"I've Gotta Get Out of Town!": A March 2021 WDW PTR

BellesLibrary

With a dreamy, far-off look, and her nose stuck in
Joined
Sep 16, 2013
Hello, everyone!

It's gloomy and rainy here today in Charleston, SC, so I'm attempting to brighten up my day by starting our March 2021 PTR! I hope you'll come along as I wade through the minutia of Disney planning...which, honestly, I adore.

I'm Natalie, and I am counting down the days until our next Disney trip, which (fingers crossed) should take place in March 2021. Now, to load up on vitamin C and stay away from everyone so we can feel great when it's time for the trip!

553598
(Awww! This picture is from my son's first trip ever to WDW! He's the bundle in the baby carrier, and the cutie to the left is my daughter, who was almost 4 here, and is now 7.5!)

Background for the Trip

I don't know if y'all have noticed, but there's been a little thing called a global pandemic going on for a hot minute. (Yeah, you've probably noticed.)

Like all of you, the intensity and suddenness of the pandemic's onset threw my family into a tailspin. We went from a normal family of 4 doing all of the normal family things in early March 2020 to a homeschooling-work-from-home-we-have-no-clue-what's-happening kind of family around mid-March of last year.

I work as a college professor, so I was just a week into my second spring quarter when I was abruptly sent home and told to move all of my classes online within 48 hours (you know, as one does at a drop of a hat).

I have two kids in school (we'll meet them in a second!), and their school went fully online at the same time. My husband is a banker, so he was busy with the PPP loans that were being requested right and left around that same time.

Oh, and did I mention that we were in the middle of selling our house?!

So, we had two adults trying to do virtual meetings while two kids (a 1st grader and a preschooler) were attempting to do virtual school, and while painters, realtors, and handymen were scheduled to roam through the house.

It was a mess. Thankfully, we were able to stay safe and healthy, and the move happened later that summer.

Yet, because of the pandemic, all 3 of our summer trips were canceled, including one to Disney World and another to the Bahamas for our 10 year wedding anniversary. 💍

So began a very long series of months of hanging out inside, social distancing, more virtual teaching, and general sadness.

You can see in my old (never finished...oops!) Trip Report that I used to work as a travel writer. I went back to college teaching about 2 years ago, but I didn't lose my love of travel in the process. I had so many trips planned for my first summer off from teaching because I wanted to go around to all of those trips we'd had planned since I'd switched careers, but you know how that turned out.

In the post-Christmas haze and dreary January weather, I've been particularly glum about sitting at the house for hours on end while I grade alone. I genuinely love teaching and getting to know my students: while online teaching is super flexible, it lacks that personal interaction space that I like best about being a college professor. Emails and messages just aren't the same.

Plus, it's so stressful to live in the everyday world of the pandemic. My dad is high risk due to an illness he's since recovered from (but his health is still delicate because of it), and my sister is currently pregnant. My family lives really close to one another, so we've had to be really, really careful about my dad and sister during this entire process. I love them, and I don't want to get them sick!

After multiple weeks of this moping about, I looked at my husband and told him, "I've gotta get out of town!" I'd imagined going to a well cleaned hotel in Savannah or something--nothing big, but something to get me out of this pandemic funk.

He suggested, "What about Disney World?" and my first reaction was "NO WAY." We've been super careful during this entire situation, and rebooking the WDW trip from last summer had only crossed my mind in my wildest dreams.

Yet, I still had the tickets from last year sitting in my Disney account, lonely and unused. I talked to a few friends who'd been to Walt Disney World during the pandemic--one went in November, and the other in late December--and both separately told me that their families had felt safer at Disney than going out to Target or Walmart on a typical day.

Those conversations made me feel better, so I have now booked our park reservations, hotel stay, and a few ADRs!! I'll share more specifics about those in later posts since I tend to be wordy (blame the English professor that I am!). My parents, sister, brother-in-law, and niece can't go on this trip because of the previously mentioned health concerns, so my nuclear family will be allowing them to live vicariously through our pictures and videos!

I'll also do a full intro post later on as well, so stay tuned!

P.S. If you've been to WDW in the pandemic, share your tips and tricks! I've been to WDW so many times that I've lost count, but I have never been during a global health crisis!
 

