Disney Hotels

Beach Club Resort at Walt Disney World


The Beach Club is located on Crescent Lake and within walking distance from Epcot, a quick boat ride to Hollywood Studios and a stroll to the Boardwalk which hosts tons of fun activities. The view is beautiful and so are the restaurants. There is tons of shopping, entertainment, and night life. The Swan and Dolphin resorts are also on the lake, offering even more dining options. You can also walk to Epcot and take the Skyliner to Hollywood Studios.

2. Pro – Two sets of amenities

Between the Yacht and Beach Clubs, guests have a great variety of table service options for dining. The Beach Club offers Beaches and Cream, an old-fashioned soda shop where you can get juicy burgers and creative ice-cream concoctions, and Cape May Café, a casual buffet experience with character dining at breakfast ( my favorite) and a clam bake for dinner. Next door, the Yacht Club offers some more formal options with Ale and Compass and the Yachtsman Steakhouse, which is touted by many as the best steakhouse on Disney property.

3. Pro and Con– Stormalong Bay – one of the best pools on property!

3 acres

Stormalong Bay is Really, Really Big!

Stormalong Bay features 3 acres of aquatic activities! To give you an idea of how big that is, a football field is about 1.3 acres! Close to 800,000 gallons of water fill the entire area. That is a lot of water and a lot of fun! Although it is incredible and the sandy beach like area is so fun for kids .. the water slides make it almost impossible to supervise children of different ages. The large water slide expands through the public walkway. To get onto the slide you must go through the gate out of the beach club property .. walk across the public walkway and then renter on the other side. It crosses a very pubic path. The area is also filled with curves and hills and you cannot have it all in your sight at once. Strollers also become almost impossible to navigate. Here we always have to divide and conquer .. someone with the little ones while the other goes on the slide with the bigs. It’s beautiful and we love it but the public walkway is really a concern to me.

I would love to hear about your favorite resort and why! Location is so important but would also like a big fun pool area that is easy to navigate!

Transportation Around Disney


You Can WALK To The Parks From These 7 Disney World Hotels!

  • Bay Lake Tower/ Contemporary Resort has a walking path to Magic Kingdom and is about at 10 min walk. This is amazing after fireworks when everyone is rushing to buses.
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort has a walking path to Magic kingdom but keep in mind it is about a mile and a half!
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is about 0.9 mile walk and there is a path to MK
  • Disney’s BoardWalk. 0.4 miles to Epcot 7 min walk
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort. 0.2 mile or a 5 min walk to Epcot
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. Same as beach club to Epcot
  • Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort. 0.7 mile walk to Epcot

Bus Transportation

If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotels can take advantage of complimentary bus service to and from all 4 theme parks, Disney Resort hotels and the Disney Springs Area.

The buses are air conditioned and can be crowded at times. You will not always get a seat and they run about every 20 min. After the fireworks be prepared to wait. They are air-conditioned and a free easy option. Strollers have to be closed so be prepared to empty and close quickly. Do not have loose items stored below.

Water Transportation

The boat is a beautiful option and my kids enjoy it! Again strollers have to be closed so make sure you are prepared to do so. We use this often when staying at the Beach Club and take it directly to Hollywood studios. You can also take the boat to Epcot.

Water taxis and ferries sail to and from Magic Kingdom park. Most routes run on 15- to 30-minute intervals.

Magic Kingdom Park 
Accessible by water launch (also known as water taxi) from:

Ferryboats connect Magic Kingdom park to the Transportation and Ticket Center.

EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios 
Watercraft service is available from the following Resort hotels:

Disney Springs 
Travel between Disney Springs and the following locations via Watercraft service:

Monorail Transportation

Soar high in the sky aboard our world-famous monorail—originally conceived as a public transport for the future!

The Walt Disney World Monorail System has 3 separate beams that travel throughout Walt Disney World Resort and make the following stops:

Additionally, there are express round-trip services from the Transportation and Ticket Center to 2 theme parks: EPCOT and Magic Kingdom park.

Disney Skyliner Transportation

Cruise around Walt Disney World Resort in style—riding incredible, new aerial gondolas!

Glide across the sky on this grand, state-of-the-art gondola system, conveniently connecting Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at EPCOT to the following Disney Resort hotels:

The Disney Skyliner station at International Gateway at EPCOT is located just a short stroll away from Disney’s BoardWalk entertainment district, Disney’s Yacht Club ResortDisney’s Beach Club Resort and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.

