Completed Birthday Spring Break 2018 Trip with 3 Kids and a 3 Resort Stay

Nalshersmom

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Our family of 5 got back 3 weeks ago from our Spring Break/Birthday trip. My kids just turned 8, 10, and 12 over the span of 1 month, so we celebrated their birthdays throughout the week! Our family loves Disney and visit almost yearly. We have also been to Disneyland twice. We started planning our trip around our SPG points. I am a big fan of credit cards for travel, and my initial bonus was enough for 5 nights at the Dolphin. How could I say no? I also added a night at Port Orleans Riverside at the beginning and a night at the Boardwalk to end our vacation.
Here is our crew.

My husband and I have been married for almost 15 years :) My favorite attraction is probably the Carousal of Progress. His is Pirates of the Caribbean.


This is my newly 12 year old AL. She was 3 on her first trip to Disney. She loves every ride, especially the thrill rides.


My middle daughter, Nat. Her first Disney trip was at 1. Her favorite ride is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.


My youngest giving the smoulder. I was pregnant with him on our first Disney trip. He loves all of the rides. This trip was the first time he was tall enough for Rock n Roller coaster.

Day 1-travel day
We drove from Alabama and arrived at Port Orleans Riverside. This was our first stay here. We enjoyed the pool even though it was getting a little chilly.



We also walked over to the French Quarter for a quick dinner. It was a pretty walk.



The pool there also looked fun.



We were hungry, but we loved the food. My husband said the steak there was one of his favorite meals. My youngest both really enjoyed the ribs. We also had the brownie which was mediocre and the beignets which were good. The shrimp and grits, macaroni, and corn bread were also really good.


 

BellaBaby

(Im)patiently waiting for next trip to Disney!!
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Joining in! :wave:

We also have 2 DDs and a DS 2 years apart; the youngest being the boy. First trip my oldest was almost 2 and I was pregnant with my second. At first, we went every other year with a couple DL trips thrown in. Then every year. It's an addiction!! ::yes::

My DD14 got those light up SW ears last trip. Love the smolder pic!! 8-)

That's awesome you got the Dolphin for 5 nights with points!! Looking forward to hearing all about the trip!! :flower1:
 

Nalshersmom

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Day 2- Disney Springs and 'Ohana

We slept in a little and relaxed at the resort. We warmed up some beignets from the night before at the food court. There was only one microwave that we could find, and we had to wait in line. A microwave in the rooms sure would be convenient. We also refilled all of our refillable mugs.




My son set up the camera to capture a timed picture of him sleeping :)

The grounds were beautiful!


We also fished. It was about $15 for a family up to 6 for an hour. This was another first for us. We came a little late to catch anything, but it was still fun.



We had a Mickey design put in my son's hair a few days before the trip.

We then rode the boat to Disney Springs. We ended up stopping by the French Quarter and the Sarasota Springs Treehouses. The boats were super slow but very relaxing.





We explored the shops at Disney Springs and ate lunch at D-Luxe Burger. We were sadly not impressed with the burgers. They did not seem to have very much flavor. The shakes were yummy, though, and we had a great table by a water area. We were good because we were looking forward to our favorite restaurant anywhere, 'Ohanas. We eat here every trip (except our super quick trip last December to MVMCP.)

We then went to check in at the Dolphin. Our room was free using points, but there was still a parking and resort fee :(. It was a giant hotel, but we were able to see it from everywhere. Our room faced the Hollywood Studios fireworks and the pool area which was nice. Our room was for 5, but there were only 2 beds. There was an extra $20 a night fee for a rollaway and very little room, so we set up a pallet on the floor for my son. Our room was simple. The hotel itself was fine. There were always convention stuff going on. The carpet in the halls looked worn. The pool and recreation area was very nice.

Our views





We soon headed to the Polynesian!





We love 'Ohanas even though that is the only place one of my kids has ever gone missing. When my son was 2, I had all 3 kids in the bathroom helping them wash their hands, and he pushed open the door and was walking around the restaurant. It was super scary! Our memories since have been only good. My middle child ate the most shrimp I have ever seen. My husband's favorite part are the chicken wings. I love the bread pudding the most.



