We had never been to Disney. My husband went 20 years ago with his high school graduating class and I vaguely remember going when I was like 4. So, I don't count those times since Disney has changed so much in 20 years since any one of us has gone. I knew that it would be a challenging feat to organize and get the most out of our vacation so, I prepared for battle. lol.
I also armed myself with everything I could find on pinterest!
Click below for the board that I curated.
I enlisted the help of a few family and friends along the way that are hard core Disney people, my friend Holly, my sister, Crystal and my sister in law, Sarah and right before the trip my friends Suzie and Matt to ensure that I was going to the right places along the way to the Mouse. So, thank you to all of y'all!
I called the number for Disney, booked my room and dining plan that I had researched before hand. We booked the Caribbean Beach Resort with the pirate themed rooms and a deluxe dining package. We were stoked.
The day finally came for us to fly out but, some pretty dangerous storms followed us from New Orleans.
The kids did great on the plane!! Scarlett especially loved the takeoff! But....We had a 6 hour layover in Atlanta. We almost missed our reservation for Chef Mickey's that was to set our plans of Disney World in motion.
Chef Mickey's was a great experience. Each of the classic characters came by our tables and we were able to take photos and videos with each character. There was a manager that made sure that each character came by each table. That is super convenient, especially because Chef Mickey's is a buffet.
The food isn't especially wonderful but they did have a great variety of things and they had boiled shrimp so they have my vote! There were so many options to choose from that it is difficult to have a bad time at Chef Mickey's. There was Butter Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Boiled Shrimp and Roast that was hand cut right there for you. The dessert bar had some cute little desserts on there that were macaroons, rice crispy treats, ice cream and it was the best dessert bar of the whole trip. It was neat to see the monorail too riding through Chef Mickey's. It was definitely a great start to our trip.
Our rooms and the resort were great.
We eventually got our mugs and we were able to refill our mugs at the locations around the resort. BTW, this is where the refrigerator is in the pirate themed rooms...who knew?
There are 6 pools at the Caribbean Beach. Port Royale had the most epic pool and it is the main area where are the restaurants are. It had a slide built in with a splash area and hot tub. The kids loved the pools!
The restaurants inside of Caribbean Beach were busy, busy! Having been to the Bahamas for my honeymoon, the food was very authentic to the region. It was different but, pretty good for even the picky eaters. One night we got a cheeseburger and some tacos at the quick service restaurant inside called Centertown Market. Sebastian's Bistro (table service restaurant) was booked and so we just grabbed a quick bite. The grab and go was great too because they had many items you would find at a small grocery store or gas station including the favorite strawberry milk that my daughter loves!! And the items inside could be counted as a snack credit!
The rooms were nice and clean. I did not like not having an elevator but it was only two floors to the hotel so one flight of stairs isn't terrible.
Transportation to the parks was the tricky part. Our stop was Trinidad. The buses had to hit 3 stops before our stop and if the bus filled up in the morning (like it did on our Animal Kingdom day) then the bus went straight to the park. So we learned that the buses almost always go to Port Royale so, we learned one morning we had to go there. The magical express we took to get to the hotel was great on the way to our hotel. We took Lyft rides a few times throughout our trip because we didn't want to wait on the bus (Animal Kingdom) and because we didn't know how to navigate to Chef Mickey's without a Lyft and get there when we needed to get there.
We were directly across from the Spyglass Grill so that was perfect for the morning to grab something to drink if we wanted before the park. Our nearest pool was nice and clean but, cold because it is still April and that is understandable.
Even with our 6 hour layover and running around like crazy people to get to Chef Mickey's, we got there and we loved it!
Now onto Day 1, our First Day at Disney and our Day at Epcot! Click below to follow us along on our First Trip and First Day Ever at Epcot!