To bring in the new year, we escaped the cold and went to Florida for a few days. Casa Stubler in Bradenton was our home base but we ventured to Orlando for a day to visit our favorite place, Disney World. It was busy at Disney, but the weather was awesome which made a great vacation.
We escaped the cold midwest weather and spent a few days in Florida at the end of February/early March. It was extremely nice to be in the warm weather and be outdoors without a winter coat. We took full advantage of the situation and spent a good amount of time in the pool with the kids. Julie and I also got in a few good runs!
Julie’s parent’s place is fairly close to Orlando so we did one day at Disney World. We have always gone in the hotter months so it was nice to have the mild “winter” temperatures. The Magic Kingdom wasn’t too busy, so we made it to all the attractions we had on our list. I had never ridden Space Mountain, so I finally got to check that off my list. I even talked Carter and Grandpa to ride it with me.
Grandma talked us all into going to a Pirates spring training game. Even though it wasn’t the Cubs, it was still fun to be at the park. There were lots of games and things to do for the kids.
Another awesome vacation is in the books. For this trip we headed west to Coronado, CA. During the week we made stops at Disneyland, LegoLand, San Diego Zoo, and USS Midway. Out of all the places we went to, the Zoo seemed to be the family favorite for this trip. If you are ever in San Diego you have to visit the zoo!
At Disney Emery was a trooper and went on multiple roller coasters. Here is proof about how excited she was on Splash Mountain:
We had another awesome trip to Disney this year. Unlike past years, we decided to do 5 days of parks. It was a marathon of park visits and fun. Every day it was hot and by the end everyone was wore out.
It was rough at the beginning but by the end of the trip Emery was not completely scared of the characters. Her favorites ended up being Donald, Tigger, and Minnie. She also got to see most of the princesses but did not seem to enjoy them as much. I thought Elsa and Anna would be a complete hit but Emery just wasn’t having it.
Carter was less excited for the characters this year and was really just looking forward to the rides. Carter and I got to do a few big-kid rides while Mom and Emery were napping. Splash mountain was still the big winner.
The whole family got into the pin trading craze this year. It really helped us pass the time while we walked through the parks. We were so into it that we ended up buying some “cheap” pins from a shop outside of the parks to bring back in and trade. We traded all of the cheap pins and ended with a few complete hidden mickey sets.
We recently took the kids to Disney World for five short days and jammed as much fun into the trip as possible. We spent time at the pool, Downtown Disney, and the Boardwalk, but also hit up a few parks and a character breakfast.
The first park we went to was Hollywood Studios! The usual suspects, both Buzz, Woody, Lightening McQueen were there, but we also were able to get some face time with Santa Goofy! The park was adorned with holiday decor! Everyone’s favorite ride was the “toy story/buzz lightyear” game where you use lasers to get points. Julie only beat Carter by 300 points overall. Before we left, were able to see the Osborn lights show, which is made of a 3 million light display. It was really something to be seen and we are glad we were able to witness the display, as this is the last year they will be having it at the park.
The next day we went to a character breakfast at Cape May Cafe, which featured Minnie, Goofy, and Donald. It is safe to say that Emery is still not a fan of character costumes, as she did not enjoy getting too close to any of them. Carter loved taking pictures with them and giving them a high five! Both Emery and Carter agreed they love Mickey shaped waffles!
We spent the rest of that day at Magic Kingdom which also had all of its holiday decor up! Its very interesting to be sweating and taking a picture in front of a Christmas tree! Emery was in awe and really had fun all day! You could almost see the wheels turning in her hear as she was trying to figure out what she was seeing in rides like “It’s A Small World,” or “Dumbo.” Carter went on two roller coasters for the first time and he absolutely loved them! One of them was Splash Mountain, which includes a 50 foot drop into water! So fun!
Lastly, we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to visit the Legoland Theme Park while we were in Florida. It is about an hour away from Disney and well worth the trip… if your kid(s) love Lego’s. Each part of the park was broken into different lego “themes,” i.e. Chima, Duplo’s, etc. As you would expect they have a lot of Lego sculptures throughout the park. Each piece had a sign that showed how many bricks it contained and how many hours it took to build. Carter got to meet one of his favorite Chima characters, Laval! He also loved being able to trade minifigures with any of the staff members. He walked away with three new minifigures. Emery loved climbing in the Duplo area! She kept going up and down the slide and didn’t want to stop!
It was such a great trip, and we can’t wait to go back!\
The 3 of us took a little 4 day vacation down to Florida to visit the most wonderful place ever, Disney World. We had such a good time last year we just had to do it again this year. This time, however, we didn’t tell Carter until we woke him up at 5 am to head for the airport. He had a dazed and confused look on his face but you could tell he was excited. The plane ride down to Florida was awesome. Carter sat by the window and loved every minute of it. Four Chuggington videos and a couple games later we landed in Orlando.
The first stop was a quick trip to the Boardwalk to start off our Disney fun. That night we strolled around and ended up having dinner at a nice little restaurant. After dinner we took a short boat ride from the boardwalk over to one of Epcot’s main gates. That was about all we could handle for one day so we took our tired selves back to the hotel and passed out.
Sunday started with breakfast with Mickey, Goofy, Pluto, Minnie, and Donald at Chef Mickey’s. Each character comes by and does a meet and greet with each table. The food was great and Carter loved hanging out with the characters. After breakfast it was off to Magic Kingdom and Epcot. It was a very full day of fun at the parks. We did a bunch of rides at Magic Kingdom and then walked around Epcot while Carter took a nap.
The next day we took it easy and hung out by the pool in the morning and went to Downtown Disney that night. Downtown Disney is a great place to hang out. They have the standard shops and restaurants but also street performers that every so often do shows in the middle of the street.
The final day at this wonderful wonderland was spent roaming around Hollywood Studios. Julie’s parents came up from south Florida and joined us for the day. We met so many different characters that I thought his head was going to explode. Meeting Buzz and Woody was the highlight of the day. Carter really loves all of the characters from all the pixar movies, but who doesn’t?
What do you get when you have some free flights and a time share? An impromptu Disney Trip for 4 days.
We stayed at Vacation Village at Parkway. It was a nice little resort that was only about 10 minutes away from the Disney Park. The short drive made this a good alternative to the expensive on campus Disney Resorts. Besides staying off park, we also found a great website to help us find other money saving activities. Luckily we found this site that had the “top 10 free things to do at Disney”. As the title suggests there is a lot to do besides going into any of the parks.
Downtown disney was such a big hit we went down there twice. There were a bunch of restaurants, shops, and vendors along a big lake. This was a similar case for the Boardwalk. The boardwalk was a little less busy and just as much fun. The boardwalk goes around another lake and connects right to the south entrance of Epcot.
One morning we did “Breakfast with the Characters” at the Floridian Hotel. The hotel was amazing… it had a beautiful lobby and all the workers were dressed to match the old school decor. The breakfast was super fun because it was really the first time Carter met any of the costumed characters. He LOVED Pooh, but hated Tigger, Mad Hatter, Merry Poppins, and Alice.
We did go to one park, the Magical Kingdom. This place was just amazing. The park was in pristine condition and all the workers were so friendly. The decor and rides were perfect for Carter and he really seemed to enjoy it. We spent about 9 hours trucking around the park enjoying most of the rides.
Finally one day we ended up going to Fort Wilderness for the petting zoo. Unfortunately there isn’t a petting zoo anymore, but Carter was still able to ride a horse. Surprisingly the staff let me lead the horse around the park. First time I have ever done that! After the horses we had to go Animal Kingdom to get our last fix of animals. We only saw a few in their “sahara”, but it still did the trick for Carter.