Tuesday, August 29, 2017
florida 2017: part 1
Growing up Florida was that one place we would always go back to over and over again. It's such a special place to me- it's where Josh and I got engaged and so many of my favorite memories have been made here. This trip wasn't really planned. We booked it two weeks before we left. I loved doing a big vacation this way because being the impatient person that I am waiting two weeks to go was a long enough wait for me!
If you're planning a trip to Disney, I would highly recommend the Beach Club Resort. It's beautiful. There's so much to do right at the resort and is very kid-friendly. When we first started talking about booking this trip I suggested to Josh that we could stay at the All-Star Resort because it was much cheaper. Josh insisted that we stay at the Beach Club though and I am so glad we did. It seriously made this trip even more amazing. We booked the one-bedroom suite with club level access which was nice because we had our own bedroom with our own space to unwind and hang out after the girls went to bed, and the girls slept on the pull-out couch in the living area. Our balcony was huge and overlooked the beach area and water and boardwalk and was a great spot to hang out and eat lunch and drink coffee and watch the sunset.We also loved having the club level access and would most definitely do this again. We chose this over the dining plan and we both think it was worth it because it includes unlimited food and drinks pretty much all day long at the resort. We ate breakfast here every morning (except the one morning when we did a character breakfast), had unlimited coffee, water and other drinks and plenty of snacks all day. They offer plenty of choices from healthy foods to the fun stuff for the kids for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
We did rent a car because we had planned on taking a day trip to the ocean one day and we like having the choice of going wherever we want because we are always changing up our plans. It's definitely nice to have but not necessary unless you plan on going places outside of Disney.
Some tips that worked for us while we were here: I planned on only bringing carry on bags, but Josh packs way too much stuff (ha!) so it didn't work. So we used one bag for all our clothes and one smaller bag for toiletries (we checked these two bags). We had a backpack filled with snacks for the plane and that we also used each day we went to a park and filled with bottled waters and our wallets etc, and the girls shared one bag that we also brought on the plane that included their tablets and blankets from home and any souvenirs we bought while in Florida. Simple.
We woke up early each morning that we went to a park to get there a few minutes before they opened. This allowed us to beat the crowds for at least a good hour and get on any of the more popular rides (some rides we even got to go on twice or more in a row) before the lines started getting long. We were even able to cancel some of our fast passes because we got on those rides first thing in the morning. One more thing about the fast passes- we did book them in advance but we found that it wasn't necessary for many rides. If we wanted to get on a ride I went on the Disney app while we were at the park and booked the rides as we went about our day (or even while we waited in lines). We noticed times for rides were always opening up during the day so it worked well for us.
We used the mobile ordering for lunch at the parks, which made getting our lunch super easy and fast. I know a lot of people like to get to the parks in the morning, go back to their resorts in the afternoon and then go back to the parks in the evenings. For us, that didn't work as well as we thought it would. We did this for the Magic Kingdom but we were doing too much unnecessary walking back and forth and a lot of waiting for the shuttles. Instead, what worked for us was getting to the parks super early, taking a break for lunch at the parks and then leaving in the afternoon to go back to our resort for the rest of the evening. The Beach Club has so much to do that we really wanted to enjoy it the best we could. We had dinner almost every night at the resort, hung out on the beach area, roasted marshmallows, watched fireworks, and spent a ton of time at the pools. We loved having busy days followed by relaxing evenings at the Beach Club. It was perfect for us.
On Sunday we hung out by the pool, went out to dinner and called it a night so we could get up early the next day for the Magic Kingdom. We stayed at the Magic Kingdom until the afternoon, went to the resort to relax and for dinner and then headed back over to the Magic Kingdom for some more rides and ice cream and the fireworks. We slept in a little on Tuesday and spent the entire day at the Beach Club hanging out in the pools, going on the waterslide, and enjoying Hurricane Hannah's for lunch by the pools. That evening we took the shuttle to Disney Springs to walk around and the girls got a few souvenirs from the Disney Store. We loved it here! We ate dinner at the Boathouse which is now my new favorite restaurant. The location, the atmosphere, our waiters, the food, everything was so great! After dinner we spent more time at the resort swimming and made s'mores at the campfire before heading back up to our room.
Here are photos from our first three days at Disney. I didn't bring my camera (one less thing to carry around!) so I used my iPhone 7 plus to capture all the pictures and videos from our trip. So much easier than lugging around a big camera!
She was so exhausted the first night!