How We Do Disney

 

 

Before I recap our Disney trip a bit, have you seen Annie yet?

We saw it on Friday and I actually loved it!

I say actually because the original Annie is one of my all-time favorite movies; I remember seeing it in the theaters as a little girl.

I would watch Annie on tape (you know, a VHS tape that goes in a VCR?) over and over again, hitting rewind and starting it from the beginning before it would even have the chance to totally end.

I even remember the label on our Annie tape which was written in green ink by my dad so that we would know which movie it was because we must have recorded it off of the television rather than buying it in the store (wow, I sound really old-fashioned).

Anyway, if you are going to see this Annie, you have to go into it with the mindset of – it’s a different movie.

You can’t compare them but you can sing along with some of the songs, recognize the names of the characters and really get into it.

 

On to Disney:

 

Cinderella's Castle

We had a terrific time. We always do.

And, the more often we go, the better we get at handling the overwhelming nature that Disney World can produce if you let it get the best of you.

First things first —

We stay at the Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort.

pool

It’s not a Disney hotel but it is on Disney property which means we are inside “Disney” and super close to all of the attractions.

And, the hotel provides regular transportation (free of charge!) to all of the theme parks just like the traditional Disney hotels.

We have stayed here before and just love it.

I love the feel of the hotel atmosphere versus some of the Disney Hotels which are motel-style.

The Hilton Bonnet Creek makes you feel as though you are away at a resort, not at Disney World every second of your trip and there are no overwhelming Mickey Mouse patterns.

The rooms are beautiful and the facilities including the gym, restaurants (there are several) and the giant pool (with lazy river and waterslide) are fantastic.

waterslide

The hotel is only a few years old which makes it that much better. It is attached to the Waldorf too where the Guerlain Spa is should you have time for a massage.

I didn’t on this trip but did a few years ago – highly recommend.

Since we have been to Disney now three times in five years, I wanted this quick trip to be somewhat laid-back.

Actually, I like all trips to be laid-back. I don’t like that feeling of being on a schedule, rushing around and feeling the need to see and do everything.

So, for this trip, here’s how we did it:

Four days/three nights – it’s more than enough. By the fourth day, we are just done with the parks.

In my opinion, if you are going to stay longer, you need to spend more time away from the parks in order to have the stamina for going over and over again to see it all.

Three-day park pass with no hopper option – If you aren’t familiar with Disney, adding a park hopper to your park pass allows you to jump from park to park each day.

I went with a regular park pass for this trip which meant if we chose Magic Kingdom, as we did on Monday, that was the only park we could go to for that day and night.

Since we go fairly often, I told my son that we do not need to do it all over and over again. We saved a few hundred dollars this way and we were certainly not lacking in entertainment.

We really like Magic Kingdom.

Magic Kingdom Chocolate Covered Apple

Okay so maybe I love Magic Kingdom for the chocolate-covered apples and cookies but most people love it for the rides and atmosphere.

Disney candy store

It really is The Happiest Place On Earth.

Main Street Parade

We stayed at Magic Kingdom all day into the evening on Monday where we saw lots of parades and even saw the whole Frozen Christmas thing (I don’t know if it was a show, a spectacular, a parade or what but I saw it while eating my giant cookie ice cream sandwich which is honestly all I cared about).

frozen cinderella's castle

If you are wondering if we did Fast Passes (you know, where you sign up in advance for rides rather than waiting on lines) – we did for some and not for others. We didn’t stress it.

Tuesday looked like this:

Pool time ->Grand Floridian -> Boardwalk ->Epcot -> Downtown Disney

pool

We only needed a park pass for the Epcot portion of the day which was the best part.

grand floridian gingerbread house

From the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House we took a bus to the Boardwalk where we walked around, had lunch at the ESPN Club and then took a boat over to Epcot.

Disney Boardwalk

I had never taken the time to visit the Boardwalk area of Disney before this trip so it was super fun to see.

boardwalk

We spent hours in Epcot doing rides and walking the World Showcase with a stop in Japan for dinner.

epcot

From Epcot, my son talked me into going to Downtown Disney to walk around the shops and see the outdoor entertainment after dinner.

