We recently took our first family vacation to Walt Disney World.  It was the first time our girls have been to Disney and the first time in almost 14 years for hubby and I!  My in laws joined us for most of the trip and it was great to have them there.  (They also have not been in almost 14 years.)  So, buckle your seatbelt because I’m about about to take you on vacation!

Driving to DisneyWe drove.  From Ohio to Florida.  It was a long drive!  We did it over two days, leaving Friday after school, stopping in Georgia and then continuing on to Florida on Saturday.  The girls were rockstars!  I bought new coloring books, new markers, new lapboards, sticker books and treats!  Plus we had the Kindle to watch movies when they got tired of crafting.

Walt Disney WorldBoy were we excited when we saw this sign!!  We headed to the resort, Art of Animation, unloaded our stuff and then went straight to the food court for dinner.  We were hungry!  The kids also wanted to take a dip in the pool, so we got some swimming in before we hit the hay for our first day at the parks.

Magic Kingdom was up first and I was so excited to see Pumpkin’s reaction to Cinderella’s castle.

Seeing Cinderella's castleHorribly focused picture, but her reaction did not disappoint!  The kids were so excited about all the things!  We rode rides, met characters, ate too much food and the kids survived all the way to fireworks!

Fireworks over Cinderella's castleThe next day we headed to Animal Kingdom, nice and early. 

Animal KingdomWe headed straight to the safari and we saw so many animals!  It was a great ride and the tour guide was pretty funny, too.

Lions on the safariThe girls love animals so Animal Kingdom was off to a great start! 

Fish at Animal KingdomOh, and the fish.  They could’ve watched those fish all day!  But we had a FastPass to get to so we moved on.  To the Festival of the Lion King, where not only did we see a great show, but the girls got selected from the audience to participate in the final song.  Cue: sappy mom moment.

Festival of the Lion KingDino-land USA was a hit with Cupcake.  It’s Tough to Be a Bug was NOT appreciated by Pumpkin.  But overall we had another great day at the park.  And we made it back to our resort in time for Cupcake to do an art class before dinner.

How to Draw class at Art of AnimationThe next day we took a day off from the parks and slept in and wandered around exploring the resort.

Cars at Art of AnimationWe stayed in the Cars area of the resort.  It wasn’t too far from the lobby area and it had a pool, so it suited us well.  We particularly liked the Cozy Cones around the pool area.

Finding Nemo at Art of AnimationThe Finding Nemo area of the resort is the closest to the lobby.  It also has a larger pool with a zero depth entry, so it’s very kid friendly.  And a little splash pad area as well as a small playground area.

Lion King at Art of AnimationThe Lion King area is where we were originally planning on staying, but I’m glad we switched as there is no pool in this area.  It sits between Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid which both have pools.

The Little Mermaid at Art of AnimationThe Little Mermaid is at the far end of the resort and instead of having indoor hallways the entrances to the room are on the outside.  The theming of the resort is fantastic!  There are these great statues all over the place and so many details everywhere you turn.  It’s a lot of fun for the kids!

We left our resort and headed over to the Contemporary to eat brunch at Chef Mickey’s.

Chef Mickey'sThe girls were in heaven!  Waffles, waffles and more waffles!  And the characters!  The food was pretty good and the interaction was fun.  We left there happy and stuffed! 

After an afternoon dip we headed out again for the evening and hit up Disney Springs.  We surprised Cupcake with a reservation at T. Rex, which was really cool.  Of course we had to walk around the whole restaurant and check out all the dinosaurs.  Then we headed over to the Build-a-Dino to build a dino and then we checked out the rest of Disney Springs.

Build-a-dinoIt wasn’t the relaxing day we thought it would be but by morning we were ready for Epcot!

EpcotWe were lucky to have FastPasses for Frozen and the girls were so excited to meet Anna and Elsa.  Pumpkin didn’t like Soarin’.  Cupcake liked Mission:Space.  Turtle Talk with Crush was a lot of fun and meeting Gaston was so entertaining!!!

GastonIn the evening the in laws took the girls back to the resort for dinner and swimming and hubby and I stuck around to enjoy the Food and Wine Festival.  And so I could try on fun hats.

Hats at EpcotI read all the menus around the World Showcase and it was a tough call, but I finally decided on a chicken dish with naan from Africa.  And it was soooo good!  A little spicy, but so good!!

AfricaWe stuck around for the fireworks and headed back to the resort to see our sweet girls passed out from a day of fun.

dsc_3305Our last park day was starting early the next morning with a breakfast reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table.  This was for my Cinderella-loving girl.  She’d been looking forward to this so much.  And then she saw her favorite princess…..

Seeing CinderellaShe was so funny.  Like she’d seen a celebrity.  Oh, the cuteness.  Then she was so bashful  when she finally got to meet her.  She opened up a bit more for the other princess she met at breakfast. 

Enchanted Tales with BelleWhen we got to Enchanted Tales with Belle Pumpkin didn’t want a part in the show, but Cupcake got a speaking part!  She did great!

And I saved the best FastPass for last!  Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train!  I was so afraid Cupcake wasn’t going to like the rides, so I saved this one for last so as not to scare her so that she wouldn’t go on any other rides. 

Seven Dwarf's Mine TrainShe scored a front row seat and loved it!  Pumpkin not so much…..

Seven Dwarf's Mine TrainIt was a great way to end our Disney trip!  It lived up to the anticipation and was probably the best vacation you could have with kids.

After leaving Disney we headed over to Titusville for a visit to Kennedy Space Center.  I had won passes from Chick-fil-A last year when they had a partnership with KSC for the kids meals. 

Kennedy Space CenterMy future rocket scientists were ready for adventure!

Kennedy Space CenterThe Atlantis was definitely the favorite part of the trip.  The presentation was great and there was lots of interactive things for the girls to do afterward.

Kennedy Space CenterPretending to drive a rocket ship is fun and all, but going down a really big slide is where it’s at!!!

Kennedy Space CenterWe had lunch with an astronaut.

Kennedy Space CenterWe learned all about Snoopy’s role in space exploration (except Pumpkin….she slept right through that!).

Kennedy Space CenterAnd then it was time to say goodbye to Florida. 

dsc_3739It really was an all around great trip! 

I’d love to take the kids back to Disney in a few years. 


I’ll be back soon for a detailed “what they wore” in Dinsey post!!  Because you know I made all of their outfits!


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