Greg and I recently took a trip to the place "where dreams come true," and it was quite an experience!

We went with some friends of ours who love Disney World and have made several trips over the last few years. They know all the tips and tricks on how to get the most bang for your buck (lets be real...BUCKSSSS), so we were grateful to go with them. We went hard for 4 days straight, and I'm not going to lie, I felt like I had been hit by a truck when we got home. But, we can definitely say that we made the most of our time there! Here's what we did...

Where We Stayed:

I would definitely recommend staying on Disney property in one of the Disney resorts for the best experience. Staying in a Disney resort gets you access to some special perks, the Disney Bus system being the most important. You can also get extra park hours, reserve fast passes 60 days before your trip, get a free magic band, and so much more. 

Pop Century is a value resort (as opposed to Deluxe options like The Polynesian or Grand Floridian - where the Tanners stayed in the Disney episode of Full House), but it met our needs perfectly. Our room had a queen size bed as well as a pull down Murphy bed. If you have a large family, this option may not work best for you, but honestly, we hardly saw our room. We literally just used it to shower and sleep.
The resort also has a quick service restaurant (which we only ventured into once to get coffee), a large outdoor pool with a pool bar, and pizza delivery right to your hotel room door!

The resort also offers a ton of fun activities and amenities that we didn't personally have time to utilize but are good to know about!

What We Did:

Ok, so we bought a 4 day park hopper pass, and it was a great decision! Unfortunately, Disney World just isn't one of those places where you can show up without a plan, leisurely make your way through the park, and ride every ride. It's just not.
We had booked two breakfast reservations (breakfast is the cheapest meal at sit down restaurants and character breakfasts) and all of our fast passes weeks before our trip.

*Side note: you can book restaurant reservations 180 days in advance and cancel them up to 1 day before.

You kind of have to take what you can get when it comes to those restaurant reservations though, and this is where the park hopper pass comes in handy. For example, you may have to take a restaurant reservation in Magic Kingdom on a day that you're planning to spend in Animal Kingdom. It sounds hectic (and it can be), but if you truly want to make the most of your time at Disney, that's kind of how you have to do it!
To save a little a lot of money, we packed PB&J's, plenty of snacks, and our own waters in our backpacks each day.

Here's a breakdown of each day:

Sunday: All day travel. Stopped at NO Chick-Fil-A's. Utter devastation
We also went to Disney Springs that night, and it was a MAD HOUSE! Apparently, Sunday nights are the busiest there because it's almost everybody's first night.
There is SO much to do and see here: shopping, dining, live entertainment. You could almost spend as much time here as you do in one of the Parks!

Monday: Epcot-ish

  • Arrived at Epcot and quickly rode Soarin' Around the World (we had a fast past).
  • Walked to Disney's Boardwalk which is right outside of Epcot for a character breakfast at Trattoria al Forno. We met Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Ariel, and Prince Eric, and breakfast was de-lish! I got the Tangled Eggs, and Greg got the Tower of Pancakes
  • Walked back to Epcot where we "traveled" through 11 countries and into the future.
  • Rode the Gran Fiesta Tour in Mexico, Frozen Ever After in Norway, and we also met Elsa and Anna afterwards. 
  • Also rode Spaceship Earth (which goes up in the Epcot Ball), The Seas with Nemo & Friends, and Journey into Imagination with Figment (5 minutes of my life that I will never get back 😂). 
  • The International Food and Wine Festival was also taking place at Epcot while we were there, so there were a few special attractions specific to the festival. The Light Lab was one of those special booths, and you could purchase specialty drinks and brews that glowed in the dark! We got a flight of non-alcoholic slushes, and the staff members encouraged us to guess the flavors. 
  • Caught the monorail to Magic Kingdom to watch the AMAZING Happily Ever After firework show. 

* This firework show is a MUST-DO, and you've got to do it the way we did. The Happily Ever After firework show is so popular that people start staking out spots to watch it 2 hours in advance! They PACK people in all the way down Main Street. It's honestly a little scary.
Our sweet friends new that the crowd really ruins the firework show experience, so they treated us to the Happily Ever After Dessert Party! We had private access to a fun little party will all the best Mickey treats, and then we were escorted by a Disney staff member to a gated off area of the lawn to watch the 9:00 firework show.
We had such a great view! The dessert party is a separate ticket purchase, but after seeing the crowd that night, it was totally worth it.

  • After the show, we went HAM in Magic Kingdom riding Haunted Mansion, Peter's Pan Flight, and Mad Tea Party before the park closed at 10:00 pm. 

