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Hey Mama! Are you planning your family’s next Disney trip?

Updated: Jan 2


Planning and preparing for a vacation with a medically complex kiddo can be scary, but rewarding. As a medically complex family, we set our own pace and ride to our own flow.


Our latest family vacation was a success and I wanted to share all things planning, prepping and vacation adventure. My prayer is that this blog reaches the Mama Bear who is wondering what this process would look like for her and to equip her with everything she needs for a fun, memorable vacation with her family. 🫶🏾



Let’s dive in!


First things first, make a plan to go on a vacation. My family and I knew that after our first trip as a family to Disney in 2021 that we’d be back in 2023.


Next, we booked our hotel and purchased park tickets. We stayed at The Grove Resort in Orlando, Florida. The Grove Resort had the perfect room accommodations for our family size. The full kitchen, dining area and separate rooms made it quite the home away from home vibe.



A few months before our trip we purchased our Disney park tickets and automatically downloaded the Disney app. Here’s your sign Mama, Download the app! 😉📲

We did 2 Disney parks (Magic Kingdom & Animal Kingdom, and we had a water park day at the hotel. After park days are solidified go ahead and make your dining reservations (If you’re like us you’d really enjoy the character dining experiences at the parks! BUT, having a dining reservation is key!😉)



🙋🏾‍♀️Question for the medical mamas. Did you know Disney has disability services? Yes, also known as Disability Access Service. The process to get your services set up is seamless. We went to Disneyworld.com, entered  ‘disability’ in the search engine, then instantly a virtual chat appeared. We spoke with a live Disney representative, they asked a few  questions, took Jeremiah’s picture and on the first day at the Disney park, our DAS icon popped right up on our Disney app. Nothing warms a medical mamas heart more than, making sure her kiddo has everything they need.


So, we’ve booked our hotel, made park reservations, got disability access services and dinner reservations. My sister handled our itinerary so we could maximize our trip and stay on task. We literally had a shared note with each day mapped out. Mama, your support system is vital! They are your extra hands, brain and your personal cheerleaders. Let them help, because guess what? THEY WANT TO! Now let’s get packed!




So, packing for me starts way before any items ever make it into the luggage! Who can relate?! 👀 I start compiling vacation stuff in a little corner in my closet first. Then, as vacation gets closer, I get out the luggage.


Our first family trip to Disney, I used the zip loc bag and labeling method for packing and organizing Jeremiah’s clothes (I saw another Mom blogger do it. It definitely keeps things organized. This year I did the old-fashion method (fold and pack). LOL, it worked out just fine too!


I created a note in my phone to help me with day to day outfit prep. Since, we travel with medical supplies, food and had a carry on bag for the car ride, I packed Jeremiah’s clothes in my luggage.


FYI: Daddy held his own luggage and packing down. 💪🏾


💡MAMA TIP: Make your nail appt! 😉💅🏾




So, what does food prep look like?


Jeremiah gets all of his nutrients through a mickey button also known as a g-tube (gastrostomy tube). I cook and blend some meals for him, but he also get nutrition from formula too. This time around I blended enough food to get through 5 days. I purchased some pouches from Amazon to store food. The pouches are freezer friendly which made it very convenient for travel.





💡Tubie Mama Reminder: Don’t forget the syringes and mic-key extensions!


We come up with a snack menu for travel. Our trip was about 6 hours and we only like to stop for gas and restrooms breaks, so making and packing good snacks are a must. We enjoyed: sandwich wraps, pimento cheese (from scratch!), fruit kabobs with fruit dip, chips and pickles…yummy! Our goal is to check in to our hotel exactly at check in time or earlier if our room is available. After we’ve checked in, we get acclomated to our room then we rest, and finally we go out for dinner. (Remember we made a dinner reservation. Don’t forget!)


Now let’s get the car packed so we can be on our way!


Car packing is a ‘dad thing’ with a little assistance from mom. LOL just a little. Jeremy will request luggage, so that he can get it securely packed. We use the airport luggage system: one luggage and one carry on bag. If you’re traveling with a large family, you have to stick to this. Riding anywhere for more than 2 hours can be a lot of your body, so ensuring everyone is comfortable and not crowded is very important for long distance travel.



Day one is a day of mixed feelings. We’ve made it to our destination. We’re a little bit tired, but you’re on vacation so we don’t want to waste anytime, right? This is why planning is essential. We set out to leave early morning, so we can get checked in to our rooms. We were able to get some rest before our evening started.


💡Family Reminder: Make sure you have good walking shoes. It doesn’t matter where you go in Orlando, you’ll need them. Invest in good shoes, thank me later. 😉


Our first stop was Disney Springs! When we visited Disney 2 years prior we did Disney Springs before we headed home and we didn’t get to maximize our time. We knew on our next vacation, that Disney Springs deserved its own day. We enjoyed dinner on the water at The Boathouse (reservation required). We’d rate our dinner and experience a 7/10. Our seating accommodations were good because we were able to sit on the deck over water and literally enjoy the sunset. Side note: the complementary yeast rolls were delicious.




Disney Springs is live and full of entertainment. It’s always  something going on which means you’ll always have something to do. We did some light shopping, sight seeing and found one of the only two places you can get a monogrammed mickey hat (of course the Mickey hat was for Jeremiah). Make note if this is a Disney essential souvenir and must have before you go to any of the Disney parks: the store is called ‘Disney Wonderful World of Memories - located inside of Disney Springs.



