My family and I made the journey to the land of the Mouse... Mickey Mouse that is for a quick little winter getaway to some sun and warmth of Orlando. Our first few days in Orlando staying up with my mother-in-law provided the warmth and sun we were looking for, but little did we know we were in for a rare treat. WINTER in Florida. What? We went from mid 60's and shorts/swimming in pools to low temps in the 30 and highs only in the low 50's with rain. Not the best weather to visit Disney, but we made the best of it after a quick trip to the local store to buy some hats, gloves and additional layers. The weather changed drastically in the matter of a few days and when we left, the forecast was slightly different so we were not prepared at all! We divided our time in Orlando between Walt Disney World and Universal Studios (check out that post here!), but for now, I'll share our Disney experience with you!
Walt Disney World
We stayed at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House and were greeted with a beautifully decorated lobby - the combination of Christmas with the traditional African decor of this property was a great welcome to this hotel. Since we visited in January, all of the holiday decor was still up so gave us the chance to see just how well Disney celebrates the holidays. Everything is so beautiful and festive - make us want to do Christmas all over again!
We stayed in the Savannah View rooms where every day you can be greeted each day by a wide variety of animals from your rooms balcony. Unfortunately since it was extremely cold, we only saw a few animals each morning, but it was still cool to wake up, open your window and see a zebra standing there.
Animal Kingdom Park
We headed to Animal Kingdom to begin our day and we were excited to all that the park had to offer. The ultimate fast pass "get" for Animal Kingdom right now is for Avatar Flight of Passage - even after stalking the app for weeks, we were never able to secure a time, which was unfortunate. We weren't about to stand in line for over 3 1/2, almost 4 hours for the ride, so setting expectations, a visit to Pandora was going to be just fine by us since this new area of Animal Kingdom had just opened earlier this year. And let me tell you, just walking through and seeing what they've done was amazing, especially the bioluminescence effect that happens at night - just incredible!
We had never been to Animal Kingdom so we just went with the flow wanting to just take our time through the park to enjoy. The only thing we had planned was our lunch at Tusker House and our Na'vi River Journey fast pass later that night. Since Jack is too little for some of the bigger rides, like Everest, and Rob and I aren't big riders (age unfortunately has taken the love of thrill rides away - now it just leaves us with nausea!) we were find just taking our time through the park to explore and experience.
There is an amazing Wilderness Explorer program for kids and it's a scavenger hunt of sorts based on Russell’s Boy Scout–esque troop from the movie Up. Player