BellesLibrary

With a dreamy, far-off look, and her nose stuck in
Joined
Sep 16, 2013
CAST OF CHARACTERS

As I mentioned in my intro post, my family and I are heading down on to Walt Disney World in March 2021. This trip was a super spur of the moment decision, but it has given me something positive to look forward to in a world of pandemic stress and online teaching!

There are 4 people going on this trip: me (Natalie), my husband (Landon), my 7.5 year old daughter (B, sometimes called Toni), and my 4 year old son (G, sometimes called Sonny).

Natalie

553600

It's me and Toni on the Dumbo ride!

Fun facts about me:

Profession: professor of English (Don't worry: I won't go full grammar Nazi on you!)
Favorite Disney movie: Brave because I looooove Scotland, and Monsters University because I heart college
Favorite Disney snack: Mickey pretzel with lots of cheese
Favorite Disney ride: Tower of Terror
Number of times to WDW: 40? 50? I honestly don't know! My family came to WDW at least once a year when I was growing up since it's close enough to South Carolina for a quick trip or a full family vacation. I've essentially done the same for my kids before the pandemic hit. We're at one of my longest streaks without Disney parks in my life right now!
Interesting thing about me: I worked as a travel writer for 7 years, and I've visited 23 countries and 25 U.S. states!


Landon
553616
(The family is barely awake for the start time of the Miami Marathon!)

Fun facts about my husband:

Profession: banker
Favorite Disney movie: whatever the kids are watching
Favorite Disney snack: Mickey pretzels, popcorn,
Favorite Disney ride: anything fast, but probably Tower of Terror
Number of times to WDW: 3
Interesting thing about Landon: He's an avid runner, and he's done 6 marathons, 15 half marathons, and 2-50K races!

B (nn: Toni)

553620

Fun facts about my daughter:

Profession: 2nd grader
Favorite Disney movie: Star Wars with Frozen as a close 2nd
Favorite Disney snack: Mickey ice cream
Favorite Disney ride: tea cups or Expedition Everest
Number of times to WDW: 9! She has a little charm bracelet with a charm for every time we've visited. It's getting heavy enough that we might need to get a necklace and transfer them all!
Interesting thing about B: She is my fashionista, and she loves to mix and match her clothes, accessories and shoes for outfits that would make Jojo Siwa proud!

G (nn: Sonny)
553622

(This is his "I'm so cool" face!)

Fun facts about my son:

Profession: preschooler
Favorite Disney movie: Star Wars, followed by Toy Story and Cars
Favorite Disney snack: Mickey ice cream
Favorite Disney ride: ?? G was pretty small when we went last time--2 years is a lifetime when you're only in preschool!--so I'm not sure what he's going to like this time. I am betting on Smuggler's Run winning out since he's OBSESSED with Star Wars.
Number of times to WDW: 3. We got off to a great start with him when he was tiny, but my career change followed in short order by the pandemic has kept us from taking him as much as we'd like to.
Interesting thing about G: He has two loves in this life: transportation vehicles and Star Wars. He wants to be a tow truck driver when he grows up, preferably with Chewbacca as his best friend.

 
Last edited:

Isabelle12345

DIS Veteran
DVC Gold
Joined
Mar 9, 2019
Following!
We were supposed to go to Disney for spring break, but we had to cancel (we are from Canada and our borders are closed to non essential travel) and it breaks my heart... so I am living vicariously through other people’s trip reports!!
Your kids are adorable!

I totally get the pandemic fatigue... I work in a hospital and my mother is high risk, so even though we live in the same city, we haven’t seen each other for weeks / months... it’s really tough!
And I agree with you on the challenges of online teaching: I also teach online classes to University students, and I truly miss the interaction with the students! I hope you get back to regular teaching as soon as it is safe to do so!

Looking forward to reading about your trip!
 

DLo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Following along. Looking forward to reading more.

I went in early December. Obviously , planning is very different but I actually liked just going with the flow . Lines looked long but moved quickly . The majority of the time the wait was a lot less than stated . With adjusted expectations, it can still be magical.
 

