We planned on splitting the 17 hour drive into two days and spending the night in Birmingham Alabama. I am always worried about making hotel reservations in a place I have never been before and reading reviews doesn't always help. But when we arrived at the Courtyard Birmingham Homewood, I was more than pleased! It was in a nice location with restaurants and a Target right across the street. The hotel was clean. The beds were comfy and the staff was very nice. We had two rooms with an adjoining door. We went across the street and ate at Applebees and went to Target to grab breakfast stuff for the morning. The children were so impressed with the escalators at Target. It was so funny!
We left early the next morning and continued on towards our destination: Walt Disney All Star Sports Resort in Orlando. The second day's drive seemed to take forever, but the children did very well. We finally arrived at the hotel where mom and dad were waiting for us. There were 11 of us including my parents so we had to have 3 different rooms. Art's room and mine were adjoining and mom and dad were down a little ways. The rooms only slept 4 so Nick went and stayed with them. The rooms were pretty nice although the beds were a little firm. The resort had a big swimming pool although I didn't let the children swim. There was a playground, cafeteria, gift shop, and activities every night. Bus transportation to everywhere was right in front of the resort.
Our first day at the Disney parks we were going to the Magic Kingdom. We had made reservations for the Disney Princess Breakfast at the castle. The girls were so excited! One thing I did not know when we booked our stay was that the Princess Marathon was that week-end with 25,000 runners! It was a little busier than I had hoped it would be in February because of this, but still not as bad as Christmas time.
I forgot my camera. I planned on trying to take pictures with my phone, but had problems with my battery. My mom took pictures though and so did Chelsea.
The food honestly is not that great. It really could use a LOT of improvement, especially since it is so expensive even if you are on the dining plan it costs you two sit down meals. But, the experience is really nice and the children get to meet and get autographs and photos with 5 princesses including Cinderella.
The other things that we did at the Magic Kingdom was: Buzz Lightyear's ride, Space Mountain, The Astro Orbiter, Stitch's Great Escape (horrible! scared Lily and Anthony Emmie didn't go in thank goodness), Pirates of the Carribean, Prince Charming's Carousel, Thunder Mountain Railroad, The Voyage of the Little Mermaid, The Haunted Mansion, and the Tea Cups. The boys got to make their own light sabers which they really, really, wanted to do. Art and I took some of the children back to the resort and mom and dad kept Christian, Alex, Lily, and Chelsea to stay for the parade. Lillian kept her Cinderella dress on the whole day, although I did finally convince her to take off her glass slippers and put some comfy shoes on!
The second day we headed over to Epcot. We were hoping to get to see Ana and Elsa from Frozen, but their was a 4 Hour wait in line! 4 Hours!!! We did get to do lots of other things while we were there like: Test Track, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, a boat ride in Mexico, and Journey into the imagination with Figment. We got to meet Tigger and Pooh and Belle. We ate lunch at the Liberty Inn and supper at the Biergarten. After supper Art and I took all of the children back except for Lily and Chelsea who wanted to stay for the fireworks. After we left they rode Nemo again, Soarin, and Living with the Land while they waited for the fireworks. As Art and I were leaving the park, we got to see Elsa and Ana as they walked by. Emmie was so excited!
One thing that I thought was disappointing at Epcot was the Kidcot Stops along the way at all the different countries. I was sure that last time we were there it was a different little craft at each country. This time it was the same Disney bear to color at every single country. The only thing that was different was that they stamped the back with that country's stamp. Even my little girls did not want to do more than one of those.
Our last day at Disney World we went to Hollywood Studios. While we were there we got to see the Disney Junior Live, Beauty and the Beast Live,Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Jedi Training Academy, and Muppets 3 D. They got to ride Star Tours and the Tower of Terror. Emelia got to meet Jake and Sophia the First. We had lunch at Pizza Planet. Just before 5 o clock, Emmie had an I'm exhausted melt down. The first one she had had the whole time. We were all tired so we decided it was time to go. The only thing that they wanted to do that we didn't get to was ride Toy Story Mania.
So we rode the bus back to the resort and headed to the parking lot since we had checked out that morning. Art and I left the children with my parents who headed to their house while we spent two nights at a resort just the two of us. I had wanted to go to the beach, but did not want to make the two hour drive there, so we just stayed right in Kissimmee. While we were at the resort the children got to go see the new Lego movie with mom and dad and they were supposed to go to Legoland. But, it rained and they couldn't go :( Christian was so disappointed. Instead they went to downtown Disney to Disney Quest (kind of like Chuck E Cheese) and went into the Lego store there to spend the rest of their money.
The day we got back to mom and dad' s was Cheslea's 17th birthday so we celebrated with some Olive Garden takeout and a Frozen cake she picked out.
And we got to put together some Legos too.
We left for home the next morning. Emelia had a bit of a hard time on the trip home,especially the first day, but mostly the children did very well on the trip. We stopped back at the same hotel in Birmingham on the way home and ate at the same restaurant. The last three hours of the trip seemed to take forever but we finally made it. We had a great time but all of us were glad to get home to our own beds!