We started our day today super bright and early. I am so glad that although we were up fairly late last night, there was no last minute scrambling this morning. We were assigned to eat breakfast in the previous dinner restaurant, so we ate at Tritons. We were in a bit of a hurry because out ticket was at 7 for eating, but we wanted to catch the first shuttle out to the resorts at 8.
We rushed through eating and left the ship with ease. Quick swipe of our room key and my ID got us off the boat into the terminal were we then had to find our luggage. Luckily it was divided by floors so it was easy to locate. We stacked our luggage best we could and headed to a very short customs line, stood there for about 30 seconds and off we went. We were supposed to take one of the big Disney cruise line transportation busses to our resort but Disney stuck us on a 7 passenger bus that was leaving right then so we didn’t have to wait. It was very nice to get more specialized service. P fell asleep almost immediately, but woke up when we got to our hotel.
I had decided for our stay after the cruise to go with a disney deluxe resort, and from there decided on the Contemporary resort. I had wanted a resort with minimal disney theming throughout, was upscale, roomy and had good transportation options. This hotel has the monorail running right through the middle (only 3 resorts have monorails- the rest you take busses to the parks).
Our check in was seamless- and valet took our bags to our room while we looked around the resort. The main triangle/pyramid shaped building houses rooms, along with shops, banquet halls and a handful of nice restaurants. If you walk out the back of the lobby you hit the splash area, pools, and outdoor bar, the beach area of the lake and then the garden wing of the hotel (which is where we are at). I requested a ground floor room because all of them have private patios (which we got, right on the lake which is awesome).
After checking out the resort a bit we headed to Animal Kingdom park.
Disney has 4 parks within Disney World- Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. We got there around 11 or so and decided to walk into Dinoland USA first. It was a little gaudy for my taste- lots of carnival games and bright lights. We went on a triceratops ride that is similar to Dumbo, got some frozen drinks and booked it out of there.
We kind of wandered at this point- we did the Safari ride in Africa which was amazing. The animals were so close you could touch them. P loved it but got annoyed at first there was so much land per animal ratio (until I explained why that was such a good thing). At the end of the safari we got held up for nearly 10 minutes because a giraffe wouldn’t get out of the way. After that time, a research student was called out to lure him away. I got it on video, lol.
We walked around a lot looking at animals and the kids convinced me to see the Flight of Wonder open air bird show. That was fun (not!). They got far too close for comfort, but the kids liked it.
We also saw the Festival of the Lion King show which was also very good. It was done in theater in the round which was neat. Not up to par with the shows I saw on the cruise but still very good.
The kids were very hot so I told them we were going on a water ride called Kali River Rapids. Everyone coming off this ride was so soaked their clothes were dripping and clinging to them. Aidan was not too thrilled at first, esp when he saw the rafts going up a large ramp and then screams ahead of us but he ended up loving it. A few big drops down but mostly just water sprayng and the rapids everywhere which felt so good in the Florida sun.
We had dinner at Yak and Yeti’s- an Asian inspired cuisine restaurant. It was so good. I am very glad that when I originally booked my trip I added the dining plan. It was something like $20 a kid and $30 for adults per day. For each meal you get one appetizer, one entree, one drink and one desert. The plan covers 2 meals a day, plus 1 snack. And you can order anything off the menu. My Mahi Mahi entrée alone was $25 tonight. Nice not to have to look at the bill or worry about that while on vacation.
After dinner we headed back to the resort to get settled into the room and unpack, The room is amazing. Marble bathroom, huge bedroom area, a large desk area, and a large sitting area. Our patio is great and has grass to play in along with the lake right out front. I love the contemporary décor and am so glad we are staying here. I swear the room is like 4 or 5 times bigger than my cruise stateroom. Lol.
The groceries I had ordered from a local grocery store showed up right on time- I had ordered a large case of waters diet coke, double shots and breakfast items so we can eat while getting ready in the morning *and use our dining credits for nicer meals). I got everything unpacked while the kids watched tv and played outside and then before I knew it, it was late and the kids needed to go to bed.
P couldn’t really sleep so at 10 loud music came blaring from outside. I ignored it for about 10 minutes knowing it was the electrical water parade that happens on the lake but P wanted to go see what it was. We only saw the last 30 seconds or so, but we will be able to catch it later this week. It is right outside our patio after all.
Tomorrow will be a long day but we have a huge break in the middle for nap or pool time (or both). It’s Magic Kingdom day tomorrow! P is so excited, esp since we can see the castle from the hotel (along with space mountain). It’s less than a 10 min walk if we want to pass on the monorail, which is a nice option. The kids and I really miss the ship though- and would trade in the parks any day for more days on the cruise. I cannot say anymore how amazing the service and staff were how many adult only and kid only things there were to do, as well as family activities. The kids got so excited when I told them we are sailing again at the end of Feb (Mexican Riviera cruise for 7 nights).