I finally got to experience Walt Disney World in all its glory for its 50th anniversary! This time around we stayed at Art of Animation in a Little Mermaid standard room. I like to stay at a different Disney resort each time to get the full experience for my clients! Before I stayed here I was told that it would seem like quite a walk from the main lobby and transportation to the Little Mermaid Rooms, but I am happy to report that the walk was not that bad! It was around 5-7 minutes at most and we got to walk through the Lion King area each time. The Little Mermaid standard rooms come with either 2 queen beds or a king bed, just like the other value resort rooms I’ve stayed in. The theming was spot on and adorable, just not in the room, but all around the resort! The only problem we seemed to have with the room was the lack of counter space. The room only had one big dresser, a small table, and a small nightstand so we had a hard time keeping items like our phones, medicines, or other items we might need in the middle of the night right next to us. We even ran out of counter space in the bathroom. But other than that we loved the resort! One of the selling points for me was the easy access to the Skyliner! In order to save money on our trip, we decided to have some groceries delivered. We got some breakfast items, water, and some snacks to put in our bags while at the parks. By doing this we saved around $50 a day by not having breakfast at the resort. There are several grocery delivery services to use in the Orlando area, but we used Magical Vacation Services and had great communication with our shopper!
On our arrival day after we got acquainted with our new “home” for the next week, we headed to Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at Boma. Boma was absolutely AMAZING! This was a buffet-style meal with different soups, salads, meats, sides, and desserts that was a mixture of American and African flavors. Some of my favorite items were the sweet corn pudding, African spiced beef striploin, oxtail soup, and of course the famous zebra domes! So far this was my favorite meal on Disney property and I can’t wait to go back and try the breakfast buffet next time!
Our first park day was Epcot so I made sure I was on the My Disney Experience app by 6:55 to get a virtual queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, which in my opinion is the best ride in all of Disney World. I could go on and on about why I love Epcot and one of those reasons is the Food and Wine festival! We made sure to try some of our favorite eats from previous years like the bacon and cheddar soup from Canada and even tried some new eats like the warm chocolate pudding cake and Guinness baileys coffee shake from Ireland!
The next day we were at Hollywood Studios and enjoyed some of our favorite rides and shows like Tower of Terror, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage. We spent most of our time in Toy Story Land. This time we were able to do all the rides and had a blast! (Pro tip: If you have small children that are reaching height requirements for thrill rides, start off slow with rides like Slinky Dog Dash and 7 Dwarves Mine Train!) For Lunch, we had the grilled cheese and tomato soup from Woody’s Lunchbox and the soup was the best part. Make sure you mobile order from here because the time slots will run out and the line can get pretty long!
Our third day was our first day at Magic Kingdom and the night of our Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party! We spent the morning going on our favorite rides eating some Halloween treats like the Binx Tail at Cheshire Café and the M&M’s peanut butter churro at the snack cart near Cinderella Castle. Before we left for a mid-day break we were able to catch the Festival of Fantasy Parade! A moment I will cherish forever is being able to watch the parade with the castle decorated for the 50th anniversary! Sadly it rained all night so my costume was covered by my raincoat, but we still had a blast! You know what they say, a rainy day at Disney is better than any day back home! This year at the party we got treat bags with the 50th logo on them and you can print on your way out of the park! Trick or treating is definitely crowded the beginning of the night so I suggest going during either the first parade or stage shows. Sadly we didn’t get to see the Hocus Pocus Stage show or the first parade because of the weather but we made the best of it. We went on Pirates of the Caribbean since they had live actors in the queue and on the ride during the party and had the Jack-O-Lantern float from Sunshine Tree Terrace. And you can’t go to the Halloween party without riding the Haunted Mansion! We came off of Haunted Mansion to find out that the firework show was still going on as scheduled! We got to catch the end of the show and it was the perfect way to end the night! Hopefully, we get better weather next year! Day four was our rest day. As magical as Disney is, its just as tiring. If you’re able to, talk to me about planning a rest day at some point during your trip to recharge and relax. We had breakfast at Ohana located at The Polynesian Village. Sadly the characters wouldn’t be back until the week after, but that just guarantees that we will be back one day! I had POG juice (passion fruit, orange, guava) for the first time and I definitely saw what the hype was all about! After we were done exploring the resort we headed over to Disney Springs for the day. Another reason I recommend a rest day is to make sure you have time to check out Disney Springs! You’ll find some shopping and dining options you won’t be able to find elsewhere. And did you really go to Disney Springs without stopping in World of Disney? For dinner, we ate at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ to try their famous fried chicken! The fried chicken was delicious, but it was the sides that stole the show! The famous fried chicken was served with homemade mashed potatoes and a cheddar biscuit and I ordered a side of mac n cheese. All three sides just melted in your mouth! This popular restaurant is definitely worth trying! The next day we were at Animal Kingdom! We were so excited to check out the new Finding Nemo musical, Finding Nemo: The big blue…and beyond! The story is very similar to the Finding Nemo musical that this replaced, but the storytelling was different and for the better! I definitely felt more interested and entertained during this performance. Speaking of performances, the tumbling monkeys were back at Festival of the Lion King, so we made sure to check that out! Festival of the Lion King is one of my favorite shows at Disney World and I’m so glad that first-time Disney travelers get to experience the full beauty of this show once again! For lunch, we ate at Yak & Yeti and it ended up being one of my favorite meals all week! I ordered the famous garlic noodles and they were out of this world! I also ordered a side of grilled chicken to cut up and mix into the noodles and I’m glad I did. The flavor of the noodles as a meal was too overpowering so adding the chicken really helped! This was definitely big even to be a meal for one, or to share with a few others! The theming was a big selling point for me as well! It definitely reminded me of the queue for Expedition Everest. On our last day, we were back at Magic Kingdom and you could tell there was no Halloween party that night just from the bus lines. On days that Magic Kingdom closes early due to an after-hours party or event crowds are definitely lighter. But not to worry, buses were constantly coming and going and we were on our way to see the castle in no time! This day we mainly focused on doing and seeing anything that we didn’t get to do on Friday, like Splash Mountain. I wanted to make sure I was able to ride this classic one last time before it’s rethemed into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure next year. This was also the first year we got to see the Country Bear Jamboree and it is now going to be a tradition to see it year after year! This show was absolutely hilarious and of course, Big Al was my favorite! After the show was over we even spotted some of the bears on top of the roof greeting guests! And a trip to Magic Kingdom wouldn’t have been complete without some dole whip! I was so blown away by the tropical serenade from Aloha Isle that the coconut dole whip is now my favorite! What a perfect way to end a perfect week! It was amazing to be back in the magic for a week, but sadly I had to make my way back home. Now that I’m home and have even more experience with a Disney World trip, I would love to help you plan your own trip! Why not set up a free consultation call today?
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