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Posts tagged ‘Magic Kingdom’


Back over the winter, we tossed around the idea of a family vacation and figured we could do it!  I searched, planned and booked…then we waited.  I didn’t want to say “I can’t wait” because I wasn’t going to wish away our summer.  But summer went fast as it always does and it was time to go. First time the girls were on a plane!

We flew out on Tues, had a lay over in Atlanta, and arrived in Tampa 10 min early…but there was a bad lightning storm and they couldn’t unload the luggage so we sat around for over an hour waiting to collect our luggage! Finally arrived at our hotel at 8pm.

At BUF airport waiting to board

At BUF airport waiting to board

Day 2 we took a shuttle to Shell Key Island.  We found lots of shells and saw manatees!  Then we headed to Clearwater Beach so the girls could swim in the Gulf!

Day 3 we headed to Orlando…MAGIC KINGDOM!  I am not a huge fan of crowds or amusement parks…so one day at Disney World was enough for me.  Juli is very into the Princesses and couldn’t wait to see her favorite, Belle.  Rae wanted to see Mike and Sully at the Laugh Floor and Nina’s (and mine) favorite turned out to be Space Mountain!  We rode lots of rides, including Thunder Railroad, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain (not me!), Pirates of the Caribbean, among others.  Saw the Electric Parade and the fireworks.  It was a very long day (up at 5am and returned to the hotel at 1am).  But, we did everything we wanted to do…including trying the Dole whip!

Day 4- we slept in a bit on Friday! LOL  We started to the day out at the pool, then headed to Honeymoon Island and back to Clearwater Beach.  We hung around at Pier 60 for the little craft show and saw a gorgeous sunset!

Day 5- Today we headed to the Weedon Preserve.  We saw LOTS of crabs and an armadillo!  Then we spent most of the afternoon at St. Pete beach.  A spur of the moment decision had us back in Clearwater to take a dolphin cruise with Mega Bite!  It was fun and we got to see several dolphins!!

Day 6- We headed to Lakeland to the Circle Bar B Reserve.  I found it in a travel book as a good place to see alligators- one thing Nina really wanted to see while in FL.  We headed out on the trails and heard them.  What a weird sound!  Then, I spotted one!  A wild gator!  It was quite the experience!  We ended up seeing 5 of them along the Alligator Alley trail!  Saw lots of osprey too!  From here, we headed to visit our family that lives outside of Tampa!

Day 7- we headed out early and spent the day along the East Coast.  Swam in the Atlantic at Jetty Park (Cape Canaveral), stopped at the Cocoa Beach Pier and drove up to see the space center!

It was a great week and we were able to fit so much in!  I took over 1300 pics and put 907 miles on the rental car!!  I will be updating my photography website very soon with more pics from our trip!  I hope you’ll stop by and take a look!

Family Vacation!!!!!!

It’s official! We’re going on our first big family vacation!  Airplanes, hotel, rental car and DISNEY!!!!

We’re spending a week in Clearwater, FL and taking a day trip to the Magic Kingdom.  My 4 year old is obsessed with princesses so this should be the “happiest place on Earth” for her! LOL

While it’s 6 months away, and I certainly don’t want to rush summer, I’m already planning.  Softball starts in about 6 weeks and it’s going to be a very busy summer with coaching 3 teams, and, one daughter also on a travel team. So, I figure I’ll get as much done as I can now!  Reservations are made.   I have a box started and I’m adding stuff constantly.  Lists are made and being edited.  I’m constantly looking for ideas and tips (have a good one?  Please share!).

I found this website – WDW Prep School – and it’s AMAZING!!!  Shannon has a WONDERFULLY helpful site and will even answer your personal questions.  Please pay a visit to her sight if you’re even thinking of going to Disney!  From this site I found a great idea- pressed penny tubes.  Apparently Disney had machines that you can squish pennies into souvenirs!  It’s $.51- 2 quarters and the penny to squish.  So, each of the girls (and myself!) now have a penny tube.  Find great labels here.  I put mine into Word and added the girls’ names before I printed them.  Then just wrap around the tube and tape in place with packing tape!

Pressed Penny Tubes

Pressed Penny Tubes

I started each of the girls with $3 in quarters- layer 2 quarters and a penny- much easier than digging for the right coins when you find a machine!  The tubes hold several dollars but they’re digging in their piggy banks for the rest! LOL


I’ve seen these on Pintrest and thought they would be a great idea- phone number bracelets. I don’t even want to think of us getting separated but if it does happen, hopefully no one will panic too much and they will remember to find a cast memeber and show them the bracelet!

Phone number bracelets

Phone number bracelets

And with a layover (changing planes) in Atlanta, they’ll be wearing them on the plane too! If you plan on making these, don’t forget your zip code!!

Do you have any great tips about a day trip to Disney?  Please feel free to share in the comments!  I look forward to it! 🙂

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