We have unpacked everything (shocking!), the kids are asleep, and I am snuggled in my own bed. We had an amazing time at Disney. I was geared up for tantrums and complaining and swollen feet and none of that happened! Now I want to take notes of what I loved and didn't love so that when we go back...in 3-5 years (seriously) we will be ready. Maybe some of this will help you and your family.
I really liked Seratoga Springs but it would not be my first choice if we went back. It was quite a ways from all the parks, it took us about 30 min to get to each of the parks by bus. There was not much to chose from to eat there. But the rooms were great, very spacious and the staff was wonderful of course. I would also make sure that we were within walking distance to the main pool. It was quite a production getting us all to the pool. We had to call bell service to send a golf cart and we had to tip each time, both ways. If we go back I would love to try to stay at the Wilderness Lodge. It is very close to Magic Kingdom and a little more our style, laid back.
I was really glad we got all the kids keen shoes. They are crazy expensive but it was well worth it, none of them ever complained about there feet! I was really happy with our choice of strollers, even though it was a fiasco getting them. We had a sit and stand that we could fit 3 kids in (only advertised for 2...don't tell on us), even Caleb could ride on the back if he needed to. And we picked up an umbrella side by side stroller from toys r us (TRU brand). Both of these strollers collapse really easily and small and even the umbrella stroller is tall enough that I wasn't hunched over it all day.
I swallowed my fashion pride and dressed us all in the same color almost every day. This really did help us find them when they were running around playing on the playgrounds like Honey I Shrunk the Kids or the Bone Yard. (The only day I didn't do this ended up being unofficial gay day at Disney and the official color was red...guess what color shirt I wore that day? I got some strange looks)
The only thing I hated was the dinning plan. I think it is the devil!!! My friend Erika warned me that it was going to be a major pain in the neck but I was a fool and did it anyway. It was worse then a pain in the neck!!! I think because our group was so large and was staying in 2 separate rooms and going in a few different directions some days...it made it impossible to use all of our points without going over. I would not do it again. I would have breakfast in and pack a meal and do 1 sit down or counter service meal. I know it would have consumed much less of my brain power and I think we would have saved money too. For the record all of my friends who have 1 or 2 kids LOVE the plan and think it is well worth it.
tusker house animal kingdom
At the park we were able to use our room keys as fast passes. Erika had told me this ahead of time and it was a huge time saver. You can only fp one ride at a time but once the time comes up for that ride you can fp a new ride even before you ride the first one. Confused? Say you fp your first ride and it gives you a time of 1:00- 2:00, as soon as it is 1:00 you can fp something else even if you haven't ridden ride #1. Very nice!!!
Let's see. We did eat with the princesses but I did not want to spend the money on the boutique where they dress your kids up. I don't really like how some of the kids come out looking like bratz dolls. So I brought their dresses from home and we dressed them up at the hotel, did their hair and then took them to tinker bells store and the ladies there dusted them with fairy dust (thanks Christina). They were happy, I was happy.
I think that is all the helpful tips I have. If you have any advice or questions lay them on me. Tomorrow after VBS I'll post a bunch of pictures then I promise you won't hear any more about Disney from me for about 5 years! Promise!