My mind has been busy with two things lately, and I need some input. So pick your specialty, or chime in on both.

1. Orlando
2. The Bedroom.

(Sounds fascinating, no?)

First. Orlando:

So we are planning a short trip to Orlando in July. It’s kinda last minute, and it’s kinda during the worst time of year to visit Disney (as far as crowds are concerned.)

And, although we’ve spent years of our life overanalyzing to try and figure out the best scenario for a first Disney trip (Chris can’t usually be gone from work for seven days, and we all know that Disney is incrementally cheaper the longer you stay, and we didn’t want to feel rushed to cram it all in, and we didn’t want to go when we had nappers…and on and on and on), we’re considering (and we may be crazy) spending ONE DAY at Disney.

Just one day.

Because Ali’s never been, and she’s at the perfect age of Princess Love, and she has no expectations of the vastness of Disney. So we’re thinking we’ll soak up a little magic, walk down Main Street, and scope the place out for a return visit at some point. Do a little, but with no pressure to DO Disney.

We also want to visit LegoLand (for obvious reasons) while we’re there, so we’re thinking that we will spend a day at LegoLand, a day at Disney, and perhaps a day at the resort or in and around Orlando.

So, Disney Veterans.

1. Are we crazy?
2. Will we hate ourselves for this plan?
3. Is there a way to get cheaper tickets to just GO to Disney for one day? No hotel, no food plan, no frills, just the ability to walk into the park and maybe see a few fun characters and junk.
4. What do we need to know? For reference, the last time I went to Disney was in 1985. And I was 3.
5. What’s the easiest way to meet some princesses? Or even better, Tinkerbell and her friends?

And, Orlando Residents.

1. Where should we eat while we’re in your city?
2. What else should we do?
3. Again, are we crazy?

And, All of you:

Have you seen anything offering discounted LegoLand or Disney passes? I remember someone saying that their kids got a free pass in a Lego kit, but I don’t remember who it was or what kit contained such goodness. Help a last-minute-trip-planner out!

Second. I need your help in the Bedroom.

(I know. You’ve all been waiting on that one.)

Since we moved into our house five years ago, our bedroom has bothered me terribly, especially subconsciously. Every night, when I’m right in between awake and asleep, I find myself eaten up with uncomfortableness and wrath toward the room.

That could be due to my very poor decorating skills. And the 1984 wood trim. And the mismatching of said wood trim with our furniture.

Room Elements

Or it could be due to the evidence of my former mod podge/scrapbook paper addiction:

Scrapbook Mod Podge

So I’ve decided to finally take on a project this summer. After all, I lived through 184 days of involuntary home repairs – certainly I can slap a little paint on the walls and buy and new comforter, right?

So I plan to get my lazy butt out from in front of the computer and repair my broken psyche.

We have great furniture, but ugly walls. I’m ready for a new bedspread and curtains, and we desperately need wall fixtures.

And in general, I want a calmer room.

In my head, I have in mind a blue-gray or steel blue color scheme – very cool, very light, very vacationy. White curtains, our current black furniture, a simple but luxurious looking bedspread, perhaps recovering my chair and ottoman, and yes – painting my trim white.

I’ve got a Pinterest Board going with a bunch of ideas, but here is the combination that best describes my vision:

Bedroom Mood Board

So here’s where you come in.

I am horrible, awful, no good, repugnant at wall hangings, knick knacks, and other pointless decorations.

However, as my current bedroom (and my angst surrounding it) suggests, pointless decorations are what makes a room feel like a room.

Also, I’d love any input on what needs to get kicked off the island of ideas on my Pinterest Board.

But just for some direction, I like geometric designs (very little floral), I like modern, and I don’t like trees next to my bed.

Crazy Bed

Also, I don’t want it to look like Ariel skinned Ursula and turned her into my comforter.

Bad Comforter

So that’s it. Tell me what I need. What you’ve seen that is cool. How I could better this room palette. Anything and everything.

And don’t forget about Orlando.

I need your help!

77 thoughts on “Suggestions Required.

  1. Just got back from Disney- made the trip EASY- and as stress free as possible! Call me if you want more details!

  2. Decor (I can offer no help on Orlando at this time) ~
    Thought 1: mirrors would reflect light and give it a modern feel. Look for some when Hobby Lobby puts their wall decor 50% off (usually every 3 weeks or so).
    Thought 2: add a pop of strategic around the room (purple, yellow, turquoise, pink, whatever) through pillows, picture frames, ceramic jewelry holder, etc. These are easily changed when you want to look at a new color!
    Thought 3: group like photos in odd numbers for focal points around the room. Black & white photos would look awesome with the blue/grey look.

