Monday, October 23, 2017

Disney Vacation - Epcot

Well we just got back from a fun Disney vacation.  If you follow me on Instagram - you probably already saw a lot of our trip!

I'm going to do a series of posts this week about it mostly so we can have a good memory of it.  But if you love Disney or want to go to Disney - maybe it will be fun to read.  I'm going to try and give as much info as I can!  Of course - every family is different so keep that in mind.  Things we love - you might hate and things you love we might not have loved.  I'm super honest with my thoughts and I've learned that people can get SUPER defensive if you don't love every inch of Disney - ha ha ha!

These will probably be long posts so bear with me!

First a few things -

We used a Disney planner.  I think that's crucial.  We also went with our best friends the Ormons and Steve has been a ton of times so he honestly planned our trip more than anything.  He had spreadsheets and when we were there - he basically led us around.  Scott went when he was little and I went once in college so we were basically newbies.  It makes life so much easier to have someone plan your trip and it's a free cost to you!

We had the Disney dining plan which I think worked in our favor.  It not only saved us money but it was nice not to have to worry about money or think about what things cost since we had already paid for it ahead of time.  We had one quick service meal and one table service meal each day with two snacks.  More on that later.

We had five park days.  Honestly I think we could have just done four days and it would have been plenty.  I know everyone's style is different.  A lot of people want to do a little and rest a little.  But we went fast and hard.  Since we didn't take Will Holden (which I will say was the best decision we have ever made for everyone involved - we were basically high fiving ourselves the whole trip for that) - we were able to go for 15-16 hours every day and the girls did awesome.

We took an early flight on Friday.  It left at 6:30 which means we were up at 3:30 which was a little crazy but we were all excited.  

Harper had flown a few times when she was little but this was Hollis' first flight.  Both girls were as excited about flying as they were about Disney. ha! 

We used the Magical Express which was nice.  They picked up our bags so we never went to baggage claim.  We just went straight to the bus and they delivered our bags later that day.  

We stayed at the Port Orleans French Quarter.  I was very pleased.  We tried to pick a moderate Disney hotel.  We didn't want to spend too much since we were only going to be there basically to sleep and that was a good choice.  

The hotel itself was fairly small and not crowded.  I loved the lay out.  It had a quick service restaurant (that was TERRIBLE.  Probably my only complaint.  We avoided eating there like the plague after the first day.  But we did get mugs that we could get free refills in all week so it was nice to be able to walk over in just a minute or two and fill up at any point.) There was a nice little gift shop and the people working there were so friendly.  

It's New Orleans themed so I was excited that they had beignets.  I lived in New Orleans for a few years when I was little and love cajun food.  These were not very good though.  This was our one and only try at them.  

They had a really great pool.  It had three pools and a big fun slide.  And they did games with the kids at night.  We spent two nights swimming which was fun.  And both nights we almost had the pool to ourselves.  We got to our hotel around 3 the first day and ate a late lunch/early dinner and then let the kids swim before going to bed super early.  The Ormons flew in late that night and we met up the next day.  

This was what our room looked like.  It was fine and clean but nothing super nice.  But we left early every morning and came home late at night so it was a good place to shower and sleep! We were glad we didn't spend more on the room.  

We spent our first day at Epcot! This was Saturday.  

Our girls had a great time together all week.  They were at the BEST age to go to Disney in my opinion.  Emily is past the princess stage but she has been twice before and she liked the rides this time.  The younger girls loved the rides and characters.  

The very first thing we did was run right over to Soaring.  The wait was only 10 minutes so we rode it twice right away.  This was my very favorite ride (until we rode Avatar).  It's definitely my #2 ride! 

Next we went over to Test Track.  Our wait here was long.  They had to shut down the track for a while and we didn't even realize it and then a girl in front of us fainted and they had to bring in medics and we had to wait a long time for that.  (She was fine).  So it took forever to ride but it was a lot of fun once we finally got on it.  

Target had a lot of Disney shirts recently which was nice for us.  I had ordered Scott a mickey shirt and he didn't try it before we left and it was too small so we weren't all matching like I had hoped on the first day. ha ha ha! (I'm going to post the girls sparkly shoes on the next post.  We had a lot of questions on them.  I took them 4 pairs of shoes each and they only would wear those.  I wore tennis shoes one day and chacos the other days.  Tennis shoes hurt my feet more. ) 

The girls and Scott loved these Mickey ice cream bars for a snack each day.  We normally only used one snack credit a day.  I don't love ice cream so I skipped my snacks.  I usually got a diet coke instead.  I carried around a bottle of water at all times that we drank but I needed a little caffeine from time to time.  

We rode all the rides in that area of the park - The Nemo ride, the Land, spaceship Earth, the Figment ride and the Mexico ride.   I'm sure I'm missing something.  

We didn't go through all the countries.  We went through some of them but it was a Saturday and it was the Food and Wine Festival.  This was spread out all over the countries and it was a ZOO.  If it had just been Scott and I and we could have strolled and sampled - it might have been fun.  But it was 100 degrees and we had 4 kids with us and it was full of GROUPS and GROUPS of drunk adults.  And it was just too much.  So we avoided that area.  We had planned to go back to Epcot on Tuesday but changed our plans mid trip.  One thing I would really like to go back and do is the countries.  

We had a fast pass to ride the Frozen ride and it was shut down almost the entire day.  We ended up getting an open ended pass to the ride.  We ate lunch at one of the quick serve places.  Those all seemed about the same so I didn't even pay attention to any of the names - we basically ate the same stuff for lunch every day.  Nothing to write home about.  

We had a reservation at Le Cellier in Canada for dinner.   This was probably my favorite meal or maybe #2.  

I have heard of Poutine but had no idea what it was.   So we ordered some.  My WORD! It was so good.  It's fries with cheese curds and truffles and a reduction sauce.  

I had a filet with mushroom risotto which was AMAZING! 

And maple creme brulee.  

This meal took two table service credits but it was worth it.  

We had a fast pass to meet Mickey and Minnie.  We missed having Will Holden for this! 

The Ormons with Goofy.  

We did get to meet Elsa and Anna.  And the Frozen ride finally came back to work right before the park closed and we were able to use our fast pass.  It was a fun ride.  

We walked close to 25,000 steps on this day.  My legs have never hurt so bad but we had an amazing first day.  

Next up:  The Magic Kingdom

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