that time we went to disney world…

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hey remember how we went to disney world in florida a couple months ago (the first week of november) but i never blogged about it? those few days at the disney parks really took it out of me. i feel like i’m just barely recovering enough from our couple of days there to finally revisit it and share all about it on the blog. i know so many find so much joy and fun at disney world and disney land (and i want to be one of those people, i do!), and while there were a couple of times during each day i felt that magic, if i am being totally honest with you, for me, it was over stimulating and exhausting and hot and sticky and crowded (so so crowded) and i’m still recovering mentally from this trip… but our kids had the time of their lives, which in the end, makes it worth it… right? right!!!

the main reason we went was for harry potter world (HP photos coming at you next, having to break up these theme park days into two posts so you aren’t scrolling through like 75 photos at once). we’d been reading the harry potter books with our older kids and they have taken such a love towards the series that we had been wanting to visit as soon as we could.  then i got pregnant with the baby girls and we had to postpone for another year and they often reminded us (maybe daily?) they were ready to go! ;) worked out for the better though because conrad was just tall enough to ride pretty much everything his brother and sister did, which wouldn’t have been the case last year. so that was a plus! also, harry potter. gosh…. it makes me happy, as a fellow harry potter lover who can’t get enough of the books either, that my kids are eating it up. so on our first day we did harry potter world (coming next), and then since we were there in orlando, we also did magic kingdom (these photos) and hollywood studios the following two days.

if we could redo this trip, i actually would have skipped hollywood studios entirely and gone back to magic kingdom on our last day (or done animal kingdom which we hear great things about). i think all of us agreed our most favorite day of the trip was this one at magic kingdom though (which is why i am starting with it!) and the race cars on the race track were unanimously our favorite ride (those spinning tea cups a close second for me!)

beatrice and madalena were troopers! since josh grew up in florida, he recommended we wait until november to go for the babies’ sake because the temperatures would be a bit better for them as we were out in that heat each day. the weather was wonderful for most of our stay, although it did spike back up to insane temps our last day at hollywood studios and we were racing all over trying to find spots with air conditioning for these baby girls who weren’t loving that last day. ps. both these outfits they are wearing once belonged to eleanor and i am just a bucket of mush on the ground seeing them in her old things!

eleanor took this photo of josh and me and the baby girls and while i was a little bit grumpy my fair share of moments during our disney world trip, i really hope this is a moment she remembers. at one point during the day, we were standing in a very crowded room waiting for a puppet show to start and there was no AC and just a fan blowing hot air over all these bodies of people and i was bouncing babies and feeling like i was suffocating and josh looked at the crowd of people and as he observed them he said quietly to me, “wow. there is a lot of love in this room right now…. all these parents doing this for their kids.” we were all so hot. and sticky. and wishing we could spread out but we were stuck waiting in the crowd together and it was like, “truth.” it really is amazing to see so many people working hard to make their little ones have such a special experience. and it helped me bite my tongue and work on smiling a little more for my own kids as we pushed through some of the harder moments during our day.

28 million dollars for a bubble dispenser?! ok fine. anything to help this cute little dude out when he was just under the height requirement for space mountain. he didn’t even notice when i snuck away with his two older and slightly taller siblings.

also, these BB8 cups. i caved and we ended up with three of them. it was one of those moments i’ll say was worth it forever and ever. they are still using and talking about their cups. sometimes these stupid things are worth it. :)

felt appropriate to document one of the many times the baby girls and i sat having a nursing break while josh ran the older kiddos over to a ride. i never got myself into one of those fancy air-conditioned rooms for nursing and sleeping babies that disney has around their parks (props to them for having those) because they were also no where near where we were at the time of needing to feed, but i’m used to doing this anywhere and everywhere and my baby girls are too, so we just went with it.

hands down, our favorite ride was the race cars that the boys got to drive on their own (with me)!

our feet didn’t quite reach the peddles so mama helped out there while the boys took turns steering. truly one of my favorite moments. i loved sitting beside them as they took the wheel and did so great racing us around the track.

it really is a special place. and these kiddos have talked about it a lot since we’ve been home the past couple months which makes me happy. i love them to the moon and back and this trip really was a good one.

i know someone is gonna be like, “oh she thinks she’s too good for disney” because i tried to be honest here about how the disney parks felt for me. it’s the tricky thing with writing blog posts. when it’s a positive experience shared without any struggle called out, i’m seen as making it up and lying. when i say it was hard, i’m seen as not grateful and super spoiled. such a fine line trying to convey an experience without offending. i’m very thankful we got to go, i’m very thankful my kids loved it, and i’m very thankful we don’t have plans to go back anytime soon, too. ;)

harry potter world coming at you next!

