God willing this won’t be the last time we go as a family to Disney, but it might certainly be our best. I love nothing more than traveling with my wife and kiddos. Creating memories which other in neat places is the greatest of investments in their lives in my view. My parents did it for me so I am honored to be able to pass that tradition on.
We spent the week before Thanksgiving in the magical world of Disney. Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM). It was unreal.
We walked into the Contemporary Resort on property and won the Family of the Day upgrade and ended up spending the week in the Penthouse on the top floor. That about says it all. It was insane. So much to write, I just can’t get it all in.
But in summary, here is how we spent our days.
Arrived around 12 and took Disney Magic Bus to Resort
Won Contemporary “family of day” upgrade – ended up in 14th floor penthouse for the week (worth about $5,000!)
Magic Kingdom for the afternoon:
Barnstormer, Stitch’s Great Escape, Dumbo, Mermaid Under the Sea (new Fantasyland), dance party in Futurama, tons of character signatures, took boat over to Hoop Dee Doo review dinner in Wilderness Resort
Breakfast at Contemporary Cafe
Disney Bus to Hollywood Studios for day:
Star Tours 3D ride (twice), Muppet 3D show, Honey Shrunk Kids amazing playground, Julie rode Rocking Roller Coaster, finally found Mickey for signature, Toy Story Mania ride (wow!), characters, Disney Jr. (Doc McStuffins) stage show, dinner at Giordano’s in town
Back to Magic Kingdom for Light parade, Wishes light show and fireworks
Travel fiasco getting back to resort (we learned that taxi is way to go if staying late or rent a car)
Breakfast at Floridian – saw Tigger, Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins
Magic Kingdom all day:
Aladdin carpet ride, Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain (twice), Bell’s Castle show, Haunted Mansion, Buzz Light Year ride, It’s a Small World, Astro Orbiter, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, Tea Cups, met Talking Mickey
Taxi to Downtown Disney: saw Santa, ate at Wolfgang, shopped World of Disney
Disney bus to Animal Kingdom: rode Primeval Whirl, Dinosaur ride, Kilimanjaro Safari (unreal cool), Flying Dino, Tusker House lunch with Donald, Goofy, Daisy, and Mickey, It’s a Bug Life show
Then to Magic Kingdom again:
Disney train, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain again
Taxi back to Hollywood Studios for Christmas light show
Taxi to Epcot: Nemo ride, Turtle Talk show, Illuminations light show
Taxi back to resort, watched Wishes from Lounge then Water Show Parade from our balcony
*** all four parks in one day (did this because we had matching shirts and wanted photos from each entrance to each park)
packed up to leave, breakfast at Wave restaurant in hotel
Disney Monorail to Epcot for the day:
found our Legacy stone etchings from 2003, Test Track ride (way cool), Soarin’ (OMG), Nemo one more time, took boat over to Germany and Italy, had lunch at Tutto Italia, more character signatures, rode Gran Fiesta boat ride, Figment ride, monorial back to hotel.
Taxi to Airport, then home. 🙁
Our favorite things this time:
– Star Tours
– Test Track
– Talking Mickey visit
– Fireworks from lounge at hotel
– Safari Tour
– Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster
– Soarin’ ride
– Splash Mountain log ride
– Toy Story Mania
– Barnstormer kids coaster
– Character meals (Grand Floridian, Tusker House at Animal Kingdom)
– Hoop Dee Do Revue dinner show
– Downtown Disney (saw Santa)
– Lounge at our Resort
– Primeval Whirl
– Winnie the Pooh ride
– Turtle Talk with Crush
– Astro Orbitor ride
– Dinner at Giordanos
– “Dreams” Castle light show
– Christmas light show at Hollywood
– Christmas décor everywhere
– Our amazing penthouse hotel room @ the Contemporary Resort
Vacations in general are important to us. I gotta have them. We gotta have them. We have been fortunate to have been to many places but many more must be visited as far as I am concerned. But in light of all the places and trips we have taken this one tops them all. Disney is just over the top perfect.
What makes it Magical?
Location – 80s in late November, really?
Rides – for all ages each with a Disney story to make it special
Perfection – no one does it better than Disney
Characters – is anything cooler than Mickey?
Fun – if you can have more fun as a family somewhere else I need to know about it
Cleanliness – you can eat in the bathrooms there it’s so clean
Shows – fireworks, parades, stage shows, music, dance clubs, lasers, you name it
Variety – four different parks make each day special
If you haven’t been to Disney World….go. Save, steal, borrow, do what you must. You will thank me. As for me, I’ve been twice as a kid and three times as an adult; twice now as a family. I certainly plan and hope we go at least once more before the kids won’t think it’s cool anymore.
We already miss it.