BellesLibrary

With a dreamy, far-off look, and her nose stuck in
Joined
Sep 16, 2013
Hi, Isabelle! I'm glad to have you along for the ride!
Following!
We were supposed to go to Disney for spring break, but we had to cancel (we are from Canada and our borders are closed to non essential travel) and it breaks my heart... so I am living vicariously through other people’s trip reports!!
Canceling a vacation is soul crushing! We were worried about getting stuck in the Bahamas for our wedding anniversary trip last spring. I know canceling was the right choice, but it didn't make the decision any easier!
Your kids are adorable!
Thank you! They are mostly great kids (they have their moments, but what kid doesn't?! My daughter is a great traveler and would happily go on just about anything. My son is much better now than he was as a baby/toddler, but he loves to ask "Are we there yet?" a million times!
I totally get the pandemic fatigue... I work in a hospital and my mother is high risk, so even though we live in the same city, we haven’t seen each other for weeks / months... it’s really tough!
Seeing but not getting to spend quality time together with most of my family has been awful. My husband, kids and I moved back to my hometown last fall to be closer to our workplaces and my family, and we've pretty much just stood in their front yards to talk loudly over their porches so far. My dad should be eligible for the vaccine later this spring, and we are so excited to have that option to see him more!

I am super upset about my new baby niece as I won't be able to see her or my sister during their hospital stay. My sister knows she will need a longer stay because of complications she had with my older niece, so my new baby niece will be several days old by the time she comes home!

I know my sister and BIL will be super careful with the baby when she gets home, but at least I will get to wave at her from the yard!

I am going to haul our masks and hand sanitizer bottles down to WDW in bulk, and try to balance my worrying with some much needed fun. Let's see if I'm successful. :)
And I agree with you on the challenges of online teaching: I also teach online classes to University students, and I truly miss the interaction with the students! I hope you get back to regular teaching as soon as it is safe to do so!

Looking forward to reading about your trip!
I've done an online class here and there, and generally liked the flexibility for me and my students. We have a lot of nontraditional students, and many like the fact they can work on classes on their lunch breaks or after work. However, I am going crazy without ANY interaction with my coworkers and students. Zoom meetings just aren't the same!

What do you teach? I'm a literature professor and do lots of work with the rhetoric and composition program at our school. I like to sneak in an American lit class and tech writing class in when I can, too!
 

BellesLibrary

With a dreamy, far-off look, and her nose stuck in
Joined
Sep 16, 2013
Following along. Looking forward to reading more.

I went in early December. Obviously , planning is very different but I actually liked just going with the flow . Lines looked long but moved quickly . The majority of the time the wait was a lot less than stated . With adjusted expectations, it can still be magical.
Thanks so much for the insight!

I am old enough to remember a time before FP+ (or even the paper FastPasses!) when the entire vacation was all about doing what you felt like in the moment. I am excited to experience that again after so many years of tracking down FP and timing my days at the parks.

I am looking forward to a different experience at WDW: we've been so many times before that I'm interested in seeing how much things have changed. I mean, I want the character breakfasts back as much as anyone, but it's good to do something different every once in a while, right?!

That's good to know about the lines. I'm sure that's the first thing my kids are going to see and complain about. I'll be ready to assure them that it's not as bad as it seems. :)

Have you been to Disney Springs recently? I'm debating on whether to attempt that on this trip. My preschooler is in that germ-tastic phase where he all but licks lampposts and such, so we're trying to balance that out with making the most of our time there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DLo
  • DLo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2006
    Honestly, I avoided DS this trip. Most of what I read was how crowded it was and the worst for crowds/ mask compliance. But , I have also read where people went and enjoyed it so who knows. I did feel safe everywhere else. The other tip I keep seeing is make your on-line order early in the day - you will have a better chance of getting the time frame you want . Don't want to be stuck somewhere hangry!
    (example - at 9:00 am order from Pecos Bills to pick up at 12:30 - does that make sense?)
     

    BellesLibrary

    With a dreamy, far-off look, and her nose stuck in
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2013
    Honestly, I avoided DS this trip. Most of what I read was how crowded it was and the worst for crowds/ mask compliance. But , I have also read where people went and enjoyed it so who knows. I did feel safe everywhere else.
    Thanks for the quick reply! I have been going back and forth about keeping our ADRs at Disney Springs for those reasons. My 4 year especially has a tough time keeping his mask on and he touches EVERYTHING, so we're doing our best to keep him safe throughout all of this.

