My family and I just returned from a magical vacation to Disney World! We had an incredible time, and I believe Brad and I would have enjoyed it even if we had not had the children with us. They were just our excuse to go! We bought a package and stayed on site at Port Orleans Riverside, one of their moderate resorts. Our package included the free Disney dining plan, which is offered at certain times of the year and, in my opinion, is the only way to go! With the dining plan, we each got one table meal (advance reservations required), one quick service meal, and one snack per day. We brought along our own breakfast foods, which made getting to the parks each morning much quicker than sitting down for breakfast somewhere. At Disney, time is money, and you want to make the most of your time!
We were told that early December is the best time of year to go, but apparently too many people also heard the same thing. It was quite a busy place! Everywhere we went we had lines, so we took advantage of the Fast Pass system, which is a must do! The Fast Pass system allows you to get a pass for a ride designated for a certain time. It allows you to avoid the long stand by wait lines.
Every day we were out around the parks, we would always see someone (always a man) wearing a tee shirt with Grumpy, one of Snow White’s dwarfs, on it. Our first morning on the bus, we saw an older gentleman wearing a Grumpy Tee Shirt, and the man looked a little like Grumpy. On our second day, we saw a guy wearing a Grumpy shirt with the words, “I’m Grumpy, deal with it!” Our family decided we would award to one of us each day the imaginary “Grumpy Tee Shirt.” I must admit I was the winner for the first two days, and I am the very reason the “Grumpy Tee Shirt” award started, and for that, I am not proud! However, I did not win it again for the rest of the week!
We left home around 5:30 am Monday morning and drove south. We arrived at our resort mid afternoon, checked-in, unloaded the car, and headed to the pool in the French Quarter. It was a balmy 84 degrees, and we enjoyed the sea serpent pool, where we slid down the tongue of the serpent! The kids thought it was so cool to swim outside in November!
We had 6:00 pm reservations at Trail’s End Restaurant at Fort Wilderness. At check-in, I asked about how to get to the restaurant and how much time to allow. The lady told me to allow 45 minutes, but that it would not take that long. Keeping her advice close to heart, we caught a bus to the Magic Kingdom around 5pm, then boarded a boat to Fort Wilderness Resort. That sounds pretty simple and straight forward, except that 45 minutes was not enough time to make it to our destination in a timely manner! With all the crowds and waiting, it took more like an hour and a half. This trip was the reason I won the Grumpy shirt for the day! I was totally stressed out that we’d missed our reservation time by half an hour! When we finally arrived at the restaurant, we were put on a waiting list to wait again. I guess we finally sat down to eat around 7:15.
After dinner, the kids and I made our way to the bathroom while Brad stayed behind at the table. We had to walk outside the restaurant, down some steps, and around a corner to the bathrooms. All that was uneventful until on our way back, Luke tripped on the concrete steps, fell face first, and instantly got a bloody nose. There I was, three kids in tow, one screaming with a bloody nose and spattering it on me, and no back up. This was probably reason number two I got the Grumpy shirt! I sent Lindsay into the restaurant to get her Daddy, and took Logan with me to the bathroom to clean Luke up and check him out. Then it hit me, I just sent my daughter into the restaurant and did not wait to see if she made it back to the table. I was imagining the morning’s headlines: “Daughter Kidnapped at Disney while Mom Cleans Bloody Nose and Dad Sits at Nearby Table.”
After the big clean up, I made my way back to the restaurant to connect with Brad AND Lindsay! We were told we could take a bus back to our resort, but after several buses came and went, none stating they were headed our way, Brad checked with a driver who informed him that we must return to the Magic Kingdom via boat, then by bus to Riverside. As we made our way back to the boat dock, we walked through a Christmas light display set up by some campers at Fort Wilderness. We ended up waiting over half an hour for a boat because a second boat was not working. During our wait, we were entertained by a fireworks display.
We got to see part of the Water Parade on our boat ride back to Magic Kingdom, and Disney at night is beautiful with all the lights. Okay, I was really looking for a positive spin on all our waiting of the night!! When we finally returned to our room, we went straight to bed. Lindsay slept in the trundle and the boys shared a bed. I did not sleep well that night at all. I was worried Luke would fall out of the bed, I wondered why my Disney Florist delivery for the children had not been made, and I was excited for the day to come at Epcot!
I will write up another post on our day at Epcot as my time allows, but this is it for day one of our vacation!! It did get better from here!!