Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Vacation Recap: Walt Disney World

As I promised yesterday in my race recap, here is everything else we did in the Orlando portion of our trip:
After arriving on Friday and visiting the race expo, we headed to my favorite: Magic Kingdom.

Buzz Lightyear - our first ride!

The new Fantasyland!

New castles: Ariel and Rapunzel

He was such a sport: wearing our AWESOME "engaged buttons" and going on every ride [my parents, too!!]!

On Saturday, in between the Jingle Jungle 5k and half marathon, we went to Animal Kingdom.

Does anyone know about the crazy vulture problem in Disney World?! They were EVERYWHERE!!

Mike's FAVORITE!!! The bird show!


After sleeping in nice and late on Sunday [after getting back from the race at 3 am], we spent the late morning at MGM [yes, I will always call it that!!] and the afternoon at Blizzard Beach.
 Awesome rides!

They gave us a free cookie for being engaged!


Our last day in Disney World was Monday.  We got up early to visit Epcot, hitting all the rides and then the International Food and Wine festival in the World Showcase.  

Beer and food-ing around the countries: ravioli from Italy, beers from Germany, and Creme Brulee from France!

Heaven = Werther's caramel shop in Germany


We decided we hadn't had enough Disney by the time we were done with the festival, so we hopped the Monorail to Magic Kingdom and used our Park Hopper passes to get in a few last minute rides.


The whole trip was definitely a lot of fun, but if you are planning a Disney trip in the near future, there are a few things you should definitely know:

1. Take your Magic Bands seriously.  Spend the time to go online and set them up with FastPass+.  If you wait until you get to the park, you'll miss out on a lot of filled rides.
2. Get the Disney World Interactive app for your phone.  You can change FastPass+ times through this, and it helps just simply remember your plans since there aren't the paper FastPasses anymore with this system.
3. Don't throw away your room keys or park tickets.  For one, sometimes the Magic Bands don't work, but more importantly, if you bring them to the park with you, you can use them to get additional FastPasses.  Because I booked our room and park tickets separately, I had hard copy room keys AND park tickets.  We discovered on Monday that in addition to getting the FastPass+ with the Magic Bands, we could use the park tickets AND room keys to get 2 additional FastPasses per person.  These two worked independently, so, for example, we got a FastPasses to Jungle Cruise at 3:30 with our park tickets, Big Thunder Mountain for 4:05 with our room keys, then walked over to Splash Mountain and got a FP for 3:25 with my PARENTS' room keys [who weren't even at the park with us].  I couldn't double dip on the same card, but since my parents chose not to join us for Magic Kingdom Part 2 on Monday, Mike and I got FastPasses to a TON of rides after we had used all of our FastPass+ rides in Epcot that morning.  I expect that Disney will change this system eventually, and remove the paper FastPass kiosks soon, but if you have a trip in the near future, definitely give this one a try!


Meghan said...

This post makes me want to bring Layla to Disney World! I have always loved that place growing up, and I cannot wait to return with my own kids:) And, is there no longer MGM??? What is it now??? Looks like you had a wonderful time!

Vett Vandiver said...

this is so cool!! looks like you enjoyed it :)

Heather @ From Here to There said...

I'm just not a big fan of the magic bands... and the fact that you can get fast passes in advance... I think in the end, all the fast passes will end up taken and then half of those people will end up not even using them because they forgot that they put them on their band or they just did it to do it and then decided they didn't really want to go and then it's just a lost fast pass. I liked the thrill of getting to the fast pass station and getting your fast pass. I'm always the last to jump on board a good idea though lol, maybe that's what I'm doing here. Tell Mike that I really LOVE the bird show too. We didn't go this time around, but it's really really neat! I really want to see the new Fantasyland... (it's hard to call it that because we have an "adult store" close by called fantasyland haha), but I'm sure it's awesome!

Christine said...

I seriously want to go to Disney like right now. Right now. Looks like you had fun - I love the pictures :) And I can't wait to see New Fantasyland in person, I want to eat at the Be Our Guest restaurant so badly!

Jen said...

I absolutely love all your pictures. We have never been to Disney World but Disneyland will always be my favorite place in the world. I always get teary eyed when I walk in because I have so many memories of being there with my Mom.

Kate @ Daffodils said...

Looks like so much fun. I love the new castles! Im glad you got so many perks for your engagements!

Jen Mc said...

Oh fun! Thanks for sharing the fun!
We are planning on going to WDW next year...

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