Disney dreaming…on a summer’s day

 OOOkay, I guess it’s confession time. Remember back in February when we took Charlotte to the aquarium and had so much fun seeing everything through her eyes that I started thinking about taking her to Disney, even though we had previously decided to wait? And then Chris talked me down and said we should definitely wait until she’s older and I agreed? Yeah. Weeeell…that was before we (I) found out Walt Disney World would be offering Disney Dining for FREE during the month of September. So we (I) looked into it. And since C is under three her admission to all the parks is free. And she stays at the resort for free. And eats free. And thanks to Allegiant Air and their wicked good deals on non-stop flights to Orlando…yeah, we’re going. In six weeks. For seven days. I know. Those of you who aren’t particular Disney fans are rolling your eyes at my lack of control and shaking your heads in pity for my poor husband who has to put up with a Disney fanatic of a wife. Those of you who ARE Disney fans totally get it and are doing the happy dance for us right now. 🙂

Back when Chris and I did Disney World BC (before Charlotte) we did our own share of eye-rolling at the parents toting tiny tots through the Happiest Place on Earth (much to the protest of said tots) and while dodging enormous strollers wielded by mamas with that crazed look in their eye as they fought for a viewing spot along the parade route vowed that wouldn’t be us. Oh well, as James Bond knows, you should never say never. There are lots of reasons we decided to overrule our previous decision. Here are just a few:

1. Baby Girl LOVES Mickey Mouse. No really. Thanks to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (pretty much the only show she watches) she has an obsession with all things Mickey. She went nuts one day as we were walking down the home and garden section of Walmart. We couldn’t figure out what she was pointing at and babbling about until we saw a display of Disney wallpaper. Yeah. Obsessed. Hopefully her brain doesn’t go into overload as she tries to process all the Mickey memorabilia in the gifts stores.

2. It’s a relatively inexpensive all-inclusive trip. One of the reasons we drove to Colorado was because it was going to be so expensive to fly and then rent a car. There are very few (read, none that we found) vacation destinations in the US that don’t require you to have your own set of wheels, other than WDW. Thanks to their fabulous on-site transportation system we can stay the whole week without needing to leave Disney property. They even have free transportation from the airport!
3. I can’t wait to see the look on Charlotte’s face when she gets a load of Cinderella’s Castle and goes flying on Dumbo’s back. It will be priceless, I assure you. And I guarantee she will be rocking out to the Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo, the Musical.

4. Since Chris and I have already done Disney “our way,” (all the big rides and shows) we won’t feel like we’re missing out by sticking to Charlotte’s pace. We have our “big kids favorites” (Tower of Terror, Space Mountain) that we will try to ride, but other than that we can really just stick to whatever Charlotte wants and needs to do.

5. I am Salty Cinderella after all…that should be enough reason in itself to plan a trip to my hometown 🙂
So on our last Disney trip I had a detailed itinerary planned (down to the minute, thank you very much) that we more or less (ok, less) stuck to. This trip I am holding myself back (which is super hard, but I’m trying) and instead just making a very short list of “must sees” at each park. I’m hoping the lack of schedule will help me be more flexible, and keep me from jumping from one thing to the next without really enjoying the moment. I mean if C wants to ride the carrousel again or spend half an hour wandering around the aquariums in The Seas, she should get to. I do have plan for which parks we visit on which days (we decided not to get the park hopper option, and I wanted to reserve some character meals since they are included in free dining!!) and we will DEFINITELY be taking a long break each and every afternoon for naps and down time.
I will be giving lots more details and updates on the “loose plans” (more like guidelines really) and the prep as we get to it…I guess you could call this the preface of my Traveling with a Toddler: Disney World series. 🙂 So roll your eyes at my craziness if you must, but by all means, come along for the ride! It should be pretty wild (though sadly will not include Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, since that’s only at Disneyland…next trip! ;)).

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