Now, before I get into this blog post I just have to say that I know for a lot of people that going to Walt Disney World (that's 'world', not to be confused with the smaller - by a miles - Disney'Land's' across the globe) is a once in a lifetime experience.
I get that.
Flights out to Orlando, Florida are very expensive. We're lucky that we get practically free accommodation out there which makes up for it. I also understand that tickets for Disney and the other theme parks out there are very expensive for children over the age of 3 and adults. The first time we went, last year, was just before MC's 3rd birthday. This year we had to pay for her, as she was 4, and her tickets weren't much less than adult prices. Ouch. Thankfully though, TC was only 13.5 months old so he was free. I know next time we go (there will be a next time - we love it too much) it will be very expensive as we'll be paying for both children.
If you are going as a once in a lifetime trip then I would say wait*. Wait until your children are old enough to remember the holiday. Wait until they can go on all the rides. Wait until they are old enough to entertain themselves on the flight.
I have to admit, I was a little worried about taking TC over there. Those of you who read my pre-trip blog posts will know. However, I needn't have worried at all.
He absolutely loved it.
I mean really loved it.
Some people were a little shocked we were taking him over there. All of those people, however, are people who have never ever been there before.
Until you experience Walt Disney World, Orlando you can't even begin to understand just how utterly amazing it is. You can't understand just how immense it is and you certainly can't understand how it caters for all ages. From the very tiny to the very old.
It is, in our opinion, the happiest place on earth.
Sounds cheesy but it's true.
We knew it was going to be a good holiday when TC managed the 9.5 hour flight (without his own seat) by only sleeping 2 hours and managing to entertain himself for the remaining 7.5 hours without so much as a whimper.
With the flight over with I was worried about the heat. We left a pretty grim UK in mid-May and headed to heat that was to be an average of 30 degrees celsius everyday (with a heatwave of mid to high-30's to follow).
He coped amazingly. Although I have to say that taking a great pushchair and the awesome SnoozeShade helped. We also purchased a Mickey fan that clipped onto his pushchair. I won't say he didn't get incredibly hot and sweaty when he had his naps, he was dripping sometimes, but it didn't bother him.
We are lucky that (usually) TC is a happy little boy. He's really chilled, loves his sleep and his food and absolutely loves people. Walt Disney World was a real amazing experience for his senses.
He loved all the sights, sounds and smells. I don't think he stopped smiling for the 3 weeks we were there. It was such a great experience for him and he even started walking over there. He loved the characters (some more than others, admittedly - it seems Wreck-It-Ralph and Chip 'n Dale were his favourites) and they loved him. In fact, everyone loved him and commented on how cute he was. I know I'm totally biased but he is. He has one of the cheekiest grins ever.
When I say Disney caters for all ages, I'm not lying. There are so many family orientated rides there - especially at The Magic Kingdom - which even the tiniest of babies can go on. He absolutely loved all of them. His eyes were wide open and his smile like he'd slept with a coat hanger in his mouth.
I know he won't remember the holiday but we all will.
We have some absolutely incredible memories.
Memories that will be with us forever.
My advice if you are waiting to take the kids to Walt Disney World?
Want a little bit of proof? I'll let a few of my photos (and these are just the ones from my iPhone) speak for themselves...
If you're planning a first time visit to Orlando then please make sure you check out my 'Beginners Guide To Orlando' post I wrote last year which is my most visited blog post of all time.
*Part of me wants to scream 'don't wait even if it will be a once in a lifetime trip'. You never know what life will throw at you and my 'Life's Too Short' post is testament to that. Today is a year ago that Kerry (aka MultipleMummy) fell ill. She was one of the loveliest and happiest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. Her blog comment from last year still sits at the forefront of my mind. What has happened to beautiful Matilda Mae (daughter of Jennie at Edspire) also weighs heavy on my mind as well as Tamsyn's (Anecdotes of a Manic Mum) husband, Alex. You really never know what life will send your way so make the most of it before it's too late.