Hey Family!! Happy April! We had a great (but exhausting!) time in Orlando this past week for Spring Break. We took the girls for a family trip to Orlando for some beach fun and to see Disney’s Magic Kingdom for the first time! I am rounding up our trip and my most asked questions. If you are a parent, you know that traveling with kids is more for them than having a relaxing time. At least for us in this stage of life, this is how it is! We had a long Midwest Winter and we were just so eager to travel somewhere warmer with fun activities for the girls. If you are interested in other travel posts of ours, check out THIS POST from when we stayed at The Andaz in Scottsdale, AZ and THIS POST from a family trip we took to Scottsdale as well. Can you tell we love to travel?
Our Family Trip To Orlando
WARNING! Photo dump ahead! 😉
Anytime we travel, we always strive to make the flight as direct as possible. Since we were coming from Omaha, we weren’t able to do this for Orlando. My biggest tip is to ALWAYS fly direct with kids! It is worth the extra money, especially if they are little. We had to take two flights to Orlando and it was difficult with Reina. She is my wild, rambunctious baby. Having her sit in one spot for hours with limited things to do was a challenge. We brought the iPad, crayons and coloring pages, and food to help keep the girls occupied but Reina was still a handful. This situation is so personal to each child so do not make ours stress you out! The positive thing with Reina is that she will sleep when she is tired. Noelia always fought sleep but Reina is great about napping and sleeping on schedule. Reina slept on the last flight and it was glorious! Orlando is only 1 hour ahead of Omaha so our kids’ schedules in terms of eating and sleeping were similar. If you are wanting to book a family trip, do not forget to think of the time changes and how it can effect the overall day of the kids! Some parents do not mind, but I always like to keep it as close as possible. It is never fun to come back from a trip and be thrown completely off routine.
We stayed at the Orlando World Center Marriott just outside of Disney. It is a large property with plenty for the kids to do! They have a great kiddie pool with a fun slide, cabanas, a large adult pool, large slides, put-put golf, and a fun concert series on the weekends. Might I also add, there is a STARBUCKS in the hotel. PRAISE BE! The only con of this property was they charge for on-site parking. Their main garage is on the far side of the property and requires a shuttle to get there OR you can do valet parking for about $12 more. They also charge a hefty resort fee. Other than that, I loved this property. The rooms were spacious and they kindly put us right by the pool area with a walk out patio. They provided a crib for Reina and only came into the rooms for cleaning upon request.
I didn’t take many outfits with me for the trip but I was glad I brought this one! We snapped this picture after breakfast on our way back to the hotel. Orlando in March/April is still pretty cool in the mornings and only gets to around 80 degrees. The con of Florida (in my opinion) is that it can rain randomly and have overcast skies. We are huge sun lovers so the weather was a bit disappointing. It was actually warmer in Omaha when we got back than it was most days in Orlando!
We drove a little over an hour to Cocoa Beach. It is definitely work the drive if you have time on your vacation but I would a lot a full day or most of your day for the beach. The city of Cocoa is pretty touristy and one lane for most of the town. We had to leave during rush hour due to rain and it was a pain to get back on the highway! It was the girls’ first time to the beach and you could tell they were LOVING it. Both girls loved the waves and playing in the sand. They didn’t want to leave! We luckily met a nice local couple who let the girls play with their beach toys.
My girl is getting so big! She did such a great job helping keep an eye on her Sissy!
It may have been the kids’ vacation but Mama needed a moment, too! This swimsuit is so fun, I had to have it! My hat is by Olive & Pique but was sold out last time I checked. I linked similar ones above! We really wanted to go to a restaurant by the beach but the weather turned on us and we had to get out of there pretty quick! We could have waited it out since most rain in Florida only lasts 10-20 minutes but the girls needed to get back to the hotel and get rested for Disney!
ALL THINGS DISNEY
For one of our nights in Orlando we did Disney Springs which is on the Disney property. You do not need a reservation to get in like you do at the other parks and it is full of shopping and dining. Beware…it was PACKED. Maybe it is always this packed but it was uncomfortable for me. It may have seemed more packed due to lines to get into some stores for social distancing but it was still shoulder to shoulder in my opinion. Can you tell I am not a crowds person? 😉 If we didn’t have the kids it would have been fun to shop the stores like Zara and some other shops we love but we tried our best to make sure it was all about them. We waited in line to go into the big Disney store and it was worth the wait! The girls got to spend their money from Papa and Abuelita on some Princess dresses and other fun accessories. I think they loved Mom and Dad not being worried about the price tag! 😉 Reina is obsessed with all things Frozen right now and Noelia loves anything PINK. She got an Aurora dress (Sleeping Beauty) and Reina got some cute Frozen dresses.
