I can’t believe how fast this week has gone. It feels like we just hopped onto our plane to Orlando and we’re already back home…foot sores and all…
So, how was our trip?
In one word…AMAZING!
Due to Irma and the plane fiasco, it was about 6 30 pm when we finally arrived to Disney World. People often wonder why I don’t purchase park tickets on arrival or departure days and this is why. When I originally purchased our plane tickets, we were supposed to be getting into Orlando at 9 45 am…plenty of time for a park day. Maybe it was intuition, but you never know what will happen when you travel, so I leave those days open for Disney Springs, pool time, and just wandering around and enjoying my surroundings.
I checked into our resort on the My Disney Experience App, so we didn’t even need to go to the Lobby. I received a text (via the App) that the room was ready and an email with our room number and details. It was so easy and it was nice to just go right to our room and check it out. Disney even took care of getting our luggage at the airport and putting it in our room, so we didn’t even need to carry our luggage around the resort. Did I ever mention how much I love Disney? This is awesome.
When I found out that we were not going to get to Orlando at 9 45 am, like we originally planned, I had to cancel our reservation to T-Rex. It was a bummer because the boys really wanted to eat there. But, we were hungry so we hopped on the ferry to Disney Springs for dinner. We walked up to T-Rex at 8 pm, but thanks to my Landry’s Select Card, even though there was a 35 minute wait, we were seated in about 10 minutes. If you don’t have one, I highly suggest getting one.
Our first park was, of course, Magic Kingdom. Because of Irma, the lines were significantly shorter than usual. After talking to a cast member, she said that guests are getting a rare experience that they don’t normally get at Disney. Attendance is 30% less than a normal park day. You could totally tell the difference. We had all these fastpasses booked 60 days prior to our vacation and we were getting on all these rides without even needing them. 20 minute Peter Pan wait time?? Are you kidding me?? It was amazing! We’d use a fastpass here and there, but we didn’t feel like we needed to book a 4th, 5th, or 6th fastpass.
Because we had Park Hoppers and we had rode basically every ride in Magic Kingdom, we hopped on the Monorail to Epcot. Wait times were ridiculously low at Epcot, as well. We rode Soarin’ and Test Track right away because wait times were, at most, 20 minutes long. We got spoiled rotten!
We had plans to go back to Magic Kingdom to watch Happily Ever After later that night, but while we were riding the Monorail back to Magic Kingdom, a heavy rainstorm came out of nowhere. 🙁 Even with ponchos, we were soaked! And since it was thundering and lightning, we just knew that the Fireworks were cancelled. You can plan and plan and plan, but sometimes you just need to go with the flow.
We, again, got spoiled at Hollywood Studios! Wait times continued to be ridiculously low. We had a fastpass for Toy Story Mania and we ended up just going through Standby and saving the fastpass for something else because it was just a 10 minute wait. (PS…I beat the boys…again! 🙂 ) If you know me, you know I love my thrill rides, so while everyone else went to watch Indiana Jones, I walked to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. I was able to ride the coaster twice and Tower of Terror once in the time it took the rest of the family to watch Indiana Jones. I was in heaven and I loved knowing they were having fun and not sitting outside at the exit, waiting for me.
After a little rest and a swim, we headed back to Epcot for the evening. We walked right back onto Soarin’, drank a little pop at Club Cool (and watched unsuspecting victims try the Beverly), and walked around the shops. We felt like we got so much done because the lines were so short.
After getting spoiled the last few days, Animal Kingdom seemed packed. We actually had to utilize our fastpasses. The highlight of our day in Animal Kingdom was, of course, the new Pandora area (more to come later on). The food was great and the rides were amazing! My son also made use of his Expedition Everest Shirt! I love having someone else to ride these cRaZy rides with!
Because we missed Happily Ever After on Day 2, due to the rain, we made our way to the Magic Kingdom to watch the show. We had a great time and although we didn’t mean to eavesdrop, the couple next to us got engaged that very night. Magic Kingdom is truly a Magical Place.
We went right back to the Magic Kingdom the next day. This was the day that I had been looking forward to for a long time. Not only did we have reservations for lunch at Be Our Guest, it was also the night we attended Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Both were amazing!
The strawberry cupcake at Be Our Guest had to be my favorite treat I had all week (aside from Dole Whip, of course).
The Halloween Party was so much fun. We received so much candy and rode so many rides all night. If you ask my oldest son what his favorite part of the week was, he will tell you it’s when we got to ride Big Thunder twice in a row at the party. It was just a 5 minute wait, so why not? The longest wait time we had all night was the 25 minute wait for 7 Dwarfs Mine Train. Again, we were spoiled!
Since we had a late night, we actually slept in. I anticipated we would be tired, so when I was booking fastpasses, I didn’t make any before 11 am. I am so glad I did. We were a tired bunch. The boys are not used to being up that late. But, we did manage to get up and go back to Epcot to explore the showcase and go on a couple rides, including Figment and Frozen Ever After. The lines were a tad longer than they had been at the beginning of the week, but they still were below the average attendance. We definitely needed to use that Frozen Ever After Fastpass, though! The boys weren’t very excited to go on a Frozen-themed ride, but they knew that mom wanted to, so they were good sports about it. When it was over, they were so happy they went on it. They loved it!
We were still tired from the late night and alllll that walking, so we were only at Epcot for a few hours. We did go a few times that week, so we felt like we had done a lot already. We made one quick stop at Hollywood Studios to look for something we weren’t able to find (on Day 3) before we went back to the resort. I also rode Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror one last time. Once we made it back to the resort, we just hung out and went swimming. It was a nice calm way to end the vacation.
Day 7…time to leave
Did I mention that I love Disney? Our flight didn’t leave til 5 pm and our Magical Express didn’t leave until 2 20 pm, so we still had a good amount of time to explore Disney before we left. We brought all of our luggage to the Luggage Storage in front of the resort. They assured us that everything would get to the airport on time and we didn’t need to do anything else before we picked up our luggage in Houston. I love this perk! There’s so much to think about, so not having to worry about my luggage is great.
Since we had a little time to kill, we rode the bus to Disney Springs to walk around and for the boys to spend the last bit of their gift cards, which they happily did.
We had one last meal at Riverside before we had to be out front, waiting for the Magical Express. It was raining a little bit as we were leaving, so we made a joke that Mickey was so sad to see us go, that he was crying.
We had an amazing week. Low wait times made the week so magical and special. We were able to ride so many more rides and did not have to rely on our fastpass schedule to ride popular rides. This was also the first time we had Park Hopper. We weren’t sure if we would actually use it, but as you can see, we absolutely did!
What’s next for us?
Call us crazy, but we already have another trip planned for next year! The countdown begins again! I can’t wait to go “home”!