I know there many of you Disney “junkies” who have been to Disney World many many more times that my family. I am not claiming to be an expert and I am NOT a travel agent. I am just an over planning mom who likes to help other families plan the best trip that they can and help them make their Disney experience and wonderful as ours have been.
My husband started going to Disney World as a kid with his parents, he has stayed in the Contemporary and the Swan (or maybe the Dolphin). He also stayed off property when he went for his Senior Trip in 1997. I had also gone in 1997 and it was my first trip, we went down with our High School band. (Strangely enough we figured out we were there about the same time.)
When my husband and I were dating we started talking about maybe some day wanting to take my 2 younger twins sisters to Disney World. It was a dream of mine to take them never thinking about future children. Then we got engaged and started talking about where we wanted to go for our honeymoon and what we wanted to do. I don’t think anything other than going to Disney was discussed other than maybe a cruise. So in 2004 we booked our “Disneymoon.” Back then Disney had packages called Land & Sea packages and we thought wow, that is perfect for us! We spent 3 days in the parks and stayed at Port Orleans Riverside (on the mansion side) and then spent 4 days on the Disney Wonder! It was amazing! Well other than my new husband being sick and in bed for most of our cruise from a bad case of food poisoning (from a restaurant in DTD that I have read a lot of people get food poisoning from).
So fast forward a few years to 2009 I finally got to fulfill my dream of taking my twin sisters. We spent a week at Port Orleans Riverside (mansion side again, my husband and I loved it the first time). I was able to see the magic in the eyes of my sisters and even if they were a little embarrassed to be going to Disney at 11, they totally got into it and had a blast while we were there. Chris (my husband) and I had left our now oldest son at home (he was only 2 1/2) at the time and I was pregnant with our now middle child. We went the last week in July and there was record breaking heat all week. Not much fun being 6 months pregnant, but we had so much fun! This is also the first trip my husband and I had either used the dining plan (boy I have come a long way in planning since then).
Calli & Carli my twin sisters 1st trip to Disney
In 2011 we flew from St. Louis to Orlando with our 2 small boys Caiden was almost 5 and Camdon was almost 2. We went in September and even though it was still very warm we fell in love with all of the fall and Halloween decorations and had so much fun at MNSSHP! This trip we stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort, in a pirate themed room!
My boys loved the pirate ship beds! Now we learned a lot from this trip;
1. 4 days is way too short for us,
2. September is hot, but the crowds are so small,
3. While we had a good time and the resort is beautiful, it is just too big. You have to take bus to get anywhere or walk a long long way.
Because we had decided that 4 days was too short for us and we did not get to do everything that we wanted to do in 2011, we crazily booked another trip for October of 2012…We spent 7 days at the Art of Animation in a Cars Suite! It was absolutely perfect for our family. Caiden slept on the couch bed, Camdon slept on the Murphy bed and my husband and I and our 2 month old son Cohen (yes we took a 2 month old and it was easy peasy) slept in the Master suite. Again we love the fall its our favorite season so we of course had to do the MNSSHP again!
Caiden 6, Camdon 2, Cohen 2 months
In November of 2014, after the 10th anniversary of our “Disneymoon” we are took our older two boys on our “Disney-anniversary.” We spent 4 days at AOA Cars Suite again (hey my boys love that movie and they were 8 and turned 5 while we were there). We attended the Very Mickey Christmas Party for the 1st time on this trip. How cool is it for it to ‘snow’ in Florida! We also took a 4 day cruise on the Disney Dream!
In the fall of 2015 when my twin sisters started their Senior year of high school, my husband started asking them what they wanted for a graduation gift. They jokingly asked for a Disney Vacation….And because our youngest who didn’t go on the November 2014 trip and let us know it wanted to go, the twins & Cohen got their way. We immediately booked our 2016 Disney vacation. We stayed 5 nights at the resorts, 1 night at Port Orleans Riverside (Bayou side this time) and 4 nights at AOA in the Little Mermaid & Lion King portions this time.
After 4 wonderfully hot days in the parks (we went in June) we were able to board the Disney Dream for another 4 day cruise. It was my husband and I’s 3rd cruise, our two older boys 2nd cruise and my twins sisters and our youngest son’s 1st cruise.
Calli & Carli ready to board their 1st cruise.
All 7 of us before dinner.
Cohen was exhausted, fell asleep at dinner.
Our wonderful server made him a spot on the floor to sleep.
So fast forward just a couple months to March of 2017 (only 9) my husband and I took our 1st vacation since having our 3 boys. We had left them for a weekend here or there but this time we took 10 days off. Now in our defense my husband got diagnosed with an auto-immune disease September 2016 (this will be it’s own post at some point).
But we decided after spending so much time together in the Dr. office or hospital we were going to take a vacation together. We spent 2 nights at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge! Which is absolutely amazing! Then we got on the Disney Fantasy for our 4th Disney Cruise together, our 1st 7 night cruise! We were worried about being on the ship that long, but it was AMAZING! We visited Cozumel, The Grand Cayman Islands, Jamaica & of course Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.
It was an amazing 10 days with my husband celebrating his health! We now have a 7 night cruise planned for April 2018 with our boys! It will be their first 7 night cruise and it’s a Star Wars Day at Sea Cruise and for my Star Wars loving boys, they are going to be so excited!
So this is just a little about our Disney ‘problem’ even though I don’t see it as a problem…Look for more posts about being a mom, Disney World, Disney Cruises, and traveling with children.