  1. Morgan

    I married into a family of Disney lovers, and we just had our first child nov 3rd. There’s already been a lot of talk about when we will go to Disney, honestly, I’m not looking forward to it as it looks totally overwhelming! So I, for one, appreciate your honest post about the Disney experience. It will help me prepare myself for our eventual trip 🤣🤣🤣.

  2. Sandra Luz

    I feel the same way aboyr Disney and even felt that way when I was a child. I’m glad yours enjoyed it :). I however, am completely avoiding the experience and so far my children haven’t been asking for it.

  3. Chelsea

    I totally appreciate the honesty! I grew up in Florida like Josh and as much as I want to go back to Disney World, I have a feeling that a lot of the “magic” would be a lot harder to feel as an adult—and that’s without any kids, let alone five. Thanks for this post!

  4. We were there a few weeks later for our Make a Wish.
    And ya know- Animal Kingdom is SO worth it. I loved it.
    And I am glad to see I don’t have the only 6 year old who hasn’t lost their top teeth!
    It’s an exhausting trip for parents but hearing the kids talk about it after- worth it :)
    warriorsimon.com

  5. Wendy

    I for one think you guys are amazing for travelling so much with your kids, I only have two and that seems like hard work, let alone 5! I’m also with you on heat and stickiness, something in my brain makes me get quite grumpy when I’m constantly sweaty with no reprieve in sight!

    So I say, good on you for keeping it real here, it is so refreshing xoxo.

  6. Suze

    In May 2017 my father in law said “i want to go to Disney world with my grandkids” and literally paid for everything for us. we trudged through Disney with a 4 year old, potty training three year old and a 7 month old. IN JULY. I’m so grateful and it was so super fun. But we left the park everyday for naps and never went back. It took the pressure off that we weren’t footing the bill and thank God for the air conditioned nursing rooms but whew. I hear you! Still, lovely and magical. But we aren’t going back until the youngest is 5 (And remembers it all). Xo

  7. Courtney

    I always think you do a great job of walking the line between being grateful and real. Whenever I read your posts, it feels like I’m talking to a close friend. And you inspire me to get out of my comfort zone and take my kids places even when it seems hard. You just keep being you and know that you make a lot of people’s days brighter.

  8. Kris

    Whaaa you brave parents! I soooo get it.
    And admire you for going.
    I’m still working up the courage.
    Hang in there with the sleepless nights. You 2 are the best troopers.

  9. Courtney

    We did Disneyworld over Thanksgiving and it was super crowded, but we still had fun. There were moments of frustration with the crowds- so I get that. We did Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood studios and I would say that Animal kingdom was hands down our very favorite! If you do ever go back, I highly recommend it.

  10. Rose McAvoy

    You’re braver than I am!
    Would you consider doing a post or series sometime about twins, specifically how you’ve been able to breastfeed them? I have breastfed all four of my kids but now I am expecting twins in May and I am really daunted by the prospect of feeding both of them. Any tips or tricks to making it work and sticking it out would be greatly appreciated!

  11. I for one very much appreciate your honesty and transparency! I currently have one very rambunctious 9-month-old, and even just being with her at home (just one child! not traveling!) completely takes it out of me some days. Thanks for showing that being exhausted and uncomfortable and frustrated doesn’t mean we’re bad parents or we’re doing it wrong. xo

  12. Jeanne

    OK mama, I’m here to agree with everything you said about Disney. Thanksgiving week in November 2016, my husband and I and our 3 little girls (8, 5 and 3 at the time) all hopped a plane from Hartford, CT down to Orlando with my mom and dad, meeting my Aunt, her husband and one of her daughters (they flew from CA!). We stayed for just about a week. I had been to Disney when I was 11 (I’m 45 now). Going into this trip, I knew my husband would not be into it, Disney is NOT his cup of tea, BUT my parents pushed us to go and paid for the majority of our trip, which I am eternally grateful for. It’s been 3 years since we went and my daughters still talk about it (I printed out little photo books too of our time there and they are constantly reaching for those, I printed one for each day/park). So… on to why I’m agreeing with everything you said. It was still INSANELY crowded because we were there over a school holiday/Thanksgiving. The weather cooperated and it wasn’t too hot (we even had to buy sweatshirts for the girls that first day because we underestimated the temps in the evenings.) We didn’t plan out the whole FastPass thing too well and we didn’t account for where we’d eat each day despite having the food plan. I had thought maybe my husband and I could sneak away for a date, given my parent’s had come too, but it wasn’t logistically possible. It was a lot of walking, a lot of waiting in line, a lot of money (totally LOL’d reading your comment about the bubble dispenser and the cups, good grief!) BUT, having said all that, they are memories we will cherish forever and we can say we’ve been as a family. To see the smiles on all their faces makes it almost, ALMOST ;) all worth it. Thanks for being so honest Naomi. This mama appreciates it!

