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Monday, August 26, 2019

our august 2019 trip: a recap

Our week of pumpkins down Main St. USA, amazing ADRs, moonlit magic and not-so-scary fun is all said and done.  Now that we're home, we're left with just one question... can't we do it all over again?

I've returned from Walt Disney World Resort, and so has tinkerkait.com!  With all of the new, fun experiences we did this year, you can be sure that there are more in-depth posts about everything we did heading your way.  But until then, here's a quick little recap of the week's events.

Our week of fun starts on the drive down.  We left NJ at 10:30 on Friday night, and we may have dragged a certain spork down the I-95 with us.

We were blessed with the perfect travel day, and arrived in Georgia at 4:00 in the evening-- a record for us!  We chose Microtel Inn & Suites Kingsland for our overnight lodging this year, instead of our usual Fairfield Inn & Suites.  Microtel was fine, but I think we'll be returning to Fairfield next year.

I set my alarm for 2:45 in the morning to get ready for our arrival day.  By 4:30, we had left our hotel.  Next stop: Walt Disney World Resort!

We pulled up to our home away from home just before 7:30 in the morning.  This year, we used our points to stay at a Standard View Studio at the Villas at the Grand Floridian.  Isn't she gorgeous?

We really loved the resort side of the Grand Floridian, but we don't think we'll be running back to the DVC accommodations anytime soon.  The DVC building seemed so much farther away from the main building, monorail, and quick service location than any of the DVC longhouses are at the Poly!  We also didn't think the food at Gasparilla's Grill was as good as it is at Cap'n Cooks.  We're really glad we tried it out, and we loved the Nespresso machine in the Villas lobby!  But we think we'll try a different DVC resort next year.

We were able to bump up our breakfast reservation at The Wave so we could go right there after checking in and dropping off our bags.  Then it was time to start our Magic Kingdom day!  We had a good, good, good, a good time at Mickey & Minnie's Surprise Celebration this year!  The World's Biggest Mouse Party is no joke!  Getting to meet the main mice in their party outfits was just as wonderful as I wanted it to be, and Grace and I stopped to say "hi" to rare friends on our way out for our mid-day break.  The day ended with a dinner reservation at Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen.  Our arrival day was full of pumpkins down main street and happy memories!

On Monday, we visited Epcot.  Epcot rope drop gives me such a rush, so while the family stayed behind, I spent the morning and afternoon meeting friends, trying new snacks, and exploring the World Showcase!  Later on, the family and I went back to Epcot for our dinner reservation at Chefs de France.  It was one of the best meals we've ever had on property!

Tuesday was our Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!  We had breakfast at 1900 Park Fare and relaxed in the pool until it was time to head to Magic Kingdom.  It was crazy crowded at MNSSHP, but we made the best of it!  I loved meeting Jack Skellington & Sally, Pumpkin Spice Donald & Princess Daisy, and trying new party treats like the Pumpkin Spice Milkshake.  This is one of those events that will definitely be getting it's own post.

Wednesday was a big day!  We headed to Disney's Hollywood Studios.  We didn't want to go until the evening, but after booking a last-minute Slinky Dog Dash FP+, we ended up there in the morning instead!  We used our FP+ for Slinky, waited in stand-by for Alien Swirling Saucers, and then checked out Municiberg for a little while.  The family went back to the resort to swim in the pool, but I got to hang out with my friends Emily and Timmy!  I was so happy to see them!  For dinner that night, we had a reservation at Storybook Dining.  We were so excited for this ADR, since it's a brand new character dining experience that had amazing reviews!  That's another dinner that's going to need it's own post.

On Thursday morning, we all took it easy at the Grand Floridian Pool.  We had a half-day cabana rental from 10-2, and we loved it!  We will absolutely be booking a cabana again in the future.  After a post-pool nap in our room, it was time for us to get ready for Moonlight Magic at Disney's Animal Kingdom!  The DVC member exclusive event blew our expectations out of the water.  We had so much fun exploring Pandora at night, meeting friends from Up!, and partying it up in Dinoland, USA!

Our last park day was on us before we knew it.  Friday included a bittersweet last morning at Magic Kingdom before heading to Disney Springs for the night.  We said goodbye to Mickey and Minnie in the morning, then ended our trip with dinner at our favorite restaurant on property: Chef Art Smith's Homecomin'.  

We started the drive back to NJ on Saturday morning, filling our resort refillable mugs with coffee one last time before heading north.  We stopped overnight in Rocky Mount, NC, and eventually made it home at 6:30 last night.

All in all: this was another amazing trip!  We were so pleased with the crowds and weather this trip.  We tried so many new things and spent so much quality time together.  We really felt the Disney magic this week.  I'd spend hours talking about how much fun we had, but this is just the recap post: don't worry, there is so much more to come here on tinkerkait.com.


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