Traveling with Little Ones - Day 8 - The Finale
Well, today was our last day at Walt Disney World. We decided to check out early and get our rental car before heading over to the Contemporary for a character breakfast at Chef Mickey's.
First I feel the need to mention how wonderful the car rental service (National) is at the WDW Dolphin where we stayed. Steve went down to the desk and was given the car seats we needed and then the valet brought the car around for us. They loaded our luggage (Steve installed the car seats) and off we went. So smooth.
We had a great stay at the Dolphin in their Heavenly Beds and found their staff very friendly and accommodating. The location was just perfect for us. Only minor downside was that the loading dock for the boats to Epcot or the Studios was under repair so we had to walk to the Yacht & Beach Club dock to get to the Studios but it was a nice walk and we really didn't mind.
Walking to and from Epcot from the International Gateway was awesome. While the droves of people were exiting through the front entrance after Illuminations, we were able to take a leisurely walk back. When we passed the Beach Club one night we saw a screen and beach chairs set up where you could catch a viewing of The Incredibles. Looked like a nice relaxing evening for those there. We also liked being a short walk away from the Boardwalk so we were able to catch the fireworks several nights without being too far away from the room.
Also one night we went over to the Garden Grove at the Swan for a character dinner buffet. Pluto and Goofy were there. The food was okay but the real draw was that it felt like we had the whole place almost to ourselves. The two characters spent a lot of time with the kids so it made for an enjoyable evening for everyone.
Now back to Chef Mickey's. Characters there were Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Donald. They were all very sweet and funny with the kids and all of them found something they liked to eat. Before you are seated they take a photo of the group for purchase during the meal. Personally I think there was a really good variety of breakfast foods there. Much more than one person could sample in a seating especially if you include the desert section.
After breakfast we went upstairs to take a round trip ride on the Monorail. We've been seeing it our entire trip and the kids were all excited that we were finally going to ride today. We asked to sit up front but we weren't able to because there was one family standing in line in front of us and they had already asked. C'est la vie!
After riding the Monorail we spent a little time in the shops at the Contemporary. Before we left for our trip we got our boys Disney Dollars. They knew what they had in Disney Dollars was for anything they wanted to buy, but once they were gone, that was it. This worked well and allowed us to stay out of the shops for most of the trip. The most time I spent in shops was when wheeling around a sleeping toddler in his stroller to keep him cool.
I loaded up their Little Einstein Rocket backpacks with snacks and little surprises and we were off to the airport. The flight went really well. All the families on the same flight were really friendly. Especially the family in front of us who had to listen to my rendition of the Little Einstein theme song over and over to take my DS2's mind off his ears hurting on the plane's descent. All the kids did great on the flight home although I know all of us adults are exhausted.
We are home now and I believe that this trip was a total SUCCESS! Our boys had such a fun time and we really had a good time together as a family and with our friends. If anything, I think I underestimated how much fun my DS2 would have. He surprised me how he was really into everything we did. They both really enjoyed every experience from the airplane ride there, to the elevators at the hotel, to taking the buses and boats, to the theme parks themselves. I would do it with them again in a heartbeat.
To Dawn & Joe, and Diane & Ed, and the kids, thanks for being there! You enhanced this experience for us tenfold. Let me know when to start planning the next trip - but first I have a ton of laundry to do!
Thanks for letting me share our experiences. It's been a blast! -- Laura Fox
Deb's Note: Thank you all for sharing your vacation with us!