Yes You Can (plan a last minute Disney trip!)

If you know anything about me, you know that I am a planner. Some might say that I’m a bit obsessive or extreme but I don’t look at it that way. I know what I like, I know what works for my family, and when there’s a game plan the chances of things going wrong is dramatically reduced.

However that’s NOT how I operate in Disney World! And surprisingly, it works for my family. Want to learn more? Read on!

Walt Disney World is a place where planners and non-planners alike strive to grab the best, the latest, and the greatest. Luckily everything is the greatest when it comes to Disney!

It was our youngest son’s birthday trip and we planned it in a month’s time, which is practically no time when it comes to Disney planning. I mean, Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR) open 180 days prior to a Disney trip!

But say you stumble across a last minute trip option, like my family did. Is there still hope? Yes, but you’ve got to be flexible!

The ‘Ohana breakfast in the Polynesian Resort is a favorite of ours. Originally I found a reservation on a Thursday and 11:10am, which I booked. The timing wasn’t perfect but we were willing to make it happen. While checking back, I found an open spot on Tuesday at 9:20! Score! I quickly booked that and canceled the reservation for later in the week, opening it to someone else.

Moral of the story: Check back often! If at first you don’t succeed (or you do but would another time would work better), try, try again!

Speaking of food (because when are we not?) we also got a reservation at Le Cellier Steakhouse in EPCOT. It was the first time ever we were able to nab a reservation… at 3:40pm. We had what we in the Daniel family like to refer to as LINNER, which is lunch and dinner combined. And blew our whole month’s food budget in the process. #soworthit

O Canada!

Who loves steak? This guy, that’s who. (And oh, the rest of us do too!)

We didn’t get to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in the Magic Kingdom. Or Frozen Ever After. There was no Pandora preview for this family. And guess what – we were all a-okay with that. (Although my eldest son was a little disappointed we didn’t get on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.)

With FastPasses long gone before our trip was even a twinkle in our eye, it was a forgone conclusion that we wouldn’t be waiting 110 minutes in the standby line. Instead, we visited with rides that were tried and true and my kids got to ride “new to them” rides like the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (Lucas) and Test Track (surprisingly, Lucas and Gabe!).

We had a few FassPasses ahead of time but mostly, we added FassPasses we were interested in throughout the day. Thank goodness for the My Disney Experience app and WiFi in the park! We made choices that were good for our family as a whole, maximizing the fun time we got to spend together.

The Jungle Cruise

It’s a Small World – Gabe and Grandma

People Mover – Grandpa and Lucas

Toy Story Mania – Grandparents working on their photobombing skills!

Test Track!

Finally and most importantly, when you focus on spending time with your family and being in tune with everyone’s needs, every day is a good day in Disney. Disney is absolutely incredible and has so many things to do, it’s easy to hit the sensory overload point. Crankiness at the Happiest Place on Earth isn’t very much fun so we did our absolute best to keep those cranky moments to a minimum.

We embraced water breaks, ice cream breaks, sitting in the shade breaks, watching the fountains dance breaks, etc. And let’s not forget, in EPCOT my husband and I embraced the drinking around the World Showcase philosophy.

So planners, if you find yourself in a last minute Disney trip situation, don’t stress! There is plenty of fun to be had, food to be eaten, and drinks to be… drank! 😉

Have you ever planned a last minute Disney trip? Have any tips to share? Any “must dos” or “never ever agains”?

Here Comes the Sun, Little Darling

Two weeks ago, I was counting down the days until my wedding. Today, I’m sitting back, slowly reclaiming my apartment from the piles of stuff, and enjoying a week of being one half of an old married couple.

In the days leading up to the wedding, I baked and baked and fretted about the weather and baked some more. I had my whole family here, and some of my best friends, and with their help, we were able to put together all the treats, make all the favors, assemble all the supplies, and construct all the bouquets. It was a whirlwind, exhausting week, with a few stressful moments, but by the time Saturday rolled around and our music started, the sun came out and everything was alright.

