We had an amazing time at the Disney Social Media Moms Conference. We left Cleveland at 9:30 pm on Tuesday night and drove through the night. After a 16 hour road trip straight-through, we were happy to arrive in Orlando on Wednesday afternoon. We drove down with Tired Dad Dave’s mom and picked up my parents at the airport. Kora and Logan were thrilled to be vacationing with their grandparents and we were all excited about the conference, events, park days, and beautiful weather ahead.
Since we came in on Wednesday and the conference didn’t start until Thursday we rented a Villa at Bella Piazza. It was gorgeous!
Kora and Logan immediately asked if they could go swimming and with a pool like right outside our backdoor, how could we say no?
After an evening of swimming, we had dinner and decided to finally tell Kora & Logan that we were going to Disney World in the morning. We kept it a secret and thought it would be lots of fun to surprise them once we were already in Florida. We popped in a photo slideshow from our previous visit a couple of years ago. They don’t remember much from the trip, but they always love looking at the pictures. When the slideshow ended we said, “Guess what?! Tomorrow we’re going to Disney World!!”
We expected lots of excitement and jumping up and down. I had the video camera ready to capture the moment and envisioned getting a reaction as cute and touching as the Disney commercials. Instead, they said, “Cool.” And that was it. Kora was smiling, Logan just didn’t seem to get it – he was only 2 when we were there before. Since that didn’t go as planned, all of the adults had a laugh and we all got ready for bed, knowing the next day was going to be a long, but fun and exciting one.
In the morning, we got up early and drove over to the Grand Floridian where Tired Dad Dave, myself, Kora, Logan, and Tired Dad Dave’s Mom (Grandma O. ) were going to stay for the next 3 nights.
The grounds were gorgeous and the weather was perfect. As soon as we pulled in and had a chance to walk around we knew this was going to be an unforgettable week.
The Disney Social Media Moms Hospitality Suite opened at 8 am, so I headed over there first thing while everyone else roamed around and took in the beauty of the Grand Floridian. While at the Hospitality Suite, I was so happy to get the chance to meet some of those who worked so hard behind the scenes to put on the conference. Even though it was 8 am and some of them had been up since 4 attending to last minute details, I was met with smiles, excitement, and energy.
After shaking hands and introducing myself, I was given our park passes, credentials, and two big goodie bags. I was torn between staying and chatting for awhile and heading off to the parks with my family. I decided to stay and mingle for a bit and then off I went to find my family to hit the parks.
Once I joined everyone again, we were all excited to head over to the Magic Kingdom. We went to the 2nd floor of the Grand Floridian and hopped on the monorail. We had a beautiful view of the resort along the way.
Kora and Logan thought the monorail was so much fun, they especially loved it when they rode backwards – they couldn’t stop laughing about it! Here they are with big smiles sitting with my dad (Grandpa H.) and Grandma O.
We were all amazed that the monorail arrived at the Magic Kingdom in 5 minutes. My first thought was the park so close and the transportation so simple we could pop on over to the park on a whim and would be going there frequently. That is until I remembered it was Spring Break!
We arrived at Magic Kingdom promptly at 9 am. Which isn’t what we wanted to do at all. It was an Extra Magic Hours morning so by getting there at 9, we were meeting the crowds that had been there since 8 and we were also shoulder-to-shoulder with throngs of people arriving when the park opened for everyone else. It was unbelievably crowded but we thought once we got through the funnel of Main Street, the crowds would thin out a bit.
Crowded or not, Kora & Logan wanted to stop and check out Daisy and Pluto who were signing autographs, giving hugs, and posing for pictures near the entrance of the park.
They really wanted to start off the day with autographs from Daisy and Pluto, but we were able to convey that the line was huge and the wait was incredibly long. So they agreed to come back again later when it was less crowded.
We turned toward Main Street and I was so excited to get that first glimpse of Cinderella’s Castle.
See all the green in the above picture? That’s because I forgot to mention that it was also St. Patrick’s Day! It was fun to see everyone dressed in green festive shirts and hats. It added a nice touch to the day.
We did our best to stay happy and cheerful as we made our way down Main Street through the sea of green. We stopped for a fun photo opp with Mickey and Minnie.
It was finally time to ride some rides. We took Kora & Logan to Buzz Lightyear thinking they would love it. Kora did. Logan did not. He thought it was too dark, but Kora wanted to ride it again and again.
We also rode the Teacups, Winnie-the-Pooh, and It’s a Small World. We took a few breaks in between to catch our breaths, step away from the crowds, and pose for cute pictures.
Next, some of our group, including Kora, rode Big Thunder Mountain. It was her first big rollercoaster and she loved it!
You can see Grandpa H. and Grandma O. waving in this photo, Tired Dad Dave is next to his mom and Kora’s head is barely visible above the rock.
When the ride was over Kora hopped out, all smiles and wanted to do it again. Unfortunately, at this time the crowd at the back of the park was unmanageable. At one point, it seemed we were the only 7 people walking against hundreds. We were getting tired, hot, and grumpy so we decided to head back to the Grand Floridian to see if our room was ready.
On our way out, we were happy to grab a great seat for the show in front of Cinderella’s Castle.
Kora and Logan loved the show and it was the perfect way to end our trip to Magic Kingdom. Our day didn’t end there though. We headed back to the Grand Floridian to check on our room and get ready for the evening…
Stay tuned to read about and view photos & videos from the fabulous Disney Social Media Moms Conference events, activities, and dinners that took place Thursday evening and the rest of the week. It was such a phenomenal trip and conference I couldn’t fit it all in one post!
Disclosure: As participants in the Disney Social Media Moms Conference 2011 we paid our conference fee, received hotel accommodations, park tickets, meals, admission to private parties, and other gift items. I was not required, or asked, to write about the conference, events, or speakers. The honest opinions are my own and that of my family.