    The other tip I keep seeing is make your on-line order early in the day - you will have a better chance of getting the time frame you want . Don't want to be stuck somewhere hangry!
    (example - at 9:00 am order from Pecos Bills to pick up at 12:30 - does that make sense?)
    I will remember to do the online food ordering early! The kids tend to get hungry earlier than my husband and I would, so we're usually those people eating lunch at 10:45 am. But, if we can beat the crowds to avoid hangriness, I will totally do that! I'll have to make a note in my trip organizer to get those orders in while we're having morning snacks. :)
     
    • Like
    Reactions: DLo

    BellesLibrary

    With a dreamy, far-off look, and her nose stuck in
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2013
    Our (In-Progress) Trip Plan
    We're taking this trip on my college's spring break, which, as fate always has it, is nowhere near my kids' spring break. I thought about bumping it back until their spring break in April, but that would put the vacation in the middle of my final grading, which just can't happen.

    My kids are getting pulled out of school for this trip, which has bothered my mom much more than it has me. My husband and I brought our kids to WDW on this amazing homeschool trip (back when I homeschooled Toni), and we learned SO much!

    Don't let anyone tell you that you can't have a fun and educational visit to the House of Mouse! :)

    I've only been sketching things out over the last week or so since I officially made the decision to go, and here's what I've come up with:

    Day 1: Pick kids up from school and begin the drive. We're surprising them, so they will have no idea until we go the opposite way down Highway 17 than we use to go home! I'm hoping to make it to the Jacksonville/St. Augustine area tonight. We could push the kids and make it to Orlando this night, but they get up super early for school, and I know they'll be ready for dinner and a soft, comfy bed by 7:30 PM.

    Day 2: Make it to Orlando today and check into the Swan. I'm not sure what we're doing today other than having a late lunch/early dinner at Beaches and Cream. Any suggestions? We've never stayed at the Swan and Dolphin complex and would love ideas on exploring the resort and nearby area.

    Day 3: Animal Kingdom. I haven't planned anything here yet.

    Day 4: Epcot. The Flower and Garden Festival start right around this time. It's been years since I was at Disney during the festival--any suggestions?

    Day 5: Hang out by the Swan and Dolphin pools if the weather is nice. I saw something about renting a surrey on the property--we've done these at Port Orleans before, and they are a blast!

    Day 6: Hollywood Studios. The kids are OBSESSED with Star Wars, and Sonny is tall enough to ride Smuggler's Run for sure. I'm going to have to make up a reason to measure him for Rise of the Resistance since I don't know that he's going to meet the 40" height requirement.

    Also, we haven't been since RoR opened--do the virtual queue times go as fast as I've been reading about?

    Day 7: Magic Kingdom. I love ending our trip with a visit to the Magic Kingdom! Sonny's tall enough for most rides here now, and we're looking forward to taking him on Barnstormer, 7DMT for sure, and Splash and BTM if he hits 40".

    Day 8: Head back to reality. 😭

    We've got a bunch of new stuff happening on this trip:
    -First time at Swan
    -First time eating at Beaches and Cream
    -First time visiting Galaxy's Edge
    -First time taking Sonny on the intermediate rides

    Any advice would be helpful! Also, if you have any fun in-car reveal ideas, send them my way!

     
    Last edited:
    • Like
    Reactions: DLo

    Bama Mom

    Disney Dreamer
    Joined
    Dec 13, 2017
    Following along. I have a girls trip planned the last week in March. It will be my daughter, my two sisters and two of my nieces. We are working around my youngest niece's spring break.

    I have been practicing getting boarding passes for RotR and get all the way to the screen that tells me I don't have a park reservation that day so I am pretty sure I would get a boarding group if I had a ressie. But yes, they do go quickly. If you don't get one at 7:00am try again at the 1:00 drop. There have been some days they haven't all been grabbed so maybe there is a shot for those. I'm not sure what week you are going but the 15th, 16th and 17th HS are at capacity on the park reservation calendars so those days it might be a bit harder to snag boarding passes on. I'm sure more days will turn yellow but so far those are the only ones right now.

    You should join us over on the March 2021 post and chat with us: Official March 2021 thread
     
  • BellesLibrary

    With a dreamy, far-off look, and her nose stuck in
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2013
    Following along. I have a girls trip planned the last week in March. It will be my daughter, my two sisters and two of my nieces. We are working around my youngest niece's spring break.

    I have been practicing getting boarding passes for RotR and get all the way to the screen that tells me I don't have a park reservation that day so I am pretty sure I would get a boarding group if I had a ressie. But yes, they do go quickly. If you don't get one at 7:00am try again at the 1:00 drop. There have been some days they haven't all been grabbed so maybe there is a shot for those. I'm not sure what week you are going but the 15th, 16th and 17th HS are at capacity on the park reservation calendars so those days it might be a bit harder to snag boarding passes on. I'm sure more days will turn yellow but so far those are the only ones right now.

