Kevin and i decided a long time ago that we would take the boys to Disney. Once. When they are old enough to remember it and somewhat appreciate it.
Well last year we decided 2019 was the time. So Kevin started researching. Anyone that knows my husband understands that he is a professional traveler, and also that he’s not a fan of crowds of people. Sorry honey, but you know it’s true! Also i think it’s rubbing off on me 😬
He called me into his office one night last fall when he found “an awesome deal” on our dream Disney World trip. We could stay at Animal Kingdom, with passes to all 4 parks, at a time of year known to be the least amount of visitors. Score!
So when is the “perfect” time to bring your family of 5 to Disney World you ask???
Yep, the month no one in their right minds would pull their kids from school, because most have JUST started! But not this family. We decided to go for it (with lots of heads up to their teachers, and thorough hurricane watching on the weather channel.)
The boys were the perfect age to make this trip work well. 12, 10 and 7, and not quite at the point that they don’t want to be with their parents yet 😉
First day excitement.
The week went very fast. I have to pat ourselves on the back for maximizing each day we had. We didn’t go insane with trying to do too much, but rather we did what felt right each day. If we wanted to sleep in and head to the park later one day, we did that. If we wanted to be the early birds on a certain ride another day, we did that too.
Also, i'd like to point out that I did all the rides. Last time I was here I was 10 years old, with my parents and three older sisters, and I have regretted for 32 years not being more brave. They rode Space Mountain, while I hung out on the merry-go-round. Well, not this time, friends! I wore my big girl pants the entire time. Woo hoo!
We came out of the tunnel to the fireworks going off above us.
I don’t want to glamorize this kind of trip however. It was truly EXHAUSTING. Our kids fight, a lot. It was really hot most days, which can really damper the mood. There are a lot of people around, even in September. Did i mention it’s insanely expensive?? (Hence the doing it ONCE proclamation!)
And even though we picked a less popular time to go, we still waited in lines more than we would have liked. However, overall we really did have a wonderful trip, and most importantly, we made awesome memories with our kids.
I’m so grateful to have had this time. It took a village of friends and family to help with the dogs and house back home, too. A special thank you to Katy, Eva and Mary Anne!
Below, I’m including the Taylor Family Favorites for any of you planning a visit to the Disney World parks.
Animal Kingdom: Best Rides
Expedition Everest- The boys rode this one four times! The chicken in the front right of the photo managed to brave it once. Also, we are 99% confident Lincoln passed out briefly on this ride.
Flight of Passage, Pandora- We LOVE the movie Avatar, and I have to say I was totally geeked out here.
Kilimanjaro Safari- Even though it's "Disney" the animals and the wonder they bring are real. I was in heaven here.
Best Food: Satu'li Canteen
Yes, we HAD to dress up ;) It was a Halloween Party theme this night, and I made everyone choose their favorite character t-shirt.
Best Rides: Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain (I got to ride this twice, totally redeeming my visit from '88)
Best Food: Pecos Bills (for a quick meal)
Best Rides: Millennium Falcon, Rockin’ roller coaster
Best Food: Brown Derby (sit down service)
Best Ride: Test track
Best Country: Nolan says the country of France bc of the monsierr croquet
Best Food: Tutto (in Italy)
Overall best meal: Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge
Best overall park: Animal Kingdom
Least faves: Mission Space (Epcot), Kali River Rapids (Animal Kingdom- was fine, but needs updating), Toy story mania (Hollywood Studios- Kevin disagrees, but I think it was super boring and too long a line)
Our week long "vacation" is over, and now we find ourselves saying things like "a week ago right now we were..." It's a wonderful and bittersweet feeling. And I am SO glad we did it.
I started writing this post on our flight home, when Sully said something so sincere, that pretty much summed it up. “Mom, I am so happy and so sad. Happy because we get to go home, and see our dogs, but sad to leave our Disney vacation.” Well said, bud.
I hope you find this helpful, or at least entertaining ;)