I won’t bore you with too many details, but I wanted to share some pictures from the day, captured by some of my friends and family. It really was the most perfect.

Photo courtesy Sara Thom Photography

Photo courtesy Sara Thom Photography

I made dat cake. It was yum.

Clay’s face in this is just my favorite.

It’s the Final Countdown

Well, folks. It’s nearly here.

Wedding Week.

Photo courtesy Sara Thom Photography

This time next week, I’ll have had a rehearsal dinner, a bachelorette party, made bouquets, baked and decorated a wedding cake, and probably overthought literally all the things. Only one thing will be left: the actual getting married.

It’s hard to believe that it’s already here – but at the same time, I feel like… “damn, it took FOREVER to get here.” Mostly because I’m impatient and excited. I’m also really ready to just enjoy all of the things we’ve spent the past few months poring over and thinking about.

I’ve spent the last month or so eating Whole30 (the last week has been a little bit less strict, since I finished my 30 days last Wednesday), trying to run everyday (I’ve had a couple days, two exactly, where my body said “hey dummy, you need to rest,” so I did.) I feel healthy and strong and not too stressed – the workouts really help with that – and I’m hoping that feeling can carry me through the next week.

My house, on the other hand, is kind of a disaster – the wedding is taking over any free space we had. The closet? Cram-jam full of favors and decor and a dress and shoes and little extras. The laundry room? Currently housing half of our alcohol supply. The living room? Holding the other half. It’s almost comical – but every time I see these things, I get excited about finally being able to put all the pieces together.

I know that the next week will feel a little crazy and I’m probably going to forget something important (or not important), but at the end of the day Saturday, it won’t matter. I get to celebrate with my guy and my friends and my family and that’s the most important part.

So now, I just have to make it through a weekend of work, and it will be full steam ahead to party time!

Cheers!

My make up trial went really well – I’m lucky to have friends that know what they’re doing with that stuff… considering I wear mascara. And that’s it.

Heels at an outdoor wedding seemed dangerous to me, so I opted for sparkly sneaks. I think I made the right choice.

Just this little sneak peek for now… but stay tuned for more after next week! Eeeeek!

I’ve baked more cake in the last six months… but I think I’ve perfected my recipe and I’m excited to do it for real next week!

It’s the Final Countdown

 

The countdown is on folks. We are officially less than a month away from our wedding and the lists are many. Fortunately, a lot of the things on the lists are getting crossed off.

Because I’m such a list fiend, I’m actually feeling pretty good about where we are in terms of being ready for the big day. I mean, there are still a lot of little details to take care of, but the beauty of having a small wedding is that there are fewer moving parts and consequently there is less to worry about.

(I’m also a pretty chill person, so getting worked up about a big party just isn’t my style.)

One of the things left on my list is my dress alterations. I actually go in today for my last fitting and I’d be lying through my teeth if I told you I wasn’t a little nervous about how it’s going to fit. I probably shouldn’t be, but I am, because that’s how I roll.

In order to allay my concerns about my dress fitting today (and in another month), Clay and I have been doing Whole30 – and really it’ll end up being a Whole48 – and I’ve committed to run at least one mile every day until the wedding. I know that I need cardio in my life to feel my best, and I’ve been away from running regularly for a while.

Inspired by one of my good friends who is in the middle of her own run streak (something like 100 days, now!), I figured that in addition to my normal gym routine, if I can get myself moving for even just one mile everyday, I will feel good. And I’ll have more peace of mind. And I’ll be running again. FINALLY.

Posting about this streak here will help keep me accountable – so feel free to bug me on social media and make sure I’m getting out and getting my miles in. Every. Damn. Day. Find me on insta and twitter @kylepjennings.

Here we go!

Over the River, Through the Woods

Did you hear??! Probably not, because it’s just became official, but I’m moving to the mountains! I am the soon-to-be owner of a lovely acre-and-a-half near Rocky Mountain National Park. Here’s a little update via vid. Lemme know if ya have any bear tips.

 

I can’t wait to buy things like snowshoes and cross-country skis. Maybe even a canoe!