June weather and crowds
– I was prepared for the worst – horrible heat and humidity and elbow to elbow crowds. Since we went very early in June, I was pleasantly surprised. For the first 4 days, the heat wasn’t that bad. Then the last 5 days, it got pretty hot. Meaning that it was very warm starting at 9am. We were truly fortunate that it only rained for 10 minutes the very first day, then no rain after that. I’ll take the no rain instead of high heat any day!!! Because we napped and swam mid-day, we missed most of the unbearable heat. The crowds the first weekend were pretty tame. It did get much busier by the second weekend of June. All in all, I can’t complain because the heat/crowds were better than I expected. Now, will I do it again??? Probably not, given the choice. My next trips will be in the Spring or Fall, and then I’d like to try early December for MVMCP. So for a while, I’ll pass on the summer heat/crowds.
Star Wars Weekends
– This was awesome!! There was so much to do – tons of characters to meet and lots more walking around. Lots of scenery, cut-outs and backgrounds to take pictures of. The parade was fabulous!! A huge shop at Wicket’s Warehouse. It really was worth the trip!! The boys absolutely loved it. I highly suggest coming, especially if you have boys. You really need 2 days to get it all in, meaning you’ve dedicated most of the day to seeing the shows/events and finding characters.
Caribbean Beach Resort
– Loved the pirate rooms and the pirate ship kiddie pool. Again, something that’s awesome for little boys!! It took me a few days to “adjust” my expectations of a deluxe vs moderate hotel, then I felt very comfortable. I loved the cheaper price of a moderate. Frankly, I’m having a hard time convincing myself to pay an extra $150-$250 more per night to go back to a deluxe. The only thing I really would like is a queen size bed instead of their double bed – fix that and I’ll never go back!!! I will certainly stay at CBR again, but next time will stay in a preferred room closer to OPR.
PhotoPass Add-in Pictures
– We tried out lots of the add-in pictures – Baby Simba, balloons, fighting with Darth Vader, Stitch eating ice cream, tinkerbell. They really were lots of fun. Now I wish we did even more photopass shots!!! I highly suggest taking the same picture over multiple days, especially in front of the castle. Each trip I take more pictures than last trip, but still say that I need MORE pictures. I just never take enough pictures of the resort and hardly take any pictures on the rides. I prepurchased the Photo CD, so that saved some money.
Deluxe Dining Plan
– I’m really glad we tried this for the first time. I did lots of preplanning to figure out if it was worth the money or not. And it certainly was!! You need to eat at more TS places than CS to make it worthwhile. And the more kids you have on it, the better. The additional summer surcharge that gets added to the buffets certainly makes the DDP cheaper. I found that I experimented more with food choices. I ordered more expensive entrees than I normally would have. It really did give you more freedom to enjoy your dining experience each time. I felt the refillable mugs were a waste for us. Mainly because we were not close to OPR to “hop”over for a quick refill. Maybe if DH was with me on this trip, I could have been more flexible. I made sure we did nothing OOP for eating. I would have liked to have done TRex, Rainforest Café and Fulton’s Crab House, but since they were not on the DDP, I had to pass this time.
I read that many people ended up not using up all their snack credits, so from day 1, I made sure we were very generous in getting any and all snacks and drinks throughout the parks. We used all our snack credits and all our meal credits! Because we were on the DxDP, I bought lots of goodies that I would not have purchased at Goofy’s Candy Shoppe. For drinks, we had water, soda, smoothies, Gatorade and my slushes. Again, it was nice not to think about how much everything cost. Also because it was so hot, we drank a lot. If it was October, I’m not sure we’d have used that many drinks.
It was a LOT of food, having an appetizer/dessert with every lunch and dinner. I made sure not to eat everything if I was feeling full. The little boys started getting bored with ice cream at every meal – the kids desserts were very limited (ice cream or pudding). It was nice having a buffet for lunch/dinner where you could pick at whatever pleased you, and the boys could have more variety as well. I also needed to make our dinner ADRs at a later time. I had dinners scheduled from 5:00 to 5:45pm. AJ was napping later so that was pushing us too close to dinner time. I’ll need to make dinner at 6:00 to 6:30pm next time.
– We ate at every character meal except CRT (which I will plan for next trip!!!). My favorites are Chef Mickey’s, Cape May Café, Tusker House and Crystal Palace. Least favorite is Ohana because I don’t thing the food is very good. It was fun doing the princess breakfast at Akershus, but with the boys, we’ll only do that once. We’ll probably do 1900 Park Fare again since the boys loved the step sisters and Mad Hatter.
For regular dining, I loved Teppan Edo, Captain’s Grill and Wolfgang Puck Express. I won’t be doing Brown Derby or Boma breakfast again. Sci-Fi is MJ’s favorite and just a cool place. If DH comes next time, we’ll try out more CS places. But if it’s just me solo again, we’ll probably stay with more TS meals. I’ll certainly do the dining plan again!!
Staying 9 nights
– With our airplane schedule, we had a total of 8.5 days of touring time. We did 3 days at DHS, 2.5 days at MK, 1 at Epcot and 1 at AK. The our off day was spent at ½ day at doctor and ½ day at GF pirate cruise. The trip seemed pretty long to me. We were all getting tired by the last 2 days. So next trip will probably be 7 days of touring time. I can’t ever see us taking a 10 day trip or 2 weeks. That’s just too long to be away from home with the little boys. Maybe I might look into Universal Studios and spending a day there for something different to explore.
Orlando Stroller Rentals
– Once again, it was a fabulous double stroller that made our trip much easier!! The stroller was waiting for me at the luggage desk as expected, and I just dropped it off on our way out. Very quick and easy. Very affordable. I feel so lucky that I found this place and highly recommend them!!!
– Taking a solo trip with the boys was much easier the second time around. I felt more relaxed and comfortable with the parks and dining places, I just loved sharing Disney with them. It just constantly makes you smile!!
- I’m still thinking about that one. It’s either going to be early December or the last week of April/first week of May. I’ll have to take MJ out of school for that trip. I’d love the do both, but don’t think DH will let me. He already thinks we’ve done Disney enough!! I’m waiting to see what special rates and promotions come out for December. Most likely we’ll do the late April/early May week. I’d like to try out Beach/Yacht Club if we can get a discount, otherwise we’ll do CBR again. Can’t wait to start planning again!!
So, I think that’s it. Hard to believe it’s the end of my trip report!! I hope you had fun reading about our little adventure and that you enjoyed all the pictures. We certainly had a wonderful trip!! Thanks to such a great DISboards forum – just a wonderful place to talk and share!! So, as the CMs say….
Have a magical day!!!