We then finished our night with fireworks and the water parade on the beach.





I was specifically trying to make this a more relaxing vacation than our usual ones, and it was.
 
  • DLo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2006
    Following along. Looking forward to reading more about your trip.
     
  • Nalshersmom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 29, 2012
    Joining in! :wave:

    We also have 2 DDs and a DS 2 years apart; the youngest being the boy. First trip my oldest was almost 2 and I was pregnant with my second. At first, we went every other year with a couple DL trips thrown in. Then every year. It's an addiction!! ::yes::

    My DD14 got those light up SW ears last trip. Love the smolder pic!! 8-)

    That's awesome you got the Dolphin for 5 nights with points!! Looking forward to hearing all about the trip!! :flower1:

    It is an addiction!! We also love to travel other places, but I am always looking for ways to plan a Disney trip into our schedule!
     

    Nalshersmom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 29, 2012
    Day 3-Trattoria Al Forno and Blizzard Beach

    This trip we were anxious to try new things along with taking it easier and enjoying everything more. We usually do 5 park days and then add on Universal Studios. Those trips are fabulous, but I loved this trip and felt better rested :)

    Our first stop today was a character breakfast at Trattoria Al Forno. It was a quick walk from the Dolphin. Our server was helpful and friendly. They first poured us orange juice and took our drink orders. The orange juice was pulpy, so I was the only one in our group that enjoyed it. Then they brought us a pastry basket. The chocolate braids were especially good. The sun was like a butter cookie and very good. The rest was pretty good.

     

    Nalshersmom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 29, 2012


    My oldest and I ordered the pancake stack. It came with a meat option and a strawberry compote. It was pretty, but it just tasted okay. It had kind of a weird texture thing going for it.

    My husband had the steak and egg option. The steak was good, but the egg was almost like a casserole which did not get eaten by anyone. The potatoes were good.



    We also each got a bowl of seasonal fruit. My middle child ordered the kids waffles which were cute, and she enjoyed them. They featured Ariel and Flounder.



    My son ordered the kids steak and "egg configuration". The steak part was good, the egg part was cute but did not get eaten, and it seemed kind of puny even with some blueberries thrown on the plate.



    Flynn came around first, and he was super friendly and a great character to interact with. My kids spent a lot of time talking with him and asked to look into his satchel. He did seem nervous when my middle child asked to pose with him and a frying pan. I can only imagine what he has been through with other guests.





    Rapunzel was also a friendly character!



    Next came Prince Eric. He had less of a personality.



    Next was Ariel. She was nice, but was not very conversational.



    Next we put on some sunscreen and headed to Blizzard Beach. This was out first time here.



    We did not take our phones or cameras with us past our lockers. We also never saw a single photo pass person.



    It had a really cool kids area, but it was probably our least favorite water park we have been to. We rode all of the slides, and none seemed overly enjoyable. The theming was very cool, but we were not very impressed. We even left early and headed back to our hotel to eat and swim.

    We were hungry, so we chose the quick and easy option of a pizza at the Boardwalk window. It was okay Disney pizza, but it was so convenient. We also got to enjoy the gorgeous scenery and lots of bird watching.



    We then got our first ice creams at Ample Hills Creamery next door. The ooey gooey butter cake flavor is my new favorite ice cream!






    We then headed back to the Dolphin to enjoy all of their pools. We even took a paddle boat ride.





    Everyday at 6, the Dolphin Resort had a smore area with firepits, marshmallow roasting sticks, and smore kits.





    The playground there also had a giant chess board.



    There were several pools and a water slide. There were also volleyball, basketball, and ping pong areas. My family enjoyed the resort.
     

    dnllmz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2011
    Hi Following along! Sounds like a great trip so far. I'm ready for a more relaxing trip. I love our hard core touring trips but I could use a little more relaxation on my vacation.

    My middle child ate the most shrimp I have ever seen. My husband's favorite part are the chicken wings. I love the bread pudding the most.
    Something for everyone! We haven't done 'Ohana dinner with the kids yet. I've gone with my dh years ago and loved it. We had an ADR last trip but hand to cancel due to illness. I'm hoping we can go soon. I would love to do the fireworks on the beach after. That looks like fun.

    Such a cute picture!

    It had a really cool kids area, but it was probably our least favorite water park we have been to.
    Have you done Typhoon Lagoon? We haven't done a waterpark but are talking about doing it this upcoming year.

    The ooey gooey butter cake flavor is my new favorite ice cream!
    Soooo good! The best ice cream ever!!!!
     
  • Nalshersmom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 29, 2012
    Hi Following along! Sounds like a great trip so far. I'm ready for a more relaxing trip. I love our hard core touring trips but I could use a little more relaxation on my vacation.



    Something for everyone! We haven't done 'Ohana dinner with the kids yet. I've gone with my dh years ago and loved it. We had an ADR last trip but hand to cancel due to illness. I'm hoping we can go soon. I would love to do the fireworks on the beach after. That looks like fun.



    Such a cute picture!



    Have you done Typhoon Lagoon? We haven't done a waterpark but are talking about doing it this upcoming year.



    Soooo good! The best ice cream ever!!!!
    I love watching the fireworks and the Electric Water Pageant from the beach after a delicious dinner! I think we have done it every time but once.
    We have done Typhoon Lagoon, and it's wave pool is awesome! They have the biggest waves I have ever seen. It also has better slides in our opinion.
     

    Nalshersmom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 29, 2012
    Day 4- Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios

    We had a restful sleep and then woke up excited to go into the parks. We became Mythical Beasts last year and love Good Mythical Morning (GMM.) They have a video we love called I'm On Vacation. It was our theme song for our trip. We got matching shirts because we love it and are that goofy kind of family:) I also love wearing matching shirts on at least one day of each Disney trip.

    Here are a couple of our other matching shirts from the past.





    This is the link to our inspirational song.



    These are our shirts :) We probably had a lot of confusion about our spelling, but everything's great because we were on vacation(vacatoin)!



    There were extra am magic hours at Animal Kingdom. We had a FastPass for Flight of Passage at 9:30. We got there about 30 minutes before park opening, and we headed along with all of the crowds to Pandora. We went straight to Na'vi River Journey. There was already a 2 + hour wait for Flights of Passage! It was really pretty and relaxing, but I found the shaman to be kind of creepy.
    We then made a quick trip to First Aid after my 12 year old's contact fell out. They said they do not sell contact solution, but they gave us some rewetting drops which got the job done. We then explored Pandora some more.



    If you rubbed on this, it sprayed a water/mist solution out and lit up.

    I like this wall better than the Purple Wall :)



    We also explored the store and came close to buying a few things but did not find anything we really wanted.

    We then went to the DINOSAUR ride before our first FastPass.




    I really like it but still prefer Indiana Jones at Disneyland.

    Then it was finally time for our Flights of Passage FastPass! We felt like celebrities going through the short line. My kids really enjoyed it. It made my husband a little queasy for a short time, and I enjoyed the parts I felt like I could watch without getting sick. My advice would be to sit back a little when first getting on. I felt a little squished at first because I leaned up far.



    The land was very pretty and fun to look at during the day. We had plans of coming to see it at night, but we never made it back :(

    Our next stop was our FastPass for Expedition Everest.




    My son loves all the thrill rides, but he always has a terrified look on his face in pictures.

    We then went to lunch at the Sat'uli Canteen. I was so excited! We used mobile ordering which was super easy and convenient. We were not super hungry, so we all got kids meals to try. This seemed like a really good deal and perfect for our appetites.
    My husband got the steamed cheeseburger pod. I heard it tasted like a Mcdonald's cheeseburger. We all tried it and equated it to a meatloaf we were not so fond of. It never got finished.



    The inside



    Two of my kids ordered the cheese quesadilla. It was good. We also all enjoyed the vegetable chips. My kids loved the grapes. The favorite was the wrapped hot dog. I got the chicken and rice which was good.



    We also ordered the blueberry cream cheese mousse to try. It was super cool looking and tasty. It was good but unlike anything we have had before.




    It was then time for our Kilimanjaro Safari FastPass! It was an enjoyable ride as usual.



