Our Disney Vacation Roundup + A Walt Disney World Q&A Session

You all asked and I’m answering all your questions about our recent travels to Walt Disney World!  We are no strangers Disney, so most of our friends were not surprised that our first vacation with Charlie would be a trip to the happiest place on Earth!  I have to say I’m ready to go back.  The weather was perfect!  It was so nice getting a break from the winter we’ve had at home.  It was so magical to see Charlie’s little face, filled with curiosity.

Cardigan// Nursing Tank // White Tee // Jeans // Shoes // Charlie’s First Disney Trip Outfit // Luggage

Day 1 Outfits:

Q: Where do you stay when you visit Walt Disney World?

A:  We’ve stayed at a variety of hotels on and off Disney property, but our favorite one is, hands down, Disney’s Beach Club.  I highly recommend staying at a Disney resort because you get lots of perks like transportation to and from the parks, extra Magic Hours at the park, and transportation to and from the airport.  You also get sent luggage tags so that you can skip the baggage claim when you arrive to Orlando.  Your luggage will be sent right to your room!

The reason we love The Beach Club is because it’s considered a moderate resort, so it’s not the most expensive but it’s not the least expensive, but the quality and location is PERFECT.  You are within walking distance to Epcot (which houses so many good restaurants), The Boardwalk, and Hollywood Studios.  Animal Kingdom is only a short bus ride away.  You truly cannot beat this location plus the beds at this hotel are by far the most comfy.  After all the walking, you are going to want to sleep for the next day festivities!

Q:  How do you manage nursing the baby while you travel?

A:  In response to this question regarding Disney specifically, there are Huggies Baby Stations at each of the parks that are well equipped with everything you need!  There is a private room with rocking chairs for nursing, a separate room full of changing tables, and there is a little store in each one to buy something you may have forgotten or ran out of like wipes, diapers, sunblock, food, formula, the list goes on!  I was pleasantly surprised but how amazing these stations were and what a relief it was to have them.

To answer this question about traveling, in general, it’s actually something I’ve had quite a lot of anxiety about: nursing in public.  I have a whole blog post I plan on doing about this topic, but nursing your baby is completely normal and natural.  I feed the baby on demand which equates to about every hour and half, so when I’m traveling that hour and half goes by quickly.  I have these Milk Snob covers that double as a car seat cover and nursing cover!  They are perfectly comfortable and they allow me to feed the baby while I’m out without having to worry about hiding or who is watching me.  I actually get SO many compliments on these covers from older moms wishing they had one when their kids were younger or future moms saying that they need to add it to their list of items to get!  To help keep myself covered while I’m getting the baby in position, I wear a nursing tank underneath of my shirt for the day so I cover all the bases with keeping myself covered.

I also purchased this travel bottle cleaning set and was worth every penny.  I’m a germaphobe so it was nice to have a drying rack and my own brushes to clean the baby’s toys, bottles, and pumping parts with.  I also used this travel size cleaner!  I took two bottles, 1 set of pumping parts, and milk storage bags.

Ergo Mesh Baby Carrier

Q:  Don’t you think Charlie is a little young for a Disney vacation?

A:  Not at all!  Will she likely remember her first trip in her childhood memories? No, but it wasn’t a complete waste of time.  Charlie is at the age where she is learning and absorbing everything around her.  Getting to see the different colors, shapes, hear music, and watch characters and people all around her is stimulating!  It is only helping her learn and grow even more!  She was very fascinated by her surroundings and had a really good time!  Plus you are never too OLD or YOUNG for Disney!

Q:  What are your favorite places to eat?

A: It seems like every time we travel to Disney we always find a new amazing restaurant because it’s continually growing, but we have a few places we always hit up while we are there!  Morimoto’s Asia is my absolute favorite!  We love O’hana’s and Be Our Guest (reserve ahead of time).  For a more casual fare Beaches and Cream Soda Shop is so fun and tasty.  The Animal Kingdom has Yak and Yetti which never disappoints.  We’ve been wanting to try Boma, an African cuisine but haven’t been able to just yet!  For authentic food experiences, definitely head to Epcot where Rose and Crown Pub serves up the best fish and chips, La Hacienda de San Angel is our favorite Mexican Cuisine, Via Napoli tops the list for Italian, and Kona Cafe has the BEST brunch and their lunch is delicious, too!

Q:  How much time should we plan for a trip to Disney?

A:  This depends on many factors.  Is it just you and your significant other or are you taking the family?  I would be sure to allow yourself rest time if you are taking littles.  Don’t try to overdo it because it won’t make for a happy family at all.  My suggestion (and learning experience from this trip) would be to go for at least 5-6 days with littles.  Splurge of the park hopper pass and go to the park in the morning, come back to the resort in the afternoon for a good nap and maybe some downtime by the pool.  If everyone is up for a second round of the park then hit up another park or go back to the same one.  It seems like a lot of work, but pacing yourself and allowing everyone to rest and take breaks from the head, will be much better in the long run.

Q:  How much time should I allow at each park?

A:  This really depends on what you are into.  Typically, we do 1/2 day at Animal Kingdom, 1/2 Day at Hollywood Studios, and a full day at Magic Kingdom.  You can easily spend a full day at each of the parks though.  We are quite familiar with our favorite attractions and lay of the land so we don’t need to use maps etc.  I would highly suggest taking the time and plan out your days.  Yes, this take a little bit of work ahead of time, but you’ll be thankful you did because you will be able to optimize your time more efficiently.

Q:  When is the best time to visit Walt Disney World?

A:  We LOVE going in April.  The weather is just about perfect and the crowds have died down from Spring breaks!

Other Tips for Navigating Walt Disney World

Get the Dining plan or Club Level.  It’s worth it for the convenience (it actually ends up costing about the same amount of money as you would if you were buying meals individually.) The Club level offers concierge service plus light breakfast daily, light lunch fair (by no means is this a full sit down lunch), as well as appetizers for the evening and desserts plus softdrinks, juices, and a glass of wine (for mom and dad!)  We don’t eat big breakfasts so this was perfect to just get something in our stomachs, right down the hall or while we were getting ready.  It also saved us money on the dessert at dinners.  We could come back and grab a little something for dessert and an ole night cap before heading to bed!

Reserve Fastpasses well in advance.  They are lifesavers.

Line Swap- This is a new one to us, but key if you are traveling with an infant.  Joey and I obviously wanted to ride some rides ourselves, but it’s not fun to stand in line TWICE for 45 minutes each while someone watched the baby.  You can take advantage of the line swap by letting your person stand in line (normal wait time).  Once they get to the ride they can let them know you are doing a line swap and whoever was with the baby could hop into the fast pass line and enjoy the ride as well!

Download the Disney App to access maps, rides, wait times, dining, reservations, and your plans.

Reserve your dining in advance.  The good places DO get booked up, especially if you are going during a busy time of year.  If anything, at least reserve your dinners and have a rough idea of what you want to do for lunch.

Be sure to do online check-in to save time at the front desk when you arrive.

Bring ponchos (It usually will rain at least once on your trip)

Get to the parks early and head right to the “big” attraction.  You won’t have to wait as long.  The crowds really start arriving around 11 AM and wait times can nearly double.