Monday, March 5, 2012

4 Days at WDW & 1 at Legoland pre-Princess Weekend

Our trips to Disney have thus far been huge family vacations.  The girls and I meet up with my parents and have one heck of a grand Disney vacation topped off with a runDisney race weekend.  This year my sister and her family joined us for race weekend, but more on that later. 

The girls and I arrived the day before the grandparents and we got to experience the wonderful accommodations at Port Orleans Riverside.  We arrived late in the evening due to budget conscious flight choices.  We were at the resort by 9:30 pm or so and off to bed as soon as we got to them.

It took a few minutes to settle down.

Tinkerbell and Rapunzel made the trip with us!  They loved the room at Port Orleans Riverside!

In the morning we had chocolate chip pancakes in the room (my husband had made them up the day before and we were grateful).  With some food in our bellies we headed of to the pool at Ol' Man Island.  We had a wonderful swim even as the sky threatened, but that is all it did thankfully.  

After getting cleaned up we were hungry for a little more breakfast and set off to explore the resorts food options.  We found yummy omelets and kids Mickey waffles at the Riverside Mill Food Court.  We were able to snag a table near the mill wheel overlooking the boardwalk.  It was a lovely spot to reflect on how lucky we were to be at Disney on our first morning. 

Rapunzel contemplated getting her hair wrapped.
They were not quite sure how much it would cost for her hair so we passed.
Tinkerbell and Rapunzel took a moment to watch the movies in the lobby of POR along with the kids.
 Since we were only staying at this resort for one night it was already time to check out.  We stored our luggage at the resort and boarded a boat to Downtown Disney.  After a bit of shopping we stopped for lunch at the Earl of Sandwich.  I wish they were in every park as well.  They would be our quick service choice hands down.  No sooner than lunch was over, but who should arrive, the grandparents!

Tinkerbell and Rapunzel waited for the boat ride to Downtown Disney.

Downtown Disney looking wonderful as always!
Our itinerary for the afternoon included picking up our luggage from POR, getting our park tickets at Shades of Green (thank you Mom & Dad for years of service and great adventures along the way), checking into Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort, and finally a shopping trip and dinner at Wholefoods.  Dad located the Wholefoods for the first time for this trip.  Their pizzas and hot & cold bars are fantastic dining at a reasonable price and you can buy your groceries for the week at the same time.  It is a definite win-win!

Day 1 in the parks was a Magic Kingdom day and we started it off right with a visit to Mickey Mouse himself!  We also did the sorcerers game which had us focused on Adventureland like never before.  In the evening we also did sorcerers in Fantasyland.  We were sad that we missed Big Thunder Mountain, Dumbo, and the Great Goofini.  We were there on Presidents Day and the park was very crowded.  We had lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern and finished the evening off with the Electric Light Parade.

The boat ride over was cold, but we were prepared!

There is a smile in there under that hoodie!

Love at first sight!

Sorcerers game was a big hit with Gramps and the youngest!

How is that for scale?  The fairies actually look small!
I had to say hello to Tinkerbell before I ran the 1/2 marathon dressed as her!

The castle - taken from the Tree House

The characters always love our autograph albums.  We use pictures from our last visit.  You are guaranteed to get twice as much time with them.  They are always looking for themselves and everyone they know!

So I have a mushroom allergy.  I always register it with Disney when we travel.  The chef comes out to your table just to make sure that you are ordering something that they can make safely for you.  I can usually steer clear of the mushrooms on a menu, but since they are already there I get my photo with them.  I do work at one of the countries top culinary universities!

Sorcerers window in Adventureland.

View of the castle from the people mover.

Sorcerers window in Fantasyland

Dance party in Tomorrowland

Dancing the night away with Stitch!

Goodnight Magic Kingdom!

Day 2 we were at Animal Kingdom.  We packed our lunch in and ate it out at Planet Watch.  Dinner was at Yak & Yeti (one of my favorite restaurants at the parks).  The park stayed open until 8 pm that night.  We loved riding the rides in the dark!

Which corral do the giraffes start in at runDisney races?  Maybe they should do an Animal Kingdom race with animals representing the corral numbers - G is for Giraffe, A is for Antelope, etc.  

Day 3 we were at EPCOT.  We road our favorite rides like Soarin', Living with the Land and Test Track.  Then we headed for the World Showcase.  My youngest was really into Kim Possible this trip.  So we explored the countries like we never had before.  The girls got their autograph books stamped in the back at all the Kidcot stations.  Dinner was as Corral Reef.  It was a nostalgia dinner.  We had not eaten there since about 1986 and I thought the girls and my parents would enjoy it.  Well the reviews are all correct.  It was way too noisy, the service was slow, and the food was fine (but not great).  Too bad!  I wished we had eaten somewhere else!  I failed to mention that while we were on Test Track (pre-dinner) it started to rain.  We came out onto the track at whatever speed you are going only to be pelted with rain.  The park cleared out while we were at dinner.  It was a very quiet night in the park after that.

Stitch was thrilled he was in the autograph book!

I would love it if runDisney would stage a mini race at the train garden in Germany.

Happy as a duck out of water with my main duck!

Marie was almost blushing when she saw her picture in the book.

These character signs were new since our last trip to WDW for  2011s Princess Half Marathon.

Day 4 we left Disney and headed to Legoland.  Legoland opened in October 2011 and this was our first trip to Florida since then.  In many ways this was as much a Legoland trip as it was a runDisney Princess race trip.  The park is located at the old Cyprus Gardens.  It is about 45 minutes away from Orlando through orange grove country.  We enjoyed our day very much, but probably will not go back.  It is geared toward younger kids and is another chuck of money on top of the Disney park tickets. 

If this doesn't get Lego fanatics excited...

Yes we have some bananas, we have some bananas today...

Almost good enough to eat!

Lego mini/mega figure show.  Watch out you may get wet!

Apple fries with whipped cream - A must have!

If you squint and look sideways you just might see the Marine Corps Marathon!

Day 5 was a Hollywood Studios day.  But before I would go to the park I would be so lucky as to go to the Social Media Meetup at EPCOT and to the Princess race expo to pick up a total of 10 race packets between all the runners in our vacationing family of 10.  None of the 3 grandparents raced, but the other 7 of us raced at least once and 3 of us raced twice!  More on the meetup, expo and racing will follow in other posts!  Anyway it was 1 pm by the time I got to Hollywood Studios.  My mother had taken the girls into the park at rope drop and they had enjoyed the morning together riding rides and watching shows.  Once my father and I arrived we joined in the fun, caught the parade, and all headed to Mama Melrose for Friday night pre-race dinner.  When we arrived back at the resort my sister and her family were on their way from the airport.  It was off to bed with all of us once they were fed and the race gear was all set out for the 5K and kids mile.  The alarms were set for 5 am if I recall correctly.

Loving the book!

I want their jobs!

Dinner at Mama Melrose on Friday night before the Tangled 5K.

Next up on the blog is the Princess Social Media Meetup at EPCOT!

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