We recently decided to travel to Florida to visit my Mother in Law and take our daughter to Disney for her birthday. It’s been over a year since we traveled on a plane and this time with a new kid in tow. Booking flights in January we got a great deal, we knew going into it we would have to keep the kids home for a bit afterwards due to their school rules and were ok with that.
What worked for us flying:
Kids are 4 and 5 months for reference. Get to the airport earlier then normal to have time for security and moving around with 2 kids. Pack snacks! My daughter filled her bag with stuff for plane and her own snacks and carried it herself. We checked our carseat when checking bags, which is not considered a checked bag so do not have to pay for, then strolled or carried in the ergo baby to the gate, then at the gate check the stroller and you get it back when getting off the plane. The planes are one of the cleanest things these days with extra cleaning and new filtration systems and you can tell. They felt very clean, we flew on Jetblue and still wiped everything down when we got on. This is something I have always done anyway (use to travel for work in my past life so I know they use to be dirty!) They also gave out sanitizer and wipes when you got on the plane which was nice and they gave us extra, we must have looked like we needed it! They did give out snacks and drinks. I fed the baby on the way up and down. My goal was for him to sleep the whole way which was not his goal 🙂 My daughter fell right asleep which was great but when the stewardess walked by and my daughters mask slid down her nose I had to get it back on her correctly waking him and her up and everyone was up for the rest of the flight. Jetblue is great for tv and movies so bring head phones if you have. Everyone went to the bathroom before boarding and the baby was changed so that was good. We were on the tarmac for an hr and a half while AC was being fixed which was annoying so when I had to change the baby which I did at my seat. We could have bought an additional seat and kept the car seat at that seat with the car seat cover over it which I would have been mad at if we did because I forgot the car seat cover. (Another thing I forgot was my license and I was able to fly without it, thats another story but just so you know!) I would also recommend boarding towards the end of the line instead of rushing on to get on. Check all bags except carry on snack bags so you don’t have to worry about over head space! Also pack an additional outfit for the kids!
We went to The Villages where my mother in law lives, which is such a fun over 55 community. Everyone has golf carts, happy hours everyday, golf all over, tons of pools, and so much to do. It was relaxing and the weather wasn’t great but it was fun and my daughter swam everyday and loved it! We bowled one day which I was worried about but it was very clean and we cleaned our balls and sprayed the finger holes and of course didn’t eat. Bowling was a pretty gross sport before covid so maybe this will make it better!
On to Disney. We booked our reservations a few weeks before because you need reservations these days. My MIL didn’t book in time and didn’t get a spot so it’s a must! We did a hopper pass to do Disney and Epcot because we had to go to the frozen ride in Epcot of course. Even with limited capacity Disney still seemed busy and being in the heat in a mask is very annoying but the look at my daughters face every time she saw something new was very worth it! The lines were still long but when it says 75 mins it doesn’t feel like that. Most were 45-75 minutes. Kids have to be 40″ to ride most rides (seven dwarfs was 38″, splash mountain was 40″, space mountain was 43″). Emma is 39.5″ so when couldn’t get on to splash mountain (which she was so excited about, not me), we put papers in her sneakers so she was 40″ to get on Sjorn and Fast Track at Epcot and loved them, you didn’t hear that here! Check the park times before hand because the week before we went we thought parks close at 6 and then the week were there was later for spring break. Disney known as the happiest place on earth does not serve cocktails. But you can bring your own food and drinks so we brought in waters and sandwiches which saves money and time. We followed an app to know the wait times at different rides, it was wdwnt app. It was helpful so we’d go to shorter ones and ones we wanted to go to. The parades are very sporadic, they don’t want people lining up and waiting around so when you hear loud band music that means it’s starting soon. We got to Disney when it was opening and left around 2 and took a bus provided by the parks directly to Epcot. We rented a double stroller at Disney, gave it back at the end and picked up another at Epcot. You pay one price; $31 for a double, does not have to be reserved so it’s good for both parks as long as you save your receipt (this is only if you do a one day hopper, otherwise you rent each day). There is a starbucks when you go down main street on the right but very crowded. Some stores and some rides are closed but varies. The majority of the park was open and no characters or princesses walking around, but don’t worry they were all at the parades! The amazing firework show at the castle usually at 9 is canceled for now. Don’t worry the prices have stayed the same! And also kids are only $5 cheaper then parents.
Epcot seemed more spacious but not as many rides but you have more options for eating and drinking which makes it fun! Usually a great firework show but again they stopped that for the time being. You can do a few rides when entering and then make your way to eat and drink around the world. They have sit down restaurants at some of the countries but you do need to make reservations in advance. They were open later and had a boat trip back to our hotel the Swan and most area hotels. It was a great day trip and the hotels are very convenient. Just do it and book the trip!
Upon coming home we didn’t go anywhere till testing negative. I tested on day 2 and 3 to make sure, my husband on the third day and the kids on the fifth day. There school required then to be tested on the fifth day and if negative can return on the 7th day but every school is different. We all went to the testing site on Mill Plain and had results within 24 hrs, actually a lot less but they say takes 24-48 hrs to be safe. You need to make an appointment but they are very quick with a lot of opening available. They even did the baby who is 6 months.