Disney - it's been on the bucket list for years, and this year we finally made it happen.
We drove out, road trip adventures are something we both enjoyed as kids and were excited to share with the bits, and it turned out wonderfully! They were perfect travellers. We took two days to drive down, arriving in Orlando in time for a late dinner and swim. We stayed at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside resort, and I can't recommend it enough, it was really special, not over the top 'themed' like many of the other Disney properties, focussing instead on just gorgeous grounds, perfect little pools dotted among the lodges which were set into wooded and landscaped areas with walking paths and bridges. Our plan was to spend two days in the parks, a day poking around Orlando, then two days with C's parents who have a condo in Fort Lauderdale before driving back home.
The next morning we boarded the shuttle for Magic Kingdom. C had been there as a kid, and we'd both been to Disneyland in California 12 years ago with big J, but this was the bits first experience. They were amazed, and overwhelmed (and frankly so was I!) The day flew by, and it was incredible to watch my almost teenager turn back into a little girl.
Day two was Epcot, and this was a first for all 4 of us. I loved Epcot! It really works for the older people, and the nerds, and I'm definitely both. Epcot was substantially larger than we thought, and we were substantially more tired than we anticipated, so we saw only about half of what the park had to offer. We did, however, enjoy two spectacular meals there, a buffet breakfast where princesses visited each child at the table (worth.every.penny) and an Oktoberfest-inspired German buffet dinner with communal seating and a polka band (the friendly people in our group had a wonderful time chatting!)
In retrospect, 2 days at Disney isn't enough. We tried so hard to see as much as possible that we were just exhausted, legs aching, brain fogged. But oh so worth it! If we do it again (and I hope we'll go back!) we'll spend 4. Plus C really wants to see Animal Kingdom, and the bits are sad to have missed Hollywood Studios.
Day 3 we had a leisurely breakfast, then hit the pool. It was the first hot non-rainy day of our trip (25C and full sun). The kids were in heaven.
We packed our things and loaded up the van, then took the water taxi from the resort to Downtown Disney, what a cool ride and a cool place. C started feeling unwell, so he went back to the resort while the kids and I shopped and explored.
Dinner back at the resort, then off to Ft Lauderdale. The rain, sadly, followed us, but we didn't let that deter us from a beach visit. It was the bits first experience with the ocean (they loved the waves, but didn't care for the saltiness of the water).
It was the perfect denouement to our trip, relaxing, comfortable, warm.
The drive home was fine, if quieter. We were compelled to take an extra day because of storms back home, but we had perfect driving weather.
I can't wait for our next adventure!
16 hours ago