Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

And today’s the day, I get to show you cute pictures of Ashby and Bowen in Walt Disney World!!!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE


I’m excited to share them because they were just so darn CUTE!

Before we begin, a little backstory/info/answers to questions before we dive in…

As you may (or may not) know, I own a travel agency (woohoo!), and the six of us who work here LOVE planning vacations!  Even though we plan trips all over the world, one of our most popular destinations is always Walt Disney World.  We talk Disney all day long (and love it!), and realized a few months ago that many people are hesitant to book a Disney vacation if it’s not six months out.   So many people want to go to Disney sooner than 180 days out, but are talked out of it by friends and family who say “if you don’t book at least six months out, you will not have a magical Disney experience”.  Now, we don’t believe that over here.  Are there many, many perks to booking early?  Of course!  (More availability in room categories, more dining reservation options, better Fast Pass picks, etc.)  But can you have an amazing Disney vacation with less time to plan?  ABSOLUTELY!

So, Erika and I decided to couple that task (booking an amazing Disney vacation in less time) with checking off some boxes for some of our clients (who requested we look into certain things for their vacations).  When we were discussing this, I threw out the idea that we not just go ourselves…but take sweet Bowen and Ashby too and before you knew it, we had a bona fide amazing vacation booked just about 8 weeks before we departed.

Our six big kids all went on trips with us this school year (the girls to NYC and the boys went skiing), plus, I just took Madeley to Boston, so even though this has never happened before, all of the kids got their own special trip this school year.  When I told my other kids that we were taking Ashby to Walt Disney World as a surprise, they were SO EXCITED FOR HER!  Friends, sweet Ashby goes through so much on a daily basis.  Many things I share, many more, I keep to myself.  She is always so brave, so strong, and so sweet, so it made my mama heart leap out of my chest when my other three were so excited for her too (because even though they super loved their trips, WDW is the most magical place on Earth, right?! 😉 ).

I am blogging now about our first day in WDW, but Erika is too.  Some pics, places, things might be the same, but some might be totally different, so you should read both.  We really tried to capture as much as we could about our trip…but clearly, we didn’t get everything.  We tried to take pics of so many rides (but we didn’t get all of them), of the yummy food we were eating (but we didn’t get all of it) and of the things we did and saw (but again, we didn’t get all of it!).  We’re sharing what we have, but some moments were just gathering info for specific clients, some moments we were just too busy having fun to photograph and some moments just slipped by undocumented.

If your family is planning on taking a Walt Disney World vacation this year or next, we would love to connect with you.  I say this all the time, but these trips are not free for us, and we pay the exact same rates you do.  We truly love WDW and consider it one of the best family vacation spots which is why we love taking our kiddos there and spending our money on it too.  Our services here are completely free, and we have the same rates, discounts, promos, access to rooms and more as you would get calling their 1-800 number or going online.  We love taking care of our clients and prove that day after day.  Each vacation is custom for each family, and we are always humbled and grateful that you allow us to be a part of your Disney vacation.  If you’re thinking about a trip outside of Walt Disney World, we also offer our services anywhere outside of the Continental US (so we do not offer our services to places like NYC, Boston, etc) to places like Hawaii, Mexico, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, cruises and so much more.  We would love to chat with you about those destinations too!

Whew!  Did I cover it all?

This friends, is PART ONE.  I hope you enjoy seeing the smiling faces as much as I do!!

On Tuesday morning, my alarm went off at 3:00 AM.  I got dressed and finished getting my suitcase together, and then quietly went into Smith’s room and woke up Ashby at 4:00.  As soon as her eyes opened, she said, “Do we have to go to the hospital?”.  Ugh!  Friends, my heart just broke!  Her first reaction to waking up early is basically “am I having surgery”.  I told her no, but that I had a fun surprise just for her that morning, so we needed to wake up.  She got up, got dressed and I told her someone was coming to our house to pick us up.  And then…Erika pulled up 🙂 .  Bowen was in the backseat and they were both like “what is going on?!”.  We just kept telling them it was a surprise (the suitcases, of course, tipped them off, but we kept saying silly things about what we were doing with suitcases that kept them wondering).

We parked at the airport, walked in and still wouldn’t spill the beans…

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

At the airport by 5:00 with no idea about where they were going!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

We grabbed a quick little breakfast and then, we told them!

