Thursday, November 6, 2014

My First Trip To Disney World!

It has been a little over a week since I left the place "where dreams come true" and re-joined the real world. Returning to Nova Scotia in full-fledged fall was a shock to the system, when we left for Florida we had been experiencing unseasonably high temperatures for Canada's Ocean Playground in October. I'm talking a week

long stretch in that had hit 20 degrees every day. I don't think we have had a truly nice day here in the sunny Annapolis Valley since we returned... gross. 

Back to the magic... Our trip to Disney World was amazing! It was my first time visiting Florida and it turns out going at the end of October is the perfect time of year (for me anyways) to go. Everyday was sunny and in the high 20s or low 30s and I don't think I felt a drop of rain after stepping off the plane! 

The entire trip was fabulous; we spent everyday of our seven-day trip exploring the four Disney parks. There really is so much to do we were fully immersed and could have used an extra day. Our longest day was Saturday (the first day we were at the park) we started at the Animal Kingdom when it opened and finished the day off with "Extra Magic Hours" at the Magic Kingdom until about 2am. It was a long day, so we napped after lunch. Taking advantage of the extra hours was key, we felt like we accomplished so much in one day so we did not have to rush as much the rest of the trip. 

So much of the "magic" actually happened before we ever left Nova Scotia. If you are a seasoned Disney Adventurer you may not be a fan of the new "My Disney Experience" app and system for reserving "Fastpasses" and experiences but it was a huge help and a nice guiding hand for our trip. We never waited more than 30 minutes to get on a ride and that only happened once in the Magic Kingdom for the hottest ride at Disney, "The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train". To be fair 30 minutes is a very short wait to get on this red-hot ride; we experienced it at about 1am during the "Extra Magic Hours". The only unfortunate thing about the new "My Disney Experience" app and planning website is that things can be fully booked up (like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train) before you start planning your trip! This happened to us so we knew that it was do-or-die to get on the ride and we took our one shot when we could in the middle of the night. It turned out that as I was trolling the system the night before our last day of vacation someone else cancelled Fastpasses for the ride so we snagged them and got to ride New Fantasyland's crown jewel a second time. 

Speaking of New Fantasyland lets take a second and talk about the addition to the Magic Kingdom that is bringing the crowds back to Disney World to re-experience the magic. I am so happy that my first visit to Disney World was after the New Fantasyland expansion. We truly experienced New Fantasyland from hanging out in Gaston's Tavern to telling Belle a story as part of "Enchanted Tales With Belle" we did it all! I strongly recommend booking meal Fastpasses and pre-ordering food at "Be Our Guest". We only did quick-service dining in the Magic Kingdom and our meal in the Beast's castle was by far the best quick-service meal we had! (You can check out the Fastpass system for "Be Our Guest" here

Well now that the magical part of the trip has been discussed lets travel back to the adult world. As a twenty-five year old woman I would have to select the World Showcase as my favourite part of the trip. We were lucky enough to experience the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival while we visited, making the World Showcase even more interesting. With the added booths it truly made it feel like you were walking around the World. We had the majority of our table service meals at Epcot's World Showcase; it was like dining in a new country every night! For a look at some of the restaurants we visited you can check out my profile on Trip Advisor

We also enjoyed The Animal Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios. We felt as though The Animal Kingdom was a true half-day park for us but we also felt that it was home to the best roller coaster of any of the parks, Expedition Everest. Yes, we liked it more than the Mine Train! Hollywood Studios also had rides that we loved, but overall had an empty feeling... like there was a lot of space ready to be transformed. The "Rock 'n' Roller Coaster" and "Tower of Terror" were rides that we absolutely loved and had us coming back to Hollywood Studios day after day. We also had one of the BEST meals of our trip at Hollywood Studios at "Hollywood & Vine". Yes, this was a little questionable as the restaurant is the host of the Disney Junior character dining experience and we really did not care to see any of the characters because we are adults without children, but the menu looked amazing! The food selection did not disappoint. Though the kids rain around willy-nilly chasing the characters and mowing down chicken nuggets, I totally recommend this restaurant (and the lobster mac & cheese) to everyone! 

"Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party" was another highlight of the trip, getting to dress-up and run around the Magic Kingdom trick-or-treating made me feel like a giant child! World Showcase may have been my favourite adult part of the trip, but my inner-child loved the Magic Kingdom! We brought a massive haul of candy back to our hotel room and still had a full bag leftover when we arrived home. The photo opportunities were really neat with rarely seen Disney characters and the atmosphere in the park was spooky... It was busier than I expected on a Tuesday night with ten days to go before Halloween, next time I would try to go in late September to beat the crowds. 

Overall we had an awesome time at Disney World. It was the first time in a long time that I have skipped the gym and discarded my healthy eating habits. I was feeling a little sluggish towards the end of the trip after being fuelled by sugar and sweets for an entire week, but that is part of vacation, right? On a side note, everyday we took on average about 30,000 steps! Tracked with the brilliant "Breeze" app it was fun to keep track just how much we were walking and then figure out the distances. 

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