Friday, July 22, 2016

Magic Kingdom...

I can still remember my first visit to Magic Kingdom back when I was in 2nd grade and there really is nothing like it. I was so excited to show Adam this magical place and to relive that childhood memory through him. Neither one of us was disappointed! 

We were up bright and early to catch the boat from our resort to the park. We were able to get in an hour early as resort guests and we planned to take full advantage of that. Not long after our boat got moving Space Mountain & then Cinderella's Castle came into site and Adam and I knew this was going to be a day to remember. 

We had some company too - turns our Kristine, Kathleen, Reid & Ava were at Disney the exact same time as us so we hooked up with them and it made the day all the better. Those kiddos get along so well and it was fun to have Kristine & Kathleen to chat with throughout the day. We even had a surprise visitor during our photo shoot in front of the castle. :) 

We also took advantage of the greatest Disney tip of all time - getting a tour guide!!! Tara Tour Guide (as we called her) was the perfect addition to our group getting us from one ride to the next in the perfect order and without the lines. Want to ride something again? No problem, Tara Tour Guide's got you covered! We were spoiled rotten and we loved every second of it. 



Some lessons were learned along the way - first is that Reid, Ava & Adam are pretty terrible drivers and yet they still earned their Mickey Licenses - yikes. Second, Space Mountain is still awesome. Third - at least according to Adam, the Haunted Mansion is sooooo not scary. Fourth - according to all of us, "It's a Small World" is soooooo lame, but you have to ride it. And finally - that you are never too old or too young to appreciate the magic of Magic Kingdom - except for when you hear "Let it Go" and your mom tries to dance with you - then you quickly learn that your mom is soooooo embarrassing!! ;)


As we were leaving the park we did some shopping and actually made some purchases this time. Adam couldn't resist the R2D2 Mickey Ears and we both thought Harper would love the Mickey Mouse lovie - and of course he did! 

Disney Springs...

We had decided that on our first night at Disney, which also happened to be Father's Day, that we would hit up what used to be called Downtown Disney but is now referred to as Disney Springs. It's a great place to walk around, they have a Lego store and other fun toy stores, tons of restaurants and as I recalled they played Disney soundtracks on the speakers so it seemed like it would be the perfect spot to really get us into the Disney spirit! 

Adam was beside himself seeing the big Lego structures of Toy Story characters as well as the big dragon in the lake. He was loving all the Lego goodness - as was Andy. After that we popped into a few toy stores and boy did that put Adam over the edge! Ha! I don't think he'd ever seen so many things he'd like to buy in such a small space in his life - it was kind of fun to watch though I could already feel my wallet shivering in my purse out of fear! haha :) We used that first night as an opportunity for Adam to start seeing the kinds of things he thought he might like to eventually buy - and held off on any purchases. Somehow that trick worked. 

After strolling around and grabbing a couple portable glasses of wine (gotta love places where they let you walk around with a cocktail) we decided to look into our dinner options, which we quickly realized was going to be a looooooooooooong wait at any of the spots (duh!) so we changed course and headed back to the campground for a home cooked meal around the campfire - a perfect Father's Day dinner for our guy anyhow! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground...

We've stayed at a lot of campgrounds in our 4+ years of camping, some of them primitive (well, as primitive as you can get with a full service camper!), some of them historic, some beach front, others lake front, one was simply the old VT golf course - but we can honestly say that the BEST campground we've stayed at so far is Fort Wilderness Resort &! Not that it should be all that surprising - it is a Disney property after all. 

From the moment we arrived we knew this was going to be a unique and memorable experience. Everyone was super friendly, it was all so clean and pristine and upon seeing our campsite we knew we were in for a treat - never before had we been in a site that was so secluded - even though we had neighbors on either side of us. Add to that our lake front site and we were in camper heaven! 

The resort is huge so we had heard all along that renting a golf cart was key - so that's what we did. Harper enjoyed his first golf cart experience and the many rides that followed. There were playgrounds nearly every half mile, great walking paths and a dog park for the pups, a spectacular pool with a slide that Adam went down probably 50+ times (I also went once or twice) and a great game room that provided some air conditioned fun one afternoon. Harper got to enjoy the pool as well but he preferred his private pool at our campsite - he clocked some quality splish splash time in that thing - did we mention it was hot? 

Another highlight was the nightly Campfire Sing-a-Long with Chip 'n Dale. It was our first opportunity to meet and of course hug a Disney character and also brought some great memories for me as I got to sing along to songs like "Zip-a-dee-do-da" and the "Hokie Pokie" (how appropriate!) By the third night Adam was also singing along. Of course every night he got into the dance party portion - doing the "Hand Jive" and "The Twist" with Chip 'n Dale dancing right beside. It was pure Disney magic just a 2 minute walk from our campsite. The sing-a-longs were followed each night by a "Movie Under the Stars" where we got to see "Up," "Rescuers Down Under," and "Monsters Inc." 


Another night-time tradition there was the electric boat parade and the "Wishes" fireworks show that is put on at Magic Kingdom every evening - but seeing as we were just across the Seven Seas Lagoon from there we had front row/waterfront views each night. They had speakers set up on the beach area so we could hear the music that went along with the fireworks and let me tell you I was eating up all the Disney magic - Adam was too - though I think I felt a few eye rolls as I squeezed him tight as Jiminy Cricket expounded nightly "and may all your wishes come true!" It truly is a magical place. 



In the light of day the waterfront proved to be pretty magical for Andy as he spotted a line of Boston Whalers all shiny and pretty - there's no doubt that must be what Heaven looks like to him. 

Another highlight of our resort was that we were just 25 minutes away from my cousin Sean who surprisingly was not traveling during our visit and was able to join us for dinner one night. It was awesome getting to introduce him to Harper - who appeared quite smitten. We also enjoyed a nice catch-up session during a long walk with the dogs down to the waterfront. Cousins rock - it's true. 

The resort also had some of the best "camp stores" we've ever been in. It's true - a must-do on each camping trip is to check out the camp store - sometimes it's a whole lot of nothing - other times you find some new camping "tchotchke" and other times you're at Disney and it's one big toy store that you just can't stop visiting! We didn't go overboard, only buying a few Christmas ornaments - have to keep with tradition - and random supplies here and there - but the visits were always fun none the less and Adam was sure to have me snap a few pics of him with some Goofy stuff for Aunt Kathleen. 

After an epic journey to Florida we couldn't have asked for a better "home away from home" during our Disney vacation - and no doubt we'll be back!