Welcome to my Disney Travel Diary
Disney is such a great place for for all ages to have a great time.The first time I ever experienced this magical place was when I was 6 years old. My grandpa retired and decided to take all of us on a fun trip that December. I remember my cousins and I sound asleep and my grandpa waking us up to the sound of pulling my Woody Toy Story doll, “There’s a snake in my boot”. While Toy Story was an obsession, Cinderella was another. Disney has always been something special to my heart and I think you can never be too old for a little imagination right?!
The most annoying thing I get is ” You’re going again?”. UM YES, sorry to burst your bubble but I sure am lol. Traveling is something I’ve always loved and getting to spend time in my favorite places is something I bring to heart. Budget your money right, take time off, and you’re good to go!
We chose to drive to Disney. Living back in Memphis we would always fly, but luckily, living down on the coast cuts a chunk of hours off. Disney is 7 1/2 hours from my house and is not that bad of a drive. My grandparents live next to 30A so we always spend the night there to split up the trip. This was the travel outfit I decided to wear because I always love to be comfy on trips! I get super cold in the car so pants were a must lol.
We stayed 5 nights at Disney’s Pop Century Resort two weeks before Memorial Day (May 11th-16th). I felt like this was the perfect length to stay & the best time to visit the parks during the “Summer months”. There wasn’t really the huge crowd that I am used to and the weather was AMAZING (except for one day where it poured like a monsoon haha) Pop Century has probably been one of my favorite places that I’ve stayed in. Not only is it beyond colorful, kid friendly, and convenient, but it sits around a lake where we watched Disney test out the gondolas during the day. The only slight con I encountered was the bus situation. Every park we went to, it seemed like our lines were the longest. I guess everyone decided to stay at our resort but that’s okay! We still had a wonderful time.
We got to Disney around 4pm on a Saturday. If you check-in on your phone through the My Disney Experience app (which I highly recommend getting) you can skip the front desk check-in and head straight for your room. They will ship the magic bands beforehand so you can access your room. Pop Century was recently updated so the rooms were FANTASTIC and at a moderate cost.
After getting settled and dressed up for the night, we took the transportation bus to Downtown Disney or what they now call Disney Springs. At the resort, they have buses constantly running to each different theme park until they close. We had reservations at Planet Hollywood for 8pm so we had about two hours to spare when we got there. The first thing we did was go on a scavenger hunt for the millennial pink champagne that everyone has been going crazy over. We found it at Amorette’s Patisserie in Disney Springs. It had to be the most expensive glass of champagne I had ever encountered but it was well worth the $20! It came with a Minnie shaped piece of white chocolate on top. You can see below how happy I was lol.
We walked around a bit going through shops, and seeing what else was around before going to Planet Hollywood to have dinner. We stopped by the Coca-Cola store and if you haven’t been there I suggest going. They have a great rooftop area that overlooks Disney Springs & what better way than to share a coke?!
Disney Springs is the place to go if you’re looking for some amazing food, atmosphere, or a break from the parks. Our experience at Planet Hollywood was so fun! Justin had never been and the atmosphere in the restaurant makes you want to stay the entire night. They have shadow boxes from celebrity movie/concert outfits. Justin was dying to get a picture with Adam Sandler’s jersey from Happy Gilmore. See below haha.
Planet Hollywood had a great deal of food and it was YUMMY. It’s just your average American style food and we had nachos to share. They could have fed about four people. One thing I love to order are their french fries. So if you have a taste for anything like that, this place is your go-to. After dinner, we decided to head back to the resort and hit the sheets! We needed rest for the next park day ahead.
To me, waking up at Disney is so exciting. The first morning at Disney I am always down to walk and get Mickey waffles that I have been craving for months. For all you Disney fanatics, you know exactly what I am talking about. Justin became addicted after a few days lol. Great TIP: to save yourself money get the refillable mug at your resort which is around $18-$20 bucks. I know it seems a lot but if you are going to be there for a few days it will save you TONS. ALWAYS buy it the first day because I waited a couple.
We decided to plan out our day with Typhoon Lagoon (one of Disney’s two waterparks) then head to Animal Kingdom for the late afternoon. The waterpark opened at 10am and we ended up staying until 3pm. This was our first time at a Disney waterpark and it was so much fun! The wait times were minimum (around 5 min) which was nothing. The Caribbean feel was my favorite. This was a great idea because it was around 90 degrees that day, so water fun was a must!
After leaving Typhoon Lagoon, we went back to the resort and got ready to go to Animal Kingdom. Justin & I were beyond pumped because we miraculously got fast passes for Avatar Flight of Passage. Another tip I have is for you to book your fast passes exactly 60 days before the trip (that’s when Disney lets you). When I mean right on the dot, DO IT. You might have the chance to get some of your favorite rides.
