Thursday, December 29, 2011

Trippin' Thursday... Disney Travels and Day 1

To keep all things Disney in one place, I'm going to re-post 2010 trip here.

Life is a Highway

We visited Walt Disney World last April. It was Gregg's 3rd trip and Belle's 1st and I don't even count myself, because I spent the latter years of my teen life working for the mouse at MGM Studios. I am an old Disney pro....

I am a big chicken and wasn't ready to stick my baby girl on an airplane. This meant that we made the 14 hour drive to Orlando and stretched it out over 3 days. I wanted to take it slow...

We left on a Thursday evening and drove to Hattiesburg, Ms.

Shout-out to Foxy and Papa (my grandparents, who live in Start, La.)
Crossing the Great Mississippi.

On Friday, we woke up early and drove back into Louisiana (thanks to my awesome navigating skillz) and then headed back through Mississippi and finally into Alabama. Gregg and I both have such fond memories of driving through 'the tunnel'. Unfortunately, Belle slept through her first tunnel experience.

We made it to Florida an hour and 1/2 behind schedule. (Whoops...) We were in for a long day of driving. That evening we arrived in Ocala, Fl where we spent the night at the Hilton.

We woke up SUPER early on Saturday morning and drove the final hour and 1/2 to Disney World!
Belle was all decked out in her Disney apparel.

We were giddy when we arrived at our resort. It was only 9:30 am.

We went straight to our rooms to unpack....

And jump on the beds....

And then we were Magic Kingdom bound!!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cat, Please Exit Bag...

As expected, but not hoped for, the surprise didn't get a huge reaction.

In my head I had planned to open the gifts on Christmas Day, after snuggling together in our jammies and watching the Disney Christmas Parade.

That was the plan...until I realized that Christmas fell on Sunday.

Sunday meant that we would need to leave the house at 8 am for the church service and leave town immediately after that for Christmas with Gregg's family.  Because of that we did Santa, Christmas at my grandparents, my parents and the Disney surprise all in one day.  We were all very overwhelmed to say the least.

Belle was heading into spoiled brat mode by the time we got around to the 3 Disney gifts.  She had been opening gifts all day and hadn't napped for days.

Evie just wanted to steal Belle's Hello Kitty slippers.

Gift 1 Reaction- 'Seriously, clothes???'

Gift 2 Reaction- Utter Excitement.  She squealed. 

Gift 3 Reaction- I cried.  She hugged me and squealed again.  Then she got really confused. 

She told us that she didn't want to talk about Disney World.  She just wanted to wear her costume.

And little Snow White, who was having quite a traumatic hair day, got dressed up, too.
If that's not the look of Disney excitement, then I don't know what is... Haha.

It took a few days for it to sink in, but Belle is in full-on Disney mode now.  She has been watching videos on YouTube and has already planned out her first day in the parks.  At the moment, she wants to go to Hollywood Studios first to see the Beauty and the Beast Show. 

We've started our count-up calendar, too. 

Come on January, fly by!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 5 + Baby Wear...

Are you ready for our extensive Day 5 plans???

This is going to be very long...  you might want to grab a snack.

Our Day 5 plans include...


And that's about it...

I really couldn't be more excited about the schedule.  I'm sure we will need a day of rest by then.

Now that I've bored you to tears, I'll move on to a more fun topic.

I just sent one of my best friends home with 2 onesies and some ideas that I found on Etsy.

I've also started making hair bows, so it will be fun to put together a few outfits. 
 Hobby Lobby and it's 40% coupons are great friends on mine.

I am literally on the edge of my seat over here!  A few more days until Christmas and our surprise.  I can't wait to talk Disney with Belle.

PS- I'm not sure if you check out my blog, but we tried out the ear muffs on Belle recently and they worked great.  We are very hopeful that we are finding solutions to her problems.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm so excited...

And I just can't hide it...

(Sorry, that will probably be stuck in your head all day.)

The girl's Christmas presents have all been bought and now I painfully await Christmas Eve, when we gets to spill the beans...

'We're going to Disney World!'

We plan to tell the girl's (ahem, Belle...) with her three Christmas gifts.

Gift 1-  A Mickey tee for Belle and a Mickey dress for Evie 

 I think Belle will like it, but will probably have the normal reaction of a 4 year old- 'uh, clothes... bring on the toys'.

Gift 2- Costumes

For Belle

Belle is going to flip out over this!  She has been asking for a Jasmine costume for so long.  We always had 'modesty issues' with previous costumes, but this one covers the tummy pretty well.  I can't wait to see her reaction.

For Evie

Evie is going to be such a sweet Snow.  I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that I have a fair skinned, dark headed baby.  But, oh, how I love my little Snow White.

