Last year, we surprised the boys with their first week to Walt Disney World. We’ve been waiting because we wanted to make sure they were told enough (at 6 and 7, perfect) to be able to do most everything and be able to remember it. One morning last spring, we got up and told the boys we were going to go in to the airport so they could see some planes taking off (they’d never been on a plane before) — and Av already had the car packed with suitcases so they had no idea what we were up to.
When we got inside, they thought everyone had to go through security, so that was no issue. And then I told them: guess what? We’re going to Des Moines, Iowa!
And they were really surprised and happy about that
Des Moines must be marketing to little kids, because mine were just tickled about going there.
Completely oblivious to the signs and announcements saying we were actually going to Orlando. I think excitement just took over everything.
We took Southwest as it was a direct flight and just the times we wanted. When we made it off the plane in Orlando, we walked right over to Disney Magical Express (the buses that go from airport to the hotels) and opened the box with the boys’ Magic Bands and woweeeee they were just crazy-happy!
This year, the boys *had* to go back to WDW so they did some of the planning, including reading the latest Birnbaum’s and other guides.
Av and I last stayed at WDW in 2001 for a convention that was held at Coronado Springs. Coronado Springs Resort is a Disney convention hotel and is grouped as one of the moderate hotels. Since we planned on staying in the parks from morning to late night and simply using the room to sleep in, we thought it wouldn’t make sense to spend more money on one of the more premium hotels like the Polynesian, Animal Kingdom Lodge, or Grand Floridian. This was a great plan, because that’s exactly how it worked out.
The hotel surrounds this lake
Some of these pics are from the trip we just got back from, because we were so satisfied with the hotel from the year before that we decided to just do it again this year
The rooms are themed after the American Southwest
The maids made towel art for us each day they arrived
We had Park Hopper and went to at least two or three of the six parks (besides Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, this year we also purchased the extended passes for the waterparks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon) each day. Sometimes in the afternoon, we would come in for an hour or two and hang out at the hotel pool. I actually like this pool better than the other two we saw, Polynesian and Animal Kingdom Lodge — this one at Coronado Springs is large and has a slide Shug went down a couple hundred times. There were other activities poolside too.
Because this is a Disney hotel, we walked to one of the bus stops (this year they have screens to let you know what time each bus will arrive! Yay!) surrounding the hotel to go straight to whichever park we wished.
Also: not only was our luggage from the airport delivered to our hotel room without us having to be there (we didn’t have to claim it in Orlando — it has Disney tags and the Disney people took it), when we departed, we simply checked our luggage *at* the hotel which meant we didn’t even have to deal with it again until we arrived home at baggage claim. Huge plus.
Last year, the day we left, the boys got to watch some Disney art being made just with water and a boom behind the main lobby: