From the moment we touched down at the Orlando airport, it was very clear to me that a Disney vacation is unlike any other. Before departing the DC metro area, we placed bright yellow tags on our checked bags so that Disney could pick them up for us – no waiting in line at baggage claim for guests of Disney.
We then walked on the red carpet – really – to hop on Disney’s Magical Express, the bus that took us to our Disney hotel property. While there is the pre-requisite checking in and waiting on the bus for everyone to board, the ease of travelling this way with small children cannot be denied. Because we were riding on the bus, there was no need to travel with carseats. The ride to the hotel was also more enjoyable because the bus was equipped with video screens that played an informational video for parents, that happened to be filled with the kids’ favorite characters.
Walking in to the Wilderness Lodge, there is only one word to describe my first impression – breathtaking. With Christmas still three weeks away, the lobby is already decorated from floor to ceiling for the holidays, including a towering tree in the center of it all.
Because we are travelling with my parents, we chose to stay in a multi-bedroom suite in the Villas section
of the Wilderness Lodge, which is technically a Disney Vacation Club property. However, non-club members are able to book these rooms just as they would book a Disney hotel room. If you are travelling with extended family, I cannot recommend this enough. We are incredibly pleased with not only the amount of space in our two-bedroom villa, but also the floor plan. While my husband, children, and I share a two queen bed room with a large full bath, walk in closet, and balcony, my parents are able to enjoy their king suite with a separate spa bath and spacious shower. In between the two bedrooms is a common area with a full kitchen, sitting area, and balcony.
Our amazing hotel and ease of travel are just the tip of the iceberg. Stay with me as I report on our time in all four of Disney World’s parks as well as a very special surprise that we found waiting for us in our room….