Happy Memorial Day Monday! I’ve been away for a bit facing some unexpected challenges that life decided to throw my way. I’ll share more soon, but right now all I can think about is getting ready for summer and enjoying time away with my family! Summer planning is always fun, and awhile back we were able to take a little “pre-summer break” vacay and escape to sunny Florida! One of my favorite places to enjoy for a short getaway is Disney World. It’s one of my earliest travel memories and to this very day, I cannot get enough of the excitement I feel from planning a visit and getting up extra early just to get there. I remember not being able to wait to take my son when he was born. We’ve been several times now, and yet there is always something new to discover and enjoy when we arrive. (P.S. If you’re trying to figure out the best time to go during the year, check out this “crowd calendar“)
Coincidently, this trip to Disney also happened to fall on Mr. E’s birthday, and I think I was more excited than he was. Ha! It was a last minute trip (reducing our hotel options), and while we had a place to stay with family, we booked a one night stay at Disney’s Pop Century Resort. The basic rooms are relatively small, but were perfect enough for a one night stay. And one of the bonuses of staying on the property was the extra two hours of Disney magic we got to enjoy as part of their weekly Magic Hours for guests of any of the Disney properties. (Just do some research as to which park-Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios- are holding the extra hours in advance as they change weekly.)
- 180 Days – That’s how early in advance you should (and can!) book a breakfast, lunch or dinner at any of the upscale places to eat on the property (Cinderella’s Castle, Be Our Guest,and one of the best places to watch the fireworks, Wishes Dessert Party) And if you book breakfast at Cinderella’s Castle, you might even get in to the park earlier than everyone else!
- Magic Bands – The key to pretty much everything! It’s your hotel room key, your wallet (holds credit card info), your tickets to enter the park, your FastPass (get the APP!) to 3 rides in advance BEFORE arriving, your pictures with all the characters…even your meal plan. It’s kept secure and has a unique ID chip that you use your thumbprint to identify you to the band. You can order these ahead of time and get them personalized with your name as well!
- Early Birds get the worms – Yup! If you’re only going to spend a day at Magic Kingdom (we did this time around), you might as well plan to sacrifice the early wake up to enjoy the character greetings and pictures that look like you’re the only ones at the happiest place on Earth!
- Ways to Save – Your everyday dollar store is a great place for some of the basic things you should take in with you into the parks at Disney so you don’t have to worry about spending for the unexpected while you’re there.
- Ponchos for Florida’s intermittent rain showers
- Glow in the dark glow sticks/bracelets so you don’t feel guilty when the overpriced glowing sparkly cart comes around right before Electric Parade.
- Have the kids were their swim shorts (for whatever reason you can possibly think of!)
- Make a trail mix ahead of time and pack into small snack baggies.
- Have Fun – You might not make it to every ride you want in just one day, but here are a few options for making it to as many as possible, and which we think (as my 6 year old suggests) are the best in order (in other words, get FastPass for the first 3):
- Mining Train (recently newer rollercoaster)
- Peter Pan’s Flight (colorful, glow in the dark)
- Splash Mountain (this is where you use your ponchos.)
- Thunder Mountain (fake TNT!-he wrote this as a precaution to all my readers)
Wishing you a wonderful Memorial Day! I’m happy to be back sharing with you! Thank you so much for reading and sticking with me!
What are some of your top Disney tips for traveling to Disney World or Disneyland?