So, this blog post is coming to you a little late, only because I didn’t know if I wanted to write one for this trip or not. I wrote a post about a trip to Walt Disney World already on this blog and I didn’t want to repeat myself too much. Eventually (as in right now), I decided what the heck, if you want to read it you read it, if not, no ones forcing you, right? haha.
Anyway, so my birthday (which is also my son’s birthday) just passed on November 6th. One of our presents for our birthday was a surprise trip to Disney World. When I saw the Magic Bands in the mail I got so excited and felt like a kid again! For those of you who don’t know what Magic Bands are, you seriously disappoint me. Just kidding, or am I? Anyway, Magic Bands are basically your key to Disney World. Magic Bands are your room keys, your form of payment, your tickets into the park, your fast pass, and how you get on the Magical Express (transportation from airport to hotel). Magic Bands provide so much convenience because you only have to worry about carrying around one thing. Enough about Magic Bands though, am I right?
So we arrived into the Orlando airport, on our birthday and made our way downstairs to hop on the Magical Express. Once we were on the bus it was about a 35 minute ride to the hotel. We arrived at the hotel before check in time, but we were still able to check in and opt for a text message when our room was ready. Since the Magic Bands are our room keys we didn’t have to stop back at the front desk, just go straight to our room once it was ready. We left our bags with the bellhop and made our way to the first park, Animal Kingdom.
When first walking in to Animal Kingdom it really gives off a “Zoo” vibe, but once you break through you realize there is a lot more to offer. In my opinion Animal Kingdom is one of the parks that is best if you have a little kid (young toddler/baby). There are a lot of “rides” that don’t have height requirements also there are a lot of shows to keep the kids entertained. If they are not happy with that Animal Kingdom also has many animal enclosures where children could look at the animals (just like a zoo), and in Rafiki’s Planet Watch they could even touch the goats. If you’re traveling to Disney World with a young child and don’t have time to go to all 4 parks I would definitely recommend Animal Kingdom as one you got to do.
(Old picture because I didn’t get one of this ball this trip
Day number 2, Epcot. Epcot is 100% an adult park. Of course the kids can stay entertained in Epcot, each country has an “entertainment” team that puts on a show that gives you an inside look into the country, this entertains them for a while. But, in my honest opinion, adults have 100 times more fun in Epcot than the kids do. You walk around the “World Showcase” in Epcot and buy dishes that are popular, and even alcohol from that country. When we visited Epcot they were holding the International Food and Wine Festival, which was amazing. They added booths from all the countries in the World Showcase, and even added booths from some countries that weren’t in the World Showcase. Each booth had a couple of popular dishes (sample size), then a couple of popular beverages from that specific country. It was a great way to walk around and just sample all the good eats the world has to offer. There was also a lot more going on in the Food and Wine Festival that I didn’t partake in, but you can learn more about it by clicking here. Outside of the World Showcase Epcot also offers a couple of rides and “meet and greets”. My son and I got a fast pass to meet Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. Baymax, Joy, and Sadness were also available for meet and greets, but no fast pass was available. Epcot also offers some rides, they have the Land, the Sea, and Future world. At the Land they have Soarin’ (hang glider ride) and Living with the Land (slow boat tour). At the Sea they have The Seas with Nemo and Friends (slow ride) and also a small “aquarium”. Future world offers, Fast Track, Mission Space, and Spaceship Earth. So of course children will be entertained at Epcot, but I definitely think this park appeals more to the adults.
Day number 3, Magic Kingdom. Now of course, in my book, no park beats Magic Kingdom. In Magic Kingdom you truly feel the magic and the kid in you comes alive. I couldn’t help but smile while I was surrounded by smiles, Disney Characters, Cinderellas Castle, and more. This was the first time I walked into Magic Kingdom and a crane wasn’t in my view of the castle, but unfortunately Movie Cameras were all over the place. Disney Channel was shooting their “Christmas Special”, this is where the artists sing songs live in front of Cinderella’s castle, for Disney Channel to air in the month of December. So I wasn’t able to get any usable shots of the castle, also it was impossible to get up close to the castle because there was a sea of people swarming the castle to be on TV (as the audience). First ride we went on was The People Mover. This is basically a decent speed car that brings you through a couple of the rides in Tomorrow Land. The line could get pretty long for this ride but it always moves very fast, so don’t let the line discourage you. The other rides we went on were Space Mountain, Its a Small World, The Haunted Mansion, The Merry-go-round, Buzz Light-year, and probably a couple more I can’t remember off the top of my head. Once 830pm came around we made our way towards the castle to try to grab a good view of the fireworks. The fireworks always get to me, I seem to get a little teary eyed every time I watch them, without fail. I feel the fireworks bring a feeling of nostalgia and that’s what gets every adult a little emotional as they watch the beautiful display.
Day number 4, Hollywood Studios. So I didn’t want to go to Hollywood Studios because there’s not too much to do for young children, but of course, Disney now owns Star Wars and Star Wars has completely taken over Hollywood Studios so we had to go. Hollywood Studios has a Star Wars march which is actually really cool. The Storm Troopers march up Hollywood studios and even I got goosebumps as they made their way through the crowd. Once they complete their march they put on a little show on the stage in the center of the park. Its really cool, if you go to Hollywood Studios make sure to watch it. After that we did a Disney Junior Live show, which is basically a puppet show of the most popular cartoons on Disney Junior, and it does a good job of getting the kids involved. My son absolutely loved it, he was in shock that his favorite Disney Characters were right in front of him doing their show. After Hollywood Studios closed, we took the boat over to the Disney Boardwalk, which is a cute small boardwalk with some nice restaurants, family bikes, and they even had a Disney Movie playing on the lawn (with blankets out for people to sit on).
Now that I told you about all the parks, I guess I should mention where I stayed, haha. I actually stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside resort. Port Orleans Riverside is considered one of Disney’s moderate resorts (meaning its not too pricey, but its also not one of their “value” resorts). I’ve stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside Result 6 times now and I have never had a bad experience. I’ve also stayed at the Coronado Springs resort once and it was pretty similar to Port Orleans Riverside. If you are on more of a budget they have “value” resorts, and if you want something a little more fancy they have “deluxe” resorts.
If going to Disney World I always recommend to stay at a Disney Resort, its 100x more convenient. You have the Magical Express (transportation from airport to resort, round-trip), also there’s transportation from the resort to each Disney park (including Disney Springs and water parks), you can pay for everything with your Magic Band (no worries about carrying around credit cards), and you can do the dining plan if you choose (which gives your vacation more of an all inclusive feel).
All in all my birthday vacation was an A+. Definitely the best birthday present ever.
If you’re going to Disney for the first time, or just have any questions about Disney World in general leave me your question on a comment below and I’ll answer it in no time. Also if you have some tips or tricks to share with my readers leave that below also, I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.
Until Next Time