Are you considering taking your kids to Disney, or planning your next trip? My good friend told us before we left, “it’s so magical you’re going to start talking about your next trip while you are there.” This couldn’t be more true!
We planned a Disney World trip that would have us in the parks for three total days. I debated back and forth which parks we should go to, but ultimately landed on Magic Kingdom on Wednesday, Animal Kingdom on Thursday, and Magic Kingdom again on Friday. This turned out to be an amazing itinerary for us and let us explore the parks that had the most for two active little boys.
We stayed at the Polynesian Village Resort, a beautiful Hawaiian-themed resort situated conveniently on the monorail. Many people told us that staying on the monorail with two little kids that would definitely be in strollers would be helpful, and this was great advice. We ventured off the monorail for the Animal Kingdom and to have dinner at the Animal Lodge, but we either took a convenient bus or took a boat, which was a special treat.
Day 1- Arrival
We arrived Tuesday early afternoon and after checking out the room, headed to the resort pool where the boys spent the majority of the day. They recently renovated the pool, and the little kid section was a big hit. There were several slides, water shooters and a little swimming lagoon the boys loved. We never even left this section. The boys took naps, and then we got ready for the Spirit of Aloha Polynesian Dinner. Clint and I both said this was one of our favorite nights. On property, they have a Polynesian dance show and family-style dinner that was absolutely delicious. I was so nervous if the boys would sit still, and they did great. The show was so stimulating they sat (or danced!) the entire time. Definitely one of our favorite nights.
Day 2- Magic Kingdom Day 1
I had scheduled a breakfast at Chef Disney (Contemporary Hotel) at 7:45 AM in the hopes we would be done in time to head to the park when it opened. This worked out great. The boys got to meet all their favorite characters, and the breakfast buffet had lots of delicious options. If you are planning a trip, this is a breakfast I would highly recommend booking early.
Then we headed to the park! We road the Buzz Lightyear, Space Ranger ride via Fast Pass, Tomorrowland Speedway, Tea Cups, Dumbo and then headed to other parts of the park. We watched the Disney Friends Musical show at the Castle, which the boys loved. Elsa sang and the crowd went wild! I did lose my Magic Band this day, and if it ever happens to you, it’s super easy to replace, so never worry! We got some delicious treats at the Confectionary and headed back to the room for naps (boys were melting at this point!)
That night, we headed to dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe, another spot I highly recommend. We took a boat from Magic Kingdom over here, which was a beautiful change of pace. Once we got there, we loved the actual resort and the cozy, cabin feel. The restaurant had Lincoln Logs for the kids to play with while we waited, but we sat quickly. The waiters are lively and yell at one another, which is super funny. The boys didn’t sit as well for this dinner (aka Beau!) but overall it was super delicious and fun. Clint and I both ordered the BBQ skillets and said it was another great meal. I was so nervous about bad vacation food, two nights in a row were a pleasant surprise.
We surprised ourselves and headed back into the park after dinner. We went into the Swiss Family House treehouse and road Pirates of the Carribean (which I wouldn’t recommend actually. It was scarier than I thought, mostly for Shep). It wasn’t bad by any means and I’m glad we went late when the lines were short, but there were some spots I think he found scary.
The highlight was the fireworks at the end of the night! We got to watch Magic Kingdom light up and the boys absolutely loved it.
Day 3 – Animal Kingdom
Clint and I had never been to this park, but as soon as we walked in and saw the Tree of Life we were so excited. We started the day watching Festival of Lion King, which was an amazing broadway style show with dancers, acrobats, classic Lion King songs and lots of crowd involvement. We had a Fass Pass for this one and glad we did. It was definitely a highlight.
