We started our first official day in Valdosta with just a short drive to Orlando. After a quick breakfast, we gassed up the car and hit the road, arriving around noon. For this trip we stayed at Disney's Yacht Club Resort, which was beyond amazing. Of course, I will do a full review after I wrap up these daily posts! But first, back to the recap... as we walked into the lobby we received a text notification that our room was ready, so we headed straight upstairs to check it out.
After a quick tour of our room, we unpacked and headed for lunch. Eager to swim, we settled on the quick-service dinning location at the resort. The Market at Ale and Compass was conveniently located near the elevators closest to our room, so it was easy access for food, drinks, and the gift shop.
Ellie had a chicken salad, and Eli had a ham melt on pretzel bread. Eric and I both chose the Cuban sandwich. I can report that we could have easily ordered two meals and shared because the portions were HUGE and food was fantastic!
With full bellies, we were ready for some fun in the sun! We chose this particular resort for it's pool because it has been nicknamed the best pool at Disney World, and I can't disagree. Officially called "Storm Along Bay," this area offers a sand bottom, zero entry pool, dipping pool, recreation pool, two hot tubs, a lazy river, and two water slides, one of which is the highest on Disney property. The kids were entertained all afternoon, and while Eric and I were content to soak in the sun!
While we were lounging, Eric and I decided to change our dinner reservation to Rain Forest Cafe'. It's not our favorite, but the kids love it. So with our original reservation cancelled, we made a plan to eat dinner, stop by Disney's Character Warehouse, and grab some groceries for the week.
We didn't tell the kids where we were eating, but they quickly figured it out when we got on the bus to Animal Kingdom. This is where I interject a pro tip...
Disney has TWO Rain Forest Cafe' locations. One is in Disney Springs and the other is at the entrance to Animal Kingdom. If you are wanting to sprinkle a little Pixie Dust on your trip without paying for a park admission, these are fun locations and keep you in that "Disney Bubble." Plus, Animal Kingdom has some fabulous options for photo ops!
After dinner we headed to Disney's Character Warehouse. Lean in because this will be one of the BIGGEST "secrets" I share with you. Disney's Character Warehouse has two locations and is more or less an outlet store for things that do not sale in the parks or on cruises. It is my very favorite place to shop! We've been known to find $150 princess dresses for $40, Coffee Mugs for $7 and Minnie Ears for $3...while they were still available for purchase in the park at full price!! So, if you drive or can splurge for an Uber, this is hands down the best place for souvenirs. Just keep in mind, that like all outlet stores, it could be "hit or miss."
After all that shopping we grabbed some groceries and headed back to the resort to get ready for our first park day...coming up Disney's Hollywood Studios!