We made it back, though the jolt into reality is always a little hard after vacation, especially if you've been to Disney World. Minus a few rough spots regarding Soren, our trip to Disney World was wonderful.
After a fairly uneventful flight, other than the messy diaper change in the airplane restroom complete with top-of-the-lung screaming from S (Happy Mother's Day, Kathleen), we landed in Orlando ready to get to our hotel.
We stayed at the Old Key West Resort, since my in-laws are Disney Vacation Club Members, and the place was lovely.
It was very quiet and remote, but easily accessible to the parks and Downtown Disney via a bus or boat ride (though it's often spoken of as the least accessible resort to the parks). By the end of the week we were admittedly tired of lugging the stroller up and down steps and onto buses, but the laid-back pace and lush greenery of the Old Key West resort was worth it. We had stayed at the Boardwalk a few years back, which was definitely more bustling, though still nice.
We spent our first day at Animal Kingdom, which is Mr. Geek's and my favorite Disney park.
The theming and presentation is nice, it's not over-the-top Disney, but more of a natural setting. We set off on the Kilimanjaro Safaris to check out the animals before it got too hot. Soren was a bit overwhelmed by it all at this point in the trip.
Though he excitedly pointed to the elephants, giraffes, ostriches, and other animals that he recognized. Plus riding a safari truck through muck, mud and water was thrilling for him.
I love the sea of strollers that we came out onto after the safari. Only in Disney...
The petting zoo was also fun for him and my niece, even though he was getting tired by this point.
By far Soren's favorite area in the Animal Kingdom was Dinoland USA, which is typical for a toddler. The Boneyard, a fossil-themed play area was a big hit.
There were all kinds of slides and tunnels and things to climb, and dinosaur roars that happened when you stepped on dino footprints.
They really made the Boneyard a great place for kids. It had a good amount of shade too, which is important for little ones in the hot Florida sun.Beyond The Boneyard, there were some resin dinosaurs to climb throughout Dinoland USA, which was also a hit with our son.
Toddlers are often more interested in the hands-on things rather than the rides.
I did go on the Dinosaur ride myself, which was really cool, with a loud, bumpy ride complete with animatronic dinosaurs. Definitely too intense for the young crowd.
While at the Animal Kingdom, we made sure to see the Festival of the Lion King show.
The Mister and I have seen the Broadway version of The Lion King, and the show here was very similar. This was the best show we saw at Disney; the live singing, dancing, costumes and energy was incredible.
If you're heading to Disney World, you cannot miss the Festival of the Lion King. I recommend getting to the earliest show, since the wait it minimal.
One last thing about the Animal Kingdom--they have the best Baby Care center and First Aid area. We used the Baby Center to change a diaper on the first visit and it was nice to have a quiet, out-of-the-way place to tend to Soren. There were two dark nursing rooms with rockers in them, as well as a room with a movie playing so kids could relax a bit before heading back into the park. We ended up visiting First Aid too when Soren came down with a fever on the last day, and the nurse there was very helpful.
More to come on our trip over the next few days. It's a bit much for just one post!
Disclosure: I received 2 Park Hopper passes to Disney World from their PR team and wanted to blog about it, though it was not required.