I am so excited to share about possibly one of my favorite vacations we’ve ever taken the kids on, Disney World. I was actually nervous/dreading going, many of my friends who went warned me that it would be exhausting, the food wouldn’t be good and that Brian and I would be at the end of our ropes by the end of our trip. I am happy to report that it was quite the opposite. Yes it was tiring at times, but to experience the magic (truly it is magical) with our three children was incredible. What I was most impressed with about Disney was that while they catered so well to children of all ages, they also catered to adults. The resorts and the parks were spotless, the entertainment was all around you, and you could find a bar at every corner (except for Magic Kingdom because they like to keep it “pure”).
Of all the parks, Magic Kingdom was definitely our favorite because it was everything you imagine Disney to be. We hit almost every ride at Magic Kingdom and stayed for the firework show. I think my favorite moment of the whole trip was when Grace looked at me during the firework show and said “Mommy I’m so happy I think I could cry.” My biggest tip for going to Disney is to not stress about getting everything done in a certain time frame. I did very little planning for this trip, aside from reserving park tickets and the hotel reservation, and everything came out perfect. I was worried about the dining before we left because the reservation system was quite intense, but we ended up not keeping any of our reservations and instead just booked time slots as they opened up the day of. You never know the level of excitement or tiredness that’s going to hit each day, so it’s best to just plan on the go. I did put a call out on Instagram to see if anyone had Disney tips, and a Disney planner reached out to me, Jessie Ford @pixiedustingplans // ([email protected]). She was able do some things for us last minute, which included booking a tour guide for Magic Kingdom. This was probably the best thing we did! Our tour guide was Matt Paule, he met us at the park at 1 pm and stayed with us until 8 pm. Although the tour guides are quite expensive, they essentially take you through the park and get you in the back door of every ride. The tour guide also gets you a private viewing of the firework show so that you don’t have to stand with the crowds. My next tip would be to make sure you get the “Genie Plus” addition to all park tickets, this will enable you to do the “lighting lanes” throughout your days, so you don’t have to wait in the “standby” line. All of these seven days may sound like a long time to stay at Disney world, but it was perfect for our family because we got to spend rest days in between our time at the parks.
We stayed at the Beach Club and rented a 2 bedroom villa. This was amazing because the villas come with kitchens, so we were able to stock up on snacks that we would pack for the parks and have breakfast at home. One night we even made dinner, spaghetti and Rao’s sauce, because we were so tired from our day. You can use Shipt to have your groceries delivered to the hotel and they bring them right to your room. We even used Shipt to deliver a double stroller from target because Brian and Grace would be begging to get into William’s strollers on some of the park days because they were so tired from walking.
Here is a breakdown on how we spent our 7 days:
Day 1 – We flew direct to Orlando from White Plains. We arrived at the Beach Club Resort and had dinner at the Wilderness Lodge, it was a character dinner with Snow White and the 7 dwarves. The food wasn’t great, but the characters were fun for the kids. Also, sticker shock at the cost of the meal.
Day 2 – We went to Animal Kingdom. It was probably my second favorite park after Magic Kingdom. It was beautiful, the details were crazy good and everyone enjoyed the animals so much. The safari was incredible, we honestly felt like we were in Africa. Other rides to note that we loved: Avatar Flight of Passage and the Na’vi River Journey. Expedition Everest was closed so we didn’t get to that and it was too cold to go to the Kali River Rapids.
Day 3 – We went to Hollywood Studios. Also to note: we didn’t wake up early to get to any of the parks, we took slow morning and got to the parks around 10 am and stayed til 5/6 pm. Rides to note at Hollywood Studios: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Star Wars Rise of the Resistance, Rock ‘n Roller coaster, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Slinky Dog Dash. Grace’s favorite ride of the entire trip was Slinky Dog Dash. That night we went to Beaches and Cream for dinner, which was in our hotel at the Beach Club. It’s very cute, I highly recommend.
Day 4 – We needed a “chill day”. We had a very slow morning in our villa, then headed to Disney Springs to walk around and grab lunch. Disney Springs is not to be missed – great shopping, tons of restaurants and little rides for the kids to go on. We came back and spent the afternoon and evening by the pool and ordered dinner from Hurricane Hannah’s, the pool bar.
Day 5 – Tuesday was our Magic Kingdom day. We got to park around noon, which I know sounds late but we knew we wanted to stay until firework show. It begins at 8 pm and we didn’t think we could do more than 8 hours at the park. William napped on the go in the stroller like clockwork. This was the day we got Matt our tour guide, and like I said above it was worth every penny for us. We went on every single ride and had an absolute blast. He even got us into Be Our Guest, the Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant. It was so fun and the food was actually really good. Once again, don’t miss the fireworks. I know it’s late with your family and you’ll be tired by 8 o’clock, but it’s worth it to stay.
Day 6 – On Wednesday we took another chill day. We lounged at the pool, went swimming and then went to the boardwalk for dinner. We ate at Trattoria Al Forno and it was delicious. The nice thing about staying at the Beach Club is that you can walk to the boardwalk, Epcot and Hollywood Studios. It’s a great location, I think we’ll go back there every time!
Day 7 – By our last day at Disney World, I must admit we were pretty tired and we only lasted about 3 hours at Epcot. We got through a couple countries and went on a few rides. My favorite part was the Veuve Clicquot they served in France. We went back to our hotel and spent the rest of the day at the pool. We had our final dinner at Ale & Compass, which was fantastic. Here is a photo dump from the trip: