Before I share a few pictures from our recent trip to Disney World, I had to share a photo from yesterday that just made me laugh. Here is a visual of what it looked like in my house yesterday when I was trying to write my blog post. Needless to say, it did not get done until after the kids went to bed 🙂
I’m sure many of you are experiencing similar scenarios after being cooped up inside due to the freezing temperatures.
Well, let’s forget about the bitter cold in New England for a second and let me share with you a few pictures from our recent family trip.
As I mentioned yesterday, we just got back from a trip to Florida where we visited family and spent a few days at Walt Disney World. This has become an annual tradition for us and I’m starting to become more familiar with the inner workings of this popular destination. I definitely am not any expert, but I did want to share a few things that were new to us this year and might be interesting to you if you are planning an upcoming trip.
Just like last year, we once again stayed at the Disney Property, the Art of Animation. (Psst. You can read my virtual tour from last year here). We love this property because it is fairly new, reasonably priced, and most of the rooms are suites (which is a perfect sleeping scenario when you are traveling with little ones).
The rooms on the property are categorized by theme (Cars, Finding Nemo, Lion King and The Little Mermaid). Last year we stayed in the Cars suites but this year we switched over to the Finding Nemo suites. While the Cars themed suites were wonderful and lots of fun for my kids, we wanted to try out the Finding Nemo suites this year because they are located right next to the main pool and playground and are very close to the main dining area.
Oh and even though we didn’t stay in the Cars Suites, we did head over to that area to visit with some of our favorite characters.
Besides the new room location, we also experienced a few other new items at the hotel this year.
It was the first year we used the hotel’s bus transportation to get back and forth to the parks. We loved it. The trip to Magic Kingdom didn’t take long and they drop you off right near the front gate. We also used the bus transporation for a trip to Hollywood Studios. That ride was less than 10 minutes and also very convenient
This year we signed up for the quick service dining plan. Not only was it economical, but it made the process of figuring out our meals a lot easier. The meal plan could be used at any of the Disney hotels or any of the parks.
The magic bands (as modeled below) can be used for many, many things on the Disney properties. We used them to unlock the door to our room, pay for meals, and reserve and use Fast Passes. The bands were easily adjustable and waterproof, so we wore them for the whole trip. Never again was I worried about finding my hotel room key or finding money to pay for my meals. I loved them. It made life a lot easier.
We also downloaded the My Disney Experience App to our phone and used it to sync our hotel room and meal reservations and find out wait times for rides and locations of our favorite characters. I think some Fast Pass users can even use the app to book their Fast Passes in advance.
For our trip, we were at the parks for three days and spent two of the days at Magic Kingdom and one at Hollywood Studios.
Some of the new adventures for us at Magic Kingdom included:
A visit with princesses Cinderella and Aurora who were located at Fairytale Hall, right behind Cinderella’s castle. We used one of our Fast Passes to avoid the line. It was a wonderful opportunity for the kids to have one on one time with one of their favorite Disney characters.
We used another one of our Fast Passes for a visit with Mickey Mouse who is located at Town Square Theater (right near the entrance to the park). While we have visited him in the past, this year was much different because now Mickey talks! It was pretty neat. I guess he says pre-recorded phrases, but it was impressive. In the past my kids have been rather scared of Mickey, but I think the ability to interact with him more this year (plus the fact that they are getting older, of course) made it a much different experience.
We also visited the fairly new section of the Magic Kingdom, Fantasyland. While it was there during our visit last year, there were a few more rides and attractions open this year.
My kids really enjoyed The Little Mermaid ride, the new Dumbo ride (though I think it is called Storybook Circus) and the Barnstormer roller coaster.
We also visited the Hollywood Studios theme park during our trip. I mainly wanted to go there because I heard they had a Disney Junior show (and of course my kids are obsessed with all things Disney Junior).
Needless to say, they LOVED the Disney Junior show and they also enjoyed a few other attractions there including: Meeting Lighting McQueen and Mater, Seeing Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and riding on Toy Story Midway Mania.
Thanks for letting me share a little about my trip! If you have been to Disney and have tips you would be willing to share, I would love to hear them! Just leave a comment below.
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