Walt Disney World – April 2014

Walt Disney World 2.jpgI’m not sure when it happened, but the Weitl clan has officially become Disney freaks.  As in we’ve been home for less than 2 months and there is already a plan to go back…  I guess that just means that the vacation was a fun one!

We surprised the trio the Thursday before Easter by waking them up at 4:30 in the morning to head to Bloomington to catch a flight to Orlando.  Our plane left at 7 and we were to Orlando by 10 am.  We took the Magical Express to Port Orleans Riverside (highly recommend for families of 5!) and grabbed lunch before catching the bus to the Magic Kingdom.  We stopped to meet Pluto and Marie right after we walked through the gates and Clara was especially thrilled.  She bought a stuffed Marie last year when we were in Disneyland (and ended up with another as a souvenir from this trip…) and then headed back to New Fantasyland to ride Under the Sea, the carousel, Enchanted Tales with Bell, and Peter Pan’s Flight.  We had dinner at Chef Mickey’s that evening and went back into the park to ride Dumbo and Winnie the Pooh before heading back to the hotel to swim for a bit before bed.

This was our first seven day trip to WDW and I think it made us love it even more.  We didn’t feel rushed and we could take our time and spend time swimming, meeting characters, etc.  On Friday, we headed out to Hollywood Studios and after a minor sandal debacle, we had lunch at Hollywood and Vine with Doc, Jake, and Sophia.  The kids liked it, but it won’t be a spot we need to hit again — they are almost too big for those characters!  We rode Toy Story, The Great Movie Ride, Backlot Tour, and saw Muppets 3D.  We also had a Mickey Ice Cream bar for a snack.  It started raining later in the afternoon so we walked through the stores for a bit.  Anna bought a Belle Jewelry Box, Bo bought a Pluto stuffed animal, and Clara bought a princess coloring book with colored pencils.  We ate quick service at the hotel for dinner before baths and an early bedtime.

On Saturday, we headed back to the Magic Kingdom later in the morning and had our picture taken with the Mr. and Mrs. Bunny first thing.  I had a FastPass for lunch at Be Our Guest so we headed back to New Fantasyland for lunch (very good) before going to meet Daisy and Minnie at the Big Top.  We road Barnstormer, Splash Mountain, and It’s a Small World, and spent quite a bit of time exploring Tom Sawyer’s Island.  We met Ariel at her Grotto (Bo wanted nothing to do with any of the princesses!) before heading to The Crystal Palace for dinner with Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet.  Afterwards, we walked around a bit and rode Pirates of the Caribbean before finding spots for the fireworks.  It was pretty magical!

Sunday was Easter and we spent the day at Epcot.  We went through Innovations and rode Test Track and Soarin’ before having lunch at Sunshine Seasons.  After he ate, Bo got sick – we thought it might be motion sickness and tried one more ride – Living with the Land — but he still wasn’t feeling well so Bo and I headed back to the room while Mike, Clara, and Anna stayed at Epcot.  Bo watched some TV while I did laundry and then he said he felt good enough to head back in for dinner. While we were gone, Mike, Clara, and Anna rode Spaceship Earth, saw Turtle Talk with Crush, explored the sea area, Clara and Anna had their faces painted, and they played in the park.  We came back and met them just in time to head to Akershus for dinner.  It was a nice dinner and afterwards we rode Maelstrom and Spaceship Earth (all of us this time) before heading back to the room to watch Monsters Inc.

On Monday, I had scheduled for us to have a relaxing morning so we headed over to Bay Lake Tower to the Top of the World for breakfast.  After we ate, we did a little shopping at the Contemporary where Bo purchased a Goofy stuffed animal, Clara bought her second Marie the cat (this one has a long tail), and Anna bought Minnie Mouse hair supplies.  We headed back to Port Orleans where we changed into our swimsuits and went swimming over at Ole Man Island.  Mike grabbed us lunch and we ate poolside.  Around 3, we headed to Hollywood Studios and went to see the Beauty and the Beast stage show and the Stunt Show before dinner at the Sci-Fi Dine-in Theater (one of my favorites — it’s a must do for me!).  After dinner, we let the kids play at the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area for a bit and met the Incredibles before heading over to the Tower of Terror.  While Bo, Anna, and I rode it, Mike and Clara claimed our spots in Fantasmic.  It was a neat show and we headed back to the hotel to bed as soon as it was over.

