Yeah, so. I am still having a terrible case of “can’t think about anything except my impending vacay” coupled with a random bout of strep throat (baby Marc of all people! And they say babies don’t get strep…). I feel like I haven’t had that much to say and then I realized that I promised some of you my Disney plans. And that I can always talk about
So, first and foremost, I just discovered that if you want to buy the pre-trip Photopass+ (it is discounted if you purchase it before you go) that you have to do so 14 days prior to your trip. I am kicking myself repeatedly over this. I can’t believe I didn’t bother to purchase it earlier, now of course it is too late and I’m going to be stuck paying full price. Full price is about $200, which is crazy steep but I do believe is worth it for us. When you’re a photographically-challenged person such as me, combined with multiple character experiences and small kids, I say it is worth it. Actually, I’m going to write a whole post about this later.
Now for the actual plans. I told you that Marc has a conference the first few days, and for that portion of the trip we are staying at the Hilton at Downtown Disney. I’m not one for staying off property with kids, but this is practically on property (and really, I have no choice in the matter). You still get Extra Magic Hours and you still get bus transportation to the parks. Whatever. The first day (arrival day) Marc has to go right into conference mode, so I’ll be unpacking, shopping for necessities like groceries (I’m not doing Garden Grocer this time since we’ll have a rental car) and hitting up Downtown Disney.
My lovely friend Deb from A Frugal Friend (who I met at the very first Disney Social Media Moms) passed along this post about a fun little play area at the T-Rex restaurant. I was already planning on going here for a meal at some point, mainly because I just signed up for the Landry’s club so I’ll have $25 credit to use. I could also use that credit at Rainforest Cafe, but I’m trying to prep Rayna that we will not be going to RC since we have one here at home and we want to try different things. :) So the first day we will be just getting combobulated and having low-key fun at T-Rex and Downtown Disney.
When Marc’s working and I’m on my own with the kids for the day, I’m going to hit up Animal Kingdom. I feel like this would be an easier park for me to do with the kids by myself and Marc wouldn’t be missing those iconic Magic Kingdom moments with us. Aren’t I kind?
Once he’s done with this business nonsense, we are switching to the Yacht Club resort. I’m very excited about this; we stayed at YC last year and loved it. The pool area is amazing, you are just a short walk from the Boardwalk, and my favorite part: you can walk right into Epcot. LOVE that! There’s actually a character breakfast next door at the Cape May Cafe, but since Marc took the kids last year while I was in the conference, we are skipping that this year.
When it comes to character meals we are doing Akershus for some princess action, Disney Junior Play & Dine (because Special Agent Oso is a “must” for Rayna, isn’t that cute!?) and also ‘Ohana so we can 1. see what all the fuss is about and 2. get some quality time with Lilo & Stitch. That’s kind of a lot of character breakfasts, but I figure we are at primo character stage here. The kids are just shy of 5 and 2, and meeting characters is the main focus of the trip for them. I figured Akershus would save us a little $ since it’s not as expensive as Cinderella’s Royal Table. I was DYING to get a reservation to the new Be Our Guest restaurant, but it is booked solid of course. I call all the time and there’s nothing open. I am going to try my luck the week of (some people who can’t make it might actually cancel so they don’t get the charge on their credit card) and also try walking up and waiting. You never know!
As far as other spendy extras, we are doing Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique again. It was SO STINKIN’ PRECIOUS last year, and was really a highlight for all of us. We bought Rayna the “Belle” dress at the Disney Store this last weekend (there was 25% off going on) and we’re trying the Downtown Disney location this time. I’m definitely looking forward to this almost as much as Rayna
The other thing I’m trying is the Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party for the Wishes fireworks show. This is one thing that my friends (cough, Sarah) are telling me to skip, but I don’t know, I just really want to do it. They basically have a little all you can eat dessert party an hour before the fireworks show and then you have a reserved space to watch the fireworks show over the castle. Yes, the location may not be the greatest, but it is right in Tinker Bell’s flight path from the castle and I think that will just blow Rayna’s mind. The other main factor is that I HATE crowds. Like, more than hate them. I think it’s another anxiety thing, but I feel really ‘fight or flight’ around crowds of people and I will just bail on the fireworks (and parades) because I can’t stand being around all the people. Yes, there will still be people at this dessert party crowding around the railing, but it’ll be different. I’m aware that I sound insane.
Do you have anything that you think is a “must do” for us? I’ve been obsessively preparing for this trip and I am heinously excited, if you can’t tell. I will gladly accept any and all suggestions on your faves, especially for the little people