Sunday, July 21, 2013

Our Disney Vacation - 2013

We have just returned from a fantastic family vacation! My mom treated us all --- our family, my sisters and their families - to a fun-filled adventure at Walt Disney World in Florida AND a Disney cruise! This was a very special - and greatly anticipated - Christmas present.... truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

When the departure day finally arrived, we got up early and headed to the airport.....

... only to discover that our flight was delayed and then later cancelled. We ended up taking taxis back to my mom's place and spending the day swimming and hanging out there. We were really bummed to miss our first day at the Disney parks. We were supposed to arrive in Orlando at 12:30, spend the day at Magic Kingdom, and have dinner together at the Crystal Palace. But it was not meant to be. We ended up not being able to fly out until 7:00pm.... didn't arrive at the hotel until about 11:00pm. We were all amazed at the patience and good attitude of the kids. They definitely "rolled with it" better than the adults. Fortunately, my mom had purchased the travel insurance that will refund her for the cost of the park tickets AND we each received a free voucher for international air fare! We're already busy planning our next adventures!
Here we are getting ready to board the plane the SECOND time....

We stayed at the All Star Music Resort. It worked pretty well for our needs.... had family suites, fun pools, an arcade, and cafeteria. However, it also had roughly 32,547 Brazilian teenagers running around. ;)


We spent our first full vacation day at the Magic Kingdom. We had a blast.... truly a fun day of rides and discoveries. I got to ride Space Mountain with my sister, brother-in-law, and niece. We all rode "It's a Small World" as a family. The updates to Fantasyland are really great. We love the new Dumbo ride. You'll see us wearing different outfits in the pictures because we returned to the hotel and went swimming in the afternoon and then went back for the evening. We loved the electrical light parade.... and Adam and I stayed for the final show at the castle and fireworks. So fun!



We spent the next day at Epcot. Again, we had a total blast! We loved the Nemo ride and exhibit, Spaceship Earth, and Soarin. Jon, Carter, and Adam really enjoyed Test Track. Unfortunately, we did not get to explore the country exhibits as much as I had hoped, because of rain. Throughout our time in Orlando, we had overcast skies (which was actually good) and sporadic rain showers. But in mid-afternoon at Epcot, it stormed and poured rain. Our group had to hunker down at various places and eventually make our way to each other. By that point we were drenched and so tired. We headed back to the hotel early. We would definitely like to have more time there on future trips. Epcot has so much to see and do.


And that was basically it for our time in Orlando. We never got to go to the other parks, but I honestly don't know if our feet could have handled it. It's a TON of walking. We knew we were going at the busiest and hottest time of the year, but it really didn't feel that bad. The weather was actually hotter here in Columbus than down there.

We did take a quick taxi ride to Our Lady Queen of the Universe Shrine for the early Sunday Mass. We love attending Mass there whenever we go to Orlando. It's absolutely beautiful!

Stay tuned for the next post..... all about our Disney Cruise!


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