Tuesday: Animal Kingdom-ish

This is a quick service restaurant, and the dining room looks like the ballroom where Belle and the Beast dance in Beauty and The Beast (there's a side dining room modeled after The West Wing #geekingout).
It was so fun eating there, and the food was excellent. I got the Open-Faced Bacon and Egg Sandwich, and Greg got the Croque Madame. I actually enjoyed the food here better than I did the food at Trattoria al Forno.
*Disclaimer: my enthusiasm for the Be Our Guest food could be due to the fact that we were almost late for our reservation and literally had to run to get there, therefore making me famished.*
  • Caught a bus to Animal Kingdom where we spent the rest of the day
  • Rode Kilimanjaro Safari, Avatar Flight of Passage, and Expedition Everest. Attempted to ride Na'vi River Journey, but our Fast Pass/Rider Swap plan blew up in our face when the ride was closed due to technical difficulties.
  • Met Pocahontas (highlight of my trip, i.e. life)
  • Watched "It's Tough to Be a Bug" and "Festival of the Lion King"
  • Greg and I decided to have a date night that night because our friends took their daughter to DinoLand (which is inside Animal Kingdom)
*Sad Story: Greg and I decided to park hop over to Epcot and eat at the San Angel Inn Restaurante. We had seen that restaurant in Epcot the day before, and it looked so neat! We headed to the Bus Station to catch a bus to Epcot....aaaaaaand 45 minutes later, we were still waiting at the bus station and getting progressively HANGRY. Since we didn't even have a reservation at San Angel, we decided to bail and just go back to our hotel and drive somewhere to get Mexican food. I randomly found El Patron online, and IT. CHANGED. OUR LIVES. After almost 2 hours of waiting/riding/driving, we finally got our date night, and it did not disappoint!

Wednesday: Hollywood Studios-ish

  • Arrived at Hollywood studios, and immediately booked it to Toy Story Land for our first Fast Pass ride: Alien Swirling Saucers. 
  • Within Toy Story Land, we also rode Toy Story Mania - an arcade game ride at which Greg beat me by like 100, 000 points. 😑
  • Had lunch at PizzeRizzo and watched Muppet Vision 3D
  • Participated enthusiastically in the Frozen Sing-Along
  • Rode Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours
  • Left Hollywood studios early to go back to our hotel and power nap.
  • Drove to the Fort Wilderness campground to watch The Legend of Sleepy Hollow inside the horse stables!
This was a separate ticket purchase, and they provided us with candy and popcorn and took our picture. Our friends had purchased the Memory Maker which allows them to download all of the digital pictures that were taken of us in the Disney parks! You just scan your magic band after having a Disney photo taken, and all of the images show up in the Disney app.
  • After the movie, we took the ferry from Fort Wilderness back to Magic Kingdom and rode a couple more rides (The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, People Mover, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin) and getting one of our favorite pictures made with Rapunzel's lanterns before the park closed. 

Thursday: Magic Kingdom

  • Arrived at Magic Kingdom, watched the Main Street Autumn Trolley show
  • Rode Ariel's Undersea Adventure, and met Ariel afterwards in her grotto. 
  • Rode Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain
  • Got allll the treats 
  • Watched the 2:00 pm Festival of Fantasy parade (so fun -  all of the characters are so interactive!)
  • Went back to the hotel to rest up before Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
  • Returned to Magic Kingdom around 6:00 pm for MNSSHP
  • There are Trick of Treating stations all around the park. Yes, they let adults trick or treat, and yes, they give out the best generic brands here!
  • There are also a ton of characters to meet at MNSSHP, some of which are pretty rare. 
  • MNSSHP was sooooo crowded! Greg and I did hit up a couple of the trick or treating stations with our friends and their little girl, but we quickly gave up on that and did our own thing for a little bit. 
  • We watched the 8:30 pm Hocus Pocus Villian Spelltacular Show in front of the castle and rode Big Thunder Mountain. 
  • We met back up with our friends to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. They had special appearances of Disney staff members in the ride which gave it a little something extra! 
  • We caught a bit of the 10:15 Happy HalloWishes Firesworks show, quickly rode Haunted Mansion again, and then staked out a spot to watch the 11:00 Boo to You Halloween Parade

Friday: All day travel. Stopped at Chick Fil A for breakfast and lunch. Obvi.

What I Wore:

It's no surprise that I was the most excited about finding fun Disney outfits to wear all week. 
Shop my looks here:

Ok, so that was a TON of info. I tried to pare it down a bit, but we truly packed so much into 4 days. For those of you who haven't been to Disney World, this is a glimpse into many of the things you can do if you just do a little bit of work and planning before your trip. However, things always can change. Bad weather, broken down rides, crazy can all happen, so you may have to be a little flexible. Ultimately, a trip to Disney World is supposed to be fun and make "dreams come true," so have fun, enjoy all of the magic that Disney has to offer, and make memories that will last a lifetime!

Have you been to Disney World? What are your best tips and tricks? What are your favorite things to do or places to eat?
Let me know in the comments section below!


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However, I simply promote the brands and products that I love, and all opinions are my own.*