Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Disney Part 2 Arriving...

Part 1, you can read HERE
Like I said yesterday, I have been taking a much needed break from training schedules this month. Its been nice and fun and all those wonderful things, but it has also been busy. So today I am going to tell you some of the things we actually did the first 3 days we were in Disney.

We arrived in Orlando around 6pm and checked into the Westgate Lakes Resort, it was easy to check in and the way they had it set up made for an easier checkin from the rentals and the owners. Trust me this place is like a small city, its busy. Once we got our keys we headed to our suite to change and hit 1 of their 7 heated pools. HEAVEN! On Sunday nights they set up a huge screen by the pool and show a movie, they were playing Puss n Boots the night we arrived. So we hung out by the pool ate pizza and enjoyed the movie in the heated pool. So much fun and a great relaxation night before we hit Magic Kingdom the next day...

One thing I forgot to mention in yesterdays post was about the Photopass. Disney has photographers all over the park set up for pictures. They are always in the best spots along the parks and they also are with just about every character meet.They will give you a plastic credit card that has Photopass on it and will scan that card everytime you get a picture done, then you can view those pics online when you get home. If you prepay for the photopass before your trip, its around $119, which includes a disc of all the pictures that were taken. It was $99 for me, it has since gone up. It sounds like alot but the quality of these pics are unbelievable also the amount of pics they take. Each photographer will take 2 to 6 different pics and will take as many poses as you want. What I did for it to be cheaper is found other people in my area that were also going around the same time as me. I had a friend going and my sister knew 2 people going, so we split the cost of the prepaid Photopass. Which made it $25 a piece. The way you can do this is one person buys the pre-ordered Photopass and sets up the account. Then you can add as many Photopasses on your account that you want to. We ended up with 4 different photopasses just for my family. So yes you will have other people families pictures on your account, but once you get the disc and make copies for everyone else, you can pull the pictures you want off the disc. Its a great way to have professional pictures done and a fraction fn the cost. Also a tip, whenever you get a photopass from a photographer take a picture of it with your camera or phone, that way if you lose it, you still have the numbers to download on your computer. We had lost one and luckily had taken pictures of the backs of the cards. So we were able to get those pics. We ended up with about 300 pictures through the photopass.
Lunch in the parks
We had also decided that we would take our lunches into the parks everyday except to Animal Kingdom, Ill tell you why in a second. If you have ever been to any amusement parks, fairs, concerts, etc. you know the food is not cheap. Especially food in Disney World. So we opted to make sandwiches for lunch and pack lots of snacks for the day. As far as drinks go, any place at Disney that serves founatin drinks will give you free ice water. And it is a very large cup of ice water, so I packed the individual Crystal Light packs in my bag and so we were able to get free ice water all day and make it lemonade, tea, and koolaid. As far as carrying lunch, I carried the snacks and sandwiches in one of those drawstring backpacks everyday.Because we didnt have drinks to lug around it didnt weigh much and we always had snacks to eat anytime. My sister and her family do the same thing except they used a soft sided cooler, which is the only type cooler allowed in Disney Parks, and they rented a locker at each park for about $7 a day. We didnt use them, its your choice.

 Now at Animal kingdom, you cannot bring a cooler in that park, however I did still bring my bag with snacks in. We had decided that would be the one place that we actually ate in the park and decided on the Rainforest Cafe and here is why. I found coupons for 99 cent kid meals on Ebay HERE. Now if you have kids buy them now if you are planning on going in 2012 they sell out quick and for $3 you get 4 coupons. Kids meals at Rainforest cafe start out at $5.99, so it is a $5+savings. Donald got a burger and I got a veggie burger, both were around $10, so having the coupons I saved about $15 on lunch. It is also a really cool place to eat also. 

And one last thing is called a fast pass, if there are rides you really want to ride but dont want to stand in the line. you can get whats called a fast pass. You stick your Disney passes in these machines and they spit out a time for you to come ride without standing in line, so if it says 9:40 to 10:40, you have anytime in that hour to come back to the ride and skip the line. The main places you want to go and get fastpasses for as soon as you arrive at the parks are for Toy Story Mania in Hollywood Studios, Space Mountain and Splash mountain in Magic Kingdom, Expedition everest and Kali River Rapids in Animal kingdom, and Soarin' in Epcot. The fast pases for these rides are usually gone within an hour of the park opening and you will have to wait in the long line to ride it. And yes parents youll want to ride both these rides they were fantastic. We had just as much fun on the toy Story ride as the kids did.

