Disney Family Photos
We went to Disney for a week in January and during Owen’s winter break in February..I know, it sounds like alot..Our trip in January was with my family,too, and Harrison and I got the flu and had to miss out on a few days. Before we left in January, we upgraded to an annual pass. (If you are going to go back within a year, even if it’s the week before the next year, an annual pass will save you $$$) Our super sweet friends gave us their timeshare for our February trip (such a blessing) and we ate breakfast at our hotel + pb and j-ed it for lunch. I realllly liked packing our lunch. It saved a lot of park time + eating when waiting in a line kept the kids busy. Plus, it saves money. (We’ve been talking a lot about experiences over things at our house. Our kids really valued putting toys back in the store and saving money for Disney) January was a little busy with the marathon going on. We were there during the Princess one in February, but the crowds were really low and just amazing.
First let me start with 5 million pictures from Cars at the Art of Animation Resort…we did not stay here, but we had to stop here first, because we have a serious Lightning McQueen fan. Word on the street is now since our last trip in February, Disney is charging for parking, but we were able to just drive in, park, and look at all the fun Cars stuff. For Harrison, who loves all things race cars, it was a dream come true. The Cozy Cone pool was so super cute so I had to include a picture of that, too. We were there early in the morning, before we headed to Magic Kingdom, so no one was out swimming yet. In early January, the park still had some Christmas decorations and was blaring Christmas music. One of my favorite Disney pictures was taken in January at the Contemporary Resort, but I haven’t seen those Mickey lights in January since.
We always love seeing the Dapper Dans, and it was so fun that the piano player at Casey’s had Owen play the piano with him.
One of our favorite Disney snacks – Dole Whip. You can get either here or at the Polynesian Hotel. (We may have had it twice this trip….stopping after the Luau for a Dole Whip before we headed back.)
Animal Kingdom has become more of a favorite for me this year. In January, we only spent like 1/2 day there because then we had to head back for our family pictures but in February, we spent a lot of time here. Owen is a huge Flight of Passage, fan, so we went two days to ride it, and with buddy pass, Owen got to ride it four times. He is really going to miss Harrison being little enough for the buddy pass. I’m thinking by the fall or next year he will hit the height requirements. So, back to Animal Kingdom. It was really adorable how the cousins were so into the maps, so I had to take like 5 million pictures. Our January safari was the best safari we’ve had, and I still can’t believe how close the giraffes were. There is now a baby hippo at Disney, and one of the cast members had informed us in February, your best chance to see it is on the safari. So, what is the best way to ride Flight of Passage? Some people like to get there super early and run at rope drop. You are looking at waiting a long time before the park opens just to get in early. (And if you have extra magic hours because you are staying on property, still go at least 30 min before that starts to wait) This was not the way we did it…We didn’t stay on property in February but we reallllly wanted to ride Flight of Passage. Our first day, we got to Animal Kingdom around 3 or 4 pm. I had read somewhere online to try to get in line ten minutes before the park closes. So we stopped by Flight of Passage and asked the cast members out front. They confirmed that we could do this (woo-hoo!) We waited an hour both nights (This line can get crazy 3-5 hour waits) One night we were the last people heading out of Animal Kingdom (so fun!) How did our kids keep up? And us, too! HA! This trip we went to the parks at rope drop and stayed for about 5 hours. All of that was rides because we ate lunch in line. Then we’d go back to our hotel and nap for about 2 hours and then head back to a park until closing. The rides at night were just so great!
Star Wars Tour. On our January trip, we did something we had not done before – the Hollywood Studios Star Wars tour. It was really, really fun. You get to walk on all of the Star Wars rides/experiences plus the kids got to walk in the Star Wars parade. A front seat at the Star Wars show, enrolled in Jedi Training, Star Wars meet and greets, and a front row spot at the Star Wars fireworks show. We also got to see some behind the scenes of the Star Tours ride.The Star Wars lunch was also super cute. It was a really fun day, and I’d highly recommend it for a Star Wars fan. (So looking forward to Star Wars Land in 2019!
When planning a Disney trip…
If you want to do dinner reservations etc, you really need to book your trip a little over six months out. (You can book dinner reservations six months out and you need to do this on the first day you can. Also, fast passes can be booked 60 and 30 days out depending on if you are staying on property) Things to bring – a portable phone charger, lots of hand sanitizer, and the 1.00 ponchos from Target. My personal favorite ride is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and it’s really the best if you ride it at night. Our favorite restaurant is Ohana..it can be really hard to get a reservation for it, but it’s just so yummy! If you are going to eat quick service in the park, order on your phone in the app. It’s so much quicker and just make sure you already have your credit card saved in the app before you go in the park.If you are staying on property, you can have any merchandise you buy in the park sent to your hotel gift shop. If you aren’t staying on property, you can have them send it to the front of the park for pick up (It just takes 3-4 hours) In Magic Kingdom, the hat store on Main Street and in the Town Square Theater will embroider names on hats. For a special souvenir, there is someone that does silhouettes on main street. Also, the cast members selling balloons will let your kids hold the whole bunch for a picture. If you are a popcorn fan, you get buy refillable popcorn and it’s 1.50 to refill at any park. And like I mentioned above, any big ride you want to ride…by big ride, I mean long wait, go get in line ten minutes before the park closes.
Harrison’s face….I love him.
We tried three new restaurants – The Hollywood Brown Derby Diner. (where Lucas signed over Star Wars to Disney) It was so so yummy. We also tried the Biergarten buffet in Germany at Epcot. The buffets are a little bit more expensive, but it was really yummy, and there was a show with German music. Last, the Sci Fi Diner at Hollywood Studios. I have wanted to try this for a while, and oh my, the cuteness. SO CUTE. I think I loved it more than anyone – ha! We have done all the character dinners, and wanted to try some different places this trip.
Sci Fi Diner
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Rebecca Keller is a Raleigh Newborn Photographer featured in My Little Peanut, Let The Kids Dress Themselves and several other blogs. Because we chat about our personal lives, we may receive commissions from affiliate links on the blog.