I’m glad I’m FINALLY getting to this and posting more about the incredible life changing inspiring trip that was Disney World last year in October & early November! There is no doubt in my mind that our Disney trip was extremely destined to happened the way it did and when it did. A lot of people get anxiety just at the thought of bringing their young children to Disney World but unless you have crazy, uncontrollable, unruly children that can’t be tamed under any circumstance…I feel like it is the BEST and most pure and sweet way to vacation with your little ones!! Seriously, I could talk all day about how inspirational it was to experience this with two little girls one not quite three and the other 9 months, but I don’t want to take up TOO much time on this blog, I will just keep to the point!!

And this trip wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for my amazing BVI bride inspiring me to travel, thank you Brittany, Kris and families for the opportunity of a lifetime that changed OUR life! Amy Verdi with Fairytale Travel you are also the reason this was so possible and you made it SO easy for us! What a difference it makes when you find someone passionate about their job to make the experiences so much easier!! 🙂

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Trip & Flight Cost: Cammy was under 3 still and Ellie was around 9 months. That means we didn’t need an admission ticket for either of them. An airplane ticket for Cammy yes but not for Ellie. The costs for our trip of 6 days, 5 nights, three roundtrip airplane tickets, a dining plan and access to all parks was JUST over $2000….and we thought that sounded PERFECT for us!!! We stayed in an All Star Hotel (Sports) and anyone that knows me knows that is literally the complete opposite of what we would choose if we could (we being me and the GIRLS, of course Mike didn’t mind haha!) — like, do they HAVE a Princess resort?! We’d be there hahah!! But we did it because it was the cheapest option and we know us..we don’t need fancy! We really don’t! We live simple and it’s beautiful…so we decided to vacation kind of simple too!

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What we $pent while there: What we did for this was use our Southwest Credit Card that was fully paid off before the trip and we ONLY used that credit card from airport start to trip to airport finish because we wanted to have an accurate idea of what the “extras” cost us while vacationing. We were VERY glad to report that even with the gifts and fun stuff and extra food, etc– we kept right around our projected budget of $1000! When you are in Disney…you BUY the face painting for your daughter. You buy the princess boutique package. You go all out because you know it’s life and it’s most fun and adventurous and you live like there’s no tomorrow– and it’s WORTH it! Now also…we know that we most likely wouldn’t spend that the second time around because we know how to budget the extras a little better…I think easily we could knock $300 off of that and still “live it up!”

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We didn’t make ONE PLAN before we went! Some people out there, especially Disney advocates and trip aficionados are gonna get me for this! And they will probably advise so against what I’m about to say!! But hear me OUT!

I’m a planner. I plan EVERYthing. I plan family time..like in my planner, I’m not kidding. Sometimes Mike and I sit down and plan making plans. HAHA! I know that is crazy but it’s me!! So you know what the best thing for ME personally was? Not making one, single, plan before going. It was freeing and beautiful and spontaneous! We didn’t really research anything so we discovered everything on our own. The Disney Experience app for your phone (and also you can log into your account on the computer and do the same thing I’m about to tell you) — you can just see what reservation times are available last minute for whatever kind of restaurant you’re looking for, and you can filter and search by all kinds of categories…so if we knew we wanted to just try visiting the Magic Kingdom the following day, we just looked up what restaurants had breakfast, lunch or dinner openings and we just kind planned our days last minute that way. For someone who is constantly doing life and business scheduling…I loved letting it go for this. Every night we sat down and said — okay, let’s see what character dining restaurants or seafood places have openings for tomorrow and base it around that and use our meal plan on it!

We have two little ladies. Making plans is kind of like setting yourself up for failure in such a big park, I didn’t want to feel like we had to do anything. It was so amazing and I do not regret that for our first family trip! For the second one though, we will have fun and watch the Disney DVD and some online videos to discover a few things we may want to “plan” on doing when we go back, but learning to do things while we were there and go with the flow was exactly what this constantly scheduled busy and overwhelmed family needed!!!

On a random note, we actually had THOUGHT we purchased tickets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party, but turns out, I must have left the browser open and never hit pay! That would have been our only plan. We meant to go there on Halloween and instead we ended up taking Cammy to THIS experience and it was worth every single penny and second! I can’t watch this without crying!!

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Something you should know..Disney Crying Syndrome or DCS. Okay people– why didn’t anyone tell me this was real!? Well..my friend Misty certainly did tell me about it…but it needs to be more well known and widespread across the world! Don’t be caught off guard, parents!! Disney Crying Syndrome is when you find yourself crying every 30 seconds sometimes, or at the sight of a dag gone character talking to your child. When you see fireworks day or night or when you watch moments like THIS happening! It happens constantly. Our joy was immeasurable during this trip. It was beautiful. It was strong and it was completely and utterly inspiring to cry with joy left and right at the sight of your child’s WONDER and belief that this is all so real to them!

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TO SEE OUR TRIP ON INSTAGRAM– look up #seastarsseemickey & follow Cammyellieseastars (thanks Erika Mills for that hashtag brilliance!)

Cammy hugged those chipmunks SO tight you would have thought they were her real parents. Seriously. And Piglet let her hold him forever and it was so endearing! This all feels so real when you’re there. If you’re a parent watching your child believe, you believe. You will cry mamas and Mike did TOO! Of course! He’s my sensitive loving guy of GIRLS! 🙂 Just bring the tissues and forget the mascara or wear waterproof because you don’t stand a chance!! OXOXOX

SIDENOTE —  the hardest part of Disney with two little ones besides leaving was breaking down the stroller to get on and off the bus. That’s it. All of the other stuff, if it was hard, we don’t remember 🙂 It was PERFECT 🙂

And photographers……if you want to know whether or not bringing your camera is worth it…just imagine all the pictures I posted as Instagrams instead! It’s really up to you– but I KNEW I needed just my Mark III and 35mm and 50mm and that was it! Only used the 35 in the parks and put it safely in the diaper bag 🙂
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Posted by:amandahedgepeth

<p>Hey there! We’re a husband and wife team who has the honor to document inspiring wedding days for the most cheerful couples around. We have three daughters lovingly referred to as the mermaid mafia and we love nothing more than salty beach days, laughing as much as possible and living the simple, good life.</p>

5 replies on “Basic Costs, Not Making Plans & DCS | Disney World Series

  1. Dude, I don’t even have kids and I experience DCS big time. lololol I cried like 8 times when I was there with my mom last weekend and all she did was laugh at me. I can only imagine what a wreck I’ll be when I do have a child and I bring them for their first time, omg.

  2. THESE PHOTOS ARE EVERYTHING!!! Gahhh, I want to go so badly… I can’t WAIT to bring Austyn!! I LOVE these pictures, love this post… just perfect. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  3. At first I was like, DCS, ummm, I was like what is that! Then I got to the part of the blog, where you explained, Disney Crying Syndrome! By then, tears were running down my face!!!! Such a lovely blog, your pictures capture all that Disney Magic that some of us are lucky enough to understand! We took Jessica (your friend/future bride!) there her first time at just 2 and I see in Cammy in these beautiful pictures what I saw in Jess back then…believe it or not, it is as MAGICAL planning a future family trip NOW, even though she is 23! It’s nice to see the girls wearing the Minnie ears and Mike wearing his hat! The face painting is ADORABLE! 🙂

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