Traveling anywhere with young children is a huge struggle… let alone attempting Disney World. I knew that our vacation wasn’t going to be a relaxing one. But we did the best that our family could do. We arrived at Disney’s Art of Animation via Magical Shuttle (one of many transportation services that you will learn to dislike; more details later on) because it was one of the newest additions to the WDW Resorts. We checked in late in the evening and staff was very courteous. The main lobby was far from desolate since gift shop and cafeteria/food court were packed with late night tourists. We immediately felt like we landed in a magical place!
Our Cars suite was perfect for our family of four people. The dining table which transforms into a murphy bed was a clever idea! My 9 year old enjoyed sleeping under the starry lights (dimming effect used as a nightlight) with Mater. There was a nice dorm room size refrigerator to keep baby food for our 22 month old and our leftovers. A small sink to wash your refillable cups (a must-have during your stay) and baby sippy cups. Gift shop and cafeteria had everything! So do not worry about ordering groceries or necessities. I was so relieved! The Nemo pool was absolutely gorgeous! The kiddie area with squirters and soft ground were very nice. Here is a short video of the main pool:
The resort was beautifully built with Little Mermaid, Lion King, Nemo, and Cars statues throughout each section accordingly. So far so good… We visited all four Theme Parks with our Park Hopper tickets and I advise everyone to do this for the pure convenience and flexibility. Florida is known for heavy thunderstorms daily in the afternoon so we broke up the day and lounged around at the resort while it rained. It gave us time to relax and the baby was able to nap in our room comfortably. The humidity and heat can be draining so we needed as many little breaks as possible. Shuttle busses to the Theme Parks were the worst! We had an awful experience with them. We were ALWAYS waiting on long lines and with two cranky children… it was not fun! This was where Disney lacked that magic.
Between the heat and not much for our little one to do, we decided to go to Typhoon Lagoon for a day. It was the perfect place for young children. You escape into this secluded lagoon with plenty of shady trees. If you forget to bring the shovel and pail, do not worry. Every kid’s meal comes in a pail with attached shovel. So convenient! Our toddler enjoyed digging, watering, carrying, sliding, climbing, sitting in wading pools, splashing, etc. She was soooooooooo happy!
So all in all, we did manage to have a magical Disney vacation. Just make sure that you take time to unwind before you or any other member of the family has a meltdown… literally speaking. 🙂
Outdoor Educator • Animal Advocate • Trailblazer • Writer