Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Travel Post Part 2: Disney World

This story picks up from our departure from a 10,000 person ship to... the Magical land of Disney World!

This is where the exhausting part began. I think in some ways it took me close to two weeks to actually recover from this leg of the trip. Sometimes, by noon my pedometer would be reading 25,000 steps already taken!

At Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party - a very expensive date!
We stayed at a gorgeous VRBO in Kissimmee, Florida - a mere 15 minute drive from the Magic Kingdom, which is the furthest of all the parks at Disney World. I legit just clicked on the link there and the property is 99% fully booked for the next three months!

Our home for 10 days - we loved it! Can you see my daughter dressed as Merida?

So this is a quick schedule of what we did:
  • Day 1 - Arrive in Florida, go grocery shopping and whatnot
  • Day 2 - Magic Kingdom!
  • Day 3 - Epcot
  • Day 4 - Rest day
  • Day 5 - Hollywood Studios
  • Day 6 - Animal Kingdom
  • Day 7 - Rest day
  • Day 8 - Rest day
  • Day 9 - Magic Kingdom
  • Day 10 - Grand Floridian Character Breakfast and our Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Date night (4pm to midnight)
Disney World in some ways operates a little differently than Disney Land. Considering we were only at Disney Land a few months prior! I actually preferred Disney World for: 
  • A more efficient parking system (both parks are $20/day). Smaller parks, like Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom had complimentary parking. We didn't have to take an elevator or an escalator to get to our destination. I especially enjoyed the monorail ride to the Magic Kingdom too!
  • Fastpasses can be booked up to a month in advance. Considering that we are planners, this didn't faze us. My husband woke up at 4am on the dates exactly a month prior to reserve fast passes. It was a bit of a sacrifice on his part, but at least we could go to the park knowing that we had rides ready to go on! 
  • We went at the quietest time of the year to go to DisneyWorld (Dec 8th week), so we were really lucky to not have to fight crowds.
  • Stroller parking was way easier at DisneyWorld. Hands down. 
I really enjoyed visiting the Disney Parks at this time of the year. There were hundreds of thousands of poinsettias all over, Christmas decorations, and the best part was that it felt like Spring there rather than winter!

Some extra tips in case you're going to Disney World soon:
  • Rope drop Animal Kingdom if you want to do the Avatar Ride. This ride is not for the faint of heart, and we waited a mere 90 minutes (!!!!) versus a 6 hour wait! I was thankful to have my parents to watch our girls while we went.
  • Rope drop Epcot if you want to do the Frozen Ride. Technically you're not supposed to run in any of the Disney parks, but we sort of broke this rule by speed walking (my husband's pace) to full on running (my pace... short legs and all!)! We only waited 3 minutes. Worth it!
  • I really would recommend doing two days at Epcot, we did one day there and found that the park was so big that we didn't have time to do all the International Pavilions.
  • Download the Disney App - whether it's for Disney Land or Disney World. It helped us figure out where to meet, what we wanted to do and where to eat.
  • For rides like the Seven Dwarves Mine ride, we were only able to do this ride during the Mickey's Merry Christmas Party, an extra fee for those who want to go. Staff essentially 'kick' out non party goers and the park is less busy... our dinner comprised of cookies, chocolates and milk chocolate that evening!
  • Hollywood Studios - our favorite show was the Frozen Sing Along. I'm glad we got Fastpasses for that one!
One of the highlights of the trip for me was the Character breakfast at the Grand Floridian Hotel. This was exciting for me as my parents did the same for me when I was little, and I think as a mom, I was just so excited to see my daughter's faces whenever a character came by! My favorite was Mary Poppins, and even got to say 'have a supercalifragilistic day!' (call me cheesy).

This was too cool! Life sized Gingerbread House at the Grand Floridian!
We look forward to doing Disney again when the girls are older, and less enthralled with the princesses. My youngest absolutely loved the rides, including Pirates of the Caribbean! We thought some of the rides would be too adventurous for her, but her reaction after every ride was 'MORE!'. For our 4 year old, the Spaceship Earth ride was her favorite - we think. She learned so much about our world on this ride, and even enjoyed doing Soarin'! What a way to teach her about the different wonders of the world!

Very thankful both girls were able to nap in a noisy environment!

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