November 23, 2013

A Magical Weekend Getaway :: DisneyWorld

With the promise of 35 – 39 degrees weather, the chance to go to DisneyWorld for the first time and a ridiculous flight deal to Florida, I packed my bags and left for a weekend getaway with a group of friends. It was an action-packed agenda following a late night flight itinerary, a day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, a day at Universal Studio’s Island of Adventures, and a day of outlet shopping and enjoying the sun!

Sheraton, Orlando, Christine Lu, Instagram

The gorgeous pool at the Sheraton Vistana Villages Resort where we stayed

As it was my first time ever in Orlando and at DisneyWorld, I found that it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sprawling parks and figuring out what to do. I’ve put some tips together from what I’ve learned to help you plan out your next DisneyWorld Adventure; LET’S GO!

Tips for Your Next DisneyWorld Adventure

Be selective. There are four theme parks at DisneyWorld and two water parks. We only had the chance to visit one park due to the short time we were staying there so naturally, I had to pick Magic Kingdom since it’s such a classic with Cinderella’s castle and all of the princesses. If I ever have a chance to go back, I’d love to check out Epcot as I’ve heard amazing things about their International Food and Wine Festival. And of course there’s Animal Kingdom with its safari and Finding Nemo rides… I could go on and on.

Orlando, Magic Kingdom, Disney World, Christine Lu, Instagram

Pack water and healthy, energizing snacks. It should come as no surprise but food and drinks can be pretty pricey at the parks with loads of junk food around so pack granola bars, fruit, trail mix to keep you feeling full until your next meal. That said, I did really enjoy the corn dog nuggets and Mickey Mouse shaped ice cream sandwiches!

Download the “My Disney Experience” app. With downloadable maps and up to date wait times for rides, the Disney app can be your best friend in helping you map out an efficient way to see the parks. I would recommend reading up on the rides and mentally taking note of the rides you’d want to see, and target those ones to avoid disappointment at the end of the day when you’re exhausted and want to get home. The wait times also helped us to plan which rides we should tackle first.

Read up on the rides before you line up. At Disney’s Magic Kingdom, since it’s a family-friendly park and stroller city (there were even parking lots for strollers!), I highly recommend looking into what may be age appropriate and suit your interests the most. My favourite rides from Magic Kingdom were, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mickey  Mouse’s Haunted Mansion and Monsters, Inc Live Floor (interactive comedy show)Kiddy rides include Winnie the Pooh, Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid (although I clearly enjoyed it given that I video recorded the entire ride on my phone). Here is a link to a breakdown of all the busiest rides across the different Disney parks.

Book a character lunch/ dinner. These can take up to six months to book in advance so I’d highly recommend you look into it as soon as you know you’re going! Luckily one of our friends is a Disney whiz, and booked us a dinner with Chef Mickey and all the main characters (Minnie, Goofy, Donald Duck, Pluto and more) way in advance at the Contemporary Resort. It’s great for the kids and the young at heart as the characters walk around the dinner tables, interact and take pictures with you.

Take it all in. It was such an amazing experience to finally be able to experience DisneyWorld and I feel so blessed I was able to enjoy it with my friends. By the end of the day, I was exhausted by all the excitement and adrenaline, so I can’t even imagine what it’d be like to be a parent and bring children along in strollers. I guess I will find out one day because I’m definitely going back! Thanks for a magical time, Disney :)

Stay tuned for more pictures from the rest of this trip with more to come from Islands of Adventure, and *drumroll please*, HARRY . POTTER . LAND . #thatisall

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