Sep 8, 2014

6 Things You'll Miss After Your Disney Vacation (and 2 You Won't)


Disney World is a hard place not to love. Themed rides and pavilions, colorful balloons, adorable cartoon characters...Walt sure knew what he was doing when he created this mega successful empire. Since moving to Florida just 74 days ago, D and I have visited Disney World 7 times. WHAT?! Two almost 30-year-olds can't love Disney that much? Hush yo mouth, we do! And as annual passholders we probably forever will, because even having frequented all the parks in the height of hot Florida summer, I'd go back tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after that. You get my drift, we can't get enough! Maybe it's the nostalgia (both D and I went numerous times as kids), maybe it's the love of great movies (we're big Aladdin & Beauty and the Beast fans), or maybe Disney really knows how to host a super awesome vacation (hint: it's all three!). One thing's for sure, after every visit, we miss all the same things. I've compiled a little list featuring 6 things you'll miss after your fabulous Disney vacay...and 2 things you won't. Hey, no place is perfect! Although Disney's pretty darn close...

1| The Friendly Cast Members
The staff of Walt Disney World is probably among some of the nicest, most patient individuals in the entire universe. They deal with tired, ornery, demanding tourists all.day.long and still keep smiles on their faces. They truly make the whole Disney experience a more enjoyable one just from their radiating joy and willingness to go out of their way to say hello to you. And if you're wearing one of Disney's celebration buttons (birthdays, anniversaries, first visits), you'll be overwhelmed by the number of Cast Members that bestow well-wishes upon you throughout the parks. It is the happiest place on Earth after all!


Dole Whip image via
2| Dole Whip
Oh my golly, Dole Whip. A Magic Kingdom "must-eat"! It's basically Dole pineapple soft serve ice cream (non-dairy, vegan, fat free, cholesterol free!--also comes in orange flavor). But you can also get it swirled with vanilla soft serve (my favorite combination) or with pineapple juice as a sort of Dole Whip float. When it's hot and muggy at the park, this stuff is the perfect snack to cool off with. Go early!--because the lines get long as the day gets hotter! Can only be found in Aloha Aisle in the Adventureland pavilion of Magic Kingdom, Tamu Tamu Refrehments in Harambe Village of Animal Kingdom, and at Captain Cook's at the Polynesian Resort. I'm still trying to convince D to get a machine in our kitchen. Ahh, someday.


3| Character Sightings
Am I too old to admit that schmoozing with Disney characters is still something that makes me giddy as a school girl? I still have my old character autograph book from back in my kid days. Oh, memories. But seriously, Disney characters are everywhere and I suggest you go hug a few. It just adds to the wonder and fun that is Walt Disney World! Be sure to visit Mickey at Town Square Theater in Magic Kingdom--I'm still reeling over my experience there! I won't spoil it for you, but it's truly magical. Do it. Other character favorites? Any character breakfast (hello, Mickey waffles!), meeting Aladdin & Jasmin in Agrabah Bazaar of Magic Kingdom, meeting Gaston at Gaston's Tavern in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom, and hugging Donald in Mexico at Epcot. If you're a Frozen fanatic, be prepared to wait in long lines (or get a Fastpass!) to meet Anna and Elsa at the Princess Fairytale Hall in Magic Kingdom. They're the two hot characters of the year. But Mickey's still my main squeeze!



4| Being Totally Submerged in Another World
When you pass through that character-covered entrance with the giant words "Walt Disney World--Where Dreams Come True!" on just off I-4, you're entering into a whole other world filled with lots of imagination and fun. Disney World does an amazing job of making you feel like you've left your real life completely behind. It has dozens of its own resorts, hundreds of restaurants, its own gas stations, buses, McDonalds, Starbucks, and fire stations...anything you could need, you'll find it on the 30,000+ acre Disney World compound (it's literally the size of San Francisco). I love visiting Disney World just for this reason. Check your worries at the entrance, because in Disney World, you won't need 'em!

