Here is a few notes that I have been thinking of that I just wanted to put in and make sure you guys know.
Pack snacks: Make sure you pack those snacks for the parks, especially if you have little ones. If you are waiting in line for a ride or a show, you do not want a toddler screaming because he is hungry. Also, you don’t want to use all your snack credits in one day. Mickey pretzels are a good thing to buy because they are big and two kiddos can share them, but you might want to pack things like multigrain bars, ritz bits, things like that. Also, a good thing to pack is little suckers so that your kids won’t want to buy $5 suckers when they see them in the park.
Water: You can pack water bottles to bring into the park. That will get heavy though. You can go to any concession stand and ask for a cup of ice water, and it is free. Keep in mind that bottles of water are $3 in the park, and on a hot day that will get costly. Also, the refillable mugs that you get in the resort are only to be used in the resort. If you want a Coke product in the park it will cost you a snack credit.
Early morning breakfast: I highly recommend getting an early morning breakfast at either the Crystal Palace, Cinderella’s Royal Table, or Be Our Guest. We had reservations for Be Our Guest at 9 AM and were able to get into the Magic Kingdom at 8:15, get our picture in front of Cinderella’s Castle and Walt and Mickey and stroll down Main Street before everyone else. It was so nice, especially because it was so crowded when we went. If you are not a morning or a breakfast person, or if you do not care about doing that, then never mind.Update: now that the new rope drop procedure has changed in MK (2017), everyone can get onto Main Street at 8 AM, but not into the lands until 9 AM.
Transportation: The buses take you to and from your resort and the parks and they run every 10-20 minutes. The only parks the monorail goes to are Epcot and the Magic Kingdom, and the only resorts are the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and the Contemporary.
Cell Phones: There are places to charge your phone in at the park, so pack your charger in your bag, and also bring ziptop bags for rides that can possibly get it wet or for when it rains
Okay, so let’s talk about those pesky old things. Well, you get your Magic Bands, that has all your information stored in them. It’s your room key (if you are staying on grounds), your dining plan, your ticket into the park, and your fastpass+! So, if you are staying on grounds you can start making fastpass+ reservations 60 days before you arrive. You get three reservations per person per day. Now, while at the parks, after you use your three reservations, you can find a cast member and add more reservations on, but that is not guaranteeing that you will be able to get which fastpass+ reservation you will want. Also, if you have the hopper pass and you want to park hop, you will only be able to make fastpass+ reservations for one park, not multiple, in one day. Yes, it may sound confusing, or maybe I am making it confusing. Sorry, if I am. It really isn’t once you figure out how to work it.
So, things you should fastpass+
Rollercoasters- if you are a ride person, figure out which rides you definitely want to ride, prioritize and set a time. You have exactly one hour until your fastpass+ runs out, so if your FP+ is for 12-1, you better be in line by 12:58 to swipe your band.
Shows- The Festival of the Lion King and the Finding Nemo shows at Animal Kingdom are breathtaking. Those are the only two shows that you might need FP+ for. I got them for those two and for Disney JR Live on stage, but really, depending on what time of year you go, you might not even need them. The theaters are so big and they pack everyone in so tightly, you can probably just go in the standby entrance and be fine.
Enchanted Tales with Belle – Super cute! You get to be part of the experience while meeting Belle herself. It is a small group of people and they try to get all of the kids involved, so try to get a FP+ if you can, and if you love Belle of course.
Fantasmic! – Hollywood Studios – oh you definitely cannot miss this! It is amazing. Fireworks on the water with Mickey and the villains and floats and boats. The lower you are the better you can see, so get those FP+
Character meet and greets – we only got one FP+ and were fine. The lines are usually at least 30 minutes long depending on what time of year you go, and how crowded the parks are, but the lines usually move pretty quickly. We got FP+ to meet the talking Mickey in Townsquare Theater in Magic Kingdom. It was definitely worth it. Keep in mind also, that if you want to meet a character and the line is long, you can ask what time they will come back after their break (they usually take about a 30-45 minute break) and then you can just come back and be one of the first people in line and meet them then if you REALLY want to.