If you haven’t taken a ride on Avatar, it is a necessity when coming to Disney. I remember the first time, my friends and I waited 3 hours but when I say it was worth it… IT WAS. Probably one of the best rides out there. Justin was amazed! We ended up riding different attractions through the night and stopped by Flametree Barbecue to grab some dinner. It was DELICIOUS. Our last ride of the night was Kilimanjaro Safari. We rode this during sunset which in my opinion, the best time to take a ride in the safari. Surprisingly, this was my first time and it ended up being one of my favorites!
Our feet were worn out after so much walking that day, so we ended the night with Mickey shaped ice-cream and the fireworks at Animal Kingdom!
Our third day consisted of Hollywood Studios. This was the day it ended up pouring like a monsoon lol. I remember after being at the park for a couple hours, running and being drenched by the time we got to the bus. We stayed and used our fast-passes till around 1pm (when it started to pour). Once you use all of them, Disney will let you get more in the app so remember that! Also, if you keep checking the app for your favorite rides, some people might cancel fast passes last minute and you could be the lucky one to get them. If you like a yummy sweet snack in HW Studios, there is a chocolate chip cookie big enough for two over by the Incredibles section. It’s called Jack Jack’s cookie. Make sure you get them when they are fresh, otherwise you will be eating a hard cookie lol & no one likes that.
We were going to save Magic Kingdom for a full day but it happens to be my favorite park so we went that afternoon after lunch! It had just stopped raining so the weather was definitely in our favor. We ended up riding Space Mountain a few times and snacked on a Mickey pretzel. While we were there we mainly stopped at the little stands for food because honestly we thought it was the best. Churros, pretzels, cheeseburger spring rolls (the best thing ever) we definitely were not counting carbs that week. How can you resist at Disney?! lol.
A day filled with Magic Kingdom was planned for Day 4! Justin and I got engaged back in November so we wore matching shirts this day that I purchased off of etsy. I can’t tell you how many “congrats” we received & we got a free churro out of it! So sweet. Since we only decided to ride a few rides the night before, we planned to stay here all day and ride the ones we didn’t get the chance to. Only of my favorite kid rides is Peter Pan. Luckily, we had a fast pass because there always seems to be over an hour wait for that one. If you want a good laugh, I would suggest going to ride on the Jungle Cruise in Adventure Land. The tour guide is hilarious and it will give you a good chance to sit down & rest for about 15-20 min. Seven dwarfs mine train is another one of my favorites, but you better have a fast pass for that one too unless you have magic hours or after hours at the park!
Throughout the day we decided to not rush and just play it by ear at magic Kingdom. We were beyond exhausted by the end of the day and our feet were over it. I always have a tradition before I leave Magic Kingdom to go in the bakery and get one of my favorite Minnie cake pops. They are the best things you will ever taste!
Another tip.. WEAR GOOD SHOES. I choose fashion over comfort but next time I will have to find a pair that fits both needs.
Our final day was absolutely the best. We spent the morning at Disney’s Blizzard Beach after sleeping in a bit which is another waterpark that Disney owns. The atmosphere was really neat. Like I said before, this was my first time to this specific waterpark. Justin liked this one better, but I think I liked them both the same because they were different in a lot of ways. This park seemed more for the big kids because of all the different slide heights, but they do have a kid area and lazy river etc. We stayed in the lazy river for about an hour and a half because it was so relaxing. It seemed like no one was at the park this day. It was a Wednesday and we were there until around 4pm. The waterparks are definitely something I will do again. This is a great idea if you want to take a break from the theme parks. We had the park hopper plus option for all four days which includes admission to all theme parks each day and waterparks.
After Blizzard Beach we decided to go back to the room and get ready to go eat dinner and dessert at Epcot. I booked the Frozen Ever After dessert party (this was the first time I had booked one). I’ve always heard that if you were going to book one, do the one in Epcot before the light show. Not to mention it’s an open bar for those over 21 and all you can eat dessert! The experience was worth the money and after it was over, the cast members escorted you to ride the Frozen ride after everyone in the park was leaving. This was super fun because one of my favorite movies is Frozen! haha. I’m for sure still a kid at heart and that’s totally okay, but I recommend this for little ones and adults.
I’m so glad you guys could read along! Hope I gave you guys some ideas when visiting Disney World. Here are a few extra questions I have received if your curious..
” Who is your fav Disney character?” Okay this one is hard! I love Cinderella but also love Elsa & Ana… but probably Cinderella.
“Have you ever been to Disneyland?” No! I would love to go soon. Also, Disneyland Paris is one of my dream places!
“Are there any Cars themed attractions?” Disneyland I have heard has Cars World while WDW as of right now does not have a lot except one theatre experience in Hollywood Studios. I wish they had more because that is one of my favorite movies as a kid!
“Best places to stay with kids/grandkids” ahhh thats a hard one. Pop Century was very kid friendly and so many families were saying there. It basically depends on how much $ you want to spend and what your resort style is.
“Best time to come to Disney?” Hands down… FALL. The weather is perfect and all of the decorations are so pretty.
Leave a comment below if you have anything you’d like me to answer!