    You should join us over on the March 2021 post and chat with us: Official March 2021 thread
    This trip will be the first in a looooong time that I've gone in March since I took several years off of teaching to work as a freelance writer and then homeschool my older child. Now that I'm back on a regular school calendar, I'm doing my best to squeeze in a few (much needed) vacation days before the second half of my spring semester kicks in.

    That's a great idea to practice getting RotR reservations. I need to do the dry run a few times before we go so I know what to do. When you've almost confirmed on your dry runs, were you doing it right at 7 AM? I think I'll have to be ready that morning with my fingers posed on my phone screen!

    We're going down the first week in March, so I'll hop over to the March board, too!. My school has a super early spring break this year. I haven't looked at the reservation calendars recently, but I'm hoping the days we're going will be pretty low attendance since we're going before most spring breaks happen.

    What other fun things do you have planned for your upcoming trip? I'm trying to think outside of the box and do things that we typically don't do since this trip will be such a different experience!
     

    Bama Mom

    Disney Dreamer
    Joined
    Dec 13, 2017
    This trip will be the first in a looooong time that I've gone in March since I took several years off of teaching to work as a freelance writer and then homeschool my older child. Now that I'm back on a regular school calendar, I'm doing my best to squeeze in a few (much needed) vacation days before the second half of my spring semester kicks in.

    That's a great idea to practice getting RotR reservations. I need to do the dry run a few times before we go so I know what to do. When you've almost confirmed on your dry runs, were you doing it right at 7 AM? I think I'll have to be ready that morning with my fingers posed on my phone screen!

    We're going down the first week in March, so I'll hop over to the March board, too!. My school has a super early spring break this year. I haven't looked at the reservation calendars recently, but I'm hoping the days we're going will be pretty low attendance since we're going before most spring breaks happen.

    What other fun things do you have planned for your upcoming trip? I'm trying to think outside of the box and do things that we typically don't do since this trip will be such a different experience!
    My husband teaches at the local community college so I understand having to work around his work schedule. Plus owning a business makes it tough to grab some time away. This year his spring break falls the same week I will be on the girls trip so him and youngest DS (who is 19 and in college) will be on their own that week. Our girls trip is the last full week in March. It's hard to gauge how spring break will be this year. I've never been to DW during Spring Break but I'm guessing this is the best year to try it if I ever wanted to.

    On the RotR practice runs, yes I am logged in on MDE and have the virtual queue opened up already According to the official government time my phone time is .3 seconds fast so when it is about 20 seconds until 7:00 am (6:00 my time) I start pulling the top of the page down to refesh until the join button appears. As soon as it does, I click join and then click next, until I get to the page telling me I don't have a park reservation. Don't bother choosing anyone else in your group. I've read once we are there it will automatically choose those in my group that have a HS reservation. If you get a BG and the rest of your group doesn't just go see a CM outside the ride in Galaxy Edge and they should get them all added to your boarding group.

    Right now we don't have anything extra planned. I was considering my daughter and I playing miniature golf on our arrival day but doubt we will actually do that now that we are all getting in earlier. Now all 6 of us will probably go to DS and grab supper from there.
     

    BellesLibrary

    With a dreamy, far-off look, and her nose stuck in
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2013
    This year his spring break falls the same week I will be on the girls trip so him and youngest DS (who is 19 and in college) will be on their own that week. Our girls trip is the last full week in March. It's hard to gauge how spring break will be this year. I've never been to DW during Spring Break but I'm guessing this is the best year to try it if I ever wanted to.
    Girls' trips can be so much fun, too! My sister and I have taken a few trips (pre-kids) just the two of us, and we loved it. I can't wait until her girls are old enough to go with me and my two kids for a mom/kid trip!
    On the RotR practice runs, yes I am logged in on MDE and have the virtual queue opened up already According to the official government time my phone time is .3 seconds fast so when it is about 20 seconds until 7:00 am (6:00 my time) I start pulling the top of the page down to refesh until the join button appears. As soon as it does, I click join and then click next, until I get to the page telling me I don't have a park reservation
    Perfect! Thanks for the run-through! I think I might try my own dry run tomorrow morning to see how the process works in real time. We only have the one day at HS on this trip, and I'd LOVE to surprise my kids with both Star Wars rides (if Sonny can reach that height minimum!)

