Hello everyone! I was away for almost 10 days in sunny Florida. It’s funny when I left New Jersey it wasn’t too cold yet, maybe 60’s, but when I got back it was about 40 degrees. Ugh… so I’m ready to head back to Florida! lol This will be a long post so grab a cuppa coffee or tea, tuck in, come along on our vacation.
I did drive down with the family in tow, if you’re driving down from the East Coast, New York/New Jersey area and looking for a safe/comfortable pit stop hotel try the Comfort Inn, in Florence, South Carolina. Friendly staff, clean, comfortable rooms, and a quick free breakfast in the morning. The drive was about 10hrs long. 😳 Which seems like a lot and guess what… it is! Thank goodness for iPads and tablets to keep the kids occupied. There’s handful of ideas on pinterest to keep kids occupied in the car, if you’re into that stuff, go nuts! Me, not so much… I want to pack light and keep the kids entertained. I loaded the tablets with Dog Man & Captain Underpants Books. (I highly recommend these books btw, they’e very silly and you’re kids will be cracking up while reading. These books really do help kids get into reading more.)
I was very lucky to be able to go down to Florida, the stars had alined. I found an amazing deal through RCI (it’s a vacation exchange network), $229 for a week at the Wyndham Cypress Palms was a huge score, plus from November 4th to the 11th, my kids school had off all week. Btw, Wyndham Cypress Palms 👌, comfortable, clean, and not far from Disney. Everything we needed for the week. Plus they had cute Siamese kitties running around the property! ❤️ I wish I had gotten a picture of them but every time I saw one I was on my way to the pool with no camera in hand.
Photos of the hotel below:
Finally, Disney World! We did spend a few days there besides visiting grandparents. Our first stop was Disney Springs, aka Downtown Disney. If you haven’t been to that area in a while it has changed so much. For the better I might add. Some of the favorites are still there, like Rainforest Cafe, Basin, Ghirardelli’s, the Lego Store. However a lot has been changed, it’s very nice to walk around and take in when it’s not overly crowded, which good luck going when it’s not. With the new parking garages it’s only a slight improvement, cause guess what?! They’re still always full when I show up. lol
My bath bomb purchase from Basin:
We went to the Magic Kingdom on a Monday in hopes of less crowds… lol There’s always crowds! However, we got there at opening time and managed to hit up 3 rides before 9am, which is a first. The lines aren’t long when you first arrive, thankfully. So if you’re deciding on fastpass+ times, sometimes it’s not necessary to pick morning slots if that makes sense since you may have the opportunity to only wait on a 10-15min line for a ride. However totally get a fastpass+ for the Seven Dwarf Mine Train as I waited on a 75min line. Unfortunately there were no fastpass+ available for this ride for us. 😓 We’ve never been on that particular ride, it’s always an extremely long line in the past when we’ve gone. My son and I said let’s just do the wait and finally try the ride.
I recommend downloading the “My Disney Experience” mobile app and linking it to your Disney Go account, magic bands, or scan your park tickets. It will give you the latest wait times for rides and character meet & greets for each park. Plus you can easily set up your fastpass+, photos, make dinner reservations, park info, and so on.
Wednesday, we had gone to Animal Kingdom, again, same logic, hoping to be less crowds mid-week. Um, nope. For kinda an off-peak time there were still a ton of people, plus coughing kiddos. 😪 Because fall.
The plan was to check out the new area in the park, Pandora. Didn’t even get a chance to walk through it. The park was mobbed by 11am, it was hot, everyone was over Animal Kingdom and looking forward to pool time instead. We did go on A Bug’s Life, Dinosaur, Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids, Primeval Whirl (which is a terrible ride, you and your kids will get bumped around too much, it actually hurts), and TriceraTop Spin.
We also went to Rafiki’s planet watch right before we left. We brushed some goats at the petting zoo area and did a meet & greet with Rafiki. 🙂 The person who played Rafiki was very good, being silly with my boys, they ate it up.
At the end of the day the kid’s were all smile at that’s always the goal.
The last day at Disney World we went to Epcot, which is still one of my favorites out of all the parks. It’s definitely the more adultish of all the parks. Epcot had their Food & Wine festival going on. So it smelt awesome pretty much everywhere… one day I’ll partake.
We arrived about 15mins early and had to sit by the fountain until it opened. People with the extra magic hour were let in. However, while sitting there, Epcot provided the crowd with some entertainment, a few guys going nuts on the drums to hype up everyone for a good day is a nice way to start the morning. I was starving since I skipped breakfast, after a ride on Spaceship Earth I b-lined to the Starbucks and bought a coffee and a special Epcot 35 cupcake. It was sooooo good!
We were able to jump on the Figment ride, that’s what we call it but it’s Journey into Imagination w/Figment. With no lines, so we went on a couple times in a row. 🙂
I had asked a cast member at Epcot about the Frozen ride. It’s new to us as every time we visit Epcot the line is crazy long. So I had asked when does the ride open? She said it opens when the World’s Showcase opens, which is 11am… wrong. It had been opened since 9am. The line was a 45min wait at 10am, Ugh.. I had rushed over there once I noticed the long wait time on the Disney app. Thankfully the line moved relatively fast and it didn’t feel like such a long wait. We went to the Anna & Elsa meet & greet right after.
My oldest son was soooo shy! He wouldn’t look or talk to Anna & Elsa. lol He was so cute though! He told me he played it cool even though he felt shy. ❤ He was more easy going when we snapped a pic with Pluto… my youngest had no idea what the heck was going on and just happy to be included. 😛
We had gone back to the hotel for small break and then headed back to Epcot to eat at Rose & Crown Pub for dinner. They sat us right on the water so we stayed to watch IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth show. If you’ve never seen the show, it’s fireworks and a laser light show right in the World Showcase Lagoon. It is so awesome but very short.
So that’s it! That’s how I ended my vacation at Disney World… we had one day to do a little shopping at those’s questionable knock off Disney gift stores in Orlando. We also packed and took it easy before the big drive home. All in all a stellar vacation! ❤ Thanks for reading! 😀