Wednesday, December 5, 2018


Welcome back, y'all!  In case you missed it, yesterday I posted Part 1 of my Disney recap series but it was mostly about the stuff that goes into the vacay before the real fun starts.

But today...the fun starts.

I've got Day 1 of our trip and I'm going to do it "Day in the Life" style because that's always fun, right?!

So let's get to it!

Our trip started bright and early on Thanksgiving morning.  I planned it this way for a couple of reasons.  

1) I'd always heard that Thanksgiving day is a slow travel day so I thought maybe we could score some deals on flights (we didn't) or at the very least, have a better chance at breezing through security (we did).  

2) We still had 4 days of  Thanksgiving break left including the weekend so by going later in the week, I was hoping to get to enjoy smaller crowds.  My thinking was that maybe a lot of people would be flying back home that weekend to get ready for work/school the next week...?  But I really have no idea if this was the case since it was our first time at Disney and I had nothing to compare it to. So who knows.

My parents live in Texarkana which is about 2.5 hours from Mckinney, so they drove in the day before so that we could all catch our 9:30am flight the next morning.  Craig's parents were flying from their hometown in Louisiana and meeting us there.

Another thing that made this trip so special for everyone was that it was our kids' first time EVER on an airplane!  (Seriously, we should really get out more.)  But these guys were GIDDY with excitement about flying and it was contagious.

Look at that sweet face trying to be so patient while we waited at the gate.

When it was time to board, you can bet I had my camera out the whole time.  There were so many nervous giggles walking down the jetway!

As soon as we stepped on board, the flight attendant said good morning and asked if the boys wanted to meet the pilot.  Heck yeah, they did!  The pilot was so nice and even let them sit in the cockpit and take a look around which I thought was so sweet!  I kept trying to hurry them back out because I was so worried I was taking up his time and that they were going to accidentally knock into something important but he assured me they were fine and couldn't hurt anything.  (He clearly doesn't know these two.  They can destroy anything.  hahaha)

We made our way to our seats and after a small delay, we finally started rolling down the runway and y'all.  The looks on their faces were priceless!  

Matthew had his iPad out videoing it all while I videoed him. I'm so glad I got that video too because it was precious!  I put it in my Instastories if you want to see. 

I snapped this after we were finally in the air and he'd put his iPad down.  That face!!

The excitement of it all wore off pretty quickly though and then they were bored.  Go figure.  ;)

After we landed, we hopped on the tram to meet up with Craig's parents and board the Magical Express.

(Love this cute pic of my parents trying to get my mom's Magic Band on.)

If you're staying at a Disney resort, they will send you special yellow luggage tags to put on your bags so that they can grab your luggage from baggage claim, load it on the bus and bring it to your room.  (Our planners had already given them our flight number and arrival time so they were expecting us.  See!  Another thing your planners will do for you that you don't have to deal with yourself!)  

This means no waiting around for your bags!  You can head straight to the Disney Magical Express line to get on the bus that will take you to your resort.

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I stole the above pic off of the internet because I didn't have one and wanted you to see how nice the Magical Express is.  No rickety old airport shuttle buses here.

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Matthew fell asleep in my lap on the bus ride to the resort and I was fighting it hard too.  I'd only had about 3 hours of sleep the night before but this was only the beginning of me sucking it up and pushing through!  It was a trend all week and I never once gave in to my exhaustion.  I wanted to take in every second I could of this trip.

Before long, we were driving under the big Disney World sign!!  Ahhhhhh!!!  This is also about the time I really started feeling like a kid again.

And then soon after that, we pulled into our resort!

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I had checked in on the app while we were on the bus so I headed straight to the desk and was given our keys and a map.  Cast members would be bringing our luggage up to the room within the next few hours so we didn't need to worry with any of that.  (Make sure you pack anything in your carryon that you may need while you wait for your bags!)

We loved the fun atmosphere of the resort!  It is all Little Mermaid, Lion King and Cars themed and it was everything I would expect from a Disney resort.

These seagulls (from Finding Nemo) would yell out "Mine mine mine mine" over and over several times a day which I thought was hilarious.  

The Drop Off was the bar by the pool where you could order food and drinks.

And on past that was Radiator Springs!!