  13. Kristian

    To me, I can totally see how and why Disney would feel that way to you. There’s a lot to see and hear and lots of people. No matter how enchanting those things you are seeing and hearing etc. etc….. it a lot. Especially with kids (and especially with kids at different ages what with two babies and one who wasn’t always tall enough for rides!) It is sweet you went for them and your husband’s observation. So glad for you that it had good moments you will remember and thankful that you shared all including the good and the bad and big and the little things that made kids’ days (the cups. I feel like I will remember that for our own future vacations….sometimes the silly little things are what make it!)

    Also, as a side note, I am so curious. I grew up having my own birthday right about when Harry did (eleven when he was eleven and so on. Like the first few books came out at each year when I turned the same age as the kids were in the newly released book), but I see a lot of families with elementary- and like you often lower elementary grades!0 reading the books. And that is such a different experience from my own (obviously. All the books are out). You said your kids love them (yay!). How did you decide they were ready for the books (Or any book series!) ? Do you read them all at once? One or two a year (Some of my students’ families did that with Little House on the Prairie…) Or all in a year but with other books between? I love hearing about other families reading experiences! So fascinating!

  14. Ashley

    I am completely with you on the parks! That heat combined with running around to hit all your pre-scheduled rides is definitely not my idea of a vacation! I’m totally fine with your honesty 😏 Josh’s viewpoint is a great one and not something I would have ever thought!

  15. Joanna Freeman

    I love your honesty…in all of its forms! You are seriously inspiring. I have one baby and a seven and four year old and I always think when I’m nursing or taking care of my baby…how does she do it with two?! So keep on going Mama! You are amazing.

  16. Kathy

    I have to say thank you! In a blog post not too long ago you talked about babies and sleep. You said you work on going to bed the minute the babies are asleep. I have a 4 month old and tried that after reading your post (which means I go to sleep at 8pm haha). Anyway- I feel so much better! I know it’s common sense and everyone says “sleep when the baby sleeps” but your post really pushed me to sleep earlier and it has made all the difference! Thank you!

  17. Denise

    Responding to your last thought – Naomi, I am a Nana (just to clarify I am older and been around the block) – if people have nothing better to do than criticize your state of mind or feelings about something please do not pay any heed. Are you blessed? Beyond measure and you constantly say so – but, life always has its challenges. You are doing fabulous!

  18. JESSICA BASSO

    hahah too funny, to quote you disney world IS “over stimulating and exhausting and hot and sticky and crowded (so so crowded)”
    I have been a handful of times over my lifetime and i have had mostly great times but I have to say its all a bit over-rated. for me its one of those i have done it a few times things, i don’t necessarily have to do it again.

    i will say November is one of their busiest seasons so that probably played a huge part into your experience, , and my goodness I cant imagine doing it with 5 kids. 2 being babies. mad props to you on that one!

    if you ever change your mind and decide to go again, since i am from south Louisiana, wear warm weather clothes. our hot is HOT down here, and yes sticky. i find if my outfit is atleast very comfortable i have a bigger chance of surviving and complain a tad less. but just a tad.. lol.

    also just from my many disney obsessed friends – most advise going when kids are atleast 5 and older. — these friends go multiple times a year. i dont get it.

    I personally thank God I skipped the disney obsession, i much rather be laying on a beach somewhere than fighting a line or crowd any day.

  19. Heidi Barrus

    I totally appreciate your honesty. That’s the way my parents always felt about the Disney parks growing up and my husband isn’t eager to go now. I was surprised that you went now while the babies were little but that was great that you kept your promise to the kids and then made the best of it even though it was miserable. They will always remember that. Thanks for being real with us.

  20. Bethany

    I’m sorry you encounter such strong opinions about your blog posts sometimes. For the record, I have been following along with your journey since before Eleanor came along and I have NEVER been insulted by a post or even annoyed with it. I think you and Josh do such a wonderful job raising your family and sharing it with the rest of the world. Keep up the fantastic work!!