5| Fireworks
Who doesn't love fireworks? If you don't, then Disney World might not be for you...grouch. Almost every park has a fireworks show of some sort every day. Current favorite? The Frozen Firework Spectacular in Hollywood Studios (limited time showing--ends Sept 28th!). I am admittedly not a fan of Frozen, but good gosh is that show a stellar one. I will not tell you I cried the first time I saw it. I won't. Other great firework shows? Wishes at Magic Kingdom and IllumiNations at Epcot. You'll leave your Disney World vacation on a fireworks high, no doubt about it!


6| Being a Kid Again
Want to wear a Goofy shirt and Mickey hat? Do it. Want to eat chocolate covered Mickey ears? Eat it. Want to sing and dance at a parade? Dance away! Everyone else is! That's one of best things about Disney World...you'll have this uncontrollable desire to revert back to childhood and do all the things kids do. This is the one place you can and no one will judge you for it! The kid-like wonder is palpable here and it's hard to resist all the varieties of fun found in each Disney park. I still enjoy the parades just as much as I did when I was a kid. Some things in life never change!

You Won't Miss...
1| Crowds
No one visits any amusement park and expects it to be empty, that's just crazy thinking. But since the Frozen phenomenon and the introduction of the newly completed Seven Dwarf's Mine Train ride in Magic Kingdom, the crowds at Disney World have been kind of insane. It's also peak season, so yeah, nuts. D and I were finally able to ride the Mine Train ride over Labor Day weekend when the line went down from a 90-minute wait in mid-July to 45 minutes now that the kiddos are back in school. Want to get into the new Fantasyland restaurant Be Our Guest set in Beast's castle? Good luck! Reservations can be made for dinner 180 days in advance and every time we've tried making them before our Magic Kingdom visit, no dice. Crowds are seriously the pits.

2| Strollers
As bicycles are to Amsterdam, strollers are to Disney World. They are EVERYWHERE. You get stuck behind a caravan of them and you're basically screwed. While necessary for wrangling children, they're a bit of a nuisance for us child-less visitors. Watch out for your ankles, too. Flat tires are a common occurrence.



TRAVELER'S TIP:
Save yourself the sweat and tears (literally) and wait to visit Disney World in any other season than summer. It's utterly miserable to walk around the parks when it's 95 degrees and 90% humidity. The amounts of sweat that will uncontrollably pour out of you is ungodly. If you've got no other option than summertime for a Disney vacation, make sure to drink plenty of water (a Dasani bottle will only cost you $2.50, but you can ask for tap water at any of the restaurants for FREE!), take breaks from the heat (there are plenty of shops to wander in for A/C), and carry around a few paper towels to wick away the sweat when you get too gross (believe me, you'll need 'em). When it simply gets to be too hot & humid, make a beeline straight to the Hall of Presidents and take a 22 minute sweat-break. You'll leave freezing, and it's the greatest thing EVER.

Have you ever been to Disney World? 
What do you miss when you leave?

29 comments:

  1. I miss Disney! We went for our honeymoon two years ago and we've been trying to save/figure out another trip back since haha. One thing that astounded me about strollers was all the different kinds. It was insanity. Yes there were also a ton!

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  2. this is hilarious -- hall of presidents is the most important attraction in disney, i think, because it offers such a reliable AC break. i haven't been to disney in a couple years (sad) but i always paid it a visit several times per trip back in the day!

    you should go during the epcot food and wine fest or during the halloween party and write a post about it! i've always wanted to go both and eat everything in sight.

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    1. HAHA!! Yep...that's all it's good for!!

      Believe it or not, we actually went to both back in 2009 when we visited with friends. Such a fun festival and Halloween party! We will definitely be going back to the Food and Wine fest multiple times this year, so be on a lookout for a post about it at some point!

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  3. This post is great! I absolutely love Disney World and totally understand how you two have gone so many times already...I would do it too if I lived closer! I just went to Disney this past month and had a blast! I agree with everything you wrote above- especially the Dole Whip. So amazing!
    xo, Teryn
    The Rucksack Diaries (http://www.diariesofarucksack.com/)

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    1. Thanks, Teryn! It's hard to stay away!!

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  4. So much nostalgia! I love Disney! I lived just 3 hours away until I went off for college (stupid me), so I went every year from ages 6-18. I need to go back right now.

