Picture Post with Some Disney Tips

Happy Tuesday, friends, thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to subscribe above if you'd like to be notified when I post anything new. 

Today's post is going to be a hodgepodge of pictures with some tips for Disney at the end. 

We'll start with some weekend happenings - I worked for a few hours on Saturday and then went out with some friends for a going away night out. 

The night started with a Korean wine flight, some amazing Korean BBQ, a flight of beer at an awesome local brewery, and then things got a bit nuts. There were definitely some shots involved, lots of Ubers, a biker bar, some frenetic dancing, and lots of yelling and Snapchatting. I hope Marisa had a good time and knows how much she'll be missed *insert sad face here*

I stayed out way past my bedtime and woke up feeling less than rosy Sunday. However mom-ing never stops and I had to put on my big girl pants and live the day like I didn't feel like death. We ended up going to the dog park, getting ramen, and having some corned beef and cabbage for dinner that evening. 

If you ever get yourself in a similar situation (epic hangover) I highly recommend you go get yourself some ramen. Sure, the crap in the package from the grocery store will work in a pinch (especially if you crack an egg in the water when you add the noodles) BUT I'm talking about the real stuff here. There's this place in Orlando called Sapporo Ramen and it is absolutely amazing. After spending about an hour outside at the dog park, followed by stuffing my face with that entire bowl of ramen, I felt much better. 

We all went to bed early on Sunday because Monday morning we got up early to spend the day at...

Disney World!!

My dad and his girlfriend are in town and we had some passes we needed to use ASAP, so we figured we could all go to Disney for the day. The original plan was to stay at Hollywood Studios and hit up as many rides as possible, then go to the Magic Kingdom and stay until 9 so I could see the end-of-the-night fireworks show Wishes. As things happen when you have a group of people and kids, things didn't go according to plan, but we still managed to have a great time. First we'll do pictures, and then I'll give you my top Disney tips. 

First, we have a picture of me before my workout at 5:00 in the morning which shows you just how excited I was about being up that early. I wasn't about to skip my first workout of my new plan, so even though I knew we would be active all day I still forced myself to get up and do my P90X chest and back workout. I could barely get ready afterwards because my arms were so shaky #doyouevenlift?

As planned, we started the day at Hollywood Studios and charged our way to the Toy Story Mania ride since it tends to always have the longest wait. We got in line, waited 15 minutes, and the ride broke-down. We decided to stick it out and wait but ended up waiting a total of about 45 minutes before getting on the ride #fail

See the upper left hand corner...I know where the camera is.

See the upper left hand corner...I know where the camera is.

The plan from there was to jet over to the Tower of Terror and the Rock 'N Roller Coaster, but by the time we got done with the Toy Story ride the Rock 'N Roller Coast already had a 90 minute wait. Womp womp. So we decided to take advantage of the Rider Swap program that Disney offers when you have small kids and my husband, dad, and his girlfriend Tracy waited in line and rode the Tower of Terror while Justin, Jules and I went to a Disney Junior show. Then my dad and I "swapped" and went right on the ride with a fast pass they give you when you do the Rider Swap. It's an awesome program that I highly recommend you take advantage of if you go to Disney with small kids. 

By the time we were done with all of that we were all starving so we ate a quick lunch and then decided to check out the new Star Wars show by the entrance of the park before heading over to the Magic Kingdom. As usual, shenanigans occurred...

blog 6.jpg

Along with some normalcy...

We made it to the Magic Kingdom in time for the Festival of Fantasy parade, which Julianna loved (I didn't get any pictures, SORRY!). Our first set of fast passes weren't until 4:40, so we decided to head over to Dumbo to check out the line situation (50 minutes is a big, fat no). Then we saw the water play area they have in that area and let Jules get out from her stroller and go crazy. 

She hated it *insert sarcasm here*.

She was a little timid at first, but then she started copying all of the other kids, running around while shrieking with joy. She ended up soaked, but I brought an extra outfit, so it wasn't a big deal at all. 