Agh!  How cute are they?!?!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

After they heard the big news, they anxiously awaited our boarding!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

Two happy mamas heading to Disney!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

A quick flight later, and we arrived in Orlando!!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

We boarded the Disney Magical Express and headed straight to our hotel!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

We dropped off our bags without even going into the resort and took the bus straight to the first park.  We were ready for a quick lunch and for our first Fast Pass of the day!

Pssssst: my top is HERE, shorts are HERE and sandals HERE.

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

Photo courtesy of Ashby Shull 🙂 .  See my cute pink New Balance?  They were so comfy!!  I wore them with these no show socks and never one time regretted them because they stay in place!  I hate when my no show socks slip down, and these did not!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

First stop, Animal Kingdom!!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

They both had maps to help us get around 😉 .

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

Mmmmm…we smelled the BBQ pork and immediately stopped here for a quick lunch!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

Then, we started riding rides!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

We also stopped by and enjoyed The Lion King performance too!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

Our first Fast Pass was for the safari which is always my FAVORITE thing to do at Animal Kingdom!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

I love this little girl SO MUCH!!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

I’m always so amazed by how close you get to the animals on this safari ride.

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE


, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE


, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE


, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

I mean, look how close that rhino is to us!!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

I love doing life (and business!) with this girl!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

Our second Fast Pass of the day was for the…Expedition Everest Roller Coaster!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

Hahahaha!  We had FUN!!!!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

We chilled out and watched Finding Nemo The Musical after that exciting ride!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

And then, it’s not pictured, but we rode my FAVORITE ride of the entire trip next…PANDORA…THE WORLD OF AVATAR!  Oh holy cow!  It was amazing!!  We had Fast Passes to it, but I would have stood in line 2 hours to see it if needed.  I was blown away!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

We got a snack, we rode more rides, we saw animals, we did Animal Kingdom right!  When it was over, we headed to Disney Springs because we had dinner reservations at…

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

…Raglan Road (an Irish restaurant!).

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

This restaurant had live music outside by their patio and then…

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

…Irish dancing and music inside the restaurant too!  Our table was amazing!  Do you see the stage?  It’s like RIGHT THERE!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

We ate, we danced around to the music, we loved this place!!

After a VERY full day that started really early, we finally boarded the bus and went to our resort…

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

…Aloha from Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!

We picked this resort because we wanted to be on Disney’s monorail and because so many of our clients pick it, love it and recommend it, so we wanted to stay there too and check it out!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

It took about 30 seconds of me being inside this resort to immediately want to book a Hawaiian vacation 😉 .  This place is gorgeous!  It even smells like Hawaii inside!  Ha!

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE


, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE

We got checked in, found our room and were asleep by 10:30.  Whew!  This is truly a day I will never forget.

More pics, more details and more Disney magic later this week!  For now,  that’s PART ONE!  I think her smile says it all. xo

, Walt Disney World 2019: PART ONE
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog April 30, 2019 at 4:45 am

    I can’t believe this is just part one – so many photos! Walt Disney World looks so fun! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Erika Slaughter April 30, 2019 at 4:47 am

    Ahhhhh!!!! Okay, we’ve been home for four days but after this post I’m ready to go back! Day One was absolutely PERFECT!!

  • Dana April 30, 2019 at 5:32 am

    How did you manage fast passes for flight of passage 8 weeks out?! I just went to Disney and planned the trip about 8 weeks out myself, FOP was the only fast pass I couldn’t get, and man did I try! I was on a several planning boards and no one was able to get them that close!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 5:50 am

      Jane who works here grabs all of the Fast Passes for our clients. That is why we picked AK first (instead of MK) because it happened to be available, so she moved everything around for it.

  • Jane April 30, 2019 at 5:38 am

    This makes me soooo happy!!!

  • Sarah April 30, 2019 at 5:41 am

    Hi Shay! What shade are your sunglasses?

  • Narci April 30, 2019 at 5:57 am

    How FUN!! This makes me want to book a Disney trip today! What a blast!

  • Jill April 30, 2019 at 6:02 am

    It looks like an amazing trip, looking forward to seeing the rest. You always mention that you get motion sickness. How do you make out on the rides?

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 6:59 am

      The only one that kind of bothered me was Soarin’!

      • Jill May 2, 2019 at 6:37 am


  • Aja April 30, 2019 at 6:02 am

    Glad you guys had fun. But there is no ride called Pandora. That’s the land. I’m assuming the ride you’re referring to is Flight of Passage.

