• Ala Grace

Walt Disney World in Two Days

Where to begin with a title that mentions the infamous D I S N E Y - literally I have re-written the beginning of this three times now and its not out of writers block, quite the opposite actually I have far too many great things to say about our trip to Walt Disney World! You could call me a Disney enthusiast and a half, as a little munchkin I was an avid Disney princess wannabe - I mean who doesn't know at least ONE Disney song and if you are sitting there and you genuinely have no idea of anything Disney, its been a blast but I don't think we can be friends.

Okay maybe that was a little too far, but see what happens to people when their on the topic of Disney - they become totally different people! Now put all 52,964 people that on a daily average attend Walt Disney World who also love and adore Disney just as much - if not much more than you do and wham bam thank you Sam you have a yourself the craziest and longest day of your life! We chose to make the trip to Orlando, Florida because I personally had already been to the Anaheim, California Disneyland and my sister and I are the biggest fans of Harry Potter so with Universal Studio's there too we thought we would be able to make the most of the trip and do all experiences in one hit! Which to us sounded like a fool proof plan - we had two days in WDW and two days in US (which I later realized like the rookie I am, that those acronym's stood for the theme parks names *insert forehead slap here*) - our intention was to just turn up to the parks at the crack of dawn and spend all day in our selected park!

Now that meme is literally no joke guys! WDW is broken into four separate parks and depending on your ticket depends on if you can go back and fourth in the one day between parks OR (like us) you choose one park a day pass, now with that said with four possible parks to enter and their magnitude of size you should leave one day for each park. Particularly if you wish to see every nook and cranny of each part, for me I wasn't going to spend my energy and money on an experience that I didn't get 100% out of especially given the chances of my family and I going back anytime soon. So for us we looked at the four separate Disney parks: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Disney's Animal Kingdom and my personal favourite Magic Kingdom. We then decided upon what we would like to do the most and found that for our trip we chose Disney's Hollywood Studio's and the Magic Kingdom. Now I highly recommend doing your homework before you go because each park offers different attractions and you might be more interested in one than the other.

Something else to be aware of is holiday events, when we were there it was Halloween and the Magic Kingdom closed at 6pm every night leading up to the 31st of Oct for those of the parks guests that hadn't purchased an additional ticket for 'Mickey's Not So Spooky Halloween Party' - now this was both a blessing and a curse for us. As I mentioned our intention was to use the most amount of time we could for those two days in Orlando to experience all things Disney and we were a little disappointed that when purchasing our tickets we weren't aware that you also had to shell out more money to stay in that park past 6pm. Now when you research WDW Halloween celebrations they look epic - plus my prior experience with the parades, fireworks and light shows at night in the Magic Kingdom was phenomenal and I had all intentions of sharing that with my family so as you can imagine I was a little bummed that we hadn't realized it was a closed event and of course we were four people out of an upwards of thousands that wanted tickets for that event. So no such luck BUT on a positive note we had managed to obtain an early entry into the Magic Kingdom because of our hotel we were staying at, early in the eyes of Disney is 8am as everything else opens from 9am. Plus as a positive we were able to have an early night to go back to our resort and relax! Our second Disney World choice was Disney's Hollywood Studio's, purely because that was the park we were going to find all things Star Wars and that was the fiancees be and end all life goal - so of course we had to make that happen.

The added benefit of Disney's Hollywood Studio's is that this park didn't close until 8pm - so we were able to fit in a whole day of fun and didn't feel the need to rush or cut the attractions that weren't as high on our list. Although this park feels A LOT smaller than the others it is still as captive and more about the attractions that require you to walk into and observe. Although be fully prepared for more 3D virtual experiences than you will know what to do with, these kinds of rides are awesome and I would totally do them again BUT with the amount of them they had in BOTH parks - maybe because thats where we are headed in our entertainment industry - they will certainly leave you a little woozy and needing a serious sit down! Not to mention unless you purchase a fast pass (which came included in our hotel package) you will have plenty of time to recoup in the waiting lines.

Another benefit of BOTH parks is that if rides aren't your thing than that's okay too because there is soo much for everyone to do - they call these places tourist traps for a reason, all the food and retail outlets are so accessible, not particularly healthy but still a great resource when all you want to do is chill out from all the walking around and the multitude of crowds that are everywhere you turn! I can't even remember how many large families with small children I saw there and it looked so stressful and chaotic, so again I think thorough planning and a great schedule is your best bet for a seamless experience that everyone can enjoy - children and adults! Plus that way you can research what events are happening at your chosen park so if you have a fast pass you can select up to three events per day, per ticket to skip the queue and this was such a great way for us to stay out of the heat and get as much done as possible! As you've heard me mention above, our accommodation was at one of the WDW Resorts. Initially before I had done any homework I thought that this option would be WAYYY to expensive for us, even to the point I had booked an AirBnB just down the road from the parks around the same time we booked the flights. We had intended to wait a little bit to purchase our tickets for all the theme parks because they hardly change but then with all the add on's like fast pass and two day, two park pass it ended up being more expensive! So we did a little research into our AirBnB in comparison to the Hotel offers they had within the resort and it ended up being far more affordable to pay for a hotel resort room and have things like our park passes and add ons thrown in for less than if we purchased it individually! ALSO, if you look a little deeper you will find an even better price when purchasing tickets if you are a Canadian resident. For the four of us on our holiday/work visa in Canada with our British Columbia drivers licenses as proof of our semi-permanent residency we found after contacting WDW that we could in fact apply for these kinds of tickets but the loop hole is that you had to have 4 days minimum at the parks and for our flights that had already been booked, that clearly didn't work for us - again it was a valuable lesson in planning! With planning your holiday I highly recommend downloading the Disney World App, especially if you're staying on site. You can make all the reservations for dinning out, an informative and interactive map on the parks and the wait times for each attraction (this was a life saver for us) plus all the photos that get taken by the professional photographers there are uploaded to your app via the electronic band they give you as your entry ticket into each park - talk about FANCY!

Overall our Disney experience provided so many laughs and memorable moments that I know we will cherish for the rest of our life but if you are planning your Disney trip anytime soon you best hope that you pack durable shoes and put your best foot forward because its SOOO much walking and zaps all the energy from you - be sure to do your research and look at all the options for your accommodation and don't be upset when you contemplate selling your liver to pay for your holiday - it happens to all of us! Until next time, - Liz x

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