You may remember that a couple of weeks ago I wrote about my husband’s marathon adventure at Disney. Well, we couldn’t just send him to Disney to run by himself, right? We are all about moral support in this house…okay, really we just wanted to go enjoy all the cool Disney stuff while he ran 26 miles gasping for breath!
I have been to Disney World a few times in my life, both as a kid myself and now as a parent with tween kids. This trip was definitely easier than the one we took 6 years ago mainly because the kids are older and we were visiting in January. I *highly* recommend off season touring of Disney! Almost no lines what-so-ever made riding the rides quick and FUN for everyone!
Let me just say that I was very happy with the hotel we picked! We stayed at the Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort hotel and it had everything we needed! I loved the mini fridge in the room so we could buy our own drinks and snacks. There was a wonderful playground for the kids to play on, an amazing pool with a water slide (and yes, the kids swam even in January!), and a collection of small restaurants and diners for easy meals when you weren’t in the park. Our favorite was the market they offered for breakfast. A la carte yogurt, fruit, pastries, drinks, etc made it easy to find something everyone was happy eating! The tram picked us up right at the hotel and we could easily get to any of the parks without driving at all!
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Of course, we just had to visit Magic Kingdom on this visit. It is such a classic Disney experience that we just couldn’t NOT go! This visit with the kids was different for us now that they are a little bit older. When they were 4 and 6 we did breakfast with the princesses and the character visits but now, they wanted a little bit more action! We started out with the Country Bear Jamboree and (of course) they really wanted to understand how the bears danced and sang like they did…sorry kids, that is the magic of Disney…not to be explained! After that, we moved onto something a little faster paced: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad:
This is what you would call a small roller coaster. No upside downs or crazy hairpin turns. My kids aren’t huge coaster fans so I was curious to see what they thought. My son LOVED it and wanted to ride it multiple times. The younger girl child..still not so crazy about roller coasters! Honestly, though, there were MUCH younger kids than mine on it and they all seem to have a blast. The husband and I rode it too and I (also not a coaster kind of girl) had a blast 🙂 It is an awful lot of fun to feel the wind in your face and have a reason to scream now and then!
We spent the entire afternoon zipping from the classics like “it’s a small world” which were fun and relaxing, to the Mad Tea Party (a slightly nauseating but fun spinning teacup ride my kids LOVED. I think they just really wanted to see mommy throw up!) and every once in a while stopped for a break and enjoyed a drink or snack. Oh, and let me just say that I LOVE that Disney allows you to bring in your own non alcoholic beverages and snack sized foods. It is next to impossible to go more than an hour without someone telling me they are hungry or thirsty and this was a HUGE money saver for us!
I have to say that without a doubt our 2 favorite attractions at Magic Kingdom were the Swiss Family Treehouse andTom Sawyer Island. Call me crazy but I like to include a little bit of educational instruction in my kid’s vacations. It drives my husband nuts sometimes but hey, you would be amazed at what kids can learn when they are having fun! My son has read both The Swiss Family Robinson and Tom Sawyer so he knew quite a bit about the history already…now he has his heart set on Huck Finn next summer! There were caves to explore, tree houses to climb in, forts to run around and (yay for the boys!) cannons and guns to pretend to fire. My daughter will be reading these books next summer and I will bring out the pics of how much fun she had checking out the sink made from a giant shell and the cool ‘bunk hammoks’ that the family built.
Of course, no Disney trip would be complete without watching the parade and fireworks! The amount of planning that must go into these things is amazing. While I couldn’t get pics of the fireworks I did get quite a few of the parade. We enjoyed seeing some of our favorite Disney characters like Sebastian from The Little Mermaid, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto and so many others. The music was just captivating and we were awed by they guys and gals dancing around on stilts! The energy and enthusiasm of the parade was so much fun!
And, of course, the Disney Marathon was an amazing experience for my husband. The race started before the sun came up and the course took him through and around many of the Disney parks. There were characters along the way to stop for a photo opp with but he was determined to complete the race in under 4 hours so he kept on going. He finished under his goal and is now the proud owner of a Mickey Mouse medal. He made some amazing memories with his family at the same time and I have a feeling he will be running at Disney again soon….maybe a 1/2 marathon Donald Duck medal next time?
*Of course, as a ‘green’ blogger I just have to throw in here: YES Disney makes efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and I am impressed! There are recyle bins everywhere, green notices in the hotel to conserve water by reusing towels and reminders to unplug the hairdryer and coffee pot when not in use. You can read all about Disney’s Environmental Policy on their corporate website!
Disclaimer: My thanks to Disney for providing 2 complementary passes into the park in exchange for my review. All opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.