For those that did not know, we went on a winter holiday to Disney World and an eastern Carribean Disney Cruise. We spent 4 days at Disney World exploring the various parks and then set sail for 7 days on the Disney Magic cruise ship.
Overall I have to say we had a FANTASTIC TIME! There is something magical about a Disney holiday. I am not sure how to describe it really. We have been on several family holidays, including a two week trip to Parksville on Vancouver island, summer holidays to Waskesui and Christopher Lake and I really enjoy those times with my family, but this Disney holiday was different. Perhaps it is the scale that Disney does things on. Everything is bigger than life and still full of magic.
While each of us have our highlights let me give you some of my favourite things from Disney World and the Disney Cruise. I will talk about them seperately because they are very different Disney experiences, even though they do share some similarities.
This was my first time going to Disney World, and I was looking forward to being there with my kids, who I think are great ages to take. Matthew is 7 and Erica is 5. My favourite memory of going to Disney World was not any one ride or attraction, but watching the joy and thrill on my kids faces as we explored the various parks. Of course there some things that stood out.
Cinderellas Royal Table – I heard about this just before we booked the Disney World part of our holiday. I did some reading on the Disney website and discovered I could book it online before we left, so that is exactly what I did and am I glad I did. We got a lunch sitting, and while it might have been the most expensive lunch we have ever had with the kids it was worth it. Like many little girls Erica loves the Disney Princesses so the chance to have them come to our table and spend a few moments chatting with the kids brought many huge smiles to my little girl. Matthew might not have thought to much of it but I think he enjoyed himself. I know he sure liked his dessert!
The parades were great. Each park was different but the kids loved watching them. Everyone loves a parade I guess.
Mickey’s Fantasmic – This was incredible! I was very glad we went back to Holywood Studios to see this. The scale and awe of this show is really amazing.
Magic Kingdom Fireworks – It was the first time the kids have seen fireworks so it was special that it was at the Magic Kingdom.
Hollywood Studios Stunt Show – Nothing like watching a bunch of cars and motorcycles drive around really fast. Matthew loved this, what 7 year old boy wouldn’t. It was like watching Hot Wheels live.
Toy Story Mania – This was by far my son’s favourite ride. We got got fast passes to go on it when we first got to Hollywood Studios and went on it before lunch the day we were there. When the second performance of the stunt show was on we got in the regular line for the ride and only had a 15 minute wait. Not bad for a ride that is so popular. Matthew would have gone more times if he could have.
Laugh Floor – It really surprised me how interactive this show was. I was expecting it to be more a just sit and watch kind of show, but the texting in jokes and audience interaction was great. I even got to dance in front of everyone. Kids loved the joke that was texted in as well. “What is the difference between brocolli and boogers? Kids never eat their brocolli.”
Tomorrowland Speedway – Matthew had a great time driving around the course. He was not tall enough to press the gas and drive so I handled the gas peddle and he drove. That suited me just fine. 🙂
Tea Cup Spin – We went on this three times. Nothing like going round and round getting dizzy.
Mickey’s Philimagic – Leave it to Disney to turn a 3D film into an experience. The kids really liked the ending to this. I won’t say what it is, but they still bring it up.
Disney Princesses – We had lunch with the Princesses but Erica also saw the Princesses before lunch. It was impressive how the kids get a few special minutes to get autographs and photos.
Buzz and Woody – Seeing the Princesses was Erica’s thing, but Matthew had the chance to see Buzz and Woody which made his day. He also enjoyed seeing Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc.
Other things that were useful in Disney World
T-Mobile sim cards – Having unlocked cell phones paid off during the trip. I picked up a couple of T-Mobile prepaid SIM cards for our cell phones and they worked great. Roaming fees with Rogers would have cost us a ton, but with the T-Mobile SIM cards we were able to call / text each other and get web access for much less than roaming fees would have been.
Touringplans.com – Since we only had 4 days at Disney World before our cruise we wanted to make the best of our time there. Touringplans.com came in handy planning our days. Plus the web app on our phones was great to check wait times for certain rides. Although, I think we picked the best time possible to go since none of the wait times every seemed very long.
Disney Transportation System – Several people suggested we rent a car for when we were there, but I am so glad we did not. Staying at a Disney resort and hopping on the Disney bus was just easy. The longest we every had was 15 minutes for a bus. Not to mention it meant I got to relax and did not have to worry about driving around.
Disney Dining Plan – We had booked our trip with the Disney Dining Plan, but something went wrong somewhere. All the information we got and our travel agent got said we had booked the dining plan. The Disney resort said we did not book with the dining plan. It was frustrating at the time, but when all was said and done we were refunded the value of the dining plan that we paid roughly $700.00 for the four of us. We ended up using the Disney quick service mostly when we were there and it cost us roughly $550.00. When we go back we might not worry about the Disney Dining Plan.
We had a great time at Disney World for 4 days but I think we were all ready for the Disney Cruise.
Disney Magic – This ship is incredible! I know that the Disney Cruise line now has the Disney Dream, which is roughly twice the size of the Magic, but I still think the Magic was great. Nothing like having lots to do on the ship. Loved deck 9 for the pools and the food.
Character Appearances – Disney character appearances happen regularly and you can always find the schedule to make sure you meet the characters you want to see. Erica wanted to see the Princesses again so she was able to see several of them, plus the kids club had an event to Dozy Doo with Snow White which made her day.
Mickey and Pals Character Breakfast – Nothing like having Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale coming around to your table for autographs and photos! This was a lot of fun and I don’t know who enjoyed this more, Lynn and I or the kids.
Shows – The live shows were very enjoyable. Glad they had matinea performances so we could see them.
Castaway Cay – We had a great day at the beach at Castaway Cay. It was great to just be at the beach and play in the water. This was my favourite part of the cruise I think. Not to mention the you get a great BBQ lunch. Nothing like spending the day at the beach and not having to worry about cooking. I would have loved to have stayed their longer.
Overall it was a great trip. We are all hoping we can go again in a few years. I think we picked a great time to go, the weather was great and the crowds were not that bad. Next time we would probably plan for an extra day or two at Disney World so can explore Epcot more plus there were parts of all the parks that we were not able to see.