Early during the week of our Spring Break trip to Disney we learned some pretty exciting news – the guidelines were being changed to allow masks to be removed for photos! FINALLY. AND the first day of the new rule fell when we were at Magic Kingdom!
To be honest, we’ve always slipped out masks off for pictures whenever possible. I know I have gotten hate for it but it just doesn’t make sense to me that it’s fine to remove a mask while eating but not to smile for a fast picture. We’re always super respectful about it and have distance from others and get all set up FOR the picture then take them off super quick and then put them right back on. But I’ve not ever apologized for taking them off in pictures and I won’t either.
However, being ALLOWED to take them off was a HUGE step towards normalcy and was really the FIRST step it felt like Disney was taking towards that goal. The first bit of loosening up the tight reigns!
To be honest, I did NOT have a great time at Hollywood Studios earlier in the week. For awhile after reopening day it was just SO GREAT to have the parks OPEN again. But over time and as the world has in so many ways gotten back to normal Disney has just dug in their heels and stayed super hardcore as well as gotten even more hardcore in some ways. Our day at DHS was significantly impacted in a negative way due to this hardcoreness and I just reached my limit in my ability to find the joy and magic amongst the strict rules and, some of which were silly, guidelines.
Having the mask rule eased to allow masks to be removed for photos was a GAME CHANGER. I read several Disney bloggers who talked about the total and complete change in the overall vibe of the parks. I know to a non-Disney person this entire rant probably comes across sounding entitled but the Disney people understand. I’ve had MANY talk to me about how they refuse to go back until it’s back to normal because the magic just isn’t there currently.
Well this mask change brought the magic BACK! Our day at MK was THE most normal feeling day we’ve experienced since Jan 2020. The VIBE was just different. People were happier. Cast members were able to be kinder instead of being “mask police.” It. Was. Awesome.
We kicked off the morning with splitting up. Zach took the Space Mountain crew (Kye, Britt, and Tess) to ride that while G-Mama and I played with Spear.
It was also a reminder of how much I love Disney as we had just gone to SeaWorld. And yes, we loved our SeaWorld day, but it’s just not Disney. I LOVE how COMFORTABLE I am at Disney. I feel at home and I was totally cool with just playing and hanging out with Spear because I knew where to take him where he could run and play without being in the way and where to position us for when Zach and the kids finished their ride, etc.
After they finished up with Space we rode Buzz three times! I love that Kye really wanted to ride with me 🙂 I don’t get to ride with him often and take advantage every chance I can get!
At first we thought masks could be removed for ANY photo but then were told they could only be removed for outdoor photos.
We went over and rode Haunted Mansion as a family and then Spear wanted to ride it again so he and I rode while everyone else went over to Thunder Mountain. It always makes me proud when my kids aren’t afraid of Haunted Mansion. We saw lots of kids older than Spear who were crying and freaking out and Spear said “I love spooky guys” haha!
Spear and I went to meet up with everyone and happened to pass a DVC booth and Spear saw the cast member and asked for a sticker. I swear his memory is CRAZY!
She didn’t have a sticker but instead gave us a little Disney magical moment (which only added to the great vibe that day!) and handed Spear a special pressed coin! He was SO excited!
We had a bit to wait to be able to ride Pirates so, duh, we had some snacks. Tess will ALWAYS choose a sucker when it comes to snack choices!
Spear loves playing favorites with his siblings and will change out who he likes best depending on the moment and how interested someone else is in him. If one kid REALLY wants Spear’s attention then he will most likely reject that kid and beg to be near the one who shows the least interest. Which means he most often snubs Tess haha!
He wanted to sit with Kye on Pirates and ONLY Kye. Not in the middle of Kye and Mommy, JUST by Kye. (See even I get rejected ha!). I tried to be super quiet the whole ride and just let Kye point out all the details to Spear. It was such a precious moment as Kye has been hearing me point things out on Pirates since he was two and it was a passing the torch kinda moment.
During the Mommy Easter egg hunt this year I put a coupon in an egg for each child that they could choose a special Disney snack on our trip! Magic Kingdom was the place to do it. Tess really wanted a bag of popcorn (child LIVES for popcorn) and Kye wanted an orange crush float (so naturally Spear did too).
