How to Plan a Disney Vacation

Booking a Disney trip was so exciting for our family!! With every move I made I got that much more excited about going. Before I planned the Disney trip I read so much info. Anything and everything on the Disney tips + FAQs + Everything you need to know on Disney.com. I read several Disney blogs and mom blogs on what worked best for them. I was ready!! I complied my list of things I needed and was ready to start planning. I got everything I needed that would make my trip easier like the apps and notifications from Disney said to do and for more what you need to have for Disney read about it here.

I wanted to be well prepared and make sure I didn’t forget anything. But once I started scheduling and planning there wasn’t much out there to help with that. There wasn’t best rides for AM, or things to do before noon. Of course it’s not that easy bc there’s so much to do to keep you busy throughout the day. So ultimately it’s your choice.

However there were things that helped make our trip a breeze and quite simple. So I wanted to share them with you all to help when you plan a Disney trip. Hopefully it can make your scheduling hurdles a little easier. The five things below will help you when you book your trip, schedule your fast passes and help create you’re plan of action, and make your flying travels a little easier.

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1. Do everything through the app.My Disney Experience has everything you need + more. Yes you can go to Disneyworld.disney.go.com and make an account, register, and buy tickets there. Be set to go. But with the app you can do everything!! Book hotel, book reservations, link your hotel so you can see bus schedules, food menus, and even unlock and lock your hotel door. You know for those times you head out for ice and you forget to wear your magic band. All the parks schedules, character showings, times for shows, and maps are available through app. It even has map access to follow step by step to get you to attractions or restaurants you want to find. My favorite is it stores all your photos you take during your trip as well!! Plus you can link your flight times on there so you can get picked up with the Disney Magic Express! {Which I discuss later}

Hear it from me, it’s kind of a pain to do everything on Disneyworld.Disney.go and then have to link everything afterwards on the app. So just do it all there and make it easy for yourself so you don’t have to try and keep up with all the confirmation codes. {Trust me.}These are the times when you need to take advantage of technology. I promise the app came in handy sooo much for us. Plus once you get to the hotel they ask you to book a few reservations for food and spa times through the app anyways so you have to have it.

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2. Book your hotel early and it should be the first thing you book before everything else!!! I booked our Disney tickets first because i wanted to make sure I got those out of the way, then signed up on the app, and then was ready to make reservations and realized I couldnt. I made the mistake of doing it out of order. You may be asking does it matter and yes it does!!!! When you book your hotel first it allows you to make reservations and access to schedule fast passes and food reservations as early as 60 days before your trip! Which I promise you, is very important, taking us to the next point.

3. Get fast passes— these are crucial for maintaining sanity throughout Disney. I seriously cant stress this enough. They make it seem like it’s no big deal everywhere when you read about them, but guys, it’s a fast pass to the rides!! Let me say it again, it’s a fast pass. Meaning you quickly pass all the other people and the line to go ahead and get on the ride of your choice without a wait! You can schedule up to three a day but once you use the three you can schedule two more to use during that day. These made our Disney day a breeze. I can’t imagine waiting in the lines for over an hour for a 2-5 minute ride. The longest time we had to wait for a ride was 12 minutes. That was because there was a hiccup in the ride and they had to fix it putting wait times on both lines.below I discuss two reasons why fast passes are awesome and how to best utilize them:

-Spread out your fast passes – I mean this point in two different ways. Let’s dig in. When using your fast passes to select your adventures don’t cram them back to back. I did at first thinking; well we will use these up and then have access to book more and we can keep having a magical day. On Disney it says after you use the three you can keep booking for more. It sounds great! We were hooked. Then I started looking the following week after I scheduled ours and so many of the fast pass options were gone for several rides, character meetings, and light shows. I was bummed because I thought well we are going to miss out on so many adventures. Especially like the ones on Pandora and animal kingdom. Then something magical happened the next day. There was availability on two of the rides I wanted so I went ahead and canceled previous reservations and made those and decided well everyday I want to use a fast pass in am, then afternoon, and one at night. So I rescheduled everything. I wanted to make sure I utilized the fast pass access throughout the day since the access to reserve was dwindling away. Like I said I didnt book my hotel first so I had to wait until the 30 days before to start reserving with fast pass and a lot was not available. Food reservations had tight windows left, and on the busier parks like Magical Kingsom there was no ability to book fast pass for anything after the 25 day mark. Not to forget to mention we booked our trip during the busiest week at Disney out of the whole year. So we were fighting for access with a lot of people.

-Now my second grand idea that worked out beyond great!! If you have multiple members of your family like we do. Then use it to your advantage. Schedule a ride with the whole family in am. Because you do want to use up your three to get the access to book more. Keep in mind though every other fast pass holder is trying to do the same and a lot of things won’t be available past 12 but most of magical kingdom didn’t have anything available two weeks out so this is why I’m saying do it this way. After you scheduled a ride that is suitable for everyone then use momma and son for one fast pass access and if the ride allows other kids to ride then say “we will swap” or if y’all all can go then say “we are trying to add the other family members on all but it’s not letting us.” If your bands aren’t working but two family members are, they always let you in!!! Everytime! It was awesome!! So I was so happy that I took a chance and scheduled it that way because I was able to reserve up to 6 things prior that way. I booked greetings without waiting, rides for all of us, and while the girls went and napped I had rides reserved just for our big guy. Then when we all gathered back, he shows for us all to enjoy together without any waits. Guys I’m telling you it worked! Then, come to find out, you only get the chance to use fast passes two more times after you use your three so it’s not unlimited like I thought. So I was so glad I did it this way vs the original plan bc we would have had some uncomfortable wait times that no one was ready to have.