Then Shep and Beau got to play in the bone yard (huge dinosaur-themed playyard for kids). This was amazing and both boys loved being able to run free! Clint and Shep then headed to the Dinosaur rollercoaster and Beau and I explored Dinoland together. Then, we walked and explored this amazingly gorgeous park (the details are incredible), ate our PB&J packed sandwiches (I did this almost everyday) before the Safari. We saw giraffes, rhinos, crocodiles, elephants, zebras and so many more animals in the wild. The boys and Clint and I loved this one and were amazed by how many different animals we saw on this attraction. We also booked a Fast Pass for this.
This day was really hot and the boys were getting really tired by this point. We headed back to the resort for naps again (we always debated skipping them but every day quickly saw it wasn’t going to be possible. We headed back to Animal Kingdom that night to eat at the Rainforest Cafe, which the boys also loved. The “thunderstorms” and life-like animals kept them entertained throughout the meal.
Disney World Day 4 – Magic Kingdom Again
I’m so glad we chose to do Magic Kingdom again. This time around I made sure we saw Buzz Lightyear during the Meet & Greet, and Shep was in heaven meeting him. He was smiling ear-to-ear hours afterward. We ended up riding so many rides this day because many people had headed out due to Irma. The lines were so short! We rode Buzz Lightyear again, Dumbo, Big Thunder Canyon (just Shep and Clint), The Adventures of Pooh, It’s a Small World, AstroOrbiter and probably a few others I’m leaving off.
That night we ended up switching our reservations and eating at O’Hana on the resort property. Now, here’s my only negative review. Everyone says this is one of the best restaurants on Disney property. Don’t get me wrong, the food was good. But up until now I felt like we got what we paid for. This dinner was $150+ with no alcohol and each of the boys were $2. I don’t know about you but my boys never could eat $25 of food. That said, it was good. It just wasn’t $150 good.
A note about Hurricane Irma
So many of you texted, called or messages me about our plans to leave while Hurricane Irma was there. I won’t sugarcoat it, I was really scared. Clint was calm through it all (thank god) but I was terrified. Our flight was 10:20 am and I was constantly scared the airport would determine it was no longer safe to fly or the airline would cancel it. I booked a rental car in case we were going to need to leave. While the resort would have been safe to stay, our reservation was until Saturday and there was a waitlist of people who were staying since their flights were canceled. People from diverted cruises were coming into the resort and were promised rooms that were available. Besides our own plans to get out in time, I’m nervous and praying for our friends in Florida who are battling this storm.
A Few Must-Haves for Your Disney World Trip
To end this post, I wanted to include a list of items I wish I would have bought or ended up did getting prior to our trip that were helpful:
- LagunaTide Diaper Backpack: This was so much better for a Disney trip than my normal diaper bag. It was easy to carry while multi-tasking and it held lots of our necessities in one place. It had 12 pockets to keep everything organized which is super helpful when you need to find something fast. I have a couple more days left in my Instagram giveaway if you want to enter to win yours! Head to this post to enter. Also, you can use this code for 15% your Laguna Tide order! BCOGRP15
- Double Umbrella Stroller: I am so glad I didn’t pack our UppaBaby Vista or Double Bob. Those would have just been too heavy. We ended up purchasing this Jeep Double Umbrella and it was lightweight and helped us keep both boys together when we needed to walk somewhere quickly. That said, I wish I would have purchased a rain cover for the stroller since there were lots of sporadic showers.
- Lots of Disney-themed Clothes: I bought the boys a few tops from Smocked Auctions but wish I would have planned to have Disney clothes for every day. I know Old Navy and Target often have great Mickey items, so I’ll keep my eye open to stock up for our next trip!
- Garden Grocer Delivery: My friend recommended we place an order before arrival and I’m so glad we did. We saved so much money by packing our lunches every day, and I didn’t miss the bad park food (fries, burgers, etc.) We also got a few of our favorites, like Clint’s favorite Florida beer and my favorite coffee creamer, which were nice to have. I also got a big pack of single serve potato chips, which would have been too big too pack.
- Honest Co. Hand Sanitizer Spray: This is my favorite, quick way to keep hands clean after touching lots of public places. It also smells really fresh and clean without being as chemically as other sanitizers.