Spring Break + Disney = Fun Times!

Spring break at Walt Disney World means nice weather and visiting the parks with tens of thousands of your newest friends.  While it is super crowded at the World, you can still have a great time if you plan ahead and go with the flow if the flow blows your plans.

So new things we tried:

  • Art of Animation Resort in a Cars themed family suite
    • LOVE it!  Can’t say enough good things about Art of Animation.  Even though this is a value resort, it screams ‘Disney’ and is great for kids and adults.  Each of the themed sections (Little Mermaid, Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars) are so well done that it is mind boggling.  The Cars section definitely brought me back to Carsland in California Adventure and many great memories were made here!
  • Polynesian Resort in the brand new Disney Vacation Club rooms
    • The Polynesian is one of the original Disney World resorts in the Magic Kingdom area on the monorail line.  We are proud Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members and were able to book part of our stay in the brand new studio rooms at the Polynesian on their opening date of April 1st!  There was no April fooling going on here as the rooms and buildings are remarkable, feeling retro yet modern.  I’d love to stay in the new over water bungalows that were added but with only 20 of them and the nightly ‘cost’, that’s not going to happen anytime soon.  The only downsides?  Nowhere near enough storage in the room and we were right near the Transportation and Ticket Center so the Magic Kingdom ferry horn blasted its way into our nerves.
  • DisneyQuest
    • So this isn’t a new thing for us but we haven’t visited DisneyQuest at Downtown Disney in over 10 years.  This is an indoor, interactive theme park with lots of virtual reality fun, arcade games, animation, and creative activities.  We slid in about an hour before closing and ran through the building like maniacs trying to do all that we could before we were kicked out.  We got a ride in on Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters (man, it is hard to drive and shoot!), Jungle Cruise (I totally fell into the raft on a big wave!), Pirates of the Caribbean (we kicked some butt on that one!), and lots of arcade games.  Definitely worth the trip.
  • Mama Melrose’s in Hollywood Studios
    • I know that it can be a challenge to find good sit-down food in Hollywood Studios.  I have always heard good feedback on Mama Melrose’s but had never had the chance to try it for myself (we stick to Sci-Fi Dine-In usually.)  On this trip, I wanted some Mama so we had a lunch reservation and licked the plates clean!  Superb food, great service, and the Fantasmic package (with reserved seating for that night’s show) to boot.  Funny thing is, we were ready to leave the park before the show that night so we found some strangers to give our Fantasmic passes too.  Pay it forward!
  • Meeting Baymax and Hiro from Big Hero 6
    • OK, I don’t get super psyched about characters much anymore but I love Baymax!  We were second in line to see him in Hollywood Studios for his afternoon time slot and that 45 minute+ wait was well worth it!  Baymax did the cute fist bump with the kid and it was a great photo op.  Liked him as much as Wreck It Ralph and Vanellope last year.
  • Wilderness Explorers at Animal Kingdom
    • I’ll admit it, Animal Kingdom has never been my favorite park.  We typically spend a half day in the park and move on.  However this time, we thoroughly enjoyed the Wilderness Explorers program and completed the entire thing — in one day!  Super fun, this activity takes you all over the park and gets you to really take a deeper look at the park and all it has to offer.  We learned so much and had a great time doing it!  I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again or recommend it to others.  Honestly any of the interactive games that are available in the parks (Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom, Pirates Adventure in Magic Kingdom, Agent P in Epcot, and Wilderness Explorers) are great for that purpose, they take you to places in the parks that you probably wouldn’t normally go to and show you so much more than what you see on the surface.
  • Illuminations Dessert Party in Epcot
    • First time for this party but we’ve done the Wishes dessert party in Magic Kingdom.  Liked this one so much better!  Wine and rum, desserts galore, spectacular viewing of Illuminations; we will definitely be doing this one again.  The only bad thing was that it was standing room only, no chairs.  We did sit on the ground for awhile before the show started though.

I could go on and on because we did so many different things this time around but I’ll nutshell some others:

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride in Magic Kingdom (new ride, super fun but way too short)
  • Great Movie Ride in Hollywood Studios (used to hate this, now I think I’ll admit it wasn’t bad at all)
  • Flower and Garden Festival in Epcot (this gets better every year and the food stands are divine)
  • Frozen Sing Along show in Hollywood Studios (great fun for the Frozen fan)
  • Festival of Fantasy Parade in Magic Kingdom (WONDERFUL, best parade I’ve seen on-site in a long time!)
  • Great Piggy Bank Adventure in Epcot (this is going away soon and we’re definitely going to miss it!)
  • Starbucks (Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Downtown Disney so far.  Typical ‘bucks but super convenient)
  • Landscape of Flavors food court at Art of Animation (this is hands down the best food court on-site)
  • Flights of Wonder show at Animal Kingdom (never done it before, definitely will see it again, excellent show!)

So lastly, the icing on the cake.  On our last day, we had complimentary admission to Typhoon Lagoon due to the pool at the Polynesian being out of service because of resort construction.  In all the times we’ve been to Disney, we’ve never taken the time to do a waterpark.  That changes now.  Typhoon Lagoon ROCKED!  We spent hours there and practically had to drag ourselves out of the wave pool.  It was super crowded too but OMG so much fun!  The only thing I’d do differently there is apply more sunblock because sunburn hurts!  Seriously people, if you go when the weather is warm, you need the waterpark fun and more option on your tickets so you can go here and splash the day away.

Polynesian Village lobby tiki

Polynesian Village lobby tiki

Illuminations fireworks/laser show finale

Illuminations fireworks/laser show finale

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Cars pool at Art of Animation with Cozy Cone cabanas

Cars pool at Art of Animation with Cozy Cone cabanas, the blurriest picture ever but you get the point

Festival of Fantasy parade dragon

Festival of Fantasy parade dragon

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