Since I’m based in Northern California, most of my opportunities to write about Disney destinations involve Disneyland. Disneyland is just an hour flight (or 6 hour drive) and is a place my family visits at least once a year with our kids.
Although Disneyland is my home park now, I grew up in Alabama and went to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida many times before I ever set foot in the gates at Anaheim. Walt Disney World is a place that is near and dear to my heart and the source of so many wonderful childhood memories. Because of the distance to Florida and our other family travel goals, however, I don’t get to visit Walt Disney World very often. In fact, the last time my husband and I were there was before we had kids when I was still in law school.
That is why it is so amazing and kind of unbelievable to announce that I’m headed to Walt Disney World not once but TWICE in the next few weeks. The stars aligned in a weird but wonderful kind of way because of this blog to make these two trips happen. I couldn’t be more excited to have the chance to bring lots of Walt Disney World tips and reviews your way as a result.
Trip 1: TravelingMom Disney Retreat (#TMOMDisney)
First up this weekend is a Disney-hosted retreat with fellow TravelingMom.com writers. I’ve been writing for TravelingMom since last summer and the group descends annually on Orlando for a work and play retreat. We’ll be staying at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and checking out everything there is to do in the parks as well as at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.
I’ll be traveling solo this trip which is something I only very rarely get the chance to do. It means no 8 pm bedtimes or kids meals for me! It also means a cross-country flight in complete (relative) solitude. Flying is remarkably easy when you aren’t strapped into a row of seats with a toddler and 6 year old.
I look forward to bringing you some coverage of the adult side of Walt Disney World on this trip: thrill rides, fine(r) dining, and (of course) a full report on the new Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto in the newly-renovated Polynesian Village Resort. Did someone say mai tai?
Trip 2: Disney Social Media Moms Celebration (#DisneySMMC)
A few weeks later, my whole family will then head to Disney World again so I can attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. I’m so honored to have been included in this event for the first time. Making the list is a bit like the blogging equivalent of getting called up into the baseball major leagues, so it was an opportunity that I couldn’t miss even though I already had another Disney trip on calendar. My family had already planned a trip to San Diego for the same weekend, so we cancelled our plans and moved things around to make Orlando happen instead. All I can say is thank goodness our tickets were on Southwest because we were able to take advantage of its no change fee policy to great effect!
It is certainly ambitious to fly cross country twice in such a short period of time, but Mickey & Minnie are well worth it. And my family certainly never shirks away from an air travel challenge. We’ll be taking on the additional challenge of flying cross-country with our then 19 month old son as a lap child, something I really recommend against. Do as I say and not as I do! Last minute tickets were just too expensive to justify buying him a seat. We will be hoping to snag an empty seat for him on a few of our flights (something that is easier to do on Southwest than other airlines, as I lay out in my complete guide to flying Southwest with kids).
If there are any burning Disney questions you have or attractions you want me to check out while I’m at Walt Disney World on these two trips, please let me know. And please consider following along on my social media channels for real time reporting. There will be beautiful Disney photos on Instagram and Facebook and lots of quick tips and news on Twitter.
Let the Disney magic begin!
Disclosure: For the TravelingMom retreat, Disney is providing me with a complimentary stay and park tickets. For Disney Social Media Moms, tickets and accommodations are being provided at a reduced rate. As always, all opinions are my own!
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So exciting! What I'm most curious about is (especially as a Northern CA resident) -for kids, to what extent is Disneyworld worth the extra time and expense when we have Disneyland as an option? As a Disney lover, I think it's worth it for adults (I love the extensive food options and resort options there in Disneyworld) but I'll be curious to see about your kids' experience there versus Disneyland. Have a wonderful time!