|Ethan, Colby & Cameron sporting their Donald shirts and posing with the duck himself!|
When we went in 2008, it was our first trip and we went during the absolute busiest time of year (except Christmas) – mid July! The crowds were CRAZY! Even though we had a wonderful trip, we decided that we would do a bit of research and find a more enjoyable time of year to go. A co-worker of mine and her family go in September and she told me that the crowds were low and the parks are more manageable, so we decided to give this a try!
September was still very hot, but she was right about the crowds! We went on Labor Day week, so the kids missed 4 days of school. I spoke to the principal and the teachers and they were all on board with my plan and even though the days were unexcused, they were able to make up assignments and tests.
We also made changes on this trip on where we were to stay. Last time, we stayed off site in a condo, but we wanted to fully immerse ourselves in the Disney experience by staying onsite. Finding accommodations for a family of six is not always that easy… Emily, then 16, was supposed to go, but decided she was too old for Disney (gasp!) and stayed home with her grandparents – a decision she regrets to this day! But anyway, I needed a room for 6 when I booked and we decided on the Cabins at Fort Wilderness. And I am so glad we did! We LOVED the cabins! It is literally your home away from home since you have not only a bedroom and bathroom but a living room and full kitchen!
The grounds to Fort Wilderness is huge! If you look at a map, the grounds are about twice the size of Magic Kingdom. Needless to say, it isn’t a resort that you can walk all around… so they have golf carts you can rent and an internal bus system to take you where you want to go. Our first day, we just spent at the resort swimming in the pool, exploring the grounds, visiting the horses and seeing the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. This is one of three dinner shows offered at Disney World and is located in Pioneer Hall at Fort Wilderness. On the dining plan, it is two credits per person, but well worth it. The food was really tasty and plentiful as it is served family style and the show is hilarious. We had great seats right in the middle and were called to participate. Being native Louisianians, our kids were wearing Saints t-shirts. Of course, we are in Florida which is “Gator Country” so we were deemed to be gator-bait. (LSU and Florida are SEC rivals…) That is something we will never forget!