Disney World Family Vacation

submitted by Jennifer Baxter office
We stayed in the Preferred room category at the Caribbean Beach Resort Hotle. A plus on all aspects!! We were in Martinique, building 26. We walked out our room and the restaurants, store, marina and main pool were very close. If you are not in a preferred room you would have to take the internal resort bus from your room block to Port Royale (main area). With small kids it would be quite a hassle. We took advantage of bell services upon arrival and departure to bring us and our luggage to and from our room. Very courteous! We had to depart at 6am to catch our AM flight. I pre-scheduled our luggage pick up the evening before.
Great pool area for our water bug kids. And Pirate theme pool and waterslides were a plus for mine! I really liked the kiddie pool area. My youngest son spent time at the resorts great playground with Daddy. We ate at Shutter's (sit down) and the quick service at the resort. I did not have any bad meals. Variety of quick service options was really good.
I honestly can't believe I am saying this-but traveling with my husband's whole family! Seeing the kids all together having such a great time was amazing! Oh, and that the Dole Pineapple Whips in Adventureland are a snack option on the dining plan!!
Our trip fell over Memorial Weekend. It was BUSY! I expected this if course. We booked to coincide with free dining promotion so couldn't be helped for us. You need to be flexible. It is very important to pre book dining. I watched many people who did not have reservations try to check in and were told without a reservation it would be 60-90 minute wait at some places. It was also very hot during our time there. We took advantage of the Baby Care Center at Magic Kingdom quite a lot. They are very handy for families with small children. We found that many of the big rides fast passes were gone by mid morning! Some rides will give you a fast pass that is much later in the day. You CAN get another fast pass in between. At the bottom of your fast passes it will tell you what time you can get another fast pass at. We rented a scooter for Grandma before we left using an off site supplier. It is less expensive and we know that she has it at all times. Also, there is often a special line/entrance for those with scooters or wheelchairs. This was really great for her (and us!) to avoid standing in lines. Front row at Lion King too! Those with strollers use the designated stroller parking areas. If you don't you could spend some time looking for your stroller when you come off a ride! Disney has very diligent 'stroller police'¬Ě they will move your stroller often!
I traveled with my family and my husbands extended family. 10 of us in all-4 kids, 4 parents and Grandma and Grandpa! We requested connecting and adjoining rooms at time of booking and didn't have any problem getting them. It was a trip of a lifetime for all. First visit for everyone except my husband and I and our oldest son.
We were on the Disney Dining plan. I had so much fun trying all the different restaurants! At Magic Kingdom I think I tried about 4 different quick service restaurants. (in one day!!)
I also ate at:
Rose and Crown Pub-ate lunch here our first day. We had fish and chips, bangers and mash and the Sticky Toffee cake was oh my goodness good!
La Hacienda (Mexico-EPCOT) great food and service.
Biergarten-I chose this one for the setting. My husband and I ate here on our last trip and wanted the rest of the family to experience it. Great for the kids. We do really like the food too.
Donald's Safari breakfast: 3 characters here: Mickey, Goofy and Daisy. We waited for quite awhile to get in here. We had reservations but they were really behind. The food was ok.
Chef Mickeys: we have done this one before. We waited for quite awhile to get in even with reservations. The characters are always good, which is why we do it. 5 characters here. But, the food and service were not great this time.
Mama Melrose @ Hollywood Studios: The food was quite good here.
I noticed that the kids menu options at all the restaurants was good too. The kids had a choice between the traditional pizza, chicken strip, etc. But they also had choices unique to the restaurant. Like pasta at Mama Melrose and tacos at Hacienda. They didn't complain at all.
We scheduled our 4 yr old for Pirate's League. They do such a great job! He was so amazed at the end product. He didn't even look like himself. He wore his pirate sword the whole trip. Along with his R2D2 Mickey ears. He is a huge Star Wars Fan!
My sister-in-law's family and Grandma and Grandpa Did Cinderella's Royal Table. They have two girls. They said it was a highlight of the trip. After that they did the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. They were in Princess Heaven.