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4. Buy the early bird tickets to Toy Story Land. Just do it. We had access to the Hollywood Studios an hour and half early!!!! We got there with an hour to spend but it was still worth it. When you buy the early bird tickets it comes with a complimentary breakfast that is only given to the early birders and it was probably one of the best breakfasts that we had the entire time. You have a choice between several hot meals choices and there is a smorgish board of fruits, pastries, and cereal options. They allow you to eat there all the way until 10 AM. If you really want to you can get there right at 7:30, eat, ride, then eat again. That was our original plan but like I said we didn’t get there until 8. After we ate, we had 30 mins to enjoy Toy Story Land, and it was worth every penny. Not only was it the park we all were really looking forward to because we have watched it on TV every commercial break, but it is an oversized Toy Story Land! Are you kidding me who wouldn’t love it! In all seriousness it was the only park we saw that had workers waiting with a 65 minute wait sign before the park even opened up. They knew that park would have the most visitors, and they were right, within 10 mins of opening the park the Slinky Dog Ride had a 75 minute wait. After we utilized the 30 mins of no waits, we were able to wait a short 10 mins for character experiences and boom we were done with that park just as soon as they opened. It still is one of our favorite experiences because while the bigs rode the Slinky Dog, we rode the Alien Ride. My youngest was able to ride it twice without waits and she had a blast on it. We rode all these and still had our reserved fast passes to use. It was an amazing day!

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5. Take advantage of the Disney Magic Express + all its perks. The express not only takes you to and from the airport which makes everything so much easier, but it also will take your checked luggage for you! I saw so many people trying to haul their kids, plus their suitcases through the airport, through the express line, and through the hotel and check in. Now if you want to be champs and keep it all with you go right ahead. But our children wonder around and want to see all the cool and magical things before their eyes if they aren’t in the stroller. With three kids theee suitcases, stroller, like 5 carry on bags it just wouldn’t have been easy for us. Plus all that in one small line, no thanks. It was such a breeze going through the line without all the luggage and check in was ice bc we didn’t have to manage all the extra items. Once we got to our hotel we went to eat, look at all the animals and when we got back tinkerbell made the delivery. It was only a 1.5 wait to get out things once we got there so it wasn’t that bad.

I hope these five tips help you in planning your magical trip. There is so much to think about, and things that no one tells you about, so I do hope these help a little. and know the hassle of traveling takes a toll on anyone especially a family with littles. So anything that makes your trip easier and more efficient I want to try and help. That way all you have to worry about, is the magic that awaits for you. If this helped you in your magical adventures then please comment below, thanks for your stopping by and have a magical day.

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A TIME OUT

 

So life has become very busy for us this fall. Our son is four now and just started school for the first time since he was 1. We also have a 20-month-old and our newest edition to our family currently being three months old. I am currently a stay at home mom and a full-time business student who is cramming 18 credit hours in one semester so I can graduate this fall. On top of it all, I must have been high on caffeine when I decided to sign up the oldest for T-ball this year.

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Ayden celebrating how he “caught” the ball at his first game.

OH, did I mention that I’m also the coach for his team? So every Thursday night and Saturday morning for the past eight weeks, Dad has been on duty watching the girls while I patiently direct four year olds. I have to direct them on where to stand, what to do, and to get the ball. I even have to remind them to ignore the airplanes, the butterflies and the pretty little flowers growing in front of them. It’s a fun experience, yet it has to be said, it is a little trying. I didn’t think about my load being full to the brim already, when I volunteered for this obligation. From keeping up with his cleats, clothes, and gloves early in the morning on a Saturday, while rushing to get his sisters, dressed, fed, and all out the door by 8:30 after waking up just one hour before. It definitely has been a hectic chore to tack on with everything else.

So after six weeks of this new era in our lives, we are hit with colds, fevers, and ear infections. One child had a fever after vaccinations, then oldest woke up in middle of night with fever. A few days later, after both of us having minimal amount of sleep, our 20-month-old is screaming for three and half hours straight because she has an ear infection.

Then two days of peace, our smallest one has a fever again for no apparent reason, and of course, it is during the weekend. So we toughen it out over the weekend and call nurse’s line first thing in the morning. After waiting the average wait time on the phone for 20 minutes, I finally talk to someone all about her symptoms and get the advice, to take our 2-month-old to the ER. She didn’t have a fever anymore, but we are told to take our daughter to endure God knows how many tests to find out she is okay. So we went to DR. office instead to see if we needed to go or not. After taking all the children, packing them up, etc. Her checkup is fine. To parents: always trust your intuition first and foremost.

