Hi! I’m finally back and ready to recap the first few days of our Orlando trip. This trip could not have come at a better time for us all. We really needed this vacation as a family – life has been so crazy over the last year! Of course, Nathan and I (him more so than me) were worried about how Camden would do on the flights and sleeping in a strange place and AT THEME PARKS, gasp…the list basically went on and on. We’ve all heard the horror stories, I’m sure. But we took our chances and I’m happy to report that our child was an absolute angel like he always is for basically the entire trip. Was this vacation as relaxing as the others we have been on? No way. Were we more physically exhausted after pushing a stroller/wearing a baby around a theme park all day? Uhh, YEAH. But I’m so glad we were brave because it was so worth it! Please don’t let anyone tell you that you can not take your baby where ever you are going because it is simply not true and 95% about your attitude.
Day One | Travel & Disney Springs
We chose the 6 AM flight from our town’s regional airport so we could make it to Orlando by 11:00. Luckily, we live about 3 minutes away from the airport and it’s super small so getting there at 5 AM gave us plenty of time. I went back and forth on how I wanted to handle Camden pre-flight and ultimately decided to wake him up at 4:30, get him changed, dressed, and fed before we left. This seemed to work well because even though it was (a little) earlier than he normally wakes up I didn’t have to deal with a hungry, fussy baby as we were checking in and going through security.
We got upgraded to Comfort+ seating on our first flight from Evansville to Atlanta and we thought we were the luckiest people ever – little did we know the upgrades would be even better on the way home! They let people with babies board early so Camden was sitting up, smiling and just generally charming everyone as the got on the plane. I nursed him during take off and he fell asleep for the majority of that hour-ish flight. Many a lady found me in the restroom by our gate after this flight to tell me how good he was 🙂
The second flight was a little more difficult. He wasn’t bad by any means but he was tired of me holding him and was more fussy than he was on the first flight. Luckily, this was our flight into Orlando so there were a gazillion kids on there and I’m sure no one paid much attention to him! The plane from ATL or Orlando was bigger than our first and it had TVs in the seats and thus a love for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse was born (prompting a funny mom life vs. dad life video on Snapchat because by husband got to watch Barber Shop). He couldn’t hear anything because I obviously didn’t put ear buds in his ears, but he was completely enthralled by watching! Between all the flights I bet we watched those two episodes at least eight times, sigh. I have a feeling this is our future though, so I guess we should get used to it.
As we were landing he finally fell asleep so I had to carry him through the Orlando airport to baggage claim instead of wrapping him up. We got our luggage, threw him in the stroller, picked up our rental car, and made our way to our hotel where the boys promptly took another nap. Traveling is hard.
A side note about our hotel. It was just ok. We used Marriott Rewards points to stay there but I don’t think I would again, at least if we are traveling with a baby/kids. Mainly because you really, really need a refrigerator in your room when traveling with kids. Or breastfeeding a kid. (Mama can not with Florida tap water, blech!) And it honestly just wasn’t very family friendly. Or I guess I didn’t feel welcome with our baby there. It was mostly businessmen in town for conventions and lets just say, our squawking little boy got more than one side-eyed look at breakfast. The hotel did provide a crib for us which was a lifesaver and it was within walking distance to the Orlando Eye, a mini golf place, and a ton of restaurants/shops which was nice.
After a little nap and Walmart trip to stock up on some waters and snacks (we ended up buying a styrofom cooler and filling it with ice over and over as our makeshift refrigerator) we headed down to Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) for the evening. I love doing Disney Springs the first night of an Orlando trip because you can basically dip your toe in the Disney pool instead of jumping right in, HA. But don’t get me wrong, there are still a ton of people down there! It’s basically a HUGE area with tons of restaurants, shops, bars, live entertainment, and a pretty lake where you can see some of the Disney hotels. They are constantly adding on and there were a whole slew of luxury-type shops that were not there when we visited just a couple of years ago.
Ugh, how cute is that face?! In one of the first shops we went into a lady gave Camden “his first Mickey sticker.” She was really excited about it, lol. Also, Nathan wouldn’t let me get these Mickey ears for Camden because “they didn’t fit” and I think it broke my heart. Poor guy was just trying to sleep but I had to have a picture of him in the ears since his dad wouldn’t let me buy them. Bahhumbug.
Even if you aren’t really into Disney stuff, Disney Springs is a great place to spend an evening (or more if you are brave)! Certain parts are not Disney themed at all and they actually have a lot of great stores like Sugarboo (a bloggers dream), Vince Camuto, Zara and a ton more. They have a really neat food truck area and a ton of restaurants that range from family friendly, to really nice. They have really made sure there is something for everyone down there. Of course, there are plenty of Disney stores too! There is a HUGE one right in the middle and was one of the only places with a good baby section. I hadn’t been able to find a Disney shirt I liked for Cam before we left and I found a really cute vintage tee that you will see in our Animal Kingdom pictures!
We ate dinner at The House of Bluez which was an adventure to say the least. I had counted on Camden falling asleep in the stroller (like he does every single morning on our walk) and napping while we walked around DS but since he is sitting front facing now, not in the car seat on top, he was just too visually stimulated and never fell asleep which means he was tired and cranky by the time we got to dinner. They wouldn’t let us take our stroller into the restaurant so we tried to sit him in a highchair for the first time. It lasted for about a minute before he wanted to get out, so that was a fail. The rest of the meal was spent picking up toys off the floor and trying to settle a pretty fussy baby. While trying to eat street tacos which is just about as much fun as it sounds. I was afraid the night was ruined at that point but after we admitted defeat, put him back in the stroller and started walking around again he was fine. It did shake our confidence a little but honestly, the rest of the nights went just fine!
Overall, it was a great way to start the trip! I can’t wait to share details of day two, aka beach day! I’ll also do a separate post with all the details of what worked for us when flying. This post was just getting a little long to add all that in and this mama is tired 🙂