For our family Christmas present this year we decided to go to Disney World. As normal, this was kind of a last minute plan, which is not always a good idea when doing Disney as things book up quick. We only gave ourselves about about 2 months to book and plan. Since we started on our adoption journey we have been very hesitant to use up vacation time. But after some of the stressors we have had recently, we desperately needed some 1 on 1 time together.
In the past, we have only ever traveled down to Orlando during the hot late summer months. So we were looking forword to the cooler but warm weather and the Disney Christmas Events; Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the Candlelight Processional & the Osborne Lights.
We booked 2 nights for Universal Studios Orlando at the Marriot Fairfield and 5 nights on Disney property at Disney’s All Star Movies Resort. This was our first time in a Disney Value resort (more on that later). But with the discounts that we got from booking a cheap Disney resort we upgraded to the deluxe dinning plan which gave us 3 sit down meals a day. With Dining reservations in hand and paid, cheap airfare booked and a car rental for $8.00 a day, we started off on our trip pretty jazzed thinking about all the Disney Pins we could afford to buy.
Our flight down as on Sunday December 12th. We got Sam up early and took him to the airport with us then intrusted him with our car for a WEEK! We underestimated the airport lines…. which where a bit more backed up then when we flew to Phoenix last month for Thanksgiving. We got to the gate with only a bit of time to spare.
Our air carrier was Delta. We both like Delta a lot even though traditionally it “Doesn’t Ever Leave The Airport”. Free internet on the way down was great and our seats were comfortable. Although, we did not get a window seat, which at first was a bit of a concern as Anthony really likes the window seats, the short travel times and comfy seats made up for it. Portland to Atlanta then Atlanta to Orlando.
Our first sign that the weather might be colder then we would like was in Atlanta, or Hot-lanta as a Facebook friend called it. It was snowing as we landed in Atlanta. The snow didn’t stop for our whole 45 min layover. We stopped by our terminal’s food court and got coffee and pizza for lunch. The African (from South Africa) Barista asked if were from Europe, guess he had never heard a NW American accent before, we were in the deep south….
We got into MCO at about 4:30pm with no delays, walked out like pros to the car rental lot. In past trips we have gotten pretty lost and confused. This time no issues, even figured out the short cut. Grabbed our Alamo rental, a Kia Rio and headed off for Downtown Disney.
The weather, well it was cool. When we left Portland it was in the 50’s. Orlando was about 60ish. So still nice in our book. but on our last trip is was in the high 90’s with 100% humidity. This new weather was a bit of a shock and added to our weather fears a bit . The weather forecast for the Orlando area for the next few days was SCARY, 20-30 degrees overnight with highs not much higher. Luckily we had overpacked to be prepared for any weather, lots of long pants and shorts!
We ate dinner at our tradtional first night place, the Raglan Road. Joshua ordered the Shepard’s Pie and Anthony ordered the Pie in the Sky (chicken pie). But the appetizer stole the show. We ordered the Flat Mate – Guinness banger, caramelized onions, tomatoes and Dubliner cheddar cheese flatbread. YUMMMY! It was quickly devoured as was the complimentary soda bread and honey.
After dinner we walked the Downtown Disney area and pre-shopped all the pins we were going to buy for our pin wall before the week was out. Tired and jet lagged, we drove up to the Universal Resort area and checked into our home for the next two nights, the Marriot Fairfield.
The Fairfield was cheap and right across the street from Universal. We got a king bed on the fifth floor with a view towards the park and perfect view of the backside of the Wallgreen’s parking lot. The bed was comfortable but came with very very small pillows for some reason. Also the free in-room wireless was nowhere to be found. Our first night the temp dropped to 46 with high winds which continued all the next day.