Best. Decision. Ever = DISNEY!

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We went to Disney World. 

Best. Decision. Ever. 

Best. Vacation. Ever. 

It. Was. Magical.


You. Must. Go.

Ok, but seriously.  Let’s start at the beginning.  I thought we would never be able to afford Disney World.  Let’s be real: After bills are paid, groceries are purchased etc., our disposable income for really any kind of entertainment is almost nil.  My husband’s paycheck varies because he is in sales, so saving is usually extremely hard.  Because of this, I thought Disney was like a dream that I could see way off in the {VERY} distant {possibly never} future.  

Fast Forward back to October < or maybe that’s rewind > We thought we were adding another baby into the mix and wanted to celebrate our 2 almost 3 year old with a last hurrah!  So of course, you book a Disney trip, right?  That is obviously the logical thing to do. 

But let me tell you.
You. Can.Do.It.
Seriously.
 

 

While I’ll do a full recap of each park and photos and all that jazz on Little Miss Martha in upcoming days, here are a few tips and tricks that we used - or found out - while we were there. 

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1. If you can go before a child turns 3, GO.  Once your little one turns 3, they cost money.  Not that they wouldn't be worth every penny, because they totally would be.  And I would pay for them, but why pay if you can go before you have to?  Go before they turn 3 and you will not be required to pay for a ticket for them or purchase a meal plan!  Savings = Check!

2. You can book a Disney vacation for as little $200 down.  It sounds like an infomercial, but it’s true!  This alone makes me want to book about 10 more.  But seriously… we used Hi Ho Vacationswhich was a free service (and I mean completely F R E E) and you can book it for $200 down!  A $200 deposit reserves any package. The $200 deposit is 100% refundable up to 45 day before you travel. That 45 day mark is also when your balance would be due. This makes your life so much easier and your trip so much more attainable!  You could make monthly payments for a year!  Personally, anytime smaller payments are involved it just makes things seem not as bad…{Plug: Call Abbi at Hi Ho Vacations to learn more... and tell her I sent you!} 

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3. Even comfortable shoes will become uncomfortable at a certain point. Take into consideration that you will be on your feet for about 10+ hours a day.  Wear comfy shoes, and maybe even pack an extra for the day just in case, say, you get seated in the front row on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and get SOAKED!  Okay so that totally happened. 

4. The best places to watch Festival of Fantasy Parade and Mainstreet Electrical Parade are in Liberty Square just outside of the Liberty Tree Tavern.  You will want to find a spot at least 30 min early, but just grab a snack and rest your feet for a while!

5. Fast Passes.  Learn everything you can about them and use them and get more and use them and get more.  They are a life saver.  They kept us from having to wait in most lines!  I think the only line we really waited in was for Anna & Elsa because we fast passed almost everything that would have long lines.  

6. Princess Breakfast at Norway.  Absolutely the best thing we did. It was tough to get to our 8:10am reservation when the park opened at 8 but it was worth it.  You'll get a picture taken with Belle {included in your meal purchase}, and see Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, and Cinderella.  

It’s probably one of the REAL best-kept secrets of Disney dining!

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7. Memory Maker.  This is one thing that I think was totally worth the extra $160.  The price may be a little different now, but that’s what we paid.  It allowed me to walk around the park without a camera and still get some awesome shots.  There are photographers all over the park and with every character.  At those spots, you get a picture taken.  Since we purchased the memory maker, we got all 250+ pictures we had taken for that flat price of $160.  If we hadn’t purchased that, we would have had less taken and less to share with friends. {And a neck ache from carrying my Nikon around.}  But it was one of the best things we could have done for our first trip at least so that we could all be in the pictures and experience the trip without having to worry about taking pictures

8. Get there Early & Stay Late. Did you know there is a little special song and dance at the beginning of the day at Magic Kingdom?  It’s adorable!  Starts about 20 minutes before they open, but we got there about 45 min before they opened and it was already pretty packed!  So plan accordingly.  Also, if you stay late, there’s a special good night to the park that they play over the loud speakers {just like the end-of-the-day parade at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis!}.  The park closed at 9pm and the special song plays around 9:30/9:40. And of all things, my husband had read about it, and wanted to experience it.  It brings your day to a very lovely close.

9. And don't forget to download the My Disney Experience App.  It's free and we used it as our personal guide to get through the days!  It tells you wait times, allows you to add/change Fast Passes, and see events/parades/happenings that are going on throughout the day.  NOTE: It drains your battery so make sure to bring an extra charger or battery pack! 

I am not a Disney expert by any means… but I will say that there seemed to be a lot of things that we did right during this trip.  From reservations, to fast passes, to stroller rentals… it all worked out beautifully!  I can’t say I’ve ever had a vacation quite like it… And when we weren't sure, we asked!  The Disney Cast members are so helpful and really do want you to enjoy your experience the best way possible!  I didn't believe it until I encountered it in full action! 
"There seemed to be 
a lot of things that we did right 
during this trip"

The best part is we are still talking about it like it was yesterday.  My daughter’s favorite Disney things change from day to day and story to story, but she seems to remember a ton of it!  She requests to watch the parades and fireworks shows on YouTube weekly as I mentioned before, and she still asks to go back.  What kid wouldn't?  

BONUS: I think my husband and I fought a total of like 15 min the entire time… we were there for 5 full days!  Say what?!  It really is a magical place and you just can’t help but be happy there!  Maybe Disney should get into Marriage Counseling?!? 

There’s so much to share that it’s hard to limit it to a blog post!  But feel free to leave a Comment below if you have any questions and I'll do my best.  I love sharing about our trip!
Abby is an ex-professional figure skater who works full time as a Program Specialist for Customs Border Protection. In her spare time you can find her seeking out vintage finds for Maeve Vintage; a business she runs with her mom and sister. {OR} blogging about her most recently attended CityMoms event at her own blog, Little Miss Martha. She lives in Noblesville, IN with her hockey guru husband Mike and their little spitfire of a daughter, Ella.

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