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 6:59 am

      Yup, the Avatar thing.

    • Angela Ellingson April 30, 2019 at 8:12 am

      Truly a dream!! I can’t wait to take my family as soon as we can afford it. I was shocked when you said your services are completely free and immediately googled how travel agents make money. Ha!

      • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 9:29 am

        Angela, I can’t wait until it’s time to help you!!

  • Bev April 30, 2019 at 6:09 am

    Soooo wish I had known this 6 months ago when we planned our family (kids & grandkids) trip to Disney. You have a way of making everything fun and special! Next time….

  • Tricia Rife April 30, 2019 at 6:18 am

    Love this post and looking forward to the rest! Our family goes to WDW about once a year, so it’s fun to read about your experience! Will you share more about what you loved about Polynesian Resort? We’ve eaten at ‘Ohana and explored the resort a bit but never stayed there. It’s on our list to try someday. 🙂

  • Sheaffer Sims April 30, 2019 at 6:26 am

    This is awesome! I think we were all SO EXCITED for Ashby! That little girl of yours deserves Disney ALL THE TIME! And I love that she got to experience the surprise with her bestie!

    • Carrie April 30, 2019 at 8:36 am

      The way you have your arm in front of Ashby on the Mt Everest ride is exactly how I ride with my kids. What do I think that’s going to help?! Ha! Somehow it it makes me feel better though 😉 What a special trip that she’ll always treasure!

      • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 9:26 am

        Right? Like I”m going to be able to hold her in?! Hahahaha!

  • Molly Kissel April 30, 2019 at 6:35 am

    I have a question about strollers at WDW. It looks like you didn’t take one this time, but I’ve seen you have them in previous trips. We are going in December with our kids who will be 2 and 4 at the time. We currently have a double Bob stroller. Do you recommend traveling with and checking that beast?? Or is it better to use one of the rental companies who deliver strollers to your hotel? And one more question . . . if we rent, would you recommend one double stroller or two singles in case we need to split up? Thanks!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 6:59 am

      I was so thrilled we were stroller free this trip!! They’re both six (almost seven), so they did fine without one. In the past, we took umbrella strollers just because hopping on and off the buses, monorail, boats, etc is too hard with a larger stroller. You can also rent strollers there!

    • Jack April 30, 2019 at 8:56 am

      Be sure to measure your stroller before going. The new stroller size limits go into effect tomorrow, May 1st.

    • Allison April 30, 2019 at 11:16 am

      Rent from Kingdom Strollers! They are awesome! They deliver straight to your resort and you leave the stroller when you check out. Super easy! The strollers at Disney are the hard plastic ones and are bulky.

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams April 30, 2019 at 6:36 am

    That video was just the best when I saw it! You can tell by their smiles how happy they were the whole time!! It’s such a magical place, I can’t wait to bring my own future children there!

    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams 

  • Laura April 30, 2019 at 6:45 am

    LOVE all of the pictures!! What an awesome memory for those sweet kids!! Can’t wait for day 2!

  • Elspeth Mizner April 30, 2019 at 6:49 am

    I was so excited for this post. What a fun and special time-especially with your 3rd babies. Cant wait to hear more about your trip. Love it!!

  • Mary April 30, 2019 at 6:50 am

    I can’t wait to go back to Disney! What lipstick are you wearing?

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 6:58 am

      Nars pencil in Grasse with Bobbi Brown lipstick in bikini pink!

  • Kate April 30, 2019 at 6:53 am

    When you say you rode Pandora (that’s the name of that whole area of AK, not a ride) did you mean Flight of Passage or Navi River Journey?? I can’t believe you got FoP FPs 8 weeks out!!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 6:57 am

      The Avatar Flight of Passage thingy…felt like I was riding a banshee. Hahaha!

      • Allison April 30, 2019 at 11:21 am

        A tip that will save you a couple of hours waiting for Disney buses: budget Uber rides into your Disney vacation. Use Uber to travel to the parks in the morning. For Magic Kingdom you can ask to be dropped off at the Contemporary or Bay Lake Tower and then walk to MK.
        At the other parks you will be dropped off close to the entrances. Saves so much time! It is also much quicker to use Uber from the airport instead of Disney’s Magical Express.

