For Christmas this year we did something different and instead of lots of presents, we gifted the kiddos a trip to Disney! Certainly we have learned that experiences and quality time together are so much more valuable than things.
We have been planning this trip secretly all year but didn’t know we’d be buying a house haha. It was a whirlwind! We closed on our house, slept in it one night, and then headed south!
Fort Wilderness is now my favorite RV park. I loved the trails, flowers, how often the staff (“cast members”) take out the trash, how clean everything is, and how often the cast members check on all the facilities. The kiddos loved that it was on Disney property and we could take boats or buses to all the parks.
We loved the heated pools, fun activities with cast members each day, the nightly campfires, outdoor movies, and sing a long with Chip N Dale. I would only want to come here in January because I bet the crowds and bugs are terrible any other time.
We even saw some wildlife throughout the week like a true “wilderness” campground…squirrels, deer, and turkeys.
The week started off hilariously at the Hoop Dee Doo Review where the kids will always remember Mommy being picked to go up on stage and be a can-can girl. 😂 I don’t remember a thing about it so I can’t share any of the experience haha. I just know the kiddos faces when I got back to the table were definitely worth all the embarrassment I felt haha.
Our first day in the parks we loved Magic Kingdom:
Next up was EPCOT:
The 3rd day was Studios with the new Star Wars Edge of the Galaxy …. which was truly just amazing!
With Edge of the Galaxy only being open a few months, it is still so extremely popular. Here we are at 6:30 (!!!) in the morning with just a few other people haha.
After 7 am… IF you have gone through the gates, you can then log onto the Disney App to try to board a virtual group for the Rise of the Resistance. When the clock ticked over, we hit submit and saw our assigned group was 66! All the adults around us were losing their mind with excitement when they saw their group numbers (like in the 30s and below) and we couldn’t believe with Mommy’s quick fingers and all the hard work to get us to the park on time, we still may not even get to go on the ride if they didn’t get to group 66. I remembered after the fact that on the tips I read online the night before, I was supposed to log off WiFi and use only cell service to get the best chance at the lowest group numbers. Ugh! We were so disappointed. Studios was SO crowded like I’ve never seen it before. Star Wars has really transformed the park.
So we accepted our lot, got on the 70 minute line for Slinky Dog, and tried to wake up:
Then MomMom and Pa joined us and our hopes were lifted because as we watched the app, we saw the boarding group numbers for Rise of the Resistance were progressing so quickly! We had a chance!
We walked over to Galaxy’s Edge and were really just blown away. The details are just unreal. The grey cloudy day we had certainly helped set the mood …but it genuinely felt like we were on a different planet. The sound affects of ships flying by and Storm Troopers and all the visuals were just so well made. Even the bathrooms and water fountains and signage is so good!
R2 got us into Star Wars last year and I gotta say… I’m a fan! Yes it’s too violent for me but I’m such a sucker for good stories and quality characters. I love the characters and writing for the movies! It was such good timing for us to be fans this year.
We really loved all the interaction with characters and got such a kick out of all of it!!!
The Millennium Falcon ride (Smugglers Run) said 70 minutes but the line was quick and took “only” 40 minutes and there was a lot to look at.
Our group was called for Rise of Resistance and we reported, got through the line and the first sections of the attraction, and then right as we were boarding it all shut down and needed repair haha. It was a roller coaster of a day. The ride is soo immersive with the cast always in character… so we couldn’t tell that the cast members were being serious. We thought it was part of the attraction. So they kept saying “I’m so sorry theres a delay” and nobody was taking them seriously – we were just waiting for storm troopers to come out or something haha…. but we finally got the message when they ushered us to an exit.
Disney really did a great job planning this system of waiting with the virtual fast pass. I bet a lot more rides will have boarding systems like this. It makes sense to just have a time that you should report to the most popular attractions. Anyway.. they said our group would now have a fast pass for the ride so we could report back whenever we wanted…. as soon as it’s up and running. We prayed for those Imagineers and went on to lunch.
We enjoyed the Little Mermaid show (which was truly a great, live performance!!!) and then saw the ride was running again so we headed back.
Oh my goodness!!! This attraction was worth ALL the hassle. Getting up at 5, taking 2 buses, standing in line with crowds outside the park, the ups and downs not knowing if we’d even get the chance, the anticlimactic delay during the first try, etc etc etc.
It was worth it. It was THE BEST! I had no expectations because I didn’t read anything about it and didn’t watch any videos on it so I had no idea what the attraction even was. It was awesome! It was 20 minutes long with so many different layers. I truly felt like we had entered into a movie. AB was so immersed when we were all done she was all wide eyed looking around and finally said, “sooo where were we and how did we get back down here!?”
The cast members kept character so well and it was just the best! I truly loved it! I don’t want to give too much away but here are some favorite scenes and parts. The visuals were so so good and the rooms we were in seemed SO enormous!
Such great memories! I think I’ll always remember the first time we did Rise of the Resistance!
It was great to meet all the characters at the park too. We were all intimidated by Darth Vader for sure. He was dark and such a dictator. He bossed us around and made sure to stand in front of us and not beside. He was just having a bad day I think… 🙂 … he needed a hug I believe.
Rockin Rollercoaster. All the Rooks kids love thrill rides like their Daddy:
We ended the day at Fanstasmic which used to be my fave Disney thing ever but now after all that the new experiences we’ve had the last year… it was just “meh”. Haha. I think maybe we were just delirious at that point of the day. When the audience did the Slooow wave and then super fast wave before the show started, we were laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. That was the best part of the night haha. Seeing grown men around us enjoying such a simple joy was so funny.
It was an awesomely exhausting day.
Next up was Animal Kingdom:
The Festival of the Lion King is really a great show, we loved all the animals, finally enjoyed our Mickey bar, and the new Pandora ride was incredible! We don’t know Avatar but the ride was so great. It really makes you feel you’re on the back of a banshee (animal in avatar). It made me think of a glimpse of what heaven could be like (?!) as we flew around and enjoyed closeness to animals and saw such glorious sights. The ride had it all – touch smell sight sound. Pretty incredible. God has made some really talented and creative people that work for Disney!
After Animal Kingdom we went to the Polynesian for Spirit of Aloha. It was so fun to see all the different styles of dance from different islands. This fire guy was just… wow!!!! He went so fast!
And then it was Magic Kingdom again for our final day. This day seemed to be for AB. She was so happy walking around like the royalty she is. The rain didn’t dampen her spirits at all:
But it did finally get to us. We did something we have never done before and left the park at lunch. Sadly B was feeling so sick and everybody was just wet and done. After a rest and drying out, R2 and I experienced another first. We went back to the park just the 2 of us and just walked around slowly. It was funny to actually take our time and look at the architecture and flowers and details. So this is what it’s like to be people who saunter through the parks haha. We’ve never done that before! We loved our little date but sadly R2 was starting to feel real sick too.
B and R2 had come down with what we think was the flu. It was awful! We had extended our stay at Fort Wilderness another 2 nights which worked out well and we were so thankful for. The boys slept for 2 days and the girls and I got to enjoy some special time:
We had plans to stay at Thousand Trails Orlando for 2 weeks after Disney. It’s one of the free parks with our annual membership! But sadly …. this is all I saw of the park. AB and I also caught the terrible flu/virus.
We stayed a week and then excitedly came HOME!!!
I will share more soon on what it’s been like to nest and settle into a house!
Thanks for following. We love you all.