    ... and a baby hippo!



    We also visited It's Tough to Be a Bug which we always enjoy.



    The kids had never ridden Primeval Whirl mostly because we were worried about getting sick, and the kids had not been able to all go on it without us until my youngest was 7. They loved it! Last summer we went on a California trip and stopped by the Tam O' Shanter and Walt's Table. There are etchings to represent the Imagineers making sketchings of Primeval Whirl.





    We then got some favorite frozen snacks and headed to Hollywood Studios.



    The kids took a snooze on the way.



    It started to rain, so we ducked into Sweet Spells and got some snacks. One of my favorites is the carrot cake cookie.



    We also got a smores treat.




    The rain slacked off, but the lines still had not. There were no FastPasses available for a third rolling FastPass at Hollywood Studios ( I checked immediately following scanning our MagicBand for Kilimanjaro Safari), but we were determined to ride Rock n Roller Coaster. This was our first visit to Hollywood Studios since they have been tall enough. My 10 year old is on the short side:) We waited in the longest and slowest line ever, but it was worth it.



    It was also cool/weird how they used our MagicBand information to change the signs.



    This also gave us time to take a picture of our Mission Breakout hat with the Tower of Terror in the background. I loved Mission breakout, but I am glad they are keeping the Tower of Terror in Hollywood Studios.










    We then had to go on our favorite Tower of Terror. My 10 year old is hiding in my armpit. She will ride, but does not enjoy it until after.



    There were not many attractions open, and we were tired of lines, so we went to grab dinner at CiCi's. We really missed the Great Movie Ride, and this was our first time not to do Jedi Training. We had also got a FastPass for Pirates and had intentions of visiting after dinner, but we were too tired by the time we got to the parking lot, and half of us were asleep. We then headed back to the Dolphin for some more rest.
     

    StarWarsMomofGirls!

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2015
    Following Along!



    We also walked over to the French Quarter for a quick dinner. It was a pretty walk.
    Riverside Pool looks nice! We stayed at French Quarter on our last trip. We loved it.



    My son set up the camera to capture a timed picture of him sleeping :)
    Too funny, that he timed this.... My youngest would love that trundle bed for sure!

    Great family pic!

    My middle child ate the most shrimp I have ever seen. My husband's favorite part are the chicken wings. I love the bread pudding the most.

    We went to Ohana on one of our recent trips and loved it! I do think it will become a regular stop for us.

    Love it! You almost have to get a pic with the frying pan..

    Awsome!

    Next came Prince Eric. He had less of a personality.

    We did this also, and found Eric to be not so interesting. A different Eric but still kind of dull.

    Cute pic!

    We then headed back to the Dolphin to enjoy all of their pools. We even took a paddle boat ride.

    You guys were really enjoying the relaxing part of this trip. The paddle boat sounds super fun!

    There were several pools and a water slide. There were also volleyball, basketball, and ping pong areas. My family enjoyed the resort.
    I have toyed with staying at the swan and dolphin, but never here too much about it.

    It was really pretty and relaxing, but I found the shaman to be kind of creepy.
    Ha. me too. I think it's just weird.

    The shirts are great! I bet a lot of people were wondering what in the world you guys were doing. But I love it!
     

    Nalshersmom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 29, 2012
    Following Along!


    Riverside Pool looks nice! We stayed at French Quarter on our last trip. We loved it.


    Too funny, that he timed this.... My youngest would love that trundle bed for sure!


    Great family pic!


    We went to Ohana on one of our recent trips and loved it! I do think it will become a regular stop for us.


    Love it! You almost have to get a pic with the frying pan..


    Awsome!


    We did this also, and found Eric to be not so interesting. A different Eric but still kind of dull.


    Cute pic!


    You guys were really enjoying the relaxing part of this trip. The paddle boat sounds super fun!


    I have toyed with staying at the swan and dolphin, but never here too much about it.


    Ha. me too. I think it's just weird.


    The shirts are great! I bet a lot of people were wondering what in the world you guys were doing. But I love it!
    We love the those beds the best! We first used one at Wilderness Lodge. We did too much on our trip last summer, so we were determined to relax more. I am not sure if I would stay at the Dolphin again. The location and pool areas were great, but the price would have to be a lot cheaper than the on property hotels for me to stay again. However, with the new parking charges, it makes me consider it more.
     

