Friday, October 4, 2013

Our Trip to Disney

We've been talking about it for years. We should take the kids to Disney World! It's every kids dream vacation, right? Well, we wanted to go at "the right time." You know, when the kids are the right age and during the right time of year. But is there ever a right time? Maybe. We decided to go this fall. We found a time where the kids aren't real busy with sports, they had a day off from school, and it worked with our work schedules. So off we went on Saturday, September 28th.

The Fountains Resort
We bought a three day park hopper with two days free from the internet. We also decided to fly from our small local airport. Time was crucial as we didn't have much of it. It did cost a little more, but it was worth it! And we had an extra bonus with lodging. My parents own a timeshare. The kids had their own room and bathroom, and we had a kitchen so we could cook some of our meals. Publix was right around the corner.

We arrived in the afternoon and after the grocery shopping, decided to hit the pool. We grabbed some lunch and walked around the grounds. The Fountains is a great place. We really enjoyed it.

That evening we decided to go to The Magic Kingdom! I never saw so many strollers in all my life. Tip #1. No matter what time of year, Saturdays are BUSY!!! Be prepared to fight the crowd. We rode a few rides (Space Mountain was shut down!) and mostly just walked around. We only made it halfway around the park when we decided it was time to go. It had been a long day and we were getting hungry. We caught a glimpse of the Electric Parade. Yes, it's still happening! And on the way to the car, we saw the fireworks go up. I knew right then that we had to come back in the evening to see the show. The kids agreed. In fact, we found out that every park puts on some kind of firework show in the evenings.

Day two was at Epcot. It's Sunday and the park isn't that crowded. Lucky for us, a food and wine festival was happening! I saw the schedule on a Disney blog. Tip #2. Follow the Disney blogs so you know if any special events are happening at the parks. Pat and I certainly took advantage of that. I think this was the least favorite for the kids, but we kind of knew that was going to happen. We warned them ahead of time. We ate a late lunch at one of the restaurants which is something we had planned to do. The food was fantastic.

Day three was at Hollywood Studios. The kids are happy again! The wait time was only 10-15 minutes on even the most popular rides. So we got to ride everything and see everything we wanted fairly quickly. We headed back to the hotel for some swim time because it was a hot and humid day! That evening we went to Downtown Disney for dinner. Again, this was a planned splurge and really enjoyed our meal. Tip #3. We heard there are new plans in store for Pleasure Island. So look for that if you are planning a trip soon.

Day four we decided to sleep-in and head back to The Magic Kingdom in the afternoon. We spent the morning at the pool, went through a drive-through for lunch, and got to the park at around 2:00. Tip #4. The Wishes Nighttime Spectacular is a MUST SEE! The park gets busier and busier as the day goes on because everyone wants to see the show. I would try to get a table at Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant if you can. We had an excellent view of the show. It was the perfect way to wrap up our vacation.

Some more tips... wear your walking shoes. We wore athletic shoes every day and were thankful for it. The fall is a great time to visit. Main Street was decorated for fall and Halloween. Try to visit the parks during the week. We NEVER used the fast pass. The wait time was minimal, so it was never needed. There is a Disney App called My Disney Experience that was very helpful. It contains maps, wait times, and descriptions of the restaurants. We used it a lot.

I think we did find the right time to go! The kids are 12 and 9. My oldest missed two days of school, and the youngest missed three. The weather was great, and the atmosphere was wonderful. Hope these tips are helpful when you plan your own trip to the happiest place on Earth!


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