  21. Shana

    We went the first week of December with our 2yo and I agree it’s a lot! We did 2 days and HP world, 1 day and animal and 2 days a magic. There were magic parts of each days but also meltdowns and tears. In the end it was worth it but I agree it will be a few years before we go back :)

  22. Stephanie

    I haven’t taken my 5 yr old and those are the reasons. The heat and ALL the people. Maybe now we will have to go anyway. Thanks so much for being honest!

  23. Rachel

    Good for you Taza! I love hearing your thoughts on things. xoxo

  24. Jasmine

    I was just talking about this with a friend, I was deliberately named after a Disney princess but have no desire to go to Disneyland nor Disney World.
    I’m not a fan of crowded places either although I do like going about the city. I guess, in the city everyone is technically going about their day and we aren’t after the same things waiting in 1-2 hour lines. Anyway, glad the kiddos had fun! Did you see a firework show? I do love a good firework show.

  25. Nicole Roe

    We love 45 minutes away and most of my friends have annual passes. The joy in the kids faces may be worth it but boy it’s exhausting. We live 10 minutes from Legoland and that is way more doable!

  26. Bekah M

    I just want to say I feel you 100%. We visited Disneyland for two days with my 5yr, 3yr and 5 month old. It was so overwhelming and insanely exhausting. We had visited before when I just had a 3yr old and 5 month old and it had gone really well, so I thought it would be the same. But it wasnt! I was as present as I could be and I did enjoy many moments of the day but it was so much stimulation. I even teared up on one of my old favorite rides cuz it was just too intense for me. When we got home I stayed in bed for a whole day! For me, I’m done taking babies to theme parks. I’ll be waiting till we are all old enough for the rides ;)

  27. Erin

    You are a rock star for taking five kids to Disney! I appreciate your honesty in your blog posts. And I love Josh’s comment… so true! We visited family in Florida every summer, and my parents would let us choose one theme park to visit every trip. It was always Magic Kingdom. And now, as an adult, I realize just how much my dad loved us to do this for us! The crowds, the heat, the overpriced food and merchandise… he never complained, but he never wants to go back again, even with grandkids. 😂

  28. stephanie

    I spent a few days at Disney over the holidays including New Years Eve at Epcot and at one point actually ran away from my family (grown up kids) and fought the INSANE crowds from Italy to Germany where I then hid in a corner of a teddy bear shop.It was just too much for me, a dreadful sort of claustrophobia that made me go a little bit crazy. My husband tracked me down and we sat and watched the sea of people, the majority of whom looked drained and miserable. Maybe Im just stuffy and antisocial. So be it. :) Thanks for the honest post, it was an enjoyable and very relatable read!

  29. Abigail

    We have 5 kids under 9 and honestly the thought of an amusement park makes me nearly break out in hives! We head for national parks, wildlife refuges, any wilderness. The trips that actually fuel me and fill my motherhood batteries are the off season beach trips where the kids can run wild on the sand, sometimes in jackets, and no one is around. The beach is ours, the waves, the sea shells, the sun that feels so good when your toes are a little chilly….add in the taco truck with handmade tortillas and its heaven!

  30. Mags

    I’m avoiding Disney, like the plague. I have zero desire to go and s husband that is a Disney- lover!! My son has not asked yet and with a newborn, I feel I am in the clear for a while. Also, can we talk about the expense of Disney?!? For an amusement park?!? Sorry, I’d rather spend my money on a white sandy beach with clear blue water! Heat, crowds, lines, and junk food, and oversized characters do not have me looking forward to this trip. I appreciate your honesty, as I know this is exactly why I have been avoiding a vacation like this!

  31. Sara

    Ooohhhh I’m so on board with you. I think it’s because I worked a Ton disneyland for a bit, but I’m over it. It’s just so exhausting to Pay to stand in enormous lines and walk 1 million miles. I don’t know. But my husband is obsessed and wants to take our kids there every single vacation and I’m like, WNOUGH! So we compromised. If I have to do Disney, which I will because my kids love it and somehow there is still some magic there, it is going to be in Paris. Which happens to be where we are going this weekend! All because of a successful compromise. I get my history and culture, he gets his Disney.

  32. Courtney

    Last year I visited Disneyland with my friend’s girls (6 and 9) on separate days and it was absolutely exhausting. By 3pm I was spent, and I could only really last until 7pm. I can’t imagine hauling more than one kid around. Also, I should note- actually enjoy Disneyland (California native, grew up going and have nostalgia for it), and it’s not an experience I’ll volunteer for again. Also, in November I visited Disney World for the first time with my family (adults) and was underwhelmed. For us, it lacked the charm of Disneyland. It’s certainly not for everyone.

