Monday, March 19, 2018

Disney Land and Sea Vacation Part 1...

Hey, Hey Friends!

It's so good to see you.  :)

To say we just had the BEST Spring Break with the Shull Family would be an huge understatement.  It was FABULOUS, AMAZING, and an EXCEPTIONALLY AWESOME vacation.  One we'll be talking about for years and years to come.  

If you guys remember, {I don't really know how you'd forget because I talked about it forever} two spring breaks ago, we went on a Disney Cruise with the Shull Family.  It was on that exact trip where we had a BLAST that Shay and I planned our FRAMILY TRIPS {you can read more about our FRAMILY FUN} for many, many years to come.  FOR REAL!  On that trip, we decided in 2018, we'd do a Disney Land and Sea vacation.  And the big day FINALLY came!

I have a couple random things for you before we get started with Part ONE...

*You can read all about our first Disney Cruise in 2016 here.

*I talk to a lot of women/moms who are pumped about the idea of a Disney Cruise, but there husbands aren't on board.  I think everyone {especially hubbies} have an idea in their head about a Disney Cruise being like 24/7 Mickey Mouse...Mickey breakfasts, Mickey in the room, just Mickey EVERYWHERE.  I'm gonna be honest and tell you Tab Slaughter was in that camp but after our cruise in 2016 he's now the President of the "You Should Go on a Disney Cruise Club".  When we discussed going back, he was ALL OVER IT!  Disney Cruise Line is an amazing cruise line that offers super clean staterooms, delicious food, and some magical Disney moments.  But the entire cruise isn't ALL MICKEY, ALL THE TIME.

*I must tell you-just because I know some of you will ask.  This trip was in no way paid, free, or sponsored.   I know lots of bloggers receive paid vacations, but this was not one of those.  Unfortunately, I've never been offered a free trip {but if you're reading and would like to offer one of those please e-mail me ASAP.  hahaha!}  Disney didn't pay us to go.  We booked it just like we book all our other Disney World trips.  The only difference is we got to keep the commission on the sale.  I'm telling you this because I want you to know this review and trip recap is 100% genuine.  We talk to so many people about Disney World trips and Disney Cruises that we got bit by the Disney bug and were stoked about making this trip happen for our families.

*A Disney Land and Sea vacation is when you combine the magic of a Disney World trip with the relaxation of a Disney Cruise.  It was everything we thought it would be and more.  Shay and I have both done Disney World and Disney Cruise trips separately but we wanted to experience the magic of doing the trips at the same time.

Okay, I think that's all my random info before we get started!  If you'd like help planning your next vacation, we are currently accepting new client vacations for Walt Disney World, Mexican all-inclusives and cruises all around the world that depart AFTER June 1, 2018.  (We plan trips for existing clients anywhere in the world outside the Continental US.)  Coming soon...we are going to be opening up a new area for new clients, so stay tuned for that!  You can reach us at mixandmatchtravelagency@yahoo.com . 

We set out late Wednesday afternoon to Orlando, Florida!  These two couldn't have been more excited!

I tend to forget to link clothes on trip recaps, but I'm gonna do my best.  If we're wearing anything current, I'll link it for you.  :)  Bowen's shirt is from Old Navy, jeans, and his favorite shoes.  Britt's clothes are all Matilda Jane and these are her little glitter tennis shoes.


My favorite jacket thanks to Sheaffer.  ;)

Three Slaughter girls ready to get our Spring Break on!

My dress, my sandals, and my bag {similar but different color options.}


Britt cracked me up.  She didn't want to be held on that plane.  She wanted her own seat, own headphones, and she wanted to watch her own thing.


The next morning we met up with the Shull Family {we'd taken different flights} to grab the Magical Express to Disney World.


Britty was DISNEY READY!  Check out her band.  ;)


Four of my favorites!

We quickly checked into our Disney World Resort...The Wilderness Lodge.  I cannot say enough great things about this resort.  The resort was beautiful.  It had a super cozy vibe and was just perfect.


The scenery around the resort was gorgeous!


This was the view from our room...this cute courtyard on one side.


And the pool/lake view on the other side.

A few reasons why we chose this resort...
*Location-we took the boat to Magic Kingdom and the bus to the other parks.
*The Amenities-there are several restaurants located on the property which made breakfast super easy, along with great rooms {more about our room in a second}.
*Deluxe Resort and Great Price-As a Deluxe Resort on Disney's property this one also comes with a smaller price tag.  Win-win!

Image courtesy of Walt Disney World.

I took pictures of the room but realized as I was working on this post that one kiddo wasn't wearing pants.  WHY'd I not notice that while I was taking them?  #momlife #boys

I wanted you to see the rooms though because they were SUPER cute!  We got the rooms with bunk beds so they had a queen bed and twin bunks.  If you do the math, that's not enough room for my family of six.  Right?  Instead of the Shulls getting two rooms and us getting two rooms, we got three rooms.  At the Wilderness Lodge, we let the extra room be the "big boys" room.  {On the cruise, we did the same thing, but the "big girls" got the extra room.}  The dads took turns staying in there with them. And the boys thought it was super cool to have their own space.  For large families traveling together, this worked SO WELL!

