Epcot, HS, and O’hana!

Epcot is probably our second favorite park at Disney! We love the rides, but also walking around the World Showcase. We were too busy having so much fun there and at Hollywood Studios that we forgot to stop and take as many pictures as we did at Magic Kingdom! We had dinner at Biergarten in Epcot,  which was so neat with their dinner show! While at Hollywood Studios, we had dinner at Mama Melrose’s, which is yummy Italian! Here’s the few pictures we did take!

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My biggest success for this entire trip was probably scheduling my son’s birthday dinner celebration at O’hana inside the Polynesian Resort. You may or may not know, but this restaurant is rated 2nd for the best places to view the fireworks from Cinderella’s Castle.

We had a reservations at 8:20pm because that was the ONLY one available months ago when I went to reserve them. In full disclosure, I messed this up big time. This was the one reservation where I didn’t reserve right when I woke up. I did it around noon, therefore, we got the LAST reservation available. I tried and tried and tried to change it to an earlier time, but could never get another opening reservation. My plan was to eat dinner then walk to the beach to watch the fireworks, but alas, we kept our 8:20 time.

While at Disney, we learned that people with 7-7:30ish reservations tend to sit and slowly eat in their seats and stay for the 9pm fireworks show. That’s almost a 2 hour dinner people! I thought by having an 8:20 reservation, that meant we’d definitely see the fireworks while eating. I was wrong. So, to try to get to a table early enough to stay long enough for the fireworks ( I realize how weird that sounds), we arrived to O’hana an hour early and begged for an earlier time AND a firework table for our birthday celebration. We hung out for close to 30 minutes and we scored a table!!!! Not only a table, but probably the best table in the place, right next to the windows with the Castle front and center! It was AMAZING!! We were able to eat and watch the fireworks from the comfort of our table! It was by far, an unbeatable experience and I’m so happy it worked out for us!

Supposedly, the Contemporary is the #1 place to watch the fireworks. I’ll preface this with the fact that I’ve never been there. However, I feel fairly confident is saying that O’hana should be #1! You can’t beat the fabulous food AND watching the Castle fireworks front and center from the Polynesian is unbeatable! The Contemprary is off to the side of the Castle, so their firework view is a little skewed. Therefore, the Polynesian has a head on view of the greatest fireworks show! Needless to say, I highly recommend you trying to get a reservation here on your next trip! 🙂

If you have any dining recommendations for our Disney readers, please share in the comments below!!

Animal Kingdom – Day 2!

Despite the constant rain all day long, we had a wonderful second day at Animal Kingdom! We saw so many animals on our Safaris adventure because it wasn’t very hot, so the animals were out and about. We even got stuck for about 10 minutes and enjoyed listening to the lion roaring for a bit before he retired to  his throne! It was so neat!!

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We’re Goin’ Yamping!

What is yamping you ask? Well it’s yard camping! So we had originally planned to go yamping with a little bit of boondocking on this next road trip. Our plans had to be altered, so we’ll just be doing some yamping and camping this trip. Our new plan is to stay with family and camp in their yard for a day or two in between staying at some campgrounds. We’ll be boondocking in a way because we won’t be hooked up to anything while staying with family.

Why yamping? First and foremost, it’s a great way to visit with family and friends that are near or on the way to  your destination. You can catch up with people you may not normally be able to visit with, and that is truly a great experience!  Another bonus: it’s a great way to keep down costs of traveling!

 

What is boondocking? It is another name for dry camping, which means parking anywhere without any or with limited amenities. Dry camping is more describing camping without hookups at a campground, while boondocking typically means staying in a completely undeveloped area. So for this particular trip, we’ll be boondocking while yamping. 🙂 This actually works out for the best considering we’ve never dry camped, so we’ll work out all the kinks in the comfort of our family’s yard on the front and back end of our trip. When we first bought our trailer, we had all the intentions of dry camping in our driveway to work out any kinks, but got so excited in traveling that we forgot all about that whole “testing it out before getting on the road” theory.

Why boondock? It’s a great way to get out into nature, away from busy cities, towns, traffic, and crowds! Best part…it’s FREE!!

 

How we’ll prepare for boondocking &/or yamping: We’ll be packing more batteries, along with a charger to charge them each day should we need to. We’ll carry full water tanks instead of our typical half or a third because we’ll need all the water we can get! Since it’s starting to feel like fall, we’ll be packing extra blankets for colder nights. We have a 4k watt Powerhouse generator that has a supposed 8 hour run time at full capacity. Therefore, we’ll only be using 1 A/C instead of both. We run this generator on our pack days, but plan to test it on this trip so we can give you all a review after we get back! Also, we plan to refill the generator on travel days whenever we stop for gas.

 

We haven’t even been boondocking yet, but already on our boondocking dream list is:

1. More RV batteries! We’ve been told 4 is a great number! We have….1.

2. Solar Panels!!!!! We can’t wait to make our own power to save for a later time. Not to mention being able to camp in the middle of nowhere for more than a few days! Sounds AMAZING!!

Alright, let’s get this thing on the road!

Horse Farm Field Trip

We took our second field trip of the school year to a local horse farm. They have several horses that they take to shows on the weekends, as well as offering riding classes and field trips for schools and homeschool groups. We had a great turnout with children of all ages!

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We learned the anatomy of a horse, how to brush and groom them, and even how they show when they’re happy or irritated. We learned about trotting, cantering, and galloping. The kids were able to brush, pet, and feed a lot of the horses. We wrapped up the field trip with a quick riding lesson, which was a fan favorite in our house for sure!

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Animal Kingdom!!

I absolutely LOVE Animal Kingdom because it is such a great opportunity to learn about all kinds of animals! This is a homeschool mom’s dream field trip! We had such a great time and could’ve spent many more hours there! We did Kali River Rapids, Flights of Wonder, Lion King, and much, much, more!

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