Little Read Florida Trip – 2012

July 9, 2012 in Vacations

Its been quite a long time since I posted anything of value on the site, so I figured this was the perfect opportunity to tell the Little Read World about my recent experience in Disney World.

The Little Read Family headed down South for our annual Florida vacation. This year we decided to go back to Disney. We picked the week of July 4th because it would mean we would have to take less time off from work and we would be in the park for a holiday. What could possibly be wrong with that. As it turns out… a lot.

This trip had been planned since November of last year to ensure good prices on flights and whatnot. I didn’t actually start doing any research about the trip itself until about a week before. So, as is my custom, I headed to the Internet to see what kinds of things Walt Disney has in store for people visiting the park on Independence Day.

The first site I came to listed the week of July 4th as the busiest week of the year. Great. its going to be Florida hot and crowded. Ugh. Okay, fine, we’ll deal. Well, not okay, I was COMPLETELY panicked about this trip now. The Little Read Son is not the most patient person when it comes to lines and amusement parks, and the Little Read Daughter is going to be stuck in a stroller all day. Recipe for disaster.

But I pushed aside my fears and soldiered on. We were staying at the Swan hotel… which is very very nice. Its not on the Monorail, and its not themed, so you make up on the price, but it certainly was not a cut rate place. Quite the contrary, it was actually really nice. There is a shuttle bus that runs every 15-20 minutes or so that takes you to the parks. The trip to the Magic Kingdom takes about 20 minutes or so. The pool and facilities are nice and the staff was very friendly.

The Little Read Mother and I devised a plan: we would divide the park into 2 halves (we were staying 3 days with 2 days at the Park); get to the Park as soon as it opened; Fast Pass whichever ride had the longest wait time and then hit the others. We would then eat lunch and head back to the hotel for some napping (HA!) and relaxing and regrouping. Ready? BREAK!

For the busiest week of the year, the park was a breeze to get through in the morning. Wait times never broke 20 minutes and we hit everything we wanted to do before lunch… WOW! Back to the hotel, sat around, relaxed and then back to the Park. By this time the crowds had come. Wait times were exceptionally long for most rides. But it didn’t matter to us since we hit everything we wanted to already. We Fast Passed a couple of rides and before we knew it, the Little Read Children were ready to sleep… and so were we.

The next day was more of the same. We blasted through the park with astonishing speed, hitting every ride we wanted to. Then we hit lunch. Hotel. Back to the park and then fireworks. This is where the story takes a turn for the worse…

We had heard that after New Years, the Fourth of July fireworks are the best Disney has to offer. Fortunately we had spoken to some employees about the best place to watch the fireworks with small children. We got the best advice we could have asked for:


We were told that if you watch inside, it could take up to 3 hours to get out of the park… 3 HOURS! If you watch outside you can still see everything since the fireworks are 95% in the air and you will be perfectly positioned to get in the buses back to the hotels. I cannot stress how great this was, because at 7:45 the crowds for the fireworks were already causing havoc in the park. Staff members were forming human lanes to keep foot traffic moving. It took us 30 minutes to get from statue of Walt and Mickey to the exit. INSANE!

Needless to say, we had a great view of the fireworks and we were the first on the bus back to the hotel. Did we miss seeing Cinderella’s castle as the backdrop? Sure. Was it worth it to get right out of the park? Absolutely!

if this site does NOTHING else in its existence, it will do this: let every father know, if you are going to Disney on one of the most popular weeks or days follow this advice…

        • Divide and conquer
        • Go early
        • Regroup at the hotel in the middle of the day
        • Make use of Fast Pass (I swear it feels like cheating)
        • Watch the fireworks from outside the park

It was a completely successful trip and I would have no hesitation about going at the same time next year!