Sunday, August 12, 2012

Walt Disney World 2012-Our Arrival at the World

Lucas, Natalie, and Matthew at the Wilderness Lodge.
So, after our fiasco with the Hampton, we were more than ready to get to our Disney resort.  We were also super ready to start our vacation.....Derrick's parents and his youngest sister had also made the drive to vacation withs us, and we were going to meet up with them later in the day at our resort-Disney's Wilderness Lodge.
Disney's Wilderness Lodge.  This view is from the pool area.  There is a huge lake, Bay Lake, behind me.
So, we packed up from the Caribe Royale and made our way over to the Walt Disney World Resort.  Our rooms were at the Wilderness Lodge.  We had adjoining rooms, one with bunk beds and a queen for us and the other with two queens for Derrick's family {aka the best in laws EVER!}  Disclaimer:  I am not just saying that, I truly love his family.  I have been wanting them to take a Disney vacation with us since forever....and was sooo glad they did.  And yes, I still love them even after a week of vacation with them!
Part of the lobby at the Wilderness Lodge.
Since our rooms weren't ready yet-we were there shortly before lunch and check in wasn't  until 3-we spent some time exploring the Wilderness Lodge.  The pool area was awesome, and there was so much greenery and "wilderness" growing all over the property.  It was gorgeous.

Natalie hitching a ride on Daddy's shoulders.  
Matthew, Lucas, and I on the "beach".  
We found the boat dock that would take us to the Magic Kingdom, and walked along the "beach" area.  Natalie wasn't so fond of walking in the sand....we'll see how that goes next summer on our vacation with my family to the beach :).  We roamed the gift shop and found where the restaurant was.  I can't tell you how gorgeous the inside of this resort was!  Soooo beautiful!

Lucas and Derrick relaxing in the rocking chairs.
You really felt like you were in a lodge somewhere in Yosemite.  It was awesome!  Finally it was time to check into our rooms.  We were so pleased with our rooms, and we set the kids to work decorating the sliding glass window with some Disney window clings I had picked up before we left.  Derrick's parents finally made it and we greeted them with huge smiles and hugs.

Lucas drew a heart in the sand and wrote "MOM" in the middle.  Love that kid!

Natalie and Daisy making another run across the bridge while we were waiting for our room.
After we were fairly settled in our rooms, we had some lunch at the Roaring Fork Cafe.  And then, it started to rain.  A lot.  So, I took the boys to the indoor play area where they do crafts and games for the resort guests and Derrick took Natalie to the room to nap.

Lucas killing time while it was raining.  That day's craft was a crown.  
When he got back to the room, he realized our air conditioning wasn't getting any cooler.  So, he called the desk and they sent someone to look at it.  While we were hanging out and Natalie was napping, Derrick's dad mentioned that he had always wanted to stay at the Grand Floridian, which is a landmark of Disney resorts.

Lucas, Natalie, Matthew and I hanging out in the lodge.
Gorgeous, just around the corner from the Wilderness Lodge, and one of the stops we were going to make while resort hopping.  We had just been talking about resort hopping some of the monorail resorts that were right there in our area.  Since we were staying at Wilderness Lodge and having dinner later that night at the Contemporary, that just left the Polynesian and Grand Floridian to explore.  As we were talking about this, the phone rang in our room.  It was a cast member from the resort telling us that our air conditioning unit in our room was in need of being entirely replaced and that Disney could move us to the Grand Floridian if that was okay.  OKAY???  Heck yes!  We packed up ASAP....not that there was anything wrong with the Wilderness Lodge, and it was one we had always wanted to stay at.  But, we needed to vacate our room, and they were offering to send us over to the GF.  We didn't argue about that!
The lobby of the Grand Floridian.  There is a live jazz band on the second floor every day.  

The Grand Floridian is a Victorian theme resort.  It's where a lot of weddings take place at Disney, too. There's a wedding pavilion and a small beach area where people come to get married.  In fact, while we were there, we saw two weddings being photographed.  It's also a monorail resort, which means we could take the train to the Magic Kingdom & EPCOT.  
This little cutie was waiting for us in our room. 
One of the buildings at the Grand Floridian.  This is the view straight out of our balcony.

It's a resort we often long to stay at, but can't justify the cost-not gonna lie, it's the most expensive one at Disney, and when it comes down to it, we choose something else.  So, we felt super privileged to be staying there.  Disney was so awesome with it.

If we looked out, leaned over to the right, we could see Cinderella's Castle from our balcony of our room.
They moved all our stuff for us, and the sleeping arrangements were great.  We had adjoining rooms, each with two queen beds, an junior day bed, and a pack and play for Natalie.  We had plenty of room to spread out and the boys took turns sleeping in Grandma and Grandpa's room each night.  So, we got to explore the Widerness Lodge-which we still want to stay at sometime-and stay at the Grand Floridian.  Sweet!

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