You never know what’s going to happen when you’re traveling, especially with kids. It seems to me that any time you travel by air something goes wrong–you lose a bag, a flight is delayed, or worse, overbooked, security pulls you aside for the frisk. Anyway, my point is that when we planned our first big family trip to Disney World, I was expecting a few things to go wrong. At the very least, I thought my children would fight, complain, and demand something from every gift shop. I figured I would lose sight of one of them at least once. And I pictured us waiting for hours at ATL on a delayed flight.
But I forgot about the MAGIC of DISNEY. The trip was fabulous. Okay, the kids got tired a few times, but not any more than I or my husband. And actually, I was amazed at what all we crammed into 5 days. Here’s what we did in a nutshell:
Day 1: Flew in to Orlando. Took the Disney shuttle to our hotel. Checked in. Unpacked and went to Epcot for the evening. There, we had virtually no lines for any rides. We rode as many as we could, including the Crash Test Drive. We ate great Mexican food from a stand and watched the EPCOT fireworks, which is nothing short of spectacular.
Day 2: Magic Kingdom. Started in Frontierland/Adventureland and worked our way around to Tomorrowland. Had dinner at the Polynesian Luau Show “The spirit of Aloha.” Then went back to the Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s very Merry Christmas. This is only on select nights and you have to buy extra tickets to go, but the Christmas parade was one of the most magnificent things like it that I’ve ever seen. A really special night with the kids.
Day 3: Hollywood Studios. We had a character lunch at the Hollywood and Vine. Saw a lot of kids friendly shows–the 3-D Muppet Show was amazing! Rock and Roller Coaster is GREAT! Can’t believe my 7 yr old did it twice (so much like me :-). The kids did start to get tired though and we did not make it for the Christmas lights on Avenue of America, which was a shame. But we did head back to the hotel and had a nice and very relaxing dinner.
Day 4: Animal Kingdom. Did the Safari, which was awesome. But, wow, the Sunday before Thanksgiving and it was starting to get crowded. So we took off after lunch (it’s also geared for older kids), took a rest at the hotel, then went back to the Magic Kingdom and let the kids pick their favorite rides to repeat.
Day 5: Magic Kingdom. Again, it was really crowded, so we did shows that we’d missed before. A few rides. Had dinner and caught our flight home.
I don’t think we could have done another day, although there was a lot that we missed, especially at Animal Kingdom.
Kids favorite ride: Buzz Light Year – Tomorrowland
Our favorite ride: Soarin (EPCOT) and Rock and Rollercoaster (Hollywood Studios)
Tip to save money: Don’t do too many of the buffets and family style dinners. They are so expensive and you can meet the characters in the park. (Keep in mind that I hate buffets)
Now, time to change gears, as I’m heading off to Indianapolis, where I will be attending a seminar in marketing fiction.