It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here! Truth is, I haven’t had the energy or the motivation. When Hannah was a newborn, all I wanted to do was lay around and hold her. Now that she’s mobile, I can’t take my eyes off of her! She can also be super clingy and unhappy if she’s left to entertain herself for any short amount of time. Currently, she is actually pretty content crawling around the living room so I thought I’d try and knock out day 1 of our Disney vacation!
Back a couple months ago when Disney announced that they would begin allowing guests to take their masks off for pictures, David and I decided on a whim to book a vacation. Before this, I did not have any interest in going because I didn’t want masks in every single one of my pictures. It was just a bonus that they later allowed masks to be optional outdoors! I’m so thankful for this because I can’t imagine being in that heat with a mask the entire time.
We decided to keep our trip a secret from the girls and surprise them right before it was time to go. It was hard to not accidentally say something in front of them, but I’m so glad we waited because their reaction was priceless! You can see the video in this reel on my Instagram. They were in shock at first, but once it set in they were so excited. The first thing Audrey did was run inside to tell Hannah “It’s your first trip to Disney World!” So sweet!
We got on the road after the girls got out of school on their last day (it was a half day). We decided to spend the night in Gainesville so we wouldn’t have as far to drive on that first day. Gainesville is a little under 2 hours from Orlando, so we didn’t have a very long drive the next morning. It worked out perfect.
The drive felt like it took forever. We didn’t get in to Gainesville until after midnight. We’ve found that we always have to add about two hours onto our drive with young kids since you have to stop so often for potty breaks, food, and to feed the baby.
We left Gainesville around 8:00 am and headed straight toward Epcot. Right now, Disney is opening their parking lots to park 1 hour before official park opening and allowing guests in early. My plan was to get to the park early so we could head straight for Frozen Ever After and have a short wait time. However, it took us forever to load the stroller down that first time, and then there were issues at the gait since we hadn’t officially checked into our resort yet. So that added an extra 15 minutes or so and we ended up walking into Epcot right at 11 (which is when they open right now).
We decided on Epcot first because they open the latest, which meant we wouldn’t have to wake up as early. I’m glad we did this because we got very little sleep the night before.
We still decided to head straight for Frozen Ever After. It was already about a 45 minute wait by the time we got over there, but we decided to go ahead and wait for it. Hannah was hungry so I found a spot to sit in the shade beside the Norwegian bakery to feed her while David and the big girls waited in line. I met up with them once Hannah was done eating.
As far as masks go, for some rides you have to put them on when you enter the queue. For some, if it’s an outside queue, you can keep them off until you’re inside. However, starting June 15 fully vaccinated guests don’t have to wear them at all anymore, except on Disney Transportation (although they’re not checking vaccination status)!! Had we gone just a few weeks later we wouldn’t have had to worry about them at all.
After we rode Frozen Ever After, it was already lunch time. We decided to head around to the right of the World Showcase toward Canada/UK. We typically go around World Showcase clockwise (toward Mexico/Norway) but I read somewhere that the cavalcades go clockwise and you’re more likely to run into them if you’re going the opposite way. We ended up seeing the princess cavalcade twice, so I’m glad we decided to go counter-clockwise this time! It felt a little weird though! I did a poll on IG and 81% said they go Mexico first!
We had made some PB&J sandwiches for the girls for lunch. David and I split a fish and chips dinner from the Yorkshire County Fish Shop. I’m glad we decided to split because the portions were HUGE!
We were able to see a couple of characters throughout the day, but I definitely miss the character meet and greets like they used to do. The girls talked to the characters from a distance and posed for a picture when them in the background. Just not as magical or personal.
We continued our walk around the world. I used to really love Epcot before kids came along. I loved exploring the shops and just admiring the architecture in all the different countries, but it’s hard to do with young children who want to touch everything in shops and get bored by just walking around. I would love to go back during the Food and Wine Festival sometime, just me and David, or with a group of friends. Sounds absolutely lovely.
I had really wanted to get lots of snacks while we were in Epcot because they have different featured foods for the Flower and Garden festival, but for some reason I didn’t feel the best. I think it was a mix of being nauseated from being in the car for so long + being overheated + running on very little sleep. There are very few places to sit inside in the A/C and cool off, and I was definitely feeling the heat exhaustion setting in. There was a point where I sent David to get the girls ice cream, while Hannah and I found a shaded spot to sit down, chug some water, and use our neck fans to cool off. After that I felt much better, but I was not feeling well for a moment. I definitely hate that I missed out on some yummy treats.
Do you have a favorite country in Epcot? My favorite this time was Morocco. Such a hidden gem! We’ve walked through there several times in the past, but it seems like every time we go through, we find something different. I think we were able to actually notice how beautiful it is back there because there weren’t very many people in that area like there usually are. So dreamy!
I also really love Germany. It makes me want to go to Germany SO BAD! I would love to visit Germany at Christmas time.
We grabbed a pretzel bun with melted gruyere cheese and black forest ham from a kiosk in Germany and it was incredible! So glad I was feeling better and able to enjoy it, because I had been looking forward to getting one of those. It’s a seasonal selection for the Flower and Garden festival, so if you’re going soon, make sure and get you one!
The girls enjoyed looking at all of the different floral sculptures throughout the park.
After we had made our way around World Showcase, we decided to ride some of the bigger rides in Future World. We grabbed a rider swap pass for Soarin’ and then walked over to ride the Nemo ride. We were able to walk right onto Nemo, so we rode it twice. Hannah was so cute watching everything that was going on. We walked through the aquarium, then made our way back to use our rider swap to ride Soarin’. I rode this with both big girls. It’s one of my very favorites. I love how it feels like you’re truly flying over the world. Raley loved this one but Audrey did NOT! I think it scared her that it felt like you were up high.
Raley (7) does not typically like the fast rides, but Audrey (5) does. When we were at Disney World in 2018, Audrey was too small to ride many of the bigger rides, so she was excited to try them all this time! She and David rode Test Track and she absolutely LOVED it!
By the time we got done with all of this, it was around 7:30. We decided to ride one last ride – Spaceship Earth – before heading to check into our resort. Spaceship Earth was so long and dark I was actually able to breastfeed Hannah while on the ride! You gotta do what you gotta do.
We decided to just go ahead and leave the park and grab dinner on the way back to the resort. Epcot stays open late but we were all exhausted and ready to call it a day.
Thanks for following along! If you want to see more pictures from our trip, you can find them in my story highlights on Instagram! Stay tuned, I’ll be sharing the rest of our trip soon!