Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Disney World- Orlando!

Trip: August 13, 2014- August 19, 2014

Took a 9:30 flight from Dallas and reached Florida by 1:30. Went to magic experience counter and realized that we forgot to attach the tag to our checked in bags. But with the boarding pass they were able to sort it out. Cool thing is that we don't have to claim the bags as Disney will deliver the bags to the hotel. Took the Disney bus to our resort which was 20mins away. Resort was huge, little outdated but decent enough for our stay. Resort has Mexican - South American theme with few restaurants inside along with pool and other water activities inside. Room was ready when we checked in, but the bags was not there yet! Went back to resort lobby where a NICE lady helped us to sort out our plans. She was patient and gave us few extra FunPass which was a birthday gift for Gia. Even-though bags was not in the room yet, got refreshed and went out for dinner. Place we choose was at Disney Boardwalk which was at Hollywood Studios. Went to the bus station close to our room and took the bus to Hollywood studios. Without getting into the park there was an option to take a boat to the boardwalk. It's a 20mins boat ride where they stop at few resorts before the boardwalk. Technically you can walk to boardwalk which is faster, but we took the boat for the fun and we are lazy! Walked around the boardwalk and checked in for the dinner. It was a Greek Restaurant which we never tried.

Food was great, obviously. Since we had the dinner plan we only paid the gratuity on a cheque for $110. Tell us about being tired at this point…was so ready to be back at the hotel. But we had to take the boat and bus back which took another hour. On the way back on the boat ride we saw fireworks all over the place. So happy to be back at the hotel where our baggage was waiting for us. Which had my goodies too! Kids managed to take a shower and they were OUT for the night. Spent some time to plan out the next day. Since the lady helped us everything was so easy, it was a matter of when and where. Speaking of which we have to be at the park at 9:30 tomorrow, means we have to wake up by 7am, which is 6am in Dallas. So nite nite. Takeaway: Since the baggage can come late make sure to get enough stuff needed once you get to the resort in your hand carry. Try to find a Restaurant inside where you are staying if you don't want to go out on day1. With that said, since baggage was not in we went out and figured out how bus service works between resort and the parks. It's the best, you will find a ride every 15mins to and from! Nit nite from Disney !

Day1: EPCOT 
Started the day at 8 and got to the park before they even opened the gates. When they opened the gates it was a mad rush to get to the rides. We had our plan and ended up going to all the rides and activities as planned. Ate lunch at 'Electric Umbrella' and retuned to hotel by 2. After a well deserved break we went back to Epcot by 6. It was drizzling so took the monorail before the dinner. Ate at 'Garden Grill' and took pictures with characters in between. Food was buffet and it was good. Ended up paying just the gratuity for a cheque of $130 since we had the dining plan. Had to run to see the fireworks afterwards. It was well worth it; amazing, I will leave it that! Got back to hotel by 10 and hit the bed. Tomorrow fun starts at 11, so going to sleep in.

Takeaways: Take umbrella if chances of rain in the forecast. FunPass is the best, well worth it.

Rides: Mission Space Ellen's Energy Adventure Spaceship Earth Soarin Missed 'Test Track' which looked good, but was closed due to rain and didn't work with our schedule. Other than that all the rides we went was amazing!'. 4 rids may sound less but it's perfect for a family as long as it's planned rather than running around and killing yourself.' Attention to detail'…one word or few to explain all the rides and activities. Nite nite from Conorado Springs, Disney :)

Day 2: Hollywood Theaters
Day stared at 11 and weather was just beautiful. Happened to see Frozen parade as soon as we got in. As always even the parade was attention to detail as they even had snow coming down while Anna and Elsa came in. Took few fast rides per kids request thru fast pass and it was fun. Ate at 'Fairfax' some BBQ food for lunch. Relaxed at the lunch place little bit as we had some time before the next ride. Final show of the day was the 'movie stunts- cars and motorcycle', best of all for me. The show was packed and we barely missed the rain…or else the whole Show would have been canceled. It's amazing how they do it for the movies…light, action, stunts!! Dinner at 'Hollywood Vines', which was American buffet. Food was okay, but the bill was $130, ended up paying just the gratuity due to dining plan. Returned to hotel by 7:30 on the bus and called it a night. Hotel has a free drinks refill option, but it's a 5min walk to the lobby where you can refill which defect the purpose. That just the downside but we are staying close to a pool and the bus station, so it's evens out.

