Disney Park: Animal Kingdom (open till 10:30PM)
This was our first morning at Saratoga Springs Resort. When I finally got to see what our view looked like from the room I was giddy and woke up the whole room to rejoice with me.
So to recap, we arrived for our first stay during the night hours. Everything lit by lamps, you can’t really see much. We were given a room in the Paddock /building 65. Unpacked a little bit, then got right to bed..of course, after an hour of watching the Disney World parks today station. We just found that station on a three-hour loop on YouTube, which we played all morning Sunday for nostalgia. hah I wish I was kidding.
The view… It was perfect. It was peaceful. It was beautiful. IT WAS JUST SO WONDERFUL!! I should mention, that we had pretty low expectations of this resort because whenever we drove by it or saw it in print we were like..”OK, it’s pretty but where is the big Disney wow factor?”. Well, folks, the whole property is it. We really felt transported during this part of our stay because of the resort. There was a lot of grassy space. Each building was painted a different classic color, ours was yellow but next to us was a light green and blue, so pretty. There were not a ton of children, but there were a lot of kids, don’t get me wrong. The walks to the two pools and to the main building gave us access to so many beautiful vistas of water and wildlife, and each pool are was different. The main pool had two hot tubs, a large swim area with a cool slide and a splash park, to the side there were table tennis tables and a thread hair wrapping station. The pool closer to our building had a hot tub, a main pool with slide and then a splash climbing park next to it. They had surrey bike rentals if you wanted, which we all said if we go back we are renting them. The bus service was always on time, and there were multiple stops within the resort in case you wanted to catch it at another spot. The property just had a real nice overall feel to it. We didn’t regret any moment of this stay.
This day we planned to start off at the pool with breakfast and swimming, though the weather said the day would be cloudy with rain. We took our chances! So glad we did, because as soon as we finished breakfast, the clouds broke with sun, a few sprinkles fell and that was it for the day!
We had a great experience at the hot tub, got to meet a slew of people from Massachusetts, which was a lot of fun. We also got to hang out sunbathing in the graduated part of the pool together too.
AAhhrrg why do I live in Massachusetts!!?!?
After the pool, we all got dolled up and headed on to our second day at the Animal Kingdom. We pre-reserved three FP for this day, but two of them we changed at the pool. We kept our Avatar Flight of Passage. We arrived to the park to find it was less crowded than our last visit, which was weird since it was a Saturday. They had the Star Wars marathon happening this weekend, so maybe folks took off afterward?
We started off this trip with a fun leisure, semi-guided by me, walk over to Pandora. haha I just wanted to stay there all day! Plus we had our FP coming up. That’s what I told everyone anyways.
So I love this ride to pieces. It was even more exciting this day, maybe because I knew what to expect again but I just enjoyed every moment. And I kept my eyes open to my surroundings to see how it all worked out with us floating up to the screen. SUPER COOL. We exited the ride somewhat hungry, so we stopped in at the Satu’li Canteen for these bao buns we saw before. I hung outside to reserve a table, while the big man ordered the food. The best surprise was that he brought me a pretty blue drink to go with everything, a dreamwalker sangria. The drink was pretty. That’s really all I can say about it.. I love blue?
From Pandora we went to Asia for the Maharaja Safari. But first, as if my kids didn’t just eat they NEEDED a dole whip and ice cream. SMH, with all this junk!! We got to Tamu Tamu in Africa, but the dole whip machine was down, so our daughters opted for chocolate chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches and my husband grabbed a malva cake to share (it’s a spice cake). We found a great hideaway spot to eat with lots of shade and seats. So, the kids’ ice cream sandwiches were the biggest things ever, so both my husband and I grabbed knives to cut off at least a quarter piece. I was full from the piece that I had eaten that I couldn’t go near that malva cake… Oh, but, our oldest daughter could. HOLY EATER! And she is so thin, I don’t know where she puts it all. (She eats like a machine every day)
We got ourselves to the Maharaja Safari and had the most pleasant time walking around. The girls were finishing up with their Wilderness Explorer books that they started on the first trip; collecting stickers, talking to all the guides and drawing. Such a great idea to get people involved with their surroundings. After this we swooped down into Asia for more WE stops, then made our way to It’s Tough to Be a Bug. Something our youngest didn’t remember at all. So seeing her flip out over the 4D stuff was funny. To me anyways. haha
I forgot to mention that our kids had been pestering us all morning to get over to Dinoland to ride Primeval Whirl. When I say pester I mean bother me till I explode! Which takes a lot. So after the 4d fun, we made our way to Dinoland. We had a FP to ride PW, we gave them ours so they could ride it twice in a row. They got three turns because the lines were super low. Then they darted over to TriceraTops before we got to leave the park. We were heading to Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ in Disney Springs for dinner.
Ok, so this was one of the few restaurants I booked that I was actually excited to try out. From our experience being checked in by the cheerful staff, to our so friendly waiter, whom we talked like we were old friends with all night, we just had great vibes this place was going to be good. And, well, it did not disappoint! What a fun night.
We all ordered some type of fried chicken dish; whether straight forward chicken or a sandwich, then the girls ordered ice cream and donuts for dessert. My husband and I had great moonshine cocktails that we ordered in these funny restaurant 22oz sippy cups. So, no dessert for us, we decided to keep drinking our moonshine instead. I got 2 moonshine margaritas and he mixed it up; first he had a single of a berry lavender. Then, per our waiter’s recommendation, they mixed a concoction of one berry lavender and one blueberry bliss. A big purple drink emerged. Then his third, yes his third, he opted back to the original one. The sippy cups can be refilled anytime during your stay there. Love moonshine, kids! The kicker is that they have a bar set up outside so you can get those same moonshine refills while walking around all day and all night..for like $10-$12 a refill!
I know, let’s move to Disney Springs..or better yet, let’s get Art Smith to open a place up here!!
Our meals were delicious, not a thing left on a plate. I even ate some of my husband’s food! YES, ME! Everything was cooked perfectly and seasoned just right. The donuts at the end may have been the best ever too. Crisp and tasty. Just like a warm hug of vanilla.
We ended up walking around after dinner, shopping for souvenirs and being silly. It had started to rain just as the stores were closing for the night. We grabbed some souvenirs, and those that we couldn’t find we found on the app at the other parks we were visiting next.. So we decided it was time to pack it in and walk back to the resort. Saratoga Springs, particularly our building within the resort, is literally a five-minute walk from Disney Springs. Super convenient.
Well, there is day 6 out of 9. 😦 I really loved this night of our trip. We felt like we were away yet at home with all the good food and walking around.
Also, my moonshine margarita was amazing. Got a refill without ice to bring to the pool the next day, too! :)~