Gift 3- Disney Countdown Calendar & Surprise

My dear friend Emma is a fantastic artist and she created a really cool countdown calendar for us.  

With each passing day, we will add a piece to a puzzle of Ariel.  We will first fill in Ariel's mermaid tale and then she will transform into a human.

It's going to make the weeks leading up to the trip extra special.

Countdown calendar's are a super fun way to prepare your kids for a big trip.  If you are interested check out Emma's store on Etsy.  I'm pretty sure she takes custom requests, as well.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 4- Hakuna Matata & Rooftop Fireworks

Animal Kingdom was the biggest hit on Belle's first trip.  She felt very comfortable amongst the animals and most of the rides at AK are outdoors.

Our favorite adventure was Rafiki's Plant Watch.

Belle was able to hold elephant dung and she still talks about it to this day!

We can't wait to visit AK again this year!  There are several things that we missed - Festival of The Lion King, Camp Minni Mickey, Finding Nemo and The Dig Site, to name a few.

Sadly, we are taking a break eating at Yak & Yeti.  It's one of my very favorite places to dine, but it's far time that we branched out a bit. 

After a day in the wild, we will get all dolled up and dine at California Grill.  (Gregg's favorite restaurant in the world!)

We are so looking forward to watching Wishes from the top of the Contemporary Resort.

If you've never done this, it's a must!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Enjoy the show...

It's that time again!

A Magic Kingdom morning.  

There's really not anything else like it, is there?

Magic Kingdom 'For Sure' List-

Dumbo (didn't do it last time)
Tea Cups
Aladdin's Carpets
Swiss Family Robinson Tree House
Tiana Meet & Greet (The girls will be wearing Tiana and Evangeline costumes that day.)
Meet Rapunzel (Which should be super exciting!)

Fingers Crossed List-

Small World, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh
Splash Mountain (she wants to try it)
Liberty Square Riverboat
Tiki Room (also wants to try it)
Pirates of the Caribbean
Tom Sawyer Island

The 'no way, now how, not for me' List-

Jungle Cruise (alligators)
Pirates of the Caribbean (fire)
Haunted Mansion (ugly ghosts)
Dole Whips (because we are the only people on the planet who find them gross)

That evening we are having dinner at Akershus.  
Belle is going to dress like Belle.  (Love saying that...) 
 Evie is going to dress like Snow White.  (I melt just thinking about it...)

I'm so excited about this day!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Let's Revisit Day 2, shall we?

It's been a very rough morning in our household and at 9 am both of my girls are down for naps.  I think I win 'the worst mommy of day' award and it's only 10am.  UGH!

So instead of doing housework, I'm taking a break to do some reading and blogging and rejuvenating.

While I was on the DIS, I came across a super-funny trip report.  I think this girl is my long lost little sister.  Sigh. I miss trip reporting on the DIS.

As I mentioned earlier, we lost our reservation at the Bippidi Boppidi Boutique.  There are none available for our new dates at the Magic Kingdom location, so I think it's going to be a no-go for this trip.  (But honestly, it's BBB at our house every day, so......)

With that no longer an option, I got a late morning ADR at Chef Mickeys.  The girl's will wear the cute Mickey shirts that I ordered earlier this week.  Hooray for cute clothes!

After breakfast we will head over to Port Orleans to check in.  If our room is ready we will nap, if not we will head to Hollywood Studios.  (Unless Belle is dying to go elsewhere.  This is a bonus day, so we are down for anything.)

We might have dinner in the park or we might have it back at the resort. 

There is a real reason that we are starting out slowly and without a real schedule- 

 We are pretty sure that Belle suffers with Sensory Processing Disorder.  We've not had her formally diagnosed yet (starting the process this Friday), but I am taking precautions as if she were.  It will hopefully make the trip easier for her.

During the last trip she refused to ride anything indoors, but very much enjoyed outdoor rides.  At that point, we chalked it up to her being two.  However, it has become very apparent in the past year that there is more to it.  She detests birthday parties, ChuckECheese, arcades, being on stage...  The common denominator in all of these- bright lights and/or loud noises.  

I ordered a pair of pink 'ears' that help with her sensitivity to loud sounds.

We are also going to bring sunglasses to wear around bright lights.  

Belle LOVES so much about Disney and watches the rides on YouTube.  She wants to badly to go and to be brave on the rides.  I'm hoping that the ears and glasses will allow her to do so. 

We don't have high expectations for this trip.  Aside from ADR's we are going to play it by ear and go at a relaxing pace.  

PS- The rest of the trip is a little more structured because of ADR's, so the coming posts won't be quite this boring.  :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Let's Try This Again...

