I've done my best to retroactively chronicle the restaurants and experiences we enjoyed on our 2011 trip and our 2013 trip to Walt Disney World. And you're probably tired of hearing about all the planning, ADR strategy, packing and other prep activities (like sewing! omg, so much sewing!) for our upcoming trip! Well, it's finally time to update you all about all the wonderful activities we enjoyed on our 2015 trip to Walt Disney World, and how all those craft projects came out! :-)
The 2015 trip was our most complicated yet. A coworker and fellow Disney-officianado had told me that I just had to try hotel hopping on my next visit. He assured me that Disney moves all your bags for you: you check out of one hotel on your way into the park and check into the next hotel when you get home. One teensy detail he failed to mention, though, is that this is infinitely easier to do sans kids. Don't get me wrong, we had an awesome trip and I loved seeing the different resorts but we likely won't resort hop again while the kids are still little and we're dragging strollers/carseats, etc. with us. I have also come to the conclusion that - surprise! - too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing. That is to say, 9 days (the length of our 2013 trip) is probably the max length of a trip that I would consider in the future. In the words of Kenny the Pirate, "When your vacation starts to feel like an endurance marathon, that's probably not what you want."
Below is our itinerary that I'll be diving into in the coming weeks. As I add new posts, I'll come back here to link to them, so consider this sort of like your table-of-contents.
2015 Trip Overview:
Dates of Travel: 2.25.15 - 3.9.15
Resort(s): Disney's Beach Club Villas, Universal's Cabana Bay, Disney's Bay Lake Tower, Disney's Beach Club Villas (again!)
Group size: 5, in two separate studio suites at each hotel
Parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Universal Studios, Universal Islands of Adventure
Table Service Meals: Beaches & Cream, California Grill, Coral Reef, Flying Fish, Hollywood & Vine, SciFi Diner, Biergarten, Yachtsman Steakhouse, The Plaza, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Hurricane Hanna's, 1900 Park Fare, The Leaky Cauldron (Universal), The Three Broomsticks (Universal), Medieval Times (off property), Gaston's Tavern, Tony's Town Square, Tusker House, Sanaa, Cinderella's Royal Table, Crystal Palace, Chef Mickey's, Trex Restaurant, O'Hana.
Special Events: Pirate and Pals Fireworks Cruise, Tomorrowland Terrace Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party, Albatross Pirate Adventure Cruise, Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique makeovers, Pirate League makeovers, Disney's Exotic Driving Experience, Medieval Times dinner show.
Awesome Experiences: Viola was selected to play the part of the Beast and dance with Belle at Enchanted Tales with Belle, Viola was also selected to pull the sword from the stone in front of Prince Charming's Regal Carousel, and received the 'Queen for a day' pennant from the red&yellow knight at Medieval Times, Jedi Training Academy, and both girls were selected to dance in the Festival of the Lion King show again this trip!
2015 TRIP ITINERARY:
2.25 - Arrival (Beach Club Resort)
Meals: Snacks for Breakfast, Lunch @ Beaches and Cream, Dinner @ California Grill
Highlights: Meeting Talking Mickey, Fireworks @ California Grill
2.26 - EPCOT (Beach Club Resort)
Meals: Snacks for Breakfast, Lunch @ Coral Reef, Dinner @ Flying Fish
Highlights: Meeting Princess Aurora in France, Meeting Duffy, Disney Visa Pavilion x 2!
2.27 - Hollywood Studios (Beach Club Resort)
Meals: Character Breakfast @ Hollywood & Vine, Lunch @ SciFi Drive In, Snacks for Dinner
Highlights: Jedi Training Academy, Meeting Hiro and Baymax, Seeing the Carriage from the Live Action Cinderella Movie!
2.28 - EPCOT (it rained!) (Beach Club Resort)
Meals: Snacks for Breakfast, Lunch @ Biergarten, Dinner @ Yachtsman Steakhouse
Highlights: Visiting Duffy (again!), Meeting Princess Mulan in China, Meeting Donald in Mexico, Meeting Tinkerbell
3.1 - Magic Kingdom / Princess Day (Beach Club Resort)
Meals: Snacks for Breakfast, Lunch @ The Plaza, Dinner @ Be Our Guest Restaurant
Highlights: Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique, Meeting Anna/Elsa at Princess Fairytale Hall, Meeting Cinderella/Rapunzel at Princess Fairytale Hall, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Meeting the Beast.
3.2 - Swimming (moving: Beach Club Resort to Cabana Bay)
Meals: Snacks for Breakfast, Lunch @ Hurricane Hanna's, Character Dinner @ 1900 Park Fare
Highlights: Swimming at Stormalong Bay, Meeting the Tremaine Family (plus Cinderella and Prince Charming)
3.3 - Universal Studios (Cabana Bay)
Meals: Snacks for Breakfast (packed from Disney), Lunch @ the Leaky Cauldron, Dinner @ Medieval Times
Highlights: Olivander's Wand Shop, doing magic!, Meeting Dr. Seuss Characters, Medieval Times
3.4 - Universal Studios (Cabana Bay)
Meals: Snacks for Breakfast (packed from Disney), Lunch @ The Three Broomsticks, Dinner @ Cabana Bay resort
Highlights: Doing more magic! Meeting Characters from HOP and Dora, Woody Woodpecker, and Curious George, Swimming at Cabana Bay
3.5 - Magic Kingdom / Pirates Day (a scorcher day!) (moving: Cabana Bay to Bay Lake Tower)
Meals: Breakfast @ Gaston's Tavern, Dinner @ Tony's Town Square
Highlights: The Exotic Driving Experience, Meeting Ariel, Meeting Gaston, The Pirate League makeovers, Meeting Tinkerbell, The Pirates and Pals Fireworks Cruise, Meeting Captain Hook & Mr. Smee, Meeting Peter Pan, getting Dole Whip.
3.6 - Animal Kingdom (Bay Lake Tower)
Meals: Character Breakfast @ Tusker House, Snacks for lunch, Dinner @ Sanaa
Highlights: Dancing in Festival of the Lion King, Meeting Rafiki, Meeting Chip & Dale (winning pass the acorn!),
3.7 - Magic Kingdom (Bay Lake Tower)
Meals: Character Breakfast @ Cinderella's Royal Table, Character Lunch @ Crystal Palace
Highlights: Meeting the White Rabbit, Seeing the Festival of Fantasy Parade (with Kenny the Pirate!), Dancing with Stitch at the Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Parade, Meeting Anna & Elsa at Princess Fairytale Hall... oh yeah, and PULLING THE SWORD FROM THE STONE!
3.8 - Park Hopping (moving: Bay Lake Tower to Beach Club)
Meals: Character Breakfast @ Chef Mickeys, Lunch @ Trex Restaurant, snacks for dinner
Highlights: Shopping at Downtown Disney, Swimming at Stormalong Bay, Fantasmic!
3.9 - Park Hopping / Departure (Beach Club)
Meals: Snacks for dinner, Character Lunch @ O'Hana
Highlights: Meeting Tiana, Meeting Snow White in Germany, Swimming at Stormalong Bay