Our FIRST family trip to DISNEY!

WE. HAVE. BEEN. BITTEN........by the Disney bug!
Many of my friends and family frequent Disney World quite often and have always told me of the Disney experience.  I, stupidly, dismissed their tales and convinced myself that it wouldn't really interest us because I, I mean WE, have never been that interested in "characters" or "Disney".
Well, fast forward a year to a little girl obsessed with princesses, castles, and princes and you have the inspiration for a Disney trip. 

Here is a little info about our trip:
  1. We stayed from Sunday, November 24th- Saturday, November 30th and enjoyed 5 straight days in the parks!!! Yes, this was the week of Thanksgiving and yes, it was crowded, but we loved it even still.
  2. We stayed at a Disney Resort called Port Orleans Riverside and absolutely loved it.
  3. We used the Disney Dining Plan and it was worth every penny.
  4. We had dining reservations at the following restaurants during our trip: Be Our Guest, Cape May Café, Mama Melrose Italian Eatery, Hollywood and Vine, Akershus, 1500 Park Fare.
  5. Our favorite restaurants at Disney were Be Our Guest for dinner and Akershus for breakfast, both of which are character dining experiences.
  6. Epcot was Mommy's least favorite park although Daddy really enjoyed the history aspect of Epcot.
  7. Eleanor's favorite part about Disney was meeting all the many, many characters and getting her autograph book signed. Her favorite characters were Merida and Cinderella.
  8. We drove to Disney which took about 9 hours.  Eleanor was a champ! She slept some and watched Disney movies during the ride.  We would drive again.  We like having our own transportation in case of "emergencies", that's just how we are.  ;)...even though our car moved only once the entire week.
  9. Some of our favorite rides include Test Track at Epcot, Dumbo the Flying Elephant at Magic Kingdom, but our absolute favorite was "Midway Mania" at Hollywood Studios, which is a Toy Story ride.
  10. We purchased the Park Hopper option in addition to our tickets which allowed us to frequent more than one park during a day.  This was totally worth it and allowed us to dine at restaurants at other parks and spend time wherever we wanted and whenever we wanted.  This made planning our dining reservations MUCH, MUCH easier.
  11. The best tool that I advise anyone making a trip to Disney is the free app, The Disney Experience.  This app allowed us to check for wait times, character times and locations, and would use your location and pinpoint places of interests like, restaurants, snacks, characters, etc.  IT WAS AMAZING!  It also allowed us to reserve our fast passes which automatically synced to our magic bands allowing immediate access to rides instead of waiting.
  12. MAGIC BANDS- are a game changer!  No need to carry cash, no need to get fast pass "tickets", or tickets for the parks.  Everything you need is on the magic band!
  13. WEATHER: The weather was great overall.  We had the threat of severe weather on Wednesday, but thankfully it held off and was only cloudy.  One day we had highs in the 80's and at night it got down to about 50, so needless to say we packed our entire closets for the variable weather!  Most days it was breezy and a little overcast which was wonderful!
  14. The Disney service was exceptional!  They always called us by our names at our dining reservations, they announced us as the Royal McKay family at the princess story book breakfast, they were always genuinely happy and helpful.  I've never experienced such wonderful service anywhere else.
  15. Disney is a kid centered place.  There is stroller parking with Disney attendants to watch your bags and stroller as you ride the rides and see the attractions.  They make everything from standing in line to walking in a crowd easy and well planned for families.  Many rides included activities and games as you waited in line, making it much easier to entertain the little ones.


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