Minnie Van Service using Lyft App

Have one of our Cast Members whisk you around Walt Disney World Resort in these stylish vehicles decorated with Minnie Mouse’s signature polka dots!

Accessible Minnie Van Service is also available through the Lyft app and includes seating for 4, space for 2 wheelchairs and car seats.

Please note that Minnie Van Service is not a complimentary transportation option and requires payment through the Lyft app on your mobile device. We love this option and I’m so happy minivans are back!

Stroller Rentals

Single Stroller

I cannot recommend this enough! My oldest still gets in the stroller at 8 and it makes for a great escape after the fireworks. It’s not just in case they get tired but also a wonderful way of keeping everyone together in crowds! Some people get fancy and put special custom signs or ribbon on it so it’s easier to find in the stroller parking sections. You rent these strollers as soon as you walk into the park and can do so for multiple days. You keep the receipt and return the stroller when you leave the park. The next day show the same receipt and get a new one. It’s an easy process and will make your life so much easier. The only downfall is that they don’t recline.

Recommended for children 50 lbs. or less.

  • Daily: $15
  • Multi-Day (Length of Stay): $13

A $100 USD credit card deposit is required for strollers rented at Disney Springs.

Double Stroller

Recommended for children 100 lbs. or less.

  • Daily: $31
  • Multi-Day (Length of Stay): $27

Length of Stay Rental

Pre-pay the number of days that you will require a stroller and save. Purchase a Length of Stay rental ticket for less per day when rented for multiple days. Then, upon visiting a theme park, simply show your receipt at the rental location to receive your stroller for the day.

Stroller Return and Replacement

Strollers should be returned to a rental location before leaving the theme park.

Stroller Replacement
Strollers cannot be removed from the parks. When visiting more than one park in a single day, simply present your rental receipt at another park to obtain a replacement.

Likewise, if you misplace your stroller, replacements are available with a receipt at various locations throughout the Resort, based on availability.

Disney Featured Provider

Guests who use a stroller or mobility device when visiting Walt Disney World Resort have a variety of options including using a personally-owned stroller or mobility device, renting through ScooterBug—the Disney Featured Provider—or renting from another third-party company.

ScooterBug, a private mobility rental company in the Central Florida area, is the Disney Featured Provider to offer stroller, ECV and wheelchair rentals at Walt Disney World Resort theme parks and Disney Springs in addition to length-of-stay rentals for Guests staying at Disney Resort hotels. When Disney Resort hotel Guests choose to rent through ScooterBug, the Guest does not need to be present when the equipment is delivered to the Resort hotel. ScooterBug will work with Disney Resort Cast Members to manage deliveries and returns of rented strollers, ECVs and wheelchairs. Pre-orders and deliveries of mobility rentals through ScooterBug to Disney Resort hotels are available by visiting scooterbug.com/orlando or calling (800) 726-8284.

Tip: all the strollers look alike and although you do get a little sign to put in the back pocket with your name on it many people have custom signs or something big to put on so you can pick your stroller out of a crowd. Etsy has tons of “stroller tag” designs you can choose from. Also pack an extra poncho or a cover for your stroller in case of rain.

Top Character Dining Inside the Parks note you must have a park reservation to go to these restaurants

Is there anything more magical than eating inside Cinderella’s Castle?! I would have to say yes.. for me the most magical Disney Character Experience has to be Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at EPCOT! It’s coming back November 4, 2022.

If you are headed to Disney my top recommendations for character dining are

1. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at EPCOT

It’s the ultimate princess party! Belle, Snow White, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Ariel and Cinderella are on rotation, ready to dance and sing. (Elsa and Anna do not appear at Akershus, but you can find them greeting guests nearby at Royal Sommerhus.) The princesses interact with the kids and they even do a parade around the restaurant. It’s located right outside the Frozen Ride in Norway. The food is Norwegian inspired and like all Disney restaurants they are very accommodating to children with allergies and honor special requests!

2 Tusker House Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Tusker House is a great all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet-style dining experience listed in the Africa section of Animal Kingdom. I would recommend heading straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris when the park opens in the morning before settling in at Tusker House for breakfast! Another great option is watching the Lion King show right before or after and going for lunch. Donald and his friends are all in safari gear and the put on a little show while interacting with guests and signing autographs.