Our second stop was Disney’s Animal Kingdom! I forget to mention that this was my Stank’s 5th birthday trip, so of course we went to the Animal Kingdom. Stank aka Jeremiah loves animals and The Lion King festival is a must see! We started our morning off eating breakfast at the Tusker’s House where we enjoyed a wholesome breakfast and had some fun with Mickey and friends. Mickey and friend put on a whole show and the interactions were very welcoming. We enjoyed other adventures including: Kilimanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest and the leading attraction Pandora - The World of Avatar.


Throughout the day, we took rest stops, fed Jeremiah and enjoyed different food choices. Make sure you indulge on the grilled corn, it’s delicious!


We wanted to attend the Caring for Giants Elephant tour 🐘 and Up Close with the Rhinos 🦏 but unfortunately we didn’t get reservations in enough time. If you want to experience these attractions make sure you get your reservation secured as soon as you lock in your theme park reservation. (Definitely adding this to our list for our next trip!)


Let’s chat outfit coordination for a sec! Outfit coordination is a real thing for your Disney vacation, or at least it was for us. It allows an opportunity for creativity and is a great bonding gesture to unify your family time together. The girls were prepared Mama! So a few months before our trip, on one random day, I was out doing a little light shopping I ran across some black Disney caps in Marshalls. They were perfect for the women in our family: my mom, my mom in love, my sister and myself. You know I grabbed them and got them monogrammed with our names in the Disney font! Cute right?! I also found matching Mickey Mouse shirts in a local Walmart. Disney is celebrating their 100th year and every one knows it, it’s likely to find apparel anywhere. Dad and Jeremiah went with a Lion King themed outfit coordination.





😎 Mama and Stank did pop out with matching sunnies. Y’all know we had to do something personable. I found the shades at Walmart. It was a mommy and me pack. They were the cutest for our Mama & Stank photo. I still see them in different Walmart’s now, so don’t forget to grab a pair before you go!




Next up is the Disney’s Magic Kingdom! It’s just something special about Castle! From the midday parades with sign language interpretation, to the inclusive rides. Mama believe the hype, Disney is for every one. The first aid and baby care center was easily accessible as soon as you enter the park. We had random questions throughout our reservation at the park, so we were pleased that the guest experience team were set up all around the park.


Two places you have to try in the Magic Kingdom: Casey's Corner - for a good hot dog 🌭 and Plaza Ice Cream Parlor🍦for a delectable dessert treat!😋



We started our morning with another ultimate character dining experience at the Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and friends. The breakfast was delicious they even had shrimp and grits..yummy! Winnie & friends were loving, caring and kind. Jeremiah loved it! We enjoyed riding: Mad Tea Party, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, The Barnstormer, and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Jeremiah wasn’t able ride Space Mountain and Tron. He enjoyed relaxing in his stroller while us  big kids” enjoyed our time.






Our outfit coordination was a little more individualized at the Magic Kingdom. We did stick to Mickey colors (red, white and black), with the Mickey ears of course. I needed a little more free range because I’m a Mickey kinda girl (the ears, the shirt and the socks). 😉








When we attended in Summer 2021 - they weren’t offering the nightly parade, but this year?! The night time fireworks stole the show. Don’t forget to capture a picture of the castle at night. Also, check out the after dark hours at the different parks. We noticed guests coming in while we were exiting both the Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom and didn’t know that night visits were an option!


Whew! I can’t believe we made it to a day 4, LOL! By now,  I need a vacation away from vacation! Guess what?! We did just that!


It’s time to relax and enjoy the pool, and mom & dad gets some away time! It our 11th year wedding anniversary! We started our day with family brunch at one of the hotel restaurants and then enjoyed the first half of the day at the pool. It was a good time to wind down, talk about our highlight moments from the attraction parks and an old fashion daytime nap. Our family enjoyed a little waterpark fun before they were on babysitting duties, this was another amenity of our hotel.


When everyone had some wind down time, Jeremy and I headed out to Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort. We enjoyed a couples spa experience and even got some alone time in the men and women separate jacuzzi areas.




💡MAMA TIP: Always take some time away for yourself. It’s essential that you show up as your best self, so pull away reset and go back recharged and ready to enjoy the rest of your family vacation.


After our spa experience, we enjoyed a romantic dinner at the One-MICHELIN-Star Capa Steakhouse & Bar, it was on the 17th floor of the Four Seasons Resort. After dinner, we enjoyed a balcony view, where we could see fireworks for both Epcot and Magic Kingdom. We concluded our night at the Universal CityWalk Orlando and indulged in the infamous VooDoo donuts before we headed back to our hotel to rest up and prepare for our trip back home.


What a night to remember, with my Love. ❤️



Our last stop was the Orlando Outlet,  and then home sweet home! We like to save shopping as our last vacation stop. It works best for packing the car and keeps us within budget. We normally get a quick breakfast, head to the outlets, gas up and hit the road. 💨


Wow, Disney! Until next time, it was definitely fun and magical.


I hope this blog helps, encourages, motivates and gets you in the vacation mood, you got this Mama!


Make sure you check out our YouTube it’s a lot happening over there! And guess what? We vlogged our entire vacation!



With Pace & Grace,

Whit

P.S. Have fun and don’t forget to share with another Mama!






Disclaimer: This blog is not sponsored by Disney or any other organization.

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