We Are Going To…

October 30, 2016



Yes! We are and I’m so excited. We are going to be there in early December.

We are actually headed to a wounded veteran’s conference through The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes (where I work) but they gave us the option to go early, so we are leaving about 4 days before that and taking the girls to Disney. Then the conference is for the rest of the time and we’ll be able to go to Universal since our hotel is part of them.

So with everything, there’s a fun story that goes with this. 🙂

About 3 years ago, Bella wanted to know if we could go back on the Disney cruise Babble sent her and I on in 2012 (man has it really been that long??). I said it was a lot of money to do that, so it would take a while (if ever) before we’d ever have enough to go again. She decided to start saving all the change around the house, birthday money, etc in this little owl bank so she could take us. <3 Every few months she’d count her money and ask, “Is that enough yet?”

Before we knew about any of this with the conference, one day in Sept she came around the corner while I was in the kitchen and asked, “Mama, will you take off the bottom of the owl bank for me?”

I said yes but asked if there was a reason she wanted me to do that – I figured maybe she wanted to count it and I’d need her to wait until I was done. But instead her face lit up and she replied, “It’s full now! I can’t fit another money in. So I can take us on the Disney cruise!”

*sigh* I gently explained that even if it was full, we would still have to plan and it would be a while. She was disappointed but said ok. That night I told Sam what had happened, and we agreed to try to figure out if maybe we could take them to Disney World in a year or so instead.

Just a few days later we found out about the conference and that we’d been accepted to go. I was looking at the itinerary when I saw they offered a chance for us to go earlier or stay longer in Orlando – and realized if we did this, we’d be able to go to Disney World much, much cheaper. Our hotel would be 9 miles away. It’ll be Christmas time.

So then how could we not?

We bought our tickets through the military, and now I’m planning a few fun things for us to do while we’re there (Bella really wants to meet Winnie the Pooh so we reserved a breakfast where he is). We’re also spending a day in Animal Kingdom because of her love for animals (and the pics remind me so much of Zimbabwe). We’re tying the trip into both girls’ birthdays and Christmas.

We also let Bella think she’s taking us 😉


I’ll have a post soon on her birthday but it’s still being worked out. A lot to cover <3 

I’m so very excited to go during Christmas and every moment of my spare time right now is devoted to researching it. I went once when I was little with my parents, but I don’t remember anything except the It’s a Small World ride. Apparently we’re going at a great time with lower crowds, which is wonderful.

If you have any tips or ideas, let me know!


  • funislander

    November 1, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    We have taken our 8 children to WDW twice , also went once when we only had 3 kids, and we stayed at Shades of Green. I always read tons of guide books, completely overplan, and we always get up at 5:30 am to get in as much as we can every day. We end up in bed after 11 pm and do it all again for 5 days (five day passes have been the biggest value for us). If I could give any advice, it would be to do the opposite of that plan – relax and enjoy! There’s really no way to see everything, do everything, eat everywhere, ride every ride … and the kids just enjoy what’s in front of them at the moment. Every square foot of WDW is beautiful to me so wherever we are there’s something gorgeous to look at. Babies in strollers are endlessly entertained there and small children can walk a little farther than you thought they could. Wow, so excited for you to take your girls for the first time!

  • Brandie Brown

    October 30, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Disney at Christmas time is THE BEST! I recommend reading all of the Disney mom’s blogs with travel tips. They have so much insight into p planning an incredible trip. We’ve always gone the “cheap” way, renting a house, packing lunches, filling water bottles in the fountains and it has worked great (also allowing us to do more with our travel budget). Have fun and enjoy the trip! The falling “snow” and dancing lights at Hollywood Studios is the best!

  • Erin (thismommywrites)

    October 30, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    YAY! I am so excited for you!!! We took our then 4 1/2 yr old and 8 year old and it was incredible (and exhausting!!)

    I think some of the best advice I can give is bring snacks and water, bring or have a double stroller (we brought our sit and stand and my 8 yr old rode it most of the time -it was hot in May- plus how great it is to store snacks, water and extra stuff in) ….

    Any of the professional photographers they have roaming around taking pics will gladly take your photos WITH YOUR OWN CAMERA or PHONE- Just ask!! It was the only way all 4 of us got in photos together, get an early seat for the Disney parade, the Safari at AK is good in the morning when the animals are up and eating (they tend to nap in the afternoon or hide from sun) bring battery backup for your phone and camera to the parks with plenty of storage…

    and I guess the best advice is what we really did…we had ONE MAIN GOAL every day (meet Anna/Elsa, breakfast with princesses, ride certain rides) and everything else after that was just gravy. Low expectations, get as much sleep as you can, wear comfy walking shoes and enjoy every second!!!!! We never did see the night parade or fireworks- we were way too tired but we were totally ok with that…gives us something to look forward to next time! Email if you have any questions !! :-}

  • elleryplatt

    October 30, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Those military passes are the BEST!!

    I am a passholder at WDW. Magic Kingdom will probably be their favorite, so plan to spend the most time there. If you are not staying at a Disney resort, you can make FastPass+ reservations on the My Disney Experience app 30 days ahead of time. If Bella is a huge Frozen fan, you’ll want to meet Anna and Elsa at Epcot. The Frozen ride is impossible to get FastPasses for and the lines are always 60 or more minutes. The Nemo musical at Animal Kingdom is kind of dark and scary. The Lion King show is fantastic. The safari that someone else mentioned is also a lot of fun. Hollywood Studios is kind of a waste of time right now while a lot of the park is closed for expansion, but Santa will be there. Magic Kingdom has a show in front of the castle that has Princess and the Frog, Tangled and Frozen characters in it. The parade is at 3pm everyday. If you have the extra money, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be going on too. Finally, for free fun, you can go to Disney Springs where there is shopping and a fun atmosphere. There’s a T-Rex restaurant and a Rainforest Cafe too.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to email me at ellery.platt@gmail.com

  • Mallory

    October 30, 2016 at 10:00 am

    I just went to WDW for the first time this year and it was amazing. I’ve been a pass holder at Disneyland for ten years but WDW is a whole other experience. Download the app on your phone and set up your fast pass times early. You can book all your restaurants in the app and even see your photo pass pictures if you get those.

    Go on the safari at animal kingdom multiple times since the animals come out at different times. The lion king show was fantastic and I heard the nemo show is great too but I didn’t get to see it.

    Have so much fun! I’m jealous. I loved it but it was so so hot (I went in late July). EPCOT was my favorite, but everyone I know who went as a kid didn’t like it.

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