I've been in that new mom fog... feeling trapped in my house, lonely, bored, covered in baby vomit. One day, when I could stand it no longer, I called my sister and asked if she'd be interested in meeting up at Disney Springs one day soon. As luck would have it, she and her wife had a Disney trip planned for the near future, and they'd be thrilled to spend a day at Disney Springs with us. YAY!
Both boys hated it. Riley is always a pill when we are shopping - even shopping at Disney. Remy wanted to be held the entire time. He would have none of his stroller. While Jackie and Meghan were in line to purchase stuff, I took my babies outside. Riley said, "You know, Disney has the best popcorn." So naturally, we had to buy some.
As I told you before, my husband asked me to book a room at Disney for our family. Whenever I make a Disney reservation of any kind, I call. Yes, you can book online... But I MUCH prefer to call and speak with someone. The cast members on the phone are incredibly helpful. They will search multiple dates, resorts and all sorts of combinations of Disney fun for you. When you call, make sure you ask for a Florida Resident or Annual Passholder discount (if you fall into either category).
So I called. It was between 2 nights at one of the All Stars (which are meh in my honest opinion) and 1 night at Port Orleans Riverside. I ran it by the hubs and he opted for Port Orleans. I was happy with his choice.
Port Orleans is an excellent Resort. It's near Epcot and Disney's Old Key West Resort. The Resort offers bus transportation to all the Parks and boat service to Disney Springs.
There are two "sides" to the Resort - the Riverside and the French Quarter. They each have their own lobbies, gift shops, sets of eateries and pools. And the themes are different. The French Quarter is brightly colored, the outside of buildings resembles architecture from Bourbon Street. Basically, it's Mardi Gras every day at the French Quarter.
We stayed on the Riverside. I prefer this one. It is a nod to the beautiful southern, grand plantations you find in the South. The cafeteria has a large mill on the outside, I suppose to resemble an old sugar mill. My kiddos love this one. And here, if you ask for it, you can book a room with some Tiana magic (complete with a light-up headboard).
I've stayed at Port Orleans several times. It is one of my mom's preferred Resorts. And we have eaten here on numerous occasions - the first night we all arrived in Orlando for my sister's Disney wedding, when I brought the kids up last summer for a spontaneous day trip, and much more). But this was Stu's first time sleeping here, so it was a nice treat. I highly recommend this Disney Resort.
We drove up on Tuesday (day after Labor Day) morning and headed straight for the Magic Kingdom. The kids had picked out Fast Passes ahead of time. The first was for Space Mountain at noon.
The drive up was easy. Actually, it was incredible. The traffic was nearly nonexistent on the Turnpike. The funniest part was that Riley fell asleep in the backseat. I cannot remember the last time he slept in the car - including the drives from North Carolina and Tennessee. Crazy.
Ok, NOW Epcot.
Coronado Springs Resort
The kids and I have stayed at Coronado Springs before. You can read about it here. The Resort is nice. It is located in the Animal Kingdom Resort section of Walt Disney World's Orlando property. At the time of writing this (May 2018), the Resort is still undergoing a major renovation. The rooms have been overhauled and they are beautiful. Currently, they are constructing a massive tower which will hold more hotel rooms and convention center space. The project is expected to be completed in early-mid 2019. Don't let the construction deter you... this is a great time to get excellent rates at this Resort.
We drove our car from our hotel to the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds. From the Outpost we hoped on a Disney bus and rode it down to the settlement. For the first time ever, in our Disney experience, everything went without a hitch and we made it to Pioneer Hall in record time... which meant we had an excess of time to kill before we needed to check in. Luckily, there is a playground.
This year, Reagan's birthday is going to be overtaken by a cousin's wedding. So we went to Disney early in December to celebrate! This was the first time we had been to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. We've been at Walt Disney World for Christmas festivities a handful of times in the past - including actually being there when Santa came (the two images below are from 12/25/10 at the Magic Kingdom)!
Last weekend the kids, my mom and I went to Disney. It was an early birthday celebration for Reagan. She really wanted to go to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Walt Disney World is quite busy during December. But, with the help of a great cast member on the phone, we were able to book a two-night stay at the Coronado Springs Resort. This was our first time at this Resort, so the kids were pretty excited to check it out.
It feels like we were just here... maybe because we were.
Perhaps my goal should be to hit up at least one of the Disney theme parks each month for the duration of our passes. What do you think?
Anyway, the kids had Monday off. Teacher workday. I scheduled some FastPasses and we headed up to the Magic Kingdom. Our first FP+ was for the Haunted Mansion. I was super bummed we didn't ride it in September, so I made sure it was on our list this time. This is one of my absolute favorite rides.
This was a great morning. Maybe it was the best part of our quick trip. I don't know. It's hard for me to pick one moment of a Disney trip that is better than another... any time at Disney is a win. But this particular morning seemed to go exceptionally well for us.
We woke up early. Well, I woke up early. Then I dragged the rest of the family out of bed. We packed up our stuff and the car. For breakfast, we ate at the hotel cafeteria. It was meh.
After we fueled our bodies, we hopped in the car and drove over to the Animal Kingdom. The plan was to be there when it opened, run over to the new Pandora section, and get on one of the new Avatar rides.
Our Disney Sides
We are fortunate enough to live a short drive away from the Happiest Place on Earth! And we take full advantage of it!