elin, talked to her about being a princess, and really made her first meet and greet a great experience. Elin was just as excited to see Tiana, and apparently she is a rare find.
Merida was our next stop. Merida is probably Elin's second favorite princess after Rapunzel (she is definitely my favorite, the Mr. thinks she's pretty awesome too) she was just as starstruck. Merida's little area is nicely set up because they have a little table for kids to color while you wait in line. Disney truly knows how to do things the right way.
Showing Merida her muscles
Elin's beautiful artwork
We had a quick lunch at Tomorrowland Terrace (TIP: If you are staying for the week, do the meal plan), and then headed out to see Mickey. Now when I was a kid I remember you had to search the park high and low to find that silly mouse. Now they have a nice little set up, and I definitely recommend a Fast Pass for Mickey because the regular line was super long (TIP: Ana and Elsa were not at Magic Kingdom, but if you plan to see them Fast Pass them as well the line was 120 minutes long the day we were there, YIKES). This Mickey was very unique, he talked! We were very taken a back by that and equally as surprised when Elin decided to hug him. I think Baylor was just trying to figure out what it was because he just kept giving Mickey the stare down!