For all Disney parks right now, a reservation is required. CHECK AVAILABLE DATES FIRST before booking your flight. We tried to book the flights first and soon found out Magic Kingdom was booked for our travel dates. BIG MISTAKE. Thankfully, the airline adjusted for us. The girls are at an age where we felt one day of Disney would be enough which is why we did not stay on the property.
Our main Disney day was on Good Friday and we were blessed with an amazing day! The skies were clear and the weather was perfect! Since masks are required at all times, the cooler weather made it more bearable to wear them all day. We got to the park right before they opened but we had no idea it was such a jaunt to get the main entrance. We had to walk about 15 minutes to the ticket area which then led to a Monorail or a Ferry Boat to get to Magic Kingdom. We chose the Ferry Boat and I am glad we did! If you go to the top and to the right of the boat, you get a great view of the castle. Since it was early, it was chilly. I definitely recommend bringing a light jacket if you go early during cooler months.
One of the changes since COVID is that the characters no longer walk around the park for photo ops and to mingle with the crowds. They now stay on balconies and stay on the parade floats. The characters were out when we first arrived and it made the girls’ DAY. Reina is obsessed with Minnie and Mickey and the joy on her face was one I will never forget!
The park is only allowing 30% capacity in. Main Street was still pretty busy in my opinion but I heard it is shoulder to shoulder on normal Disney capacity. The balloons were a huge hit with the girls and can be found on Main Street right when you walk in! They are $14/balloon so beware! 😉
Our Favorite Rides
Our first ride, the carousel! I recommend downloading the My Disney Experience app. The app has a virtual map that shows you ride wait times, restroom locations, restaurant wait times, and so much more! We were able to see which rides had shorter wait times and which ones Reina would be able to go on. We were always together and rode together. The only ride Noelia wanted to do that we didn’t was 7 Dwarfs Mine Train. The wait was over 1.5 hours long and it just wasn’t worth it to wait for something Reina couldn’t ride.
The Prince Charming Carousel
Little Mermaid Ride
The Mad Tea Party Tea Cups
Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean
We did the Haunted Mansion ride since the wait was short but I was not a fan. It was honestly boring and SO dark. The end was also scary (in my opinion) for the kids. Not one I would recommend!
Waiting for Dumbo!
Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride
There are many places sit down and dine or to grab quick snacks. With the girls and knowing they wouldn’t last a full day, we opted for quick snacks since wait times for sit-down restaurants were long. The park thankfully allows you to bring in your own snacks and fluids as well.
Gaston’s Tavern was one of our snack stops! They served these HUGE cinnamon rolls for only $6 (cheap for Disney!). Close to the Tavern is the Be Our Guest restaurant in a cute castle. On our list for next time!
One of the stands near Dumbo sold hot churros, popcorn, and Mickey pretzel’s. We tried all three and all were great. The churros came with warm chocolate dipping sauce and the pretzel came with warm cheese.
Now for Mom and Dad’s favorite…STARBUCKS! It is on Main Street on the right. Prices are of course inflated but when you are needing a caffeine hit as a parent it is worth it! They also sold exclusive Starbucks Magic Kingdom cups and souvenirs so I also snagged one of those.
I was so happy we decided to bring our camera to take some great shots of the famous Cinderella Castle! It really is so pretty in person. I hope this post helped you in some way to decide if Disney/Orlando is on your radar for a future trip! It is hard knowing when the COVID regulations will subside but it is still worth going. With fewer crowds, I recommend going now!
Temp checks were required at all Disney parks
Proof of ID required at Ticket Booth at Disney parks
We did not bring a stroller. I do not recommend bringing one if you are able!
Masks must be worn at all times, even during photos
COVID tests were not required to fly
Reina was not required to wear a mask (she is 1). Kids 2 and up were required.
Thank you all for reading this post! Comment below if you enjoyed it and if you are heading to Disney/Orlando soon! Xx