Thursday, December 20, 2012


Yes, I know we came back from Disney a while ago.  
But I finally have time to post about it.
Basically, we had a blast!
We stayed in the Animal Kingdom, and went to every park (except the water parks).
We ate TONS of great food, walked all over, and went on some great ride.
I have to say, the Tower of Terror was my favorite.
The kids preferred Star Tours.  The rode that one about 6 times.
Here are my Disney tips:
Meal Plan - I would do it again.  I am sure there are cheaper ways to eat, but this was just so convenient.  You do end up with A LOT of food. Dessert at every meal.  Even I was sick of dessert.
This time, however, I would schedule the sit down meal as an early lunch.  
We schedule almost all of our sit down meals for dinner, and it seemed to cut into the day when we knew we had to leave at a certain time to make it to our restaurant for our reservation.
So next time, I would have a light breakfast, and early sit-down lunch at 11, and then use the quick service meal for dinner whenever we felt like it.
Also, you have to look for more discrete quick-service places.  The big ones are all pretty much the same (hot dogs, hamburger, chicken nuggets, etc.)
But after some searching, we found a place that made waffle sandwiches, pretzel rolls, and much more interesting food.  So don't be lured into the larger places.
And most places have an option to replace dessert with fruit, so make sure you ask.
Table services places I would go to again:  Akershus in Epcot (not so much for the food, but for the fact that you can see every princess), Coral Reef in Epcot (great food), Whispering Canyon Cafe in Wilderness Resort (this was the biggest surprise for me.  I was more hesitant about this one, but we all had the best time.  Just make sure you ask for ketchup and a refill on your drink.)
Places to avoid: California Grill.  It wasn't bad, but it just wasn't worth it in my opinion.  The views were spectacular, but the food wasn't worth using 2 meal points.  So I would skip this next time.
Parks - The kids were less impressed with Animal Kingdom and Epcot.  We only spent one day at each of those.  But we spent 2 days each at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.  HS is where all the Star Wars stuff is, including Jedi Training, which I would recommend.  But you have to sign up for it as soon as the park opens.  
Rides - Again, Tower of Terror was a favorite among the adults (found in HS).  Mission to Mars in Epcot (the orange version) was pretty intense.  DO NOT go on this if you get motion sickness at all.  The kids enjoyed the green version of it.  Soarin' (at Epcot) was also fun, as was the Rock 'n Rollercoaster (HS), and the Toy Story ride (HS).  We needed to use the Fast Pass for Toy Story, and Tower of Terror.  We should have used it for Soarin', but they didn't have any left.  My son's favorite ride was Space Mountain, always a classic.
Special Events - Since it was the Holiday Season, we were able to do some special events.  This included Mickey's Christmas Party and the Candlelight Processional.  I would do both again.  Our Candlelight Christmas was narrated by Neil Patrick Harris.  The music was great, and it really reminded me that this was Christmas (with it being so warm in FL, I had forgotten all about it).  The fireworks after were also AMAZING.  Mickey's Christmas Party was a little less spectacular, since it was pretty much just being in the park after hours, but they did have a Christmas parade that was great.  I also loved seeing the castle covered in lights.  We tried to watch the fireworks at the party, but we selected the wrong area to watch, and so we only got to see a glimpse of them. 
Other tips - Definitely download the Disney app onto your phone.  That was so helpful in seeing the ride wait times, and finding out when and where all the characters would be.  A quick tip on the characters: the lines to see them were much longer than any ride we waited to see.  Be prepared.  Also, the photopass in convenient, but it costs $165 to purchase the CD (no matter how many pictures are on it).
We did end up buying it (so I could make a photo book for my parents) and the pictures are nice, but if it were just my family, I probably would not do it.  They picture people will also use your camera if you ask them.