Our “year of Disney” continues with a quick weekend trip for the Pro Bowl. Our APs expire in April and we decided to squeeze in two more trips: one for Pro Bowl Weekend, the next for Easter.

We randomly booked at the start of January. There was a Blizzard going on in New York and after throwing around the idea for a while, I booked the trip down with points. We usually stay BC, as we fell in love with the resort and the close proximity to EPCOT/DHS, but we were trying to save some cash so we booked Dolphin, instead.

On staying at Dolphin: This was our second stay at Dolphin. The last time we stayed was another short overnight trip. Dolphin offers close proximity to the parks, many of the Disney perks you know and love (minus Magical Express); Deluxe accommodations at a Moderate Price. Unfortunately, it lacks any Disney theming, and they tend to “nickel and dime you” with resort fees and pricey parking and more.

Overall, it was a really good stay. We ate breakfast at Fuel both days and it was a very good (and slightly overpriced).

No Magical Express: I know, I know! Getting to the Dolphin was $36; Getting from the Dolphin to MCO was $26. It was nice not having to leave 3 hours early, as it gave us more park time.

Disney Springs: Is a must-do now for older families. It’s incredible. We did dinner at Polite Pig, which IMO is one of the best new restaurants at Disney (and it’s a Quick Service!). There was an event going on at the Edison, but we did grab a drink at Enzo’s Hideaway. Enzo’s has been open for 2 weeks. Some of the bartenders are still a little green, but the drinks are really good and very fresh. The fresh-cut herbs are a nice touch. Upon arriving late Friday night we went to Raglan Road, as it was one of the few places open late night. Another cool experience. DS is worth a night.

Pro Bowl: The Pro Bowl gets a lot of slack, but if you’re a football fan then I highly recommend it. As my sister said, where else can you see that collection of players all at one time? The players were really good with the fans. Some fans were… very aggressive… but that comes with the territory. We met a bunch of players and saw LeVeon Bell, Vonn Miller and Jarvis Landry in the park that night. Jarvis’ girlfriend(?) asked our opinion on the turkey leg. Even though we were star struck, we refused to blow his cover and played it cool.

Festival of the Arts
Festival of the Arts is outstanding. The Deconstructed Booth is a must-do. I work on the creative side of advertising, so I’m into that stuff, but even my sister enjoyed it. If you go, make sure you stop by the t-shirt booth by Enemy Ink (recommended on the DisUnplugged show) it’s great. We bought shirts for the whole family. The food is really good and beautifully presented. It’s worth a trip and IMO may be the best, most immersive festival.

Quick Hits
– There’s no such thing as “off-peak” times at Disney anymore. It was packed. I honestly think it’s due to the low prices.

– You can get a surprising amount done in 2 days if you plan. We were in Disney for 42 hours. We did Pro Bowl Practice, Disney Springs, Magic Kingdom that night; then DHS and Epcot on Sunday.

– HEA is growing on me. I was once one of those “they’ll never replace Wishes” but seeing it up close changed my opinion.

– After exploring Disney Springs, I think everyone needs one day outside the parks exploring it. The new restaurants are great. There’s so much to do there.

– Weather was really nice. It rained Sunday afternoon, but held up most of the trip. A great surprise, seeing as they were predicting rain and clouds all weekend.

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