  33. oh you’re not alone! I grew up in Orlando and don’t love it as much as all my friends do/did. I was dragged to Disney by my mom when I was visiting home just before you went and I was SO hot and tired after a day! It was wonderful spending time with my mom, but it was a bit too much. But you took 5 kids and nursed two of them! You’re amazing!

  34. Nikki

    I wish you had gone to animal kingdom instead! It was our favourite of the Disney Parks by far, and not as crowded as Magic Kingdom. It was definitely calmer and a nicer experience. I don’t envy you doing Magic Kingdom with 5 kiddos, 2 of them being babies! I appreciate your honest review.

    I can’t wait for my son to get into Harry Potter because I am dying to take him to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! When did you start the books with your kids? My son has been asking, but he’s five and I’m worried they may be a bit too intense for him. How did you find your kids reacted to it? Have you done all the books? Thanks!

  35. Amanda

    Big kudos to you and Josh- this is no small undertaking! I would have been totally overwhelmed. I am so impressed by all that you do for your kids and family to ensure they have a special richness to their lives. Undoubtedly they will grow up to be fantastic adults and want to give the same kind of magic to other people. Well done, Mama!

  36. Kelly

    I can so relate to this! Living in California so many people are like obsessed with Disney and while I appreciate going and think it’s fun once in a long while, the crowds and heat and lines can be completely overwhelming. I can’t even imagine how insane it would be with kids! You are great parents for allowing your littles to completely enjoy all of Disney (:

  37. Ali

    I grew up in Central FL and spent many busy, sticky days at Disney World.

    I went to DisneyLAND once and the difference was incredible.

    At the end of a long day in California, your hair still looks decent and you have enough energy to go out to dinner. At the end of a long park day in Orlando all you can do is curl up under an AC vent and groan.

    I’ll always love Disney, but it’s not easy!

  38. Cassandra

    I too have nursed a baby (but only one, kudos to you for doing two!!!) at Disney World. It was not my most fun experience. Give it another chance when your children are older! (Tall enough to ride all the rides and you can do everything without strollers.) It is a WHOLE DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE, I promise <3

  39. Great photos and a beautiful family. If your kids enjoy the Disney magic there is a cool exhibit in New York called Mickey: The True Original Exhibition. My family and I really enjoyed it. I’m not a fan of crowds either so this is perfect because you are able to enjoy the Mickey Exhibit with a small group. More details here: http://newlydevary.com/2019/01/10/mickey-the-true-original-exhibition/

  40. Alison

    Disney is overcrowded, over priced, over stimulating, and I am OVER IT! we were there last week of October, my daughter loved it, but that is it – one and done! While she had a great time, I am not a fan of Disney.

  41. Gabriela G

    I used to work ay DisneyWorld and I can totally understand, it can be quite overwhelming, especially with 5 kids!! You´re a trooper.

    Part of our job was to make sure the guests had an amazing trip, hopefully cast members helped you out during your time there!! If I had seen you while working there I would have gone (chocolate covered frozen) BANANAS!!!

    Much Love <3

  42. Becca

    We took our 5 and 2.5 year old daughters to Disneyland for one day and the only person who had a temper tantrum was me! It was so sweet to see them be so freaking excited, and Disney is a fabulous brand that does a great job, but DANG, That is an intense experience.

  43. Bonny Daines

    I love Disneyland.-Our side of the country-But I know there are definitely better and worse times to go. Worst experience was over spring break. Best experience was when it was raining and it kept the crowds home. I am dying to know about your shoes though. They must be comfy to wear to Disneyland.

  44. Misha

    I love your honesty in this post! I feel like such a terrible person (and mother) saying this but I am sort of dreading the Disney trip. I have promised my kids we will go one time (though they are 4 ad 1.5 so they really don’t have any idea what Disney is) but I really would rather travel someplace else. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I don’t particularly like amusement parks and hate crowds so the entire thing gives me some anxiety! But I love these pictures of your sweet family and it gives me hope that I can survive Disney! ❤️

  45. Amy

    You are so brave to go with all the kiddos and two nursing babies! My kids are 8 and 5 and I’m still afraid to give it a try. We just got back from Great Wolf Lodge, which I thought was totally overwhelming and anxiety producing, but my kids LOVED! My husband had the same comment as Josh, look at all these people who are doing such a great job being parents and trying so hard! With all the stuff that’s hard in the world and sometimes it seems so BAD, it’s good to remind yourself that there are so many parents out there who are just loving their kids so much and giving it their all. Let’s all give ourselves a pat on the back!