Spear may have been all about some Kye but he def learns his posing skills from Britt 😉
Britt wanted a churro for her snack and we happened to be in line when a character cavalcade rode by! We also met a super nice family from California and enjoyed talking to them and hearing how life is in California right now. It’s SO interesting to me that we are ALL living through this pandemic. EVERYONE. Everywhere we go, everyone we meet, we’re all have a shared experience but are all also impacted in such a variety ways within that same experience. It always makes for great conversation!
Being allowed to take off masks for photos outdoors was HUGE when it came taking our OWN pictures but it was even MORE major when it came to PHOTOPASS pictures!
We’ve not really been taking a whole lot of photo pass pictures because who wants a bunch of mask photos, right? NOW that the masks are done I AM thankful for the photos we have with them as it is a timestamp memory of this crazy experience but, whew, it’s AMAZING to be DONE with them!
Had to get the “mask off” picture 😉
It was SO crazy to hear Cast Members going from “keep your mask on” to “you can remove your mask if you want!”
We had SUCH a great morning. Truly a Disney game changing experience for us!!!!
We got back to our Vacation Rental Home near Disney and had some lunch and some swim time while Spear napped (and Mommy napped while Daddy watched the Masters) and then had to have a little birthday surprise for Kye too 🙂 Kye had LOVED doing the escape room for Britt’s birthday so we arranged an escape room at The Escape Game Orlando for him!
After nap time we headed down to Sunset Walk which is literally 2 minutes from our house (just around the corner) and is an ADORABLE outdoor area with tons of shops, restaurants and things to do! We didn’t really just how much they have until we walked around a bit and realized they have an awesome arcade!
We’ve been driving to dang Dave and Busters when there is a great, cheaper, arcade option right by the house!
For Kye’s birthday dinner we took him to Ford’s Garage. Yall. It is THE best burger EVER. I ate there the first time on a girl’s trip last year and LOVED it. I took Zach back over our Christmas trip and HE loved it too. And we both knew Kye would be ALL ABOUT IT.
It’s a great vibe with lots of cool things to look at for Spear and the food is just simply AMAZING. We’ve also always had great service!
Kye agreed – it was legit 🙂 It is fun having a kid who is so into food as it makes planning surprises for him pretty easy on me! They also sang Happy Birthday to him (yay for a bit of embarrassment) and hooked him up with a birthday treat!
We took Spear and Tess back to the house and got Spear in the bed for G-Mama and then Zach, Britt, Kye and I headed over to The Escape Game while G-Mama and Tess had some together time in the hot tub! We booked the Gold Rush room and were blown away impressed with the thoughtfulness and details. We all agreed – it blew the last escape room we did out of the water!
It. Was. So. FUN. I love that each room is private so we were able to just have the four of us working together!
We all worked super well together and it was the perfect level for our crew. Hard enough to be a challenge but not SO hard that we couldn’t figure things out at a solid pace. We were also able to make sure we slowed down enough to let Britt do things and be involved. And she was a huge asset!
I def don’t think Tess would handle the escape room well yet. She’d feel frazzled and overwhelmed and get lost in the shuffle. I think Britt’s age is perfect for a first escape room experience.
If you’re considering planning an escape room I shared several escape room tips on this post 🙂
We made it out with 10 minutes to spare!!! I LOVE opportunities like these to help foster a positive relationship between Kye and Britt as they are my two that bicker most often. Shared memories and experiences are such a great way to connect them and they truly enjoyed their time together.
HUGE thanks to The Escape Game Orlando for hosting us and for making Kye’s birthday extra special with his birthday sticker and card. They also sold pins so we got the kids each one for their pin boards andddd when you complete a room you can get a discount on gift cards for a future room experience so we went ahead and purchased some 🙂 Can’t wait to go back!
I think this was probably my favorite day of the trip! Zach was back to feeling great, the kids were all in great moods, and DISNEY WAS BACK, plus I love surprising the kids and Kye LOVED the dinner and escape room!