Please pretend like I am just starting this pre-trip report.  We've made some changes to our dates and with that, changes to our schedule.  

So here are some of the changes-

First, my sister isn't going to be able to come.  She has a lot on her plate right now and the new dates just aren't working out with her schedule.  

With that we've changed our route and decided to leave a day earlier.

A quick run-down of our travel days-

Day 1- Depart late afternoon, spend the night at my grandparent's house.
Day 2- Long drive to Tallahassee.
Day 3- Tallahassee to Orlando.

Once we arrive...

-We will arrive in Orlando around lunch time and head straight to Downtown Disney.

-Lunch will most likely be at Wolfgang Puck Express and then we will shop around for a bit.

-Check in to The Contemporary Resort at 3 pm.

-Flip out over the view of Magic Kingdom.

-Try and take a rest. (Haha!)

-Ride the monorail to The Polynesian for dinner at Captain Cooks.

-Watch Wishes and The Electrical Water Pageant from our balcony.

We've decided to do IOA at the end of our trip (and only if we really want to do it...)  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Changes of The Good Kind...

We had some surprising news today that interfered with our trip dates.

 Gregg came home for lunch today and we scrambled to make a decision... choosing between a great opportunity for him to play in a benefit show or to take a family vacation.  We both really wanted him to play in the show, so we looked in to changing our trip dates.

Favor was on our side, because we ended up saving quite a bit of money by changing dates.

We had to make some adjustments to the adding a night.  Arriving a month earlier.  Booking a room only reservation at the Contemporary.  Adding a Chef Mickey reservation.  

We feel terrible about it.

Thankfully all of our ADR's transferred over.  

The only bad news is that we lost the Princess room and our BBB reservation.  (But remember, Belle doesn't even know we are going, so I haven't gotten her hopes up about it.)

You'll be hearing from me a lot more over here. 

Our trip is so close... I've got to get hopping!  

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Gift of Cuteness...

It's time to start gathering ye olde Disney wardrobe...

I have really cut down on my shopping as of lately. For real.  

Since Belle practically lives in costumes, I'm just going to let her spend most of the trip wearing them.

Evie is the hand-me-down queen, so it would be silly for me to buy a ton of new clothes for her.  (Babies grow so fast and it annoys me when she only get to wear something once.)

Call me a recovering Shopaholic...

However, that little bit of shopper still lingers and I've been eyeing a few items for a while...

And patience pays off, because the CoraLouise Boutique had a BIG black friday SALE!

Here are a few goodies I snatched up to give as Christmas gifts...

For our O'Hana breakfast...

(Evie- and I'm going to have it made into a dress, as well.)


I've also got my eye on these for Evangeline...

(To match sister's Little Mermaid costume)

(For an Epcot day)

I'm so excited about these!  

December is going to fly by and then we just have a few short months.

I'll update plans soon!  :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Bippidi Boppidi Boo Morning...

Our first morning in Disney!  Oh, the promises of what to come...

Or in our case, crossing our fingers really hard and hoping that Belle will actually enjoy the rides this time.

Last time I started us off on a really sour note by choosing The Jungle Cruise as our inaugural ride.

This time I'm trying a different approach and it's called-


This is pretty much what Belle is made of.

Last time we bought the Castle Package, but this time around we are just doing hair and makeup.

I'm going to surprise her at Christmas with a Tiana costume and that is what she will wear to the park that morning.

And what about baby Evie?

My best friend is going to make Evangeline a custom outfit with a star on it and I'm going to have her name monogrammed across the star.

So we will be spending our first Disney morning with Princess Tiana and Evangeline.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Off to Disney World...

Back to planning, friends...

I know that I'm going pretty slow, so here's a quick run-down of our plans thus far- 

Travel Day 1-Our house to my sister's house.
Travel Day 2- Sis's house to Universal Orlando
Day 1- IOA to ...

Port Orleans Riverside, of course.

As I've mentioned before, we will be staying in the new princess themed rooms.

They are located in Parterre Place and Magnolia Bend.  
(I happen to think that these are the two most beautiful area's of POR, so I am very excited.)

I'm still not sure how I will surprise Belle regarding this trip, but I know for sure that we will surprise her with the room when we arrive at the resort.  We will let her go in first and explore.

I'm really not sure what time we will arrive for check in.  Gregg is so excited to see IOA, so I'll just let him take the lead.  My only request is that we all get to bed very early that night.

 If we arrive with time to spare, we will probably try and get a table at Boatwright's, the only sit down restaurant at Port Orleans.  We very much enjoyed it on our last trip.  It tastes like home!

And unless it's raining cats and dogs, Belle will be making an appearance on the playground.  

She loves it!

And then we will lay down our heads on our pretty princess beds and dream Disney dreams...