    Right now we don't have anything extra planned. I was considering my daughter and I playing miniature golf on our arrival day but doubt we will actually do that now that we are all getting in earlier. Now all 6 of us will probably go to DS and grab supper from there
    We haven't done the mini golf courses since I was in high school or college! Our kids have only done putt-putt once or twice, so that might be fun to do on one of our non-park days.

    DS has had SO many changes since we last visited. I loved Wolfgang Puck Express, but it's closed now. :( Other than Rainforest Cafe and T-Rex Cafe (which have been big hits with our little travelers), I don't know what's even there right now. Do you have suggestions on places to eat that aren't too fancy?
     

    Isabelle12345

    DIS Veteran
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2019
    Day 2: Make it to Orlando today and check into the Swan. I'm not sure what we're doing today other than having a late lunch/early dinner at Beaches and Cream. Any suggestions? We've never stayed at the Swan and Dolphin complex and would love ideas on exploring the resort and nearby area.
    Here’s an idea for your arrival day: Since you will be close to the Skyliner after Beaches and Cream, you could ride it and transfer at Carribean Beach on the line to Art of Animation, and stroll around the Cars, Nemo and Lion King areas. I know my kids had a blast visiting Art of Animation on our last trip! If you don’t want to go that far, just a ride back and forth on the Skyliner can be fun; we loved looking at the characters painted on cabins, and for my kids, the Skyliner was a real « ride »! The views over Epcot are quite nice and it would start the trip with a little Disney touch!
     

    BellesLibrary

    With a dreamy, far-off look, and her nose stuck in
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2013
    Here’s an idea for your arrival day: Since you will be close to the Skyliner after Beaches and Cream, you could ride it and transfer at Carribean Beach on the line to Art of Animation, and stroll around the Cars, Nemo and Lion King areas. I know my kids had a blast visiting Art of Animation on our last trip! If you don’t want to go that far, just a ride back and forth on the Skyliner can be fun; we loved looking at the characters painted on cabins, and for my kids, the Skyliner was a real « ride »! The views over Epcot are quite nice and it would start the trip with a little Disney touch!
    That is SUCH a fun idea!

    When we'd originally planned this trip (back in May 2020), I'd had us staying at Pop, but switched to Swan because the rates are so low right now there. I remember in that earlier planning being excited about Pop's skylinder access--but I'd completely forgotten about it in the rush of replanning everything at a different resort.

    I know my kids will LOVE riding around on the Skyliner! My son is obsessed with trains, planes, cars, and anything else that moves, so that experience will be perfect for him. :)

    Thank you SO much for the idea!
     

    BellesLibrary

    With a dreamy, far-off look, and her nose stuck in
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2013
    Plans for Day 1

    As I get further into the trip planning (and I get more awesome suggestions from my DiSBoarders!), I've started to flesh out the logistics of each day.

    CURRENT PLANS >> Day 1: Surprise and Travel!

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, my kids have NO IDEA about this trip. We are leaving the day after my final grades are due for my current classes, so I plan on getting those grades in at lightning speed and then packing while the kids are at school.

    Then, I'll go pick them up from school at their usual time and see how long they take to notice that something is afoot!

    My 7 year old, Toni, is SUPER good at navigation, and she's been able to tell me the roads we use to get to Disney World since she was probably 4 (17 >> 95 >> 4!), so I imagine that she will start asking questions before we get out of Charleston County. :rotfl2:

    I bet she'll have it figured out within 30 minutes--let's see if I'm right!

    I plan on having little road trip bags packed for each of them: I'm slowly collecting small items for their bags like coloring books, crayons, stickers, and Matchbox cars. I'll also have our movie screens set up on the back of the car seats so they can watch something after they're bored with their busy bags.

    Hopefully, our leaving mid-afternoon in the middle of the week will mean that we avoid a lot of traffic. My college's spring break is super early in March, which I hope means we're beating most of the crowds this time of year.

    If all goes well, we will make it to St. Augustine around dinner time. Drive time (with stops and snack breaks) will be about 4-4.5 hours, and that's all I'm going to push the kids that first day. I considered doing the entire drive that night (since we're only about 2-2.5 hours away from Orlando at that point), but my kids would be miserable the next morning since they don't do well when they stay up late.

