People often ask Derek and I why we always go to Florida. Honestly? It’s a fantastic family friendly destination, whether you choose to stay on-site at Disney, or find a place in Orlando, and visit the countless attractions. Yes, long gone are the 7 day vacation packages at $150/each for air/hotel/car. However, if you wait out sales on WestJet, Air Canada, or Delta, shop hotel rates using all the major search engines, and maximize tips from MouseSavers.com – deals magically appear!
This trip, we were fortunate enough to borrow points from Dora and Bill, and stayed at two different DVC Resorts: Kidani Village and Saratoga Springs. Tired of planning our Disney vacations around scheduled meals (Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs) are highly recommended at all Disney restaurants), going the DVC route allowed us to use our in-room kitchenette to make breakfasts, lunches and dinners as needed. Not to mention DVC Resorts are known for incredible themed pools, and in the hot summer heat, a welcome retreat.
As the kids grow, every trip brings changes, and this vacation was no different.
Pierce finally surpassed the 38″ height requirement, and was able to ride Kali River Rapids. I have never done this ride, and clearly missed the warning sign about not just getting wet, but getting SOAKED. Yah, nothing screams fun like being soaked to the bone at 9am.
Later in the afternoon, Duncan was happy to exercise his new height excitement: 48″ and counting! Alas, this entitled him to Primeval Whirl (3 times in a row) and Expedition Everest (lost count). Turns out his inner rollercoaster junkie is starting to shine through.
We hit the tail end of the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival, and I loved seeing all the stunning blooms. My boys were thrilled, and insisted on stopping to smell the flowers. Sadly, out of an entire boat load of passengers entering EPCOT, Duncan and Pierce were the only ones who stopped. Sad state of affairs…
While we’re on the topic of EPCOT, an incredible area had been installed for the launch Disney-Pixar’s Brave. They had an elaborate “sandcastle” carving, a kids play structure area, and highland games.
Our vacation dates also coincided with the hugely popular Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios. My guys are very much into Star Wars, so regardless of the crowd level and insanity, it was a must do. Not to mention a stop by “Darth’s Mall” was in order: Derek scored himself the Darth Maul Duck Mug, and Pierce’s Duffy Bear got a new Jedi uniform (yes, the lightsabre really lights up!).
Finally, lots of changes at the Magic Kingdom. We rode Snow White’s Scary Adventures for the last time (now permanently closed – the Seven Dwarfs Mine rollercoater will replace it). Pierce was thrilled with The Great Goofini Rollercoaster, which he rode repeatedly during our stay. In fact, we ended up having to walk off the incline steps at Goofini when the ride broke down. Very cool experience, since none of us has been stuck on a ride before! Moreover, we were lucky enough to test out the new Dumbo Big Top waiting play area. Between the new Dumbo ride(s), the new queuing pager concept – WOW!
Oh, and of course there were the old favorites. Space Mountain (turns out Duncan loves “in the dark” roller coasters), the tea cups, the TTA PeopleMover and of course, the Speedway.
All in all, another great family vacation in the World! Yep, they are already begging to go again…Share on Facebook