  46. Sarah Christine

    THANK YOU for your honesty here! Wow, it is so nice to read your words that truly reflect what its like to parent. So great, but also hard! It’s okay! I love these pics. The reflect not only your joy but that brutal Orlando heat. I know it well! Thank you again, I love reading your words.

  47. Rachel

    We love Disney World but only go every few years because we want our kids to see the “real” world too. Your next Disney trip (if there is one) will be easier when the twins are older. Few tips- Go during off season during a colder month. We’ve never experienced crowds or heat. Stay at a Disney property and do it up all the way-it is worth it. Take a break in the afternoon to go to the resort pool or to fun dinner reservations then head back for fireworks. For me, the key to a stress-free Disney trip is lots of planning.

  48. Preethi

    Totally appreciate the honesty, and I laughed out loud at your last line. :)

  49. Hayley

    As someone who didn’t get to visit Disney until she was 21 I think it’s great you guys were able to bring your kids – for the older two it’ll be something they remember forever. Hopefully you can do another trip when the baby girls are older and it’ll be a little less hectic once E, S, and C are older and can do things on their own. It’s so different as a kid vs an adult so it’s great that they could experience Disney magic while everything is still possible in their minds. I’m sure they’ll love it just as much, if not more when they’re older but Disney is such a great place for little ones!

  50. Anne

    I love your honesty and I will say Disney is not for everyone. We did it with our kids but we basically went at opening and then went back to our hotel in the afternoon most days and swam whatever. I am not into crowds so I basically managed myself- haha, but we ended up loving it. It can be a lot though and I warn people about that when I rave about our trip. We out planning our first Europe trip with our 3 kiddos this summer and I am reading a lot of your old posts to prep for that! I sort of feel any opportunity to be away from home with my husband and kiddos is great in my book! Ultimately I think you feel the same so thank you for sharing!

  51. Raquel

    Ahh I wish you would’ve had a better experience! I have great memories of visiting often as a kid and teenager, getting soaked on the rides to cool off and playing games and talking and laughing in those long lines. Fast forward several years and I married a non Disney lover. We visited on New Year’s Eve with a 1 year old and my husband and I swore we would never make that mistake again. We’ve gone twice since then with 2 kids and then with three and have had wonderful experiences but I’ve done my homework and planned out the days (early mornings at the park, back at the resort for a swim and nap each day is a must) and then back to park. We wanted to actually enjoy the vacation we spent a lot of hard earned money on.

  52. Renee

    You do a great job of being honest, positive and grateful! We are headed to FL to visit family and we want to do HP World, but will skip Disney. Liking forward to your next post! Did they have air conditioned nursing booths at HP too?

  53. Ellie Monzon

    I love your honestly! I don’t even have kids but I read your blog because your truth and joy and love inspire me. Never worry about those people drinking haterade. They’ll always have something to say. Write for you and write for us!

  54. Kayleigh

    I echo the thanks from everybody else for your honesty. Really, it’s what keeps me coming back to your blog (and what has always kept me coming back to your blog after many years of reading). You do you! I feel like anyone saying how you’re “spoiled” clearly just wants to be negative for the sake of being negative if they can’t see that you recognize how blessed you are even in the midst of the bad moments, and speaking your mind about the truthfulness of your experience is never a bad idea. Those who want to hate can hate and go somewhere else (I know, easier said than done when I’m not the one receiving those comments). You’re living wholeheartedly! Nothing to apologize for when you live like that.

    And this teaches me how to balance out my own perspective when we travel. I all too often get grumpy on trips and need to remember to appreciate the moments that really were magical.

    <3

  55. sandra

    I had been to Disneyland 6 times with my family and it is truly the happiest place on earth! Now married, my husband was like nope i wont like it i dont care to see Mickey or anything else there i dont see why you like it so much just no… After being married i finally convinced him to go and… its now his favorite place! He didnt want to go to start with, i dont know how but i managed to convince him to going 2 days. He ended up loving it and wanted to go back this last year and wanted to go for 3 days because he felt that the 2 days the year before that werent enough!! Needless to say i am sooo happy my little Grinch loves it as much as i do now and that he believes in the Disney Magic!

  56. Bethany

    Girl, I totally felt the EXACT same way about Disney and to me it is so refreshing to read about a blogger feeling this way, too. I am always so confused when I see all the happy disney families on instagram. Those pictures give me some minor PTSD. 😅 I’ve only been there once before I had any kids and ooof, I gotta tell ya, I’m so hoping my kids never find out about Disney world or land. 😂 haha jk, but kind of not. If they really wanted to go, I’d have to suck it up and think of you as inspiration that you CAN survive it and see the silver lining. Especially the joy on their faces. I always love your perspective! 💛

  57. Cindy

    My family and I just returned home from Disney yesterday. So perfect timing for me on your blog post 😉 The comment that Josh made, about there being a lot of love, really hit home for me. It was a hard trip and a lot of work went into it. But we did it for our kids, and we would do anything foe them! Today my son set up all his toys and took them to Disney to ride rides and meet characters. We made such great memories, and it sounds like you did too!!