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    1. D living near Miami before moving to NC and he and his family went multiple times a year growing up, too! I guess that's one perk of Florida living!! :)

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  5. LOVE Disney. My husband hasn't been since he was a child and does not understand how fun it is as an adult! It's the best and that Dole Whip...

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  6. So happy you're sharing your love of Disney...it really is the best isn't it?! Too bad you weren't at MK on Friday...the waits for Mine Train in the morning were only 10 minutes!

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    1. THE BEST!! You've got to be kidding me!! 10 minutes?!?! I would have ridden it over and over again!

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  7. If I lived close to a Disney park I would be going all the time as well! And dole whip, seriously the best thing ever!

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  8. My parents took us to Disneyworld over Thanksgiving. I was 7. I don't remember tons, but there was a tropical storm off the coast and it rained the whole time. Yellow ponchos were therefore worn the whole trip. My husband and I went in the spring, before there were kids. I don't remember it being too crazy crowded.

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  9. I'm 18 and I've been to Disney World almost every year of my life due to my grandparents living only 2 hours away. It seriously is the happiest place on Earth, I love seeing your guys' pictures on Instagram of your visits to Disney!

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  10. oh man, this made me giddy...and we were just at Disney labor day weekend and have annual passes! I love it so much!! Honestly the sweat though, yuck. But BUT! of course we still go during the summer because it is magical enough to sweat to death and deal with way too many people. Worth it! Strollers, man. Double sided coin. Hated em childless. Love em with a babe now. Hooray for Disney!

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  11. Yes! Dole Whips are the BEST! Last year my husband's company gave us a day pass to Epcot. I had my husband go with me on the monorails over to the MK and then the Polynesian Village just so i could have my fave snack in all the world :)

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  12. Last time I went to Disney was my senior spring break. I have heard amazing things about the dole whip.

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  13. I've been to Disney World once, and Disneyland countless times. I love (and don't love those two) these things as well! I've got all the buttons possible and get super happy when I have the opportunity to get another one. Disney parks are where I can wear my Mickey Mouse crocs and not get judged, haha!

    Sunflowers & Love

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  14. My daughter and I went to WDW last August - I wanted to celebrate a big 0 birthday with a trip "around the world" She took a photo of me at every country in Epcot! And it was hotter than hot - but we still had fun. Even when the air conditioning went out on my car. And yes, we went to the Hall of Presidents - twice.

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    1. SO FUN! I love that idea!!! The Hall of Presidents was created just for us sweaty people to prevent us from passing out, I've decided. :)

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  15. Disney is awesome!!!! It really is the happiest place ever :) I also suggest not visiting between Chistmas and New Year. We did that a couple of years ago at the same time as going to the Capital One Bowl, it was a madhouse!

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  16. I absolutely loved this! I went for a couple days a few years back and couldn't get enough. I saw the fireworks at Epcot and was stunned at how gorgeous they were!! We went in November and even then it was hot, but I couldn't fathom going in the Summer and have always been impressed that you can keep your hair down while there! You are a better woman than I. ;) And hands down, I have to say, the Gaston photo is my all time favorite of you guys. I love that you guys have so much fun!

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  17. Everytime I read about Disney I wish I could go there

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  18. I haven't been to Disney in years but I'm so looking forward to experiencing the magic again through the eyes of my daughter one day

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    1. So sweet! I'm looking forward to that too...with whatever children we end up having someday! :)

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  19. I haven't been to Disney in way too long! I think I was 19 or 20 on my last trip. Well, to Disney World. I did go to Disneyland Paris when I lived in France, so that was only 5 years ago, not 7 or 8.

    Going to Disney World with my husband is on my "before we have kids" bucket list. He's never been before!

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  20. What a cute post. I loved your pictures - especially the one with Gaston! Too funny. :) I need to visit a Disney park sometime again. Years ago i was in Disney Land Paris, but i guess every 8-10 year it should be on your to-do list! :D xo

    http://luchessa.org/

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    1. Thanks, Luchessa! We had a lot of fun with Gaston. They really stay in character well! :)

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  21. I went on a business trip back in May to Disney world and only got to play for half a day and it was pouring rain!!!!! I wish I had stayed longer!!!!! There is SO MUCH to see! http://lotfortyeight.blogspot.com/2014/05/my-business-trip.html

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