    That’s all for now.

    1. Thanks for the ideas! I do have a full length mirror, but no accent wall mirror. Good idea! And I have a TON of extra photos. I think I could make a really great collage.

  3. We’re going to Disney World in September; it will be my third trip and my husband’s 17th. (yeah, I know.)

    Are you crazy to go in July? That depends on a few things:

    1. How patient are you and Chris? And that’s not just about your kids, but about the whole cluster of humanity that will be there, long lines, high heat, etc.
    2. What are your expectations? You can probably get in a few rides and some princess meet-and-greet time but given the crowds that time of year, you’re unlikely to get ALL of the Magic Kingdom in.

    If you do decide to go, it’s slightly cheaper to stick to one park (Magic Kingdom in this case) and not have the park-hopping option. I don’t know of any other ways to get a discount, except for being a Florida resident, though some other readers might.

    If you have a lot of patience and low expectations for how much you can do in one day, then go for it. But be prepared for heat and crowds.

    A few other tips… the Dole Whip stand in Adventureland is the best thing — pineapple soft swirl and pineapple juice. Yum.

    There is a small theater on Main St behind (I think) the photopass shop where you can sit and watch vintage Mickey Mouse cartoons in low-lit coolness. A lifesaver to get away from the crowds.

    And last but not least, the line for Peter Pan is always insanely long, and I don’t know why. Get a FastPass if you can, but I would not recommend waiting an hour plus in line. It’s not that great a ride.

    (Oh, and there’s a wait-times app, that could come in handy.)

    1. 1. It totally depends on our mood. We just need to go in expecting to NEED to be patient,
      2. He wants to have NO expectations so we’re not disappointed. But yes, a couple of rides, a couple of princesses, in general soaking up ambiance.

      Everyone is saying Magic Kingdom is the way to go, so I think that’s what we’ll aim at.

      Thanks for the insider tips!! And I’m quite impressed with your husband’s track record! :-)

      1. I realized I didn’t say WHY Magic Kingdom, though you’ve probably figured it out — that’s the most quintessential “Disney” park, it has the princesses, it has the castle, and it has the most rides for young kids.

        I think you can do it, but you gotta be prepared. :) Have fun!

  4. The lego magazine (free) always has at least 1 buy one get one legoland pass in it. If you subscribe now, you may get it in time!

    I’m glad I don’t have the only un-chevroned master bedroom out there! My Man just last week looked around our pitifully un-decorated room and said something to the effect of “is there anyway would could make it look…maybe….a little nicer in here?” Oh grief!

    Here’s my feeble attempt at a pinboard for my master bedroom re-do… and I’ve attempted none of it so far:

    1. Thanks for sharing your Pinterest Board with me! It looks like you and I are going for a similar color scheme. We’ll have to compare finished products when (not if) we finish! :-)

  5. I don’t know anything about Disney, sorry. We don’t do Disney in Norway. But we do have great Scandinavian design, which I think is just the kind of inspiration you’d find inspiring.

    I love the blue gray shade. What kind of floors are in the room? And how high or low is the ceiling? You could do a lot with just the right paint, and worry about what you want to hang on the walls later.

    I have seen some ideas I think you’d like. I’ll post some links later on.

  6. we went to disney over spring break. they just randomly had the princesses scattered around in different areas, and the lines were generally an hour long to meet them. which is a bummer. i would suggest getting fast passes for the rides you REALLY want to ride since you are only going to the park for one day, and then decide on what princesses to wait in line for. to be honest, i don’t remember seeing tinkerbell at all. in the middle of the day they always had a huge parade with ALL the princesses. so that would be something you might want to see.

  7. OK, this is a lazy way to help, but I participate in a fabulous Disney community online, go to and you’ll find a lot of threads about Disney World, suggestions about the best way to visit, discount ticket locations, etc.

    As for the decor, I really like your plans for a color scheme, but I think my brain was injured by that purple comforter…am I the only one that thinks it looks like a giant casket liner?

  8. We went in July a couple of years ago to Magic Kingdom for one day and Animal Kingdom for half of a second day with two kids roughly the same ages as yours. We did EXACTLY what this book ( says to do and hardly waited in line and met every single princess, And we were there on a SATURDAY in July.

    It was totally worth it. We rode every ride we wanted to ride and saw every character we wanted to see.

