Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Disney Vacation

Every year we take a family vacation and with the girls, usually over summer break.  This year we took a week off and went to Disney World in Florida.  This trip makes it our third Disney vacation and I think we've finally seen most of the parks!  Last year, Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom was remodeled and new rides were added.  The girls have been wanting to back ever since.  In our prior trips we have only spent a day or two at the parks, this time, we decided to make the trip all about Disney. 

Lodging:  We stayed at the dolphin side of the Disney Swan and Dolphin resort.  The hotel was very nice and I had been there once before for a business trip so I knew it would be easy access to the parks.  The resort is on the Disney property and has boats and buses that take you to the parks.  We were walking distance to Epcot and Hollywood Studios but preferred to take the boat into Epcot most days.  The hotel is also next to Disney Boardwalk which has some neat shops and restaurants to eat at.  Our room was just ok.  It was all Michael Graves décor which was popular about a decade ago but felt dated now.

Parks:  We went to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. We did a 6 day park-hopper ticket that allowed to come and go to the parks as we wanted.  This was our first time doing Animal Kingdom and probably our least favorite.  Maybe it's because we have such a great zoo in Wichita or maybe it's because I'm a zoo snob, but we weren't that impressed.  We'd heard a lot about the safari ride and were really excited to do it. The animals were pretty far away and there wasn't anything that exotic that we hadn't seen before.  The best part was probably the safari jeeps we road around in.  Magic Kingdom was still a favorite and we spent our evenings there.  Fantasyland was indeed much better and lines were so much better at night.  Some rides we could do back to back if we really liked them.  Favorites were the Barnyard Stormer rollercoaster, Dumbo, Monster's Inc Laugh Floor, and Little Mermaid.  We made it to Hollywood Studios on Star Wars weekends so it was a bit nuts.  Josh was in heaven and got a bunch of geeky Star Wars stuff.  The girls really did get into it and really liked the Star Wars ride which they did like 4 or 5 times while we were there. Eopot was probably our favorite and we spent most of our time there.  We really enjoyed the World Showcase and visiting all the different countries.  We did quite a bit of eating and shopping here.

Dining:  We had some great meals and some not so great meals.  We did reservations in advance at several restaurants that we really wanted to go to.  We had German food at the Biergarten Restaurant, Chinese food at the Joy of Tea, Japanese at the Katsura Grill, French desserts at Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie and Italian at Via Napoli.  I think I enjoyed the Joy of Tea the most, strangely it was the cheapest and was a walk up stop. We did get Dole Whips at Animal Kingdom and they are just as good as people say and perfect for a hot day.  We also managed to venture out and eat at one of my favorite restaurants (for a chain), Bahama Breeze

Shopping:  We did get to do some fun shopping.  We went to several Sanrio Stores to fill up on Hello Kitty and friends.  The girls & I went a bit nuts. We hit up IKEA but only bought a few décor items this go around.  At Epcot Japan, we hit up Mitsukoshi which is a mall full of Japanese goods.  There was tons of Sanrio and San-X items.  Plenty of anime and manga; One Piece, Domo, Pokémon, Mario, etc.  Lots of Studio Ghibli items including a $55 stuffed Totoro that Penny insisted we get and whined for the entire trip.  We finally gave in.  There were also plenty of kitchen items (yay, more bento supplies), stationary, beauty products, home decorations as well.  Lastly, there was a huge area of Japanese snacks and candy.  We stocked up again.  No DIY kits but lots of gummies and hard candies.  There was a mall in Epcot China that we liked as well.  The girls found some panda stuff that was really cute.  We also discovered a new beverage, grape juice with pulp by Wei Chuan.  This stuff is seriously good.  Lots of grape pieces. 

The trip seemed to fly by very fast and I honestly wasn't feeling so great as I was still recovering from ear infections.  While it was a good time, I think we've had our fill of Disney for awhile.  Josh & I are planning to take a trip just the two of us this fall and I have to say, as exciting as the trip was, I'm looking forward to getting away and relaxing next time.  A beach, a margarita, and a cool breeze.

1 comment:

  1. I had a dream to visit disney land when I was a kid but couldn't get a chance but I will not let my kids only have dream about it, I gonna fulfill it with my kids. Thanks for sharing your experience with us through this post