We then headed to the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, since we were all getting hot and wanted to sit down for a bit. The kids were absolutely exhausted...

(The adults were exhausted too, but we were better about hiding it)

Finally it was time for our first Fast Pass, which was for the Buzz Lightyear ride and then it was time for Space Mountain! We utilized the Rider Swap program again so Justin was able to ride twice and I swear he was excited, regardless of how his picture might look (he also knows where all the cameras are since we've been here so many times). And yes, I refuse to pay for Disney pictures so I just take a picture of the screen with my phone #IDGAF

After everyone was done riding Space Mountain we all decided we were dunzo at that point and left the park to grab a late dinner. 

Here is a quick list of my best Disney tips

  • Use Fast Passes! In order to do this you have to buy your Disney tickets in advance, however it's 100% worth it. Once you buy your park passes you can start reserving up to 3 rides a day. There are some caveats, with the main one being that the rides you reserve all have to be in the same park. You can get more Fast Passes once you use the 3 you reserved in advance, so I highly recommend reserving early and then immediately booking more as you use them. Once you've used your original 3 you can only book 1 at a time from that point forward, but a lot of people have had luck getting on every ride they want in a day by doing this. 
  • Get the park hopper ticket. Yes, it does cost more, but not every Disney park is worth a full day in the park. If you're coming for 3-4 days, you can use one full day each at Magic Kingdom and Epcot, and then do a half day at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios and have time to re-do the things you liked the most at the other parks. 
  • Use this website to plan your day. It will tell you the busiest days/parks based on prior attendance and I have found it to be very helpful. 
  • If you have young children, use the Rider Swap program. It works if it's just a couple and works even better if you're in a group, since up to 3 people can use the swap Fast Pass that you get so you don't have to ride alone. Just tell the person at the beginning of the line that you would like a Rider Swap pass and they'll give you a plastic pass on a lanyard. When you get to the point of boarding the ride you will give the ride operator your plastic pass and they'll give you the Fast Pass. Then you just swap out riders and go in the Fast Pass line! 
  • Stay in the Disney hotels - you get a free shuttle from the airport if you do this, and you get the Extra Magic Hours at select parks each day. Every day one of the parks will either open early or stay open late and it's only available for people who are staying on Disney property. 
  • Use the Disney transportation to get from park-to-park, particularly if your hotel is a Disney hotel. This will give you a bit of time to relax and not have to worry about driving and walking to and from each park.
  • Don't come in the summer. Don't come over Christmas. Avoid Spring Break like the plague. You may be thinking, but Jamie, then how will my kids come when they're supposed to be in school? Pull your kids out of school, get their assignments from their teachers, and make it work. Seriously, if you come in the summer you are absolutely insane. It's the busiest time of the year and it's so miserably hot that it will be hard to enjoy yourself. Same goes for Christmas and Spring Break. The absolute best time to come is early May, January, and the first couple of weeks in December.
  • Some baby tips...bring a larger stroller and use it for all the crap you will need. Bring everything you could possibly need and then some - extra diapers, extra clothes, extra food, extra water, extra sanity... Wear your baby for naps and then you can eat your meals without struggling with a toddler/baby. Go to the tequila cave in Mexico in Epcot and drink a delicious margarita during said nap time so you can relax in the nice, cool cave. Use the baby care station places in each park. They have breastfeeding rooms that are dark and quiet with comfy chairs and any supplies you might need that you forgot. Don't expect to accomplish more than 25% of what you want to do because when you bring a baby/toddler to Disney you're asking for something to throw your day off. Make lots of time for parades and other non-rides - Jules loves them.

Does anyone reading have any Disney trips planned? This was probably our last time going for awhile, but I'm hoping we can get to Universal Studios for a couple of days in the fall, along with planning a Disney trip out west in a couple of years. 

I hope you all have a great day - thanks for reading!