    Most importantly? Head straight to the back as soon as the park opens… you can check out Cinderella’s castle on your way out… And sit at the front of the park when the parade starts, then while everyone else is waiting to see the parade, you can go see the princess as soon as it has passed you!

    Oh, and pack your own lunch, drinks and snacks!

  9. You can meet several princesses in Magic Kingdom (near the front) with a FASTPASS. We did that and got to see Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Rapunzul in one quick shot. You can also meet Tinkerbell & friends near Adventureland (I think, it’ was towards the Magic Carpet ride. Both of these are indoors and air conditioned!

    1. Good to know – thanks so much!

      You know, though, the more I think about it, Ali is going to go into total shy mode with the Princesses. Waiitng in line to see them may not be the best plan after all…

  10. As soon as you enter the park, there are 2 flyers – one is a park map, and one is the Times Guide. The Times Guide schedule will tell you when and where the various character greetings are throughout the day. The newly-remodeled Adventureland has a space just for meeting Tinkerbell – Tinker Bell’s Magical Nook!

    I always recommend getting to the park early in the morning in time for the park opening. Not only do you get to see the opening ceremony, you get to be among the first people on rides – run in quickly, straight to Peter Pan’s Flight, so you don’t have to wait on that later in the day!

    Also, the Wishes fireworks show at Magic Kingdom ends with Tinkerbell flying off the top of the castle! (okay, she’s zip-lining on a wire, but the kiddos don’t have to know that…) Find your spot early (like an hour or two) and have some snacks and some little surprise toys to keep them entertained!

    Last recommendation – use a stroller. Either bring one or rent one (the rental ones are pretty awesome! They look weird but are super easy to push) Kids get soooo tired of walking and standing all day, especially in July heat.

  11. We haven’t gone to Disney World yet with the kids (I went with my family, pre-kids in 2006). We keep putting it off because the only time that’s convenient for us, is in the summer when it’s packed, and I do not like crowds! My oldest son starts school next year, so I think we are going to be stuck going during the busiest season. :( Boo!!

    Regarding Legoland…I don’t have any tips, but we get the Lego magazine thing. I’ll keep my eye out for it the next time it comes. If it has a coupon, I’ll send it to you! :)

    1. Oooh thanks! I wonder if I could buy a Lego Magazine at Barnes and Noble and it’d have the coupons in it…I may have to look.

  12. I have thoughts. Many thoughts. The only way I’d do Disney for one day in July is to enter the park around 4:00-ish and stay ’til midnight or later if the kids could hang in there. The crowds during the day at that time of year will limit you to seeing/riding maybe 3-5 attractions during the day. But at night, you can generally ride anything you want with little to no wait time, especially in the kids’ area. DEFINITELY get a fastpass to see the princesses at the (place to the right just as you enter the park – can’t remember the name!!). That’s probably the only way you can get to talk to them individually. Another idea is to schedule a princess character dinner. They sell out quickly, so you’ll have to check availability. They schedule 6 months out.

    For Disney fun without entering a park, you can do Downtown Disney. Lots of shops and really great restaurants. They also have entertainment like bowling alley, movie theater, and such.

    On your bedroom: I love a design challenge. I will put together a design board for you. I needed something to write about today anyway, so I’ll put it on my blog and send you the link.

    1. I think Chris’ concept of the trip sounds exactly like what you’re saying Downtown Disney is. Interesting…

      And thanks so much for the bedroom board! You’re awesome!

  13. You need taller bedside lamps and definitely a different comforter!

    My favourite thing to do is go with a solid colour comforter, and add colour through accent pillows and curtains – That way, you can just make a little change to those items for a different feel in the room – even lampshades can be changed while the base stays, so it is a relatively inexpensive fix.

    I am in love right now with grey and mustard yellow accents, but also love grey with aqua accents! Even grey with red or orange would be great – you can pretty much add any colour to it! You already have the black furniture that grounds the room, so any colour you add will not clash and should look great :)

    As for paint colour, I would go with something a little less yellow (yelllow reminds me of old/antique) Something with a little more grey in it – Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter, ‘ Edgecomb Gray, Sparrow, Gray Cashmere’, or a grey with a tinge of blue – Woodlawn Blue , Cloudy Sky, Picnic Basket or Cool Breeze. Neutral paint colours can last years while the bedroom colours change over and over.

    If you are brave enough, paint one wall with a darker colour (in the same family as the one you put on the other walls) I love accent walls! Or one wall with wallpaper! There are so many great new modern wall papers out there, one wall would look awesome!