We dropped our bags off and headed straight to Hollywood Studios for the day!


I wish I would have captured Ebby Lee's entire face, but you can see part of the excitement she had about heading into the park.  We were ALL feeling this way!


We HAD to get a picture of all of our "THINGS" right inside the park.  Shay ordered these months ago.  {And yes, we know Dr. Seuss is not part of Disney but with eight little kiddos on a vacation together-we thought it was just cute.}  I absolutely LOVE the way this turned out.  In the order of arrival... :)

We were so excited to be here!!


Our first Hollywood Studios stop was Tower of Terror. 

It was at this point we couldn't decide if our kids were gonna be stoked to ride all the rides or if they'd refuse the rest of them due to being so scared.  haha!

My top {I sized up and knotted the front}, my jeans, and my tennis shoes...we knew it was gonna be a bit chilly this day but I underestimated the Florida cool!


Do these two look a bit nervous??
Because they totally were. :)


EEEK!  Here we go...


I got to sit beside these two brave souls and by brave I mean the two who's entire bodies were SHAKING when we got off the ride.  hahaha!

Next up was the Toy Story ride and it did not disappoint!

The babies were excited to get to participate in this one.


My riding partner :)

This ride was more Bowen's speed.

Please note...the army guy is wearing Bowen's green sunglasses.


Shay made holding these two at one time look easy.  Trust me...it's not!

The magic that is the Frozen Sing Along.  It was snowing!  


Britt wasn't feeling the snow.


Star Wars' ride was up next!



Then we split up for a bit and Bowen and Ashby ended up being the stars of this little show...
When asked, "How long have you known each other?".  They responded, "A LOT".  hahaha!


And they got a little trophy for participating.  They were so proud!


We grabbed some front row seats to the Indiana Jones Stunt Show.  The kiddos were INTO this one!




Then we had dinner at 50's Prime Time, a diner restaurant, set in the 1950's that serves up comfort food.  I had the beef stroganoff and it was delicious!


These two littles hung like a big all day.  So so proud of these littles!

We CRASHED that night and were up early for MAGIC KINGDOM on Day 2!
The Wilderness Lodge has a boat taxi that takes you to Magic Kingdom.

We enjoyed our little boat ride over to the park.

WE MADE IT!!

There's just something about walking down Main Street U.S.A.  It's magical.  What can I say?


Our first stop was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.


This makes me laugh.  Some of them look a little unsure.


Buzz Lightyear Ride Time!


My crew on the ride.

Part of the Shull crew


Then we split up and did a few girl things with the girlies and the guys took all the boys.


Enchanted Tales with Belle was fun and I got to see...


the CUTEST salt shaker I've ever seen.  ;)


Everyone took a quick pictures with Belle before we rode The Voyage of the Little Mermaid.

While the boys rode Dumbo and...

The Barnstormer.


All SMILES on this one!


We met up right before lunch and got to watch the show in front of the castle for a few minutes.  I'm telling you friends...MAGICAL!


At this point, Britt was HUNGRY!


But she was still trying to hang with the big kids.  ha!


Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Rapunzel, and Tiana all joined Mickey and Minnie for this one. 

We had lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern and I might have eaten EVERY SINGLE BITE of my fish and chips.  Apparently, Disney World makes me have an APPETITE!

Then I took a turn with the littles while the rest of the group rode Splash Mountain.  It just so happened the parade was about to roll through so we stopped to enjoy!


My crew being so patient.


We saw Belle...


and Rapunzel.


Dopey got CLOSE!  haha!

So sweet!


And we ended with Mickey and Minnie!


Then I grabbed us some popcorn, drinks, suckers, and some SHADE while we waited!

We joined the crew for the Seven Dwarfs' Mine Train...such a cute ride!


This little riding partner got BRAVER throughout the day.  So proud of him!


Our crew was hot, tired, and ready for a little break so we monorailed over to The Grand Floridian to enjoy some dinner.  They had a huge grassy area with toys for the kiddos so they played while we ate.  We decided to stay put and watch the fireworks' show from this spot.

In the mean time, we grabbed the kiddos' some dessert.  Check out my face...hahaha!


Britt kept us entertained.

And then we watched the fireworks.  It was absolutely perfect!  The Grand Floridian had speakers piping in the music AND IT WASN'T CROWDED!  I'm telling you...after a day full of the parks, it was perfect!

The dads decided to earn their badges for BEST DADS EVER and took the big kiddos back to Magic Kingdom for a few more rides.  Shay and I took the littles back for baths and bedtime.


After a few more rides...this was Bowen on the boat taxi back to the resort.  

I'd call Day TWO a HUGE SUCCESS.  :)

Did I take pictures of everything we did?  Absolutely not.  I tried my best to have a good balance of picture-taking AND being in the moment.  So there were lots of meals/shows/rides/etc. not pictured. 

