Tuesday, January 3, 2017



Per request, I am sharing our family's Disney World experience. This was our children's first time to Disney World & we were able spend this memorable time with other family members as well. Unfortuantely, this is not a "Disney on a dime, or Disney on a budget" post, but I do have some advice on how to save here & there. I would love to share with you guys our favorite things, parks, food, characters, hotel, & offer advice here & there about our trip. Our must do/see, & "whats worth it".

I will share our day by day itinerary, pictures, & advice as I go to give you all a better idea of what to expect, & hopefully offer helpful advice to those who would like to go to Disney World in the future.

Day One 
Magic Kingdom
Port Orleans riverside Disney hotel 
Bus ride to Magic Kingdom 
Christmas Trolley song & dance 
Meet Pluto and stitch 
It's a small world ride 
Journey of the little mermaid ride 
Enchanted tales with belle 
Tea cups ride 
Cosmic rays for lunch 
Tomorrow land speedway 
Carousel of progress ride 
Dinner at hotel restaurant 
Meet Ariel

We woke up pretty early Monday morning to make it to Magic Kingdom. When your staying at a Disney resort hotel they have buses that go to & from the parks every 20 minutes. However, we missed the first one & had to wait for the next one so we missed the "welcome show" which I hear is pretty cool. Its kind of like a parade as you walk in the park (from what I've been told), the park opened at 9 a.m and we got there about 9:30 a.m. The buses can get very crammed, so if your claustrophobic I would recommend waiting for the next bus if the first one is too full. Also, you may be rushing out of your hotel to catch that 8:40 bus to get to the park at 9, but truth is you may not get on that bus because sometimes there is a huge line of people & not enough space on the bus, not to mention you might have a slow driver, or the bus ride at least for us was about 15 minutes to get to the park. Better to leave earlier than planned if you want to get to the park right when it opens. 

According to the Disney World book I purchased off amazon for 12$....(worth it)

We chose one of the least busiest times of the year to go November 27-December 2....let me just tell you that it was still busy in my opinion, and lines for rides were still over an hour long. I will NEVER NEVER NEVER go to Disney during their busy seasons, you wouldn't even be able to enjoy a trip in my opinion. The parks are very big though, and not super crowded feeling which is good. The book I listed above mentions all the restaurants, must rides, a lot of good information to help you plan accordingly.

If you want to get a picture in front of the castle without people behind it, your best bet is to book a breakfast in Magic Kingdom that is BEFORE the park opens, that way you get in before everyone :)

As we walked in there was a Christmas trolley, the dancers were magnificent & they were singing a Christmas song & dancing right there in the street. Yes, the park was completely decked out in Christmas, lights everywhere, christmas mickey ears, the whole deal! There was a huge Christmas tree at all the entrances to all parks, which were great for pictures.

We stayed at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Hotel.
The hotel itself was beautiful, the property is huge, it had like 4 separate bus stops. Now honestly for the money, I don't think we would stay at this resort again, only because we have stayed at Marriots & Hilton Inns with nicer rooms for HUNDREDS of dollars less. The room was just very small, no microwave which is a huge deal breaker for me because I love my heating pad, and my body ached like crazy from the whole trip. The mattresses made noise when you sat on them, but they were sleep able lol. I did really like the pull out bed that came out of the wall with the alligator from the frog princess movie painted on it for Matthew to sleep in, and the scenery is amazing. Ponds, greenery everywhere, hidden pools, easy laundry room access. There were several restaurants in the hotel, and a cafeteria. The huge pool was awesome, it had a totally gated in baby pool, hammocks, a slide, hot tub, bar. If your afraid of alligators, cross this place off your list, we didn't see any but there were ponds right next to where you walk on the sidewalks within a few steps, and signs everywhere saying beware. 

We were able to book Fast Passes 60 days in advance since we stayed on Disney property. However, my travel Agent was up bright and early & still couldn't get all our first choices, so don't get your hopes up. We rode "Its a small World" for our first ride. I wouldn't miss this one, yes its a slow ride, no thrill, just rides around. But its awesome to see all the different "worlds". Its super cute for the kids, very visual and a lot to look at. 