    I've gone ahead and booked a hotel in St. Augustine, and we'll likely grab something to eat around the hotel. That first night is solely for us to get some rest before the fun REALLY starts on Day 2!

    I'll use the downtime at the hotel to get our outfits ready for our arrival day and prep everything for an easy wake-up and final leg of our trip. My biggest thought will be, "HURRY UP, TOMORROW!"

     
    Last edited:

    BellesLibrary

    With a dreamy, far-off look, and her nose stuck in
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2013
    Plans for Day 2: Welcome Back!

    Our second day is when the fun really will begin. We'll get ready in our new Disney shirts first--I've been going crazy with my Cricut lately, and I cannot wait to show the kids their new trip outfits!

    555346

    How cute are those?! I've literally been making trip shirts during any free moments I have during the day: I'm home teaching/grading/class prepping, and it's the only time when I know I won't have a kid sneaking around to ask me what I'm making. Be prepared for LOTS more Disney shirts in the rest of the PTR!

    After we're dressed, we'll grab some breakfast at the St. Augustine hotel, repack the car, and head to Walt Disney World!

    I imagine that we'll be there pretty early in the morning since I have 2 early risers for kids, so my ETA on Day 2 is around 10 AM.

    :earsboy: Our day will look something like this: :earsboy:

    10 AM: arrive at WDW, head to Fantasia Mini Golf to get our wiggles out. Since we're using old tickets I bought in January 2020, the package has lots of extras on it including access to NBA Experience (which doesn't exist anymore), the water parks (which aren't open yet), and the mini golf courses.

    11:00 AM: head to Downtown Disney for a snack and do some shopping.

    1:00 PM: Make our way to our hotel for check-in and get the bags up to the room if one is ready for us.

    2:00 PM: Walk over to Epcot and take a quick ride on the Skyliner (probably just to the Riviera Resort and back since we won't have too much time). Thanks for the suggestion, @Isabelle12345!

    3:30 PM: Beaches and Cream for a late lunch! I've never been here before, so I'm excited to try everything. Any suggestions on what I should order?



    After lunch: walk back to the hotel, finish unpacking, and head to the pool if the weather is nice! My kids LOVE the water, so they're going to insist on a quick dip before we get ready for our first day in the parks on Day 3.

    QUESTIONS:

    -Magic Bands aren't given out for free now. There's a card that's given out instead, I think (?!?). Do you like using the new cards or do you use your Disney phone app instead? Pros and cons of each?

    -Are the pools at Swan and Dolphin heated? Which are the most kid friendly?

    BACK TO PTR MENU
     
    Last edited:

    Bama Mom

    Disney Dreamer
    Joined
    Dec 13, 2017
    Plans sound great so far. Love the shirts. I plan to get started on ours soon. I have the file for a social disneying saved on my computer because I'm considering making my daughter and I one of those.

    It will be fun to see how quickly your daughter figures it all out. I used to keep kids in childcare and there was one little boy who was about 4 who was obsessed with maps and navigation. He could tell me how to get places, naming road numbers and even the little towns they were in.
     

    BellesLibrary

    With a dreamy, far-off look, and her nose stuck in
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2013
    Plans sound great so far. Love the shirts. I plan to get started on ours soon. I have the file for a social disneying saved on my computer because I'm considering making my daughter and I one of those.

    It will be fun to see how quickly your daughter figures it all out. I used to keep kids in childcare and there was one little boy who was about 4 who was obsessed with maps and navigation. He could tell me how to get places, naming road numbers and even the little towns they were in.
    Thanks so much! I got a Cricut last spring to keep me sane during the most intense part of the shutdowns, and I am obsessed. I think I read on your PTR that you have a vinyl and screen printing shop--that sounds as if it would be so much fun!

    What other shirts do you have planned? I love your Mickey ears that you've made!

    I've got this huge bag of shirts and bows and bags that I've been working on while the kids are at school or with friends. I keep rearranging my shoes and long dresses around it, but it's SO big that I'm afraid one of the kids will poke around in my closet and see it. Only 18 more days to keep the secret!

    My daughter has always been incredibly good with spatial awareness and directions. When she was tiny (like 2.5 or 3), she could tell us we were going to Disney World within the first hour of our trips! It has been a few years since our last trip, so I'm hoping to fool her for a little bit! :) My son will have no clue since he hasn't been since he was a toddler. I can't wait to see their faces when they figure it out!
     

    Connect

    TODAY'S HEADLINES


    Top