Orlando, Disney, Hilton Head
So call us crazy…but we took a trip to Orlando and Disney the last week of April. It was somewhat short notice meaning we didn’t really have plans to do this. Bradley learned he had a work conference in Orlando and we decided to tag along and stay some extra nights to check out Disney.
If you’re not aware, we had previously done the same thing when Ian was around 8 months old and I had a work conference in Orlando. So it seemed fitting to go ahead and get to take both boys.
I; however, completely underestimated how difficult it would be to keep an excited toddler under control in a hotel room for the 2 days that Bradley had all day work events. What was I thinking?! We had quite a few tantrums and it wasn’t the most relaxing situation, but all in all it was a good time.
The hotel had an arcade in it and that was quite honestly Ian’s most favorite thing. I’m pretty certain he enjoyed it more than going to Disney and meeting Mickey Mouse. And his most favorite arcade game was the motorcycle one! Also Dad managed to get a tiger stuffed animal out of one of those claw machines (first try!) I had tried the same animal the day before but he actually got it when he tried.
The entire week had been mostly difficult but when he did meet Mickey Mouse they shared this lingering hug that actually brought tears to my eyes (boy, I think I still have post-partum emotions). Ian didn’t seem to want to let go and I think I was emotional about it because it was the first sign that he might actually be enjoying the day at Disney.
We had already ridden Small World, the Carousel, Buzz, and met Buzz Lightyear and all the while Ian seemed so serious about it all. So I think I was just waiting for that moment when I could tell he was really enjoying it. Note: Bradley would say that he really enjoyed the Carousel. I didn’t get to ride that one as I took a break to feed Austin, but Bradley had to pull Ian off kicking and screaming because he wanted to keep riding it.
After Mickey Mouse, we found some food and rode Winnie the Pooh and the race cars. At this point Ian was really starting to struggle, he needed a nap so bad! We finally swapped out and let him be in the stroller that Austin was in (it laid back) and he was asleep in what felt like 2 seconds.
We hopped in line to meet Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Rabbit. I asked the employee if we could take the stroller and he said since he was asleep we could. He said the line would take at least 40 minutes and that Ian would probably be awake by then. Ha! Little did he know. We even had to wait on the characters to take a “snack break” and Ian still didn’t wake up. When it was finally our turn to go Bradley got him out of the stroller and he opened his eye for a hot minute and went right back to sleep. Poor guy was so worn out. Granted, he did wake up at like 6:30am and it was now about 4:00pm. After that we walked all the way across the park to where the Jungle Cruise was. Ian slept and Austin fell asleep too. We let them sleep as long as possible. We had a fast pass that ended at 5:50pm, so around 5:40 we got them up and headed to our last ride. The Jungle Cruise was pretty neat but Austin was fussing on this ride. Not sure exactly why unless he was just sleepy.
At this point the clouds were rolling in and we could tell there was about to be a storm. Thanks to Fast Passes we were able to quickly hop on the Aladdin Magic Carpet ride and Ian really enjoyed it. I think Austin could have fallen asleep on it.
Then we decided it was time to go. It was about 6:30pm at this point. On our way back I really wanted a picture in front of the castle. The rain was just starting, but luckily the photographers let us grab a quick photo. And then we booked it out of there. The rain wasn’t bad and we decided to take the ferry back (BIG MISTAKE!). We had taken the monorail in, so we thought we’d take the ferry back. Silly us. Right before we had to get onto the ferry the bottom dropped out! We didn’t have ponchos or anything. The boys stayed pretty dry in their strollers but we were soaked. And then as we were crossing the water it felt like we were going right through the eye of the storm. The lighting and thunder was horrible! The water was spraying in from the sides of the ferry. We were standing in water. It was crazy. By the time we got to the other side it had calmed down a bit. It was just a quick storm. Both boys were crying the entire time…so I’m guessing it was pretty scary for them. It was scary for us too!
We got back safely & fairly quickly to the hotel, changed into dry clothes, and grabbed a bite to eat in one of their restaurants. Then we packed our things as we were checking out the next day and all collapsed into quite possibly the best sleep we had experienced all week!
The next day we headed to Hilton Head. We decided to split our trip in half and frankly it was a good decision. With about 4-5 hours of driving time. We basically stopped one time in the middle to feed Austin and take a break and that worked out perfectly. We arrived in Hilton Head about 6:00pm and spent the evening on the beach. Ian has a blast in the waves and Austin when right for the sand!
Sunday morning we decided to spend time at the pool and it was lovely. The water was warm and even though it was only about 65 degrees when we got out there at like 8:00am it was really nice! We got quick showers and hit the road around 11:30. We arrived home by 5:30-6:00pm (again only stopping one main time to feed Austin). I have to give both boys credit for being really good car riders. Austin mainly slept. A few times I had to keep exchanging out his toys and that kept him occupied for quite a bit. Ian was the same way, we had to keep exchanging out snacks or things to do. He LOVED all the snacks! Haha. Every time we turned around he was asking for the red bag (bag I had snacks in).
We had a nice trip! But I don’t think we’ll be going back until the boys are much older. We would like to do a full Disney Trip where we stay at a Disney Resort and experience more than one park. But definitely want to wait until the boys are old enough to really enjoy and appreciate it. And not need diapers changed! Ha!
p.s. I wanted to share that there is actually a one-day memory maker option for $59 in case you didn’t know. If you’ve researched Disney at all you’ll know that there is a Memory Maker option for like $149 (advance purchase) or $169 after the fact. This is used for all of the Disney photographers (Photopass locations are all over the place) and you let them scan a card and all your photos are tied together. Afterwards you can purchase them individually (a single digital copy of one photo is $14.95). But with the Memory Maker option you get them ALL for the one price. I feel like $149 is not a bad price for a full week’s worth of photos at multiple parks. But for just one day?! Way too much. I researched and researched and couldn’t find much about a one day option. At one point I read that you could purchase it the day of at the park, so that’s what we decided to try. However, when we got there…no such luck. So at this point we just knew that we would pick and choose a few good ones to purchase and not worry about it. We proceeded to let all of the Disney Photographers take our photos. It’s just so much easier! When I got home and went to download the photos…guess what?! If you use the app on your phone…it gives you the option to download a SINGLE DAY of photos for $59! That is exactly what we needed! I was so excited! I went and checked on the computer and it DOES NOT show that option. So you have to purchase it from your phone to see it. Kind of sneaky! But in case you’re planning to go for just one day…it’s worth it!