    Nalshersmom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 29, 2012
    Day 5- Garden View Tea Party!

    This was a trip of several firsts, and the Garden View Tea Party had been on my mind for a while. We had just never taken time out of the parks. We made this into a girls lunch. This was a day in between my girls birthdays, so they both wore their birthday buttons. We also wore dresses and pearls to make ourselves fancy :) We took the bus to the Magic Kingdom and then monorailed it over to the Grand Floridian. We arrived in plenty of time to visit the eggs just days before Easter.



    We also visited the gift shop and voted on employee made Easter hats.

    We were soon seated in the quaint dining area.



    We chose 2 delicious teas and 1 hot chocolate. The teas were surprisingly good. My 10 year old added lots of sugar to hers. They then brought our cheese and fruit trays which were delicious!



    Next came the sandwiches. I wish I could say nice things about them and the onion tart. I did not enjoy the sandwiches! The one with the tomato was the worst. I could barely swallow. The egg one was super bland. The server brought us ham and cheese sandwiches which were 100% better. The onion tart was the best part, but it was kind of weird that it tasted like cold french onion soup. I usually enjoy trying tea sandwiches, but these disappointed.



    Next came the dessert trays! There were 3 offerings, so we got them all and shared. They were elegant and very delightful!










    We were full and happy/sleepy from our sugar highs after dessert :)






    We then went to explore the Grand Floridian and garden area. We have never stayed here but love visiting at Christmas. We have also done 1900 Park Fare a couple of times and loved it!



    This was taken last December when we made a quick trip down for the MVMCP!









    We then headed back to the Dolphin. The guys had been playing in the pool and had lunch at the Fountain. They loved the ice cream.



    We then headed over to another first! We went on the food tour at Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is free! We stayed there years ago, but we never made time for the tour. On that trip I discovered zebra domes. This tour was kind of hard to hear, but they gave a backstory to the restaurants and explained the decor and meaning. It was just our family and another. They then let us try a sampling of breads and sauces. The breads were delicious! We then went on to try butternut squash soup and zebra domes. They were both super delicious.






    We then sun screened up and went swimming in out pool. We were joined by ducks.










    We then dried off and headed to Disney Springs for dinner at T-Rex. We got the Landry's card a few months ago which pretty much gives you a FastPass. We flashed our card and bypassed the line which felt fabulous (we enjoy the little things.)





    It was pretty good. The atmosphere is fun but looks the same as 6 years ago.

    We next hit up the Sprinkles ATM on the way back. They were good, but the best part was the delivery.


     

    StarWarsMomofGirls!

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2015
    Looked like a great tea! This is on my list to do one day. But like you said, it is hard to take the time out to do something so relaxing and calming.

    Your girls remind me of my two girls.
     

    BellaBaby

    (Im)patiently waiting for next trip to Disney!!
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2007
    I always meant to do that tea with my girls but never got around to it. Sorry to hear the sandwiches were not great. :faint:

    I have never heard of that food tour at AKL. Sounds good...especially since it's free!! :thumbsup2

    How do you get a Landry's card; just go online?

    We need to try Sprinkles; if not just for the delivery!! :flower1:
     

    Nalshersmom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 29, 2012
    I always meant to do that tea with my girls but never got around to it. Sorry to hear the sandwiches were not great. :faint:

    I have never heard of that food tour at AKL. Sounds good...especially since it's free!! :thumbsup2

    How do you get a Landry's card; just go online?

    We need to try Sprinkles; if not just for the delivery!! :flower1:
    I am pretty sure it starts at 4:30 every day and is listed in the activities itinerary. It is short, but interesting, and who doesn't like to sample yummy food? It is only bad because it is at an odd time that most people are in the parks. I just went online for the Landry's card. It was $25, but it is credited to your account. They also give you a coupon on your birthday. We knew it was time return for our family on this trip since the kids had been asking. We made no reservation because with the card, you don't need it. If you are definitely going, I would recommend the card :)
     



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