2012 11/12

Sharing the magic of Disney with my kids

I have been waiting seven years for this. Seven years and I finally got to share my love for Disney World and the magic it holds with my kids! Yes, it’s going to be one of those ushy-gushy posts!

Honestly, I wasn’t sure if this trip would ever happen. It seemed like things just kept coming up or getting in the way. But finally, we pulled the trigger — logged on to Disney.com, picked out a hotel, flights, park tickets, meal plans and hit GO! And there was no turning back!!

And it was amazing! It exceeded my expectations in so many ways. And, while I could never truly convey in words the impact this trip had on my family, I will share with you my 7 most favorite moments (in order of occurrence):

1. Traveling with my kids

This was probably the #1 biggest pre-trip stressor I had. Three kids…on a plane…for 2.5 hours? I could smell the disaster already. But there was no disaster. No temper tantrums. No melt-downs. No dirty diapers mid flight. Abbi sat next to Tim and did homework, colored, and played on her InnoTab 2S (with headphones). Zoe sat next to me and did homework, colored, and played on her InnoTab 2 (with headphones). Talon bopped between my lap and Tim’s, watched “Cars” on my laptop and played on the iPad. Our entire time traveling went flawlessly!

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2. Booking the entire trip with Disney

Sure, we could have priced out each individual piece of our trip and we may have saved a little money, but booking the entire trip through Disney was such a good experience! We literally booked everything through them — hotel, tickets, flights, food. From the moment we checked into the airport at Grand Rapids, Disney took over. (Actually they took over before that when they fixed the mistake I made when booking our flight and messing up Tim’s name.) I won’t go into all the details (email me if you want to know more) but when you’re traveling with three kids who are beaming with excitement to just get to Disney World, it is so nice to not have to worry about waiting for bags at baggage claim and they just magically appear in your hotel room after you check-in!

3. Art of Animation Resort

If you have young kids, I highly recommend this resort! The Art of Animation Resort is part of the Disney properties so you can take their shuttles to and from any of the Disney parks. But it goes beyond that! One of the newest resorts at Disney, it is divided up into four sections that features some of your {larger than life} Disney favorites — Finding NemoCars, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid. The entire resort, from the swimming pools to the lobby to the rooms themselves have kids in mind. It’s the details that make this place amazing!

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4. The castle they have been dreaming of

Every time we watch a Disney movie (which is quite often, ahem) the girls will say, Oh mom, that is the castle I dream of! I hope I get to see it some day! The sheer look of wonder and amazement on their little faces as they finally saw that castle, in person, was worth every single penny we paid for this trip!

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5. Princesses! And more Princesses!

We lovingly deemed this trip as The Princess Trip. We know that the girls are not going to into princesses forever so we wanted to embrace this time while we have it. One of our major goals for this trip was to see as many princesses as we possibly could. And, aside from Snow White, the girls met them all! And they were amazing! We were continually impressed with how the Princesses actually took time to talk to the girls. Be silly with them. Be interested in them. And then take a little extra time to flirt with Talon! Who loved every minute of it!!!

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6. Becoming a part of the show

Lately Abbi has been teetering between not caring what others think and totally being self-concious of what others think of her. And it weighs on her sometimes. I see this. So, after she shared some of her worries about the Disney trip with us the night before we left, we explained to her that part of the magic of Disney is that everyone gets to be a kid! They get to be silly. Dance. Sing. Laugh. And she did! She jumped right in, with both feet! She conga-ed in Magic Kingdom and pulled a sword from a stone.

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Then, leading the way for her little sister, together they told Enchanted Tales with Belle, joined Jack Sparrow’s Pirate League, danced to African music in the Animal Kingdom, and brought down the house celebrating The Festival of the Lion King!

7. It’s MICKEY!!!

While we may have labeled this the Princess trip, Talon had one focus — Mickey Mouse! He loves Mickey Mouse. He will point out every picture, stuffed animal, outline, etc of that mouse. Which is a lot when you’re in that mouse’s world. But the look on that little boy’s face when we walked into the room to actually meet Mickey Mouse? Pure awe!

He patiently waited for our turn to take pictures with Mickey, which was quite surprising. But when it was our turn, all bets were off! He literally pushed his sister out of the way so he could get to Mickey! This was his moment. This was his cloud nine! And my heart swelled!!

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I took my first trip to Disney World when I was just one year old. I took my last trip when I was 18. And, fifteen years, one husband, and three kids later, I was back! Each of my trips to Disney before this were awesome. So many great memories. But this trip? Living it with my kids…Hearing the joy in my daughters’ giggles as they talk with the Princesses they have been dreaming of…Seeing the magic in my son’s eyes as he watched Mickey’s every single move…amazing!

You can see more of our Disney photos on Flickr!

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