The voyage of the little mermaid was awesome, but we are mermaid lovers so we may be bias. The kids really got a kick out of that. I love the detail that Disney has put into the sound effects and the characters its amazing. The robot characters look real & really look like they are singing. This is also a non thrill ride.

I loved having a magic band, the food was charged on to it, these are what opened our hotel room doors, and we just scanned them at the front of the park to get in. So easy, and way better than carting your debit card, and tickets around. My mom & I ordered stickers from Etsy to put on our Magic bands to dress them up! 

Enchated Tales With Belle, its not a ride, but its on the fast pass thing. You walk through, & listen to a play. It was awesome. They choose kids out of the audience to play parts like "the beast, or lumineer" & they get to stand up there with Belle, They only let like 20 people in at a time so your kid has a big chance of getting in the play ;) Then Belle invites all the kids in the room to walk around with her, to take pictures with her and do autographs. Also when you first walk in they have a talking mirror and it turns into a door its seriously the coolest thing. So magical. 

If you don't get this and your spending the week at the park your crazy. You HAVE to get the photo pass. Any photo taken with any character, any place randomly throughout the park from a proffessional photographer they just scan your band and you get the photo, its worth every penny. They don't just take one photo,they literally take a ton at each place. Sometimes there is lines like by the Christmas tree or a pretty scenery spot but the lines were never more than a few people for us. All your pics are uploaded on the disney app and super easy to access them, you can also download them all to your computer. 

When you first walk into Magic Kingdom there are two character spots right there by all the shops in the center. The characters change every certain amount of time. Obviously we didn't wait in line long for Stitch and Goofy, however still a line lol. Also if your standing in line for over 30 minutes and Minnie mouse leaves in at 10, it doesn't matter if you have stood that long, she is still leaving at 10 and the person managing the line will inform you that your now waiting in line for someone else, you don't get grand fathered in unfortunately. It sucks, however Minnie gave Aurora a kiss as she walked away while we were still in line, so I guess that's okay. I used my autograph book from when I was 9, for the kids to get signatures. Matthew actually cared he's 4, Aurora could care less (1).

There is literally snack places almost every 40 steps if that. Ice cream galore that is for sure. We had the Delux dining plan, we actually ended up having 5 snacks to spare after 5 days, we just got water with them. Yes, you can use bottled water as a snack. The delux dining plan was worth it meal wise, but too many snacks. We also wasted snacks on specialty chocolate covered stuff lol. Also, this was snacks for 3 people for five days, plus Aurora who didn't count. Since she was 1, she did get a magic band, but she didn't actually have a ticket, or count for anything, she was free. We did add her on food reservations so they knew we would need a highchair. 

Tomorrow land speedway was super awesome, my four year old is just the average height of a 4 year old & there was literally maybe 4 rides total from all parks that he couldn't ride. I wouldn't suggest bringing a 3 year old or 2 year old thinking they can ride stuff like this though only because they won't be tall enough. However Aurora (1) really got to ride a lot of stuff since a ton of rides are just sit on and move around rides lol. We did a fast pass for this one, the line was always 30 minutes plus. This is like a go kart ride. 

Meeting Ariel at her grotto was another fast pass we did. This specific Ariel was so kind & fun! The kids really loved her! If your an ariel friend all ariel related things are a must because they are all worth it. 

THIS IS A MUST HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO REGRET PURCHASE. I was advised by several friends to rent from Orlando Stroller Rental Company. You pick your drop off location & time and pick up location & time. They pick it up from your hotel and drop it off. It comes with a rain cover and a cooler. You can also purchase insurance for 20$ which is totally worth it since its like a 600$ stroller, and there are hundreds of people at Disney capable of stealing. It was like 110$ for 9 days to rent this. It was not hard at all lugging it around, the buses were super accommodating with strollers, this specific stroller folded up extremely easy. There is stroller parking at every single ride with a Disney worker who kind of watches over them. I wasn't ever worried about the stroller. It was with a TON of other strollers parked nicely. So much space for parking. Just park & ride! & if you think your four year old wont ride in it, your nuts, even my over active kid wanted to sit in it over half the time. The seats reclined all the way back for naps too. This is the city mini double stroller GT wheels. 