The rides I would suggest would be Mine Train, Star Tours, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Everest, Frozen Ever After, and Kilimanjaro Safari.
I am sure, if you are anything like me, and if you are reading this blog, you are doing your research. But just in case, here are a few restaurants I am going to recommend to you. If anyone has anything to add, feel free! I know most people will know of Cinderella’s Royal Table (which I have yet to go to, and the food sounds amazing) and of course Be Our Guest, because who wouldn’t want to dine at a castle? But here are a few I am going to suggest.
Le Cellier – Canada Pavilion in the world showcase (Epcot) – my husband and I went here for our anniversary, the first night we arrived. The food was amazing! It is a steakhouse, and I am not a big meat eater, but oh my! Delicious! It does take two Table Service credits per person though, so if you are on the dining plan, you will use up four Table Service credits in one day, unless you share of course, just keep that in mind. I highly recommend the filet with mushroom risotto and the creme brulee for dessert!
Supercalifragalistic Breakfast at 1900 Park Fare – Grand Floridian – such an amazing character breakfast (buffet) with a lot of different things to eat. The best (in my opinion) eggs benedict ever! It’s a huge buffet with things for both kids and adults at such a beautiful hotel and you meet Tigger, Pooh, the Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins, and at the end you can meet Alice. We went for breakfast, but for dinner Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, and the Step Sisters are there. I am not sure what the dinner menu is like, but I am sure it is just as wonderful.
Cape May Cafe – Beach Club Resort – now this one is neat. I’m not sure if many people know about this one, so to me this is special. We took a bus to Hollywood Studios then walked 1.5 miles along the lake (which was really pretty) then to the beach club. We had again, a different breakfast with crepes, salads, eggs, Mickey waffles, and more. A huge buffet for both kids and adults. Minnie, Goofy, and Donald were in their surfing gear, and the kids got to walk around the restaurant and “surf” with Goofy. This one also had a bloody mary and mimosa bar for breakfast, hint hint, moms and dads 😉 and they also have dinner, but I am not sure if the characters are there for dinner. Oh, another great thing about this, you can enter Epcot (the world showcase actually) through the back with NO lines.. so what I would suggest is eating at Cape May for breakfast then walking to the world showcase via the boardwalk and having an Epcot day.
50’s Prime Time Cafe – Hollywood Studios – This is MY dad’s favorite. We went there ten years ago, and we had to go back this time. It’s an old fashioned diner where all the waiters and waitresses act like your moms/dads aunts/uncles. They call everyone cousin or call themselves aunt or uncle. It’s really cute. The portions are HUGE and you definitely get your money’s worth. They make sure you eat your food before you get your dessert too, even if that means FEEDING you!! That’s right. They fed my 4-year-old two bites of corn.. It’s okay, she didn’t mind. They make sure you use your manners, and keep your elbows off the table too! So, if you don’t think you can put up with that kind of thing, or don’t like human interaction, (because they WILL sit next to you and tell you their WHOLE life story) then this is not the restaurant for you!
Cinderella’s Royal Table – Magic Kingdom – character meal – I have yet to go there, so I do not have much to say about this. I am hoping to be able to get a reservation for my next trip. You have to get your reservations in right at your 180 days for this one because it books up QUICKLY and it is two table services per person per meal, but I think it may be worth it.
Hollywood and Vine – Hollywood Studios – character meal – This one is a hit and miss. We went for the kids. It was fun because it was my daughters’ first time, but my youngest (14 months) screamed at every character, my 4-year-old loved them all. The food was a buffet, Mickey waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon, hashbrown casserole, sausage, and grits. The characters were Doc McStuffins, Jake, Handy Manny, and Sofia. You can meet some of those characters outside in the animation courtyard throughout the day, but if you don’t want to wait in line, this is your best bet because the characters come to your table to see you, but the food wasn’t the best.. but it was for the kids. So, it really depends on what you want to do.
