We are back! What an amazing time we have had and I am struggling to work out quite where to start with this one. I think I’ll share a few practical highlights first, those things that made our trip easier and more enjoyable, before sharing some of our favourite activities….
Having a good balance of busy and relaxation time
We went for one more day than we did last time and we chose to just do Disney World, not Universal or any other parks and sites. This gave us the right balance in terms of hitting the parks and then relaxing around the pool or playing mini golf and having a few lie ins and early nights. It worked really well for us and the kids loved splashing about in the pool and Blizzard Beach as much as they did hitting the parks and all that they had to offer. We loved the Caribbean Beach Resort, it was a beautiful place to relax.
The parks were busy, definitely busier during our first week particularly than our trip in May 2018. This is where I cannot stress enough the benefits of planning ahead for your trip. You might not enjoy planning ( I love it!) and this might not feel natural to you when you want to go with the flow on your holiday, but it needn’t be too onerous and it can save you so much wasted time and queue times. Book those FastPasses, and look out for busy day guides, extra magic hours and special events as they will allow you to better plan and prepare your day. If you choose not to, then be prepared to either queue or miss out on the most popular rides and restaurants.
Planning like this meant that we managed to do everything that we wanted to, we rode all of the big attractions, watched the shows, met plenty of characters, took in the Festival of the Arts, and still had time for shopping and lounging around.
As we did last time, we had the Quick Service Dining Plan, and we loved it. We booked at a time that this was free with our stay and it’s definitely worth it if you plan to spend most of your time onsite at Disney.
We ate at a good variety of restaurants and had plenty of snacks. I love having this plan as I don’t have to think about the costs of food and drink at all. When the kids want an ice cream, they can have one, and there are so many great places to eat there that part of the fun of the holiday is choosing where to eat each day. There is more than enough food included, it’s a struggle to use all of your meal and snack credits up!
Using the Disney transport
We had a car last time that we visited and we enjoyed not bothering with one this time. We had a delayed flight on our way out (9 hours spent in Manchester airport, lots of fun!) and I was so glad that on finally landing much later in Orlando than anticipated all that we had to do was grab our luggage and follow signs for the Magical Express. No thinking or navigating involved! The Dining Plan also includes alcoholic beverages, so as the Husband wasn’t driving he was able to take advantage of this and grab a beer or cocktail with his meals.
We used the Disney buses and the truly wonderful Skyliner to get around, and then grabbed Ubers for popping to the shops, which were very easy to use and cheap.
Trip highlights – our favourite things
The kids built their own droids at Galaxy’s Edge’s Droid Depot and this was definitely a highlight of the trip for them. It’s worth making a reservation and I made ours at 180 days prior to the holiday. You get to choose the parts for your droid so you are designing your own, and then you take them along to build them and activate your droid. It is then operated by remote control and the kids love theirs.
As we are Star Wars fans, exploring Galaxy’s Edge was a highlight for all of us. It’s very busy, but if you are staying onsite, do try the extra magic hours as we had a great time looking around everything then, it was a lot quieter. We did manage to get to ride Rise of the Resistance, and it is amazing! So many different elements to the ride, so much to take in and enjoy. This was our favourite ride of the trip, along with Flight of Passage and Slinky Dog.
We also loved many old favourite rides, such as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Haunted Mansion, Toy Story Mania, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Soarin’, the list could go on!
We liked walking around the parks at night, too, and being February, the sun went down just after 6pm each day so it was fun to see everything light up quite early. Pandora is stunning at night and Toy Story Land is so colourful and fun.
We managed to see every night time show this time, and we enjoyed every single one of them. I’d say Fantasmic was probably the biggest hit, and I love that you sit down for this without having to jostle for position as you do at Magic Kingdom, having waited ages only to have someone in front of you pop their child on their shoulders two seconds before the fireworks begin – we’ve all been there, so frustrating! I do like Happily Ever After, though, and of course, none of them disappoint.
The kids also had fun with the Wilderness Explorers at Animal Kingdom, pin trading, making their own Lego figures at Disney Springs, meeting characters and getting more autographs – Merida, Goofy and Sarge were the favourites this time, and playing mini golf.
As you can probably guess, I really could go on and on, so I will leave it there for now, I think that’s enough! So many of you followed along with us on my Instastories and it was great getting messages from you all about it, glad you enjoyed watching and I hope that I managed to help a few of you with your trip planning. I will share a few other posts over the next few weeks about our holiday, from tips to reviews, so do pop by if you are looking for more Disney World inspiration.
If you’ve been, what have been your highlights?