  58. My kids are “fourth-generation-Disney Park-experts” in that my grand-parents were at Disneyland opening month, they raised there kids “there” (annually or “as often as possible” trips.) The same was done for us, the grandkids. And now we our raising the great-grandkids in a Disney-Park-Loving-Family.

    It feels like a hometown, or childhood bedroom. Somewhere I know like the back of my hand, and if anything is different, I know exactly what used to be there. It’s an almost effortless experience because “the How We Do The Parks system” has been created by the women before us, passed down to us. All the grandkids have gotten engaged at a Disney park. It’s… a thing.

    ALL THAT SAID:

    Every single time we go, we look around at families, usually with a number of kids, all by themselves, doing Disney for the first time (those free pins confirm our suspicions ha!), and think: that looks… so horrible and hard. Go THEM for deciding to try to – no, actually!! – making this happen! I have a great deal of sympathy and genuine fist-bumps: it’s an expensive, enormous, busy (though, sometimes it can be so “slow”!), overwhelming amount to take on. WITH FIVE KIDS? FOR THE FIRST TIME? How did you do it?? Guys. Well done. “That’s a lot of love.” Genuinely impressed and I’m surprised you didn’t dislike it more ;)

    No ‘judgement’, from The Biggest Disney Parks Person Ever. (And if you can ever go in February, and ever want a Self-Proclaimed Park Coordinator to take care of all the details: fast passes, moving strollers to the exit of the next ride, re-filling water bottles during the rides, walking around with babies, do real-photography of your day so you can take that off your mental-check-list, etc… holler ;) I’ve been training decades for this! ha!)

  59. Jessi Dunlap

    Hey man, I have gone to Disney a lot over the years… and the last time I went I was not impressed either. I’ll give it another go but the magic was a lot harder to find last October. ☹️ It was busy and just overwhelming. Next time we’ll stay off park property and just go one or two days in a week.

    It’s hard to see the magic when you’re sweating and competing for “magic” with hoards of other people. Still love ya Disney… keep making those movies!

  60. Abigail Blair

    We took our son when he was 2 I agree with a lot of what you said! My husband would probably agree even more. He definitely fell into the category of “doing it out of love”! I know I for one always appreciate your honesty! I am glad your kids had fun, and that there were some really special moments throughout the visit!

  61. Katie

    Thank you thank you for being honest about Disney! I will never understand the adults obsessed with it. It’s fine, the rides are nice and I will take my toddlers there to experience it once or twice but I would far rather be out exploring the world than stuck inside a crowded fake one. Appreciate the honesty!!

  62. Alexia

    I am DREADING Disney. Dreading.
    It doesn’t mean you’re not grateful.im also fairly certain one of my kids will hate it even though she thinks she wants to go.

  63. Chevonne Pannullo

    WDW can be too much sometimes, even when you’re there as adults without little children! That said, I’m glad you did find much happiness, and joy, during your trip! I’m also glad you were able to go while the Tomorrowland Speedway was still open. It has been closed forever to make way for a Tron attraction. :( I’m sad – I love the speedway!

  64. Taza,
    Great post. I love the breastfeeding bit. I absolutely feel you on the not loving Disney, the expensive dumb things and yes, we do it for the kids. I like your honesty.

  65. Kristy

    LOVE THIS POST! We went last year (with our seven yr old son) and I STILL refer to it as the most MISERABLE place on EARTH! :) IT was hotter than the depths of HELL and I have NO desire to EVER EVER EVER go back! Animal Kingdom was the family favorite (other than the air conditioned room at the hotel!) Overstimulating is an EXCELLENT choice of words!! It was just TOO much. Thank you for this!!

  66. Emily DeJarnett

    What happened to Samson’s finger?! Is little man better now?

  67. Alysha Lacey

    I love your shoes!!! Where are they from? I know I have seen them in past posts but never asked and I love them again!