    • Dana April 30, 2019 at 7:03 am

      me either! I tried and it was IMPOSSIBLE, ( see my above comment) Jane must be a super human!

      • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 7:24 am

        She is 🙂 .

      • Kari April 30, 2019 at 8:26 am

        You just go on the app at midnight 60 days out from check-in and you can snag one. If you are there 5 days, it is easier to book it on your last day because you aren’t competing with those checking in the 4 days after you. Or you arrive at the park prior to open, they open the gates earlier than the open time, go to the rope and walk right on after rope drop. You might wait a bit for place to open, but not as long as 90+ minutes the line usually is. And then you can go to Safari and Everest and there are no lines because everyone is at Flight of Passage. Save FPs for another park later in the day.

      • Jami April 30, 2019 at 9:17 am

        Hey Dana, Have you been yet? If you staying on property you could try and go to Animal Kingdom on a day with Morning Extra Magic Hours and get there early and head straight to Flight of Passage. You may get lucky and only wait about an hour. Or, check crowd calendars and see when Animal Kingdom is the least busiest park that week. If you do have to wait, it’s worth it. Pack some snacks, make friends in line, and enjoy the scenery.

      • Kate April 30, 2019 at 8:05 pm

        I loved this post!! Looks so fun! I’m not sure if you’ve already done this but I would love to see a post about your favs at Disney… fav restaurants, resorts, rides, etc

  • Cynthia Long April 30, 2019 at 6:56 am

    I cried when I saw the video! And, I agree with you, Flight of Passage is the most amazing ride ever!! We don’t stay at The Polynesian for budget reasons, but we always stop by for breakfast or dessert and coffee. I look forward to reading the rest of your trip details.

  • Carly April 30, 2019 at 7:02 am

    I have been waiting DAYS for this recap and ma have watched Ashby dance around the airport more than once to help pass the time. Best recap!

  • Bren April 30, 2019 at 7:07 am

    Loving these recaps!! We are such Disney nuts here! I have never stayed at the Polynesian so cannot wait to hear what you think (and it was always a dream of my dad’s, so I have got to stay there in his memory someday)! I’m incredibly impressed to hear you were able to get a FP for Flight of Avatar at eight weeks out – again, just LOVING to hear about your trip, see where eat and hear all about your fun!

  • Carla Hohmann April 30, 2019 at 7:17 am

    Hey Shay. Love reading your blog and I’m so happy you guys guys had fun. I was there with my family as well the same days you were and also stayed at the Polynesian resort. I hoping to run into to you would of loved to of met you. We had a great time it was the first time we brought the kids 6 & 4. They loved it so much and I enjoyed watching their sweet faces.

  • Rachel April 30, 2019 at 7:21 am

    As a native Floridian and Disney gal, I LOVE this post!!! What a fun surprise!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 7:23 am

      Ohhhhh it’s so gorgeous in Florida!!

  • Michele April 30, 2019 at 7:32 am

    I thought as a travel agent, you would have discounted flights, hotels, etc. I’ve always been jealous because I thought that was the perk of being a travel agent?!?!?!?! 🙂 No shade honestly, I’m just sad you DON’T get a discount. So glad you had a magical time.

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 7:40 am

      I do get offers for discounted trips but so far, they haven’t been for dates, destinations or the right number of people. I was offered a discounted trip to Laos last week…but let’s be real, I have to take that trip with my fam (that’s where Madeley is from!). So often, it’s just for the agent and not the agent’s family. We were offered a free cruise in the fall for two but you had to travel that week…and that’s just not practical for this stage in my life.

  • Valerie April 30, 2019 at 7:34 am

    So much fun! Love how you surprised those two kiddos!
    We went to WDW last year, and we all agree, PANDORA is he best ride! We had a fast pass, but still had to wait for about 45 minutes before we rode it. Still, it was worth the wait!

  • Laurie April 30, 2019 at 7:39 am

    Hi! Is there a reason you take flights so
    early in the morning always?

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 9:30 am

      Saves the cost of the room (if we leave the day before, we have to pay for one more night of hotel stay) and then maximizes our time there (I believe we landed at like 10:30!). That being said, sometimes we don’t. For spring break, we flew out in the evening.

  • Kristin April 30, 2019 at 7:49 am

    My boys are 7 & 8 and super in to movies. We want to do Disney but are thinking time at Universal and even Volcano Bay (we love waterparks)! Do you all know much about those other options or mostly Disney?

