This is the second post in the series about our trip to Disney. You can read the first post about the planning process here.
When I started the whole process, the one thing I wasn't really looking forward to was the travel to and from Disney. I mean is anyone EVER really all that excited about going that far with two little kids? Didn't think so. Since I know my personal limit in the car is the beach, there was never any debate around flying vs. driving for my family - I knew all along we would be flying. (Luckily, Sage knows me well, too, and also knew immediately driving wasn't an option!)
We booked a direct flight into Orlando International Airport, and I would recommend anyone flying with little kids do the same. The flight was about an hour and a half, and I think that was perfect! While the kids were both really excited about flying, and I felt like I brought them a good amount of things to keep them occupied (more on that later!), anything else would have been too long for Baby Sage I think.
Since we arrived in Orland right around noon, we decided to have lunch immediately in the airport food court. It is good sized, and we figured eating before anyone got too hungry and cranky was the best decision. It worked perfectly for our family, because that 45 minute travel-time to the hotel would have been a bit much on empty stomachs.
We had arranged transportation on Disney's Magical Express, which is complimentary motor coach service from the airpot to the hotel. My favorite thing about this is that we never had to go to baggage claim! About two weeks prior to our trip, I received a set of yellow luggage tags. All I had to do was place these on the bags, and Disney arranged to have those bags delivered directly to our rooms. It was amazing! I definitely recommend going this route, but as a tip: make sure you pack anything you might need upon arrival in your carry-on luggage, because the delivery service can take up to three hours.
Since we had planned to go into the Magic Kingdom on the day we arrived, I made sure to also pack a small rolling carry-on suitcase with some things we would need immediately. This included a change of clothes for myself, Emma's Elsa dress (for the reservations we had at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique followed by dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table), and of course, our Magic Bands! The rolling suitcase also held the kids' backpacks with activities until we boarded the plane, and they both got all of their own stuff.
I started packing about a week in advance so that there was no way I would forget something. I'd pack, discuss with friends, add to it, repeat. So what did we (I) pack?
- Travel-size dishwashing liquid (used to clean sip cups each night in the hotel)
- Bottle Brush
- Sippy Cups
- Disposable Bibs
- Gallon & Quart size Ziplock bags (to hold ice, clothes, etc)
- Medicines & Thermometer
- Clothing for each of us
- Diapers, & Wipes
- Travel-Size First Aid Kit (Neosporin & a variety of bandages were in it)
- Blister Bandages
- Autograph Pillow Cases: A lot of people do "Autograph Books" but I knew those would get shoved in a drawer. So instead, I bought pillowcases on Etsy, and then got a clipboard, some binder clips, and fabric pens for each kid. And if the number of times Emma has brought it out and looked at the signatures is any indication, this was a good idea!!!
- Activity stuff for the plane for the kids
Each day, Sage carried a backpack into the park. This was typically stuff that we might need throughout the day, but didn't need at our fingertips at all times. When it was time to go on rides, he just left it with the stroller. We made sure there was nothing in it couldn't be replaced if needed, but we did not have any issues! In that bag, we had the following things every day:
- Autograph Pillowcases
- Change of clothes for both kids (never know when an accident can happen or when a Mickey Ice Cream Bar can make a total mess). I put these in gallon size bags in the bottom of the backpack.
- Changing Pad, Diapers, & Wipes
- First Aid Kit
- Disposable Bibs for Baby Sage
- Sippy Cups
In turn, every day I carried a cross-body purse that held the things we might need immediate access to, like:
- Travel-size baby wipes
- Travel-size Kleenex
- Hand Sanitizer
- Travel-size Advil
- Cell Phones
If you've made it this far, I'm willing to bet you still have two questions, the first of which would be, "So just what did you pack for the kids for the airplane????"
Disney-related stuff of course!
So, we decided to surprise the kids with the trip. This was done partly (ok, mostly) to preserve my sanity - I knew they would need a heads-up, but I also knew I couldn't handle questions like Emma asked about her trip to visit Momma G. Originally, we had planned to only tell them two days prior to departure, but since Emma can be extremely quiet, reserved, and shy, we wanted to have time to prepare her for the trip. This worked out really well, as Emma never hesitated to hug the characters, ask for autographs, etc., which is all very out of character for her. If you have a shy child, definitely take the time to prepare them!!
So the Sunday night before the trip, we gave both kids baskets filled with Disney-related items. They were both incredibly excited to see the Mickey and Minnie stuffed animals - so excited, they didn't even think to ask what all of this meant! We had to prod them a bit, and told them "We're going to Disney World!"
And... they both looked at us in confusion. Emma asked, "What's Disney World?"
Not exactly the response we were expecting, but when we told them it's where Mickey, Cinderella, Elsa, Anna, etc., lived, they started to get excited. And when we pulled out the Disney Vacation Planning DVD, they got really excited!! We also watched YouTube videos of kids getting their hair done at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, meeting characters, parades, and more.
Here's a list of what the kids got in their baskets (and then took on the airplane):
- Crayola Color Wonder and Markers (these are great for travel because markers only work on special color wonder paper!!)
- Coloring Books and Crayons
- Melissa & Doug Minnie Mouse Dress Up Play Set (for Emma)
- Melissa & Doug Mickey Mouse Magnetic Puzzle (for Baby Sage)
- They each carried on their Mickey and Minnie stuffed animals
- Usborne Travel Activity Book (for Emma) sold at Cloud 9
- Usborne Airport Sticker Book (for Baby Sage) sold at Cloud 9
And naturally, they both got new Disney outfits to wear on the plane!
So, regarding that one last question you might be having - "Bailey, you didn't mention a camera...? No, I didn't. Because we didn't take one.
Before you think I've lost my mind, not taking a camera to document this amazing trip, let me tell you about the Memory Maker Package.
Basically Disney has photographers at hundreds of locations across the parks. These photos connected to your My Disney Experience with a touch of your Magic Band. You can conveniently view and download your pictures within minutes if you have the Memory Maker Package.
We decided to purchase this add-on package, and I'm so glad we did. It was well worth the money - never worrying about our camera being stolen, having to be responsible for capturing photos, etc. We got all the pictures we could have dreamed of wanting, and with no stress!
My next post will be dedicated entirely to our time in the Magic Kingdom. As always, if you have questions or comments, feel free to do so! I'll be responding!