First off…. I have to brag on my kids. I was nervous about traveling with 4. FOUR. But you know what? I was so proud of how go with the flow they have been. We finagled the airport, grabbed some dinner at Chick Fil A (WHY DON’T WE HAVE MORE OF THESE IN MICHIGAN??) and made it on the plane with a double stroller. Porter and Amelia claimed seats next to me. Ran into a hitch when Hudson realized his seat was across the aisle from Ryan, and he had to sit next to STRANGERS! Then, after we’re all on the plane and back in row Timbuktu 46 and 47, Ryan realizes he left my camera back sitting out by the gate… with my new Mark III camera and 2 Canon L lenses in it. ACKKKK! He had to dodge past people to get back off the plane and then the stewardess chased after him because he was running off the plane. Kind of hilarious. Anyhow, the flight was great- the last half hour was a little iffy but for the most part the kids stayed entertained with the iPad and Delta’s awesome back of the seat screens and new Usborne activity books. Eloise fell asleep and slept most of the flight. I adore the excitement that Hudson and Amelia had about flying. They were so excited to fly and to go to Disney!
This trip is our first staying on property at Disney World. (Last year we did stay on site at Disneyland at the Grand Californian and it was amazing and so convenient… but Disneyland is a world of different from WDW. The entire park, Downtown Disney and hotels are ALL convenient. Convenient is NOT a word I’d use to describe any part of Disney World, even though they have so many accommodations to attempt to make the massive distance between parks and resorts convenient).
ANYHOW…. back to this being our first on property trip. It’s also our first time using the Dining Plan and having the wrist bands and utilizing all of the Disney transportation. The Magical Express from the airport was great. It was very easy to get to, get assigned to our bus and to get to the hotel. We are staying at the Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa in a 2 bedroom Villa. Check-in was easy and we lucked out with a building really close to the main part of the resort. (Originally we were going to book the 3 bedroom Treehouse Suite at Saratoga Springs but realized they were quite a ways out of the way from the restaurants and any main part of the resort. I do hope to try those out in the future, maybe when we have zero kids in strollers).
The 2 bedroom villa is perfect. The bathrooms are huge, the bedrooms are great and so soundproof, and it has a washer and dryer in the unit as well as a kitchen. PERFECTION. The resort isn’t “cutesy” and that’s one thing I kind of wish it was, but I’m ok trading that for all the convenience. Last visit here in 2013 we checked out the Art of Animation and the resort is SO SO adorable. I really really wanted to make that resort work but we’d have had to book 2 rooms for our group and there wouldn’t have been a full kitchen nor washer and dryer. We ended up at Saratoga Springs and so far, its great!
Last night when we arrived, we were all starving. It was 10pm and we headed down to the quick service restaurant. We realized that since we were staying that night, we had food credits for that day. We each picked out a meal (they’re around $10 a pop for meals) and we got the refillable travel mugs ($16.99 each) with the meal plan. THEN they told us we got 2 quick service snacks for teh day as well… and it could be ANYTHING from their huge snack area. Cups of fresh fruit, desserts, rice crispy snacks, coleslaw, bakery goods… WHAT THE WHAT? We picked out 6 things of fresh fruit and ended up bringing them back to the room to eat later. This seals the deal… I’m ALL ABOUT the dining plan. That quick service meal alone would have been $100!
This morning we had breakfast at Ohana with Lilo and Stitch. The kids were SO excited and adore Stitch. I was hoping for a buffet like we had at Goofy’s Kitchen in Disneyland, but it was food brought to our table. They bring out this yummy bread, and then these HUGE 2′ round bowls with waffles and bacon and sausage and biscuits and scrambled eggs. Super super convenient. The kids loved the characters. Hudson was over the moon that he got to meet Stitch 😉
We went to Magic Kingdom after breakfast. We had fast passes for a few rides already set up. We rode the Little Mermaid and then the teacups, and then it started to rain. The boys did Tomorrowland Speedway while I took the girls to see Ariel and then to hop on the mermaid ride (again). By the time we were done it was just about pouring. The boys rode Stitch’s Adventures and by the end I was ready to head back to the hotel. It was pouring rain and it was making me (and everyone else) crabby.
On our way back to the bus, we got a chance to see the Rainy Day Main Street Parade (not official name HAHA!). The normal parade was cancelled, and they made a big announcement. Then, music came on all the speakers and all these singers and dancers came out in rain boots and raincoats and danced and splashed in puddles. It was adorable! I guess that’s an up side to the rain, right?
Back at our room, we threw clothes in the dryer (WOOT WOOT for the villa amenities!) and the boys all went to get lunch while I’m blogging and Amelia is crashed out napping. It’s supposed to rain the rest of the day, but the rest of our week looks pretty darn clear! YAY! So, today we’ll lay low here at the resort and maybe hit up The Springs (aka… Downtown Disney) via the water taxi. We’ll see.