The breakfast platter includes scrambled eggs, Mickey and Simba waffles, Durban chicken and egg curry, plus the usual bacon, sausage and roasted potatoes. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

For lunch and dinner, you can get plentiful Moroccan-spiced beef, spit-roasted herb chicken, Cape Malay green curry shrimp, berber-marinated pork, African-inspired salads and assorted house-made bread. Sides include veggies, jasmine rice, Impossible Durban curry, roasted potatoes and house-made mac and cheese. Top off your meal with animal-inspired mini desserts. You can always request chicken fingers if necessary.

3. Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom

Available for breakfast, lunch or dinner , you will meet Ariel, Aurora, Jasmine and Snow White as you enjoy gourmet prix fixe dishes such as duck two-ways, beef tenderloin or chickpea panisse. The food is excellent ! The dessert is also wonderful “Clock Strikes Twelve,” dark chocolate mousse with a caramel and crunchy praline center served with chocolate sauce and hazelnut gelato, or “Jaq & Gus,” cheesecake with seasonal flavors and garnishes, to please even the tiniest tummies.

Princesses are also given a magic wand to take home with them, while princes are given a small souvenir sword. To make things a little extra magical, tadpoles are given a wishing star and are prompted to literally wish upon their star with a wave of their wand or sword.

Cinderella’s Royal Table is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

5. Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Hollywood & Vine is a family-style back to a buffet.

The Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine breakfast satisfies the entire family with a hearty buffet featuring waffles, omelets, pastries and more. Disney Junior favorites such as Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Jake (of the Never Land Pirates), Vampirina and Roadster Goofy interact with the little ones.

During lunch and dinner time, Minnie Mouse and her friends host seasonal dinner parties with outfits and decor to reflect the season. Character guests usually include Minnie, Mickey, Goofy and Pluto … in their best seasonal outfits, of course.

6. Be Our Guest Restaurant

located in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

Note you will see the Beast for dinner only and Belle is not there. Feast on French-inspired fare in one of our elaborately themed rooms—straight out of the beloved Disney classic!

Be Our Guest Restaurant is an expansive and elegant dining destination located at the foot of Beast’s Castle in Fantasyland. Whether you are enjoying lunch or dinner, you will experience an atmosphere made for memories.

Royal Rooms for Loyal Subjects
Be Our Guest offers 3 meticulously imagineered dining areas, each designed to immerse our Guests in the heartwarming mystery and romance of Beauty and the Beast:

  • The Grand Ballroom – Go for baroque in this magnificent ballroom with its high, domed ceiling, chandeliers and snow-laced Gothic arches.
  • The West Wing – Dine in the Beast’s mysterious West Wing study—if you dare—and perhaps you’ll even spy his enchanted rose.
  • The Castle Gallery – Get swept up in the romance of Belle’s private library, and inspired by the larger-than-life figures of Belle and Beast dancing.

Character Dining at the Resorts

Depending on where you are staying these can be a little harder to get to but might be worth checking out!

1 Cape May Café at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Minnie Mouse loves to throw a beach bash! Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast at Disney’s Beach Club Resortgathers Minnie and her BFF Daisy in their beachy best to start the day sunny side up. Breakfast includes a mix of items from pastries, omelets, yogurt parfaits, Mickey and Minnie waffles, brioche French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon and more. This is a relaxed, casual dining experience and we love it! Because beach club is our favorite hotel It’s my number one! Also you an walk to Epcot or take a boat to Hollywood studios from this great location!

2. 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa ( still closed)

I loved this one but it’s still closed! At Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner, mealtime is a truly regal affair as each family is welcomed as the honored guests of Cinderella and Prince Charming. Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella are usually in attendance, greeting guests as they dine on a buffet of international salads, meats, seafood and sides. There are also plenty of American staples such as macaroni and cheese, cheese pizza and chicken tenders for the tadpoles.

3. Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

Done with Snow White, Dopey, Grumpy and the Evil Queen! Enjoy appetizers and then choose your entrée from a prix fixe menu, including Royal Prime Rib Roast, Brother’s Grimm roasted chicken or a vegetarian option — A Stroll Through Nature — featuring butternut squash, arugula and gnocchi. Rounding off the menu are cocktails, mocktails and beer and wine from Oregon and Washington state, as well as some sinfully delicious desserts such as Fairy Tale Gooseberry Pie and, of course, a “poison” apple. This Disney character dining location is notable not only because of its delicious eats but also because of its atmosphere. Guests dine in a rustic Enchanted Forest to mimic the iconic movie, complete with twinkling lights.

4. Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

This is everyone’s favorite but I have to say I prefer Cape May Cafe for breakfast. They offer a classic family-style restaurant serving breakfast and dinner. At Chef Mickey’s Family Feast, the Fab Five (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy) join guests for their meals. The restaurant overlooks Bay Lake, as well as the 90-foot-high mural by Mary Blair that has become an icon of the Contemporary Resort.

For breakfast, enjoy fresh fruit, Mickey waffles, banana bread french toast, loaded potato cheese casserole, scrambled eggs, bacon and other morning favorites. At dinner, offerings include caesar salad, potato gnocchi, roasted garlic potato gratin, prime rib, roasted turkey breast and more. With so many options, this is a great choice for groups with diverse palates, as well as picky eaters. Chef Mickey’s is a crowd-pleaser with a few surprises.

Others popular ones include Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk and of course Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera at Disney’s Riviera Resort.

Pro Tip: use the website Mouse watcher to get reservations or restaurants when they are unavailable on the DisneyApp.

Click below to learn more about Mouse Watcher


You cannot cancel reservations within 24 hours without a charge usually on the app. If you go directly to the restaurant the day of the reservation and cancel in person you likely will not be charged. Also it can be difficult to make reservations with a large party.. I recommend sometimes splitting it for example for a party of 10 people have one person do 5 and then 5 on another. When you get to the restaurant request to sit together and they will likely accommodate.


There is so much to do with little ones in Epcot! It’s one of our favorites for so many reasons. It’s spread out and a little bit more difficult because the big rides book up quickly and your day usually has to be planned around the rides you don’t want to miss. For this park ( and all of them) I recommend genie plus. At 7 am you can make your selection for the day. Some of the big rides close out after a certain time so you could miss them if you don’t pre plan. Soarin , Frozen and Ratatouille are the big ones here my kids love! Guardians of the galaxy is a new rollercoaster and works differently. It’s a virtual que you do when you enter the park in the morning and again have the option to do at 1:00. You can also pay extra to get on it. If you like rollercoasters this is the ultimate!

Again I always recommend getting there early because you can do so much before the park opens and still have your entire day to relax and then do pjs and come back for fireworks.

We head to the back left and do Nemo , Turtle Talk, and check out the aquarium all air conditioning for the little ones and they all love it.

There is character dining over there Garden Grill where you can meet chip and dale. Many people love it but it’s not my favorite and with so many great quick service dining options in Epcot I would say safe to skip. Where we go next usually depends on what lightening lane genie times we were able to book it we always make sure we see Anna and Elsa and do the frozen ride in Norway! My favorite princess dining Arksus is coming back and I wouldn’t miss that if you can!!

Also Ratatouille in France is a virtual reality really fun three d ride! Test track and soarin are always favorites!

Please if anyone has tips or ticks I would love to hear them! I love Disney and it can be so incredible when you know where you are going and ways around the craziness!

Animal Kingdom

I love Animal Kingdom. If you are going to Disney I would try and get here.. you can even do half a day if you get there early and enjoy the pool for the rest of it! Animal kingdom gets very very hot! You want to go as early as possible to avoid the heat! At 7 am book your Genie Plus for Safari. It will book up quickly so you really have to try and do in the morning.

As soon as you get there you can walk on

1. Navi river

2. Mount Everest (rollercoaster) my daughter’s favorite

3. Kali River rapid book after safari

I love the lion king show ( ** it’s air conditioned great for all ages )and Tusker House for a character lunch ! You can see Mickey Donald Pluto goofy all in safari outfits! The show and lunch are close to each other and it’s really incredible!

Out of everything I would say to make sure you get on avatar ride it’s just unbeilable!

Again I know there is so much more but this is usually my favorite things and makes for a great easy fun day! Finding Nemo is another great option for a show!

Hollywood Studios

We love Hollywood Studios and are still finding new things here! Same goal to rope drop early and take advantage of magic hours! I would pre book tower of Terror and Rose of the Resistance using lightening or Genie and work your day around the times for those.

