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When I was pregnant with Kye Zach earned his first international trip with Aflac. It was President’s Club which is the hardest trip to qualify for and it was to Paris. Paris. For Free. We HAD to go. Kye was 6 weeks old when we went on the trip. Y’all. It was INSANE. I don’t regret going, because Paris, but I didn’t fully enjoy the trip by a long shot. (You can read my Paris posts here!)
Even though it wasn’t something I’d recommend to a first time mom…it was a good experience for us to have that bit of time away from Kye. I think it’s good for kids to bond with other family at an early age. It’s important for them to be comfortable at times when you are away and I think traveling away from them when they are rather young is smart to make it a smoother process. An infant doesn’t really “miss” you the way a 5 year old will!
We have always gone on a trip when our baby’s are relatively young. I think it’s important to take young babies ON trips to make them good travelers AND to leave them at home and travel without them when they are young to make them easily adjusted. I especially felt like this was important for Spear. He had to bond with US and I knew that could easily lead to hardcore attachment with us and make it harder for him to go to others if we weren’t mindful about it. Zach’s parents are very close to us and often keep our children when Zach and I travel so we thought it was wise for them to have some quality bonding time with Spear. AND we thought it’d be a good opportunity for us to have some quality time with the big three. They have had to sacrifice a lot with adding a new baby and we wanted to allow them to have our full attention for a few days!
We planned this trip back when we were matched with Mama E and had NO CLUE we’d have a home at Disney to stay at so it worked out pretty great! We planned the trip for the first weekend in February. Spear was 9 weeks old which was older than when we left Kye and only a week younger than when we left Tess.
Zach had a work meeting he couldn’t miss that Friday so I loaded up the van solo and was SUPER proud of my packing skills! We had a BUNCH of stuff we had to take to the house (you can see our before and after pics here!) and I crammed it all in!!!
We had some technical difficulties with our van dvd players but I made it work 🙂
We scooped up the oldest kids from school and they ate lunch on the ride down!
Even though we travel pretty often I’ve actually NEVER gone on that long of a trip with all three kids solo before! But it went GREAT. I love that they are all old enough to be pretty easy to handle. I’m going to be taking all FOUR kids solo this summer so it was a good test run for myself 😉 We did take a little potty/snack break and I feel like since we’ve been going back and forth to Disney so often that I’m learning good places to stop where I feel SAFE!
Perfect snack to keep me awake!
The kids knew we had purchased a home at Disney but they didn’t have a CLUE which house it was! They were with us when we went to see houses back in December and were all so cute taking notes on little notepads about their favorites. They were all SO pumped when we arrived! You can learn more about our decision to purchase an investment home at Disney here…and for info on how you can rent it super cheap here!
I drove down solo and then had to get all the groceries for the trip solo too. The kids were really not in the mood for grocery shopping but they did SO great with it and I’m so thankful the house is SUPER close to so many great options (we chose Publix, duh). We got some pizza and breadsticks for dinner!
First meal in the new house!
Our AWESOME realtor hooked us up with sparkling grape juice and these super cute cups for the kids so we celebrated!
We are doing some tasteful Disney theming throughout the house and Tess is excited for the Mickey Mouse room. We went ahead and let her use the comforter since the room wasn’t near ready yet!
And the Moana room didn’t even have beds!!!
(I love that you can see the old ratty blinds in this pic too…we have done SO MUCH WORK to this house already!)
Our plans for the weekend were to hit the parks HARD. We wanted to especially stay up late as much as we could because that’s simply not something we’ll be able to do with Spear with us. Since we are passholders now and plan to visit often, it means Spear will come sometimes and other times Zach and I will split shifts alternating who does the parks with the older kids and who stays at the house with Spear.
On this day we were hitting up Hollywood Studios!
I know right now people are skipping DHS because there is simply not much to do there. But that’s the exact reason why we LOVE it. It’s SO CHILL. I know with Toy Story Land and Star Wars coming it’s gonna be INSANE so I want to savor these days of less crowds while we can!
We like to get to the parks a good hour or so before they open. Our house is less than 10 min away which is SO NICE. I like not having to rush and to be among the first people in the parks because it allows us to hop on rides that quickly become super long lines later in the day.
I love that Kye and Britt are both asking if they can take pics b/c it means I get to be in them more often!
Up until that morning the kids didn’t know we had purchased annual passes. Honestly I didn’t even think they’d “get it” but Kye was FREAKING OUT he was so, so excited!!!
Playing while we wait for the park to open!
