Monday, August 9, 2010

Our Trip to Walt Disney World

Well....we did it. Dad and I managed to take the kids on a Disney vacation and not only survive, but actually have fun!!

We went last Tuesday-Saturday and I honestly have to say the hardest part about this trip was the planning and packing leading up to it. I have never traveled so far away with kids before and wanted to be sure I was prepared for all circumstances. We weren't renting a car so just stopping by a store to pick up anything we may have forgotten wasn't really going to be an option for us. All in all, I think I did pretty well packing for all of us. We had everything we needed and even a few things we didn't need.

Our trip was in celebration of Brother's 5th Birthday, which was at the end of July.

It was his and Elle's first plane ride. They did phenomenal on the flights down and back from Orlando. On the way down we were lucky enough to have First Class and Brother was so impressed with it all. He loved the tray tables and was so excited when they served his salad. Elle fell asleep before take off and slept in Dad's arms most of the flight. She woke up toward the end and was extremely pleasant for the remainder of the flight.

We rode Disney transportation all throughout our trip, mostly their buses and all in all it worked out well. We did take a taxi to a few meals but only because we didn't want to worry about transferring buses with the kids and the stroller.

We stayed in the Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House and it was wonderful. Outside our balcony we saw giraffes, zebras and many other animals eating and relaxing. It was very cool. Our pool was open 24 hours, and although we didn't take advantage of those hours I thought that was pretty neat. It also had a water slide, which was very fun.

Our first day there we just checked out our hotel and enjoyed a buffet dinner at Boma, right in our hotel. It was simple yet delicious. After that we took a bus to Downtown Disney and looked around for a bit before heading home for some much needed sleep. Traveling with kids is very exhausting!!

Wednesday we had an early breakfast reservation at another Disney resort for a Character Breakfast. We had a nice family style breakfast at the Polynesian Resort restaurant called 'Ohana. Lilo and Stitch were there, as well as Mickey and Pluto. It was a great way to start our day.

We rode the monorail to the Magic Kingdom after breakfast and made it just in time to see the train pull in with all the characters. They welcomed everyone with a lively song and dance before opening the gates.

We headed right to Fantasyland and our first ride of the trip was Snow White's Scary Adventures. Dad and Elle waited outside and Brother and I got right on, no wait. After we rode, dad took Brother for a second spin around. After that we did Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh and the Tea Cups. The lines were great, they moved so fast and during our whole trip we never had a wait longer than 20 minutes. We really utilized the Fast Pass system and it worked so great. By the end of the day we had ridden almost every ride that we wanted to.

We rode lots of rides, alternating who would stay behind with Elle if she was sleeping and after lunch decided to head back to the hotel for an afternoon nap.

After resting and swimming for a couple hours we got cleaned up and went back to the park. We were considering trying to catch the fireworks, but were going to play it by ear. We wanted to get on some more rides and headed to Splash Mountain.
While Brother and I were in line it broke down :( We waited a few minutes in hopes it would get up and running (we were SO close to the front of the line) but he got impatient and we gave up. After that we did the Pirates of the Caribbean and called it a night. We exited the park just as the parade was starting. It had been a long day and I was exhausted!!! All in all our day at the Magic Kingdom was a major success. I did lose my sunglasses on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad but oh well.

Thursday we did Hollywood Studios and although it was fun, it wasn't as enjoyable as the Magic Kingdom. Far and away the best ride is the Toy Story Mania but it also has an insane line! We had breakfast in the park before it opened so were pretty quick in getting to the ride and had a small wait, but every time we walked by the line was just insane. We saw a few good shows and did the back lot tour, but I think Brother and Elle are still a bit small to appreciate most of that park.

On Friday we did the Animal Kingdom and had a blast!! The crowds were thin and although it was hot, the park is smaller and very easy to get around. I would recommend it to anyone and would definitely go again.

Overall the trip turned out way better that I expected. I was nervous to take Elle at such a young age, but she did great. She even popped her first tooth (bottom left) while we were there! She napped well in the stroller, and I am so glad I decided to take our big jogging stroller, although it was heavy and bulky it was so easy to maneuver around the park and she seemed very comfortable in it. Brother had a blast and didn't want to come home. Me? I need a vacation from my vacation. I am BEAT! But it was worth it!!

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