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Monday, April 1, 2013

Disney Must Do's & Our Trip

Our Trip & Must Do’s!

-          Amazing!!! The word does not even begin to describe how our Walt Disney World Vacation was.  This I believe has been the best yet, however we say that after each vacation that we go on. This trip we stayed a week at The Art of Animation Resort ,the resort is beautiful! It truly captures each story from Cars all the way to The Little Mermaid.

-We stayed in the Cars Suite. Outside there were all the characters for the kiddos to take pictures with. It was like this in each area.  

      All of the Disney Value hotels have great picture opportunities and are wonderful for the children! Plus you cannot beat the price. We always stay at a Walt Disney World Resort! You get the best of everything! By staying at a Walt Disney World Resort you get many extra perks that you do not get if you stay somewhere else!

All of our trips include and will always include: Resort + Park Tickets + Dining Plan = GREAT FUN!
We do our entire vacation through Disney World, including the food! Food is very very expensive in Disney.. Our lunch for a family of 4 that consisted of Chicken Nuggets (6), French Fries, Cookies (for adults), & Apple Slices (for kids) = $71.00! However, for us it was FREE because I use the Disney Dining Plan. & remember that meal was just Lunch. Breakfast usually costs about the same and Dinner of course is more.   I never regret getting the Dining Plan because we eat at some amazing restaurants and never have to pay a penny. This trip we ate at:

Cinderellas Royal Table  -(with Princesses)

At Cinderellas Castle, they had a wonderful breakfast of pastries, french toast, and of course a traditional breakfast. You can view the menu online for Cinderellas Royal Table to make sure it has food your little ones will eat, especially if you have a picky eater like me. They do accept the Disney Dining plan, however it does take 2 table services from each person. We enjoyed it very much. Even my son that was not to excited, he had to have breakfast with a bunch of Princesses! I absolutely recommend it.
     They also give you a complimentary Photo with Cinderella herself! My daughter was very excited and a little shy! :)

      This place was one of our favorites and we absolutely will be going back to the 50's Prime Time Cafe! They serve you Mama's home cooking! Their menu is also available to view online. I had Fried Chicken, which literally was enough to feed my whole family. My husband had the pork chops and he absolutely loved them. He wanted them later on at other places we went to. However we did not have another reservation for here. But next time we may be eating here twice! :) They have specialty drinks as well for Mom and Dad & also light up drinks in specialty souvenir cups. This restaurant does accept the Disney Dining plan however the specialty souvenir cups are not included.
They also have some amazing deserts!!! This was a ice cream sundae! It had all kids of stuff on it and was enough to share! Everyone got a desert and shared. Its the only way to get to try everything ;)

     The Coral Reef Restaurant is a very special place to eat! Inside the Restaurant is a full aquarium of all types of sea life. Its beautiful to enjoy dinner with your family and watch and talk about all the sea life they see inside. The restaurant is on the backside of the tank that you come out into after riding the Finding Nemo Ride. This restaurant serves seafood which is one of our favorites! They also serve other food however, please remember to check all menus to make sure there is something you and your children will eat. We all got deserts here as well! The deserts are just beautiful, you almost don't want to eat them.

This was our first time trying Creme Brulee! However it is very very good! Everyone should try new things! My husband ordered this as his desert and I was very surprised by this because he is also a very picky eater. I have to say it was very good! We did dinner later in the evening about 2 hours before the fireworks show, we finished dinner and rode the Finding Nemo ride - we got right on, no wait... then enjoyed spending time, before the fireworks,  looking at all see life from the other side of the aquarium. You can even see over into the restaurant where you and your family were eating. Throughout the aquarium part they had different things for the kids to explore and learn about of course. I think our favorite part was watching the dolphin swim. We spent a lot of time watching her up close. 

