Yesterday morning my family and I found ourselves sifting through photos from our Disney trip this past December. We seriously miss it so much! I remember when Andrew and I had our second date the topic of Disney World came up over a bowl of pho and I shared my love for the place. ❤ Andrew, being a young, single man just couldn’t see the excitement of it unless you had kids. Over time though I was able to show him more and more and slowly I could see his eyes widen every time I brought it up. I constantly told him that I wanted to take a trip there, the three of us, but he was convinced it would cost a fortune. He’s not wrong. Disney can easily turn into an expensive vacation, but luckily I was able to convince him last year that going to Disney BEFORE Olive-Lynn turned 3 would be our cheapest option. If you have a little and want to satisfy your Disney itch or if you just love Disney keep reading 🙂Our flights: At this point Olive-Lynn was already passed the 2 year old mark to fly for free, but you could certainly save more money by making your trip before that age. In our case, she was a couple of months before turning 3. However, I was able to to use our points with Southwest Airlines to pay for our round trip flights which only cost us about $33! Don’t underestimate the power of a great travel credit card, but of course use it responsibility and you can really get a lot out of it. If you don’t have points search for the lowest fare. Our flight cost about $94 each way which isn’t bad at all.Our hotel: I was very fortunate at this time that I still worked in the hotel industry because we were able to find a hotel for $49/night with my employee discount. (Let me know if y’all would like to learn more about working in the hospitality industry.) That’s a good sign in general though, typically those discounts are only available because occupancy is low in the hotel, which means they are selling those rooms cheaper. Take advantage of that time. Also, book early!Our tickets: We decided to only visit two theme parks in order to minimize costs as much as possible. Magic Kingdom was a must for anyone’s first visit so that was on the list. Our second choice was a bit more difficult, but we landed on Hollywood Studios, because it had both Disney JR and Star Wars 🙂 Under 3 you get in free, so we just paid the price of our tickets which were just under $450. On top of that, our first day in we spent wandering Disney Springs which is FREE! Perfect way to get things started before taking on the parks.Our timing: The original plan was actually to go with my oldest brother and his family, on Christmas Day, but that didn’t happen. Having gone to Disney only in the summer I had dreamed about seeing the parks in both Halloween and Christmas time. To allow us more time to plan/save we shot for December and it worked out perfectly. I’m actually really happy we didn’t go on Christmas, as magical as it would’ve been, that would’ve been nuts! We went the second weekend in December and the weather was perfect, the crowds had not fully taken over yet, but you still got all the Christmas magic ❤ Here are a few other reasons.
- She napped! We arrived early to the parks and she thankfully took naps as she normally would which helped not have a cranky toddler.
- We could share food! On top of being able to bring your own food into the parks, yes they allow that. We could share our plates with her which helped at the restaurants we did eat at.
- There is actually A LOT they can do! Not many realize, but your kiddos can ride quite a bit as long as they have a parent with them. Like I really needed a reason to get on DUMBO though, haha. Plus, there are endless shows to cool down in, rest your feet, and make for a nice dark place to take that nap I mentioned before.
- You get to experience being a single rider! I don’t know about you all, but I’ve always had someone to get on rides with. This time around we signed up for FastPasses and took turns getting on a few rides she couldn’t. It was a fun experience and neat to talk about how it went for us once we were done.
- They don’t want EVERYTHING! lol Okay, maybe this one can vary on the child/parent relationship, but for us it worked out. She didn’t beg and cry for every item that had her favorite characters. She was content with just taking everything in. Don’t get me wrong we still snagged a couple of things, but I could only imagine that it is far more difficult to negotiate with a 5-10 year old than it is a toddler in this case.
- Meeting the characters! The only thing better than you meeting the characters you love is watching your kid(s) meet the characters they love ❤
Our first trip to Disney together was amazing and we can’t wait to do it again. We’re hoping to make several trips in the future to include one just for the adults. 🙂
Share any tips you have for doing Disney with a toddler and share any of your favorites in the park. One of mine is simply walking onto Main Street USA. I just get the best feeling ever and know that I’m going to have one of the best days ever!