I headed out of Boston’s Logan Airport just before three in the afternoon on October 29th. Even my fear of being airborne could not combat my excitement. I was headed to Disney World to meet one of my best friends for an amazing weekend! What you are about to read catalogues the escapades we shared over Halloween weekend at Disney World.
I arrived in Orlando a little before six pm and collected my baggage (which was deemed to big to be a carry on) and my rental car. I got a super deal on a bright red Chevy Aveo through priceline.com and budget rent-a- car. This leads me to my first tip:
If you can, request a non traditional car color.
It really helped us out to have a screaming red vehicle in the parking lots filled with silver and white cars! In no time flat I was on my way to Disney’s Pop Century Resort, or was I? I got lost for a good 45 minutes. I am not sure how I accomplished this, but I am pretty sure my GPS was the culprit.
I finally reached Pop at 7:30pm. We were in the 90’s section of the building which was a great location for someone with a car. The lot was never too full, but it is quite a walk to Classic Hall where all the food and merchandise is located. However, we were just a stones throw from the computer pool. When I first arrived at Pop, I was, well, shocked to say the least. I must preface this with the fact that I am a deluxe girl. I have only ever stayed at deluxe resorts and was not expecting the neon parking garage style abode that welcomed me at pop. There was too much concrete, too many colors, and the room was small. I was ready to switch hotels! Fear not Disney budget planners, I did come around. After a few early morning strolls around the property, a few trips to everything pop for fantastic lasagna, a stroll through what is probably one of the best arcades on property and always having a clean room with all our needs met, I realized that this resort had plenty to offer. I was at Disney World for less than $300 per night and I could still enjoy myself thoroughly! Which leads me to my tip #2
Try a different resort or resort category on your next trip. They are all gems in their own right!
I met my friend Danielle in our room and we headed out to the Polynesian for a late dinner at ‘Ohana. We had an hour or so to kill and used that time to order a few strawberry daiquiris, lounge in some fabulous chairs, talk about life, and watch Happy Hallow-Wishes from the beach. They pipe the music in here so it is sometimes even better than watching from Main Street! We then headed up for our fabulous dinner. For those of you who have never been to ‘Ohana here is tip #3 Go to ‘Ohana! This place serves up some seriously delicious food and they do it family style. So you can eat as much as you want, but you never ever have to get up! I have dreams about the dumplings all year long.
We woke up bright and early Saturday morning as I knew the parks would be slammed. Here comes tip #4
I know you are on vacation, but by getting to the parks for rope drop on days that are going to be busy will not only allow you to see a great opening celebration, but you will do all your attractions with very little wait.
We arrived at the Magic Kingdom at 8:15 and waited about half an hour for the opening show to begin. I love this show and try to see it at least once during my stay. Once the park was open we made a bee line for the train and headed to Frontierland. Here we rode Splash Mountain and Big Thunder two times. We then got on Pirates with zero wait, the Haunted Mansion with zero wait, and then the icing on the cake, Space Mountain with a ten minute wait! By 11am when the crowds were starting to swarm the parks we were watching The Move it Shake it Celebrate it parade on our way out! Mission accomplished!
Hollywood Studios was next on our list. Danielle is a big movie fan and I knew she would love it here! We did the great movie ride and Muppet Vision and then headed to lunch at the 50s prime time café. This is a great place. The restaurant is highly themed to resemble a 1950s kitchen and the wait staff plays the part brilliantly. My milkshake and Turkey sandwich really hit the spot.
From here it was time to relax. We headed over to the Grand Floridian for five pm massages. What a fabulous idea this was. It didn’t come cheap, but, by staying at a value resort it was in our budget. We each did 50 minute Swedish massages that were to die for! This is tip #5
Schedule some time to do something that is not included in theme park admission.
It adds another element to your vacation that will be much appreciated! The Grand is such a beautiful relaxing place as it is and the spa follows suit. It was really a great way to rest our bodies and minds from our crazy day thus far. I cannot think of a better day than one that begins on Splash Mountain and Ends at the Grand Floridian Spa with a massage…but wait…our day was only half way over!
After our massage it was back to the Magic Kingdom for some nighttime fun! We ate dinner at Pecos Bills which is always a hit! We headed over to Frontierland, where much to our dismay, Splash was closed down for technical difficulties! We got a fast pass to big thunder, rode pirates and then watched Wishes. We had a great spot for viewing and the show as always was spectacular! On our way back to Frontierland we were caught up in the Main Street Electrical parade. It was then that we noticed some action on Splash Mountain! I am a huge splash fan so when the parade ended we headed right for it! To our pure delight the cast members ushered us onto the ride. There was no wait since it had just come back to life. We happily took our seats in the flume and made it to the first little drop (you know the one that drops you into the peaceful creek where that delightful music begins playing.) Then things got sticky. Our flume hit the flume in front of us and upon further inspection about 8 flumes were stopped right before the drop that brings you indoors. Uh-Oh! We listened to the music for a good 5 minutes before it was shut off and the cast members’ voice came over the intercom telling us to calmly remain in our logs until assistance arrived to get us out! We were being evacuated from splash! The cast members did a fabulous job getting everyone out of the ride. They led us down the emergency exit and out the back of the ride where we were given fast passes to any other attraction.
By the time this fiasco had finished we had just enough time for a ride on Big Thunder, a cinnamon bun at the Main Street Bakery and a slow walk to the monorail to get our car.
Sunday Morning came very very early, but we had a lot to accomplish. We were headed to Epcot! We arrived at Epcot first thing in the morning and rode both Test Track and Soarin’ with no wait at all. We watched Captain EO and Turtle Talk with Crush and decided that it was time for lunch and a nap! We headed to the Wilderness Lodge for a delightful lunch at Roaring Forks. I love the lodge and wanted to share it with my friend. We ate fabulous sandwiches and then lounged for a bit in the beautiful sun. I fell sound asleep for an hour and a half! This totally recharged my batteries and gave me the energy to power through the food and wine festival. Tip #6
Take time to rest.
You are not superman just because you are at Disney!
The food and wine festival was amazing. We ate empanadas, African breads, Irish Cheeses, pork loin, cheddar cheese soup, lobster rolls Chinese dumplings, and so so so much more. I really think this event is one of the best that Epcot offers. It is certainly more of a grown up thing and I think I will bring my husband next year. I was totally full when we left and had only spent about 12 dollars! I got to sample all the foods I have always wanted to try without going broke. The samples they give you are very generous and I never felt that I was over charged for anything.
We left Epcot at 8pm ready to hit up Down Town Disney. Keep in mind this is Halloween night! We were out of luck! Had we taken Disney Transportation we probably would have been fine, but every parking lot was full. We decided instead to spend our final evening enjoying our resort. We ate a very nice late night snack at Eveything Pop, played in the arcade, and toured the grounds. We were tired and ready for bed. We slept soundly that night and awoke to a beautiful morning. Sadly, our destination today was home.
We packed a lot into a short amount of time which was really neat! I think you can do Disney on both a monetary budget and a time budget if you plan really carefully and follow some simple guidelines: Make a plan and stick to it, take time to rest, get to the parks early, make advanced dining reservations!
Thanks for reading and have a magical day!
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