Updated: Dec 31, 2022
That's right! The Armstrongs are heading to the most magical place on Earth come June 2022. It was honestly a last-minute decision about two months ago and I've spent every day since getting ready.
I don't know about you but I'm a planner. I LOVE to plan things out and revel in going through the internet looking for any information to help me plan ahead. Of course, when talking about Disney World there are SO many different things within the Disney bubble to read and learn about. One of my biggest resources has been AJ over at the Disney Food Blog(DFB). They have both a website and a YouTube channel that is very informative and I've been binge-watching and reading every day. They are not affiliated with or paid by Disney and are their own company free to express their true opinions. So I love watching all the videos to see first-hand accounts of things within the park, especially the food! I will admit that I am a picky eater, although I have expanded my taste palette from what it was as a child, I still love being able to see actual videos and pictures of what food looks like and not just a description.
I don't receive anything from mentioning them, I haven't even been in contact with them but I wanted to drop their links here because I have found them incredibly helpful. So check out their links below and this awesome photo from their website-Cinderalla's castle underwent major renovations for the 50th-anniversary celebration and looks so beautiful!
DFB website: https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/
DFB Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/DFBGuide
I also have an awesome travel agent, Lauren, from the Smart Moms Plan Disney company. What's great is that it doesn't cost me any extra and gives Lauren a commission from Disney. I love helping other people out with their business goals and there have been so many changes to Disney in recent years I knew I would need the help. She has put up with an endless stream of questions that I have thought of with informative and prompt answers. We tag-teamed my reservation day to get basically all the reservations I wanted at the 60-day mark- I wouldn't have been able to get them all without her. (UPDATE Dec 2022-I am now a certified agent through the same company and would love to help you if you need help with your own Disney trip)
I know there are some people out there that don't like to plan and just go with the flow...I'm just not one of those people 😅😅. Even if you are one of those people, I urge you to look into the changes that have been made because of COVID-you can't just walk up to the gates and buy tickets anymore. In addition to buying your tickets (and hotel room if you're staying on-site), you have to make a park reservation ahead of time online for each park day. If that park is at capacity for reservations then you can't go there that day. There is a slight hack involving using park hopper that I will outline in a later post. But it's not as simple as just showing up anymore, although once you have your tickets and park reservation you could just not plan the rest of your day if that's your cup of tea.
We are driving down from Maryland, staying at Disney for two weeks, and then driving back. We will also be going to a few other Orlando-ish local destinations and stopping at cool places along the way there and back that I will be reviewing after our trip. In the meantime, I will be doing a "Getting Ready for Disney" series where I'll lay out everything I've been doing to plan and get ready for our trip. There's so much I felt I couldn't fit it all in one post!
I'm very excited about this trip. We were supposed to go to Disney World for two weeks in May of 2020 as Kammy's 4th birthday present and the last big trip before Addison was born. Well then of course life happened- COVID became a thing and Disney (and everything else) shut down. I had it ALL planned out-it would have been the trip of a lifetime with any and every reservation we could possibly want. While I've mostly managed to recreate my 2020 trip, there are some things at Disney that just aren't open still. They brought back normal character interactions where you can hug and get signatures again for the first time since the 2020 closures on April 18th; they also announced more things will be opening and going back to normal with a "phased reopening". So I'm hoping that between now and my trip some of the restaurants/ experiences that I want will open and I will be able to snag a reservation for them. Either way, it's going to be a very fun and magical trip and I can't wait to share with you guys what I've been doing to get ready and how things go while we're on the trip.