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We had a GREAT time at Walt Disney World in February. It was our first trip and we had a huge learning curve. Stacey spent months scouring the internet for every Pin, post or breakdown she could find. They were huge in helping us prepare for a great family vacation. In honor of all of those great families that shared their knowledge with us, we wanted to pay it forward with our own list of Faves and Fails for Walt Disney World.
Let’s start with our Faves. These are things that went off without a hitch. Our favorite park, our favorite food delivery, and our favorite gear, plus tips and tricks that made our adventure more magical.
The Animal Kingdom was by far our favorite park. Maybe because this park was more “our style”. Like a glorified zoo, Nico immediately felt comfortable and took the lead reading the map to find our way to the bats. Dino Land offered a great playground where he could explore and burn off some energy and it was definitely the least crowded of the three parks during our stay.
The Art of Animation Hotel. We have only this one WDW hotel experience, but it was incredible. We lucked out with our Nemo Family Suite being directly by the Big Blue Pool and close to the main entrance (and therefore the buses). Art of Animation has its own buses that run to the parks so we had quick service to and from and our lines were incredibly short because of it.
We used Amazon Prime Now (Affiliate Link) for food and supply delivery to our hotel. Art of Animation supplied a microwave (which we didn’t use) and a mini fridge (which we used A LOT) as well as a small sink and counter space. We ordered from Amazon Prime Now before we boarded our airplane and our food (apples, waters, avocados, lunch meat, refried beans, bananas, etc) was waiting for us when we landed. The prices were comparable to other services and our own local grocery store but without the delivery fee. Cold things were packed with ice packs and kept in a fridge until we picked them up. **I will note that my step mom had several items missing from her bag when she went to pick up our delivery but Amazon had AMAZING customer service, replaced her order and gave her a discount to replace the missing items. Lesson learned: pick up your items promptly upon delivery.**
I wrote a whole blog post about how we did not take a stroller to Disney World and relied solely on our Ergo. It is making our Faves list as well because it worked SO WELL. No stroller parking, no stroller finding, no baggage check or gate check, no extra space needed- just a brisk walking with Nico on our backs. I’m not sure it would have been as much fun in July, but that leads us to…
Visiting Walt Disney World in February. We were there Sunday-Thursday the second week of February and it was glorious. The weather was great. It did rain one evening, but we were already back in our hotel. Not too hot, but plenty of breeze. And the crowds were definitely manageable. We are in no rush to get back to Disney, but if we do go again, it will definitely be in February.
This is not to say that everything was perfect for our trip. Like I said there was a huge learning curve. So learn from our mistakes and check out our Walt Disney World Fails:
I said just a second ago that we are not in a rush to get back to Disney. This is not because we had a poor experience (it was great!) but because I think we went a little early for our son’s experience. If I could do it over, I’d wait until he was 5 or so. He had a great time, but it was a lot to take in and left him exhausted by nap time and DONE by dinner.
February is the height of flu season, and one of the reasons I am sure Nico was so worn out by day 4 of our trip, was that he got sick. Family fail to not wash hands more often and be more careful of germs. But good news! There are First Aid and Medical Services at each park. We hit up the First Aid stand in Magic Kingdom and picked up a dose of Motrin for Nico to help break a mild fever on the way back to our hotel.
In another family fail, that probably led to Nico getting sick, it was incredibly hard to stick to a familiar nap routine. We did leave the parks each day for lunch in our room and a rest, but with so much stimulation it took a long time to settle down. Which led to us getting back to the parks later, which led to staying out later in the evening as well.
For an adult disappointment (not really a “fail”) I’m going to take a minute to complain about the size and cost of alcohol at Walt Disney World. I think we were expecting high prices, but larger servings as well. We were a little underwhelmed by the choices, and definitely not excited about the cup sizes. Maybe we did it wrong, but we were definitely expecting something different.
Along the same lines of drinks, we were definitely underwhelmed by the food. Specifically by Landscape of Flavors in the Art of Animation Hotel. The grab and go had decent choices (for grab and go) but the food court itself was a little chaotic and loud. We ordered a veg pizza our first night there and it worked out great (lunch the next day!) but for more than that we would have been hard pressed.
And there it is! Our list of Favorite and Failed experiences. Want more? Make sure you check out our list of WDW Travel Gear AND What Was in our Walt Disney World Bag. Plus we’ll have a full Walt Disney World Recap on YouTube where we will both sit down and talk about what went down during our whole stay. See you there!