Be Our Guest – Magic Kingdom – We went for breakfast, so we didn’t get to see the Beast, nor did we get to eat the grey stuff (I hear it’s delicious 😉 ), but I could only get a breakfast reservation, so that is when we went. Now, keep in mind, breakfast and lunch is only a quick service, while dinner is a table service credit. When we arrived we dashed over to sit in the “West Wing” because we heard it was really cool to sit there (which it is). It is also really dark, and it thunders and the Beast growls.. So, we had to move because my 4-year-old was really scared. The whole place is beautiful though. There are three different areas to sit. It is a huge place! Now, keep in mind, it is different food, no chicken nuggets, my daughter got oatmeal for breakfast and ended up not eating it.. I guess it was different. So, before you make reservations make sure your whole family is going to eat something off the menu (it is not a buffet). That goes for any restaurant. That is why we ended up not making reservations at Akershus. I didn’t think my family would eat there, but then again, yours might. (BTW, if you eat at Be Our Guest for breakfast, try the croque madame. It’s delicious!) .. I love breakfast food, if you can’t tell.
Yak & Yeti – Animal Kingdom – OMG I can’t believe I almost forgot this one! Absolutely delicious. Try the potstickers. Just try everything. It’s so good. I mean you have to like Asian food I guess. The pineapple upside down cake for dessert, that is a must!
The Plaza – Magic Kingdom – Now, I haven’t eaten here, but I have read about it and it looks delicious. I have added it to my list for my next visit.
Tiffins – Animal Kingdom – This is another one I have yet to try, but I hear it is delicious!
Tusker House Restaurant – Animal Kingdom – Is there a pattern going on here? Animal Kingdom is stepping up it’s game here. I haven’t tried this one either. It is a character meal, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food looks fantastic, as well as the atmosphere.
If anyone has anything to add, leave it in the comments!! 🙂
I started planning our magical vacation 9 months in advance (I was just a little bit excited). I booked our rooms and dining plan with a travel agent, but after doing my research, I really planned everything else on my own. So, let’s start.
We stayed at the Pop Century Resort, which is a value resort, but it is not as cheap as the All Star resorts. The reason I picked Pop Century is because I heard the buses go straight to the resort and your destination, so if you have a cranky toddler on your lap at 9:00 at night, you will not want to make three other stops before you get to your resort.
Dining Plan: Ohhh the Dining Plan. This is something you will definitely want to do your research on. And I could do a whole blog post about this, but I will not, because I might just confuse some people even more, or you may not be confused at all.. It may just be me. We chose the Disney Dining Plan. One quick service, one table service, and two snacks per person per day. Now, if you do not eat them all in one day, they roll over into the next day, and you can use them until your trip is over. At first I did not want to eat much because I thought that I was going to run out of food credits, but actually, it is a lot of food, and I was sharing with my 14-month-old.
Get those dining reservations!!!! Make sure you get your dining reservations in! You have 180 days before your WDW vacation to make your dining reservations, and you better make them. I was so upset, because I thought it was 120 days, for some reason and missed out on dinner at Be Our Guest and breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table. It is okay though, because Be Our Guest also has lunch and breakfast which are quick service credits while dinner is a table service credit, but Beast only comes out at dinner. But I digress.. Get those reservations in in 180 days if you want to eat at certain restaurants, or you will definitely miss out!!
FastPass+: another thing to get in right on time. If you are staying on the grounds, you can make your reservations 60 days before you arrive. I got on the computer at 5 AM to make the fastpass+ reservations, and I am definitely glad I did. It was very crowded, and some rides had over 110 minute waits. Splash mountain had 140 minute wait even if you had a fastpass+! It was incredible! My daughter and husband stood in line for the 7 Dwarf’s Mine Train for 75 minutes (without a FP+). That was a mom fail there. I did not think she would want to ride that ride, so I did not get one for that. (She is only 4, I thought she would be scared, but she loved it!)
Hi friends! This blog is all about our wonderful journey to Disney World and beyond! Have you ever heard of the term Disney life, happy wife? Well, that about sums up my life! I have not been to Disney World in ten years, and my husband and I are raising our two beautiful daughters to be our own little princesses. So, now as I sit here typing to you, I will fill you in on not only our experiences in Disney World, but planning tips, what Disney has coming up, and much much more! There are a lot of fun things in store for you, and hopefully a lot of questions I can answer as well!