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 9:29 am

      We only work with Walt Disney World at this time.

    • Jami April 30, 2019 at 10:31 am

      Volcano Bay is amazing!! They have a fast moving lazy river that brought so much laughter from my two boys, ages 8 and 11. We chose to stay value at Cabana Bay and personally thought it blew away any Disney value resort. Disney has my heart so that’s huge for me to say that. You can also way to Volcano Bay from Cabana Bay. However, if it’s in the budget to stay a more expensive resort I would stay at one of their deluxe ones. You can get their Express Pass with your stay at a deluxe and ride the boat to City Walk and it drops you off much closer to the entrance of the parks. At Cabana Bay we had to take a bus over to City Walk and it was an 8-11 minute walk to park entrances. However, I would not hesitate to stay at Cabana Bay again, it’s well worth the price. If you are wanting to incorporate Disney and Universal, I would do one night at a Universal Deluxe, like Hard Rock. I think you get Express Passes for yoru check in and check out day. If you are limited on time at Universal and depending on time of year you may want those.

  • Erin April 30, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Oh my goodness, how much fun!!! Sweet Ashby;s beautiful smile!! We went to WDW three years ago when my daughter was 3 and my husband (who is pretty tight with money) said we are coming back and doing it all next time! The reaction on our daughters face was worth every penny! So we are going back at the end of January/early Feb. We have a work trip and can write some stuff off with that 🙂 But now my daughter is 6 and LOVES AVATAR and is beyond excited to go to the Avatar area! And my son is 2 and loves just about anything Disney! Your post has made me even more excited than I already am!

  • Hayley April 30, 2019 at 8:16 am

    We are DVC members, and often travel on short notice for a quick getaway vacation. People often don’t realize on the day you can also secure great fast passes by locating the FP booths around the parks and looking at availability, a lot of the more popular rides are often on their because people reschedule or their becomes an availability on the day. Its a great way to maximize a short notice trip!

  • Jo Biddick April 30, 2019 at 8:18 am

    I think you guys need to bring your families to Australia for a holiday, just for research of course 😀😉

  • jennimc April 30, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Good morning, Shay! This question really has nothing to do with Disney…I hope it’s okay to leave it here. I was just wondering if you have a favorite, tried and true pool raft/float (for yourself)? I am looking to get a nice comfy one and am hoping to be able to read while on it. I always trust your recommendations and know that you’ve got backyard pool experience 🙂 Thanks and have a great week!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 9:28 am

      Ohhhh! That’s a good question. I don’t, but my parents do! They get them at Costco and love them!!!

  • Lori Whittington April 30, 2019 at 8:24 am

    I had no idea you had 6 people in your travel agency!? I think we need a “Meet the Team” blog post. 🙂 Looks like Ashby and Bowen had the BEST time! What great pictures to have sitting around at their wedding! LOL 🙂

  • Kathy April 30, 2019 at 8:27 am

    Love the little video revealing the surprise, you are the cool moms for sure!
    I’ve got a question about the no slip socks – do they have the little rubbery thing in the back to help them not slip? That little thing works, but feels bulky in my shoes. Please tell me there is no little rubber thing on the heel or ball areas of the socks.

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 9:27 am

      Yes! I typically don’t wear socks because they just annoy me, but these never once did!

  • Jantzen Haley April 30, 2019 at 8:32 am

    Do you have a post about how you became a travel agent? Or what the process looks like? Would love to know more! Surprise trips are the BEST! So fun that Ashby and Bowen get to have and cherish those memories forever!!

  • Jill Peterson April 30, 2019 at 8:33 am

    “We can miss school….we can miss school!!” The BEST!!!!

  • Brooke Allen April 30, 2019 at 8:37 am

    Love this!! And yes, Jane is amazing at getting fast passes! Cannot say how much my family appreciated all the hard work she and Erika did for our trip in Feb.! Glad to know you can still have a great time and get fast passes and reservations without booking so far out. We had breakfast at the Poly and def. want to stay there next time to be on the monorail!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 9:26 am

      Yay!! Thank you, Brooke!!

  • Sarah Shaneyfelt April 30, 2019 at 8:38 am

    What a fun trip with Ashby!!! We’ve stayed at the Contemporary and I remember wanting to stay at the Polynesian when we rode the monorail by it!

