It's probably no surprise that I'm on the road again. A work related and a quick trip up to Vancouver, Washington and then back down the absolutely gorgeous Oregon Coast.
The drive up was/is long. But I'm getting quite accustom to these long grueling drives which are now becoming a piece of cake. (I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing to have happened.)
Since I am sharing in the driving, while I'm not behind the wheel, aside from enjoying the scenery, I also have the time to jump online and do some research and trip planning...
The trip that I was working on yesterday happened to be our upcoming Florida / Disney World Vacation (Oct. 2020).
I am glad to announce that all of the plans are piecing together quite well and although I'll be spending quite a bundle, I am getting super excited about all the fun that we will be embarking on.
So of course when Elisa told me what today's Disney theme was, I was beyond thrilled to jump on board and share with you 10 things to do over and over again at Disney World!
10 Things TO DO
More Than Once In Disney World
At the Magic Kingdom:
1. Festival of Fantasy Parade
Celebrate the spirit of Disney as Magic Kingdom park comes alive with music and dance during a tribute to the tales of Fantasyland.
2. Seven Dwarves Mine Train
Race through the diamond mine from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on a swaying family coaster ride.
At EPCOT - My Favorite Park
3. Test Track
Design a virtual concept car and put it to the test on this thrilling, high-octane attraction.
4. World Showcase
This one is a personal favorite, which consists of 11 pavilions representing countries from around the world, including Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Japan, the United States, Italy, Germany, China, Norway and Mexico.
At Hollywood Studios:
5. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
This one is my girly Cosette's favorite ride! Hurtle up and down aboard a haunted elevator-style lift. You’re about to enter… The Twilight Zone!
6. Rock n’ Roller Coaster
Race along the darkened freeways of Los Angeles in a super-stretch limo to the rockin' tunes of Aerosmith.
7. Sci-Fi Drive-in Theatre
(great vegan options!!)
8. Expedition Everest
A family favorite! Careen through icy Himalayan peaks on a speeding train while avoiding the clutches of the mythic Yeti.
9. Kali Rapids
Get ready to be soaked! Set out on a thrilling whitewater adventure through a lush jungle in the heart of Asia.
At Disney's Grand Floridian Hotel & Spa:
10. Afternoon Tea at Garden View Tea Room
You know how much Elisa and I love afternoon tea!!!
Share your thoughts and favorites below.
See ya back here on Friday.
Ciao 4 Now,
Mid-week here and I'm proud to say, I've managed to get in a few 3-mile walks. These past few months have negatively impacted my waistline. The days of Covid-19 quarantine took its toll on many folks by bringing their exercise routine to a screeching halt.
Well, now that I'm settling into my new home, one of my goals has been to get back on the fitness bandwagon and get myself outdoors for regular long walks. My goal has always been 3-5 miles a day. However, these days, I'm just happy if I can do a minimum of 3 miles as I ramp back up!
We hope you are staying healthy and beginning to put the focus on your daily fitness routine and healthy eating.
And speaking of "walking" - that reminds me of a place where lots of walking is part of the adventure -- Disney World! It is estimated that walking up to as much as 10 miles a day is possible and also inevitable!
I think this is a good seque into our topic of the day here on Travelin' Cousins' Walt Disney World Wednesday.
With so much to think about when planning your trip to Disney World - whether you are a regular guest at the happiest place on earth or an infrequent visitor - we wanted to share with you our thoughts, from personal experience, things you should DO and NOT DO more than once in Disney World.
Tanya has jumped on the Walt Disney World Wednesday bandwagon today with Kelsey and I, which we are thrilled about! As such, we’ve each tackled this feature by breaking it up between our two “Scoops.”
I’ll be chatting with you about 9 things I would never do again, after doing them once.
9 Things NOT TO DO
More Than Once In Disney World
1. Go During Christmas Week
Folks, I am not a humbugger, but seriously, Christmas time has got to be one of the worst times of all to visit Disney World. Me and the girls went there for Christmas 2017 and back in 2013 and while you really cannot have a bad time in the happiest place on earth, this visit tested our resolve.
Although it was gorgeous to see with all the decorations and Christmas trees throughout the park, it was so darn crowded; the lines were nuts and walking around was just not enjoyable. Additionally, we were put on a waiting list till the bitter end to get one room for our entire stay, running the risk of having to stay in two different rooms over the course of our week-long visit.
While school and work schedules often dictate the time of year to visit, try your best to go in an off time, like mid November or December prior to Christmas. October is also a lovely time of year, as is April.
2. Waste Valuable Time Saving Seats for Parades and/or Fireworks
Disney World has some of the greatest parades and most festive fireworks show. Although experiencing these events makes for a wonderful memory, it is really not worth sitting in one place for an extended period of time to secure a great seat or viewing location.
Considering the cost of a day pass to visit each park, it really wastes valuable time that you could be enjoying an attraction or walking around and taking in the beauty of the surroundings. We did do this on one of our trips, when the girls were young. It was fun and they enjoyed having a clear view of all the floats and performers, but I would say, once is enough. To catch parades or fireworks, there are numerous vantage points from which you can snag a good view rather than sitting for a long period of time to save the "best" seat.
3. Wait till End of Trip to Buy Souvenirs
While I'm not a huge proponent of buying lots of souvenirs at Disney World, I will admit, we always set aside a budgeted amount for making some fun purchases. The atmosphere in Disney is such that you feel engulfed in the fun and festivity of all things Disney.