So we walk outside to go home and I look over on the way to elevator and decide to take kids outside on balcony for a minute. I’m so used to running, and I can’t even tell you how many times I have told my kids let’s go! We are in a hurry, or no I’m sorry there’s no time. Well since, I’ve started this blog, I’ve tried to remind myself to do what I am talking about. To actually do what I used to do before all the kids. That is to stop every once in a while and soak up all the beautiful things that are around us. Today I was tired, I was exhausted because it seems like for two weeks, we haven’t gotten a full night’s rest. I wanted to go home so I could start dinner, give baths, and go to bed. At that moment Dad and I looked at each other and we decided to practice what Dad does on a daily basis, meditation, with the kids.

Breathing with Kids: Fitness4AllBlog
Our Time Out

To sit down, close our eyes, and listen to all the sounds around us. Afterwards we looked around at how beautiful this site was. I was so proud of our littles, because they sat down, closed their eyes, and participated. The oldest told us what he heard as it happened, and if he didn’t hear what I heard he asked where it was. It made my heart happy to see them “turn off” all their wiggles, and open their listening ears to the wind blowing in the trees. We focused on the leaves tumbling along the sidewalk, cars driving occasionally by, and to finding things that aren’t right in front of us. This is a must do from now on:

Number 1: Stop and Relish in the moment.

Number 2: Turn off everything and allow mother earth in.

Now GO and ENJOY your time out.

~Start tomorrow, commit to it, and do it~

 

Fitness 4 All Blog

Overall Fitness For All 

I want to start out explaining why we start this blog and how we can help you strive to maintain overall balance so you can live a fit life.

As a family of five, we had to learn very fast how to force ourselves to slow down. With so many to-dos and life’s daily adventures it easy to get distracted and to just go along living life from one moment to the next. We all live in a fast paced, half digital/half reality world, flying in a whirlwind of memories that pass you by. We started to feel like life was getting too hectic and wanted to find ways to remain connected with each other.  Not only with one another, but with everything that truly matters to us. In the end, we all live our lives one day at a time. Some are up and some are down, and most days reside somewhere in between, but we trek through them the best way we can, constantly striving for balance. At times I feel like I fail more than succeed. It seems like with each added kid, or added extra curriculm it gets harder and harder for our family to stop and take a moment; a moment to appreciate life, a moment to take a deep breath to gather ourselves, or even a moment to focus on who we are. We did a lot of self-evaluating, planning, and deciding on who we wanted to be. Most importantly, what kind of family we wanted to be.

We are a God-fearing family, who needs and relies on God’s love. So we chose to spread it in any way we can. Even when life was hard I have always just told myself, show love in this situation, find a way, or at least I ask myself if there is a way I can show love here? Not every situation or moment in life is that simple, it’s a struggle, a hard one at that. We would know, we’ve been through our own tough struggles and continue to. It’s just life. So for us, to spread love, is to share.

This blog is us sharing the way we try to find our balance. We are far from perfect, and still have many things to learn about life. We just happened to find that balance when we consistently focus on four areas that we feel are crucial to our overall well-being. To us, well-being, health, and fitness is one in the same, we aren’t trying to change their definitions, we just strive to live and obtain it.  To obtain that level of overall fitness for all is when we can achieve equilibrium in our spiritualityphysicality, mental and emotional stability. We like to look at it as nature does, it’s constantly trying to achieve equilibrium. For example, our sun, as it burns at fusion temperatures, the energy created pushes outward making it want to expand. However, gravity is pushing inward with the force of the sun’s mass thus creating a harmonic state that makes up what we know as our solar systems star. This is the balance we are searching for. This beautiful, hard to comprehend, seems like impossible, or perhaps a miracle, balance.

Now there’s obviously other things in life that help us stay sane and enhance the balance in our lives like friends, hobbies, careers, finances, and our own individual interest. We just feel like the four areas that are the main focus can be used in all facets of our lives. Each category needs the other to be strong, and needs it to enhance it’s own. They all intertwine, and they all collide. For another example, whether you’re at home, working, or even resting, you need emotional balance and your health to be on point so you can be the best you can be for wherever your day takes you. When you have a hard day, you need your mental stability to lead you past the hardships, when you’re stressed, you need emotional and mental stability to help with your sanity for your sake and for your whole family’s health. These four categories are not just for one type of person, or for experience only, its healthy fitness tips for all; old, young, far and wide, semi-fit, overweight, Christians, Non-believers, Agnostic, stay-at-home mothers, stay-at-home fathers, workers, entrepenuers, step parents and grandparents. The list goes on and on.

We want to meet you in your life journey, wherever that may be, and present you with some of our own life experiences, struggles, techniques, goals, and perspectives, as well as tools that we have found helpful along the way; to hopefully help you and/or your family. We hope that in sharing our journey we can help people get through this hustle and bustle thing we all call life – only with a new perspective of what maintaining fitness means. It’s maintaining overall fitness in 4 areas to live a well balanced healthy fit life. Now how bout it, Can we all shout it?

All For Fit – Fit For ALL

 

 

All 4 Fit - Fit 4 All | Overall Fitness 4 All