    Good luck, can’t wait to see pictures! ;)

  14. Hey Rachel I would avoid slipper chairs in your bedroom. They always look really cute, but in my opinion they are not useful because there are no arms. They just aren’t comfortable, and you would probably not sit in it.

    1. I agree – I just had that chair in for it’s fabric. I have a nice Broyhill chair and ottoman that I want to get recovered – no new useless chair! Thanks!

  15. We took the kids to Legoland last September and had a blast. Your kids will be the perfect age for it. We paid full price for our tickets, but compared to Disney prices, they were a steal. One of the things we did to save money was packed a lunch and snacks in our backpack. No one goes through your bags to throw out confiscated food at the entrance like they do at Splash Adventure. So bringing in our own food saved us about $40. We also went to Gatorland and loved it! Admission is very reasonable…especially for Orlando. I wrote some posts about both parks. Just go to my blog and search “Orlando Trip” if your interested! :)

  16. I’m not a Disney expert, but aren’t there Character or Princess breakfasts where you can be assured contact with your fav? Maybe that would help save on buying a daypass – just go to a restaurant, browse around Main street, some hotels, and just take in the ambiance.

    1. there are character breakfasts (and lunches/dinners) but they are very hard to get into AND I’m pretty sure you have to buy park admission too if it’s an in-park restaurant.

  17. Re: Orlando
    Our family is obsessed with Orlando. We even bought a vacation home down there! We get down there 3-4 times per year with both kids (4 and just-turned-one).
    1. No, not crazy
    2. Yes, you all will love it.
    3. Back in the day, you could buy park passes on Ebay from people who had purchased 5 day tickets but for whatever reason, only used 4 days. I don’t believe Disney allows that any more, because they now make you scan your finger when you enter. If you are 100% certain you will go back, you could buy a multi-day park pass with the “no expiration” option. Then your next trip would be paid for. You can also add the park hopper option to the pass, but we find that one park/day is plenty with our little ones!
    4. Everyone has great ideas. I highly recommend getting there when the park opens. It usually opens at 9, but if you are planning to drive to the Magic Kingdom, you need to account for about an hour to park the car, take the tram to the transportation & ticket center, purchase your park pass, and then ride either the ferry or monorail to the Magic Kingdom.

    Definitely use the Fast Pass whenever you can, especially to see the princesses and for Peter Pan’s ride which always has a ridiculously long line.

    Pack your own snacks.

    If Ali is into Beauty and the Beast, you can eat at the Beast’s Castle. I recommend going for lunch as it is a counter service meal and much cheaper. You can also have a delicious frozen apple juice drink at Gaston’s Tavern, which is next to the Beast’s Castle.

    We like making a bee-line for the back of the park right when it opens. That way, when everyone is ooh-ing and ahh-ing over Main Street, you get a jump on the lines.

    The 3 PM parade is a great time to rest and see the characters at once. There is also a Move It Shake It Celebrate It dance party that is fun if your kids aren’t too tired (usually mid-afternoon).

    Bring your own ponchos in case of rain (better than paying $6 for one!)

    5. Tinkerbell and her fairies are in Adventureland out of the sun! Again, check the Times Guide.

    We aren’t locals, but there is a good pizza restaurant we like called Rossi’s. It is on Orange Blossom Trail.

    There are a bunch of touristy attractions on International Drive north of SeaWorld.

    You will LOVE Legoland. We make sure to hit that up every time we go down. You may be able to get some tickets on eBay. We are annual passholders and we get free tickets when we renew. We gave ours away to family members, but I know some people will sell them on eBay.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Oh, and we own the first comforter you have. I’m not a decorator, but it’s really comfortable!

    1. Thank you so much for all of the great tips! I’m glad to think you think that we can do it. And Chris always wants a good Pizza restaurant – we’ll have to check that out!

  18. I honestly didn’t take the time to read the comments above mine so you might have gotten this already. I love ceramics…and spray paint. you can find cheap ceramics at thrift stores and such and spray paint the color you want (they’d be really pretty in white with what you already have planned) and put them wherever…then you can change the color whenever you want. Also you could do a frame/collage wall. Some empty frames and some with pictures of family or whatever you want. Recovering your chair would be a fun way to add some color in! fun lamps or recovering old lampshades would be a good way to bring patterns in too. Yay for white trim…it looks soo good!

