Every year, for Thanksgiving, I go on a nanny trip. In 2013 and 2014, I went with this family to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. In 2015, we went to Disneyland, Seaworld San Diego, and Legoland in California. In 2016 and 2017, we returned to Orlando, Florida and added Universal Studios to our Disney World Adventure.
Our 2017 trip was the longest trip that we have gone on together. They decided to drive to Orlando this time so that we could visit Great Grandmother in Tampa after Orlando. This trip was supposed to be ten days total. It was extended to be a three week vacation.
We left WV and headed to Charlotte, NC for our first stop. We went to The Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, NV and is was a lot of fun. They are also really great with allergies there. The youngest is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish and there were only a few things that weren’t safe for him to eat. After spending the night there, we continued on our way to Orlando but made one more hotel stop. I actually can’t remember where we ended up stopping that night but we did stop. We weren’t there long and the next day, we drove the rest of the way to Orlando.
The Gaylord Palms in Orlando has been our hotel the last two years. It is a great hotel for families to stay at. They have a water park that the kids love, a field that they can run around in, and we always do a scavenger hunt that ICE at the convention center has. There are things for us to do at the hotel when we are not going out.
This Thanksgiving trip was a little different than the others because WVU was having a basketball tournament at Disney. The parents went to all the games, the girls went to two, and the youngest and I went to one. Since we didn’t know the basketball schedule until they won their games, we didn’t spend much time at the parks. We went to Disney for a day, Universal for a day, and went to Typhoon Lagoon one day. I took the children to mini golf once and we went bowling for Thanksgiving at Disney Springs.
If you can afford it, I recommend VIP tours at Disney and Universal. We have had a Disney VIP four times (once in California) but we have only had a Universal tour guide twice. It has been the same tour guide both times. We LOVE Adam. There is a difference between Disney and Universal tours. Disney VIP tour guides are pretty much a human fastpass. There is not any ride you get on before the fastpass line. Except at Disneyland there are some that don’t have fastpass so you have to use the exit as the entrance. Anyways, Universal Orlando tours are much more than a human fastpass. Food is included in this tour. When you meet your tour guide, you get to eat a continental breakfast. We pick a VIP exclusive buffet for lunch and when the tour is over, we have a voucher for the restaurant of our choice which Adam makes a reservation for. Also we get to skip the express lane for all the rides. We just walk right onto the rides. Adam has made it possible for us to have a super secret superhero meeting during both of our trips for the youngest’s birthday and that makes it so special. It is definitely worth the money.
Back to the trip, we finished up our time in Orlando and moved on to Tampa. The parents had been trying to plan a Disney Cruise secretly but it was not working. The children found out and the cruises were all booked. My new mission was to get us on a cruise asap. I am pretty sure I failed my mission fifteen times. It was always booked. I really thought it wouldn’t happen. But when the oldest and I gave it one last shot, it worked. We extended our vacation and had their passports shipped overnight from WV. The time in Tampa was spent catching up on homework/trying to get ahead (missing school for two weeks is rough) and spending time with their great grandmother.
We went to Port Canaveral the day before our cruise. We visited the Kennedy Space Center!! It was awesome and better than I expected it to be. The children loved it. Everyone was just really excited to get on the Disney Cruise the next day. I need to do a whole post about the Disney Cruise because it was AMAZING!