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Friday, November 09, 2018

Disney | A Day in the Parks

If you're planning a trip to Disney, there are so many options to consider depending on when you'd like to go, the age of the children you're taking, how much money you'd like to spend and more.  More than anything, I wanted us to just enjoy ourselves, have as much fun as possible and fit in as much as we could.  With that said, I planned it so that we'd visit one park per day, and try to hit some of the popular attractions.


We visited three parks during our trip; Magic Kingdom on Day 1, Hollywood Studios on Day 2, Epcot on Day 3 and back to Magic Kingdom on Day 4.  Below are some of the highlights from each day to give you a feel for how we managed with our two young girls.

Day 1 | Magic Kingdom

We spent the first day in Magic Kingdom celebrating Madison’s 5th birthday.  You can read all the details about that day here; Disney | Celebrating a Milestone Birthday. 

Day 2 | Epcot

This was my husband’s favorite park.  It’s definitely a park designed with adults in mind, but there is plenty of fun to be had by kids there as well.  
  • We slept in after having a full day in Magic Kingdom the previous day.
  • Got dressed and headed to Epcot for lunch at the Coral Reef Restaurant.  The food was so yummy! I’ll share details about all things food in a separate post.
  • We then headed to The Seas with Nemo and Friends to stop by the aquarium and exhibits in the area.  We let the kids play a bit, look at all the fish, and take a picture with a shark!
  • Stopped by the Epcot Character Spot to meet with Mickey and pals to get autographs and photos.
  • Then we passed by Hiro and Baymax from Big Hero 6 because the cast from Inside Out was across from them and Madison was too excited to get to Joy and Sadness.  Joy was a hoot, and I loved how Sadness was so into character yet somehow made us all laugh with her sad antics.
  • Afterwards, we left Future World and made our way to visit the different countries in Epcot's world showcase that are positioned in a full circle, making up a large portion of the park.  The circle is about 2.78 miles long.  The first stop along the way yielded a hug from Pluto!  The hubs had to have a picture with him as well. Ha!
  • We then took a trip through the base of an Aztec Pyramid via a Gran Fiesta tour and saw the Saludos Amigos show with Donald Duck and the Three Caballeros.
  • We passed by the performance of the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats on our way to Karamell-K├╝cheo to get a few sweet treats.
  • We then made our way back to the Frozen ride (which was broken down when we first went to get on)!  At the time it was one of the more popular rides.  Even the FastPass line was packed, but they got us through quickly.  The setup for this ride was amazing and so much fun.  Definitely one of my favorite rides at Disney.
  • We eventually made our way to an ice cream shop, L'Artisan des Glaces, so that we could sit and take a break.
  • We passed by Alice in Wonderland as we continued on our journey around the circle.
  • Finally, we came full circle and before we left we went to see a short film festival in 4D.  We watched a history of Pixar shorts and a few Disney classics.
By the time all of the above was done, it was night time and Day 2 was complete.  We stopped by a souvenir shop to grab a few items to remember the park by, then headed back to the resort to rest up for the next day.

Day 3 | Pool Day + Hollywood Studios

After two full days of fun and walking, we needed a bit of downtime, so we started this day at the pool, followed by a short trip to Hollywood Studios.  This park is the place to go see some great shows, of course.  It was a fun, laid-back day which was just what we all needed.  
  •  Another day of sleeping in, because vacation!
  • We got up, grabbed lunch and went to the resort's pool area.  It was so beautiful, with a wading pool, sprinklers, playground area, and the set up of the space was like a scene out of Finding Nemo; so pretty and full of color.
  • We took our time at the pool, then got changed to head to the park.
  • We got to Hollywood Studios around 3pm.
  • First stop was a visit with Olaf! Followed by a visit in Animation Courtyard to see Disney Junior Pals, Sophia the First, Jack from the Netherland Pirates and Doc McStuffins.
  • We then went to a show, Disney Junior - Live on Stage!  I loved how interactive the show was with bubbles and confetti raining down, as they switched out the stage seamlessly to go from one Disney show set to another.
  • Afterward, we went to see Voyage of The Little Mermaid live.  This show was so good and interactive as well.  You could feel the water at times, and I just loved how they brought some of the characters to life in this show.
  • Lastly, we went to see For the First Time in Forever - A Frozen Sing-a-Long Celebration.  It was truly like a comedy show, so funny and good.
  • On the way out of the park, we stopped by a souvenir shop and grabbed an electric bubble maker to take home with us.  This is one of the kids’ favorite toys to date!

Day 4 | Magic Kingdom

This was our very last day in the park and the last day before we headed home.
  •  We got up bright and early to make the most of it!
  • We had a character breakfast in the park at the Crystal Palace. I loved the buffet here and it was so much fun having the characters from Winnie the Pooh stop by.  They did a fun dance line during the breakfast and Madison was absolutely giddy with excitement.
  • Once we were done with breakfast, we made our way to see Princess Tiana and Rapunzel, two of Madison’s favorites.
  • We then took a Jungle Cruise, which was a good sit down, tongue-in-cheek adventure for our tired feet.
  • Mario and Madison road a few rides and went on a few adventures without me, while I took Morgan to a Baby Nursing station for a break.
  • We met back up at the castle then made our way to the Mad Tea Party's spinning teapots.
  • Eventually, we made our way to see the Festival of Fantasy Parade and found us a sweet spot to view the procession of floats full of all of our favorite characters.
  • Mario rode on Space Mountain with Madison and I later rode on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with her.  She admitted she didn't enjoy either, lol.  Hopefully, she'll start to enjoy rollercoasters as she ages.
  • We road several other rides, including Under the Sea ~ The Little Mermaid ride, again and again. 
  • As it got dark, we headed to dance in Tomorrowland at the Incredibles Super Dance Party.
  • Of course, we couldn’t leave without seeing the famous fireworks show, An Evening of Fairytales, in which some of our favorite Disney movies were projected over the palace as Disney character's graced the castle stage.
So there you have it.  We all definitely had the time of our lives at each park.  Completely tired and incredibly happy after all was said and done.

Things to Consider
FastPass
  • This was our friend.  Without FastPass we could not have ridden on as many rides as we did each day.  I highly, highly, highly recommend doing your research on this and MaxPass to determine how to fully utilize this feature to maximize your time in the parks.
Hollywood Studios - Toy Story Land
  • Toy Story Land was added this year (2018) and I'm looking forward to seeing what this area is all about. I love the Toy Story trilogy and I can only imagine how fun they've made this space.  Can't wait to check it out!
Animal Kingdom
  • As some may have noticed, I skipped out on visiting the fourth Disney Park, Animal Kingdom, and I totally regret it.  When I was planning, I kept thinking it would be like visiting a zoo and since we've had the zoo experience a time or two I didn't think it was worth our time.  Boy, was I wrong (so I've heard).  The more and more I talk to Disney moms and research further, the more I regret missing out on this park.  It'll be one of the first parks we visit when we head back to Disney, and I'm looking forward to visiting the Pandora (Avatar) area and going on a safari ride while there.
I hope you've found this play-by-play of our days in the parks helfpul.  As you can see, there's so much that can be packed into each day, and each park offers so, so much more than what I've shared here.  We've only scratched the surface of the adventures to be had at Disney.  This is why families are able to visit again and again, year after year.  

Our next trip to Disney can't happen soon enough!
---
As always, Live Fully


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