The Rain Forest Cafe

This was the first time I had ever been to the Rain Forest Cafe or any place like it. The first thing I noticed was all the animals that were hidden throughout the Rain Forest decorated restaurant  Once we sat down and began looking around we say many wonderful animals. The animals move and make noises... and every so often all the animals go off and make noises. See how many animals you can find. Our family really enjoyed this restaurant! Absolute a must see! There are two locations for the Rain Forest Cafe, one at The Animal Kingdom and also a location at downtown Disney!
**-TIP- When going to the Animal Kingdom, there is a ticket booth located near the restaurant that is normally not busy and you can walk right through. This will help out in the morning because not many people know about it! ... shh  :)

The Crystal Palace (with Characters)

      The Crystal Palace has been our favorite since the first time we came to Disney World. The Crystal Palace is a buffet restaurant. The kids really enjoy it because they have a "little" buffet for kids. This Character Dining only uses one of your table service meals. The Characters included are Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet! We go back here because of the food and I love seeing how the kids have grown since the last time they saw the characters. We have always done Dinner at The Crystal Palace, I believe next time we will try them out for Breakfast!

and last but not least, T-Rex Restaurant.

This was our first time at the T-REX Restaurant just like at the Rain Forest Cafe. Both Restaurants have the same sort of large animals and loud noises. T-REX Restaurant is a restaurant that every family should enjoy. The atmosphere was very prehistoric. My son loved it! I think its a great and special place for boys. My daughter enjoyed it as well, minus the  "scary" Dinosaur (T-REX himself). 

She especially loved the dessert. T-REX Restaurant also had amazing food, just like all the other table service restaurants we ate at. I wouldn't expect anything but the best from Walt Disney World. For Dinner, I chose to have the Lasagna. I do not get to have it often because I am the only one that eats it.  It was Delicious, and of course there was plenty and I had to take it with us. I was very happy there were refrigerators and microwaves in our room, nothing like some good ol' leftovers!
Just like at all the other restaurants, T-REX offered a very special dessert. We all shared it because as you can see, it is huge! 

 That was just Table Services! & there are many many more options available with this Dining Plan, we receive:

-1 quick Service

-1 Table Service

-1 Snack

Per person per day!

-          You also receive a refillable cup for each person in your party that can be refilled at your Walt Disney World Resort!

***So that’s our Must Do for planning your trip—Book everything through Walt Disney World! 
                                     Resort + Park Tickets + Dining = Savings & Extra Fun

     We enjoyed all the parks & Downtown Disney and we even went  to The Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios twice!  

* You will enjoy & get to do everything you want to if you split the Magic Kingdom up, there is no way to do it all in one day! We split it up and did it in two separate days... We did Tomorrowland, Most of Fantasyland – minus the carousal & Peter Pans Flight, and Main Street USA. We enjoyed the day and went to the arcade at the hotel that night. We chose not to see the Fireworks because we were going to go back to the Magic Kingdom and we shoot fireworks off a lot at home (so it wasn’t a high priority on our list because we have seen them several times).

-**If you choose to split the park up this way... Make sure to get a fast pass for Space Mountain… and then go ahead and ride all the remaining rides in Tomorrowland, be back at Space Mountain at Fast Pass time and then finish whatever you may have missed & enjoy Lunch.. Then continue to Fantasyland and complete your day with the shops down Main Street USA…

-          Our next day at Magic Kingdom we did Adventure land, Liberty Square, and Frontierland. There was also Extra Magic Hours for the Morning which were 8am-9am and we got to finish off Fantasy Land and be the first on the carousal and no wait for Peter Pans Flight!

--***ALWAYS eat breakfast at a Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom and have reservations!! If you have reservations to a Restaurant in the Magic King at the time it opens or a little before you can be one of the first into the park! You can get some awesome pictures this way and there is nothing like being the first in the park!

-          **Also Magic Kingdom has a welcome show 10 minutes before the park opens! I always plan on arriving at least an hour before the park opens if I want to see it.

**-If splitting park up like this… go ahead and get a fast pass for Splash Mountain &/or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.. Ride the other ride & then head on over to the Haunted Mansion…  These are the top rides here..

**-- Make Sure to get a Dole Whip Float! I could eat one of these everyday!! It truly is the best! & it comes as a snack on your Disney Dinning Planning & saves you 5.99+ taxes!

