Tuesday, January 17, 2023

I'm here! With a Tale from Disney World!

This past December we took a family vacaction to Disney World. It's a trip I'd been planning for years, technically the third time trip we'd planned on taking over the last 6 years, but this time it actually happened!

We had first planned this trip for December 2016, but then I was pregnant. We'd decided a trip with a 1 month old baby wasn't the type of trip we wanted, for a variety of reasons, and rescheduled with plans to go in a couple of years.

We then planned again for Decemeber 2020, but COVID occured. Now the parks had reopened by December 2020, so technically we could have gone, but it wasn't the trip we wanted, so we canceled again.

Finally though we were able to make the trip happen for December 2022. Until it actually happened I kept thinking something would come up and we'd have to cancel again, but the days got closer and closer and nothing came up. Even on the other side, I'm still a bit in disbelieve we actually pulled it off!

While this trip was the first trip to Disney World for either kid, both had been to Disneyland a couple of times. (I even have a post from Elley's first trip and while Bear may not have a full post, I did at least share a picture of it.) I've been to Disney World myself once, which was as an adult, so those posts are here too!

Even feeling like I grew up at Disneyland, I wanted to be prepared for Disney World so I started to read EasyWDW from Josh Humphrey all the time. Back in March 2020, I bought and read his book, getting excited for our trip before everything shut down. I loved reading his posts to see all his numbers, share all his strategies, read all his reviews. I occasionally read the boards, and even posted my own trip report outlining a day we spent a Disneyland during one of our California visits. So even though I never met Josh and never got to use his strategies in person, his death in 2022 still hits me hard.

The loss of Josh is part of the reason I'm here, writing on my blog which has basically disappeared, to share about our trip. In an alternate universe I might have posted this on his forums, but given that they don't exist, that's not an option. But part of it is defininitely so Josh can continue on in the world, so other can still discover him and his humor and love for Disney even if he's no longer alive.

So now that I've written a post about why I'm posting, I might actually share about the trip some. I will add that the majority of my photos are still on my phone (and I still write these posts on a computer, which is honestly a lot of why they're so nonexistent.) But I do have some of the Instagram posts I'll share, plus the Disney photopass ones, so they'll be some pictures within.

To start with, our flight was really early out of New Orleans, 6:45am on Friday 12/16. Considering we live about an hour from that airport, it was an early morning. But we woke up, loaded the car, brought the kids downstairs still in their pjs and were off.

It was our first time flying out of the newest terminal in New Orleans which was really nice. (It only opened in early 2020, so still hasn't had a ton of use.) It was a little confusing figuring out which parking lot to use, but no issues whatsoever. (Thankfully we weren't flying a week later.) We had a quick layover in Atlanta and arrived at MCO around noon.

We did get a little turned around in the Orlando airport trying to find our bus, but made it there eventually. We took the Mears shuttle, which is basically the same as the old Disney Express, except no longer free and no longer Disney themed. On the drive to the hotel we got our text with our room number, so once we arrived (at the Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House), we were able to walk right there.

Given how early we woke up the boy and I attemped naps while the kids watched tv. (Definitely a perk of the Disney hotels, they have all the various Disney channels availible to watch!) With how excited I was, at around 3, I started encouraging everyone to get ready to head to Disney Springs (we had a dinner reservation at 6:30). Honestly looking back, we should have slept a little longer. O well... We did take a couple of pictures out on the balcony with the animals (definitely something I was really excited about and splurged on!) before we walked out to the bus.

We spent time going to the various stores, with a plan that we weren't going to buy anything. More if there were things we saw to remember and we'd be back later. We honesltly didn't go into many (the main Disney store, the Christmas store, a Star Wars store, a pin area). We didn't actually make it into the LEGO store since the line was so long. At this point though everyone was exhausted. We still had about two hours till our dinner reservation, but figured we'd try to see if they'd take us early, which thankfully they were able to accomadate.

This was a dinner I was really looking forward to. It was at Morimoto Asia, the restaurant of the Iron Chef. Maybe because we were all so tired, it was just kind of okay. Not bad, but I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to eat there again. We started the meal off with shared edamame. Both kids had a chicken ramen bowl. I had their duck ramen. The boy had their special, which was a beef hamburger-esque patte with a fried egg on top, with broth and mushrooms. The mushrooms were really good. Honestly, the food wasn't bad eand everyone ate a lot, but it was a long day. So with that we went back to our hotel so we could wake up early for our visit to the Magic Kingdom.
So there's our first day. I even have the pictures I posted on Instagram from it all to share! I'll stop now and be back (maybe? hopefully?) continuing the trip starting with our first day at Magic Kingdom!


  1. I am glad that you guys finally got to take this trip! The way you felt about the trip leading up to it was how we felt about our Mexico trip - we did not let ourselves get excited because we felt there was a high likelihood it wouldn't happen, so got travel insurance for the first time ever and booked refundable flights.

    I'm looking forward to hearing more about your trip! Disney is something Phil and I have an ongoing debate about. I never went to Disney World or Land so I feel like it's something our kids don't "need" to experience. Plus I really really hate crowds/lines/etc. So I'd be fine skipping it, but frugal Phil thinks it's something we should do. He went as a kid and enjoyed it and feels like the boys will enjoy it, too. We'll see who wins this little debate in our house. But if we went, I wouldn't consider going until Will is 4!

  2. YAY! YAY! YAY! For getting to take this long awaited trip. How exciting!!!