Thank you Touring Plans and Unofficial Guide to WDW and Lines, and to all of you who answer questions on this forum!!! My DW, DD5 and DS5 (almost 6-year old twins) got back Sunday from our week-long WDW vacation and it was, well…MAGICAL. Honestly, it couldn’t have been any better. 2 1/2 days in MK, half day at Epcot, and a full day at Animal Kingdom, with plenty of pool time worked in. And my kids wanted to ride everything: from Space Mountain to Dinosaur, and they loved it all (ok, my DD5 didn’t want to do Dinosaur again). I realize that we were there for a very slow week, but thanks to everyone here, we (ok me, the planner) had answers for everything. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! What a great week! A few observations:
Contemporary Resort vs Animal Kingdom Lodge. We did a split stay at CR and AKL. Both were wonderful, but CR clearly had the nicer rooms. AKL’s rooms felt like a well-themed Holiday Inn, while CR was a deluxe resort room. But of course the lobby, pool, activities, and oh yes those animals outside your window is what you’re paying for at AKL.
Crowds at Animal Kingdom. Although our day at Animal Kingdom was rated a “1,” it’s amazing how it still felt fairly crowded. Lines for the attractions were short, but as you walked the park it still felt like a decently crowded day at any typical big zoo. An 8-10 there must be insane.
Full day at Animal Kingdom. As for the ongoing full-day vs half-day park argument at Animal Kingdom, I have two words for the half-day-ers: Wilderness Explorers. Wow, did that keep us very busy all day long, and our rising first graders loved it.
To stroller or not to stroller. In preparing for this trip, I thought we would use a double stroller in the parks. The night before our first day at MK, we looked things over from outside and made the call to try it without. I am thrilled to report that it was 100% the right call. Our kids walked every day without being carried. They really stepped up. And not having a stroller made our lives that much simpler (read happier).
Put down the video recorder. Speaking of strollers, I’ve read of people complaining about the strollers glut on crowded days. We never ran into one stroller, nor did one run into us. However, we ran into and were run into by multiple amateur videographers -- the people who feel the need to take videos of every move they make through the park.
Princess magic. Finally….As I prepared for our trip, I could tell my kids were not all that into meeting characters. Which meant I could plan some character meals and be done with it, without having to wait in character meeting lines (hooray). The one exception was that my DD5 absolutely wanted to meet her favorite princess, Jasmine. We had dinner planned on Day 2 (Day 1 in MK) at Cindy’s Royal Table. My daughter had her Jasmine t-shirt on that night, and after being seated, we waited as the princesses were announced….Snow White, Aurora, Ariel, and finally Jasmine. They made their rounds to our table in that order. Each princess doing her delightful small talk and photo ops before quickly moving on. Jasmine finally made it to our room and briskly worked the other tables as my daughter stared in awe. Then, Jasmine turned to our table, my daughter glowed, and Jasmine – no doubt inspired by my daughter’s shirt – bent down and proceeded to spend quality time chatting with my daughter (and with my less shy son). They talked about how she was my daughter’s favorite princess, about her tiger Raja, Aladdin, the monkey, and on and on. What a spectacular 5 minutes! A moment that will never ever be forgotten by one awestruck girl and her very impressed parents. Wow!
And we lived happily ever after. Thank you all!