Disney World – Orlando, Florida USA Part 4

The classic Cinderella Castle shot.

I hope everyone had a beautiful and stuffed Thanksgiving yesterday! How does time pass so quickly? How the heck did Thanksgiving past already, and almost at the end of 2016? What? Didn’t 2016 just start? Ugh. What do you mean I went on vacation 4 months ago and still haven’t finished writing about it?

Sorry! Work has been busy and I have been traveling for work/personal lately… so many things to do, so little time. Adulting is hard (did I forget to take my gummy vitamins today again? I don’t remember). But I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, the magical world of Disney.

I think I’ve been to Disney World 5 times now. Twice as a baby/kid, three times as an adult. Ha! And I will not go back until my future kiddies want to go to Disney World. However, Disney World is such a well run machine. They do try to make it really the happiest place on earth. Yes, the rides are for kids but the overall theme, decor, staff, music, feels makes you feel like a kid again. Bless up.

Disney World is comprised of 4 theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom; and 2 water parks: Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.

I went to Magic Kingdom a few years ago for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and it was the cutest thing. I heard the same about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. If you could only go to Disney one day, I’d definitely recommend trying to go during these two events. And especially if you’ve never been to any Disney park before, Magic Kingdom is the OG classic… the heart of it all. Although the event itself usually starts at 7PM, but with your event ticket, you can enter the park as early as 4PM. Many rides are still open during the event. The event is so FRIGGIN cute, even if you are not a Disney fanatic (but enjoy watching children dressed in the cutest costumes trick or treat around the park).

Anyway, I was only in Disney for 2 days and chose Magic Kingdom and Epcot for my 2 days. The company I interned for closed down Animal Kingdom for a few hours on a summer evening so that was pretty cool; they only have one coaster I believe, yet I remember that being pretty fun. Hollywood Studios only had 2 rides that are for ‘bigger’ kids: Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror but other than that, I didn’t think I would’ve wanted to spend the whole day there. I never went to the water parks so I can’t talk about those.

In this post, I’ll go into:

  • Getting from Port Canaveral to Disney World via rental car
  • Accommodations
  • Magic Kingdom and Epcot
    • Overall experience/tips
    • Favorite and least favorite attractions
    • Food
  • Disney Springs


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Orlando, Florida USA (August 2016) Part 1


My “big” vacation this year was a 8-day, 7-night Carnival cruise around the Caribbean that ported in Port Canaveral, Florida with my family of 18. Cruises, in my opinion, are the best, least stressful option for big group vacationing.. but I enjoy cruises regardless of the number of people going. While the more the merrier mentality goes here, it’s also even better when you have good company (but that’s true for literally any trip or life situation haha). I’ve heard horror stories before where people who originally had flights the morning of embarkation had flights cancelled or delayed or whatever and made them miss boarding the ship. I don’t think it happens frequently, but it does happen and was something to be aware of. Thus, many cruise forums suggested that people who had to fly into port, fly in the day before just incase. For me, it was an excuse to extend my vacation another day so I planned to fly in a day before, and also stay a few days after to make this flight to Orlando really worth it. (The rest of my family flew the first flight into MCO the day of (arrival around 9:30AM) and actually made it onto the ship before I did.) Now I’ve been to Orlando every single year for the past 4 years thanks to my job, so I went to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure twice, and Universal Studios Florida, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios once as an adult. The kid in me didn’t mind going again, especially since the BF hasn’t gone to the newer Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Diagon Alley) in the original Universal Studios yet and I haven’t gone to Epcot as an adult. SO! It was set. “We’re going to Disneyland World (and Universal Studios)!!!” I’ll go into my cruise experience in a later post but for now, here’s my short-version itinerary for the Florida portion:

Day 1 – Friday

  • LGA -> MCO (6:30AM -> 9:05AM)
  • Pick up car rental at Avis Counter at MCO
  • Drive and check into Four Points by Sheraton Orlando International Drive (3,000 SPG points)
  • Walk to Universal Studios Florida
  • Rides
  • Lunch at The Simpsons Fast Food Boulevard (World Expo)
  • Butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley
  • Rides
  • Walked to Royal Pacific Hotel to eat dinner at Emeril’s Tchoup Chop
  • Took ferry back to Universal Studios
  • Watch parade and go on one more ride

Day 2 – Saturday

  • Check out of Four Points
  • Drive to Cape Canaveral to drop off Avis car rental
  • Cool Avis manager says we can keep the car for a few more hours without extra charge
  • Eat breakfast at Simply Delicious Cafe & Bakery
  • Walk around Ron Jon Surf Shop and Cocoa Beach
  • Return car at Avis and take free shuttle to Port Canaveral

Day 2 (Saturday) to Day 10 (Sunday)

  • #CaribbeanCruiselife (to be written about in later post)

Day 10 – Sunday

  • Cruise ship disembarkation at 8:30AM, free shuttle to Avis Car Rental
  • Drove to Lake Buena Vista and returned car at Avis
  • Walked to Disney Springs to find free bus to Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel (10,000 SPG points)
  • Checked in to hotel
  • Took bus to Magic Kingdom Park from hotel
  • Ate lunch at Casey’s Corner (Main Street, U.S.A.)
  • Rides
  • Waffle break at Sleepy Hollow (Liberty Square)
  • Rides
  • Took bus to Disney Springs
  • Dinner at Earl of Sandwich
  • Walked around Disney Springs

Day 11 – Monday

  • Took Friendship boat to Epcot
  • Breakfast at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie (France)
  • Oh you know, just roamin’ the world
  • Taco Break at La Cantina De San Angel (Mexico)
  • More world explorin’
  • Rides
  • Dinner at Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe (Norway)
  • Watch Chinese acrobats perform (China)
  • Watch Illuminations/Fireworks show (watched in Italy)

Day 12 – Tuesday

  • Check out hotel
  • Uber to MCO airport
  • Lunch at Panda Express (really the only thing I crave for in airports)

I’m going to break this into separate posts per day / theme park and hopefully remember to link it back to this post for easy access. Looking forward to sharing more details on this trip!

xoxo Eileen