Disney World Part 1 | Travel, Magic Kingdom & Epcot

Hi, hello! How is everybody? I’m glad to (slowly) be getting back into the hang of a normal routine, and I’m even more excited to share our Disney World vacation with all of you!

Ryan and I agreed that, with the exception of our honeymoon, this was the best trip that we’ve ever taken. Seriously, you guys – we had more fun than we’ve had in a long time, and I’m the first to admit that I’m still living in a Disney state-of-mind this week because I don’t want to let go of it quite yet.

I have a lot to share about our trip, so I’m going to break up the recaps into separate posts throughout the next few weeks. Let’s jump into it!

Monday: Travel & Hotel Information
We arrived in Orlando late afternoon, which was a nice change for us since we typically take super early morning flights. We also hired car service (Fly Tours) for the week to get us to and from the airport and our hotel since it was cheaper than a taxi, and well, we were celebrating my birthday after all. #treatyoself

Our hotel for the week was the Best Western Resort in Lake Buena Vista, and we couldn’t have been more pleased. I booked everything through mousesavers.com, so I was able to get us a discount on our nightly rate as well as breakfast included each morning of our stay. The hotel was clean, our room was very spacious, and there was continuous bus service to and from all of the parks. We also were within walking distance of Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) – about 10 minutes – which made it easy to access loads of shopping and restaurants.

View of Epcot from our balcony – we were able to enjoy the fireworks more than once!


Tuesday: Magic Kingdom!

It was the plan all along to start our trip out at Magic Kingdom, and I am so glad that we stuck with that decision. The weather was perfect – sunny and in the high 70s – and we were ready to take in all the magic!

I purchased matching Disney Mr. and Mrs. shirts from Etsy back at Christmas as a silly gift to get us excited about the trip, and we opted to wear those our first day at Magic Kingdom. Well, on top of celebrating my birthday, everybody also thought we were on our honeymoon … we chose not to correct them because well, it was fun and instilled some of that “newlywed bliss” back into us!

Even Minnie got a kick out of the shirts!

We were at the park from before it opened, around 8:30 a.m. – we even got to see the end of the cute opening ceremony that they do – until 8:30 p.m. that evening, so you can imagine that we did a lot. We lucked out with a lot of our FastPass + reservations, so we hardly had to wait in line for any of the rides. We hit up Space Mountain multiple times – let’s face it, it’s a classic and never gets old – and we were so excited to get picked to dance during the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor show – again, I think our shirts had something to do with that, but I wasn’t complaining!

Space Mountain – I make the ugliest faces for the ride photos!

Buzz Lightyear ride

Of course, no Disney trip would be complete without some character meetings – I wasn’t sure how Ryan would feel about this aspect of the trip, but he enjoyed it more than I ever could’ve hoped for! He even was a good sport with Tinkerbell – in his defense, he tried to move away so I could just meet her and get a picture, but she roped him in and had fun with it.

The mouse of the hour, Mickey!

Also, a little PSA here – I ordered this purse from Amazon before we left, and it officially is my new favorite travel bag – I was able to pack it full of the necessities (sunscreen, deodorant, ibuprofen, band-aids, wallet, sunglasses, phone battery charger, etc.) and it literally never felt heavy. There’s even a side pocket for a water bottle.

Speaking of which, did you know that you can bring your own snacks and drinks into the parks? I didn’t either until Kristen shared that helpful information with me. This helped us out so much – while we like to indulge when on vacation, there’s only so much “park food” that you can take, you know? So everyday, I loaded up the bag with granola bars, peanut butter crackers, and baggies of Annie’s cheddar bunnies and snack mix (we bought everything before we left, packed plastic sandwich bags, and carried everything on the plane so we had snacks for travel, too). Not only did this help us save some money, it also was great to be able to have an easily accessible snack in case I started to get hangry while standing in line for a ride.

Not that we didn’t enjoy any of the food – for lunch this day, we did have a hot dog from the place that is right next to the Winnie the Pooh ride (in Fantasyland), and for dinner, we went to the Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland. The chicken sandwiches from here are out of this world (no pun intended) delicious – I highly recommend them if you’re looking for a healthier option than a hamburger.

We ended the night with the lights parade and Wishes fireworks show – a perfect end to a perfect first day!

Look how precious that little boy is!


Wednesday: Epcot

We woke up to rain, storms and heavy winds Wednesday morning, so we knew we wouldn’t be heading out to the park first thing in the morning. Instead, we enjoyed ourselves at breakfast and then hunkered down in the hotel room with our eyes glued to the Weather Channel. I was a little nervous since we had lunch reservations at 1:30 p.m. (and if you are a no show, Disney charges you $10 per person), but luckily the weather decided to clear up by late morning and off to Epcot we went.

 

Fun fact: in the three previous times that I’ve been to Disney World and one time to Disneyland, I have met all the princesses except for Belle. So, you can imagine how excited I was that she was out before our lunch reservation and we made it into line before they closed it off. Yes, I’m 27 and I still love Disney princesses. #noshame

Β Look how I’m standing … I’m such a nerd.
As she hugged me goodbye, she told me to stay away from Gaston because he likes beauties like me and will steal my storybook. Oh, Belle – I love you.