*GENERAL TIP*--For any Reservation, get there early & Check in at least 10 min before your Reservation.

-** Get a Fast Pass for Toy Story FIRST!!! – The very first thing you should do if you want to ride Toy Story Mania is go get a Fast Pass. We send one person over to get everyone a fast pass as soon as we walk in the gates and then we all meet to do either Rockin Roller coaster or The Hollywood Tower of Terror… If you do it like this you have minimum wait and then when finished up you can head straight over to Toy Story Mania for your fast pass and come back to this area for shopping, Fantasmic, or Beauty & the Beast Live on Stage.

 ----- then we just enjoy the rest of the park.. Check character times & Show times if there are shows you want to see or specific characters and work that in with your day..

---Hollywood Studios is a park that can be done in one day. It is our favorite park so we went there twice this trip and did our favorite rides twice, ate lunch, & then headed to Downtown Disney.


      There is a lot to do at Epcot.. So choose your favorites.. & do those in the Morning.. Get a Fast Pass for Test Track &/or Soarin & ride the other.. We did Test Track (Fast Pass), and did Soarin with a fast pass as well just later in the evening. We have little children 8 & 5 and since this was their first trip to Epcot we choose to let them do the Passports (where each country stamps and writes something in their language in your passport for your children to keep forever. It shows on the map the different locations available – most are located in a shop and you may have to look for it. There is another fun activity done in Epcot that is done with Agent P, he is a secret agent and needs your help. You will follow different clues that will be given to you at different countries. It really is cool for middle aged children. My son was old enough to enjoy it but my daughter would not have cared, and they would have fought over the clue finder (which looks like a cell phone), and it would have just been a disaster! So when we go on our next trip we will absolutely be trying this out they will both enjoy it and work together then instead of fight (hopefully). Epcot is one of my favorite parks because of the countries and cultures. It truly is a great place to explore other cultures. At each country there are places to eat and shops to explore. Each of the restaurants or shops has food or products that pertain to that particular culture. A fun thing to do with your kids if they like to shop or you do ;), buy a small toy from each country for them to see the types of toys available, or a piece of candy to try out the different candies of the countries.  Now Epcot is not a place that everyone loves, you may just want to do the big rides and use your  park hopper and visit another park, but  It is worth it to at least do the full experience one time on your trip & most importantly see the award winning fireworks show at Epcot. You will not be sorry you waited or came back to see it.

     The Animal Kingdom is like a big Zoo with extra rides & shows. Animal Kingdom is usually a day we split with Downtown Disney, explore other hotels, or just get some rest for the remainder of your trip. The Animal Kingdom is an awesome park with a lot of animals and many opportunities to see the animals in an up close kind of way.  
- The best breakfast is at The Tusker House!  It is a buffet and does include Characters, but try to get a reservation for as earliest as possible that way you don’t have long waits on rides that you may want to get on.
- If you are not eating Breakfast at the park, go straight for Kilimanjaro Safaris and either gets a Fast Pass or go ahead and ride it. I recommend to go ahead and ride it right then. All the animals were awake and walking around eating. It was nice to be able to see all the animals that they had and were talking about on the Safari.

- Next ride or get a Fast Pass for Everest. We went ahead and rode it to get it out of the way and then explore the rest of the park and see the shows!

     Our Disney vacation was absolutely amazing. I know have finally got everything unpacked. We also have got back our Photo pass CD already and I also have already received all the prints of the pictures we ordered from our trip. It’s so wonderful to look at all the pictures or our memories! My husband told me just last night, that I need to take all the pictures down and we cannot go on vacation for that long again. He said, “It’s hard to get back into the swing of things work, household duties, etc. when all I can think about is Disney” J Looks like someone has caught the Disney bug!!     
     If you and your family are getting ready to go to Disney, you’re planning your trip or your just thinking about going to Disney World. Always remember these are memories that your children or anyone in your family will never forget and will always be so special! My favorite part of our trip is seeing my children’s faces and their excitement, nothing is more rewarding.

Have a wonderful trip & share your tips as well!!! :) 

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