1. Mikey Runaway Train ( all ages we all love this one) As soon as you walk in straight ahead!

2 head to toy story land and do slinkydog ( mini rollercoaster ) *** this ride will have a long wait if you don’t do easily

3. Toy story Mania another laser shooting game the kids love and

4. Alien Swirling Saucers

** if you are there early all of this should take about an hour

5. at this point I love the shows ! Beauty and the beast / Frozen sing along/ muppets / Indiana Jones all amazing .. and depending on times for Rise and Tower of Terror which i would recommend pre booking.

I also love Hollywood and Vine ( character dining when you first walk in to the left) you can meet Mickey, Minnie , Pluto and Goody! tip use mousewatcher website to book reservations for hard to get restaurants. If not doing character dining Lunch at PizzeRizzo is a great quick service on the way to Star Wars.

Head over to Star Wars

5. Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run

6. Rise of the Resistance is one of the best rides / experiences and is a must do but has height requirement.

Rock n rollercoaster and Disney Junior Dance party ( great for little kids) are great too but planning inHollywood studios is usually around he times you can get for the more popular rides like Rise and sometimes it’s hard to get them all in.

The skyliner is a fun / easy way to get from Hollywood studios to Epcot if you are park hopping for the day !

Magic Kingdom Genie Plus

Genie + is a same day reservation system. It is an additional cost of about $15-25 per person on top of the park ticket price. You an use this though you he day. It is not mandatory but it can help you get on rides faster and I recommend using it. Starting at 7am the day of your park visit you can make your selections on the app and you can use it for rides that typically have liner wait times. Here’s the official Genie+ list of attractions:

Magic Kingdom

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Festival of Fantasy Parade
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Meet Cinderella and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Meet Mickey and Minnie at Town Square Theater
  • Meet Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Goofy’s Barnstormer
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid

All of these rides are available using the genie plus service but I recommend using it for Peter Pan, jungle cruise or Space mountain depending on your priority. Those tend to have the longest wait times.

The other option for decreasing wait time is the Individual Lightning Lane. This is a per ride price and usually costs about $12-20 per attraction.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom is available or individual lightening lane purchase.

Let’s Do Disney!

Disney is truly the most magical place on earth but it takes some planning, patience and pixie dust to get you though the day.. especially when traveling with a lot of young children.

I’ve learned some tricks and tips and many people have asked so I wanted to share and write them all down so I don’t forget!

Here is your one day Magic Kingdom itinerary ! I think MK is the ultimate must do.. I always go first when everyone is fresh! It’s a whole day park.. there’s so much to see and it’s always everyone’s favorite! Down time is so important to help avoid meltdowns! Know your babies and their limits to help keep the magic alive. The best way to do magic and see everything is to do it in two days or to make sure you start early. Midday the sun is hot and lines are very long. If you start at 7:45-8:00 you can get on most rides by noon! Our kids start their day at 6:30 and are always wide awake. Have cereal in the room for a quick breakfast and be ready to go so you can enjoy pool and some down time! My favorite character breakfast is cape may cafe and we will usually do that on a day when we planning pool time first and park later at night.

Take advantage of Extra Magic Hours. These are extended theme park hours available to Disney World Resort hotel guests and some non-Disney hotel guests. On certain days of the week, guests can enter a park one hour earlier or stay in a park up to two hours later than normal park operating hours. The goal is to be here for 8:00. Or MK Walk in and go past the castle to the right over the bridge Fantasyland.

We start on 1. Dumbo the Flying Elephant ( no height requirement and adults can ride) .. then go right to 2. Barnstormer ( small rollercoaster Height: 35in / 89cm ) behind it. Right after that head to 3. Ariel ride under the sea and then 4. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ( must be 38 in another small rollercoaster.). If you are there early enough you should be able to get on with little wait as part of early entry or you can pay for the Lightning Lane. And right across from it is 5. Winnie the Pooh. 6. Small world (*** Peter Pan is right here as well and always has the longest wait.. if you want to do I recommend genie plus )

The Parades/ Mickey’s Celebration Cavalcade usually start around 12 so by now you should be able to catch one as you walk back around the castle to the other side of the park. Crystal palace is a great place for king and to meet Pooh tigger piglet and eaor or do a mobile order quick service or even have something packed. In my opinion it’s best to get on the rides in the morning because the sun is not too hot and the lines are much shorter. If you could avoid a sit down meal and everyone is still on board keep going! The next part of the park is more for the older kids. We head to Frontierland and start the Mountains! 7. Thunder mountain 40 inches height 8. Splash mountain height requirements of 40 inches .. the babies are too small for these rides. Directly across is Tom Sawyer Island Boat ride which takes you to a little play area for the little ones and is a great way to entertain them while the bigs are in the rollercoaster. There is also an ice cream stand right there as well! Country Bear Jamboree is a cute show too close by but we usually skip it!

