I am not sure if it is because of my training for the Disney Princess Half Marathon (more on that later) or that I just love Disney, but Disney World has been on my mind a lot lately. So I thought I would write about my first time there.
After spontaneously booking my first cruise with my friend Janna, I was told there was one stipulation. We would have to make a small side trip to Orlando, more specifically, Disney World, before departing from Fort Lauderdale. “Oh darn, do we have tooo?” 😛 This would be a very small side trip as we only allocated an extra 2.5 half days to do it. Luckily I was going with a total Disney nerd and and ex-cast member, (check out her blog Nerdy Disney Traveller to hear some great insider stories and tips!). So we came up with an epic itinerary that would get us through the main four parks, along with some extras like high tea, shopping and nice dinners. To best represent this little side stop, I would like to present it in a bit of a hectic, random note/itinerary form, I hope you enjoy. Without further ado, here is how my 2.5 Days around Disney World went…
After taking a red eye flight from Calgary, we arrived in Orlando at 11am, got lost in the airport, eventually found our way to the Magical Express Bus pick up area, only to discover a MASSIVE line up. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that we were arriving during their Marathon weekend…oh well what are you going to do? We jumped in line and then took turns to refresh/change in the washroom. Coming from a HUGE Calgary winter snowstorm to the Florida humidity, required a wardrobe change to say the least.
For this stay, we chose the All Star Music Resort. We planned on being in the room solely to catch some zzz’s so this budget resort worked well for us. And to be honest? It did not feel “budgety” in the least to me. You know how much I love hotels by now, so I can assure you this is a great place to stay (I cant speak for all the All Star Resorts but I am assuming they follow the same quality). Beds were comfy, rooms were spacious, the pool was lovely and provided a great late late night rest stop for our tired feeties on the way back to the room. And the food court served up some good breakfast bagels as well as a stand in dinner after we made a big mistake of not making a reservation for dinner one night. Anyway I digress…
- Check in at hotel by 1pm
- Refresh, wander around hotel, take bus to Grand Floridian
- Walk along path in HEELS to find out its a dead end. Walk back and take tram to Grand Floridian.
- Wander around beautiful Grand Floridian, dream of staying there.
- Get seated for tea.
- Enjoy a delicious high tea, and relish in the best tea snacks ever! A pastry swan anyone?
- Debate over purchasing the tea that you just enjoyed, decide not to, regret it later.
- Change out of heels.
- Make way to Downtown Disney.
- Be amazed and overwhelmed at the shopping – think to yourself how will I ever afford everything I want?
- Realize you can’t buy EVERYTHING so pick out all the must haves and rank in order of importance to purchase.
- Go to a delicious seafood dinner at Fulton’s Crab House on a BOAT.
- Continue to shop like crazy and learn serious visa restraint.
- Make your way back to the hotel. arms loaded with bags, to get a good nights rest for the intense day ahead.
- Get up at 6am. Realize you are in DISNEYWORLD.
- Get ready, ensure Minnie Ears are in place, sunscreen is on and camera is ready to go.
- Grab a bagel and get rolling!
- Arrive at Hollywood Studios before opening for EMH, anxiously wait in front of the gate.
- Go through the gate and laugh hilariously as you see the Dads sprinting to Toy Story Mania with their strollers.
- Flirt with cast member at Rock n Roller Coaster because he compliments your Minnie Ears. Ride Rocking Roller Coaster …alone. Vow to NEVER ride that again (will be breaking said vow in February but wont be alone this time!).
- Go on Tower of Terror, hold a strangers hand when the drops start because you don’t think you will live through it. Live through it.
- Have a serious debate over purchasing a pair of Yoda Ear Muffs but decide against, regret it later. Get dragged onto Star Tours by your nerdy friend, only to realize that it is SO MUCH FUN. Regret not going on it again when you find out that each ride is a different story.
- Stop for a delicious lunch in the Sci-Fi Cafe and enjoy your first Cherry Cola of the trip. Feel sad that Canada stopped carrying it. Hear some fun stories from friend and old co worker we met up with for lunch.
- Get a ride over to Epcot-proceed to fall asleep in backseat for 20 minutes to feel refreshed.
- Arrive in Epcot-spend the next 9 hours enjoying the rides and the quirky world show case.
- Berate friend after she debates buying make up from the France Pavilion that she had not stopped talking about FOR MONTHS before the trip. Finally convince her to just buy it.
- Stop for multiple treats and refreshments to rejuvenate yourself.
- Wander around the boardwalk area to realize that NO WHERE has any dinner availability. Go to Downtown Disney to discover the same issue. Then after realizing its either get food or tear each others heads off, go back to the hotel for simple but nice pasta dish.
- Finish the night off with a relaxing foot dip in the pool.
- Get up at 6am. Realize you are STILL IN DISNEYWORLD. But that you are leaving the next day 😦 Vow to make the most of it!
- Get out of bed, and realize your feet are not happy with the situation.
- Walk through the pool after getting ready, hoping this well make your feet feel better.
- Grab a bagel and get rolling!
- Arrive at Animal Kingdom just as the marathon is finishing its section there, cheer on all the people as if you know them and them proceed to the gates.
- Realize that they are letting you in EXTRA early and pat yourself on the back for being so ahead of the game.
- Go on safari, have a giraffe walk up up to the vehicle and be amazed.
- Get off safari and wander around Animal Kingdom, enjoying all the cultural music.
- Go on another roller coaster by yourself and scream a stranger’s ear off.
- Get tricked onto the seat that gets attacked by a Dinosaur.
- Attempt to find some kind of lion king souvenir and fail. Really Disney?! Oh well.
- Move onto the one park you have been waiting for the most. MAGIC KINGDOM.
- Arrive just in time for a hot dog and to watch a show with the princesses. ❤
- Pull out itinerary list and decide how to best tackle this in the next 12 hours.
- Spend the next 12 hours going on every ride on the list.
- Be awe struck at the new Fantasyland, vowing to come back as soon as the new roller coaster opened (haha we are doing it!).
- Watch friend become a little giggling blushing fan girl as she meets Gaston.
- Have various delicious treats all over.
- Ride Pirates of the Caribbean a million times because it is your favorite.
- Watch a parade with all the princesses. ❤
- Get sprinkled with fairy dust.
- Eat the best taco salad in the world.
- Wish you could dress up just like a princess.
- Order delicious ice cream and magically get an epic viewing spot for Wishes.
- Realize how exhausted you are and head back to the hotel.
- Have one last relaxing foot dip in the pool.
- Dream Disney Dreams.
And that is a wrap. Are you as exhausted as I was? It was a complete whirlwind 2.5 days, and for the first few months after a total blur. But I loved it. It was insanely busy, and yes we did work off an itinerary that we took time refining – maybe that is a bit eccentric and not for everyone, but we managed to do every ride and see every show that we wanted in that time frame so why not? Just a note though, my feet hurt so much after this. I could not stress enough the importance of proper shoes, I had thin Walmart brand flip fops = ouch. Regardless of taking it slow or rushing around, proper shoes are a must. But it was an amazing first time at Disney World. I would never go back with just two days of course, and am so excited to be spending almost ten days there in February.
Disney World, and Disneyland, are one of the rare places that I visit that I feel utterly happy and relaxed. With or without an itinerary (because I can and have done both) I enjoy every second and quite literally leave my cares at the gate. It is all part of the magic of being the happiest place on earth.