So, as they say, when in Rome...and this is why we always make it a point to buy our souvenirs, especially those "wearable" ones, at the beginning of our trip. Whether it's Mickey or Minnie Ears, a tee shirt featuring your favorite character, jewelry, or socks, enjoying these spirited items throughout the trip just makes for more happiness!
If you are buying other purchases that you will use at home or plan to give as gifts, I also recommend doing your shopping sooner than later so you can put this task behind you. The stores provide delivery services to your Disney resort and will even ship to your home so you do not have to walk around the park with bags.
4. Miss Our FastPass+ Booking Window
One of the best features now available at Disney is the ability to secure FastPasses online prior to your arrival at the park. Not only does it save time when visiting an attraction and waiting on the stand-by line, but it also insures that you get a FastPass+, should you decide mid-trip that you want one only to find out there are none available for your desired day in the respective park.
These days, FastPasses book up quicky - even pre-booked online. At the present time, with the health crisis and temporary changes at Disney, the FastPass+ Service is temporarily unavailable. However, when things open up, we suggest booking them as soon as your booking window opens up. If you are staying at a Disney Resort hotel, you can make your FastPass+ selections up to 60 days prior to check-in for the entire length of your stay and you can book up to 30 days in advance of your visit if you are not a Disney Resort Guest, starting at 7:00 AM Eastern Time.
5. Wait in Line at Quick Service
As life is getting more and more automated, Disney is too. Quick service dining can often prove to be anything but quick, with long lines and waits. But, now, more quick service dining locations throughout the parks are offering mobile ordering, making the experience a bit more calm and relaxing.
With the "My Disney Experience" app, you can pay for and pick up fresh food throughout Walt Disney World, saving time and eliminating waiting and stressfully searching for a place to sit and eat.
6. Buy A Rain Poncho
Let's face it, the weather in Orlando and Florida, in general, is unpredictable. It can be sunny one minute and then suddenly you are caught in a rain shower. And some days when you are at Disney, it's just plain raining all day.
Fortunately, the folks at Disney World know this and when it rains they are prepared to offer wet or soon-to-be wet guests the opportunity to purchase Disney ponchos. Honestly folks, these ponchos are rather expensive and you are better off bringing your own rain slickers or ponchos.
My gang got caught in the rain a few trips ago during our visit to Animal Kingdom. We were unprepared and had to shell out $10+ per poncho. Thereafter, I always roll up ponchos and throw them in my back pack for the inevitable shower.
7. Cinderella's Royal Table Dining
If you have never been inside the infamous Cinderella's Castle, it is a must-do experience. Little girls and boys are treated like royalty and get to enjoy a very unique dining experience. However, in my humble opinion, I do not think this dining experience is worth doing more than once.
It is rather expensive. If you are on the dining plan, it usually costs two dining vouchers and if you are paying out of pocket, it will set you back a bit.
Don't get me wrong, the views over Fantasyland are wonderful and the atmosphere is one the kiddies (and adults) will not forget, but, I believe once is enough. Since Disney World reopened, Cinderella's Royal Table has not reopened as of yet and Disney just announced this week that the restaurant will be reopening on September 24th. That's the good news. Unfortunately, it will be reopening with one pretty significant change - the Disney princesses will NOT be there to meet and greet guests in light of social mandate requirements at the present time, so be mindful of this temporary status.
8. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Disney World should be commended on all of the extras that they offer. It certainly gives guests who visit often a plethora of experiences from which to choose. However, when it comes to a few of these, I believe the experience is not worth doing more than one time. This includes Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Actually, if I'm honest, I'm not sure I even recommend doing this at all.
This event takes place at the Magic Kingdom on select nights throughout November and December. It starts at 7pm and (get this) it requires a separate ticket from regular general admission. So, in addition to the current park entrance ticket of $109 per person over 10 years of age, guests need to shell out anywhere from $105 to $155 per adult and $100 to $150 per child for this after hours event.
So this begs the question - what do you get for your money which can add up to close to $500 for a family of four. Well, the event runs from 7pm to midnight, but party guests can enter at 4pm. I'm just not convinced that for complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, character meet and greets available only at the party, a special fireworks show, and an elaborate parade, it is worth this added expense. If you must try it, be sure to do so on the most inexpensive ticket nights.
As for me, I would never do this again. I'd rather use that money to try other restaurants, or a spa service at one of the hotels or even treat myself to some lovely purchases.
9. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
This experience is definitely one that has captivated little girls and boys since it opened in April 2009. I will admit, it is a great deal of fun for the little ones to go through a royal transformation to elegant princesses and shining knights. I did this with my girls a number of years ago and both mom and daughters enjoyed it thoroughly.
However, it is a bit costly. Starting at $69 and then the additional cost of costumes, accessories and tip, you are getting up there considering all of the money you are already spending on your vacation. I'll concede that it is definitely worth doing once, but, not each visit to Disney World.
Well, my dear peeps, until we meet again on Friday for another installment of our Mini Road Trip Series, I'm going to bid ye farewell. Stay tuned as we are headed back to the east coast for Vol. 4, with a road trip that is filled with multicultural discoveries from Queens to Long Island!!
Stay safe and stay well!!
September 2, 2020 - Walt Disney World Wednesday | Things TO DO and NOT TO DO More Than Once in Disney World AND Scenes from Mono Lake
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