I must admit, I went to Disney with the family feeling pretty unprepared. A week before going, I went on Facebook asking for advice from friends and family, and that made me feel even less prepared. I am so glad I asked for advice, because we received so many great recommendations on where to go, what to see, and where some of the yummy food was! 😉 Turkey leg and pineapple floats! (Thanks to Jess and Christine! 🙂 ) We hadn’t booked anything except for a rental car. We could have saved more if we had booked that even earlier. Luckily, Shien was able to get a couple of online reservations the night before we left at the Boma and Jiko in Animal Kingdom. (Thanks, Heidi! 😉 )
We were also told that we were going during a very crazy time, and that we should have booked reservations for restaurants way in advance. Another ooops. I went on Amazon to shop for some kind of guide book, because I felt like there were more things I should know before visiting each of the Disney theme parks. So, I went ahead and bought The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2011 (Unofficial Guides). It turned out to be a great purchase, as we did a mini-crash course each night before each theme park. I even purchase the WDW Line app through them, so we would know how long each ride’s waiting time was. Shien was awesome at packing, as always, and getting us ready for our big trip! She’s the best! 😉
The plane ride there was smooth. The car rental thing went okay. They always try to push more options on you, so you always pay more than what the “sticker price” says. The one thing I tried to decline was the insurance, but they made it seem like you had to pick one, so I’m going to have to do hopefully work that out. We rented a bright yellow Chevy Aveo, which turned out to be a great choice, because it was so easy to find in the huge parking lots at Disney! 😉
The timeshare was beautiful, thanks to Shien’s parents! (Thanks ChiouMa and ChiouBa! 🙂 ) It’s so nice having a place with a kitchen, as Shien made great use of it. Thanks, Mommy! 😉 It was only a ten minute ride to the parks from our residence, so we were able to come back from the parks a couple of times for dinner, and then go back! There was a Whole Foods nearby, so we were able to buy groceries. 😉 It was great that I brought the GPS, too, as it helped us to get from place to place. The only thing we had to get used to was the “stinky” water, as Malachy’s sensitive nose was able to point out. We believe there is some sulfur in the water in Florida?
The Disney parks run like well-oiled machines! It amazed us how smoothly everything and everyone operates in terms of the parking, the lines, and how nice all the Disney “cast members” were! Shien noticed how they really focused on the kids, and when they talked to us, it was the kids they were really interested in. 😉 On Day 3, we even had the chance to meet someone (Debby) from Shien’s hometown, who was interning at Animal Kingdom (AK) for over a month! We thought we might not see her, but we saw her at one of the last exhibits at AK. We liked AK so much, we decided to go there twice, instead of Magic Kingdom. For us, it was a really good choice.
Everything went pretty smoothly. Just a LONG wait for two things, but everything else was manageable. We waited over an hour for the Pooh ride, and now we can hardly remember what was on the actual ride itself! It went SO quickly! Malachy only had one meltdown, after watching the Finding Nemo Musical. It really stressed him out, as he was all worried about the shark. In the end, it was the jellyfish stinging Dory that really got to him. After some tears and some spitting up (YUCK), he felt much better, and the days 2, 3, and 4 went quite well! All the shows were great! Lion King (AK) was really impressive and so was the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor act (MK), The Flights of Wonder (AK), Turtle Talk with Crush (Epcot) and the Mickey’s PhilharMagic (MK). The Illuminations spectacle at Epcot and the fireworks at Magic Kingdom at night were both awesome. We didn’t do any rollercoasters this time around, but Malachy did get to go on all the “flying” rides. He liked being able to control those rides going up and down. 😉
As we went to the airport on our final day, finding gas turned out to be a bit of a problem, as the first station we went to had no signs for the price. The reason? When we got to the pumps, it said $5.20 per gallon for regular!!! We had to drive a few more miles to find another gas station. That was just wrong. But, the car rentals will charge you over $7 a gallon, if you decide not to return it with a full tank!
The plane trip ride was a bit more adventurous, as we were delayed twice because of strong winds in New York, and we even had to “deplane” at one point. We were all set to go, but then the pilot was told JFK was shut down for a bit because of high winds. So, we had to exit the plane, but luckily were able to board again within an hour. All in all, it wasn’t so bad at all.
The weather there was AWESOME! 80s every day. The day we came back was crazy because we had the air conditioning in the car as we drove to the airport in Orlando, but when we were back in New York, my dad had the heat on in the car when he picked us up from the airport! It was over a 40-degree difference in temperature!
Malachy had a blast, and so did we. Couldn’t have asked for a better time, although Shien and I are so tired! 😉 In the end, we were all ready to come home, although Malachy now claims he wants to move to Florida because it’s so nice there. 😉