If you're in Orlando, you might as well go to Disney World! I was heading to Orlando for a business trip and last minute decided to tack on an extra night and hit Disney with Chris! Let it be known, this was really, really spontaneous for us. As you know from the blog, we like to do our research and plan, but sometimes you just gotta go! So consider this the research for your fast trip to disney as an adult. If you don't have time to real the full post, check out this less than 2 minute video to get the feel.
The plan: 1 day at Magic Kingdom day of landing in Florida and 1 day at Epcot day of departure. We had an early flight (like 4 AM), dropped bags at the hotel and went directly to the park. As a quick note, I found out Uber is not allowed at MCO unless it's Uber Black or Uber SUV, so be prepared. We used Uber regular to get to the parks which is super convenient. Way better than renting a car.
If you have a little flexibility, know that there are calendars that show which parks are busiest each day, which have 'extra magic' hours that day, and what's going on where. It can help you pick the least busy park possible to beat crowds.
- Make a loose list of must do's with a logical flow (we did Main Street (coffee crucial) to Tomorrowland and rotating around to end at Adventureland. If we missed anything we wanted to do because of lines or just adult brain forgetfulness, we looped back around to hit them, ending with ice cream on Main Street again.
- Take advantage of the FastPass 3 scheduled rides that come with your ticket. Do your research based on what you should use it for (some rides never need it because the lines are minimal) and build those into your 'must do' rotation list. Basically this means you can 'schedule' an hour block to ride this ride and get limited line access.
- Pack snacks. I'm going to be totally blunt here: most of the food at Magic Kingdom is not good. It's very 'kid centric' basics (exactly why we knew we wanted to hit Epcot as our second park. It's basically all food, drink and architecture). Dried mango and trail mix and jerky were perfect between meal, heat safe things (balanced protein, fiber and carbs).
- Water is free anywhere. Ask for a cup of ice water at any location! This saves you room of carrying water bottle.
- Buy your Disney mouse ears online on Amazon before you go for half price.
Our must hit list:
- Starbucks (Main Street Bakery ): They do cute Disney Starbucks cups. Easiest Instagram ever.
- Ice Cream Parlor: Definitely didn't need this in the morning but we did this on the way out at night.
- Castle: If you want an epic picture of the spires on the castle, go around to one of the sides where there are less people.
- Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger: If you are competitive (which we definitely are), you'll love this even if it is a little old school. Definitely use a fast pass here.
- Monster's Inc Laugh Floor: It's air conditioned, inside and you can sit down. While this definitely needs an aesthetic and graphics update, it's still wildly entertaining to see people from the audience picked on.
- Mad Tea Party Teacups: SO FUN. I don't care how old you are.
- Cheshire Cafe: A quick stop if you need a snack (we passed- too hot to eat anything!).
- Colombia Harbor House is a decent food stop (they do have lobster rolls etc) and a niee place to sit if you're waiting for your FastPass at....
- Haunted Mansion: A definite must do! Basically the perfect example of what Disney is known for. FastPass essential.
- Thunder Mountain Rail Road: A roller coaster for those who hate roller coasters. I LOVE this one. Again, FastPass essential.
- Dole Whip: It has a cult following.
Final Thoughts: there are definitely some things here that need upgrades with technology. That being said, I can only imagine how hard that is for a huge park to pull off renovations while still keeping guests entertained. I bet there will be some big new rides coming soon that will stay true to the Disney feel without becoming Universal Studios with a million rollercoasters.
Note that Epcot has lockers that can fit a carryon roll on (check your's but this is my carryon and it fit plus a tote bag). Know they will hand search your luggage. So just maybe don't keep your underwear on top?
OUR MUST HIT LIST:
Future world opens at 9 am. Ironcally it's really retro now.
- Living with the land is a little ride that takes you inside some of the dome sections to see plant innovations. I thought this was goign to be way more facinating than it was, but since that's literally our job, I just think the basics they went through were already common knowledge for us. there is a behind the seeds tour that goes more in depth but costs extra
- Soarin is BEST THING EVER. I think this is the route Disney is going to have to take with some of their rides to keep kids entertained these days. I would ride this like five times. Also, FastPass must.
Okay. So... there's this movie called Frozen and it makes Norway in the country part of Epcot a nightmare. We started on the Canada section and worked around so it would be less busy. That being said, high five Norway! You were the only country to 'buy' a spot in the World Showcase and now you're the most popular.
- Canada: cronut
- France: Boulangère Patisserie is your best friend. It has mimosas and macarons and baguettes. Next door are macaron ice cream sandwiches.
- Italy: has oven pizza but the fact that it was the end of July in Orlando meant that was the last thing I wanted.
- Germany: THE BEER! THE BEER! There is this insane grapefruit hefeweizen that I am now in love with. If you're in the mid-Atlantic, you can find it at Wegman's.
- Japan: has the best shopping, hands down. Kabuki care has shaved ice desserts as well and you can watch the drummers.
- America: Bless your heart America. There's a kiosk with baseball caps, they play Beyoncé and that's about it. There is also an acapella concert they do outside that is super fun to listen to, making it a great half way point.
- Norway: Meatballs and jam and mashed potatoes for the win. I've also heard the school bread is amazing but I was too full to try.
- Mexico: a tequila bar, inside an aztec pyramid thing with air conditioning.
A Note About Disney Springs:
Disney does exist outside the parks. Recently, 'downtown Disney' underwent an expansion and became Disney Springs. It's awesome for dinner and socializing (and you can also walk around with alcohol). We ate at Morrimoto Street Food, had poutine at 10 PM...but there are a ton of options no matter what kind of food you like. There's also shopping. Specifically a fantastic UNIQLO store that struck our fancy. Lastly, there is a Cirque du Soleil show within Disney Springs (although they were closed that night).