The past 10 days are a magnificent blur of happiness. Before I forget everything, I want to start sharing the details of our trip. My Husband meticulously planned what parks we would go to on what day in order to ensure we were able to see the nighttime shows and fireworks at each Disney park. Below is the schedule we followed for our trip.
Our Disney, Universal Trip and Shades of Green Overview
Tuesday – Drive from San Antonio to my parent’s house in DFW.
Wednesday – Fly to Orlando, get settled in hotel, sit down for an early dinner, explore downtown Disney.
Thursday – Magic Kingdom until 2pm, then on to Hollywood Studios for more fun and Fantasmic that evening.
Friday – Universal Studios Islands of Adventure
Saturday – Epcot all day long, capped off with Illuminations!
Sunday – Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom again for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Monday – Universal Studios Hollywood (YAY Harry Potter!)
Tuesday – Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park and Magic Kingdom one more time that evening, it is our favorite.
Wednesday – My Husband and Dad golfed, my Mom and I had massages at the spa and then we all had dinner before the car picked us up and we headed to the airport. Flew back to Dallas.
Thursday – Currently, driving home to San Antonio from DFW. Exhausted and happy 🙂
Shades of Green
We stay at the Military resort in the park, Shades of Green, and I cannot say enough wonderful things about it. We are so fortunate to be able to stay somewhere so lovely at such an affordable rate. The water in Florida smells a bit like sulfur to me, and the very first time we visited I thought it was the hotel water, but it turns out all of the water rides in the parks (Splash Mountain etc) have that funny smell as well. Another amazing thing about Shades is the AAFES Shopette inside the hotel. Souveneirs, drinks, snacks, etc all at normal prices compared to most resorts with huge markups for things like advil. Shades of Green also has a ticket office where you can purchase your park tickets with a Military discount. How cool is that? Room service is also super affordable here, as well as the spa packages. Shades of Green is located on a beautiful PGA golf course and has shuttles to and from every Disney Park (and Universal Studios for a small fee) including the monorail/ticket and transportation center and Downtown Disney. They also have an Alamo car rental in the hotel which we had to use the first day we went to Universal, as the shuttle was already full. $145 for a minivan for the day, seemed a bit high to me, but the convenience cannot be beat and with all of the other discounts the resort affords it’s guests there was no way I was even a bit upset about the rate. Other resort ammenities include a breakfast/lunch/dinner buffet at the garden bistro downstairs, a great little restaurant – Manginos, and the Bistro to go open every night until midnight. We often arrived back at the resort from the parks around 10:30 and stopped by the bistro to go to order dinner. The lobby of Shades of Green has a neat coffee/bar with yummy homemade ice cream. One of the days we were there the temperature dropped significantly from 80 to a low of 30 and the coffee bar made me a hot chocolate with Baileys. It was delicious. If you are Military, or have Military in your family, I highly recommend staying at Shades of Green. You can book up to 2 rooms per Military member, and you cannot beat the conversation on the park shuttles between generations of retired and active duty Soldiers.
I’m going to detail each day in it’s own blog post beacuse there were so many little aspects of our adventures I want to make sure I include. When we were planning our trip, it was so fun to read about other’s experiences. This being our 3rd Disney World trip, I thought it time we share what we’ve learned and enjoyed most and I know I will love going back through these posts sometime in the future to reminisce.