Stonekings Do Disney || Day 1

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

I'm still unwinding from vacation... and yes, we've been back for five days, so I have no excuse really. Let's also NOT talk about the fact I still haven't unpacked = winning! Alright friends, you've been asking and commenting away about everything you need to know for all things Disney, so today is roundup #1... this is going to take awhile to get through so my apologies in advance! But get excited for cuteness overload from Caroline and Carson, after all, this is what it is ALL about. 

This lady was up bright and early Saturday morning at 3:45AM to get ready, get the girls dressed, and finish packing up the car with Jeff so that we would be on time for our 7:15AM departure... our only non-stop flight option, so you better believe we snatched up that Southwest flight oh so long ago.
To make things easy, we headed to our favorite off-site parking facility, Flight Park, and they took great care of us, packing up the van quickly and transporting us to our gate within minutes... cannot say enough great things about their services for you local Nashville friends [and PS they washed our car while we were gone, too!!]

Once we got through security with the girls, we grabbed coffee and a light breakfast and then boarded the plane... and yes, the girls were SO excited to be flying to Disney World! Mimi and Pappy grabbed our two rows of seats and we were on our way.

Once we arrived to the Orlando Airport, it was a breeze to make our way to the hotel... Disney's Magical Express handles all your luggage so you don't see it once you leave your departing city until it arrives in your room... genius right?!?!?! Especially when you don't travel lightly ;) We were on our way to the Animal Kingdom Lodge within a few minutes and couldn't wait to get to the resort. 

Upon arrival, we visited the club level/concierge floor to see their on-site offerings... amazing for families who want accessibility to unlimited snacks/drinks/continental breakfast. This was an upgrade, but came with our package as we had gotten a suite for the week, so it was definitely a big plus in our book and one I would recommend! From there, we toured the rest of the resort, savannah to see the animals, and then grabbed lunch at The Mara Cafewhere we also picked up our resort mugs, which allows you unlimited refills while at the hotel... great for early morning coffee, milk and juice, and caffeinated beverages, too. Afterwards, we got text messages telling us our rooms were ready, so we headed straight there, got unpacked, and spent a few hours relaxing.

That evening, we had our first character dining experience at Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary Resort. We left an hour prior to our reservations, assuming we'd have plenty of time to get there, but due to a traffic accident on-site, most major Disney transportation was shut down so we were an hour and a half late.
I have to say that transportation was a major pain for us throughout the trip and I know things happen, but we did have to communicate our frustrations a few times to the concierge staff and cast members because it really made things difficult getting from one park/resort to another on time.
But once we got to dinner, it was awesome... the food was REALLY good, the atmosphere was perfect, and it was a highlight for sure. We especially loved that the characters came to your table, so you can get all the autographs and pictures you're wanting, while still being able to enjoy your dinner, too. The girls absolutely loved this dining experience and I think it's a must-see for anyone going to Disney because you can check off Minnie, Mickey, Donald Duck, Pluto and Goofy, all in one sitting [plus, the cocktails were pretty good for us adults].

We called it a night after that, taking the monorail and buses back to Animal Kingdom Lodge to get some rest before our first BIG day at the parks! 

Stay tuned for more... it's taking awhile to upload all 1,000+ pics, but it will get done, slowly but surely! Yay for more Disney dreaming and fun. 


  1. We had an issue with transportation too. We waited for nearly an hour for a bus to our resort most of the time. Thankfully we were right outside of Epcot and could walk there, but everything else was a hassle.

    1. i hate to hear that!!!!! they kept telling us buses would come every 20 minutes and it rarely happened... we ended up taking taxes to and from the parks (on their expense) because of how frustrating it was.

  2. We went last year around this time, and we thought the transportation left a lot to be desired as well. At the time, we chalked it up to the resort we chose, but if I think about it, the park to park buses were probably the worst. There was one day we almost missed our breakfast reservation because the Epcot bus never showed, so we took a Magic Kingdom bus and hopped on the monorail!

    My parents planned last year's trip through their regular travel agent, and she really messed up booking our meals. Would you mind doing a post about your planning, specifically your hotel and meal plan choices?

  3. seems like this is an all-around issue resortwide... yeah we were 1.5 hours late to our first dinner and freaked out given that we had followed their advice for allowing 1 hour to get there.

    Oh no!!! Happy to talk about our planning... we LOVED Animal Kingdom Lodge and would absolutely stay there again. As for the meal plan, I should devote an entire post to that because it was SO worth it and a great value for us as well.

  4. LOVE hearing all about your trip - so sorry about the transportation!! We stayed at the Grand Floridian when we went but it was also in April so not as busy maybe - we didn't have any issues with transport x

  5. We love Bay Lake at The Contemporary! You can walk to Magic Kingdom so you don't have to even worry about the buses!!

  6. what a fun vacation! i cant wait to take Violet to Disney someday! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  7. Can't wait to hear more about your Disney trip!

  8. This restaurant is sooo cute! I did the same kind of meal as a kid, only back then it was a brunch. Fun to see this stuff now! Adorable!!

  9. Central Florida native here so we usually just drive to the parks, but we did stay a few days at the Hilton Bonnet Creek (on Disney property but not a WFW hotel) one summer and I thought the bus service was excellent! We never waited even 20 minutes. Perhaps that would be a resort option for some not as concerned with Disney theming. Otherwise, if a deluxe resort is in your budget I would always recommend one on the monorail line or with a small boat to get you around more efficiently. I think for value resorts, Pop has a dedicated bus just for that hotel too so I've read its service is a bit faster. :)