Britt’s 8th Disney Bday: Disney Springs Day
The year that Spear joined our family (2017) we spent a LOT of time in Florida waiting out the clearance to be allowed to cross the state line into Georgia.
On one of the visits when Zach and the kids came to see us during our stay we went to Disney Springs and met Santa and I ADORE the photos and memories from that day – one of our first as a complete family of 6!
When we bought the Disney House in Jan of 2018 I knew I really wanted to make the Disney Springs Santa visit a yearly tradition as a family.
However, when we went back in 2018 to meet Santa it was a CLUSTER of waiting and it just didn’t work out.
While I was super disappointed, I made a mental note to do better in the Santa planning for the future and this year we kicked off our week at Disney over Thanksgiving with a visit to Disney Springs to meet Santa first thing!
We left the house at 7 am and drove straight to Disney Springs and arrived before Santa was set to appear at 11 am so we could be on the waiting list right away.
It worked out SO great.
This trip was truly PHENOMENAL and it started off amazing with our super smooth ride down to Disney.
Spear FINALLY watches movies in the car and didn’t fuss the entire drive which was such a great kick off to the week ahead.
And then? Our entire Disney Springs experience was SO CHILL. (Basically CHILL is the word I’d use to describe our week which is crazy considering it was the week of Thanksgiving which is always INSANE at Disney).
We checked in at the Santa booth and had about an hour before our return time so we did our pin and ornament shopping and had tons of time to enjoy the shops and see all the trees in the Christmas area!
Tess chose a Frozen pin, Britt and Kye chose holiday Star Wars ones, and Spear was very decisive about getting a Stitch pin.
For our ornament we got Sven with Olaf and Kye was so sweet to bring me a Minnie pin that said “best Mom” on it and said I needed to get it for myself 😉
Britt has been COUNTING DOWN to her special birthday trip and, for now, it is JUST her celebration…soon it’s going to start getting a little tricky with making sure we celebrate BOTH Spear and Britt!
Behind the Christmas Tree Trail is a cute set up, bathrooms and a nice clear area perfect for toddler running so we hung out there for a bit and then went to see the decorated trees!
The sibling picture struggle is SO real. Spear cracks me up because he will be so difficult in the sibling shots but then BAM look super cute and sit super still for solo ones – guess he just loves the spotlight 😉
A random stranger offered to take our family picture and my rule is : NEVER SAY NO.
And what to you know? It ended up being pretty dang adorable! The lady was so sweet…she went on and on and ON about our kids and how cute they all are. I mean, duh, I agree 😉
I love the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs and cannot recommend it enough!
Each tree is themed and the whole thing is super well done andddd it’s FREE.
Be sure to check for the times that Santa will be there and plan accordingly. You sign in at a kiosk outside of the trail and are given a time window and then receive a text when it’s time to return.
We took our time walking through the trail and seeing all the fun trees and got our text just as we reached the end of it!
Once you receive your text then you enter the actual line for Santa which can still take around 30 minutes but ours wasn’t bad at all!
We left Spear in the stroller during the tree trail…he’s too wild to handle it walking and it’s a struggle to take him in and out for pics so I just wanted to keep him settled before seeing Santa!
When we got in the line for meeting Santa I let Kye know he did NOT need to sit on his lap or anything like that and it really worked out great because Santa is in his BIG chair and it wasn’t a “come sit on my lap” kinda thing.
Tess was nervous at first and said she wanted ME to tell Santa what she wanted but then once it was her turn she ran right up to him and was the only kid who DID ask to sit on his lap!
I’m pretty hardcore about never pushing my kids to do stuff like this.
One year Tess didn’t want to talk to Santa at all, and that’s fine.
I know Kye is at an age where he was a little awkward about it but then he ended up being more into it than I’d expected and explained to Santa how Nintendo Switch controllers work 😉
Britt was in AWE of Santa and was so adorable. They chatted about gymnastics and he told her if she keeps practicing she could be professional someday and she just BEEMED about that.
I ADORE the pics of Britt chatting with Santa – she’s so excited and just so sweet nervously playing with her hair 🙂
Tess’s pics are also great – her little facial expressions are so LITTLE EMILY.
I was the most excited for Spear to meet Santa because I feel like they have this special bond after the amazing moment when they met in 2017.
Well. Our error was having ZACH be the one to hand him to Santa.
Spear is obsessed with his Daddy and does not like to leave his arms for just about anything.
In hindsight we should have let Spear approach Santa on his OWN but I mean we didn’t realize any of that and when Zach even got CLOSE to Santa, Spear flipped.
Which I know everyone has pics of their kids crying with Santa…and we totally have had that in the past too.
But this just SHOCKED us. Spear has always been very easy going with others and having him see his siblings meet Santa and then flip out the way he did through us for a loop!
So he didn’t meet Santa…we just snapped some family pics of a bawling toddler and went on with our day!
It may not have been the perfect moment I’d envisioned but there’s always next year, right? 😉
After Santa we headed over for the first surprise of the week – lunch at Blaze Pizza!
On the way we stopped by the Lego store so Kye could see different Lego options for future gifts.
It was just such a nice vibe to take our time and not feel rushed at ALL.
The kids haven’t ever been to Blaze Pizza before. Again, we lucked out and had virtually zero wait and found a table with no issues!
Kye and Britt LOVED it and ate almost their entire pizza.
Tess was really tired and just not in the mood so she ended up not eating pizza and I’d packed Spear’s lunch to help cut down costs.
We had originally assumed we’d have to skip naps and get to the house before dinnertime but instead we got there right at nap time and it was SO perfect.
We had plenty of time to unpack and get groceries for the week and just get settled in without rushing!
When Zach and I first got married we divided up holidays and decided to spend every Thanksgiving with my side of the family.
As things changed with my family situation we kinda were stuck in a weird limbo for a bit regarding Thanksgiving.
We spent it with Zach’s family because it made sense to do so since we weren’t spending it with mine and we eventually made the decision to have our own little family tradition as part of the day.
We would eat lunch with Zach’s family and then for dinner have ice cream!
It was a great tradition since you’re always SO full from Thanksgiving lunch anyway that the ice cream for dinner just felt like a dessert 😉
It’s a simple tradition that the kids LOVE (you can read all about how we do traditions here).
Last year was the first year we decided to start celebrating Thanksgiving at Disney so we brought the ice cream tradition along too and our first night of this trip made for the perfect ice cream for dinner night!
A fun Emily fact…I LOVE ice cream. I used to eat a bowl of ice cream literally every night. For real.
And now? 35 year old Emily can’t handle ice cream for dinner.
I was up ALL NIGHT with tummy issues afterwards! Sometimes being an adult is LAME.
The girls wanted to have a sleepover so Zach and I hung with Kye for a bit and played some video games together.
Kye also looked through books and made a list for me to shop for him a bit – kid reads SO much that I can’t possibly keep track of what he’s read!
I love the vibe at the Disney House as it’s just really relaxed. It feels like HOME but on vacation which is like truly the best thing in the world.
Spear has really exploded with his vocabulary and has started this thing where he calls for each kid to come say goodnight to him.
It’s adorable and he’s spoiled by his siblings who just can’t say no to his sweet voice calling their names 😉
It was SUCH a chill day and the absolute perfect way to start our big week!
Have you ever explained the situation with your family, and your mom? I’m a long time reader and see it referenced, but I’m not sure if you’ve ever posted this story- I know it’s personal, so it’s ok if not 🙂 but I’m just wondering, since you usually share so much!
I sent you an email!