Also, I would have brought like an ergo or tula to carry Aurora in. Because when your waiting in the lines without a stroller with a one year old, it kind of sucks chasing them around, obviously they don't stand in line still. I would suggest getting a mommy hook for the stroller if you don't already have one, it holds bags and stuff. The under carriage had good space too. 

The teacups and the typical mall carousal have like 10 minute wait times, so just wait, and let the kids enjoy. 

Cosmic Rays
We ate lunch at Cosmic Rays in Tomorrow land for lunch. It was good, and fast. Hamburgers, chicken fingers. The line for the chicken drumsticks was super long so we didn't wait in that one but I hear those are awesome. 

Dinner at Hotel Cafeteria 
The hotel cafeteria had several options like sandwich, Italian, desserts, hamburgers kind of like a mall cafeteria. I had pasta & enjoyed it :) When you book through the disney hotels you get a free travel mug, you can refill it as much as you want at the hotel, catch is you can't use it at any of the parks, yes stupid I know. 

Carousal of Progress ride
This ride was cool. I felt kind of trapped lol but I have anxiety so...yeah. Anyway you just slowly move from slide to slide watching robot people evolve over time. I wouldn't suggest it for kids, they actually fell asleep :)
Now I know what you may be thinking "They only rode like 4 rides"....yeah that is all we had time for! We left the park at around 8 p.m. Walking from area to area is a crazy long walk. I would suggest booking fast passes near each other or at least try to, that way you can ride all those rides close to one another and then move on. There is like four separate places in magic kingdom. Like Fantasyland, Frontierland, Tomorrowland, so on. Also the earlier you get the fastpasses done the more rides you can ride. For us, it seemed like every night the fast pass selections ended around 6 p.m so you couldn't select anymore after that. If you use all three of your fast passes then you can book one more, once you ride that one you can book one more and continue until the end of your day. We never seemed to get all the fast passes done fast enough to book anymore, only a few times! A little trick I found out pretty quick, when your selecting a fast pass on the app, you just pick how many people are riding and it shows you all available rides and times at the park your at, however if you don't like what you see, refresh the page, go back and enter in the amount of people again and it will pop up with new rides and new times. Sometimes if I wanted to ride something bad enough I would literally refresh 20 times plus till I found the ride and time I wanted. People are constantly canceling, and changing fast passes, so don't get your hopes up if you didn't originally get the ride you wanted at the 60 day booking mark because it will show up eventually (unless its frozen or mine train) those literally never showed up no matter how many times I refreshed haha. So yes I've heard Seven Dwarf Mine train (roller coaster) is a MUST, and we weren't willing to wait in over an hour line so we didn't ride it, that was the only ride at Magic Kingdom that we didn't get to ride that we wanted to ride, so make that a fast pass priority when booking, because it won't show up on the refresh, no one cancels lol. This is one of those things that I did appreciate booking at a Disney hotel for, because if you aren't at a Disney hotel you can only book fast passes 30 days in advance not 60 days. & if our first choices were already gone at 4 am at our 60 day mark, I can't imagine whats left over at 30 days. The fast passes are super awesome, for example our fast pass time for little mermaid ride was 11:15-12:15 that means you can show up ANYTIME between that time, and they are also nice and everyone that we encountered gave us a 15 minute grace even when we were late. So you had a whole hour to get there, to each ride. You don't wait in a line you just walk up to the fast pass entrance not the regular wait entrance and scan your band and off you go!

If you have little's, don't expect to spend the entire day at the park without a fit being thrown or someone falling asleep. I had unrealistic expectations of the kids. We didn't get to see the fireworks because the kids were literally just DONE by the time 7 p.m rolled around, it was awful. I would suggest taking breaks in the middle of the day and coming back to the park. The kids just get overwhelmed and get to a point where they don't want to walk, they don't want to ride, and they don't want to be held they just want to leave. Yeah, its the happiest place on Earth, but my 4 & 1 year old weren't having it, they were exhausted. 

