Last Day In the Sunshine State

Well, it’s come to the time where we must head home and leave the land of sunshine behind. This has been the most exhausting vacation ever, but we’ve seen so much and it’s been one of the greatest experiences. So I am here to pass along all of the little tidbits I’ve learned on our little adventure.

Disney Do’s, Do Not’s, and Dazzling Details

We only did two days in the Disney parks which is DEFINITELY not enough time to cover all the property has to offer. If you want to see everything in Disney, you need an absolute minimum of 5 days. But for anyone traveling with an older crowd (my sister and I are 20 and 16) I recommend what we did to absolutely anyone. 

Magic Kingdom: If you are staying on Disney property, check for the early entrance days, I highly suggest them because there are half as many people in the park as on a usual day. If you are not, avoid these days at all costs because there will be twice as many people in that park by the middle of the day. Head out to one of the other parks to be safe. Make sure you arrive at opening time because this is the only park that has a good morning welcome like no other. In true Disney style, you will be welcomed in to the world of Walt Disney and it really puts you in the spirit.

Once you’re in the park speed your way one back into the new Fantasyland. May I just add how much I adore the new additions? There is some construction still going on, but you do not notice it at all. Hit up Belle and Arielle’s new attractions. They are the most crowed but well worth seeing. Fast passes are also the greatest thing ever invented; I’ll talk about them more below.

Character Breakfasts: I recommend attending at least one, for kids of all ages. The breakfasts tend to have a lot of variety of who attends them and they are often your only definite for some of the characters. My family did not attend one this trip, and I did not get to see Repunzel, the only character I absolutely wanted to see as I am obsessed with the movie Tangled (if you haven’t, you must), but I heard she had been at multiple character breakfasts from people we met in the park – I easily make friends with 7 year old girls on lines for rides apparently.

Cinderella’s Castle Diner: I highly recommend this for anyone with little girls attending Magic Kingdom. The four main Princesses (Aurora, Jasmine, Cinderella, and Ariel) walk around for pictures and autographs. If you have a late reservation, you can watch the fireworks through the back window which is almost as good as watching them from on the street, and far less crowded. The kids menu has options that are great for picky eaters, but for older children and picky adults, the adult meals are not for those afraid of things that are a little out there. Also, they may say to arrive half an hour before your reservation time, but they do not allow you to even check in until that time, so no rush, enjoy the last few hours at the park.

Hollywood Studios: This is a must do early a.m. park. Get there at the open and if you’re a thrill seeker like I am, jump on the line to Tower of Terror, then send a member of your party over to Rockin’ Roller Coaster to pick up your fast passes as you wait for the ride to open. Then mad dash over to the new Toy Story ride and pick up fast passes over there. This is a continuous ride – meaning they are constantly loading passengers and not waiting for a car to come back so they can load up – and the wait can still reach over 120+ mins and fast passes usually run out. While you’re in the back, check out the Great Movie Ride or some of the other shows until its your time to ride.

Park Hopper Ticket: HIGHLY recommended for this park. Hollywood does not have a ton to do for younger kids, and every time my family has gone we’ve split it with Epcot and it’s worked out splendidly. Start your day at Hollywood Studios, head on over to Epcot for the afternoon, then jump on back to Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic. There are ferries and monorails that take you between the two parks for easy access.

Epcot: Not one of my favorites, but there are a few must do’s here. Soarin’ is one of the most incredible rides I’ve ever been on, it’s quite the experience. Fast Passes are highly recommended. While you wait for your fast pass time, there are great shows or continuous rides, Nemo being one of my favorites and it just so happens to be right next door. Test Track always has a long wait, so make that an early morning if that is one of your top must do’s. My dad rode using the single passenger line and had a quarter of the wait and said while the ride was good, it wasn’t an absolute must.

Disney does not offer refillable water bottles like SeaWorld and Universal do, so be prepared to spend on water or go for drinks that will keep you hydrated longer like Power- and Gatorade.

Fantasmic: An absolute must. There are two showings every night, if you are with a group that can stay wake late enough, go for the second showing. It’s much less crowded and you only need to arrive an hour before showtime to get a decent seat as opposed to the suggested hour and a half two hours for the earlier showing. Be warned: the show is completely outdoors, so poor weather can result in delays and cancellations.