Saturday, June 29, 2013

Disney on the "Cheap"

Well, we are finally home and trying to get back into the "normal" swing of things, if that is even possible.  The girls had a fabulous time in Disney and were totally surprised. (Doug and I also greatly enjoyed the magic.)  Watching the joy and amazement on their faces with every new ride and character brought so much thrill to us.  As I stated in a previous post, our two days in Disney was the only big expense on our vacation.  Our ten days in Siesta Key were spent at a relative's condo right across from the beach and the five days in Amelia Island were spent with very good friends.  We are lucky to have such wonderful family and friends all over the place.  Our two days at Disney (not including food and other small purchases) cost roughly $875 in a value resort.  This seems like a lot of money for two days but since our other stops were free, we had no problem spending the money, and it was totally worth it!  We discovered the key to doing Magic Kingdom cheap is to bring in your own snacks and drinks and plan it so you only have to eat one meal in the park.  We ate breakfast at the hotel and filled up on fruit we had brought with us, then ate snacks around 11, followed by lunch at 3:00.  Dinner consisted of more fruit and healthy snacks.  The girls were so excited and busy they didn't even really want to eat.

We stayed in the new value resort, The Art of Animation, and it was fantastic!  Our room was filled with all things Ariel; the girls were in heaven.  The pool was clean and loads of fun.  I would highly recommend this resort if you are looking at getting a value.

If you are planning to head to the land of magic, make the most of your trip by getting fast passes to popular rides.  We got them for Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Ariel's Under the Sea ride and Peter Pan's Flight.  We lucked out the second day because of storms in the area.  Outdoor rides were closed for several hours, which sent a lot of people home.  Once they reopened, there were very little lines!  Another thing we did was focus only on one area of the park at a time.  We crossed off the things we didn't care to do on the map and once we rode a ride, we crossed it off the list.  We did Fantasyland and most of Tomorrowland on the first day and took care of everything else the following day.  We were warned that summer months are very crowded and try to avoid going then, but with that being the only vacation time we can take, we were left no choice.  We were quite shocked that the park really wasn't that crowded at all!  Wednesdays and Thursdays are supposed to be the best days to go to avoid large crowds, maybe because most people begin their vacations on Monday and always hit Magic Kingdom first? Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of people, but nowhere near what I expected.  Maybe it helped to go the first part of summer too.  Regardless, we had a wonderful, magical time; I was sad to see the time go so fast.  I just hope the memory of this trip stays with the girls forever.

A few photos of the resort:

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