Because I find myself referring back to "Our 2011 trip" or "Our 2013 trip", I wanted to share the itinerary with you so you can see what we were up to. And I suppose it will also act as a sort of table-of-contents for the reviews and stories about the activities we enjoyed on the trip.
In 2011, we planned a 12-day trip to Disney World. This was the first trip to Disney that I took as an adult, and it was a learning experience considering how much had changed. The dates were chosen to overlap with my cousins', who had planned their trip about a year in advance, so some choices (such as hotel, etc.) were made so that we would be near them though we weren't traveling together. (We were actually crashing their trip).
My mom and I had gone to Disney 3 times when I was a kid, and we'd always stayed at the Caribbean Beach resort, so it was nice to start my adult trips to Disney at the same place I was familiar with from my childhood. We booked our trip about 4 weeks before the check-in-date, and so entirely missed the 180 Advance Dining reservation window. We pieced together an itinerary around the meals we were able to get at that late date, and mostly just improvised the entire trip. As I said, definitely a learning experience! You'll see, if you compare this trip to the 2013 Itinerary just how much I learned about planning trips to Disney World!
The links below are to my own reviews of the restaurants / activities. As I add more I'll come back and update this post. :-)
2011 Trip Overview:
Dates of Travel: 11.19.11 - 12.02.11
Resort: Caribbean Beach
Group size: 4 (though we met up on select days with my husband, who was in Florida working on contract, and my cousin's family of 4, who were on their own trip to Disney at the same time and not traveling with us per se, and my paternal grandparents, who summer in Orlando).
Parks: All of them (as well as SeaWorld and Universal Studios)
Table Service Meals: TRex, Chef Mickey, O'Hana, 1900 Park Fare (Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner), Hoop De Doo Revue, Akershus, Hollywood & Vine, Sci Fi Drive In, the Three Broomsticks (Universal), Sharks Underwater Grill (SeaWorld)
Special Events: Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique
2011 Trip Itinerary
11.19 - Train
Highlights: 6hr stopover in Washington, DC allowed us to visit with my aunt and cousin, visit a local mall, and have family photos taken with my cousins' children and mine.
11.20 - Arrival & Downtown Disney
Meals: Dinner @ TRex
Highlights: Shopping at Downtown Disney
11.21 - Magic Kingdom
Meals: Dinner @ Chef Mickey
Highlights: Electrical Parade
11.22 - SeaWorld
Meals: Character Breakfast @ O'hana (Polynesian Resort), Lunch @ the Spice Mill (SeaWorld)
11.23 - Magic Kingdom
11.24 - Universal Studios, Island of Adventure
Meals: Thanksgiving Lunch @ the Three Broomsticks
Highlights: Seeing a Dinosaur Egg hatch
11.25 - Magic Kingdom
Meals: Dinner @ 1900 Park Fare (Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner)
Highlights: Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique
11.26 - Animal Kingdom
Meals: Dinner @ Hoop De Doo Revue
Highlights: The Lion King Show
11.27 - SeaWorld
Meals: Lunch @ the Sharks Underwater Grill (Seaworld)
11.28 - EPCOT
Meals: Dinner @ Akershus
Highlights: Meeting Mulan and Meeting Duffy
11.29 - Hollywood Studios
Meals: Character Breakfast @ Hollywood & Vine, Dinner @ Sci Fi Drive In
11.30 - Boardwalk, Magic Kingdom
Highlights: Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, Meeting Terrance, Bycycle rental at the Boardwalk
12.01 - EPCOT / Magic Kingdom
12.02 - Departure Day
Meals: Breakfast @ the Caribbean Beach Resort's food court
Highlight: The same 6hr layover in Washington DC allowed us more visiting time with my Aunt and Cousin and we used that time to visit the nearby Postal Museum.
Check out the 2013 Itinerary! for more dining and event reviews!