In a span of five days we managed to drive to Florida, spend two days in Disney World for Rowan's 2nd birthday, celebrate with our friends at their rehearsal dinner and wedding, and then drive home. It was 110% exhausting but totally worth it.
Rowan is the most cautious child I know, so we spent some time prepping him for our trip. I was worried he would be scared of the rides so we showed him videos of the more popular ones before we left. That got him so excited that every time we left the house he was upset we didn't end up at "Mickey's House." On the other hand, he ended up loving the rides so maybe it helped?
There were so many new things at Magic Kingdom since the last time we were there pre-baby, like two Dumbo rides instead of one, a Winnie the Pooh ride (a huge hit for our little Christopher Robin!), a Little Mermaid ride, and new restaurants. We were lucky to have fast passes to all of the rides (Thanks to a friend, you're the BEST!) so we were really spoiled and avoided long wait times. I have some fast pass tips below though!
Rowan was a bit clingy with so many people around but he requested to go on Dumbo twice and cheered after every ride, so it made my mama heart so happy.
The first day at Magic Kingdom was a long one and we somehow managed a stroller nap so that gave my husband and I a chance to check out some of the new food spots and an excuse to sit in the air conditioning. If you go, you have to check out Gaston's Tavern for the ham and cheese pretzel! The LeFou's Brew was also a hit for a hot day.
We also learned that our child likes the idea of characters, but he draws the line when they get within 20 feet of him. He did pretty good at the Winnie the Pooh character dinner (the breakfast was booked up waaay in advance) though, provided Eeyore didn't come anywhere near him and the rest of the crew made it a quick table visit.
The second day after breakfast and exploring the Animal Kingdom Lodge a bit, we headed to Epcot. Probably not the most toddler friendly of the parks but we couldn't miss the rides there for our little Nemo, Dory, and Frozen-loving toddler. The old troll ride in Norway was converted to a really great Frozen ride... I think that was my personal favorite actually!
Once we got back to my in-laws' house, we celebrated Rowan's official birthday with breakfast birthday cake and presents before my husband left for groomsman duties that day. We kept the Disney theme going with a Dory cake with an ungodly amount of colorful frosting... but it was delish and Rowan was crazy about it so that's all that mattered!
Quick tips for conquering Disney World with a toddler:
+ If you're planning a trip, I highly recommend getting the Magic Bands. They are included if you're staying at a Disney resort because they function as your room key. You can link your park tickets, Disney photos, fast passes, and use them while shopping or eating in the parks. It was so convenient!
+ We used to live in Florida so I knew that February (or basically anytime other than holidays and summer) would have lower crowd sizes and better weather. We still had 80+ degree days while we were there though!
+ Use the Disney World app to set up fast passes, see interactive maps of the parks, find showtimes and parades, or make dinner reservations.
+ Fast passes: You can have 3 fast passes scheduled at one time, an hour apart, and then once you use them you can get more. The app makes it super easy to set up more as you go.
+ Unless you want to spend a minimum of $60 for photos by the Disney staff, make sure to ask them to take photos with your phone or camera as well. We thought we could buy one or two separately but no, that is definitely not the case... so we have no photos of the three of us!
The rest of our trip was so much fun but so freaking busy! Sadly my husband and I did not take a single photo from the rehearsal dinner or wedding! I think we were so excited to have two date nights in a row that we totally forgot we should document it. At the very least I wish I had proof that I do in fact still wear heels from time to time...
I did find THE most perfect dress for the upcoming wedding season though, so stay tuned this week for all of the pretty details!!