Take it from me, do not stress out about Disney. Really. Breathe. As a first time parent who visited Disney World for the first time with my family of three, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I really stressed out way too much before I even got there.
Things have surely changed since I last went there with my parents. First off I am not 13 years old anymore, and now I have a family of my own. I can still guarantee you that I am still breaking out like I am 13 years old and I can also guarantee I am still just as grumpy (probably even grumpier). But now I actually have responsibilities and the ability to make my own child’s dreams come true. And that starts off with heading to Disney World for her 5th birthday that I had promised her since she was three. And like any good person, I try not to make any promises that I can not keep.
I am usually a planner but my work life got the best of me and since I was going through a personal change of my own I kept pushing booking Disney for as long as I could. I waited until after the last day of school (June 27th, 2019) to schedule for an end of September trip. I logged onto the Disney World website to plan my vacation since I knew that was the easiest route and I honestly didn’t want to talk to someone on the phone or contact a travel agent.
After I created an account I chose the dates I wanted to attend and the names of my family members who were going to go on this magical carpet ride with me. Next I needed to figure out the hotel where we would be crashing after our days of sugar highs and awesome rides. I knew we wanted to stay at one of the resorts close to Magic Kingdom. There are 4 parks and 2 waterparks. The 4 parks are Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. The 2 water parks are Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. You can decide where you would like to stay depending on which resort you want to stay at. I highly recommend staying at one of the resorts due to free transportation and easy access to the parks. It made our commute so much easier especially since we were able to get the “Magical Express Bus” to and from the airport. That was all included in our hotel fee.
Since the times were inconvenient in terms of airfare, I decided to book the airfare separately. I didn’t want to arrive in Orlando so late and miss a half day or full day due to traveling and I didn’t want to wake up at the crack of dawn to leave Orlando either. With those circumstances in mind, I decided to book the flights separately through Delta. I decided I did not want to fly coach since the flight would be jam packed with children (probably screaming and crying) so I upgraded us to Comfort Plus for about $50 more each. I couldn’t afford first class even though my fingers kept hovering over that button for quite some time.
Food was another issue that I needed to tackle. I looked at all the dining options and I knew one meal a day for each of us was not going to cut it. I also knew 2 meals of day would be a no no. So I decided on the Dining Deluxe Plan, which included 3 full meals a day (appetizer, entree and dessert, including one adult drink per adult, 3 snacks a day in today and a free refillable mug per guest). As someone who needs to eat on a regular basis and I knew we would be walking a lot (no stroller here!), this was our best bet. So glad I chose that because we used up our meal plan by the time we headed home. Tip is not included, so please make sure you bring extra cash or budget that in when you head over there.
Next was designing our magic bands. Our magic bands gave us access to our rooms, the parks and the rides. They were even waterproof so we were able to wear them in the pool. Disney, you really upgraded huh, now upgrade Epcot so it doesn’t look so 1980s. Anyways, we chose the basic colors and stuck to not paying any extra for customized designs. They were already taking thousands of dollars from me, so I really didn’t want to shell out $10+ for a band that I will not wear after our trip. I decided that it was best to pick them up at the hotel instead of having them mailed to us just incase they were ever to get lost in the mail.
Last but certainly not least we decided to purchase the FastPass plan. This gave us access to three rides per day in order for us to not wait in such a long line. We were able to plan our rides in advance and also change them the day of. This was great, because if we saw something that had a longer line than the ride we intended to go on, we switched it to the ride that was longer so we wouldn’t wait as long. The downside was that you only got to pick three rides! I thought you were able to choose three more once you used up the three per day, but no Disney, you had to be greedy. But I guess it was fair because then everyone would be doing that and then essentially every line would be a Fast Pass line going at a snail’s pace.
Oh, totally forgot but you need to download the Walt Disney world app. This is where you can check your dining points, reserve a table and even change or schedule your rides. They even have a map of the park and the wait time for each ride. This helped us save so much time in figuring out what to do and where to go. we really maximized the hell out of Disney.
I also think the time of year we went worked in our favor. Summer, I heard is the worse and during Spring Break. We went in the beginning of Fall. The weather was still very warm but the crowd was decent and the lines were tolerable. IF, we ever go back, and that’s a big IF, it’ll be back during the same time.
One thing I noticed that really made me happy, was that there were no fights that I witnessed. No one getting drunk and starting a brawl, no parents yelling at another set of parents for whatever dumb ass reason to the chagrin of their children. There were pleasantries all around and everyone was respectful. I also noticed how clean it was. Dam, it was really clean with garbage cans on every corner and I even witnessed a parent telling another parent they dropped their cup on the floor. Wow Disney, you truly are magical. No beef, no brawl and no animosity and you’ll clean as hell.
However, I have a complaint. There was a lot of plastic usage. Like ALOT. Our hotel was big on conserving water, which I get, but how about not using so much damn plastic? You’re such a multi-billion dollar company, shouldn’t you be taking charge of the future and invent something that is biodegradable? Since you’re all about the future (choke choke Epcot), shouldn’t you think of ways where we can recycle/reuse? I know you can do better Disney. It’ll make you even more magical to me and maybe I’ll come visit again, for my 90th birthday.
So, Disney was a success and I stressed out for nothing. I really did. I was anxious for a trip that I thought was going to be like the Wild West, but it was like another day in NYC. Okay, maybe not like any day, more like heading to Times Square, on New Years Eve. But not as crowded, as cold, or as dirty. Disney you were fun, but home is where the heart is and my heart can only take you once in a lifetime. – Peace and Love