Props to my husband for getting a candid shot of me playing with the kids 🙂
Most of the parks now let you through the main gates earlier than actual opening time. It helps dissipate the crowds a bit and spread everyone out. We were allowed in about 45 min prior to opening time. We had plans to split up so the guys went ahead and went to the waiting area near Rockin’ Rollercoaster so when the park officially opened they could go straight there. The girls and I didn’t really have a “must do” right at park opening. When Donald and Daisy walked by they decided they wanted to meet them right away and their meet and greet area is literally directly in front of the entrance. So once we were allowed in, we just headed that way! We were the second ones in line and it was a great little meeting spot!
WE LOVE DONALD!
Daisy though was a rare treat! I don’t think my girls have ever met her before?
We got done meeting them so fast that we STILL had plenty of time before the park actually opened. So much so that we went into a shop and the girls bought bubble wands!
I know I’m a total Disney Nerd but when we became pass holders the first thing I thought about getting were bubble wands haha. They are a GREAT souvenir for kids because they can play with them all day all throughout the parks, they light up at night, and you can refill them with bubbles. So they never get boring and never have to be thrown away. With our AP discount they were like $18 which really isn’t too bad. Britt used her money to buy hers and I bought Tess’s because she’s not at that allowance level yet 😉
Right when the park opened the boys ran to ride Rockin’ Rollercoaster!
While the girls and I took our time. We joined the masses who were heading to Toy Story Mania but instead of riding the ride, we went into meet Buzz and Woody. Britt has never met Buzz before and Tess hasn’t ever met either of them. With Toy Story Land opening this summer I feel like they are going to become tougher to meet so I thought it was the perfect chance to do it! We walked RIGHT in and literally only had one other family in front of us! The whole wait area is really cute and the vibe was super chill. I hadn’t done this meet and greet since Kye’s first visit!!!
Fun photo opportunities in the line!
So I’ve officially decided I’m totally crushing on Woody. Y’all know I have a thing for taller guys and he’s even taller than Zach. Goofy is also taller than Zach but let’s be real…he’s Goofy. So Woody is my man 😉 Zach has proposed to Minne so I don’t feel like this is cheating 😉
Both Buzz and Woody were AWESOME! I am a firm believer that being among the first to meet characters when the day starts is a huge advantage to having great interactions. Everyone is feeling fresh and excited for the day ahead and I’ve ALWAYS had awesome experiences with our early morning meet and greets!
I love all the hand holding going on 🙂
Britt was SO pumped about Buzz. He gave her a lot of special attention and she adored the way he does his signature (it’s a stamp!)
AFTER we left the posted wait time was still only 20 minutes! If you have a Toy Story fan and get a fp for Toy Story Mania then this is a great meet and greet to do first thing in the morning!
We planned to all meet up at Frozen Singalong for the first showing of the morning. It also worked out great as we walked right in and got the BEST seats we’ve ever had!
This is an awesome experience. It’s always different and has so many funny lines. Zach legit loves it. We’re going on a trip later this year just us and he mentioned making sure we go to this haha!
I love her excitement! (especially about the “snow”!)
Kye isn’t such a fan haha
There is a little booth near Frozen with bubble wands so Kye got his BB8!
And we were just in time to watch the Emperial March!
We split up again and Zach and the big two went to Star Tours. Tessie and I had some solo time and went to see Disney Jr Live on Stage. As we were getting in line we ran into some of our friends from church whose daughter is in Tess’s class at school! Such a small world! They are big Disney people like we are so I love chatting them up about Disney stuff 😉
We sat together during Disney Jr Live on Stage and the girls loved it!
Tessie and Lydia!
This guy kills me. We’ve seen him before and I just always feel bad for him having to do this over and over again as his job haha
She LOVES it!
Paul photo bombing haha
Our first ever experience just us at Disney!
Pumped for Star Tours
Britt asked to do her hair “like Jyn’s” for our day at the park which basically means a loose pony tail with a lot of the hair falling out haha. I’d say she rocked it and is def twins with Jyn!
We love meeting Star Wars guys! Britt is obsessed with seeing Kylo and my personal favorite thing to do during this meet and greet is to refer to him as Ben the whole time 😉
Tess talks up how brave she is 😉
Britt don’t play.
Ben trying to be intimidating 😉
The girls and I headed over to meet another character while the boys went to use their fastpass for Tower of Terror!
I let them decide between BB8 or Chewbacca. We went with BB8!
After the boys finished up with Tower of Terror we met back up and headed back to the house for naps! Our first morning as a family of pass holders was def a wonderful one. The vibe is SO different knowing you can come and go whenever you please.
If you are looking to plan a trip to the Disney World area and would like an AWESOME deal on a house with a pool located super close to the parks be sure to check out our rental home and all the details on how you can get it for super cheap here!