Walt Disney World Spring Trip Wrap-Up
It’s official: our year as Walt Disney World annual passholders is officially over. In total we spent 30 days on property over our 3 trips in April 2017, November 2017, and April 2018. We had many new experiences including running in our first ever runDisney races. We spent Thanksgiving day at Walt Disney World. We did the fantastic Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour. I was pulled onstage at the Spirit of Aloha dinner show. We went to our first Candlelight Processional. We saw Exposè, Smashmouth, and Survivor concerts at Epcot. We stayed at new resorts including Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas Kidani Village, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, and the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel. We ate at many new restaurants. And we ate a lot of Disney popcorn thanks to the refillable buckets. 😀
Some notes on this most recent trip:
We arrived the Wednesday after Easter Sunday, while spring break was at its peak. On that Wednesday the Magic Kingdom was open until 2am. One thing I noticed was the Fast Pass line was hard to find. There was a cast member way beyond the usual entrance to the Fast Pass line holding a sign that said something like “Fast Pass Line Starts Here.” The problem was finding that cast member in the throngs of people. We had a Splash Mountain Fast Pass on this night. We got in the Fast Pass line at 7:18pm, scanned our Magic Bands at 7:29pm, and were loaded onto the ride at 7:43pm. I mention this because usually you would scan your Magic Band pretty quickly once you get into the Fast Pass line. This took 11 minutes on this particularly busy day.
The only time we actually made it to a park before park opening was the Saturday morning we did the Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour at the Magic Kingdom. I only got about 4 hours of sleep on this day because I was worried about getting up early for it. This is the second major tour we’ve done (a few years ago we did the longer Keys to the Kingdom tour) and this was my favorite of the two. A longer review to follow, but all I will say is that if you are a fan of the Haunted Mansion you should definitely do this tour.
We spent a week at Disney’s All Star Music Resort, and for our last 3 nights we moved over to Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. We love the value resorts, but Music had a lot of school groups which meant a lot of teenagers running around the resort grounds. We were even on the 3rd floor in a back section and we still heard noise. When we moved over to Saratoga Springs it was like night and day. It was so quiet and peaceful. Saratoga Springs may have jumped high on our list for favorite resorts. We stayed in Congress Park, which is the closest section to Disney Springs. We walked to Disney Springs every night of our stay. Big thumbs up for Saratoga Springs. (And we still would recommend All Star Music, it’s just a different vibe.)
This was Gary’s dinner at the All Star Music food court on the night we were supposed to have eaten the Garden Grove restaurant inside the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel. I wanted to eat at the Garden Grove character meal since we didn’t get a chance when we stayed at the Swan in November. Apparently the Walt Disney World dining site was wrong and that night was a seafood night. I had specifically booked our dinner so it wouldn’t be on a seafood night (and even called the hotel where I was told it wasn’t a seafood night as well). Since I don’t eat seafood, and our server said an alternative meal could not be made for me, we left. (I’m not paying $40 for a salad.) We left pretty sad since I think it’s the last character meal we haven’t done.
We went back to All Star Music where I got the plant-based burger and Gary got what he considered to be the worst hot dog he’s ever had. Womp womp.
Side note: we did not buy the refillable mug on this trip, but we brought back old mugs to use for water (and hotel room margaritas!).
Overall this was a great trip. We didn’t get to do few things on our list – mainly Splitsville and The Edison. But we got to do the Star Wars VR experience at Disney Springs, which we also loved. And we did have a lot of good food. My favorite? Parsnip soup at California Grill. Yes seriously. I’m sure Gary would say our ol’ standby of Ohana was his favorite. Nothing wrong with that.