Head over to Adventureland next and do the 9. magic carpet ride ( similar to Dumbo) not usually a long wait. And check out the 10. pirates of the Caribbean 11. Jungle cruise **** long wait use genie plus and if you are still going strong 11. Enchanted Tiki Room ( air conditioned show) and right before you leave that section in Liberty square is 12. haunted mansion.

If it’s an option I would suggest calling it at this point going back to the room pool shower nap rest eat and come back fresh for Tomorrow land and fireworks! Or I like to do one whole pool day and just Tomorrowland and fireworks at night.

My favorites for tomorrow land 1. Space mountain you cannot miss but height requirement it’s still my favorite rollercoaster and there is always a wait so use a pass for this! Park your stroller there is a great snack / quick service restaurant there and enjoy !· 2. Buzz Lightyear’s – 3. Spin ( it’s a laser game all ages very fun) · and Monsters, Inc. Laugh air conditioned show for all ages. There is also speedway a car track ride for all ages and a high flying carousel which we usually skip . It’s close to the fireworks so it’s a great section to do last grab a few snacks and get a good spot for fireworks.

Some tips :

If you need a stroller rent the Disney ones. It’s such an easy process and by far the best stroller I have ever used! We take our Zoe double for the twins / airport and rent the Disney double for the older ones. You can do right when you walk in the park to the left and you keep the receipt if you do for multiple days so you can easily rent in other parks. Pack a backpack with bandaids , Benadryl , children Motrin, Advil . Ponchos extra clothes extra ponchos( to cover the stroller if it rains) , light up necklaces from the dollar store to make it easier to find everyone in the dark , filled yetis , autograph book, snacks and a few things to keep everyone busy while you wait for fireworks, sunscreen.. wipes, hand sanitizer , hair Scrunchie. Portable charger .. I’m sure there are a million other things but this is a quick list!

Please comment if anyone has great tips or tricks!! Also I recommend a Disney travel planner . You do not pay any extra and they can help you with so many things!! My cousin Lauren is fantastic @ivegotthemousekatools

3 years

Before we even made it to the NICU , you had to overcome impossible obstacles.

Our pregnancy was more than a surprise, it was miracle. The second daddy saw you on the monitor he told me you were the best thing that happened to us and he was right. You were the piece we didn’t know was missing .