On Tuesday, we were up early and headed back to the Magic Kingdom.  Anna and Elsa from Frozen had just moved to Magic Kingdom from Epcot and we knew we needed to be there at rope drop if we had any chance of meeting them.  We beat feet back there as soon as the rope dropped and still had to wait an hour.  However, since it was extra magic hours, we had met Anna and Elsa by 8:15 and then were able to head to Gaston’s Tavern for cinnamon rolls.  It was totally worth it.  I wouldn’t wait 5 hours for them, but 1 hour early in the morning was no problem.  After we ate our cinnamon rolls, Bo wasn’t feeling well again so he and I sat down for a bit while Mike, Clara, and Anna went to the Tomorrowland Speedway and the People Mover.  By that point, Bo was feeling better, so we all went on Buzz Lightyear and the People Mover before crossing over so Bo and and Mike could ride on Thunder Mountain.  Anna and I attempted to ride Thunder Mountain after they had finished but we got all the way into the car and Anna freaked — so we bailed.  Apparently I scarred her a bit the night before on Tower of Terror!

Disney Princesses A and CWe all rode Splash Mountain together again and then took the train out of the park.  We had lunch at the hotel and then went swimming for the afternoon.  We ate at Boatwright’s for dinner and went to sleep early that evening knowing that our last day would be a full one.

Mike’s friend Steve came over from Tampa to spend the day with us on Wednesday.  We took the bus into Magic Kingdom and hopped the train to the back to start at the Barnstormer.  It was nice having an extra set of hands and the kids all adore Steve.  I had a Fastpass for Cinderella and Rapunzel so Clara, Anna, and I went to do that while Steve, Mike, and Bo did the Tomorrowland Speedway.  We met up at the carousel and after riding it went to see Mickey’s Philarmagic.  We stopped for lunch at Harbour House and Bo ended up getting sick after lunch.  Once again, I thought it might just be motion sickness — so we headed through the Swiss Family Tree House and then grabbed some Dole Whip.  Bo wasn’t feeling up for a ride so Mike, Steve, Clara, and Anna rode Aladdin while Bo and I hung out and he tried to feel better.  We all went on Haunted Mansion and then took the monorail to O’Hana for dinner (amazeballs – definitely eating there again!).  We took the bus back to our hotel and Steve went swimming with us for a bit.  On the way to the pool Anna threw up, but then said she was fine, so I rinsed her off and we went swimming for a couple of hours until Anna didn’t feel well again.  We headed back to the room and I got the trio tucked into bed while Mike and Steve went out for a drink.

On Thursday, we were up early to pack and head to the airport.  Anna ate a bit of breakfast in the room but threw up again on the Magical Express.  I worried we were in for a very long flight but she didn’t throw up again until we were in the car on the way home.  Anna ended up being sick for a few days — and then Clara ended up getting it (and then Mike and I the following week…) Needless to say, I think we did half of Disney with Bo and Anna with the flu.  They were very, very good the entire time and to think they were sick makes it that much more amazing what troopers they all were!  We walked 7-10 miles a day and kept busy.

On our way home, we ran into one of Bo’s Kindergarten classmates (Alec) at the Orlando airport.  He and his family were on our flight home (small world…).  We made it to Bloomington around 11 and grabbed some lunch to eat in the car (Anna got sick again…).  We were all unpacked, laundry done, and back to normal that evening.

Obviously, we didn’t do everything.  Even with 7 days and 4 days at Magic Kingdom, there is just so much to do!  We went at our own pace and were able to enjoy every minute.  The parks were busy since it was Spring Break but we just took our time, used our Fastpasses, and made sure to schedule a bit of downtime as well.  I’m already planning our next Disney adventure — February can’t come soon enough!

***** My friend Jamie Agamalian is a Disney Travel Planner.  If you have Disney questions send me an email and I will forward it her way.

***** I highly recommend buying Disney Gift Cards at Target before your trip.  (If you have a Target card you’ll have 5%!) The trio had their own Disney Gift Cards and that made souvenirs and budgeting very easy!

***** The meal plan is worth every penny.

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One Response to Walt Disney World – April 2014

  1. Ellen K. says:

    Sounds like a very fun trip! My daughters loved seeing the pics with Marie and, of course, Anna and Elsa!

    Re: gift cards, does your parochial school participate in the Scrip fundraising program? If not, you should offer to look into this. Ours does, and it’s a great way to budget for Christmas and travel occasions, as well as everyday purchases. Each card purchased gives a certain percentage back to your school. Disney (store and/or park) gift cards are a little paltry at only 2%, but American Girl gives back 9%. : )