I am still having trouble facing the fact that Juliet is now two years old, but she is, and we spent two weekends celebrating her big birthday.
Even though we live just a short three hours away from Disney World, it had been years since either my husband or I had been, and we had never taken the girls. So, instead of a big party this year, we decided it was the perfect time for their first Disney trip.
We had a small party for Juliet on her birthday weekend, with just family, and didn’t actually plan one thing. We ordered pizza, my husband picked up a generic cake the morning of the party, and there wasn’t a single decoration to be seen. And it was perfect.
Juliet played with all of her cousins, opened way too many presents, and managed to sneak in two cupcakes and a piece of birthday cake.
The weekend after her birthday was our big Disney trip. This actually required a lot more planning. Fortunately, none of the planning was done by me. My sister is an annual pass holder and certified Disney expert, so we left all of the planning up to her. She booked our hotel, secured our fast passes, made meal reservations, and sent me a full itinerary of where I needed to be and what time I needed to be there. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
We knew that there was no way that both girls would be able to sleep in the same room with us, so we stayed at one of the few Disney Resorts that offer suites, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. It is not the most luxurious hotel, but we had a full kitchen, a living room, two full bathrooms, and a separate master suite. Plus, we stayed in the Finding Nemo suites, so I am pretty sure we could have stayed in our room the entire weekend and Juliet would have still thought that Disney World was the best place ever.
We drove up Friday morning, checked into our hotel, then headed straight to Epcot. My top two toddler and baby approved recommendations at Epcot are the Frozen ride and the Finding Nemo ride. We also went on the Journey into Imagination ride, but it is a little scary for small children. Lucky for us, Juliet likes being scared, so she giggled through the whole thing.
Saturday was our big day at Magic Kingdom. Juliet is in full-blown princess mode right now, so we had fast passes to see Cinderella, Rapunzel, Elena, and Tiana.
She got a little shy each time she met a princess, so I’m glad we spent an equal amount of time on the rides. Juliet absolutely loved the Magic Carpet ride, and we actually got off and went straight back in line for that one because she kept asking to ride each different color carpet.
The parade was a huge hit with the girls and Juliet also loved It’s a Small World, but who doesn’t love that ride?
On Sunday we went to Hollywood Studios for a couple of hours, saw the Mickey’s Club House show, then hopped in our car at nap time to drive the three hours home.
The weekend was a bit of a blur, I took almost no pictures, and it took my husband and I about a week to recover from the trip, but Juliet has been talking about it almost every day since, and that makes it completely worth it.
Some tips for anyone else thinking of braving the most magical place on earth with a toddler and a baby:
Stay at a Disney Resort. The buses to and from the parks are so much easier than packing up your car, parking in a lot, then taking a shuttle from your car to the park entrance.
Don’t assume that your children will nap. I totally thought the girls would nap in their stroller, because, well, I wanted them to. They didn’t. They both only napped for about 45 minutes each day, but the magic of Disney will help you all power through it.
Bring back-up. We went with my sister and her family, and my parents. So, it was six adults and three children. This is probably the only reason we survived the weekend. Every time someone was tired of carrying, wrangling, or dealing with a child, there was someone else to pass them off to.
Fast passes. Fast passes. Fast passes. We only waited in lines for a combined total of about thirty minutes the entire weekend because we had fast passes booked for everything we had planned to do. Thanks again, sis!
Bring snacks and drinks with you! The parks let you bring in all of the food and drinks that you want, so we had a backpack full of juice boxes, snacks, and squeezies for the girls.
Have the time of your life! Because if your husband is anything like mine, it may be the only time in your life you go to Disney. Kidding, but he is threatening to make me wait at least four years before planning our next trip.
So long for now, Mickey.
Custom Disney shirts – LSBMonogramming
Bloomers – Little English