Disney: Arrival

Disney Recap: ArrivalEpcotAnimal KingdomMagic KingdomHollywood StudiosEpcot Holidays

Starting this great Disney recap feels very overwhelming! We had a magical trip, and I want to do it justice. :-)

FAQ's answered:
No, we didn't stay inside the park. We had suites (so we didn't have to share rooms with the kids or my parents!) and during a holiday week, it was just much more affordable outside the Disney property. We didn't need Disney Extra Magic Hours, b/c all the parks were open late for the holiday week (Magic Kingdom was open until 1 AM every night, Animal Kingdom 8 PM instead of 5, Hollywood Studios 10 PM, etc.) and my parents didn't want to be tied down to a dining plan, so we didn't need a full Disney vacay package. We didn't stress over not having a character meal scheduled, b/c honestly, Will & Annelise just aren't big into the characters. Annelise saw the two princesses she wanted in the Magic Kingdom, and we saw another in Epcot - bonus, but neither wanted to wait in line to see *ANY* others. (I was a little surprised.) The transportation from our hotel was easy, not over-crowded, & reliable. I will say, if we get to go back again, it may be worth staying inside the park: b/c it was the kids' first time (& my first time in 25 years! 1988, y'all :-D) we wanted to take our time to see everything - and we did! :-) But if we went back, we would hop around a bit more, hit our known favorites multiple times, and having the extra FastPasses you get access to with the MagicBands (bracelets that serve as your tickets, room keys, meal plan, FastPasses, etc. when you stay inside the park) would really be worth it. I totally don't feel like we missed anything not having those this time - taking our time & having complete freedom was perfect for us! - but it would be fun to maximize the features we love next time, if that makes sense. The weather was cold more often than not. Colder than we thought it would feel with the wind. But we made the best of it, the kids rocked the Falcons football/cheer jackets I made with my Silhouette for each of them, and JB made the smart choice to buy three soft & easy-to-carry blankets Wednesday night in the Magic Kingdom! :-)

And yes, we drove. We probably wouldn't drive, again, as long as it's not a holiday. :-P B/c our return day was set in stone, though, (it HAD to be the Sunday after Thanksgiving, b/c we had a FL wedding on Sat, and we had to get back for school & work on Mon) the ticket prices were insane - at least $700 per person! :-O It was worth driving to not spend $3000 on airfare, but yeah...

We left Texas after our last youth football game, Saturday afternoon November 23rd, about 1:30 PM. We left it open to stop for the night wherever we felt like it, but JB powered through! The hotel let us check in in the middle of the night, we slept in, and we took Sunday easy to relax, recover, & hang out with my parents before running from ride to ride all week. ;-) We went to Universal CityWalk to hang out & watch football Sunday afternoon:

Surfin' Sis
Surfin' LaLa

We drove over to Downtown Disney for dinner & the evening. We just wanted a small meal...until the kids saw the riverboat that is Fulton's Crab House and HAD to eat on it! :-) Y'all know I'm not a regular seafood fan; but I do enjoy the occasional crab cake, and this was one of THE BEST: jumbo lump blue crab on top of roasted corn maque choux, a super crispy fried green tomato, & remoulade = mmmm!!!

In front Fulton's Crab House

Afterwards, we couldn't skip the Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop for dessert! ;-) It smelled like pure heaven in there... Mmmmmm, Sea Salt Caramel Hot Cocoa...

So on that crave-inducing note, I'll leave you with sweet dreams! :-P Check back soon for our first day in the parks recap: Epcot!


  1. Yes - love the smell of that Ghiradelli shop - and the free samples ;)

  2. YES!!! Our evening the samples were peppermint bark = YUMMMM!


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