  • Marie April 30, 2019 at 8:38 am

    Just wait til you cant pull those kiddos out of class for trips 🙁 that’s where we are and it stinks!

  • Alison Trauger April 30, 2019 at 8:48 am

    You are one very cool Mom. 🙂 Ashby and Bowen looked like they had the best time!! What a special way to combine work and play!

  • Jennifer Atmore April 30, 2019 at 8:55 am

    Ohhhhh, this makes me want to call your agency and book our next Disney trip! We were there for Thanksgiving this year, and Animal Kingdom is always my personal favorite!!! We have always stayed at Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort, but I hear the Disney resorts are pretty amazing, too!

  • Erika Werner April 30, 2019 at 8:59 am

    We just got back last week from the Disney vacation you guys planned for us. We.had.so.much.fun!!!! Thank you so, so much for all everyone did for us! Jane was amazing getting our reservations and fast passes. We never had to worry about anything. We cant wait for our next Disney trip! Thanks again! Xoxo

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 9:26 am

      I’m so happy to hear this, Erika!!

  • Barbara Parnell April 30, 2019 at 9:44 am

    Love Disney and love the Polynesian! Have stayed there many times and absolutely love it. Glad you all enjoyed your trip.

  • Ella April 30, 2019 at 9:53 am

    I went to Orlando for the first time this winter and was told to go to Epcot. I didn’t do any advance planning, I booked our hotel from the airport when I got there and bought tickets to the park when I got to the park. We reserved FastPasses at the Kiosk in the park. We really had a great time with no advance planning.

    Where the parks very crowded last week?
    I had relatives in Orlando last week, and they didn’t go to Disney due to crowds since it was Easter break/ Passover.

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 11:22 am

      I didn’t think so! Now, it’s WDW, so it’s never really not crowded, but I really felt like the crowds were down. We were there mid-week which helped too!

  • Laci April 30, 2019 at 10:00 am

    I am glad you are showing people that Disney is magical either way! We love WDW and our kids have wonderful memories there.

  • Amanda @ That Inspired Chick April 30, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Looks like y’all had so much fun!! Flight of Passage is AMAZING!! There just aren’t words big enough to cover it. I can’t wait to go back!!!
    That Inspired Chick

  • Angela April 30, 2019 at 10:30 am

    That Avatar ride is amazing!!! A couple of years ago we did a tour called “ Keys to the Kingdom” and I would totally recommend it. You go back stage Disney and see how the park runs. You go underground, behind the scenes… it was amazing. I have a had a whole new appreciation for Disney after that.
    Side note: No kids are allowed.

  • Kathy Cochran April 30, 2019 at 10:35 am

    How fun and what a special trip! I can’t wait for Day 2. I just love Disney World, but haven’t been since I was in college. Living in AZ we normally do Disneyland, so I’m excited for all your tips, tricks etc. 🙂

  • Genevieve April 30, 2019 at 10:35 am

    Shay, what do you carry in your purse when you go to Disney?

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 11:21 am

      I had my phone, sunglasses, lip gloss and a phone charger!!!

  • Susan Shelton April 30, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Pandora is my absolute favorite ride now. I DID wait 2 hours for it and, WORTH It! Lol! I love the Polynesian resort as well. I suggest you book a Hawaiian trip to stay at Disney’s Aulani. It is amazing there!

  • Leah Garry April 30, 2019 at 11:07 am

    What resort do you recommend for larger families? A std. Disney room with two beds doesn’t work for a family of 5 or more. Curious what you would do if your whole family was going together! Connecting rooms? Art of Animation suites?

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 11:21 am

      There are so many different choices! A lot of it depends on your budget and where you want to be located within Walt Disney World. Email us and we can chat about your options!

  • Dustie Day April 30, 2019 at 11:21 am

    We had the best trip EVER, all planned by your agency. We cannot wait for our next one ; )

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 11:22 am

      Ahhhhh! Thank you, Dustie!!!

  • ceciliaky April 30, 2019 at 11:52 am

    wow! you’re lucky that you could do Flight of Passage (Pandora is the land, not the attraction) if Soarin’ made you motion sick. I can’t do Soarin’ & didn’t even try FoP … my husband and daughter said there’s NO way I could’ve done it. I would’ve likely been sick the rest of the day. Thankfully, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is so visually spectacular, I had plenty to look at while they rode.

