Slightly posed by Jasp, but one of my favorite pics.
Hula hooping on Main Street.
You don’t even want to know how much face painting at Disney costs…..
Tomorrow we head home. Whew! Jasper is passed out next to me right now, so I figure now is as good a time as any to recap.
We planned to go to disney about a year ago. I wanted to go before Jasper started school, when that would lock us into only going at peak times. I did a lot of research via podcasts. I can listen while I work, so it was no extra time for me to do a lot of trip planning. I listened to bits and pieces of several, and kinda take it all with a grain of salt. The podcasters are all disney fanatics, so their suggestions may not work for an average family, but I still got a lot of good tips. I picked our hotel based on podcast reviews and was happy with what I got. I went off the theory “why spend $300 a night for a room you are never in”. We stayed at a budget place on disney property (art of animation hotel) It still wasn’t cheap, and it was a modest level of amenities, but it was new, clean, and very, very fun for kids. Staying on property was a great choice I thought. We spent very little time getting in and out of the parks.
We did animal kingdom for just a few hours when we got here, magic kingdom for two days and Epcot for one. In hindsight, I may have skipped Epcot and done another magic kingdom day. Epcot had one really great ride, Test Track, but I thought the rest seemed dated and slightly sad. Animal Kingdom was very well done for what we saw, but very few rides. Jasper had no interest in seeing animals or shows so there wasn’t much there. Expedition Everest was super awesome though, and it would be hard to come here and pass that roller coaster up.
I guess I’m a classic disney ride kinda girl. I had the most fun at Magic kingdom. So did Jasp. I LOVED the new Seven Dwarfs mine train ride. The waiting area, the ride, all like classic disney and a completely fresh idea for a ride all at once. And while Dumbo is strictly a kids ride the new circus themed area around it and the super cool system for waiting made it one of my faves. The kids get to play in a circus tent inside playground that is amazing and you get buzzer. When it goes off, you get to ride. Genius. Jasp rode Pirates of the Caribbean three times and I love that he loved one of my favorites. We picked a great time to go too….the weather was mid 80s, and the crowds were quite low. Other than the really new and popular rides at midday, most stuff we got on in under 20 minutes and some stuff no wait at all.
What I didn’t get: All the people who say the food is really good. It was passable. There are plenty of treats unique to the park like Mickey ice cream bars and the orange citrus swirl vanilla cones that have a nostalgic quality that are fun, but I’m definitely looking forward to eating my own food again. I also hate/ don’t get the whole character thing. When I was a kid they just wandered the park. Now they are in designated spots with long, long waits. And all the podcasts said a breakfast with disney characters was a must do. I thought it was a massive waste of money. And yes, you gotta accept money will slip through your fingers like never before, but that’s part of what you sign up for.
And finally the running. Turns out you really can’t run on the roads between parks and resorts. It’s like a Disney superhighway with no shoulder. There was a nice running path around the hotel. There was pretty landscaping and cute things to see. It was great….for the first loop. And seeing as how it was just over a mile, I ran lots of loops and by the 6th one the path became less cute. I was determined to stay on my training plan and failed. I ran 6-6.5 each day and will just have to consider that a victory. I had a nine miler scheduled but that’s 9 loops, plus it was so hard to stay out there for long knowing the fam was up and eager to start the day…so that became a six miler. We walked for at least eight hours a day, so I guess I have to count that plus the running I did do as good enough. And Jaspy ‘s energy level totally played to our advantage. He never gets tired. He walked every step, every day and never complained he was tired. Then he’d swim back at the hotel and jump on the beds until I would drug him with melatonin.
Would I do it again? Probably. Just stick to Magic Kingdom/ Disneyland though. I’m not planning it anytime soon, though….I got my fix.
Looking forward to seeing my doggies, sleeping in my own bed, eating vegetables again, and running on a real road.
I’m happy my angel had fun and I’m happy in his own little five year old way told me he appreciated the trip.