This trip to Disneyworld..we had Ty(5), Hanna (3.5), Claire (18M), and Addison (2.5) and Elly (4M)
We stayed off property at a Marriott Vacation Grande Vista...I'll be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect staying off property b/c we were completely spoiled last time when we stayed at the Contemporary on property. But, I'll be the first to admit..i really enjoyed the way we did Disney this time vs last!
It was only about a 20 min ride to Disney property..but never felt that long..it was an easy drive. I did take a little more time and planning...but, nothing we couldn't handle.
We took a soft side cooler in everyday packed with lunches and snacks(which was nice b/c whenever we were hungry we found a little spot and ate..no wondering around where to eat..and waiting!
..we each had our own water bottles that we filled before we left and refilled by going to the counter service restaurants that give free cups of ice water. Such a nice service!
We did crockpot meals every night...so, before we left..turned it on..and when we got back it was ready to eat! It was absolutely perfect...and no mess with a restaurant with 5 kids.
it was so easy...and way more relaxing than battling everyone at restaurants. plus, that meant we were in for the night...once we got back from park..no going anyway! so nice!
The hotel had lots of amenities but we just didn't have enough time for it all....we only swam one day..b/c by the time we would get back it was time to eat, bathe and bed...
they had a big jungle gym type room..and we took older 3 there one night for a bit.
It was a great trip and I would do it like that again.
We didn't do park hoppers..we just stayed at that one park all day...which made it a little easier for us..we did Magic Kingdom 2 days..(and still could have gone another day...so much to see/do)...Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios...no Epcot this trip. Last trip we realized there wasn't much to do for our age of kids.
All of our kids were extreme troopers...since we went hard 4 days..no naps were taken except maybe an occasional short stroller nap or one in the short car ride home..so, never a good full nap..but, they were all great. way better than I even imagined! so, props, kiddos!
Ty took a big character book for them to sign...and the girls each had a mat frame for the princesses to sign...and it turned out pretty cute!
obviously, we went before the school systems let out so it wasn't too crowded..so, that was nice. and the weather was perfect. super sunny some days, and overcast some...but never any rain..it was perfect!
but, in my mind, here's the difference...although it may be crowded..it's a different type..nobody is obnoxious, everyone is polite and helpful..never once do you feel uneasy about leaving your stroller stuff unattended...everyone is just there to have a good time...not to pick pocket or cut in line.
all in all...we had a great experience and had a magical time.
Ty and all his characters...but, probably enjoyed all the roller coaster rides the best!
Hanna's dreams came true meeting all the princesses.
and Claire had a blast seeing all new, exciting things...such a trooper!
The day we left we had some time to kill before getting on our 4:30 flight...so, we went to Downtown Disney...yes, a complete money pit..but, it was fun having our own family time..and of course, legoland and the candy store. We got a chocolate sample at the Ghiradelle shop and choc chip cookie samples at the goofy candy store...we had some leftover sandwiches we took for lunch and ate there...then it was time to head to airport.
The best money spent was the tips for the rental car guy to drive us to the SW entrance...and the curb check in counter guy! definitely made our walk Sooooo much easier! :)
while we waited for our flight out of FL..the kids played with their new toys and I uploaded pics...
our flight, got delayed from houston to midland (claire slept the whole 3 hour wait..and naturally, woke up on our loud, oil-field man flight home..haha!
Hanna did fall asleep the last 30 min of the flight (and stayed asleep until 7:30 the next morning)!
We made it home about 11 and Ty was such a trooper and was helpful in lugging his own suitcase...but, he crashed when we got home!
Today, is friday...and claire took 2 good naps, hanna took a nap and ty took almost a 3 hour nap! (WOW) homeboy was tired! as he should be...i was so glad he did that! he needed that!
back to baby dolls, hair dresser and legos! :)