When my sweet in-laws invited us to Disney World to celebrate my sis in-law’s fifteenth birthday, my boyfriend Jonathan couldn’t make it due to work so we let them know we couldn’t make it. Amidst various Whatsapp chats, sis in-law and I decided just because Jonathan couldn’t go didn’t mean I couldn’t go and my in-laws are amazing so we planned! This was my first time at Disney but thankfully my in-laws had been before and gave me all of the advice I needed!
Where to Stay?
There are plenty of hotels in the Kissimmee area at reasonable rates and some that even provide free shuttles to the parks! Within Disney there are plenty of other options with different themes, amenities and package options. Yes, it can get quite pricey after you add photo packages and meal plans, but you don’t have to add all the extras.
We stayed at the All Star Movies Resort in a 101 Dalmations themed room (so cute)! The main perk of staying in one of the park resorts is that everything is themed so you feel like you never leave the magical world! From the pools to the dining halls and arcade rooms, it all had a movie theme. I definitely recommend the resorts if you have younger kiddos, I think they would really enjoy it, plus they have shuttles to every Disney attraction about every 20 minutes!
What parks to visit?
If you plan to visit 3 or more parks stay at least a week. I say this because the walking is no joke, I mean these parks are huge and a day in between to relax at the resort is a good idea. I was only able to meet up for three days so I’ll give you a few tips on the parks I visited.
I actually researched the size following the trip because I felt like it was never ending! 107 acres of pure magic y’all. This park, known for Cinderella’s castle, is home to many princess themed rides, plus some not so princess-like rides. As we entered the park and crossed Main street we came to a halt due to a parade in progress. I felt like I was in the middle of a flash mob! Of course our first stop was Cinderella’s castle. Mami ( Jonathan’s mom, whom I love like a second mother) had purchased the photo package which meant we could have our picture taken by any of the onsite professional photographers around the park and boy did we take advantage of it lol! Some of my favorite’s at this park were riding down Splash Mountain, cruising down the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and Space Mountain (I think I lost my voice during this one). One of the most magical moments here was watching the parade of princesses and iconic Disney characters mid afternoon and I can’t forget the meet and greet with Mickey Mouse and the fireworks as we departed! I would say this park is mostly geared for the kiddos aside from a handful of really crazy rides, but definitely the most magical!
Maybe I just have a thing for movie stars, but this was my fave! Immediately as we entered I was in love with the retro feel and architecture, I felt like I was on-set of a Hollywood movie the whole time! Minutes after entering the streets were invaded by a parade of Storm Troopers with Darth Vader… so cool!
One of my favorite attractions at this park was the Indiana Jones stunt show where they show you exactly how they make a movie and even invite some of the audience to participate! Other favorites were the Star Wars simulated 3D space ride, and of course the Tower of Terror, which I got off shaking from but such a thriller!
For Next Time/ Tips
Although I wish I would’ve had more time to visit some of the other parks, I’m not sure how much more walking my feet could’ve taken lol! My last day there we visited Disney Springs for some much needed shopping, to be honest I was a little overwhelmed by all of the Disney stores within the theme parks, mostly because it was a lot of the same stuff just different characters so it was nice to get out and shop a wider variety of stores, still lots of Disney but way more options and great food too!
Disney was everything I expected and MORE, and I couldn’t have asked to share this experience with better company (I wish Jonathan would’ve been there but it was almost like he was :))! I want to close this out with a few tips that I found super useful and hope you will too!
What to Pack:
- Comfortable Tennis shoes
- Sandals (with backs, the backless kind won’t cut it) with some support.
- If going in the Summer prepare for the HEAT! Shorts, linen tops, try to avoid cotton.
- Swimsuits! Even if you don’t go to a water park, you’ll want to jump into your hotel pool after being out in the heat all day!
- A rain poncho. We didn’t think we’d use it and used it 3 times one day.
- Fanny pack or back pack. Don’t bring a purse, your arm will get tired, just bring along the essentials on your day visits.
- Water proof phone protector. If you plan to take your phone on some of the rides with water, be proactive.
- Water bottles! Stop by a grocery store and stock up on water bottles, carry 2 in your back pack to avoid having to pay $3 per water bottle in the parks.
- Sunscreen and a hat. There aren’t many shaded areas and the Florida sun is no joke.
- Reserve your Fast Passes in advance, 3 are included with your ticket so use them wisely!
Last but not least, bring a positive attitude, be prepared for the long days of walking and sometimes long lines. If you don’t want to spend too much on food, bring some snacks and just enjoy it all, it truly is the most Magical place on earth.