 We get asked a lot about how many nights to stay at Disney World so that you can do everything?  My answer is always, "You'd have to stay at Disney for MONTHS in order to hit everything".  Our families tackled this trip with a-we'll hit our must-do's and then we'll be spontaneous and have time to catch some magic.  The clients I talk to that have the best time at Disney World are the clients who aren't stressed about seeing and doing everything.  {Secret...because it's impossible to see and do everything at Disney in one small vacation.}  When you have every minute of your stay scheduled, sometimes you can miss the magic.  And we didn't want to do that.  One of my favorite parts of our Magic Kingdom day was that parade with the littles.  And it totally wasn't planned.  ;)  Hope that makes sense!

Also, if you have questions about how we can plan a WDW vacation for your family, email us.  That is the best way to get the info you need about a Disney vacation.  mixandmatchtravelagency@yahoo.com :)

Thanks for reading!  More recaps coming soon, friends!

I'm glad to be back here.
XO

22 comments:

Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said...

Well, this looks like the best vacation EVER!!!!! Can't wait to see the rest of the trip!

Mix and Match Mama said...

I love, love, love how we have pictures of very different things!! We didn't even plan that! Hahahaha! Best trip ever, friend. xo

Narci Dreffs said...

What a great trip!!! I love all of these pictures! I can’t wait to read about the rest!! ❤️❤️

Meagan @ The Clanahan Fam said...

Dang it!This post makes me want to plan another DW trip RIGHT NOW ;) Looks like y'all had a blast!

E said...

Looks like such a fun time! I can't wait to take my two in just a couple months! thanks for the reminder to relax and see what we can see. I'll probably need you to remind me of that again before I leave. ;-)

Susan said...

Last minute my husband has to go to The Boardwalk Inn for a conference. We decided to take our three kids too. They are 12,11 and 8. We are going to Disney, Hollywood studios and Blizzard Beach and I am totally taking the approach of WE can't see it all. Especially considering it will be me and the kiddos while my husband is at his conference. We are so pumped and loved reading about your experience!!

Rachel Dean said...

So glad you guys had a great time in my state! Nothing like a magical Disney trip!

Parnell's Pantry said...

Such fun! My oldest swam for the first time at the Wilderness Lodge. Love that hotel.We also stayed at the Grand Floridian, which is my favorite..so beautiful. Planning another trip soon, and getting excited about it now that I've seen your pics!!

Amanda @ That Inspired Chick said...

I can't wait to start planning!!! Can't wait to read the rest! That Inspired Chick

Kathy Lang said...

Looks like you all had a wonderful Spring Break vacation! The pictures are great! I'm looking forward to doing a Disney land/sea trip with my granddaughters in a few years when they're a little older. :)

Laci Murray said...

How lucky to catch the fireworks at dinner! WDW definitely loses magic when you are so consumed by a plan and time crunch. Completely agree!

nwhitson said...

Your vacation looks awesome. My sister lives in Tampa and is a season pass holder. I think she would be a huge asset to you and Shay when planning DW trips for yourself and your clients. She knows all the ins and outs!

Darcy Sexson said...

Oh man, this looks SOOOO fun!!! Thanks for sharing the magic. :)

Emily said...

Great post! Looks like an awesome trip. How does your hair look this great all day at Disney World?! Have you ever thought of sharing a tutorial of products and styling recs? I'd be all over it. :) Have a great week!

Angela Ellingson said...

What a dream!!! Someday... :)

Amy Columbus said...

Yay! It's crazy all the times you can go to Disney and still not be able to do everything. Love seeing your trip, and looking forward to tomorrow's recap as well ;)

. said...

Hey Erika! Looks so fun!! Did you guys use a meal plan while at WDW - if so which one? It'd be great to know if table service is worth it with kids or if quick service would be better used. Thanks :)

Brittany Stevens said...

Y'all really did have an Epic Disney trip, I just wish we could have seen y'all! Love these posts so much!!

Carrie said...

We are struggled with "should we go to Disney". My oldest and husband love Star Wars and we are toying with trying to go in 2019 when it opens. But my girls have never been very into princess or any of the Disney characters. They like the movies but don't really narrow in on the princesses and Mickey Mouse clubhouse ruined their interest in Mickey! When I mentioned it recently my 7 year old said "well we could just go to Bermuda". I have thought about just doing a long weekend trip, staying off site, and just getting a taste of it. I went as a kid a few times and loved it but... I liked going to Bermuda better!!

brookerichardson said...

I agree. You plan the must dos and then just go with the flow! Can’t wait for more pics. I could just talk about Disney for hours. :)

Mother of 3 said...

We LOVE The Wilderness lodge and stayed there for years (until we outgrew the room size!). It's such a pretty hotel and we just love the on-site restaurants. I too tried to be that mom that saw it all in one trip but realized it really was impossible. Now when we visit we try to focus on doing one or two totally brand new things each trip and sprinkle in some of our favorites. Since Disney is always changing it's easy to have a new experience each time.

Aimée said...

Which airport hotel did you stay at the night you flew in?