Disney World Trip 20201
This trip wasn’t anything I personally wanted to do for many reasons and leading up to the trip, I stressed out a lot! I am a go-to Maui and play on the beach trip girl… not a theme park girl. So this trip stretched me – we did want to do it for our girls while they were still young. The last night as tears rolled down my eyes, I swallowed my pride and ate every word of stress I muttered in planning this trip. On our last night as fireworks cascaded over the castle, I held Brooklyn in my arms and then we all ran to Barnstormer to do the rollercoaster 8x in a row, that’s when Brooklyn looked over at me with a huge smile and said, “Why are you being so silly?” I held her hand and choked up as I smiled back. I had the realization that last night, this trip was about PLAY with the girls, something I think Disneyworld uniquely offers. This was 4 days to play and say yes… no schedule or chores or worrying about cooking or cleaning…. It was a morning to night of quality time being with the girls. Ellie’s love language is quality time and Brookyln’s gifts… To fill their love tanks by playing in Disneyworld offered me the opportunity to bond with the twins in a unique way this week. Do I think you need to have a Disneyworld experience to play or bond with your kids, not at all. But it made the money and time spent planning well worth it! I walked away knowing this was truly an investment in our relationship and a memory they will always have. It felt like a giant reward for the hard grueling years of drowning in twin-mania routines. I love we can focus through the weeks, work hard through the years… and take a few days of stepping outside of routine to play in a theme park.
Okay, the nitty-gritty… I got several questions asking me about our experience so I decided to recap it with a few tips from our trip. Remember I am NOT a Disneyworld expert at all! 😉 These are just a few simple, personal tips that worked for our family.
We opted to stay on-site for 2 reasons; transportation buses and early park access/early Genie+ access. I knew we wouldn’t be in our rooms other than to sleep so I didn’t mind staying in the smaller rooms at All-Star Music. We rarely ever had a wait for a bus, and if we did it wasn’t more than 5 minutes. When we were all so tired at the end of the night it was nice to just hop on a bus and not worry about directions or driving. We could sit and relax on the way back. I personally loved staying in the Disney bubble for 4 days and not leaving, other than our early morning Starbucks run 😉
Staying on-site gets you into the park 30 minutes early and it was WORTH it to get up early! We are a morning family anyways so this was a good fit for us. We would get on the buses around 7:15 and line up by the ropes in the park by 8. We would ride the most rides from 8:30-11:30.
This part stressed me out and I wasn’t a fan of how it works at first. I gave this part to Branden to research, learn and then at 7am every day he would plan our day and book rides. I really don’t like how you have to pay to play in a sense, but we did it and I do recommend it. I recommend it though from the perspective of staying on-site and gaining those perks. ( If you are staying on-site you get to access to book rides with Genie+ before off-site guests do.) We had no problem booking rides and we paid each day for the additional paid rides. We budgeted for this and so it wasn’t extra stress or expense.
Con: I didn’t like how you’re at the mercy of the times given to you….sometimes we wanted to go back in the afternoon to rest, but the paid ride time we were given was during that timeframe. It made planning with a toddler a bit harder, and we had to be flexible with what times we got. The first day we wanted to take a break mid-afternoon but we had too many rides scheduled from 2:30-4:30 to leave
Pro: Wait times. By utilizing early access entry and Genie+ we never waited more than 20 minutes for any ride we wanted, and this was even on sold-out park days. With little kids, we loved this! We never felt like we were waiting in the heat in long lines entertaining fidgety kids.
Disney Gift Cards:
We budgeted what we would need for expenses and then I bought all the Disney Gift gift cards on Target.com with my Red Card, so this saved us 5%. We paid for everything with our Disneycards and it felt nice to pre-pay for the trip and then go enjoy a trip not having to pay for anything additionally. (This is also a fun way to ask for Disney gift cards for Christmas or Birthday presents to put towards a family trip) We paid for Genie+, our food, hotel and parking all with the Disney Gift Cards. I will for sure do this again next time.