And today’s the day, I get to show you cute pictures of Ashby and Bowen in Walt Disney World!!!
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…
At the airport by 5:00 with no idea about where they were going!
We grabbed a quick little breakfast and then, we told them!
Agh! How cute are they?!?!
After they heard the big news, they anxiously awaited our boarding!
Two happy mamas heading to Disney!
A quick flight later, and we arrived in Orlando!!
We boarded the Disney Magical Express and headed straight to our hotel!
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!
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!
First stop, Animal Kingdom!!
They both had maps to help us get around 😉 .
Mmmmm…we smelled the BBQ pork and immediately stopped here for a quick lunch!
Then, we started riding rides!
We also stopped by and enjoyed The Lion King performance too!
Our first Fast Pass was for the safari which is always my FAVORITE thing to do at Animal Kingdom!
I love this little girl SO MUCH!!
I’m always so amazed by how close you get to the animals on this safari ride.
I mean, look how close that rhino is to us!!
I love doing life (and business!) with this girl!
Our second Fast Pass of the day was for the…Expedition Everest Roller Coaster!
Hahahaha! We had FUN!!!!
We chilled out and watched Finding Nemo The Musical after that exciting ride!
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!
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…
…Raglan Road (an Irish restaurant!).
This restaurant had live music outside by their patio and then…
…Irish dancing and music inside the restaurant too! Our table was amazing! Do you see the stage? It’s like RIGHT THERE!
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…
…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!
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!
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