  • Alissa April 30, 2019 at 11:59 am

    What age do you think gets the most out of Disney? We want to take our daughter (She just turned one) but aren’t sure what age would be best! Will for sure be using your services! Thanks so much for the info!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 2:30 pm

      I don’t know that there is one concrete answer, but SIX sure was fun!! They were big enough to not need strollers, to ride most of the rides and yet, they still believed in the magic 🙂 .

  • kellie April 30, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    Oh, so fun! Nothing better than a SURPRISE Disney trip! We are big Disney fans, to!
    We stayed and celebrated my daughter’s 12th birthday at the Polynesian! Such a beautiful hotel — the smells, the proximity to everything, and hello! The DOLE WHIPS!
    Such a fun time.
    But, the Pandora Ride….I wanted to love it…I really did. But I got so motion sick after, I was done for the day. Next time DRAMAMINE! ha! Can’t wait to see more smiling faces and fun at WDW!

  • Liz Thorson April 30, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Ashby’s precious smiles and glowing with happiness expression says it all! What a special time for you four!❤️

  • Lauren April 30, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    I didn’t realize you have 6 people working in your travel agency! Can you tell us more in a post?? About how you started, how it’s grown?! I love it!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 30, 2019 at 2:30 pm

      We do! You know, it started with just me…but as the years have gone by (almost 7!!), it has continued to grow and grow (thanks to repeat customers and referrals, of course!).

  • April April 30, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    Ashby’s special hand looks so great in the picture of her at breakfast! It makes me so happy for her!! Love that the little bffs got this special trip together.

  • Kate April 30, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Do you recommend Aulani in Hawaii or do you prefer other properties for a family Hawaiian trip? Is there a website for your travel agency? (And I always do the mom hold on the roller coaster as if there is any chance I can hold her in – tower of terror especially! I recognized that in the picture right away!)

    • Mix and Match Mama May 1, 2019 at 5:07 am

      It depends on the family! We do send people there, but we also send them to other places too. We’re working on a website now, but if you have any questions at all, please email us!

  • Haley April 30, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    I hope you all got the bread pudding at Raglan Road! We went there for the first time in February and it was delicious!!

  • Abra Luce April 30, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    We are booking our first family WDW trip for October! My kids will be 5, 2, and 1 at the time of travel. We may be crazy.
    I’ll be studying your recaps!!

  • Cheryl Watkins April 30, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    That Pandora ride is the most amazing experience I’ve ever had! We did stand in line for a couple hours, but it was completely worth it.

  • Nicole DiDonato April 30, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    Love this!! My husband and I are huge Disney Junkies! We go once a year but always book more than 6 months in advance so this is interesting to see! Question then, did you have trouble getting a good deal on airfare? We are going August 19-26 and right now prices are ridiculous. When do you recommend the best time to book a flight?

    • Mix and Match Mama May 1, 2019 at 5:05 am

      That’s why we flew Southwest! Erika and I both almost always fly American, but because we were so close to our departure date, the rates were just so high…so we flew Southwest instead (which if you live in our area even means you fly out of an entirely different airport).

  • Alicia Glover April 30, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    I always enjoy reading about your trips. What a wonderful surprise for the two children! Thank you for sharing.

  • Tessa Hurd April 30, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    What an amazing surprise! Disney is our absolute favorite and every time we go I want to surprise my kiddos, but I get too excited and don’t contain the excitement! We have a trip booked this August (ahh the heat!), and then my husband and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary and doing a Disney cruise in November without the kids! Eek! Can’t wait to read your next recap!

  • Diana May 1, 2019 at 6:34 am

    I love anything Disney, and the Polynesian is my favorite resort! Glad you all had a fun trip, can’t wait to read the rest!

  • Lori Barron May 1, 2019 at 11:23 am

    Can you tell me more about your travel business. How did you get started? Is it a company you work for or something you did on your own. I would love to do something like that.

    • Mix and Match Mama May 1, 2019 at 2:04 pm

      I started it almost seven years ago. I got to know someone here in town who is a travel agent and my passion for travel seemed to make it the right fit for me. I own my business myself, and still get excited when I sit down every day to work.

  • Mary May 1, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    As a girl who books all her trips last minute, I love this post 🙂

  • Rebecca B May 1, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    I’m still all teary eyed from reading that Ashby asked if you were going to the hospital. What a sweet, brave precious little girl. Their reactions to finding out they were going to Disney were priceless. Such a wonderful trip!