My Disney experience APP 
This is an app on your phone, it shows all your reservations, food, hotel, fastpasses, it holds all your photos, it has maps, GPS, shows all the ride wait times (make sure to refresh for accurate wait times). Make sure you download it on your phone, don't use the GPS it doesn't work in our experience lol, you'll end up at the other side of the park and be running to get to you ride that you have a fast pass for hehe. Also, even if the wait time says 20 minutes, I waited for 8 minutes at one that said 20....so they aren't completely accurate but close. 

Magic Kingdom
Princess Elena & Cinderella on stage 
Princess shops 
Cinderellas royal table lunch inside the MAGIC KINGDOM castle!! (Absolutely awesome) we walked a tall spiral staircase to get up inside the castle 😍 all the princesses walked around while we ate! 
Splash mountain 
Aladdins magic carpet ride 
Pirates of the Caribbean ride 
Barnstormer ride 
Magical parade on main street 
Pineapple dole whip for snack
Meet Cinderella 
Pool at resort 
Chef mickeys at contemporary hotel! Awesome buffet with Donald goofy Minnie Pluto Mickey all walking around!!!

So, if you didn't already realize Magic Kingdom is not a one day thing, you can't possibly see and do everything in just one day, especially with kids.

So as we walked into the park for day number two, we arrived late again so we missed the show. We were just too exhausted. However right as we walked in Princess ELENA was on stage and sung her theme song of course, and Cinderella was with her. It was Tuesday, and the park was pretty empty (people wise).


If your contemplating booking through disney specifically because of the extra magic hours, to us it wasn't worth it. Only because we never wanted to get up that early to get to a park, or stay that late....we were just too exhausted already to even get up when the park opened, or want to stay after the park was closed, we barely made it to the end of the day.

We once again got some awesome pictures from the photographers that just stand in the middle of the street taking pictures. 

We had lunch at Cinderella's castle around 1 p.m. For those of you who don't know what that is. This is lunch INSIDE the huge Magic Kingdom Castle....yes, a dream come true. I always used to wonder what was up inside there. Cinderella greeted us at the bottom before and took pictures and signed autographs before we walked up the long flight of swirly curly stairs lol! 

We got to see all the princesses, they come up individually to your table to take pictures and do autographs. 

The appetizer comes out first, I'm not a cheese fan haha but it was nice.

The food was delicious. They only have a couple things to choose from for the adults like 3 or 4 main courses, but it was delicious. The kid options are good though, they have chicken fingers.

This "midnight" dessert was SO GOOD, it was VERY rich though. 

We caught the parade JUST IN TIME. We didn't get a very good seat, but a wonderful lady offered my sister and son a spot by her disabled mother up front, so at least they got a good view :) the parade is like nothing I've seen before, the effort that's put into these parades is so beautiful. 

We ran like mad people to get to Splash Mountain, we got LOST in adventureland, this is the part where I tell you the disney GPS on the app is crap, it made us even more lost. I would highly suggest getting a paper map when you walk in. Splash mountain was a must ride obviously, we had a fast pass for it. 

After Splash Mountain we started walking, and came across the Aladdin Magic Carpet ride. It was fun and cute, you may get a little wet....no one tells you that the camel is spitting water out the whole time. The ride wait time said 20 minutes, but we were probably only in line for 8 minutes or so before it was time to board the ride. 

We had to try the famous pineapple dole whip that everyone was talking about. It's good don't get me wrong, but its literally icecream and pineapple lol its nothing too special. It's a nice cool down treat and its literally right next to the Magic Carpet ride.


So, I bought pins off EBAY, like a ton of them for super cheap. I got the landyards from etsy for like 6$. Matthew's was mickey and Aurora's was minnie. The kids didn't trade any pins, besides with each other. There are pin people everywhere, security people, ride attenders, so on, but we just never stopped to do it. The kids just liked having the pins and obviously most of the other kids there had them too. 

We stocked up on candy, mainly suckers. Sometimes kids just aren't satisfied....so I would suggest having some kind of long lasting snack. 

Pirates of the Caribbean 

We had a fast pass for this ride. It was available several times on the app though, and the wait times weren't ever that bad, so we should have probably used the fast pass for something else.


So we had to get on a roller coaster, and Seven Dwarfs mine train wasn't going to happen, it was never available at all, so this was good one too!


