There truly is something magical and wonderful when it comes to the world of Disney. It has been a little over 20 years since my last visit to the house of mouse, Although, much has changed the excitement and experience was still new.
Around this time last year I was on a international trip to Paris and London with a group of work friends. This year we may not have traveled as far, but we still made new memories on yet another successful annual vacation. Our planning began in January and after many cities and destinations near and far were thrown in to the mix, Disney was the winner for this years group trip. This is one trip that I had been hoping would happen for quite some time.
Day One: Animal Kingdom
We started our adventure off in Animal Kingdom. Well, at least part of our group did. Some other split off to spend more time at Universal Studios. Animal Kingdom was being built during my first trip to Orlando so it was the only park I hadn’t experienced quite yet.
My favorite ride was the Expedition Everest ride, so much so that I rode it twice and would have gone again and again had I not been the only rider from our group that went. This is definitely a ride you will want to consider getting in the single rider line or using a fast pass on since it is one of the more popular attractions in the park.
One thing that is a must while at Animal Kingdom is getting a fast pass or getting in line for the safari tour. The safari tour really immersed you into different homes of various animals that roam freely while you drive through. A few of the animals you can see are elephants, cheetahs, rhinos and giraffes.
My favorite area of the park is a toss up between Africa and Asia – but no matter where you are there are Mickey pretzels and Dole whip available – so no worries on missing out on your favorite Disney treats. I strongly recommend the Dole whip float. Don’t let the long lines for these sweet treats or even the restaurants fool you, take advantage of the Disney mobile app and order your food ahead of time for mobile pick up.
Day Two: Magic Kingdom
Our second day of Disney-ing was spent at Magic Kingdom, which is the largest and most popular of the Disney parks.
My favorite rides from this park were Pirates of the Carribean, Splash Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
A hidden gem for history buffs is the Hall of Presidents exhibit. It’s a short informative film featuring all of the United States president from George Washington to current day. All of the presidents appear on stage together in animatronic form. I’m not extremely into politics/history but still found it to be a very cool experience (even if I did take a short nap, oops!).
The only thing that I wish that we could have been able to do while at Magic Kingdom was obtaining a reservation to the Be Our Guest restaurant. This is pretty difficult to do as it books up immediately. If you are a resort guest you can book 60 days in advance of your trip, 30 days if you are a non-resort staying guest. This is also the same rule for booking fast passes.
Since this is one of the larger parks, you should plan on being there for at least a full day if not splitting it between two days.
Day Three: EPCOT
Oh, EPCOT…Everyone Comes Out Tired. This was our third day of vacation and third day of non-stop all day walking.
We started our adventure out in the World Showcase in Canada and ended in Mexico. Some of my favorite areas included United Kingdom and France. A few of our group that went on our trip there last year were with us this year so we felt like we got to experience a small bit of it again a year later. I also really enjoyed the Japan and China pavillions. I love pandas and happy cat’s, so of course I was living my best life in these two pavillions.
My favorite ride was the Frozen: Ever After ride. Definitely recommend and strongly suggest booking your fast passes for it as soon as you book your trip. It is located in the Norway Pavillion of the World Showcase.
I am not much of a beer drinker so the Drink Around The World Challenge was not really my forte, however, dessert around the world? That’s a challenge I can get behind. Well, at least I tried. I tried some ice cream from Italy and the churros from Mexico – both were great choices but way to filling to be able to try all of the wonderful desserts from around the world.
Day Four: Disney’s Hollywood Studios
This was our final day of Disney parks. Disney’s Hollywood park is smaller like Epcot or Animal Kingdom but it definitely still is a ton of fun. You won’t need to plan for a full day here. It is home to some of my favorite rides from the entire trip like Slinky Dog Dash (a fast pass must!), Tower of Terror and Aerosmith’s Rockin’ Roller Coaster.
Tower of Terror was my favorite ride during my first trip to Disney many years ago and it is still one of my favorite rides.
Slinky Dog Dash Coaster had a lengthy wait since we weren’t able to secure fast passes, but I felt that it was worth it. Since it its brand new, it is a very smooth coaster. It has a couple launches and turns that even the biggest of thrill coaster lovers will still enjoy, and at one point of the ride you can get a great view of the new Star Wars area.
They were currently building the new Star Wars area but the few things that they had open and available were great experiences. You can definitely feel the excitement of the upcoming opening.
These four days went by really quick but it was a really great time and I am anxiously awaiting my next trip back. The really is something to be said about the magic of Disney. No detail was left unnoticed. The cleanliness of the parks can’t be matched. The efficiency of getting people on rides (trying to coordinate stand by, single riders AND fast pass users) is on point. The staff was very accommodating – they helped some of our non-fast pass riders in our group get on rides with us that had fast passes.
I can’t recommend a trip to Disney enough. The House of Mouse will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you, Disney, for a wonderful trip. Until next time…
Even though we spent four days at Disney World, our trip wasn’t over. We still have two more days of vacation to cover… Coming Soon: Universal Studios recap. Subscribe to my blog via the column to the left so you don’t miss out!