We plan on taking each of the girls to Disney when they turn 5 years old. We booked the trip in January and the vacation was February 23-27.
I booked the trip through our travel agent Victoria Rolland (I dream of mickey) - she was great to work with and was available to answer any questions I had.
HOTEL - We chose to stay at All Star Movies for a few reasons - we wanted to save as much money to use at the parks & we didn't have our 2 younger children who needed naps because when you take the bus you need to add in an extra 20 mins each way you are going. It isn't as quick as taking the monorail.
MEAL PLAN - We did the meal plan & it was great - 1 sit down, 1 quick service, 1 snack (per person per day). We used this meal plan up & only had 1 snack at the end of our trip to use. I did pack a lot of snacks, indivudal cereal, oatmeals. Remember this only counts for how many NIGHTS you stay (ex. we stayed 4 days + 3 NIGHTS).
PARK TICKETS - We got the 4 day hopper passes on our military base in dayton, but have only used 3 of the days, but they said we can use them up until December of this year (maybe a 1 day trip for the younger ones would be great & head to the beach :) )
MEMORY MAKER - Order this early so you can get the discounted price. This was worth every penny & being a photographer I went back and edited the photo how I wanted it to look, but I was actually in photos and didn't have to bug my husband to snap some of me :) You have 30 days to download to your computer after enabling it. It was amazing how it would show up about 1 minute after you had the photo taken or rode the ride.
MAGIC BANDS - They came in the mail 3 weeks prior to our trip. There are locations in Magic Kingdom where you can create your own band or pick a character band. They need a purple option in my opinion.
They do connect to your room, all fast passes, how to get into the parks with your finger print, the credit card you have on file with the hotel when you check in. You can charge everything to your band and then go pay at the end of each day with either a disney gift card, credit card, or cash. It was nice to not have to worry about carrying a credit card around all day.
RESERVATIONS - I made all of our reservations based on princesses because our daughter isn't a fan of characters dressed up. I explain more under each schedule
FASTPASS+ - I know you have up to 60 days before your trip to schedule - if you are staying on Walt Disney Resorts however we only planned this trip a month & half before, but it all worked out great to get the FastPasses+ we needed.
MY DISNEY APP - A great resource to schedule your day. You can search by character, entertainment, or filter by park. I would screen shot a photo each day of our schedule in case the app wasn't working while in the park. You can also go to the fastpass+ kiosk and check the schedule you have. I ended up making and excel of our schedule because it became to hard switching back and forth on either they mydisneyapp or disney.com screen and planning items.
SCHEDULE - Victoria our travel planner recommended which days to go to which parks based the studies they have of heavy traffic in the parks. I then went from there on scheduling the reservations + fastpass+. The excel helped me look at what we had planned or what I needed to plan. I did over book on reservations and glad I did because we ended up canceling a few, but still had them as an option.
WHAT TO PACK - We were going in February and knew the weather would be hit or miss so packed a variety. I got all of her clothes at H&M because I love their character items & anyone who knows me knows I'm not a big fan of character stuff.
- Frozen Costume - for Bibbity Bobbity Boutique (I ordered off amazon because it's less expensive then buying on there)
- Signature Book + permanent marker - here is the etsy store I ordered from
- 3 dresses
- 1 long sleeve dress
- 2 leggings
- Frozen Jumper
- sweat shirt zippy
- swim suit (we got to go swimming 1 day so you never know)
- tennis shoes + sandals
- Frozen underwear
- rain coat
- Frozen PJs
- I had 2 dresses, leggings, chino pants, shirts, rain jacket, tennis shoes, sandals, sweater, swim suit, sunglasses
- My husband had shorts, jeans, t-shirts, 1 button up, sweat shirts, tennis shoes, swim suit, sunglasses
- My sister-in-law made the #5 Mickey Shirt because for each of the girls birthday's she makes a number shirt for me to photograph them in check out the blog link for the photos (Magic Kingdom Blog)
- My other sister-in-law sent us the red Minnie Mouse bag that was awesome to keep her signature book in because it was easy to find.
- rain ponchos from $1 Tree - they can be very expensive at the parks & we only needed them a few times to walk to different spots.
- rain cover for the stroller because you are required to park your strollers outside and if they get wet they have to sit in the wet stroller. We were at Hollywood studios for this & they had umbrellas in certain locations so we would fold it up stick it under the umbrella and take everything inside.
- snacks in luggage - we would bring them on the bus in the morning or if Alessia ever started acting hungry to get her filled up before our next meal.
- external phone charger because to find an outlet was impossible & the last thing you had time to do was wait for it to charge. It would almost die right before you needed it especially in certain character meals that don't have photographers (I will go in to detail in later blogs about all of that).
- at the parks for the kids pack an extra pair of pants & underwear (I'm so thankful we did this because we ran into a situation & needed them)
- zip lock bags - I would put any extra food from the buffet in here for some extra snacks, if something got wet, or on splash mountain to put my phone in.
- join the Facebook Group - Walt Disney World Tips, News, and Fun Facts
- join the Facebook Group - Disney Dining, Fastpass & Reservation Cancellations
The best part of all the planning was surprising Alessia the day we were leaving and then not turning back on the plans - I just went with the flow - when in doubt ask one of the Disney employees and they have a great answer and you won't get different answers they all know the same stuff!
We are packed and ready to take on Disney World!!
First stop our hotel & then the next day Hollywood Studios!! Feel free to comment below with any questions you may have.