Day 1 Magic Kingdom
We had decided that we would arrive when the park opened around 9. it wasnt supposed to be terribly busy, so we knew we would beable to ride alot of the rides without having to rush. I had also downloaded the aps on my phone that had all the wait times and maps for Disney World. These were a life saver. The 2 that I used were Disney World Wait Time by VersaEdge Software and Disney World Wait times by Phunware. They were both very helpful when moving onto the next ride or area. Also I had googled how busy it would be the week we were there and this great WEBSITE had the weeks of 2012 in order from the slowest to the busiest. The week we were there was 14, so we knew it wouldnt be tooo crazy. Anyways Magic Kingdom was beautiful and BIG! Once we parked we rode the ferry over instead of the monorail, it takes the same amount of time and it was a wonderful way to arrive. We decided to just follow the maps and go to each "land" in order. If you try to go back in forth it will take forever. The first thing we did was Stitchs ride with the kids, yeah that was a disaster, it was pitch black most of the time, loud, and they blow water and air in your face, kids were screaming and crying. Not a good ride for little ones:( We were there for the market street dancers to come out, it was awesome the kids loved it. Then of course we hit Space Mountain and Astro Orbitor. The Railroad was closed so we missed that one and opted out of Splash Mountain we didnt feel like getting wet. We also love walking in the Swiss Familly Robinson treehouse it was neat the way they built that in the trees. The character meets were alot of fun here and we did some pin trading. The great thing about Magic Kingdom is that there is so much going on all the time, its constant stimulation.

We were here for 11 hours and exhausted!

Day 2 Animal Kingdom
This park was probably the kids favorite park.We had decided to go early in the week because rain was expected later and we knew the animals wouldnt be out in the rain. So the first thing we did was get fastpasses for Expedition Everest, its the rollar coaster built like a mountain and got fastpasses for Kali River Rapids, they are close to each other so grab the fast passes. Then we headed over to the Kilimanjaros safari. Let me tell you it was amazing, all of the animals we saw and the way they have it set up, you ride in this jungle truck and you feel like you are on an Afrikan safari.These are some of the pics I took...
then we took advantage of our fast passes to Expedition Everest, ate lunch at the Rainforest Cafe, then went straight to the Kali River Rapids and used our fast passes. Its great not having to wait in line. You can go do other things and come back. no time is wasted waiting in lines. As we were walking around we saw this interesting creature, tree-woman, check it out...

Do you see her? look close at the tree behind us, youll see her face. You will see some very interesting things while in the parks. They also had character spots here. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy have a section that they are always at, so you can get good picture with them and autographs. And so does Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore.
Another mist see is the Lion King show it plays every hour and is near Club Mickey and Minnie.
it is an amazing show, the kids loved it. Try to get there early to be first in because they pick kids to be in the finale of the show and they pick from close to the front.

Also this is a great park for pin trading, almost every employee had pins to trade. Just look on their belt loop or around their neck on their lanyards. (FYI, make your Rainforest Cafe reservations in the morning when you get there and that avoids a wait at lunch too:))
We left the park around 6 and went to the resort and grilled out and relaxed.

As you can see we had a great time at both parks, and it was very hectic but fun.
 Part 3 Hollywood Studios and Epcot coming up tomorrow.
Oh and I did not run while I was in Orlando, but I had to have walked 20 miles a day easily, so that counts for something right? :)

QOTD? Have you ever been to Magic kingdom or Animal Kingdom and if so what was your favorite thing there?


  1. You are an amazing planner! It looks like you had a complete blast, too! :) Great blog post.

  2. Indeed an amazing planner. I'll gonna do the same thing in our Disney Halloween trip too. Thanks for sharing your Disney adventure.

  3. The piling up of tasks can also be prevented in this manner.
    Personal financial problems can also be a significant
    source of stress. * When you're at work it's a good idea to manage your tasks

  4. If you live in the US You can find a lot of coupons at this link
    New coupons ready to print I saved money and time on that site