 

Then, it was off to eat! We dined in Italy at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeriathe atmosphere was so neat, our service was exceptional, and the food was delish. We opted for a mushroom and sausage pizza and capped it off with sharing chocolate gelato. So, so good.

 

It continued to rain on and off throughout the whole day, but it really didn’t spoil anything for us. It’s easy enough to duck inside or under something at Epcot if the weather turns bad, and we just brought our hooded sweatshirts with us and sucked it up if we wanted to walk somewhere. Nothing was going to spoil this vacation for us – we were determined!

In Morocco – the photographers were big on the kissing photos since they thought were were honeymooning


The English gardens – my favorite!

Soarin’ unfortunately is closed for refurbishment until summer, so I was pretty bummed about that since it’s one of my favorite rides. But, we did enjoy Spaceship Earth, and it stopped raining long enough for us to get onto the Test Track. That was right up Ryan’s alley since you get to design your own car and all its features.

Again, with the ugly faces …
Ryan with his dream car

 

While we had planned to stay until the fireworks, I unfortunately at this point could barely walk. The gym shoes that I packed gave out on me, which resulted in the arches of my feet being very badly bruised and swollen. So, we opted to head to Disney Springs so I could get some new gym shoes (thank goodness I found some affordable Nike’s!), and then we grabbed an appetizer and called it a night.

Stay tuned for part 2 that will be all about Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom!

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  • Such a fun trip!! So glad you guys had a blast and that the weather cleared up for you to go to Epcot. All your pics are so cute! I can’t wait for Soarin’ to reopen, I only got to ride it twice before it closed for renovations! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

    • It was an absolute blast, I’m sorry that we didn’t get to meet up, though! Next time, for sure. πŸ™‚ The morning that it rained definitely messed with our plans a little bit, so I’m glad we had the extra free day Friday to finish up what we wanted to do. I’m so jealous now that you can go whenever you want!

  • WOW, all i can say is FUn, FUN, FUN! looks like you had a blast!

  • Biana Perez

    I love that everyone thought you were on your honeymoon that first day – so cute!! Your pictures while meeting belle are adorable!! Can’t wait for the rest! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

    • Thanks, lady! Just wait until I share some from when I met Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) – I look like a total nerd lol

  • Those shirts are so adorable! So precious that you played along like you were on your honeymoon! My husband and I love Disney and always talk about going back! Can’t wait to read more about your trip!

    • Hey, why not right? It added to the “magic” that day – ha! It was so much fun as adults, we can’t wait to go back someday!

  • Debra Stachelski

    Love seeing all the pics and hearing about all the fun you two had at Disney! Can’t wait to see and read more!

  • So much FUN! Now I’m dreaming of a Disney vacation. The hubs and I went a few years ago just the two of us and it was a blast. You got some great pictures!

    • I had no idea that you guys went! Isn’t it so much fun as adults? We had an absolute blast!

      • Yes! I was afraid that it wouldn’t live up to my childhood memories, but it is just as magical as an adult!! haha

  • I love your shirts, and Belle is best princess, heads down.

  • Living on Cloud Nine

    Cutest Magic Kingdom travelers ever! So, I’m a bad mom I never took my boys to Disney World when they were little but my husband and I talked about taking a trip there just the 2 of all the time! After seeing how much fun you guys had, we’re going to do!

    • You are so sweet, thank you! And, YES! You and your husband absolutely should go – not that I have any experience with kids yet, but I can guess that it’s a lot different (maybe slightly more fun) without having children to worry about. πŸ™‚

  • Chesson Parker

    You trip to Disney looks like so much fun! I love living vicariously through everyone else’s trips there – I’ve never been (but it’s on my list!) so it’s nice to get to see other people’s vacations πŸ™‚

  • I haven’t been to Disney World since I was four years old. I love your shirts and these photos are great! Oh and that story about Belle telling you to stay away from Gaston… LOL!!!

  • So much fun, and loving those tees you wore in Magic Kingdom! Looks like you hit up all my favorite rides, and that Italian restaurant at Epcot is delish! Can’t wait to hear about Animal Kingdom (one of my favs) and Hollywood Studios πŸ˜€
    Green Fashionista

    • It was both of our first time to Animal Kingdom, and we loved it! The safari was so stinkin’ neat. More to come next week!

  • Christina Sotherden

    I’ve been waiting for this! Your pictures are all gorgeous – I love the matching shirts and that you just went with it when people asked if you were on you’re honeymoon! Characters are always my favorite (I love to see them all haha!) and even at 27 I literally get nervous! Love that you picked this for your golden birthday because I’ve been telling Derek and my parents for years that I want to go back when I’m 30. Oh and I was so happy it cleared up for you on your Epcot day – I kept checking your snaps to see if you made it out!

