So this vacation we did something a little different. We decided to go to a Disney resort, sans car rental, and then not go to any Disney World (or Sea World or Universal) parks. How? First we booked the hotel we thought would be best for the kids: Animal Kingdom Resort. There’s plenty to do there: 2 hot tubs, a really great (not overcrowded) pool, tour through the animals, African drum players. We also took the meal plan, which covers some of the better meals.
Then, Zoe adores Cinderella, so we booked the Cinderella dinner at the Grand Floridian. She beamed from the moment we walked in and she had her pasta, through the Cinderella dance. She even let Cinderella touch her! (She was however terrified of Step Mother, Drusilla and Anastasia!) Amelia enjoyed it too.
We also went to Polynesian Resort for dinner, but it was late and it was not, as we were informed, a Lilo & Stitch gig. We hopped the bus to Magic Kingdom for these trips, and took the tram.
Next we went to Downtown Disney and to the stores, especially Legoland and Once Upon a Toy, which have playstations. All the shops are great, so avoid it if you have no shopping self-control, lol… We ate at T-Rex, an awesome dinosaur restaurant, brought to you by Rainforest Cafe folks.
This is the 6th or 7th time we’ve been in the area, but the first time we’ve used a meal plan. The best thing to do is a get a brochure of where the meal plan is accepted, and what places require 2 meal plan meals as admission (because there is a show). Then visit Disney’s “Where to Eat” website and learn about the meal, which have characters or shows, and what kind of food. (This is more reliable than asking a person, as we learned the hard way!)
Also note that some Downtown Disney restaurants accept the Disney meal plan, but not T-Rex. We knew this ahead of time, so we were thrown when they asked if we had a meal plan. (“Because we don’t accept it, so we have to ask.” HUH?) ALSO, our waitress, who was lovely, and is probably instructed to do so, told us they had a full bar, and then provided on our ticket with the costly “comes with a glass” version of a regular drink. (OK, I consider Margarita’s a regular drink) so ALWAYS ask.
The upside is that riding the bus (which felt eerily like NYC public transportation at one point), you get to meet all kinds of wonderful people from all over, or at least, from east of the Mississippi. For me, that’s a real high point.
Still, it was Disney and after 3 days, we were all done. Time to hit the Gulf…