We stopped for pics with The Sheriff before heading up to our room.

I posted more details about our Cars Family Suite HERE.  I could not have been happier, friends.  We loved this suite!  I'll have more info on our resort as I come to it in these recaps.

After we checked out our rooms and rested for a couple of hours, we loaded the shuttle to Disney Springs!

Sidenote:  The buses are THERE FOR YOU.  We never waited more than 10 minutes for a new bus to show up and everything was clearly marked so you knew exactly where you were supposed to be.  And yes, it's all included so you don't pay for any transportation.

We had reservations for Splittsville in Disney Springs on that first night and it was such a fun way to kick off the trip!

Disney Springs was decked out for Christmas and it was all so pretty and oh those yummy restaurant smells!  #delish

Mason was happy to pose for me in front of the fountain and whatever was going on in that giant balloon behind him!

(You may see more pics of one kid way more than the other in these posts.  Please don't think it's because I have a favorite.  The 10-year-old isn't always into having his picture taken so I tend to always have more of Mason who is still happy to oblige.  But I'm sure those days are numbered.  Sigh.)

We booked a reservation for a dine & bowl lane which meant we got to eat while we bowled.  Since we had 8 people in our party, we got the lane for 1 hour and 45 minutes which was enough time for us all to bowl one game and then get a few frames into a second.

The boys love their Mimi!  (This is Craig's mom.)

Mason had a minor meltdown in the beginning because Matthew was whoopin' him.  But after he bowled a couple of strikes without the use of the bumpers, he turned that frown upside down.  :)

I caught this reaction after Matthew's first strike. He seemed to have a knack for bowling.

As for the food, ALL of it was so good!  I ordered the Volcano Roll and it was definitely the first time I'd ever had sushi at a bowling alley.  ;)

After we were done, we walked through the main plaza and took in the sights.

While we waited for the shuttle back to the resort, Mason told me "That was so fun, Mom" in the most sincere way.  I knew it was only the beginning but just hearing those words made me melt.  He was living his best life and happy to give me a smile for this picture.  Even though he looks exhausted.  ;)

Back at the resort, I got picture happy again.

And look!  Both kiddos gave me big smiles in front of the tree!

And then we grabbed one as a family.  My tee said "gobble" and it was from Jane (of course!).  If you follow my deals FB group and blog then you are not surprised one bit at that.  haha

Again, we loved our walk to Radiator Springs to get to our room!  Isn't it just the cutest!?!

This was the last picture I took on Day 1 and I think it was the perfect one to end the day on.  We slept well at the Cozy Cone Motel.

Come back tomorrow for our day at Hollywood Studios!!  The boys were so excited to finally ride the infamous Tower of Terror that all their friends at school told them was so scary!  You'll get to see what they thought of that after it was done.

We had a really great day at HS and I can't wait to tell you all about it!


PART 1Prep Work
PART 2Travel, Resort Check-In, Disney Springs
PART 3Hollywood Studios 
PART 4Animal Kingdom
PART 5:  Epcot
PART 6: Magic Kingdom


I'll be back on the Deals blog today as well as posting frequently throughout the day in the FB group as well so be sure to check over there!  There have been some really great Lightning Deals lately and y'all know those go so fast!

You can also find me on Instagram @amandanall.

We have such a busy day today.  Matthew is off to 5th grade came for 3 days which I'm not super excited about.  He's nervous and I'm nervous and I really don't want him to go but I know he's going to have the best time.  Thankfully, we have our annual Sunday School Christmas party tonight though so that will keep me nice and least for a few hours.  ;)  I'm also steadily working on tons of Etsy orders that have come in over the past week so again, I have plenty of things to keep me distracted.

See you back here tomorrow, friends!



  1. I don't know which pic was cuter...the boys excited on the plane or your parents and their magic band! So cute!!!

  2. Girl I feel you on the picture happy - I checked my phone after our trip and I took over 1,000 pictures on my phone! What on earth!

  3. Just starting to read through your Disney blogs and I can tell I'm going to enjoy them so much! Thanks for sharing with your readers. You were so smart to have done your research first, but the giddiness of a first Disney trip shines through in your writing. I've been many times (as have my kids) and we always find something new to love.


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