Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Disney week!

Long time, no blog! 

Ah, well. Life takes over from time to time and I'm terrible at committing to this blog. I have no idea why, though. I want to be a fabulous blogger, but I don't seem to make it the priority that I should. So if you love some hit and miss bloggin', then welcome! 

My family just returned from a week of Disney, and I thought I would give a recap on the ol' neglected blog. 

We left the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which I thought would be a disaster, but turned out to be perfectly fine. We've flown to Disney in just about every season of the year (NO summer in Orlando for us!) and I never really notice a big difference in terms of travel crowds. Park crowds are a different story. 

We fly Allegiant out of Knoxville typically, and Allegiant doesn't fly into Orlando International (Sanford instead), so we can't take advantage of Magical Express. It's worth it for us, though. If we fly Allegiant, the prices are ridiculously lower than flying Delta (even with hiring a car service to pick us up!), and we have a non-stop flight. I hate layovers. Especially with little ones, and also especially because a layover has caused us to lose luggage before. 

The night before our flight we stayed at the airport Hilton because they offer free parking for the length of your vacation! So the price of the hotel was offset by what we would've paid in parking fees, plus we didn't have to wake up at the crack of dawn to be at the airport by 8AM! 

Obligatory airport bear pic! Love the little Christmas touches on the bears and the snow on the rocks! 

 Only a Tennessee airport would have Cracker Barrel rocking chairs...

Airplane selfie! with a bad tooth shadow. 

Hubs had to sit in the row behind us. Still all smiles, though! 

Our flight left at 10:20, and we landed in Orlando right at 11:30. Our car service was waiting right outside security, with my name on an ipad (how modern!). Wish I'd gotten a picture of him! He's the same driver we've used several times, and I have nothing but praise for his company, Magic Ride Transportation. If you ever need a pick up or drop off in the Orlando area, I highly recommend them! Our driver is a little Brazilian fella named Marco. Or Marcos. Or something like that. You think I'd know by now, but I'm on too much of a Disney high to be certain. 

We left a below freezing, snow-on-the-ground Tennessee and we welcomed to sunny and warm Florida!

This is where the magic happens!

We had originally intended to stay out of the parks on our first day, but two things changed our my mind. One, we were staying at Disney's Yacht Club Resort, which is within walking distance to EPCOT. Being that close to a park was too hard to resist! Two, I heard that Haunted Mansion (my favorite attraction!) was being closed on the Monday of our trip for refurbishment. Saturday and Sunday were my only chances to ride it! 

So we walked to EPCOT, grabbed some drinks and hot dogs for lunch, then continued over to Magic Kingdom via the monorail.  We actually cut through EPCOT every time we needed to get to Magic Kingdom, which was awesome as well as exhausting! Disney is inherently a lot of walking, and then to add that much more to it will wear you out! I still liked that, though. I am a big fan of the monorail, so I liked that we were still able to use it despite not being a monorail resort (the Polynesian is my favorite!).

Hubs at the first beer stop of the trip!

Monorail selfies!

We pretty much walked straight through EPCOT, got on the monorail, walked to Haunted Mansion, rode it, and headed back out of the Magic Kingdom. Hubs was probably ready to strangle me. But, hindsight being what it is, I'm glad we did it. I never got another chance to ride Haunted Mansion this trip, and then there were a couple other disappointments this time, so I'm glad I got to do this one little thing for me. 

Our neighbors were in Disney World this week, too, so we met up with them to have dinner at the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show. If you've never done any of the dinner shows at Disney World, you've GOT to try it! We've done the Spirit of Aloha twice and Mickey's Backyard BBQ once, and I love them both. I really hope and plan to do the Hoop de Doo Revue next year. 

The Spirit of Aloha takes place in Luau Cove at the Polynesian (yay!). The show is incredible, and the food is just as good. You get a large platter of appetizers, an even larger platter of meats as an entree, and a delicious bread pudding for dessert. Beer and wine is also included, and you can pay for mixed drinks. There's also a kids menu, but what I like about Disney family-style meals is that they serve the meal first, and if the kids don't eat it, they offer selections from the kids menu. I like that they don't give children a choice at the beginning to see if they can get them to eat the "good stuff." 

 Ella Kate and her sweet friend Mya (pronounced like Mia, in case you're wondering.) 

 Can you pick out my girls amongst the fuzzy crowd?

 There was a part in the show that told the audience to kiss the person next to them, and Ella Kate had to give Mya a kiss, too!

 The fire eater/baton twirler was fantastic! I wish I had better pics, but you can YouTube it for a better idea.

 Caroline and Ella Kate 

 Caroline, Ella Kate and Mya

After the show, we walked through the Polynesian gift shop, which again is one of my favorite gift shops on property. 

 The hula hands became her signature pose the rest of the week! 

 I got the girls new Anna gowns for the trip. Aren't they adorable?

 Hula hands! 

 "Ella Kate- let's take one without the hula hands!" (hence the mad face). 

 Next up: Disney Full Park Day #1: Magic Kingdom!

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