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A Lovely First Family Trip to Disney…

“When you wish upon a star; makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires comes to you.” – Jiminy Cricket, Disney’s Pinocchio

The pixie dust of Disney is still in the air as we make our way home from the happiest place on Earth. Little Lovely and I were lucky to tag along with Jody to a conference in Walt Disney World this week. I don’t know who was more excited- Eloise or me- as a child, my family visited Disney annually and made so many wonderful memories together. 

In fact, we usually stayed at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, so it was an added treat that Jody’s meeting was held there.   

 I was a little nervous about the drive to Orlando as it would be the longest car trip yet for Eloise, but with the help of snacks and Peppa Pig we made it.{The clear iPad case straps to the back of the seat and is made by Mud Pie.}

After checking in, we explored the hotel grounds and grabbed dinner for Eloise by the pool since Jody and I were going out.           We had scheduled a sitter from Kids Nite Out to come to stay with Eloise in the room, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the service and care. With baby in good hands, Jody and I enjoyed a night out at Il Mulino at the Swan Hotel and early celebration of our ninth wedding anniversary which was the following day.While Jody conferenced the next morning Little Lovely and I had reservations at The Cape May Cafe for Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast. Eloise feasted on Mickey waffles and only paused to meet Donald Duck, Goofy and of course Minnie.    Jody was able to break away and surprised us for a quick visit.To burn off some of the buffet Eloise and I strolled around the boardwalk and played on the lawn.   A quick change into our swimsuits, and we were ready to play in the pool, which is definitely a highlight of the Yacht and Beach Club. {Minnie Mouse glasses are a must! 🕶}   Eloise especially enjoyed digging in the sandy beach area and doing the “hot dog” dance during the Disney Jr. Pool Party. It was back to the room to nap before setting out for Epcot Center.

Currently, Epcot is hosting its International Wine and Food Festival and gourmet food kiosks are sprinkled throughout the World Showcase adding another fun element to the park. We enjoyed strolling leisurely through the different countries and taking in the sights and sounds.          

 Jody showed Eloise his German homeland, and she got her first Steiff bear from its charming toy shop featuring German made, classic toys. Norway was also a special spot since my family loved the former troll attraction there which now has a Frozen theme. We snapped a photo with the big troll and a few small ones might have hopped in our bag…In Italy, we had a brief break so Eloise could try her first Mickey Mouse ear ice cream – she’s a fan!    

Before moving on, we tossed three coins into the Trevi Fountain and explored the Spanish Steps.   We had an early dinner reservation in France at Chefs de France, an authentic brasserie serving traditional dishes. It was a fitting spot to dine on our anniversary since Jody and I were engaged in Paris more than nine years ago.  {Eloise says her meal was tres bien!}

I couldn’t have asked for a better anniversary with my two loves. And to cap off a fabulous day we discovered that we could watch the Epcot fireworks from our balcony! 

 A good night’s rest prepared us for our full day in Magic Kingdom. I called ahead to have room service for breakfast so we could hop on the first bus to the park.   

 
We arrived just as the gates opened and were immediately impressed with the holiday decor and music- Disney is definitely in the spirit already!      Our first stop was Chapeau on Main Street where we purchased Eloise’s first pair of mouse ears.We made our way to Cinderella’s Castle and tried our best to get a smile from Eloise.    Although she’s only 14 months old, Little Lovely was able to ride many of the attractions in Fantasy Land. Her favorites were Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo and It’s a Small World. I had booked three Fast Passes in advance, which was a big help in avoiding lines.      

  {Disney thinks of everything- a goodbye greeting with our names!}

  Luckily, the wait for The Teacups was fairly short, so we twirled around and got even luckier to meet Alice as we exited the ride. It was sweet seeing how much time she took with each child.{Eloise showing Alice her “white rabbit.”}  

A newer area of the park is dedicated to my favorite Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast, and features Gaston’s Tavern as well as the famous fountain where Belle sings her opening number.    We were getting to the part of the day I was dreading most, fitting in a nap. Thankfully, we found a shady spot to park the stroller (next to phone charging stations disguised in tree trunks- so clever). We all recharged and got up just in time to see the Country Bear Jamboree- Eloise loved the music! 

It was then time to use our last Fast Pass for Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. Cooling off with a smoothie we decided to head back to the castle for a show.  Our little princess was happy to get out of the stroller to stretch her legs, but she didn’t understand why she couldn’t go past the roped off area- I mean, she should live in a castle!   

 All day Eloise had been eyeing the large balloons, so we treated to one of her very own!    Such a magical day and only made better by a delicious dinner at the newly renovated Flying Fish on Disney’s Boardwalk.  

   On our way back to the hotel, we caught a magic show on the boardwalk.  

 Fireworks lit up the sky as we strolled home.This morning we said our goodbyes to Minnie and the gang at a final breakfast.It couldn’t have been a more perfect first family trip to Disney, and we are already planning our next visit!  Until next time!

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