This is a MUST DO DINNER. If a monorail going through a building isn't cool enough, Chef Mickey's was awesome. The Characters were super nice and fun! Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Minnie, Mickey the whole clubhouse gang is there. The desserts were awesome. The food was buffet style, I know some people aren't huge buffet fans, but it just makes it SO easy for the kids, you never leave hungry, and its just nice to have a lot to choose from. 


Frozen ride. (Waited 45 min 😂)
Met Anna & Elsa 
The seas with nemo & friends ride 
Soarin ride 
Test track ride 
Resort pool, hammock, hot tub 
Resort lunch 
Met Baymax big hero 6 
Dinner at La Hacienda De Angel Epcot 
EPCOT firework light show

Yes, we got to ride the Frozen ride everyone's talking about. No, there was never any available fast passes I literally can't tell you how much times I looked. We woke up super early, we arrived at EPCOT as the doors were opening. We were one of the first people to enter the park. Adam put the kids in the stroller after bag check and JOGGED, literally jogged all the way from the entrance to the frozen ride. Which isn't super far from the entrance, (it's not across the pond or anything). By the time we arrived at the Frozen ride there were still A TON of people in front of us....we ended up waiting for 45 minutes to ride the ride....worth it because the wait times everytime I checked them were an hour plus, and our kids love frozen. It's just like most of the other rides, your just riding a boat through a dark room and the characters are singing and then at the end there is a LITTLE drop, I promise I hate drops, I hate the pirates of the caribbean drop, but this was barely anything, I don't think my stomach even flinched. 

We waited another 30 minutes to MEET Anna and Elsa, there were no fast passes available for that either. They were so friendly, the the line went pretty fast. They are both in the same room, you just take your pictures with Anna first then with Elsa. 

Waiting in the line for Frozen. Some of the wait was outside. 

There is like two random character meets inside a building at Epcot. The other characters were JOY and SADNESS from inside out, but their line was pretty long. We got to meet Baymax though. The line was maybe 12 people. 

We took a break the second day, it started raining a little bit at the park, we brought ponchos but never ended up using them. We spent a good time during the day at the resort pool. It made it so much easier to get back out to dinner. A completely closed in baby pool, they couldn't get out of the gate....THAT'S what i'm talking about. 

We headed back to Epcot that night to have dinner.

LA Hacienda De Angel

We wanted to have at least one nice "ride the boat to dinner" meal. This is not something any of us enjoyed....not even my Hispanic step father LOL! Everyone was just kind of blah, The salsa was gross. Not your typical american Mexican food....but not real Mexican food either. Hard to explain, just don't eat there.

The weather was AMAZING the entire time we were down there, we honestly couldn't have a picked a better time weather wise (November 27-December 2) it rained once, but it was just sprinkles for maybe 30 minutes. It was never too hot where we needed fans or anything, and sometimes you just needed a light jacket at night, but other nights you didn't need one at all. The lines were completely bearable to wait in because you were comfortable. I can't imagine how annoyed I would be with screaming children, long lines, AND it be hot...that's not even worth the trip to me. 

We were able to catch a glimpse of the Epcot firework show, we were actually going to try to make it to Magic Kingdom for the show...however we got on the monorail finally got to MK then had to turn around and go back to the resort because we MISSED it. We were super disappointed. If you don't know, now you know....the fireworks DON'T happen every night at MK....It only happened twice while we were there and we missed both of them. It was Monday night (too exhausted) and Wednesday night (missed it, dinner ran late).

Finding seas Nemo and friends 

If your kid loves NEMO, ride it, if not then don't lol. It was literally the SLOWEST ride I have even gotten on in my entire life. Slower then the little power wheel 6v haha! There is an awesome aquarium afterward though, but you can still see that without riding the ride, and a shark playground which Matthew thought was really cool. 


My husband said it was SUPER awesome and that Matthew had a blast. We had a fast pass for this one. 

Adam and Matthew loved this one too. Your in a race car but its a roller coaster kind of and goes in circles around a car track really fast. After the ride there is a huge building of gifts and even actual cars and people trying to sell them haha!!

Holly Wood Studios

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