Disney World Mickey Mouse Character parade DisneyLand

Surprise! We’re Going to Disney Word!

We just came back from a week of honestly the most MAGICAL time I’ve had in ages. I’ve spent a year planning our daughter’s first trip to Disney World and I can’t articulate how much all that hard work paid off to make one of the best memories I will ever have.

All the time spent researching, waking up early to get dining reservations and agonizing over FastPass+ selections was so worth it when we saw Miss O’s reaction to our surprise trip reveal.

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surprise big eyes

Disney Trip Reveal

“You haven’t told them yet?!” is usually followed by, “how did you make it all year without them knowing?” or “oh my goodness, they’re going to lose their minds!” I can assure you, the struggle to not tell Miss O about our big family trip to Disney World was really, really, real.

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airport vacation suitcases Disney travel backpack

Pack it up, Pack it in

Because I’m a planner by nature and profession, I look to my trusty packing template for everything from a week long, international conference to a weekend at my mother’s condo 45-minutes away. My colleagues think I’m crazy, but they’re not laughing when I can do a two-day conference trip with just my backpack and still look professional. Once I figured out some fun Disney shirts for our upcoming trip to Disney World, I knew it was time to break out my packing template and get to work.

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Disney Magic shirt Mickey ears

Prepare Yourself: Disney Shirts Happen

“Are you gonna do those matching shirts?” Hands down this is the most common question I was asked anytime I got into a conversation about planning our family trip to Walt Disney World. Part of me wanted to embrace the stereotype and be that family. The other part, knew my family wouldn’t be into it, but I still debated doing it ironically. Clearly there was something to this that I needed to explore.

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DIY Disney Autograph Banner

When the big planning for our trip to Walt Disney World was finally finished with hotel, airfare, dining, park plans and FastPass reservations secured, I could finally focus on the fun stuff. I couldn’t wait for Miss O to meet some of her favorite Disney characters before the magic of princesses and pirates faded for her. I wasn’t sure exactly how character interactions worked these days, but I knew those lines were no joke.

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Stroller walking meadow autumn crocus

Strolling with my Homies

I was not raised with a love of outdoor activity and the only time I’ll run is if I’m being chased. I certainly wasn’t planning on running through any of the four Disney World parks on our visit, but I’ve also seen the security lines in the Orlando airport, so I wasn’t ruling out having to run through the terminal to make our flight home. It’s bad enough traveling alone as an adult, but once you get a tired kid in tow, all bets are off. I also wasn’t sure just how tired the aforementioned child would be by the end of a 5-day Disney experience. That got me wondering if we were all going to make it through this trip at all.

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Disney FastPass Kilimanjaro Safaris Walt Disney World

Stalking Disney FastPass+ Reservations

One of the nicer things about traveling for work is getting a break from whatever is going on at the office for a bit. Fortunately for me, that meant I could focus on my next big deadline for our upcoming Disney World trip: FastPass+ reservations. Unfortunately, that meant praying to the WiFi gods for a strong connection in a hotel right before I needed to leave to actually attend the conference. Priorities really get you sometimes, don’t they?

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