Disney is Awesome, some people only get to go once in a lifetime and for many that is enough.  I would live in the castle if I could.  This trip Disney was exactly what I wanted and expected.  I enjoyed us getting along as a family, only one minor blowup in the middle of main street that lead to some strong words and David putting down his foot down and threatening to ship kids home if they don’t be respectful (yep this still happens with kids our age).  After this blowup – everything was as smooth as silk.  I think it helped having the condo with separate bedrooms for each kid, there was always some quiet time to relax once back home.  I call it home, because this is where my heart is – with my family and they are in the condo in Florida, so for that week, we were still home.   Sharing some pictures of the sites below.   I am not going to offer much Disney advice, because it is a well written subject, but I do have 5 small travel tidbits.

  1. July at Disney was so hot, I melted, and it was packed.  I would not go back in the summer.
  2. Pack snacks and force kids to carry their own waters if you do go – this saves a ton.  DO NOT use the bathroom sink water, we were told that is non drinking water and it had a funny onion like taste.
  3. Download the Disney app and buy your tickets prior to getting to Florida, book your important fast passes (you get 3 per day) as the best rides book early.   You can add a fast pass as you use them – so as your in line after scanning your fast pass, book another.  App has wait times listed to make choices easier.
  4. If it rains – most of the people will leave, so stick around and take advantage of the slim lines.  It rained every day for us for about 30minutes, it was even hotter afterward, and we were wet, but we got to ride a lot during this time.
  5. Universal Studios tip – We could easily do both parks in one day, and we recommend  to start with Universal studios side with Harry Potters Diagon Ally then ride the Harry Potter train to Universal Islands of Adventure  Wizarding world of Harry potter and Hogsmeade.  Once you have that under your belt hit the rest.

 

Now to share some pictures.

The first group is of Universal Studios – the Harry Potter castle and Diagon Ally.

These are of a variety of locations all within Universal Studios, with our teens enjoying themselves and being goofy.

This set of pictures is of the new Disney Exhibit of Pandora – Flight of Passage.  The views in this +1hr line were amazing.  Download the Disney phone app, book these prior to even leaving for your trip, to assure you get a fast Pass and bypass this longest line.  But the ride was completely worth it.  I truly felt like I was immersed in a flying adventure on the back of a Banshee. I would for sure make this the number one adventure.   We did not make it to the Na’vi  River Journey, but it looks incredible.

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These are the few pictures of my 21 year old son we were able to take, first he is with his sisters inside the Mexico Pavilion market at Disney Epcot.  The pictures below that is Coca-Cola rooftop bar in Downtown Disney, we purchased the Tastes of the World drinks, two trays of 16 Coca-Cola drinks from around the world, it is so fun to try them and then vote who likes what best and who hates what.   These drinks vary in color in taste drastically, with Lift Manzana (my least favorite) a drink from Chili, to Smart Watermelon (my favorite) from China.

These pictures are just a few more random pictures of many adventures at Hollywood studios, Epcot and Animal Kingdom Lodge.

This is our last big family trip, it is getting to hard to keep 5 kids happy, and while I enjoyed every second of it, we have decided to just do small separate family trips, David with his children, maybe to Cedar Point for a weekend, and me with my girls maybe in Chicago for a weekend.  While this might not be a bring your family together and closer method, it is the best for us right now.  Look forward to our future small family trips postings.

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