Until he met me, my husband had never been to a Disney Park, and honestly had little interest in ever visiting. THE HORROR!!! It became my personal mission to show him how fun Disney could be for grownups (we don’t have children.) We recently visited Walt Disney World in Florida, and this was our magical day!
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As we were sitting on the couch one February evening, my husband shocked me by suggesting we go take a short trip to Disney World. I grew up going fairly often, but he had only visited once with me, back in 2010, he has been to Disneyland a few times though. We fly often enough with Southwest Airlines, that we were able to use points to cover the flight, and Marriott Rewards points to cover the hotel, and National Rental car points to cover the rental car, so I was sold. (Well honestly I would have been sold on the idea anyway, because I am a huge fan of Disney Parks!!)
As soon as our travel plans were finalized, I bought our park tickets online, which I highly suggest!!
Why book online before you go?
Since we were going to have 2 days to spend in the parks, we settled on one day at The Magic Kingdom, and one day at Epcot. (Had we been going to Disneyland, it is so easy to go back and forth from California Adventures to Disneyland, it is well worth the Park Hopper option there, but in Florida the parks are a little more spread out.) If you book your tickets online prior to going, you can link them to the My Disney Experience app, and book your FastPass+ in advance, up to 60 days! FastPass+ allows you to select a time you want to go on a specific ride, within an hour window. You just show up at the ride and scan your ticket. You get 3 pre-booked FastPass+ per day, and after you have used all 3, you can pick one additional ride to select a FastPass time. We decided on Space Mountain, The Haunted Mansion, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, to guarantee we got to ride our favorites. Some rides had already “sold out” of FastPasses, like the popular Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, so if that one is important to you, definitely book early! Random fact: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was my very first roller coaster, I rode it with my mom when I was 4 years old.
We landed in Orlando around 11:30 pm, and made a quick stop at a 24 hr pharmacy for sunscreen. We stayed at the Delta Orlando, by Marriott. It was very close to the park, and even though we used travel rewards, it would have been very affordable, at about $80 a night. They offered a shuttle to the park, which was originally why we selected this property, but the times were not very convenient, so we opted to drive ourselves.
Since we live in the Pacific time-zone, we slept a little later than I would have normally, when going to Disney. When I go with my friends, it is not uncommon for us to spend 12-14 hours at the park, for what we call the “Disney Death March.” I knew I didn’t want to try that with my husband, because 1.) let’s face it, a miserable spouse leads to a miserable couple, and 2.) I wanted him to have a good time, and want to come back in the future! I wore my favorite Vera Bradley cross body bag, which easily holds my wallet, sunscreen, my prescription sunglasses, portable phone charger, and all my other essentials.
We got to the park, and I noticed immediately that we got to park in a much closer lot, than when I visited with friends over the previous summer. After grabbing some coffee, we were off to Space Mountain! It is definitely one of my favorite rides, and I could go over and over again if there were no lines. When the ride was over, we were walking through Fantasyland, and I stopped by the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, to ask the cast member if there was a single rider option, since the line was over 2 hours long. (At Disneyland, many rides offer Single Rider, where you can split up your party and ride alone.) The cast member told me there was not, but asked if I was there alone. I told her I was with my husband, and she told me to go get him, when we got back to her, she gave us a Magical Moment, and allowed us to go through the Fast Pass line. I had heard of people getting to experience Magical Moments before, but this was my first time to experience one, and I was so appreciative of her kindness! It was a great surprise!
The park was not crowded at all, and the longest line we stood in was around 2o minutes for Pirates of the Caribbean. When the sun was at it’s hottest, we used that time to visit indoor attractions, like The Enchanted Tiki Room, The Carousel of Progress, and the Monsters Inc. Laugh Room. Not only did this get us out of the sun, but it gave us a little break to sit down, too. Even though I have been going to Disney World since I was 3 years old, there are still a handful of attractions I’ve never done, and we crossed one off that list on this trip, with a ride on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. If you’ve never been to the park, check out this very tame people-mover type ride to get a unique perspective of Tomorrowland.
As the sun went down, we grabbed dinner at the Columbia Harbour House, in Liberty Square, just across from the Haunted Mansion. My husband ordered a lobster roll, and I got a great vegetarian sandwich, loaded with hummus and veggies. I like to think this balanced out all the snacks we enjoyed throughout the day. We used our 4th FastPass, for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin–I won.
We were able to ride everything in the park that we wanted to ride, with the exception of Splash Mountain, and Mad Tea Party, but not due to the crowds. My husband vetoed Mad Tea Party, because he gets sick, and bargained to ride It’s a Small World with me, if he didn’t have to ride Splash Mountain. He absolutely HATES It’s a Small World, because we once got stuck on the ride at Disneyland, for nearly 20 minutes, right by the exit where the famous song is playing loud and clear! We made a final stop a in the Storybook Circus area of Fantasyland, to grab some sweet treats (him: cookies, me: an apple pie caramel apple). In the evening it was virtually empty, unlike many of the sweet shops on Main Street, so check it out if you want to avoid the evening lines.
By this time it was within minutes of the fireworks starting, and my husband’s feet were getting tired. We decided to skip the fireworks, and head back to the hotel. I wanted to take the ferry, and we had a great view of the fireworks from the ferry back to the parking lot, and beat the rush of crowds after the show. It was the perfect way to end a magical day.
Which is your favorite Disney Park and ride? Me know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!!
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