Hi, hello! How is everybody? I’m glad to (slowly) be getting back into the hang of a normal routine, and I’m even more excited to share our Disney World vacation with all of you!
Ryan and I agreed that, with the exception of our honeymoon, this was the best trip that we’ve ever taken. Seriously, you guys – we had more fun than we’ve had in a long time, and I’m the first to admit that I’m still living in a Disney state-of-mind this week because I don’t want to let go of it quite yet.
I have a lot to share about our trip, so I’m going to break up the recaps into separate posts throughout the next few weeks. Let’s jump into it!
Monday: Travel & Hotel Information
We arrived in Orlando late afternoon, which was a nice change for us since we typically take super early morning flights. We also hired car service (Fly Tours) for the week to get us to and from the airport and our hotel since it was cheaper than a taxi, and well, we were celebrating my birthday after all. #treatyoself
Our hotel for the week was the Best Western Resort in Lake Buena Vista, and we couldn’t have been more pleased. I booked everything through mousesavers.com, so I was able to get us a discount on our nightly rate as well as breakfast included each morning of our stay. The hotel was clean, our room was very spacious, and there was continuous bus service to and from all of the parks. We also were within walking distance of Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) – about 10 minutes – which made it easy to access loads of shopping and restaurants.
Tuesday: Magic Kingdom!
It was the plan all along to start our trip out at Magic Kingdom, and I am so glad that we stuck with that decision. The weather was perfect – sunny and in the high 70s – and we were ready to take in all the magic!
I purchased matching Disney Mr. and Mrs. shirts from Etsy back at Christmas as a silly gift to get us excited about the trip, and we opted to wear those our first day at Magic Kingdom. Well, on top of celebrating my birthday, everybody also thought we were on our honeymoon … we chose not to correct them because well, it was fun and instilled some of that “newlywed bliss” back into us!
Even Minnie got a kick out of the shirts!
We were at the park from before it opened, around 8:30 a.m. – we even got to see the end of the cute opening ceremony that they do – until 8:30 p.m. that evening, so you can imagine that we did a lot. We lucked out with a lot of our FastPass + reservations, so we hardly had to wait in line for any of the rides. We hit up Space Mountain multiple times – let’s face it, it’s a classic and never gets old – and we were so excited to get picked to dance during the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor show – again, I think our shirts had something to do with that, but I wasn’t complaining!
Of course, no Disney trip would be complete without some character meetings – I wasn’t sure how Ryan would feel about this aspect of the trip, but he enjoyed it more than I ever could’ve hoped for! He even was a good sport with Tinkerbell – in his defense, he tried to move away so I could just meet her and get a picture, but she roped him in and had fun with it.
Also, a little PSA here – I ordered this purse from Amazon before we left, and it officially is my new favorite travel bag – I was able to pack it full of the necessities (sunscreen, deodorant, ibuprofen, band-aids, wallet, sunglasses, phone battery charger, etc.) and it literally never felt heavy. There’s even a side pocket for a water bottle.
Speaking of which, did you know that you can bring your own snacks and drinks into the parks? I didn’t either until Kristen shared that helpful information with me. This helped us out so much – while we like to indulge when on vacation, there’s only so much “park food” that you can take, you know? So everyday, I loaded up the bag with granola bars, peanut butter crackers, and baggies of Annie’s cheddar bunnies and snack mix (we bought everything before we left, packed plastic sandwich bags, and carried everything on the plane so we had snacks for travel, too). Not only did this help us save some money, it also was great to be able to have an easily accessible snack in case I started to get hangry while standing in line for a ride.
Not that we didn’t enjoy any of the food – for lunch this day, we did have a hot dog from the place that is right next to the Winnie the Pooh ride (in Fantasyland), and for dinner, we went to the Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland. The chicken sandwiches from here are out of this world (no pun intended) delicious – I highly recommend them if you’re looking for a healthier option than a hamburger.
We ended the night with the lights parade and Wishes fireworks show – a perfect end to a perfect first day!
We woke up to rain, storms and heavy winds Wednesday morning, so we knew we wouldn’t be heading out to the park first thing in the morning. Instead, we enjoyed ourselves at breakfast and then hunkered down in the hotel room with our eyes glued to the Weather Channel. I was a little nervous since we had lunch reservations at 1:30 p.m. (and if you are a no show, Disney charges you $10 per person), but luckily the weather decided to clear up by late morning and off to Epcot we went.
Fun fact: in the three previous times that I’ve been to Disney World and one time to Disneyland, I have met all the princesses except for Belle. So, you can imagine how excited I was that she was out before our lunch reservation and we made it into line before they closed it off. Yes, I’m 27 and I still love Disney princesses. #noshame
Then, it was off to eat! We dined in Italy at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria – the atmosphere was so neat, our service was exceptional, and the food was delish. We opted for a mushroom and sausage pizza and capped it off with sharing chocolate gelato. So, so good.
It continued to rain on and off throughout the whole day, but it really didn’t spoil anything for us. It’s easy enough to duck inside or under something at Epcot if the weather turns bad, and we just brought our hooded sweatshirts with us and sucked it up if we wanted to walk somewhere. Nothing was going to spoil this vacation for us – we were determined!
Soarin’ unfortunately is closed for refurbishment until summer, so I was pretty bummed about that since it’s one of my favorite rides. But, we did enjoy Spaceship Earth, and it stopped raining long enough for us to get onto the Test Track. That was right up Ryan’s alley since you get to design your own car and all its features.
While we had planned to stay until the fireworks, I unfortunately at this point could barely walk. The gym shoes that I packed gave out on me, which resulted in the arches of my feet being very badly bruised and swollen. So, we opted to head to Disney Springs so I could get some new gym shoes (thank goodness I found some affordable Nike’s!), and then we grabbed an appetizer and called it a night.
Stay tuned for part 2 that will be all about Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom!