We were so uncertain about how our travel experience would go, seeing as it was the first time we'd traveled with two kiddos. We chose the red eye flight from Seattle to Orlando, with the thought that the kids would be tuckered out and sleep the majority of the time. Fortunately that proved to be the case and the flight to Orlando was for the most part smooth sailing, once the girls settled in and got over the excitement of being on an airplane. While preparing for a flight, we always tend to overpack, but when evaluating what we thought the kids might need, we wanted to avoid needing something and not having it, than not having and needing. I made sure that each hotel we stayed at had cribs/pack-n-plays, in addition to bed rails. I also, ensured that we had a fridge in our room so that I could not only store breastmilk, but also meals that I planned on prepping to take with us to the theme parks. I got a great recommendation from a friend to stuff the carseat bag that would be checked, with diapers to conserve suitcase space. I also snagged a foldable duffle bag during Prime day, just to have in case we needed it.
Our oldest is potty trained but still learning the ropes, so I ordered the following items to make things easier for both dad & I: Kandoo Wipes, Toilet Seat Covers & Babyganics Hand Sanitizer. We subscribe to all of these items on Amazon because traveling or not, they are amazing to have. We are huge fans of babyganics and their sanitizer wipes smell incredible (mandarin), nothing like Clorox or bleach, so I don't feel guilty wiping down everything on the plane that I can get my hands on. I often get asked by people because again, I like to be over prepared... "What would you have done back in the day, when things like this didn't exist?" ... My answer: "I don't even want to think about it" ... I have no shame!
As for the items we planned on getting after our arrival, we didn't get a chance to make it to the store prior to going to the parks, so we did end up scrambling trying to find reasonably priced items or going without as opposed to purchasing them for premium park prices. We recommend hitting up a Walmart or Target to purchase battery powered fans, water bottles, Disney apparel and anything you may have forgotten to pack (; We were able to make it to Target a couple days in, but we had already visited the parks multiple times by then. Still a lifesaver, because we accumulated a list of must have things.
We did early on, however utilize the Amazon Prime Now service so that we could order sandwich making items, snacks and most importantly WATER! The resort we stayed at charged $2.50/bottle, as opposed to less than $5 for a case of the same exact water. Resort life, welcomes you with open arms - haha!
We were on the fence of whether or not we should bring our big stroller on the trip, because traveling with such a big stroller is definitely not easy. Luckily, airlines make it so incredibly seamless and the benefits most certainly outweigh the slight hassle. We personally use the Uppa Baby Vista, which if you've checked it out or it's also your stroller of choice - is HEA-VY and a little bit complicated to maneuver whilst taking the pieces apart. I would recommend purchasing the carrier bag, although we hadn't because of the price... hind sight, I wish I would've just splurged on it. The bottom basket is seriously amazing and so easy to just throw things in. We brought a cooler with us to pack our daily food items and it fit at the bottom like a glove. We filled the bags that our cold food items came in from Amazon with ice and our water bottles. So thankful the park doesn't put limitations on bringing in personal food items.
Each park has Baby Care Centers that families can use to change baby's diaper, feed the kids and cool off with the family. They have a movie room, a separate changing room and a small convenience store that has anything that you should need for your little ones in case you had forgotten. They're awesome and seriously, GO COOL OFF! It was so much hotter than I would've imagined. If you aren't from the area and don't live in a, well rainforest, it is H-O-T. Although, call me crazy but by the end of our trip I actually felt as though I was getting used to it.
We checked out Disney Springs one evening and ate at Rainforest Cafe. We all really enjoyed ourselves, but taking kids out to a sit down dinner can sometimes be an adventure. We arranged to visit Disney each day with our friends that have recently relocated to the area, so it was 4 kids 3 & under. Disney Springs is amazing in and of itself and was a great start to our upcoming Disney days.
We rented a car but didn't end up using it much because the hotel we stayed at provided bus transportation from the hotel & back, each day. Although the disorganization is a story for another day, the hotel we chose had just switched over to a new bus company contract and still working out the kinks. Unfortunately, for us... we got to be the guinea pigs but hopeful that it will be resolved next time around because we would definitely stay at the same hotel again. It was great not having to worry about transportation, although getting all our days accommodations on and off felt a little like a game of Tetris.
Never did we spend an entire day in the parks, but the time that we did spend was quite enough. By the end of each day, we were exhausted and ready to relax and prepare for the next days activities. The most important piece I can offer, is go into it with no expectations and don't beat yourself up over the forgotten or unused items and revel in the "I will do this differently next time" moments because your next trip to Disney will go that much more smoothly!
What are things you personally do to make travel easier with kids?
How have you been able to tackle Disney with little ones?