With 3 clicks of our ruby red slippers, we are back to Kansas.
I had to insert the Wizard of Oz reference there. My brother was sending me tornado touchdown updates. The hot topic on Facebook was the storms and tornados. When we landed in KC, we walked out the airport to a downpour, a 30 degree temperature drop, and tornado sirens. Uh, should our pilot have landed our plane in that?! I’m glad everyone we know is safe.
So Disney World…what to say….
Overall, it was fun. Emma loved it. She loved meeting characters, watching shows and mostly, riding rides. She rode them all–with the exception of a few due to her height. Kate…ehhh…she was ok with the rides. I don’t think she cared either way.
Here are tips:
– There is a reason “under 3” is free to get in the parks. Kate is a little too young to “get it”. Characters scared her. The whole place was overwhelming. I had to hold her the majority of the time at the parks. It was very annoying. She seemed to have the most entertaining time at the rental house in the pool. But on the bright side, I got an awesome workout because of it. My shorts were literally falling off me by the last day.
– May is too hot. It may be spring in Kansas, but it is definitely summer in Florida. Now I know why my parents took us in November every year. If we go back, it will be in November (ish). It was mid 90s the whole time. Not one drop of rain. Water and Gatorade were liquid gold. It was brutal. I would not recommend going in summer. The hot, miserable sun takes a lot of the fun out of the experience.
– Renting a house is cheaper than staying at the parks. And you have a huge house to relax in than a single room. I would do it again mostly just to have the space for the kids. And we saved a ton of money eating “at home” for breakfast, dinner.
– We didn’t hop parks as much as we thought we would. We generally stayed at one park a day. The girls could not go all day like adults can. We let the girls sleep in every day. A few times, we even let Kate take a nap before we left in the afternoon. So our days were cut short. We mostly spent afternoons and nights at the parks. It was really preferred by everyone to skip mornings, early afternoon because of the unbearable heat.
– If there is a sit down meal with characters, do it. Cinderella’s Royal Table was fun (but also the most expensive). The food was never ending. It’s air conditioned. And Emma didn’t have to wait in line to see any of the princesses. Each princess came to our table and chatted with Emma and Kate.
– We got Emma a “princess makeover” at the Bippiti Bobbiti Boutique. This would probably be skippable next time. I could tell Emma hated her hair being pulled back tight. For some reason (randomly selected?), Emma got picked to sit in the front window of the store. The other little girls were in a salon-style area in the back. Emma got VIP treatment. She had passerbys waving, little girls pointing, the “Fairy Godmother’s helpers” giving attention to the window Emma was in. Her stylist cleared a way for Emma to walk to the front and back of store by yelling, “excuse me! A princess is coming! Make room for Princess Emma!” It was very cool. Emma could tell she was more special than the other girls. I liked that she got this awesome experience. We probably wouldn’t want to do it again if she were put in the salon like the other girls. The hair only lasted a few hours before she wanted it out.
– Epcot is skippable for kids under 6. Not much for them to do. Half days worth, at most.
– Be prepared that every time you “get a snack” in the parks, you will walk away spending $20 every time, guaranteed.
– Stay late at least one night at Magic Kingdom to see the fireworks show. It is awesome.
– Use the FastPass system to skip lines! Put your ticket into a machine in front of the ride. It will spit out a piece of paper telling you what time to come back to get in front of the line. Only a few rides had horribly long waits. It really wasn’t too bad for us. Probably because most of the country’s kids are still in school so it’s Disney’s “off season”.
– If anyone in your party is scared of roller coasters, do everything to get them to ride and record them with your video on your phone. Hilarious. My husband and my sister’s husband are terrified of the big rides. I couldn’t stop laughing at what they were yelling during the ride. Then we got to listen to it all over again on video. (My Scott did come out actually enjoying the Aerosmith ride. He’s glad we put him on.)
– “Flat Jenna” was a huge hit. Random people would point and laugh. Many told me it was a great idea. One girl asked why I put my head on a stick! I’m glad we brought flat Jenna, the pictures are funnier with her.
– Do what you can to get non-stop flight. You are guaranteed other screaming kids on the plane so you won’t feel as bad when your kid is one of them (Kate). And you won’t get stuck traveling for 24 hours because of weather related problems in St. Louis (Jessica and Scott) – including lost luggage (which is still lost two days later.)
That’s all I got for those of you who asked for tips with small children at Disney World…..