Well here goes. Probably more than you'll ever want to know so read what you want and stop when you get tired of it.
We just got back from Disney World last night so here's a trip report. I'll try to include most of everything and even put some pictures at the bottom. If you're a Facebook friend, you can see all of my pictures on my page.
We left last Wednesday. I left school at 11AM and we had a friend take us to the airport. We have never left that early but we loved getting to Orlando by 3:00. We were at our hotel by 4PM and checked in with no problems. We have stayed at the All Star Sports the last 3 years and love it. It's cheap and if you have to stay at one of the cheap ones, stay there for this simple reason - the busses come there first. An empty bus always picked us up. Once we unloaded in our room, we went to dinner at the hotel. It's basically a food court but has a lot of choices. We used one of our counter services on our dining plan but I did buy the refillable mug. I didn't use it as much this year as I have in the past but I love having it for the hot chocolate alone. We needed hot chocolate this year. Keep reading.
After dinner, we decided to go swimming - well the boys and I did. Susan took pictures and relaxed in the room. She also got stuff ready so we could be up and early the next morning. And I mean bright and early!!
Thursday was Magic Kingdom day. We always start there. You almost have to. It was extra magic hour morning so the park was opening at 8AM. Since the busses start coming at least an hour before opening time (it's actually closer to 2 hours we later found out), we got outside to the bus zone around 6:40. We missed the first bus (we got out there earlier the rest of the time) but got on the 2nd. We were still first at the turnstiles when we got to the MK. We ate our breakfast and chatted with the cast members there. They let us come through at 7:45 and the park officially opened at 8. We ran like crazy to Dumbo - our tradition. We were the first ones on. We had Fantasyland (Dumbo, Pooh, Snow White, Peter Pan, Small World) done by 8:40. We then ran and did Splash Mountain and got fastpasses for Thunder Mountain. We noticed that Haunted Mansion was closed and it didn't open back up until around 3PM. We got rides done very quickly. The park was not crowded at all. The longest we waited in line was 10 minutes until Haunted Mansion opened back up and everyone ran there. But that was probably only 20 minutes. Lunch was in Future World and dinner was at Crystal Palace. We skipped that last year so it was good to be back. Great buffet. Max slept through dinner. Doesn't remember a thing. We had to leave the park at 7 b/c we weren't doing the Halloween Party but we were ready to go. We were tired and had ridden everything there is and several things twice.
Animal Kingdom was the next day. It was opening at 9 so we got to the bus stop at 7:30. A bus came pretty quickly and we were definitley the first ones there. We once again chatted with the cast member and waited patiently. The boys always do great getting there early. We ran to Kilamanjaro Safari at the rope drop and were the first ones on. I then ran to Everest to get fast passes. We then went to our breakfast reservation at Tusker House. The buffet there is amazing. They have every breakfast food you could possibly imagine. After breakfast, we went to Everest. Max decided he was going to try it. He hated the backwards part. Some tears were shed and he was done with that one, but I was proud that he did it. Carter and I would do it again later. We've decided that Animal Kingdom is definitely our least favorite. There just isn't a whole lot to do there for kids. It does have my favorite ride - Dinosaur which I did twice by myself b/c nobody else in my family likes it. But we were pretty much done with most everything by lunch and just did stuff again. It does have a couple of great shows. The boys were picked again to be in the Lion King show. I've decided I like that show better than the Nemo show there. We left the park around 6 to get on the bus to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We had dinner reservations at Boma there. This is our new favorite restaurant. It was outstanding. Great, great food. We'll go back for sure. We had to take the bus back to Animal Kingdom to get a bus back to our hotel. It was NOT a Disney bus that picked us up but a random charter bus. We were a little hesitant to get on as was everyone but the driver did take us back to our hotel.
The next morning (Saturday) was Hollywood Studios. It was opening early at 8AM for hotel guests so we got out to the busses at 6:20 or so. The first bus driver thought we were wacko (and we didn't argue) for being out there so early but she took us anyway. She wanted to make sure we knew we'd be standing out there for 1 1/2 hours. We said we understood. She shrugged her shoulders and said "ok". It was still dark when we got there. Security wasn't even there yet. I love my family. I know we're crazy but it's so much fun. We ran straight for Toy Story Mania. We've learned that the best strategy here is to go ahead and get fastpasses and then get on. By the time I got fast passes, we were probably 50th in line or so but it was worth it. Fast passes for this were gone by 11:00 or so. We got to ride it 3 times. It is becoming my favorite. We all rode Tower of Terror. Once was enough for Max. Carter and I did it again that night. Lots of great shows at HS. Oh yeah, Susan had been picked to be in the Indiana Jones show the last 2 years so we decided this year it was my turn. Susan told me to wear red and stand up and wave my hands right when the lady says "I need a volunteer". We had gotten there early (of course) and so were in the 4th row or so. So I did it and I got picked. It was a lot of fun. Susan got picked later in the day to be in the short movie during the backlot tour. She got drenched and was visibly scared but it was fun to watch. I got in on video. We had a great dinner at 50's PrimeTime cafe. The dessert there (smores) is my favorite of all desserts at Disney. It started to get cold on this day. The morning had been pretty cold but the night was freezing. Susan and Max went back early but Carter and I toughed it out and rode ToT one more time. I was a little worried about the next day as I brought no warm clothes. NONE. I had shorts and t-shirts. That's all. I would regret it.
Sunday we were up early again. Had a family devo and got out to the busses by 7AM. Epcot was going to open at 9. We were first in line yet again and this time it paid off. We got to open the park which meant we got 2 fast passes for the four of us and some other souveniers. The boys liked getting to countdown to open the park. We ran to Test Track (Susan's favorite) and rode it immediately. We then went and got fast passes for Soarin' since they usually go quick. We rode the recently updated boat ride "Living with the Land" but couldn't tell too much difference. Padded seats now!! We ended up not really needing the fast passes we were given for opening the park. We got to ride everything several times. But we used them anyways and gave away some fast passes we had gotten. I enjoyed making a couple of families very happy. Dinner at LeCelier in Canada was amazing as usual. This is one of our favorites. Their cheese soup and pretzel bread is outstanding. Oh yeah - it was freezing that morning and that night. The boys and Susan bought sweatshirts which were selling like crazy by the way. I should have but hated to spend the money so I just toughed it out. Susan went back right before the fireworks but the boys and I stayed and watched. We had told Max he could spend his money at the end of the night so we headed into the gift shop after the fireworks. Susan had told me not to come back with anything too big. But when Max saw the giant model Epcot Ball, he had to have it. And I'm the sucker dad that gave in. Getting that thing home on the plane was not easy. It didn't fit in the overhead bins so the steward had to put it who knows where. But it made it home even though the box was pretty banged up (it got stuck in the security check at the airport).
Our flight Monday wasn't until 3:35 so we got to sleep in (finally!) and eat a nice breakfast at the hotel. We had 10 snacks left on our plan so we stocked up for the trip to the airport and the plane. We found out at the Orlando airport by email that Max had a makeup baseball game at 6PM. We got to our house at 5:30 and pretty much left immediately for his game. I stayed in my shorts and t-shirt and it was freezing last night. When will I learn??
By the way - I didn't run in Disney. I figured we walked several miles and much of it was at a running pace. I did hurt my foot pretty bad but I don't know how. It was very sore - especially the first couple of days. Weird huh? I can run 18 miles and have no pain but then I try to run/walk around Disney and it hurts severely. Oh well - it's going away and I'll start running again tonight.
Way too much - I know. Pictures below.
My Weekend with the President (Kid President)
4 years ago