    • Awe, thanks girl! I am going to do a whole separate post about the photos – some are my own, but we also opted for the Disney Memory Maker, which allows us to download all the photos that the photographers take in the park. So, we now have all these great professional photos of us from throughout the trip! I’m so glad that we got to go for my birthday, too – even though we left on my actual birthday, I was given a birthday pin at the beginning of the week, so I was wished happy birthday literally everyday and everywhere we went, it was so fun!

  • I love that bag you listed! It looks like it would seriously fit everything I need in it. You were so close to me! I really enjoy heading to Disney but you are right so much walking! It looks like you guys had a really nice time!

    • That bag is seriously like the Mary Poppins bag – it could hold way more than I ever put in it, and it really never gets heavy on your shoulder. Best $30 I’ve spent so far this year.

  • Stacy

    You two are so cute! Glad you had such a good time, can’t wait to hear about the rest of the trip!

  • I keep telling my BF that we need to be lame and do Dinsey as adults!! πŸ™‚ Can’t wait for part 2 and glad the weather was on your side!
    xo, Jessica || The Petite Diaries

  • ohhhhhhhh yay! i love this post so much. first off, y’all look adorable in your honeymoon tees πŸ˜‰ i also love your outfit for epcot, feel free to share where you got that top πŸ˜‰ blue dress belle is the best! i’m so glad you got to meet her and that you are as ‘lame’ and a ‘nerd’ like me! haha. i must be the only person who doesn’t like soarin. i mean, it’s okay, but i’m like.. eh. haha. i’m glad i could help with the food and drinks! i really like the bag you got, and i love the one i have that i used for europe but not disney, but it did get heavy easily, so if you say this one doesn’t, i’ll have to buy it (when my shopping ban is over…). can’t wait for part 2!

    • No joke, I kept bringing you up in conversation and mentioning you to my husband all week, and finally he was like “wait, is this blogger friend Kristen?” Ha! I knew you’d understand how excited I was to meet Belle, she was great, too. I oddly love Soarin’, but I remember when I made my mom go on it last time we were there, and she didn’t like it either! I can’t rave enough about that bag, so yes to you getting it, and my striped top is from Old Navy! It’s the linen boyfriend tee – it’s the same one that I’m wearing in my last Saturday Style post with my airport outfit just white. πŸ™‚

      • haha okay i might go and buy that tee!!

        seriously, i say ‘my friend’ all the time and KC always knows it’s a blogger 90% of the time haha because i have more blogger friends than real life friends. no shame πŸ˜‰

  • This was so much fun! I have never been to Disney and want to go so bad! Now that I have a daughter we can get excited about meeting the princesses together! Can’t wait to see the rest of your trip!

    • Awe, that would be so much fun! I secretly hope that we have a daughter someday so we can do the same thing. πŸ™‚

  • This is putting me in the perfect Disney mood right now, and making me reminisce all about my trip! Starting out at the Magic Kingdom sounds perfect, and I love that you had Mr. and Mrs. shirts! So cute! That sucks that it was raining so much during your trip, but at least you were still able to have fun at Epcot! Belle is my all time favorite Disney princess, so I’m so glad that you were able to meet her finally!

    • I still can’t stop thinking about our trip, and it only was a week ago! We had the time of our lives, seriously. Luckily, the morning of Epcot day was the only time it really rained, so the rest of our weather during the trip was great. And, yes to Belle! I seriously almost was in tears because I was so excited to finally find her and meet her – it’s the little things, ha!

  • I seriously love Disney – SO glad that you guys had a great time!! And also love that you didn’t correct people about being newlyweds, I totally would have done the same haha! Can’t wait to hear about the rest of the trip!

    • Haha, I’m glad I’m not the only one! We figured, why not? It just made the day that much more fun and special. We even got the Happily Ever After pin, so now I have a cute keepsake. πŸ™‚

  • So much fun!!! And I’m sure a little sun shine and warmer temps was welcome as well:)

    Laura
    http://www.blackcoffeebeautiful.com

    • Yes, definitely! Our last couple days only made it into the high 60s, but that felt like a heat wave compared to Wisconsin!

  • Sounds like a fantastic trip! Love the T-shirts you got made.

  • Owen Davis

    So much fun!! Loved this recap… We are headed to Disney Friday and I cannot wait!!!!

  • MΓ³nica Sors

    Good memories of this place πŸ˜‰

    XX

    MΓ“NICA SORS

    MES VOYAGES Γ€ PARIS

    NEW POST: MY THAILAND VIDEO DIARY!!!

  • So fun! Love all these pictures! I haven’t been to Disney in forever!

    Zelle
    Southern Style

    • It had been seven years since I last been, and Ryan hadn’t been since he was a kid, so we both couldn’t believe how much has changed!

  • LOVE Disney World. Looks like an amazing trip!
    ~Samantha
    http://goldcoastgirlblog.com

  • Yay for Disney! What an incredible vacay, lady! πŸ™‚ Loving the pics.

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

  • My parents went to disney for their honeymoon and they always say they had such a great time! We used to go as a family every few years while my Nana lived in Florida for the winters, but I haven’t been back as an adult and now I really want to go!