 Last note of the day, today is the last day of Gia's 9…she will be 10yrs old when we wake up tomorrow. Kinda sad that she is growing up so fast, but happy for her that she will be in her 'double digits' starting tomorrow. We will be going to magic kingdom tomorrow for her birthday, so we hope it will be a great day for her and us…after all it's Magic Kingdom!

Rides: Rock n Roller coaster Tower of horror Voyage of mermaid Light, motor, Action-Extreme stunts Takeaways: Fast pass is still the best, considering the wait. Bring lot of water as you need it through out the day. Anytime you buy one from here it cost your one snack pass.

Day 3: Magical Kingdom 
Had a early start and reached park by 9:30, happens to see the morning parade where lot of characters walked thru the street. Took few fast rides along with a Water splash one. Kids were not afraid at all, but we were! Watched Mickeys' stage show at the castle. Rain stopped the show towards the last and we had to run to a Restaurant to take the cover from rain. It happened for a reason as it was lunch time and ate at 'starlight cafĂ©'. Took few more rides and headed back to the resort for a break. Rested, even took a power nap before returning to park by 6. Ate dinner at 'Tony's', Italian and the food was good. As usual only paid the gratuity. Took a good spot in Main Street and watched Disney Light Parade, Castle illumination and of course the Fireworks. We were standing for the whole time and the kids were so tired and sleepy. For the first time they wanted to back to resort…so imagine how tired they were! Took the bus back to resort and I decided to go to front lobby for a refill. Resort has this free refill option but it's a 1mile (I think as I felt that way ) walk back and forth. Got back the room and so ready to hit the bed.

Rides: Big thunder mountain rail road ride Splash mountain Space mountain Jingle cruise Stitch's great escape Morning and evening parades Castle illumination Fireworks 

Takeaways: No alcohol at Magic Kingdom, so be prepared. Write notes if you don't mind as you are doing so many things in few days and lost track of everything…just my 2 Cents Magic kingdom is one of the popular park, so be planned otherwise you will be lost. You would think kids are the ones into characters and Disney, but saw lot of adults who were more excited than kids. Rain may interfere your plans as some of your rides or activities can be cancelled or delayed, so always have a Plan B within the area you are in. That's it for now…nite nite!

Day 4: Animal kingdom
Stared the day by 10 and stared with a safari jungle. Watched lion king show which was pretty cool as got the front seat. GABI get to play with the crew for a while as well. It was a hot day with humid and we felt it for the first time during this trip. After lunch we got to ride few fast rides. Surprised to see lot of Indian themes in Animal kingdom. We had plans to watch one more show before the dinner, but was too tired to stay that long. So we decided to go back to hotel and changed the dinner reservation to 'Mayan Grill' Restaurant which located inside our resort. We had to pay $40 for changing the reservation but it was well worth it. After dinner stopped at a gift shop to collect some souvenirs. Packed the bags and hit the bed.

Rides: Kilimanjaro Safari Festival of lion king Expedition Everest Kali river rapids

We took the resort check-n option so we get to check-in there all the bags rather than the airport. We almost missed the bus to the airport as we missed our pickup time noted in the checkout letter. Called front office and got some help in carrying our bags to the lobby. 25minutes ride to the airport and we are ready to head back to home..sweet home. Now in the plane and wrapping up the journal so I don't forget the details of our trip. Overall it was a fun, exhausting trip…but was well worth it. Adios !