We did it! Annalynn and I survived our first trip to Walt Disney World as a duo!
Technically Annalynn went to Disney multiple time in utero. In fact, I attended the Epcot Food & Wine Festival my last weekend of pregnancy at 38 weeks. It was actually kind of fun to recreate the photo on Saturday. 38 weeks in the belly and 9 weeks out of the belly.
Christmas time is my favorite time of year at Walt Disney World so I knew I wanted to sneak in at least one trip before the crowds became too crazy towards the end of December. As much as my husband loves me (and tolerates Disney), it’s football season and I generally become a football widow during the fall/early winter. Plus, I already have an annual pass and he doesn’t and money has been kind of tight since I’ve been on maternity leave.
I’ve been politely asking (aka begging) other family members with annual passes to meet me at Disney for weeks. After a few days of hearing “maybe” from my twin brother, he finally confirmed on Saturday that they were planning on heading to the parks that afternoon. I had pretty much thrown in the towel, so I was shocked to hear a confirmation. Woo hoo! Only I hadn’t been really planning on heading to Disney that day. The last minute invite would have been fine before having a baby, but a baby complicates things. There was no time to plan the drive around her naps or obsess over how I was going to deal with keeping her up past her bedtime. We were just going to wing it and see what happened. So wing it we did.
Thankfully Annalynn slept the whole drive to the parks (which felt so much longer than the 1.5 hours it truly was). We parked at Epcot and I nursed her in the car before heading inside. Instead of attempting to deal with the stroller/car seat/ diaper bag/ baby on the tram, I opted to walk the distance from the car to the park’s entrance. A little walking never hurt anyone.
We cleared the entrance and headed to the World Showcase where my twin brother, sister-in-law, her mom, and my dad were waiting for us in China. Annalynn was all wide-eyed and silent the entire walk over, just completely taking everything in.
Cheers from Germany!
Annalynn was a total rockstar, sort of fading in and out of sleep as we walked the rest of the countries and enjoyed the Holidays Around the World festivities. I nursed her in France, then transferred her to the ring sling to give her a better view of her surroundings.
I started getting a little nervous when we entered her “fussy time” after 5pm, especially when she started to get a little cranky right as we got in line for Spaceship Earth (her first ride), but she handled it like a champ. I think the dark ride actually calmed her.
We had fast passes for Test Track and my dad offered to watch Annalynn while we rode the ride. At first, I thought “no problem” then once I was in line, it became clear that the “fast pass” really isn’t that fast. As the minutes continued to tick away in line, I became extremely anxious. I left my baby outside with my dad during her fussy time. Was I completely insane? He doesn’t know her like I do. What if she starts screaming? What if he can’t calm her? Oh, no. What have I done? I took a lot of deep breaths, but honestly it was almost impossible to actually enjoy the ride. Once I was on it, I couldn’t wait to get off of it. While the rest of the group stopped at the exit to scan their magicband to compare their car, I made a quick beeline to the exit.
Of course, everything was fine. Apparently Annalynn had fallen asleep in his arms and my dad’s only complaint was that his arms were going to be sore in the morning from holding her the whole time (said jokingly with a smile). I was officially the super-freaked out mom who was freaking out over nothing. I should have known that my dad is a rockstar with babies. Number 1 Grandpa, hands down.
Knowing it was getting late, and we still wanted to make our way over to Hollywood Studios for the Osborne Lights, I opted to try and nurse Annalynn while simultaneously making our way to the exit. I threw a cover over my chest and managed to nurse Annalynn while walking out of the park. I was quite proud of that little fete. Also, my dad was right – my arms were killing me. Annalynn is certainly starting to pack on the pounds.
We managed to all cram in my SUV and drove to Hollywood Studios. Unfortunately we weren’t the only ones with the idea of seeing the lights that night and traffic was insane. It took us 30 minutes to drive from Epcot to Hollywood Studios, a drive that usually takes less than 5. While in the car Annalynn started to get fussy again. I don’t blame her, she was stuck in her carseat in a car that wasn’t moving – I’d be pissed, too. Luckily, my sister-in-law was able to soothe Annalynn with my two secret weapons: the white noise app on my phone and a pacifier. Worked like a charm.
We were eventually able to park and make our way inside. Annalynn fell asleep almost as soon as went entered Hollywood Studios and slept through all the lights. I was tempted to take her out of her stroller for photos, but was too afraid to wake her. What do they say? Let sleeping babies lie? Plus, it was already pass her bed time and i know my girl loves her beauty rest.
I’m so sad that this is the last year for the Osborne lights. They’re one of my favorite parts about the holidays at Disney. I was there the first year the lights were hung at Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM), and now I can say I was there for the last. Farewell, lights! We’ll miss you!
Annalynn woke up on the walk back to the car and I was able to nurse her one last time before heading home. Once again, she slept the entire drive home without any fuss.
Derek met us outside when I pulled up and helped me bring Annalynn in. We managed to get her out of her car seat, change her, and swaddle her without waking her at all. In fact, she continued to sleep until 5:40am the next morning! That’s almost a 9 hour stretch! I guess Disney wore my girl out and this mom is not complaining.
I’d say our first Disney trip was a success. I grew up at Walt Disney World and I can’t wait for Annalynn to do the same. She’s going to have so much fun!