Well, Irma made a good attempt, but she couldn’t ruin our fun. Having counted down for 6 weeks, we braved the storm and headed off to our adventure.
It was amazing, you guys. We had such a magical time. Over the 8 days we had, we were able to visit all four parks multiple times (well, 6 days, because we were quarantined for 2 of them by the hurricane – but more on that in a moment). We experienced lots of character greetings and attractions and delicious food.
Yes, we spent two days in the resort during Hurricane Irma, and the rest of Walt Disney World hunkered down with us. The strangest thing about that was that the resort was full of evacuees, and many of them had pets! There were dogs and cats and lizards everywhere you looked! There were movies, games and circus shows, full buffets three times a day and people everywhere making sure we were well cared for. Despite the damage done throughout Florida, guests at Walt Disney World were snug and safe. Gibbs loved our resort (we stayed at BoardWalk Inn and Villas) and learned his way around the resort in no time. His favorite was definitely the water slide at the Luna Park Pool!
Attraction highlights included Gran Fiesta Tour starring the Three Caballeros, which is a long time family favorite. Gibbs was finally tall enough to ride Soarin’ Around the World, and he fell in love with it, so we went eleven times in the course of the week. ELEVEN. And we only used FastPass+ for one of them. The line was never longer than 15 minutes! At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we experienced both attractions in Pandora: the World of Avatar. Gibbs was too short for Flight of Passage, so Chad and I used Rider Swap to experience it separately. Our family can’t visit Magic Kingdom without a few spins on the teacups, and of course meeting Belle and Gaston. Gibbs was chosen to play Phillipe in Enchanted Tales With Belle, and my husband was a knight. It was so fun watching Gibbs meet princesses, he got all shy and smiley every time – but he also had some love for Gaston!
A definite dining highlight for our family was Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge. We loved the bread service of course, but the rest of the meal was equally delicious. The flavors are exotic and interesting but still very appealing, even though we are picky eaters. If you have never eaten there, try to make it on your next trip! It has the advantage of being a place you can usually get into with shorter notice than some of the more heavily attended restaurants. We did some of those too, including the Best Friends Breakfast with Lilo and Stitch at ‘Ohana, located in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
We were also excited for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party – and the evening did not disappoint! From meeting Jack Skellington, Sally, Moana, and The Queen of Hearts to experiencing HalloWishes, Boo to You Parade, and Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, the entertainment was top notch. We took Gibbs, dressed as a hitchhiking ghost, to the Haunted Mansion – where ACTUAL hitchhiking ghosts were outside telling stories. They saw him and FREAKED OUT! They had us put him up on the wall, they talked to him, they praised his costume – it was a highlight of the trip for sure.
I’m so grateful that we went, even with the hurricane. It was such fun watching Gibbs explore with the Epcot passport and Animal Kingdom binoculars from the Countdown to Fun boxes! I was also lucky to find a pair of Rose Gold Minnie Ears early one morning before they sold out again.
I want to thank you for following along on our journey! It’s been a pleasure sharing it with you, and I hope you and your families have an opportunity to experience the magic soon. Want to see more of our Walt Disney World photos? Follow me at @amillertx on Instagram and look for the hashtag #MillerWDWMagic2017.
Other Posts in this Series:
(Photos from the author’s personal collection.)
To learn more about Alyson and read her recent posts for WDW Radio, visit her author page by clicking the link on her name at the top of this post.