They didn't have Magic Bands the last time we visited four years ago, so the ability to link our hotel, transportation, event tickets, purchases, and Fast Passes was a pretty cool new addition to the Disney experience!
Grace jumped right into "relaxation mode" when we arrived at the Caribbean Beach Resort by trying out a hammock on the beach closest to our hotel room. There is something about a hammock in the shade that just says "vacation".
This huge resort has several clusters of buildings surrounding water. Each group of buildings is named for a different country in the Caribbean. We were staying in Trinidad North which was conveniently located next to a small pool, the 1.2-mile walkway, and the main pool and dining area.
We spent a lot of time during this trip at the pools, which was good since it was close to 90 degrees most of the days. The pool had a zero entry area, water slides, and games and activities every day.
We also rented a 4-person "bicycle" one morning to explore the resort.
At Disney Springs (which used to be Downtown Disney) we did some shopping and ate a delicious steak dinner at "STK". This evening Grace reminded me that she is a "tween" now. She sure looks like one!
Jacob and his parents were also in Orlando this week. Since our vacations overlapped a couple of days they came to our hotel for a pool day. This was great because the moms got "mom time", the dads got "dad time" and the kids had someone else to play with all day. Grace and Jacob made Mickey tie dye shirts at the pool to wear the first day they go back to school.
Disney's 25,000 acres include a lot of water. And, since it is Florida, there is a lot of wildlife in and around the water. We saw signs like this everywhere reminding us of who as living right below the surface.
We also found out that Disney has the 3rd largest bus fleet in Florida with 300 buses. Only the cities of Miami and Jacksonville have more. Their transportation was amazing and we took full advantage of it riding buses and boats several times. On the night we went to the Boardwalk we were lucky to be in a boat watching fireworks from three different amusement parks at the same time!
But, after that, we left the Hollywood Studios area at the same time as everyone else and we got stuck waiting in the bus line. Rookie mistake!
I know some people go crazy at the Disney parks - visiting a different park each day of their vacation. It sounds like a great idea until you remember how much walking and how exhausting the Florida heat and sun can be. For this trip we chose to visit Epcot during their Flower and Garden Show. And, we ended up walking over 8 miles that day!
In addition to the fun rides and the countries of the World Showcase, Epcot was dressed up for visitors with character topiaries everywhere. A couple of times I had to peek below the flowers to figure out how they created these floral masterpieces.
We met up with Jacob and his parents again on this day so the kids could design a car at Test Track together. That was a great ride! Their car came out grade and beat Kyle's care in a few of the tests.
Jacob's family are Disney Vacation Club members so they took us the the vacation club lounge for drinks and a snack before they left for their flight home.
It was a funny, loud music and comedy show with a western theme complete with buckets of "cowboy" food like fried chicken, corn and beans.
Laughing, clapping, and singing together was a great way to end our "magical" vacation!