A few years ago, my parents took us on a short spring break trip to Orlando, Florida. During that trip we hit up a number of the local theme parks for one day visits. Since we were only able to go to Walt Disney World for one day, naturally, we went to Magic Kingdom! We were hooked! It truly is a magical place for people of all ages, and we instantly began looking for reasons to go back.
We haven't celebrated our anniversaries in huge ways - usually a nice dinner out together. But to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary, Brian and I made a trip back to Disney! We stayed on resort and went for a full week. 5 is a big one, so we celebrated big!
Disney really knows how to create a magical experience. Standing in lines doesn't feel long or boring (to an adult...might be different for little ones). Along the way there are fun, hands-on activities, videos, and scenery all thematic to the ride you are waiting to ride. The parks are clean and orderly. Cast members keep lines moving by assigning you to a row based on the number of people in your party. The FastPass+ system is amazing! If you're willing to plan ahead, it really helps with -not- waiting in line. There are thematic restaurants and characters to meet. Even the bus system offers a positive experience. It ran on time; there were plenty of buses. The pre-recorded announcements were warm and welcoming.
I could go on and on! We truly loved every minute of our trip!
I'm exhausted now though. We were up early every morning in order to be at the theme parks when they opened. Many mornings we were up even earlier to take advantage of "early magic hours" - an extra hour in which the park is only open to guests staying on the Disney resort complex.
Our plan was to get to the parks early in the cool-er part of the day, see everything, lunch, and shop; but then to head back to the hotel before the heat of the day. We were usually back in our room by 2 pm. We showered and napped, and then we'd head back out for dinner. This schedule worked really well for us. We stayed out of the worst heat and were refreshed for our dinner experiences.
We chose to do a few big thematic dinners. We ate at Cinderella's Royal Table. The food was delicious! And! We got to eat IN the castle and meet Cinderella! How cool is that!? During dinner we also met many of the Disney princesses: Rapunzel, Jasmine, and Ariel.
The other big dinner we did was "Be Our Guest" - a restaurant set in the Beast's castle. We ate in the grand ballroom where Belle and Beast had their dance, but there was also the enchanted west wing that housed the rose, a gallery, and the Beast's study.
Our last big dinner experience was at the Grand Floridian Resort. This was on our actual anniversary, July 17, and the last night of our trip. It was the perfect way to celebrate! The hotel is stunning, and the food is amazing. We had a wonderful server who was personable and fun. He paced our meal extremely well and even allowed us to move to an empty table close to the windows for a few minutes to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks.
I cannot summarize the entire trip in words alone. I took hundreds of photos! I limited my social media photo posting to ONE photo collage per day, but I plan to make a photo book of some of the other pictures. Here are my photo collages below:
Sunday - Travel & Exploring Downtown Disney
Monday - Magic Kingdom Part I & Dinner at "Cinderella's Royal Table"
Tuesday - Epcot & Dinner at "Be Our Guest" (back in Magic Kingdom)
Wednesday - Animal Kingdom & Dinner at the Hotel (for some much needed down time)
Thursday - Magic Kingdom Part II & Dinner at "Nine Dragons" (Back in Epcot)
Friday - Hollywood Studios & Anniversary Dinner
Until next time, Disney!!