Disneyworld & Universal Studios 2003… Our first family trip.

In 2003 we traveled with our one year old son to Disneyworld for the first time.  I remember driving myself crazy trying to figure out what to pack.  Good thing they have a Target close by for us frugal families so if you forget anything (ahemm… like I did) then you won’t have to travel far to get it.  And, if you don’t have a car and don’t might the higher price… Disney has you covered on property too.


We were joined by extended family which made the trip extra fun but also a little more complicating when it came to dinner and figuring out how to map out our day.  One thing that the large group did NOT complicate was our room situation.  We are Disney Vacation Club members and so we booked a two bedroom Beach Club Villa for our family and my sister and law’s family.  Then a separate studio villa for my in laws.  The rooms were FANTASTIC!!!  And, the kids made so many memories just hanging out and playing in the room I mean check out the space.

photo credit: Disney Vacation Club

Beach Club is probably our favorite of the Disney resorts in Orlando.  The villas are laid out very well and kept super clean, the pools are amazing, the lobby is always bustling with Captain there to greet you and Beach Club is home to Beaches ‘N Cream which has the infamous “Kitchen Sink” sundae.  It’s a HUGE family sundae with all the fixin’s and when you order it they turn off the lights and make a big fuss in the restaurant which our kids think is a big hoot!


Beach Club and Disneyworld in general are always decorated beautifully… but during the holidays everything is turned up a notch.  I love traveling to the different hotels to see what candy creation they have.  Beach Club usually has a chocolate carousel… like HUGE real chocolate horses ladies.  The smell is divine.  And, they sell fresh baked Stollen bread which is a must… and for the kiddos you can buy the gingerbread house kit.


The littles enjoyed Epcot a lot!  They loved making the masks as we walked to each country, sampling food and watching the unique array of mimes, jugglers and especially the Japanese candy maker.



Now we enjoy renting a car when we travel to Disneyworld (see my post here) bc our family has grown.  But, on this trip back in 2003 we used the complimentary Disney bus service the whole time and it worked out great.  For one it is FREE when you stay at a Disney hotel, for two when you are new it is nice to not have to worry about directions or getting lost and lastly the kids think the buses are a ride.


After having a blast for a week in Disney we decided we wanted to check out Universal Studios Orlando as well.  We had a shuttle take us over.  It was a quick 30 min ride and we stayed at the Portofino Hotel for three nights.  I think that was sufficient time to hang out over there.  Like Disney’s buses Universal offers a complimentary boat system for hotel guests to get you back and forth to CityWalk and the two Universal Parks- Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.


If you go during the holidays you will want to make sure not to miss the Grinch show in Seussville.  I enjoy that whole land really.  Especially, One Fish Two Fish… but beware you WILL get WET!


One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

photo credit: Universal Orlando

A random favorite of ours is the fountain in front of the Eighth Voyage of Sinbad Show.  Have your kids start talking to the fountain… they will get a good surprise.  But, stand back this is another place where you will get wet!!!


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