There is nothing like running into friends at Walt Disney World. It makes the Happiest Place on Earth just a little happier. My girls were in for a huge treat when we had the pleasure of running into two of their neighborhood dearest at WDW!
Sending out a huge shoutout to Bethanne for this fantastic FRIEND FRIDAY submission. Read on to find out about Bethanne’s awesome trip.
Since I have never actually won an Oscar, I can only imagine the sense of honor I feel right now is pretty much the same. I have been asked by the esteemed Mouse Boss for a Friend Friday submission.
We left for Disney World the day after Easter, and just arrived home this past Sunday. I traveled with my mom, and my two daughters. My husband stayed home with our two year old son- he will have his special trip someday, too! My mom and I really wanted this to be a memorable trip for the girls. We had visited Disney one other time a few years back, but the girls are both at perfect ages to enjoy all that Disney had to offer. Our decision to go was made a little late in the game, so airfare was high, but hotel and park prices were comparable to any other time of year. So, we planned for months, and since I luckily had befriended Mouse Boss, had some great inside tips to work with! Another friend’s sister is a travel agent who specializes in Disney travel, so we used her to make our Disney arrangements. We decided on a 5 day park hopper with accommodations at the Port Orleans French Quarter Resort. In addition, we purchased the meal plan and the memory maker option.
Another fun detail was that we decided to make this trip a surprise – we did not tell the girls until it was time to leave for the airport. This was really hard to keep a secret, but the reactions were worth it- I would highly recommend that everyone tries this once. Although we did not get the jump up and down reaction that you see on Youtube, we did get to enjoy a moment of pure joy and shock that crossed both of their faces when they learned the big news!
So, off to the land of magic and mice we flew! We had made all of our dining and Fast pass plans well in advance, so there was little to do but enjoy our time there. Well, and obsess over the my Disney experience app, of course, and make little tweaks to our plans constantly! I really liked the new fast pass system, but it was a little bit of pressure only being allowed three fast passes a day. But this was the joy of staying on the Disney property and having access to our fast passes online. Running a little late? Well, jump online and change your Space Mountain fast pass from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Careful not to wait too long, though. Just like the old fast pass system, the fast passes for popular attractions were gone pretty early in the day…if not by the day, or week, or month before!
Some definite highlights were the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for the girls’ hair and make up. Although, my six year old, Abigail, enjoyed this far more than my eight year old, Anna! Abby also enjoyed Primeval Whirl at Animal Kingdom, which we had never been on before. Anna was a big fan of the Tomorrowland speedway, and her personal Everest – Space Mountain! The big winner by a landslide was of course, the meet and greet with Anna and Elsa- the only fast pass option made in advance that we never could have changed. Fast passes for Anna and Elsa ran out almost immediately after they were released as an option. I know this, because as I already mentioned, I obsessively worked with that Disney app. It’s a problem. I still check it. Are there any support groups for this?
The Port Orleans French Quarter was great. The pool had a great kids’ water slide, and there were always plenty of seats. Our room was always clean and had all the necessities. It was also fairly quiet – or we were so exhausted that any noise did not have a chance at disturbing our slumber. The buffet at the restaurant there was really good for your basic buffet, too. Although we’ll probably try another resort next time just to sample the other great hotels at Disney, I would definitely recommend this resort to other families. Our travel agent made our stay here a little extra special by having a package delivered with homemade autograph books for the girls, and Princess lanyards to collect their pins! They did love getting a few pins, but after a hot tip from Mrs. Mouse Boss, we switched to the more budget friendly Pressed Pennies!
We got the most of our meal plan, and booked several character dining experiences – which I was thrilled to learn are included in the basic dining plan. Cinderella’s Royal Table at the castle is still a favorite of the girls, and they also love Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary. We also met Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins at the Hollywood and Vine at Hollywood Studios for breakfast. Non character dining was done at via Napoli at Epcot, 50s Prime Time Café at Hollywood Studios, and a casual last night meal at the Plaza back at the Magic Kingdom. We were not looking for gourmet during this trip, but we were pleased with all of our dining choices.
Have to end this by one adding one more highlight – meeting up with Mouse Boss and company a couple times! Disney is a great experience in and of itself, but meeting up with friends there makes it extra special. Several times over the course of this trip, I reminded the girls that this was their big trip, and we would not be going back to Disney for a long time. Of course, I am already adding notes and memos, and counting the days til we can plan our next trip!
Thanks, Bethanne! I don’t have a gold statue to send you, but hopefully a snazzy MouseBoss T-shirt will be a greater consolation.
I know you had a great time and it was a blast running into you! It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.
I can’t wait to help you plan the next one.
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