Just got back from our spring break trip to Wally World, err, Disney, March 13-22nd. Here’s a summary of our trip. Oh, my kids are now 17(girl) and 13(boy), we were last there in 2004, and this was their 4th trips. It’s a much different vacation with teens! ;o)
We left from St. Louis area Friday morning and drove halfway, which is almost exactly Dalton, GA. We stayed at Jameson Inn, which was a really good value, with lots of nearby restaurants. Along the drive, we saw many, many people from Ontario travelling south. Still can’t figure that one out, ha. We thought it was also interesting to see all the damaged trees along highway 24, due to the ice storm in January. See pic. Also enjoyed the beautiful area north of Chattanooga, especially since it reminded us of the Poconos a bit. Atlanta, as expected, was no fun driving near. Traffic was worse on way back and cost us atleast an hour. Oh well. In general, driving is a pain in the arse, but we weren’t going to pay $400 each for airfare, plus we brought much food and drink and saved on car rental anyway.
We got in Saturday evening, and checked into Saratoga Springs. I had put an earlier request in for Congress Park and that’s what we got. We were in the building closest to Downtown Disney, but the other end of it. We then walked over to Downtown Disney to go eat at T-Rex. OMG, was it crowded! I figured it would be due to Saturday evening, but wow. Anyway, we waited about 80 minutes (did some shopping, etc) and ate dinner at 10pm. I’m already exhausted by this point, ha.
Our patio, of room 1130, actually faced Cirque de Soleil building. Walking to DD was a breeze and nice walk. We had a 1 bedroom for the 4 of us. I assume this is one of the older bldgs cause the carpet needs help. It’s a very nice room though, but I miss the space of OKW, especially the kitchen. We also don’t like the fact that you have to pass thru the shower area to get to the toilet. Much better if they were split, but no biggie.
The pool at Congress is very nice. The temp is just right! And the hot tub is simply awesome, even though the temp can be startling at first. Some pool days were crowded but I think that’s because the main pool was closed.
[U]Day 1 -Sunday - Universal Studios and Disney Quest[/U]
Parking is $12, ouch. We do Terminator 3-D, Simpsons, Shrek 4-D, Mummy, Jimmy Neutron and Jaws. The Simpsons was really good and I wish we had done it a 2nd time. The Mummy is also a great ride and I was surprised that we were able to do it twice in 20 minutes, even though we had waited 30 minutes for the others. We then head on over to Disney Quest. Love that Pirates game! Oh, we also see the space shuttle launch from here. Very cool! See pic.
[U]Day 2 - Monday - Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom[/U]
It’s early magic hour at AK so of course we do this for the safari (the wife wanted to do this bad). It’s foggy in the morning but all turns out fairly well. We then grab a fast pass for Everest and get in line, so we do that twice, but not before we hit Dinosaur and the Nemo show. Actually had gotten another FP for Dino and also did the Primawhirl thing. Long wait and not worth it. On way out, we grab lunch at Rainforest Cafe. Head on over to MGK cause, to me, its not vacation until I’m walking down Main Street! Since we’re there in the afternoon, during spring break, its basically impossible to do the great rides, ha. So, we relax doing Monster Laugh In (very good), Carousel, Buzz, and Stitch.
[U]Day 3 - Tuesday - Epcot and Hollywood Studios[/U]
Early magic hour and we head over to Soarin to grab a FP cause its mayhem again! We then do the Nemo ride thingy. End up waiting 60 minutes for Mission Space, our longest wait of the trip only because we wanted to get it down and not wait for FP time. SpaceShip earth has a new little twist to it, which was pretty neat (hint: make a funny face when they take your picture, its much more funnier, ha). The first few seconds of Soarin is quite something when you are deftly afraid of heights! Almost broke my fingers trying to stay imbedded in the back of my seat! :laugh:
From there, we attempt to see what we can do at Hollywood Studios. Again, its afternoon at a park during spring break so the ‘hot’ rides are basically non-doable. Family is starting to break apart at the seams at this point, ha. We do maybe 3 things before leaving, including the car stunt show, which I thought was very cool to see. Much better than I thought. Although wife could’ve cared less, ha. Anyway, we takeoff mainly disgusted but I’m mainly exhausted to death. We make Wednesday a down day, sort of…
[U]Day 4 - Wednesday - Pool and Disney Quest and Ghiradelli’s[/U]
A MUCH needed sleep-in day! Spend time at the pool, and then take son over to Disney Quest for more fun while dropping the girls off at the Outlet. Dinner at PF Changs and then over to Ghiradelli’s for ice cream. For some **** reason, we are still walking near midnight and we have to get up early!
[U]Day 5 - Thursday - MGK, Universal’s Island’s of Adventure, and Disney Quest[/U]
Early magic hour for MGK where we plan to finish all of our ‘wants’ by noon, AND we do! FP for Space Mountain is a must, then do Small World, Philharmagic (I love this!), Haunted, Pirates, Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, all without FPs since lines were doable. Hit McDonald’s for lunch on our way to IoA. Do Hulk, Spiderman (awesome), Bluto’s Barge (drench city), Jurassic splash down thingy, and probably something else. Then one last visit to DQ after relaxing in ‘spa’ again.
[U]Day 6 - Friday - Hollywood Studios, Blizzard Beach, and MGK[/U]
Our one mission at this point is to do Toy Story Mania and Rockin Roller Coaster. We are there before opening, about midcrowd. Two of us go to RR to get FPs, while 2 get in line for TSM. You must have a strategy for these rides, else you will be waiting up to 90 minutes during spring break day time. We wait 30 minutes for TSM and the FP time when we come out is already past 3pm! By 11:30am, they are gone for the day. Soarin is similar so be prepared. We also do the Walt bio thing, which is simply excellent, and do movie ride for the helluva it. Head on out to spend time at pool relaxing but instead decide to spend time at Blizzard Beach, mainly because all chairs at pool were gone, ha. Spent 2.5 hours at Blizzard Beach and had a blast with the son. Tough finding chairs, especially since Typhoon Lagoon was closed I guess, but our waits were never more than 15 minutes.
And lastly, we hit MGK for the traditional last evening of Wishes and Light Parade. We also hit a few attractions first. Nothing pleases me more than being on Main Street at night, just looking at the castle. I think its that moment when you are already wishing to be back!
Anyway, I thought I could make this short and quick but it just seems to grow, ha. Sorry about that. I have some average, generic pics here>
Disney 2009-Public - Windows Live
If you click on the pic a 2nd time, you’ll get a larger view. Nothing great really, especially the night time pics since I have so many from previous trips, I didn’t bother setting up a tripod, etc. ;o)
Oh, from an early post about Saratoga Springs, here are Virtual Earth pics which gives a better idea of locations, etc>
Disneys Saratoga Springs - Windows Live
Let me know if you have any questions.