D and I love visiting Orlando’s most magical place, Walt Disney World, whenever we can. We escaped three times the year before the boys were born. But anyone that has kids will agree that visiting theme parks with small children is not the same as honeymooning together alone. I really hope this blog serves as a platform to help other moms out there looking for information on raising twins just as much as all my photography work. I remember being a google-aholic those 8 months I was pregnant wanting to soak up all the advice I read about having twins. I loved reading all the twin birth stories and even vacation diaries for the many moms I followed. So as a pay-it-forward, I would like to do the same for all you mommas out there expecting twins. This is how we SURVIVED and LOVED visiting Disney with our 4 month old twin babies… ALONE. I would like to emphasize on the alone part because had we the option of having more family members it would of been much easier. But we happen to be a brave bunch and off we went to Disney on our first family vacation!
The first three months of having the boys at home with us were very tough. No sleep, no date night, no outings… just lots and lots of milk and dirty diapers. I loved spending every minute of the day with my boys but felt like we (as a whole family) needed to get out and do something together. We thought about going to the beach for the weekend but since we were in March we knew the water would be too cold for the boys. So our next option was only 4 hours away from home. Orlando. We bought our tickets in advance at the Disney store and I began to search for the boy’s outfits. We had no time to order them online since this was a last minute trip decision. I found them Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck outfits at Babies R Us and the Disney Store. We booked our hotel and decided to stay at Disney’s Pop Century Resort for the convenience of using the buses to get to the parks. One of the best things we decided about this trip was to visit for four days, but not expect that everyday we would be at the park. We had never been out with the boys this long and weren’t sure how well they would handle our Disney adventure.
PACKING Babies and toddlers required so much stuff! Diapers, wipes, clothes and more clothes just in case they have accidents. If you don’t want to bring everything from home, Orlando is jam-packed with stores that will literally have everything you can think of needing while on vacation. We bought stroller fans just to make sure the boys were comfortable at all times because we know how unpredictable Florida weather can be. I also brought them light jackets and leggins just in case it were to get cool any of the days and to use during the night. I also brought sunscreen, mosquito repellant, formula, bottles, hand sanitizer and blankets along with the usual stuff.
SLEEP Because we drove and had plenty of packing space we brought our own pack-and-plays for the boys to sleep in. The hotel did however inform us that they would of provided us with some free of charge if we didn’t bring one along. At this point the boys would nap everywhere and anywhere, so we didn’t have to plan to return to the hotel for nap time.
FOOD At four months old the babies were still breast-fed so I had no trouble feeding the boys anywhere we were. I would use a cover and ended up nursing the boys in many of the rides or rest areas throughout the parks. There are designated baby care centers at each of the parks, but we only visited them once. ( That time we ran out of diapers!! Thank goodness we were able to buy some there. Kinda pricey compared to what we were used to, but they saved the day. ) Or I also recommend nursing while riding the Carousel of Progress (Magic Kingdom), very dark and slow paced ride, perfect to get the peace we needed.
STROLLER Our stroller now and stroller then is the Baby Jogger City Mini Double GT. WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS THING! I’m going to add a couple more exclamations to how much we love this stroller!!! Not only for our Disney trip but for our everyday use as well. It’s big enough to have boys and a diaper bag + anything else you can fit in it’s three pockets BUT small enough to fit through a standard door. It reclines all the way back individually so each one of the boys can sleep peacefully if they want to while the other one still explores.
**Tip: Make sure to stop by information when you visit Magic Kingdom for the first time for a free pin!
RIDES Everything we could do together we rode. Even if it meant it was a read-along or one of the rides we have been on dozens of times. We then took turns with the fast passes and baby swap passes for the rides that the boys couldn’t be on. Granted, we picked only a handful to do because we wanted to spend as much time together as possible. After all this vacation was for all of us so we wanted to stick together.
Our favorite attractions with the boys ( and those we thought they enjoyed as well! ):
Magic Kingdom: It’s a Small World ( THEY WERE MESMERIZED ), The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Mad Tea Party, Mickey’s PhilharMagic and the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel.
Our kids weren’t phased by loud noises and music, so we were able to bring them to some of rides that maybe they would be scared of now. You know your babies, if they startle easily, you wouldn’t want them in say Mickey’s PhilharMagic because it happens to be very loud. Or maybe you’re afraid they will get motion sickness, then no Mad Tea Party or Carrousel. If there is a ride you really want to go on and aren’t quite sure how they would handle it, just do the baby swap at the line. Better safe than sorry.
CHARACTERS Be prepared to get looks from all the visitors just because you are pushing around a twin stroller. But even more prepared to see all the characters and assistants gush over the fact you have twins. The boys absolutely loved ALL the attention. I loved taking the boys to meet each and every character we passed by so that later on as they grow older and we visit again, we will compare the growth and reactions to them. They loved each and everyone of them and were not afraid whatsoever at this stage. Something tells me though that the next time it won’t be so easy!
One of the smartest decisions I made was not to bring my big camera. I would of LOVED having all these pictures high-quality for their baby book. But when evaluating just how much we were actually bringing to the park and not to mention we would be leaving it most of the time in the stroller alone, we decided not to. It liberated me to enjoy being with the kids more instead of wanting to snap a picture of them every five minutes (which I happen to be infamously known for). Next time though, everyone won’t be so lucky!
TRANSPORTATION As I mentioned before we rode the Disney buses to and from the parks each day. D would like to add that this was the biggest hassle of all. Carrying the strollers and the bag into the bus while I held both boys. Everything else was a piece a cake compared to this. Now you may think this was an easy task, and I thought so too. But sadly it wasn’t at times when the bus was nearly full and all the other Disney goers weren’t as understanding. My advice would still be to ride the buses, but keep everything in one bag (such as a backpack, that can be easily carried).
WEATHER It happened to rain one of the afternoons we were there. We happen to just find a restaurant to stay in and wait it out. Once the rain had cleared we resumed our exploring, but that didn’t keep us from having a good time!
The princesses LOVED the boys. I am quite biased, but they were such little heart breakers! As final thoughts, I encourage you to go have fun with your family. Even if it seems like it will not be easy. They grow up so quickly that soon all we will have left of our tiny babies is our memories. And who knows, they might surprise you and you have loads of fun! I can’t wait to bring them again next year. How about you guys? How have your Disney World with kids experiences been? Stay tuned for next week’s Twin Tuesday post.