  68. Kristen

    Naomi! Thank you for sharing honestly! I am a total Disney fanatic (I thought it would be cheesy but I couldn’t help but LOVE it when we went!), but I just want to say – DON’T listen when people snark about how you share your experiences. Internet trolls have nothing on you and don’t let them influence how you write and share! There are so many more people that are interested in hearing your true thoughts and we appreciate the good, the bad and the ugly! Not that there’s every any ugly here on your site. Your heart is absolutely beautiful and your gratitude always, always shines through. And if someone wants to complain about that, well, they deserve one too many turns on those spinning tea cups ;)

  69. Tina Schrader

    I love, love, love amusement parks! But not everyone does. And when its hot and sticky…(My dad grew up in Miami so we used to visit every Christmas, I went to Florida State and lived in Orlando for a summer — so I totally know what you’re talking about), it can take the fun right out of it! I love your posts; I am surprised to hear that people carp about you being too pollyannaish or, conversely, sniping about your not-so-great feelings about something. It can be hard, but I would try not to worry about that too much. You aren’t responsible for how people perceive or receive what you put out there, that’s on them. Your posts are uplifting and yet real; if I ever were to think of offensive blogs, yours would never enter my mind. Blessings! (Pleade forgive typos; its hard to go back here in this particular box on my phone, and my phone loves to insert letters between words. Aaaah! ;))

  70. Michelle

    So, I’m going to fully disclose that I’m a Disney fan through and through. Done WDW with all ages (nursing babies, but granted not twins…and nope, never once used the mother/baby centers either), DL with all ages (including a nursing baby), and most recently DL Paris. I am legitimately biased, not even going to pretend like I’m not.

    Your honesty is a good thing, some people just don’t like Disney. Fine, that’s great. However, absolute props to Josh on this. Yes, Parents go to Disney because they LOVE their kids. They wait in line, pay stupid extortionist prices for 4 ozs of lemonade in a souvenir cup, sweat until they are positive they’ll never be dry again, fake the smile, take the advil (multiple times each day), and make the entire thing about their kids because they LOVE their kids. So, quite honestly, that has to be one of the kindest ways I’ve ever heard one partner remind another partner of why they’re doing something. And this is coming from the Disney loving half of a partnership who has had her fair share of park meltdowns where my own husband (who graciously tolerates and pays for these trips for the kids and I) has had to ask me if I’m “hangry” or if I need an indoor ride to get some air conditioning. But, I really have to say how impressed I am with Josh’s attitude here and it’s something I think I’ll need to try the next time I get to feeling annoyed while I’m on vacation.

    I’m bummed it wasn’t a better experience for you, Naomi. Especially considering that your older three kids are actually right in the Disney “sweet spot” (they all will want to ride the same rides, have similar show interests, still believe in the character magic, etc). Maybe the next time you all go, have Josh look into RideMax. It’s a pretty great tool and well worth the few dollars. And, as several others mentioned, staying on Disney property is always a huge benefit at the Florida resort. Hopefully you will give it another try sometime. Honestly, if you can do international travel, Disney is quite literally a crepe and a cup of gelato by comparison.

  71. kristen

    Honestly, I appreciate your honesty! We are BIG Disney (and HP for that matter) fans, but I know that it’s not for everyone. My only complaint is it feels like we are bleeding money when we are there – ha! As our kids get older I feel like they need other vacations, not just DW every year ha ha, so we’ve been trying to extend ourselves to take them to DC, NYC, Northern and Southern Europe, and Maui to name a few – all things you’ve already done with your kiddos. So, I say good job to you!

  72. I cope terribly with the heat, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I was little grumpy waiting in line or waiting for a show. I’m so inspired by the love and gratitude Josh found in the most unassuming of moments! Definitely some food for thought. // I remember my brother and I leaving an amusement park with a Spongebob cup when we were little. We loved it SO much. The months home, back from the trip, we would always refill the cup with water and drink from it. It was our favourite! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  73. Kimberly

    I have been reading your blog for many years and have always so appreciated your honesty. Thank you for sharing your heart and doing so in such a humble and loving manner. You are always a breath of fresh air and your sweet family always brings a smile to my face! We live in Los Angeles and just took our kids (for only the second time in their lives) to Disneyland last week…we were laughing as we looked around because almost every parent had the same look of exhaustion on their faces, yet you knew each one was there for the joy it brought their little ones. Being a parent isn’t easy and you do such a great job about talking about both aspects while also making it so abundantly clear how much you love your precious kids through it all. All the best!

  74. Lauren

    I greatly appreciate your honesty!! Disney is a lot with kids!! Hope you listened to me. Gaffigans track on mr universe album!!

  75. Laura

    Thanks for keeping it real! Your honesty makes it a much more interesting read, and I think it’s relatable.

  76. Laura

    Hi Naomi! Did you ever posted your Harry Potter visit?
    Thanks! Love your blog!