I’m still unwinding from vacation… and yes, we’ve been back for five days, so I have no excuse really. Let’s also NOT talk about the fact I still haven’t unpacked = winning! Alright friends, you’ve been asking and commenting away about everything you need to know for all things Disney, so today is roundup #1… this is going to take awhile to get through so my apologies in advance! But get excited for cuteness overload from Caroline and Carson, after all, this is what it is ALL about.
This lady was up bright and early Saturday morning at 3:45AM to get ready, get the girls dressed, and finish packing up the car with Jeff so that we would be on time for our 7:15AM departure… our only non-stop flight option, so you better believe we snatched up that Southwest flight oh so long ago.
To make things easy, we headed to our favorite off-site parking facility, Flight Park
, and they took great care of us, packing up the van quickly and transporting us to our gate within minutes… cannot say enough great things about their services for you local Nashville friends [and PS they washed our car while we were gone, too!!]
Once we got through security with the girls, we grabbed coffee and a light breakfast and then boarded the plane… and yes, the girls were SO excited to be flying to Disney World! Mimi and Pappy grabbed our two rows of seats and we were on our way.
Once we arrived to the Orlando Airport, it was a breeze to make our way to the hotel… Disney’s Magical Express
handles all your luggage so you don’t see it once you leave your departing city until it arrives in your room… genius right?!?!?! Especially when you don’t travel lightly 😉 We were on our way to the Animal Kingdom Lodge
within a few minutes and couldn’t wait to get to the resort.
Upon arrival, we visited the club level/concierge floor to see their on-site offerings… amazing for families who want accessibility to unlimited snacks/drinks/continental breakfast. This was an upgrade, but came with our package as we had gotten a suite for the week, so it was definitely a big plus in our book and one I would recommend! From there, we toured the rest of the resort, savannah to see the animals, and then grabbed lunch at The Mara Cafe,
where we also picked up our resort mugs, which allows you unlimited refills while at the hotel… great for early morning coffee, milk and juice, and caffeinated beverages, too. Afterwards, we got text messages telling us our rooms were ready, so we headed straight there, got unpacked, and spent a few hours relaxing.
That evening, we had our first character dining experience at Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort
. We left an hour prior to our reservations, assuming we’d have plenty of time to get there, but due to a traffic accident on-site, most major Disney transportation was shut down so we were an hour and a half late.
I have to say that transportation was a major pain for us throughout the trip and I know things happen, but we did have to communicate our frustrations a few times to the concierge staff and cast members because it really made things difficult getting from one park/resort to another on time.
But once we got to dinner, it was awesome… the food was REALLY good, the atmosphere was perfect, and it was a highlight for sure. We especially loved that the characters came to your table, so you can get all the autographs and pictures you’re wanting, while still being able to enjoy your dinner, too. The girls absolutely loved this dining experience and I think it’s a must-see for anyone going to Disney because you can check off Minnie, Mickey, Donald Duck, Pluto and Goofy, all in one sitting [plus, the cocktails were pretty good for us adults].
We called it a night after that, taking the monorail and buses back to Animal Kingdom Lodge to get some rest before our first BIG day at the parks!
Stay tuned for more… it’s taking awhile to upload all 1,000+ pics, but it will get done, slowly but surely! Yay for more Disney dreaming and fun.