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First Time at Disney World
Photo s of Epcot
TO DRIVE OR FLY
Hi everyone!!! I've watched several videos about what to do when going to Disney for the first time. I have decided that there is so much information out there on this subject that I didn't even want to broach it. I wanted to tell my readers about driving out to Disney and what advantages we took advantage of when doing so. We were going to take a plane but after so much researching, we decided this year that we were going to go to Disney World by car. We left Brooklyn at 12pm and drove through Manhattan and then through the Holland Tunnel and onto Pulaski Skyway. We drove south to Rt. 9 into Parkway south and to a car rental place in Matawan NJ where the car rental was a lot cheaper than if we rented one in Brooklyn. It was better that way because I have family in Matawan and I was able to leave my van at his house for the week.
Our drive started out driving 95 south in a comfortable mini van, it was a grey Toyota Sierra with beautiful individual seats for the kids and they were very comfortable. We didn't have to go through all the stress of the airport, standing in line, being frisked , taking off shoes and belts and worrying about whether the suit case was on target with weight. Honestly after hearing all the bad news that people were pulled off the plane or were delayed because airport made mistakes and then the people still paid for it without a refund. I did not want to even chance dealing with that. With all three kids and we were able to take things on our trip that we wouldn't have been able to take if we flew. Not to even mention how much money we saved on 5 plane tickets. So in short we were able to rent a mini van for much less money and even though the drive was a little long, we needed the road trip to spend time together as a family. We stopped in Virginia by the boardwalk that first night. We got a little hotel room at on the boardwalk to a hotel called Dolphin Inn. Now this place was painted all blue on the outside and it was mostly cement. It was a perfect place for someone who wanted to just hang out on the beach in the day and party at night on the balcony and it was right on the boardwalk with a view of the ocean. We had out three kids with us. We were only staying for one night and we got our stuff settled and decided to walk the promenade to see what was around. We encountered all kinds of people. There were so many street vendors and shops. I can't believe some of the talents I was exposed to with the street vendors. It seems wasted on being a street vendor because that person has to depend on the donations she or he is going to get from the people that notice his talent and decide to pay. There were artists on hand to draw the picture of a person who decided to sit in his chair. And whats more, he did it so fast , I couldn't believe it!!
I was just concerned with obtaining a magnet. All the stores touted a sale and one place was more expensive than the other. We decided to go to a restaurant and sit down and eat something, even though it was already 11pm. I was sort of surprised that we got served. We ended up walking to the end of the boardwalk and turning around to get to the hotel and I couldn't wait to get inside and take a shower and lay down!!!
It was nice to make our own time. If we had taken a flight for instance, we wouldn't have been able to do that. I also wanted to point out that when I was researching for flights we would have had to book on a Sunday and leave on a Friday and really would of been pressed for time. Deciding to drive has its positives and negatives. Positive point # 1. We took all we wanted. We had beach chairs and our cooler for the beach, and we were able to take our beach towels. We had snacks for the trip, and chose healthy and unhealthy snacks!
Positive Point #2. We started our actual vacation August 11th, instead of August 13th.
Positive Point #3. We got to listen to what music we wanted to listen too.
Positive Point #4. If we seen something interesting to stop and see on the trip, we could stop
Negative Point #1. It is a long ass drive!!!
Negative Point #2. All the driving shouldn't be on one person, in our case my husband drove the whole time, but it was his choice, I asked several times to drive.
Negative Point #3. I find the kids complain about what ever you do, for the most part they were good, but if they didn't have something to complain about on the drive they would of complained on the flight anyway. Its just the nature of things, they are all teenagers.
All in all I'm glad we drove because it extended the vacation.
When we finally arrived in Orlando, we stayed in a beautiful Resort Hotel called Mystic Dunes. It is located in Kissimmee Florida. We rented a 2 bedroom Villa with a sofa bed that was really comfortable. The master bathroom was gigantic with a spa bath (which we took advantage of almost every night) Two bathroom sinks in the master bathroom that was in the same room as our bed. It really was fantastic. Our room also opened up the balcony and we enjoyed a great view of the pool and a full kitchen and dining area. It was nice because we were able to get breakfast items that we could make in the morning before we went to Disney World. We were two miles away from The Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center. We were able to use the free shuttle to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center but we chose to drive.
For the first time being in the park like I said I watched plenty of videos and everyone said carry a bag with little rain smocks in them and bottle of water and a couple of other things, but really what I have to say to people is it does rain in August a lot. Almost every day at 3pm and at 7pm. We used our rain smocks once. by the second day I wanted to carry as little as possible!! Its a lot of walking and if you are going there to go into all the shops might I suggest bringing in an empty backpack. I was so tired of carrying the thing, I opted out carrying anything I could get away with not having. I really just wanted to go on rides.
Disney has an app that you could use to click on and see how long the lines are. If you don't plan your tickets and fast passes at least six months ahead of time especially with the new Avatar rides your out of luck, because we did stand in line for 3 hours for Ride of Passage on the Avatar ride. Slightly less long for the Navi River ride but wasn't that much shorter. Those are the only two rides we got on that day in that park. We saw nothing else. The other mistake we made was trying to do 4 parks in 4 days. Was so tired by the second day I didn't really enjoy the rest of the ride because I was exhausted. Its ok for the kids, they could handle it. We did get to go on Some awesome roller coasters I just cant remember which park had what!! The Rocking Roller Coaster With Aerosmith was fast, smooth and I loved it. It was the first big ride that my daughter went on and I kept asking her, "Isn't this better than a baby ride?" I got her to go on space mountain and all the big rides that we could get on. It was nice to take the pictures we took and the heat was almost unbearable but it was so nice in every place we went. it was very clean an Six Flags or some other amusement park.
Finally Friday came, we had to pack to leave and to tell you the truth I wanted to enjoy the hotel one more day and relax before we set our sites on the next adventure.
We did pack early, and we went to IHOP for breakfast and then we hit the road.
We ended up In Myrtle Beach which I have never seen before and that boardwalk was really nice. We walked all the shops and we ate in Eddy's Crab Shop which had really good food and we took pictures and spent some time on the beach. We had our beach chairs and even though we only used them one time on the trip, we still used them and we have them for next year. I got a lot of magnets on this trip. I have good memories and hopefully we will go someplace next year. Maybe save up for a year first.!!! We did spend a lot of money, but I'm telling you, if we decided to fly like we were originally going to do, the trip wouldn't have been filled with the things it was filled with. So the money we saved on flights, we were able to put toward the trip, like when we went to Epcot we dined in a fine dining French restaurant. It was a very expensive dinner for five people but the filet mignon was melting in my mouth and I had these special mushrooms, that I never had before. Its an acquired taste but my husband tells me it is not a common mushroom served at restaurants in America because they are so expensive. All I know is the looked like roots and they had a course texture and if you ask me sort of a bitter taste. I ate them even though I disliked them because one reason is they were expensive and I didn't want to waste money and anther reason was I didn't want to insult the chef. Besides, my husband who is a five star chef just got done telling me about these particular mushrooms and he made such a big deal of them I couldn't even bear to not eat them especially in front of him!! We all enjoyed our meal and it was a different experience for me to sit in a place that had such expensive food. These chefs are apparently are brought in from France and they are highly trained top chefs that grace Epcot's kitchens..
This was an experience I will not soon forget and if you ever get a chance to go to Epcot Center I highly recommend this restaurant in Disney's Epcot Center. It is called Monsieur Paul's Restaurant. It is fine dining at its best and I have the pictures for you to make up your mind!! Bona Petit'.