  19. I had a huge expanse of wall space that needed filling in my living room. I found and bought 3 old wooden 4 and 6-pane windows for $5/each (they were propped up outside someone’s house, dirty, but otherwise in good shape). I was scared to sand them because the original paint was probably lead, so I just lightly spray painted the frames in a couple of coordinating colors. I then used Hercules hooks (as seen on TV!) to hang them on my wall. I had plans to put photos behind them and maybe I will someday, but they look great as, is. Kind of modern and rustic at the same time. I paired them with a big clock and one of those wrought-iron-looking decorations from hobby lobby. Overall, I spent less than $60 and covered about 12 square feet of wall space. I think it looks great and I’ve gotten tons of compliments.

  20. I like everything about the bedroom you have in mind except that chevron chair which makes me dizzy. Chevron will be out of style next year and will you still love that chair?? A nice larg mirror is a good idea. Of course consider what my house looks like.

    1. We have a floor length mirror already and love it. Except that it isn’t exactly a flattering mirror, but what can you do.

      I have always liked Chevron, but good food for thought. I shall consider other geometric prints as well. :-)

  21. skip magic kKingdom. o to Epcot and let your kids do the Agent P’s world showcase adventure. If they are 6 yr old or up. It turns Epcot into a giant scavenger hunt/interactive game. Extremely fun. Also, in one day, prepare to go on maybe just 1-3 rides nothing more. Also, make lunch and dinner reservations otherwise you’ll be eating counter service hotdogs all day.

    Bedroom – get much larger dramatic matching lamps and a fabulous piece of wall art and a modern comforter (try Calvin Klein bedding). Paint the wall behind your headboard a darker color than the other walls.

  22. Hi Rachel,

    We moved to Winter Haven (LEGOLAND-land) a year ago, and while it is hot here in July, you’re not crazy. My son is 8 and he loved LEGOLAND when he went with his grandparents last summer, it’s perfect for his age. I haven’t been there since it was changed into LEGOLAND from Cypress Gardens – which is where my little man rode his first roller coaster back in 2008. *tear*

    My hubby works as a welder in Disney’s Central Shops and we have the FL resident annual passes. So, we go to Disney. A lot. Even going tonight after his shift ends (at 11!) for the 24-hour Monsters University event thing!

    If she’s a princess lover, you can go directly to your right when you enter the park, just as you come out of the train station. There’s kind of a “character spot” thing that you get in line for, and then you can have your picture taken with all the princesses, one right after the other. You can use your own camera and/or the PhotoPass photographers will do it for you. Easy-peasy. The New Fantasyland has a story time with Belle. Don’t let her miss it, even if the wait is long. It’s magical. You start out in Belle’s father’s yard, then go into the house, then into the magical room in the house where the prince gave him the mirror to see Belle anytime… and they choose A LOT of audience volunteers for the story. Then, each volunteer gets a Belle bookmark and a picture with Belle. :-) So cute!

    And I agree with the commenter above about the Dole Whip! It’s right across from the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse and totally worth the wait in line! The orange & vanilla… yum-o!

    There’s a place just outside the park called Crossroads, where there’s some local & chain restaurants. We like to go to Uno’s. I’m not sure how chain-y it is but their pizza is great (fresh veggies & cheese) and the kids can literally make their own pizzas, send them back to be cooked, and then their pizzas are done. Not too hard on the wallet, either. They’re remodeling right now, but it’s not a disaster, so they’re still open.

    You can stay cheaper in Davenport (it’s exit 55 off I-4) and it’s about half way between LEGOLAND (same exit) & WDW (exit 62). There’s a shopping plaza & some restaurants there, but nothing really to walk around to see/do from your hotel room.

    There’s also a place pretty close called Old Towne. It’s just a little place with shops and (bad but so good) food, and carnival-type rides for the kids. And the SlingShot thing if you and your hubby have someone there to watch the kids while you’re on it… so fun! There’s no admission to go, and there’s a car cruise every Friday & Saturday evening.

    Busch Gardens isn’t too far (Tampa) and Universal Studios is also in Orlando. I’ve only been to Universal once during the Halloween Scary thing, so the one roller coaster I did ride was AWESOME but not for kids.

    Anyhoo… email me if you’re coming! I’m the one who sent you that photo of the Hippie Flexi on Twitter LOL. :-) And have fun with your bedroom, mine is a mess. I hope to get to it over this extended weekend.

    1. Thank you so much for the great advice!

      I really think we’re going to enjoy Legoland better than Disney, from what everyone’s said – it sounds perfectly age appropriate and much more “doable” in a day trip. But at the moment, we’re still planning on attempting both! We’ll see if we chicken out…

  23. I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this yet — can’t read thru ALL 48 comments — but there was an iPhone app called Undercover Tourist that shows you the wait times for all of the different rides, maps of where they are, an explanation of each ride, etc. It shows where important things like restrooms, dining, parades, etc. are. It also shows you the character photo spots so you can find as many princesses as possible. If you do end up going for more than one day, it tells you which parks are most crowded on which days, so you can plan your days accordingly. Hope this helps!!

  24. The show that happens every couple of hours in front of the castle is worth checking out- princesses, Peter Pan, Mickey and Minnie. I noticed AFTER we left that there was a place to meet princesses in a theater on Main St. that had a fast pass option. Tinkerbell and her fairy friends apparently hang out in Adventureland- though we did not see them. We spent a lot of time in Fantasyland riding rides= my favorite was Ariel’s Under the Sea. It was 90 degrees while we were there and we ended up spending $15 on a handheld waterbottle/spray fan contraption that did a good job of refreshing the kids- you might want to find a cheaper version ahead of time if that appeals to you. have fun!

  25. You have to “DO” Disney at one point! I am a Disney-holic, so bad that Fantasia is what puts me to sleep at night and I own over 100 Disney movies… I am starting to wonder if there is such thing as Disney rehab. I think one day would be ok, but there is so much to explore and since it will be busy you will likely only visit a very very small portion of the park. So just make sure that you really do return in the future because Disney is magical! Also people are pushy very very pushy so even if the kids are good about staying close pin their safety information to their clothes or give them one of the bracelets that have your phone number on it. It is a good idea to bring an autograph book for the kids to get signatures from the characters! One day is always better than no days!

    1. I agree – I really want to do it well and do it right sometime – it’s just finding the perfect time that’s the hard part!!

  26. Are you a member of an auto club? In California AAA offers discounts for Disney, other companies might do something similar.

  27. I think the one day thing would be fine, but the July thing does seem a little crazy. Although, you are used to that humid heat so it probably wouldn’t bother you. The crowds would be enough of a deterrent for me though. I thought it was fairly crowded when we went in early May and my cousins said it wasn’t even a 1/4 of the people that are there in the summer. Magic Kingdom was crowded enough that it was difficult to shop on main street, and one of the workers told me in the summer it was shuffling room only in that store! Yuck. I can’t stand super crowded places so I was glad we went when we did. All that to say I’d go for Legoland and go to Disney when it’s less crowded since you don’t have to worry about school dates anyway! But anytime would be fun. Disney is magical!

  28. Florida Resident here! We often did Disney with a napper in tow.

    The best advice I can give you is spring for a Disney resort to stay at. Even the more economical ones are very nice. The shuttle will get you from your room to the park quickly and is worth every penny you spend on the room.
    Also, get to the Magic Kingdom early. Your kids will love the opening show where Mickey shows up on the train and officially opens the park. As soon as it opens, book it to Fantasy Land. Hit up Dumbo, Peter Pan, Winne the Pooh etc early before the lines get insane.
    After you’ve spent some time in Fantasy Land find a spot and enjoy your packed lunch. Yes thats right! Disney will let you bring in a soft sided cooler under the seat of the stroller. Bring sandwiches, fruit, juices, waters and other snacks and save yourself a bundle.
    We always grabbed a poptart in the room early that morning and by 11 we were ready to eat lunch.
    Then after lunch you can do a few other attractions or look for characters.
    When it is naptime, hop back on that fabulous Disney shuttle and head back to the room for a nap and some downtime. Sleep, swim in the pool, relax., have a snack. Then later that afternoon, head back to the park and enjoy some more Disney magic.
    Breaking up the day is the key to not having meltdowns (kids or parents). You will enjoy it SO much more knowing you do not have to go non stop all day. Those few hours of downtime in the middle of the day will assure that you will all have a great time right up to the parade and fireworks that night. :)

    1. We definitely want to stay in Disney at some point, but we already have out-of-Disney reservations for this trip.

      So is Fantasyland and Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom? Or are those different parks?

      I’m so Disney-Stupid.

      Thanks for all of the tips!

  29. I have an acquaintance who is a Disney Vacation Planner. (It’s not a hobby; it’s a job.) There’s no fee for her services, but she’ll help you plan your trip to the park and help you make the most of your time there. I’m about to get in touch with her about our January 2014 trip, as a matter of fact. Her name is Stephanie Prior, and her phone number is 205-492-3409, email I’m sure she would be able to help you even if you’re just going for a day.

