Day 1: Arrival
As many of you already know, I will take any chance to go to Disney. This trip was extra special because I got to go with my 3 best friends and take one of their girls for the first time. There is not much I love more than getting to share someones first time at Disney with them. After many visits I have gotten the planning down to a pretty perfect science, so here we go!
We flew in on a Friday morning, and immediately hit the ground running. We were not going to waste any time. The first thing we did was head to Epcot for dinner (lunch + dinner). Our reservation was at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at 3 to dine with princess’ including Belle, Ariel and Sleeping Beauty. Then it was off to explore each of the countries, and may have made more than one pitstop in Mexico for rainbow margaritas. After walking around and riding a few rides, we sent the littles back to the hotel for some rest. The rest of us then headed to Hollywood Studios to take advantage of extra magic hours.
Extra Magic hours are the best time to visit the parks because they are only open to guests staying on Disney property. This mean shorter lines and earlier/ later hours depending on the park. We were able to ride Tower of Terror 3 times and Rockin Roller Coaster twice within an hour and a half. When the park closed we headed back to get some sleep before our first full day of park hopping.
- Frozen Ever After
- Hollywood Studios
- Tower of Terror
Another addition I tell everyone to add to their tickets is the park hopper. It is well worth it to be able to visit multiple parks a day. When I’m planning a trip I always pick a park to be our main stop for the day, but most of them can be covered within a half day giving you plenty of time to pop back over to one of your other favorites.
Our second day started with Breakfast at the Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom. This is a character meal with Winnie the Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Woods. This is a great one to start the day with because if the park is not having extra magic hours, it gets you into MK before the gates open.
Magic Kingdom is the only park I always recommend dedicating a full day too. It is the largest out of all 4 of the parks and normally has the longest lines. In addition to all of the rides, there are numerous parades and shows throughout the day that you will want to see including the Festival of Fantasy Parade, Mickeys Royal Friendship Fare, and the Happily Ever After Firework show. If you get to the park early and start to run out, go back to the hotel, rest and come back for the firework show. Its the highlight of Disney.
- Magic Kingdom
- Peter Pans Flight
- Space Mountain
- Magic Kingdom
Although we weren’t spending the day in Magic Kingdom, Sunday was the only day we could get a reservation at Cinderella’s castle so we started with breakfast there. Our reservation wasn’t until around 9 so we got to the park at 8 for Extra Magic hours to take a quick ride on Space Mountain. Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table is a must for all ages. It is such a special experience dining with all of the princesses in the iconic centerpiece of Magic Kingdom.
After our fancy brekky we headed over to Animal Kingdom. Our first stop was the safari ride. This is always a great one for adults and kids. Hop on a rugged safari vehicle and set out on the Harambe Wildlife Reserve to see 34 species. This is a fastpass must, as the wait time is normally an hour +.
Something new I learned on this trip was the rider swap. This allows the adults to take turns waiting with a young child or other guest unable to ride, without having to wait in line again. All you have to do is speak to the attendant near the ride and they will scan your magic bands to give you the fastness tickets. For example, we used this for Everest since neither of the girls were big enough to ride. Four of us used our regular fast passes to ride once and then 2 of us used the rider swap passes to go again. This is a great way for the adults in your party to be able to enjoy the rides they love too!
We finished up our day in Animal Kingdom with a character meal at Tusker House. After we had seen Safari Donald and all of his friends, it was off to the next park, Hollywood Studios. We got really lucky and were able to get 3 new fast passes all for great rides. The best part was getting to see the new Toy Story Land. Disney continues to amaze me with their outrageous creativity in how they bring all of these things to life. It really feels like you are in Andy’s bedroom with the monkeys in a barrel and the little aliens everywhere. During the last hour of being open we were able to ride the new Slinky Dog dash, tower of terror and Rock’n Rollercoaster on repeat until the park closed.
- Animal Kingdom
- Kilamanjaro Safari
- Expedition Everest
- Festival of the Lion King
- Hollywood Studios
- Toy Story Mania
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Rock’n Roller coaster
Our last breakfast was one of my most favorite’s and is my must have every time I go, Ohana’s. This is a character breakfast with Lilo & Stitch with endless waffles. Need I say more? After filling up on waffles we made one last visit to Magic Kingdom. We rode space mountain, and then headed to the airport. It was a great long weekend spent with the best of friends making such special memories. The inaugural annual Disney trip was one for the books.