I didn’t get pictures except for the Ghirardelli sign because, well, that’s what’s important.

ghirardelli

I honestly had my phone/camera away most of the time just so I could enjoy what we were seeing and doing.

Wednesday:

Hollywood Studios – > Pool time ->Downtown Disney

hollywood studios

I love rollercoasters. Always have and always will.

However, I am realizing that the older I get, the faster, scarier and more jolting these big coasters seem.

I haven’t been on Aerosmith in years and I swear it was never so fast and scary as it was the other day.

Aerosmith rollercoaster

I think the entire ride was in the dark, upside down and faster than anything I have experienced but I wouldn’t know for sure because my eyes were closed and didn’t open until it stopped.

We lucked out with the weather and were able to spend more time back at the pool.

hotel pool

And then the kid made me go back to Downtown Disney at night. It’s really nice there – there are tons of stores but also lots of entertainment.

It has changed over the years in that the Pleasure Island section no longer contains the same adult clubs/bars and seems more focused on family entertainment (and isn’t called Pleasure Island anymore but I still call it that).

There’s a movie theatre now and Splitsville Bowling which was really cool.

We bowled an unlimited hour and had we not already had dinner and dessert, the menu looked really good too.

Splitsville

This is why I didn’t take many pictures – either I don’t know how or it was just dark and not ideal.

Thursday

We were leaving later in the day so we enjoyed the hotel for our last hotel breakfast, the game room and pool.

breakfast

Don’t worry, I will recap what we ate in Disney tomorrow. I am not even going to wait for Wednesday.

*******

Do you like rollercoasters?

Favorite type of vacation – beach and relaxing or sightseeing-type trips?

Did you see Annie yet? What did you think?

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. says

    This sounds like such a fun trip! I went to Disney with Rob a few years ago but we only did Epcot. I haven’t been to the Magic Kingdom since I was a kid but it would be so fun to go back! I have become way more nervous about roller coasters as I have gotten older. Now I pretty much just avoid them. When we were in Epcot we did drinks around the world and then decided to get on one of the rides at the end of the day- not a smart idea at all!:)
    I’m so glad you guys had such a great vacation!
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Christmas Week 2014My Profile

    • says

      Remember Adventureland? My friend and I went on the rollercoaster there last summer just for fun (literally walked in just for that ride) and it was so fast and scary compared to what I remembered!…And, I think we all need to go back to Disney to run the half marathon (or you can run the marathon and I can run the half lol).

  2. says

    Okay your trip sounds like such a blast. Disney is actually one place I’ve never been to before. After reading about your trip though, I feel it’s a must do. I love the photo of your boy. He’s such a cutie pie. Sounds like the two of you really enjoyed yourselves.

  3. says

    I would love to see Disney around Christmas! We were thinking about going this year, but ended up going to the mountains instead… maybe next year 🙂 I do love Disney, though. We went a couple of times over the past couple of years, and while I was originally worried that I wouldn’t like it as much as an adult, I actually ended up loving it just as much as I did when I was a kid. Definitely something magical about that place.
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. christmas in a castle .My Profile

  4. says

    I used to watch Annie on VHS over and over too 🙂 I saw the show with my girls and liked it well enough but I don’t even think they remember it! Love the Disney photos, looks like a great time! With 3 little kids I don’t even remember what kind of vacations I actually enjoy, it’s been all work for a while!
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…How Do You Relax? Uhhh..?My Profile

    • says

      Traveling with three kids is totally work. As they get older I imagine it will get easier…I didn’t see the Annie show, my friend did and didn’t love it. She did like this version of the movie though…I think we are going to see Aladdin soon on Broadway, speaking of shows. Looks good.

  5. says

    I saw Annie yesterday and my parents and I loved it! I like how they went about making it more modern. Definitely not the original but I did like it!

    Looks like you guys had a great time in Disney 🙂 My parents and I were actually just talking about my first trip to Disney. I was 6 and I loved that our pool had quick sand in it and my favorite ride was It’s a Small World After All. I made my dad go on it over and over again. My 17 year old brother, at the time, was less than amused with my picks!
    Sara @ Lake Shore Runner recently posted…Esprit de She Ambassador & Holiday Week[End] RecapMy Profile

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