    If you change your mind and go to EPCOT instead of MK, try to get reservations for dinner at Akershus, which I think is in Norway. That is a princess meal, and you meet all of them. Each of them comes to your table individually and greets you and poses for pictures. Even if Ali is shy, you’d still get plenty of face time, with no waiting in line. See this post for a few pics of our meal at Akershus:

  30. We went to Disney about 7 years ago, in July also, with our 3 boys, who were then 10, 5 & 3. It was part of a longer trip to Orlando where we tried to cram in as much varied fun as possible without imploding our family. That meant that we went to Kennedy Space Center, spent a day at the ocean, spent a day at Sea World and a day at Disney. We bought tickets for all things at the front gates (maybe not the best plan, but it worked). When we were there, both Sea World and Disney had a deal where you could get a second day free pass with your original ticket. The kids all chose a second day at Sea World over a second day at Disney. And they still say that after seeing the ocean for the first time, Sea World was their favorite part of the vacation and none of them was really thrilled with Disney. They did like meeting Buzz & Woody, but they were disappointed at their meeting with Mickey. We had to wait in line for about half an hour, then we were funneled through a room where we spent about 90 seconds with Mickey and got a picture taken.
    Overall, we thought Disney was way too crowded, too commercial and too much out to grab every dollar we had ever earned, along with some of our future earnings.
    But I’m still glad we went!

  31. We went to LEGOLAND 2 years back about 9 months after it opened. My 3 boys loved it, with the oldest age 12 at the time finding it a bit childish. Your kids are at the perfect age for it. Many little kid rides, etc. The movies are fun to watch too, if you need a break and want to sit down for a bit. So, check out those times and schedule your park adventures accordingly. Also, the water ski show is very good and entertaining. As a mom of 3 boys that LOVE Legos we had a hard time not buying everything in the gift shops. Be prepared! My favorite find was the silicon ice cube trays that I make chocolate Lego men in. Overall, the park was not too big and overwhelming for us, and we easily fit everything into one day. Have fun!

    1. I am so excited about everything everyone has said about Legoland – I really think we’re going to love it there! And I already have the ice cube trays, so at least I’m safe from that purchase. :-)

  32. Ok. I’ve been skulking around your blog for a while now and I just had to come out of the woodwork to assure you that you’re going to LOVE Legoland! The only super good deal I know about was through AAA. They ran a promotion last year– buy an adult ticket (at their discount), get a child’s ticket FREE!. I would agree with a previous commenter about checking Ebay and Craigslist. Especially the local Orlando CL. I know a lot of people who work at Disney here who literally can’t get rid of their free tickets fast enough :P

    But Legoland. Best. Park. Ever. if you have young kids :) Ours are ten, five and two and we had an amazing day there. You can do the whole park (not the water park, though) easily in one day, too.

    Have fun!

    1. Thanks so much! I’m really getting more and more excited about Legoland and less and less excited about Disney. Especially considering my kid’s ages and love for Legos!

  33. You may want to choose a warm accent to go with all the coolness in your new bedroom. Blue walls are cool, white curtains are cool, blue/grey bed is cool, black furniture is cool. A chair or piece of furniture in a warm wood would work, or some warm colors in the art and accent pillows.

    1. Thanks for the tip! I think my room is so full of warm colors now that’s why I want to go in the opposite direction. But I’ll definitely consider how I could work that in!

  34. I personally am obsessed with Disney. But I just got back from my honeymoon in Disneyland and we spent one full day in Disneyland, one full day in California Adventure and then a third day with a park hopper pass going to them both. But we were able to do everything we wanted in those first two days. Besides, the third day was a Friday and the lines were way too long to get anything done anyways.

    So basically, one day might be fine, as long as it’s not on a weekend. It gets way too busy there on weekends. But good luck! I love Disney!!

      1. Yes even my non-Disney loving husband LOVED Carsland and Radiator Springs Racers. He is normally pretty grumpy about our other Disney trips. Make sure he is tall enough to ride everything before you make the trek out there though….

  35. We have done both Legolands (Florida and California), Disneyland, and Disneyworld within the past year! One day passes are more expensive than multi-days, and they don’t usually offer any discounts on them. You can schedule a character meal, although Noah won’t care about the princesses. Different restaurants offer meals with different characters. Crystal Palace is my favorite in Magic Kingdom for breakfast with Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore. Princess meals in MK are in the castle, but I haven’t done any of those since we only have a boy.