When we found out the boys shared a placenta we went to our first MFM. At only 8 weeks pregnant , he told us it was highly unlikely we would have two healthy babies. Maurice’s umbilical cord only had two vessels ( instead of the “normal” three) and it was “hanging” off the placenta. He was also 90% smaller than his identical twin. I can still hear his voice saying, ” on your next visit it is very likely there will only be one baby and possibly none.” The plan was nothing. There is nothing you can do he told me… just wait .. I couldn’t ..
I search .. joined every group .. and desperately went to our second team in another hospital .. one of the top MFMs in the field. Now again barely 10 weeks.. the same if not worse grim prognosis.. but this time it came with a “treatment plan.” Selective reduction. Terminate the “little baby” and save the big one. It was more than an option .. it was recommended along with stats on “how good the hospital is at it”… by occluding the cord of the small baby they could save the larger baby. The smaller baby did not appear to be growing .. the cord and the placement of it all went along with the reasoning on why it should be done. If anything was to happen to the small baby on it’s own they told me the blood would rush out of the larger one and they both wouldn’t survive. It was scary.. and convincing.. but I couldn’t do it. I made an appointment to meet another member of the team. ” The best of the best “, I was told. Now at only about 12-14 weeks the prognosis continue to worsen. On regular ultrasound they saw a cyst in Maurice’s brain. She said it was likely dandy walker and my little baby would be severely disabled. “I would like you to meet with the neurologist that cares for babies like this so you can understand… ” she told me .. and Again “selective reduction” was discussed now even more .. she said “at this point most parents would scrap the pregnancy and start fresh.” The words are scared into my heart. I left again still could not do it.. we returned this time seeing the other partner. They started with Peter. The ultrasound tech completed the exam and he started it. “How did you not see this..”. He said to her.. going over and over peters face. “Look at his jaw.. it’s recessed and his heart titled. ” At this point there was no more meeting in the special conference room .. now it was simply said as , you likely have a genetic condition given your age and other risk factors being expressed differently between the boys. We also had a fluid imbalance and at this point I have severe ttts symptoms. Shortness of breath , uneven belly , even contractions.. what about the TTTS and fluid I asked him… and his answer was direct and simple.. “we don’t operate on unhealthy babies.” This is when our angel stepped in .. first Mary from the tts foundation .. she directed me to Dr Ruben Quintero. Palm Sunday a stranger saw one of my posts and sent me his cell phone. I called him and he answered. He told me ..”Lisa I cannot promise you your babies are healthy but it’s unlikely that they have a rare genetic disorder given your other two healthy children “. “Come see me and we will do the tests and I will do everything I can to help you.” He spoke to me for a few hours.. educating me on ttts and how these tests are interrupted. I told James that night that I needed to go to Miami and see him. His reply was so simple.. what’s a trip to Miami then we go. We went .. saw a pediatric cardiologist had a fetal echo .. saw a neurologist and had a brain mri in utero .. and yes there was a cyst but they believed it to be benign meaning that it would simply go away on its own and yes peters heart was tilted but it was still within the normal limits .. and nothing at all was wrong with his jaw. He did more specialized tests and did see signs of ttts but it was not yet needed surgery. We flew back home and started our journey… our path of hope.. finally given to us by this incredible man.. the next few weeks we were back and forth on planes juggling Mia and Juliet as best we can thanking god for my mom dad sister and brother in law who acted as a second family ensuring the girls never felt once minute of it. At 26 weeks ttts caused my body to think we were ready to deliver. Connecting blood vessels in the placenta resulted in Peter having fluid overload, heart and kidney failure and Maurice losing all his fluid shutting down his kidneys completely. When left untreated most babies do not survive. Maurice did not even weigh a pound. Delivery at that point would have been devastating. Although i was already past the deadline for the traditional ttts surgery.. dr Quintero agreed to see us. I flew to Miami that night , he operated in the morning and we were able to give the boys a few more weeks to grow. Our case required a very specialized technique that I know would not have been possible elsewhere. Dr Quintero is a pioneer in this field. A few weeks later, ttts returned and it was time for them to come into the world. We had no idea what the future would hold .. both in severe heart and kidney failure.. barely weighing a pound.. but they had already overcome so much and I knew angels were watching over them.. I prayed and shared our NICU Journey which helped me heal.. from the first day of summer to the last we lived in the hospital .. I sat and watched you my miracles.. i kept picturing us living the life we have today.. running in the beach .. praying for first you to breathe then drink.. then walk and talk.. seeing you with your sisters and cousins.. my god how I love you and this life you have given me …
Our road was not easy .. therapy and drs visits filled our first few years.. it felt like I was living two separate lives.. one with my sons watching them grow and suffer in boxes and then home to my happy girls ..we had a number of scary diagnosis but I learned to trust my gut and I know we have such a special connection. Having a friend experiencing it along side me meant everything .. Devan thank you is never enough.. my husband you are everything to us.. the last few weeks when Maurice was ready to come home leaving his there became too hard.. the emotional rollercoaster of the nicu is difficult to describe.. one day or 100 it’s a nightmare.. I questioned everything .. how the machines worked .. knew every drop of what they gave you .. every single wire placed inside you.. i your hand.. you never gave up and neither did we… your courage gave us strength … I promise you were never alone.. Today you are healthy and strong

I share your story to give others hope
To help educate about ttts and Dr Ruben Quintero at the fetal institute and of course Mary and the ttts foundation. If anyone you know if pregnant with twins that share a placenta or if they are going through a hard nicu journey I am here. Helping others helps me heal.
It was the stories from others experiencing they same thing that helped get me through.
To thank my husband for always believing in us, my family for always supporting my decisions .. for loving us so much. To thank my father for standing beside me driving three house a day for three months while I was in the nicu. To share the power of love prayer and miracles ..
to celebrate you my boys .. my heros