Taking our children to Walt Disney World is a dream for parents, after all, we get to be kids again! For us, it came true a couple of weeks ago. My husband and I decided to be brave, as some parents call it, and take our toddler to Disney World for 5 days to celebrate his 3rd birthday.
Thanks to advice from friends we found a hidden gem, Wyndham Bonnet Creek. If you are looking to stay within the Walt Disney World gates but do not want the cost of a Disney World resort, then look no further. We felt that at the age of 3 our son did not need to stay at a Disney themed resort because let's face it, he most likely is not going remember it.
Bonnet Creek is a timeshare property and it was our home away from home for the week.
You can easily find Bonnet Creek rentals online through popular vacation rental sites. Our rental was an updated 2 bedroom/2 bathroom unit with a kitchen and living room. The resort itself features several restaurants, 5 pools, daily activities and mini golf. It was like a cruise on land.
Going into the trip we knew we wanted to take our son to Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Magic Kingdom. We bought a 5-day park hopper to have the added flexibility of where we went each day. The first 4 days were planned out but we left our last full day open.
This free day allowed our son to pick what he wanted to do with his last day at "Mickey's House."
Below you will find a breakdown of what we had planned for each day including our dining and FastPass reservations.
Day 1: Animal Kingdom
Breakfast at Tusker House
We had breakfast reservations at Tusker House before the park opened. This character breakfast was the perfect way to begin our trip with the added bonus of getting into the park early.
Favorite Attractions: Kilimanjaro Safari, Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo - The Musical, and TriceraTop Spin
Day 2: Hollywood Studios & Mini Golf
Disney Live FastPass
Toy Story FastPass
Our soul purpose in going to Hollywood Studios was for the Disney Live show. We planned for a half day at Hollywood Studios but left wanting to spend more time at the park. Since it was only day 2 we wanted to make sure we paced ourselves. We allowed time for a good nap at the resort before an after nap round of mini golf.
Day 3: Pool Day
Day 4: Magic Kingdom
Tomorrowland Speedway FastPass
Peter Pan FastPass
Crystal Palace Lunch
We saved Magic Kingdom until Day 4 because it was our sons birthday. After arriving at the park shortly after 9am we went straight to meet Mickey. I highly recommend getting a FastPass if you can because we still had to wait 30 minutes.
However, meeting Mickey, giving him a kiss, and him wishing you a "Happy Birthday" is more than any 3 year old could ask for!
Due to our sons' height, we were restricted on rides at Magic Kingdom and did not necessarily need FastPasses for most of our rides. We were able to use up our FastPasses and quickly add more to use for later in the day. Thanks to a nap in the stroller, we were able to stay the entire day at the park and cap off our sons birthday with none other than the "Wishes" fireworks show.
Favorite Attractions: Tea Cups, Dumbo, Tomorrowland Speedway, It's a Small World, Astro Orbiter
Day 5: Epcot
We did not have any plans going into day 5. Day 5 was a day for our son to pick what he wanted to do and he asked to go to "Mickey Golfball" aka Epcot. I was not expecting there to be a lot for our son to enjoy at Epcot now has a new found love of Nemo and Dory!
Favorite Attractions: The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush
Day 6: Chef Mickey's
Our trip would not have been complete without one last character breakfast before heading home. Our son is a huge Mickey Mouse fan and we were lucky to snag a reservation at the one and only Chef Mickey's.