    Late September/early October is the best time to plan a big Disney trip. We did that when my son was four and it was awesome! Ten days, six park days, water park, and time to enjoy our resort too plus the Halloween Party and practically NO LINES, which is important with an impatient four-year old (and even more impatient Daddy)!

    Legoland can be done in one day, but we did two and got to ride the big stuff multiple times. Brandon’s favorite is the town where they can actually drive their own little Lego cars. they have real traffic signals and are supposed to follow normal traffic laws too. Fun to watch!

    On our arrival day at Disney, we’ll usually take the monorail around and visit the different resorts. Would be a good way to get a peek at ones you’re considering staying at later. If you can fit it in, find a place to watch the electrical water parade in the lake. We do that from the beach at Fort Wilderness. You can park at Downtown Disney for free, then take the bus to the Ticket and Transportation Center to get on the monorail. It’s fun to see the different resorts, and the park one actually goes through Epcot too – free fun! You an catch the bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge and check out the animals on the savanna from the overlooks. They have free activities for the kids to do too. is a good resource, and will let you find out more than you ever wanted to know about Disney, I bought a copy of The Unofficial Guide To Disneyworld before our big trip to get lots of hints and plan which park on which day. They have several touring plans available, and we used one as a starting point and modified it to our tastes (we are NOT morning people so in the many Disney trips we have done we have never made it to rope drop, but shut the park down at night more often than not). With Noah you can use the Child Swap option to get an extra FastPass on some rides. Make sure you know how tall they are before you go so you can prepare them for what they can and can’t ride. We went once with my nephew and when one child was tall enough and the other wasn’t it was not a pretty sight. Planning it is nearly as much fun as the trip itself!

  36. I am so, so very late on this and there are 99 million comments (as with most things Disney in the blogosphere!) but I wanted to stop in and tell you my two cents, for what it may be worth.

    Last year, in the dead of the Southern summer, we helped move one of my sisters to Orlando. (The one I routinely call and ask to send me Luzianne Tea. You’ve heard of her. :)) We got there late Friday night — long story with truck issues — the night Brave opened. We unloaded in the 9999999-degree, 100% humidity, and then the next morning woke up exhausted but determined, and made it to Magic Kingdom.

    We had no expectations to finish the park. That was awesome. We said we would do what we did, and not worry.

    We were smart enough to buy those plastic-bag rain jackets at CVS the night before, which meant we saved about $5000 when it rained and we had our own. So, I offer that wisdom as advice.

    We were also lucky enough to have my sister’s friend, who works at Disney, insist that we get a double stroller — even though CAM had been out of a stroller for two years and WHM was pretty insistent about not using one. Let me say this: it would be impossible to overcharge for a stroller. They are God-sends. RENT ONE. Even if you think your kids won’t use it ever, no matter what … they will use it. And for the sake of leaning on it and storing stuff, you’ll use it, too. :)

    We did as much of the park as we felt like … starting with the carousel, the race cars, and the tea cups. We felt no rush and — actually — we were a bit surprised to see how many rides we couldn’t actually do with the kids. In a way that made it nicer; we didn’t have to wait on lines because often enough, we couldn’t all ride the ride, anyway.

    We walked, we ate a lazy lunch, we got fast passes for two rides, we took in the afternoon parade, and we pretty much called it a day. It was a full day, we got to say we went to WDW, and we felt no guilt about not doing everything.

    One awesome thing: right near the main gate, there is a theater. We thought it was a real theater — turns out you wait about 40 minutes and you get to meet four (or five? can’t remember) princesses one-on-one for as much time and as many photos (yours and theirs) that you need. I can’t say enough: THIS defined the day for my daughter.

    It didn’t hurt, of course, that Merida told her they must be sisters and so did Ariel. ;)

    My sister is a concierge at a Disney property now and can certainly give you more pointers than I did … but my whole long-winded point was it’s entirely do-able with no expectations in the dead of summer, and you can still leave happy and not at all stressed!

  37. I know this is kind of late, but hopefully it will still help you some. We’ve taken the girls to Disneyland on a couple of occasions and have only stayed for one day each time, I would only go to one park and not to a park hopper. There is so much to do in just one park you will be plenty busy. Noah won’t really be old enough to understand he’s not seeing the rest of the park, either. If Ali still likes princesses, there are usually some neat princess things to do. They usually have a princess read a story and then you can get your picture taken with her. That’s always neat, I’m assuming they’ll have something similar at Disneyworld. If Noah is into Star Wars they also have a little storm chaser( is that what those guys are called?) instruction time. My friends boys always loved that.

    Hope you guys have a great time.

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