The First Annual Thompson Disney Adventure: How to experience Disney for just $20 for the whole family.
So this year was our First Annual Thompson Family Disney Adventure...well almost Disney. See, I had told Joey that I really wanted to see the lights and Christmas decorations at Disney but I didn't want to pay the price. It is just so expensive. So being the wonderful husband he is, he started researching alternatives and surprised me with this clever idea. He found this blog that mapped out a trip to Disney that would only cost us $20. What you do is pay $20 to park at the Disney parking lot. Then you hop on the monorail to the resorts. There, you can visit all of the resorts for free, meet and greet Mickey and Minnie and other Disney characters, see the castle lit up at night time, and have many amazing views of the firework show. All for just $20 for the whole family! We tried it out this year as a date night and had my parents watch Ava. I also talked Joey into wearing tacky Florida Christmas sweaters and pretending like it was our first trip to Disney. The sweaters were a huge hit! It was such a cool experience and worth every penny of that $20. Our journey looked a little like this...
We first started out at the Polynesian Resort. There we felt like we were on our honeymoon again back in Hawaii. They had a lot of beautiful tropical Christmas decor. When we walked in, Mickey and Minnie were having a meet and greet. This resort has a nice little beach area you can see the firework show from.
Our next stop was the Grand Floridian and boy was it Grand! They have your traditional Christmas decor along with a band, and a LIFE SIZE gingerbread house! This was my favorite stop and I will explain why in just a little bit...
Here is the Gingerbread house. Check out the ingredients they used to build it! Whoa!
See these Diet Cokes in our hands? Yea, they were FREE! Complimentary of the Grand Floridian.
Ok, so this is where it gets good. We got on the elevator at the Grand Floridian. Somehow we ended up on the 4th floor (which is key access only) with all these wonderful food platters complimentary of the Grand Floridian for the guests on the 4th floor. Technically we were "guests" of the 4th floor so we enjoyed some finger foods, appetizers, fresh juice, a fancy tea and coffee bar, a little sweet treat bar for the kids (which Joey LOVED), beer and wine, oh and soda. We didn't have any beer or wine but I definitely made sure to grab a FREE Diet Coke on my way out, which I was so proud of! As we were there we pretended like we were honeymooners and that we owned a family business. It was the Thompson something or other. We never figured out what our business was but we just knew we owned one.
Our third stop was the Contemporary. This hotel didn't have many holiday decorations but they did have a an awesome view of the castle and firework show, a Frozen Gingerbread Castle, and the Chipmunks were there too!
Outside they had this cool little place where you could set your camera at and take pictures with Mickey.
Our last stop was the Fort Wilderness Lodge. Here they had beautiful cabin like decorations. Mickey and Minnie were here too for a meet and greet.
After that we headed back to the Contemporary to end the night watching the firework show. They have a walkway outside on the fourth floor that we watched them from. It was a beautiful view with a nice cool breeze. A perfect way to end the night!
This is definitely something we will do again next year and bring Ava with us. It may even be a new family tradition. We had such an great adventure and I am sure next year will have its own adventures and new experiences. Yes, this could have been a very boring trip to some people but we had a blast because we had fun with it and made it and adventure!
Join me in my journey as a wife, new mom and a baker as I learn to balance all of life's aprons.