This past weekend I joined Wes on a business trip in Orlando, Florida where we extended our trip to include 1.5 days at Disney World! Neither of had been since we were kids, Wes when he was 12 and me when I was 9. Boy, did the memories came flowing back as we walked through the most magical place on earth. Nostalgia overload! I remember riding Splash Mountain with my mom and my dad having to ride the Tower of Terror alone because we were all too chicken to go. I also remember my sister and I crying in most of the ride lines. In our defense, the very first ride we went on was “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids” in 3D and when air blew up out of the floors to resemble mice on our feet it was TOO REAL. After that, we were petrified to go on any more rides. You can imagine my parents were just thrilled about this! I also remember being OBSESSED with getting autographs from all of the characters in my autograph book, which I probably still have somewhere (I need to find that thing!).
I had no idea how to plan for this trip, but I think we did okay for first-timers (as adults)! My best friend goes all the time with her kids so she helped answer a lot of questions for me beforehand. I wanted to share a few of my favorite pictures, a video recap of our trip (see below), as well as some tips if you’re planning an “adults only” Disney trip of your own!
Tickets: You can purchase tickets anytime, however I’d recommend getting them in advance so that you can start booking your FastPasses (More on that below!). You can purchase them online or at most hotels in the area. We purchased a discounted half-day pass for Universal Studios which granted us access anytime after 2PM on Friday. Then, on Saturday, we purchased a Hopper Pass, which granted us all-day access to any of the 4 main parks (Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom). We chose to visit two, Animal Kingdom in the morning (The animals are likely to be out earlier in the day) and Magic Kingdom in the evening (To watch the fireworks show).
Where to Stay: We didn’t stay at one of the Disney resorts because we were only there for a few days. I think if you’re going with kids, or for a full five or seven-day trip, it would be fun to stay somewhere like Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, where they have wildlife like giraffes and gazelles roaming the resort. But, if you’re just there for the weekend like we were, there are plenty of hotels and resorts near the parks. We stayed at two different resorts, Rosen Shingle Creek and DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld and both were great. Of course, the DoubleTree gets bonus points for being right at SeaWorld!
FastPass+: This was the best discovery I made and is my best tip! FastPass+ is like VIP tickets for the rides, essentially you get to skip the long lines or wait in a much shorter one. You can book up to 3 FastPasses per person online (Some you can book up to 60 days in advance) and then after you use those three at the parks you can continue to book one at a time after that. Downloading Disney’s mobile app is the easiest way to book your FastPasses on-the-go (On top of other nifty things like checking ride wait times, schedules, etc.). If I could go back, I would have booked my FastPasses sooner because the best rides sell out first (Like the new Avatar ride, Avatar Flight of Passage, which usually pushes a 2-hour wait).
Transportation: You can check with your hotel about shuttles, but we took Uber to and from the park and it was fine. I would just check with your Uber driver first to make sure he/she knows where the designated drop-off zones are beforehand. You can Google the addresses for these, but it can still be confusing.
Rides: At Universal Studios Florida we rode Harry Potter and the Escape of Gringotts, The Simpsons Ride, Transformers, and Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl (kiddy ride but fun). At Animal Kingdom we went on Expedition Everest (A really fun roller coaster), Kali River Rapids (You *will* get wet), Kilimanjaro Safaris (Highly recommend this one and be sure to book a FastPass for it), and DINOSAUR. And, lastly, at Magic Kingdom we went on Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Mad Tea Party, It’s A Small World and the Haunted Mansion.
See more from our trip and shop our looks below! Have you been to Disney lately? Would love to hear about your trips!