So that’s it. It’s done. 2(ish) weeks in the Florida sun in July with far too many days spent at Disney World. I pretty much drove myself to exhaustion but I’m the kind of passholder who doesn’t get out as often as they would like, so I was pushing to get my money’s worth!
I thought that I would do a round up post about this trip, and then I’ll to do a couple of follow up posts that explore specific things – my stay at the All-Star Sports Resort, an example day for how to maximise your time and fastpasses, a post solely about dining experiences, an exploration of the new Toy Story Land etc.
I tend to have a pattern I stick to when I spend my vacations in Orlando. The first day after arriving, I have breakfast at Denny’s and then we head to Disney Springs. This is usually the only time I head to Springs as I prioritise the parks, but it gives me that first Disney feeling. I’m not a huge ‘shopper’, so I stick to going places I know are favourites and make sure to have a good wander around World of Disney. I like the new look of the shop though there have certainly been mixed reviews. I found it a lot more spacious, easier to not get lost in, and more in keeping with the new theming for Disney Springs as a whole. Once the entire shop is reopened I think it’s going to be great!
After this, I had a day at Busch Gardens so that I could take advantage of my parent’s annual passholder benefits for there. We didn’t get much done as it was a busy day and the weather wasn’t on our side. My parents are going to be letting go of their Sea World/ Busch Gardens passes as we’re not as enamoured as we once were and they do seem to be going downhill when it comes to customer service. So I’m enjoying my last few visits for what could be quite a while!
On the 4th July, I took it easy. This was the day my sister and her husband were arriving, so I spent some time by the pool and then went to the airport to pick up my rental car and errant family members. Because they do less Disney than I do, I make sure to have my own car so that I have the freedom to do as much as I like with early starts and late nights.
The next day I had an appointment for my hair and I go to a salon near the Prime Outlets on International Drive, so after lunch I hit up the Character Warehouse for some bargains (though it is a smaller store than the Premium Outlets that I also make a point of getting to at some point). After this I was off to the Magic Kingdom for my first ‘real’ Disney Day and though I didn’t arrive at MK until approx 3pm, I still managed to fit in 9 fastpasses and some walk on attractions during the six or so hours I was there.
From then on, my holiday was a sea of of Disney days; blitzing rides and attractions, trying new food and drink and meeting characters. I spent two nights at the All-Star resort in the middle and really enjoyed it. Luckily for me, I was only once disturbed by the sound of Brazilian tour groups, so I know I did better than most!
As I neared my last few days, I found myself hitting a bit of a wall. I was exhausted from doing so many ‘rope drop to fire works’ days. I didn’t even realise I was doing them! I would be in the parks early and then keep going into the evening and just keep saying I would do one more thing, which then turned into another one more thing. If I was watching Fantasmic, well, I may as well just stay for the Star Wars fireworks, right?! I always told myself that I could sleep when I got home again and since I don’t get to experience all these things whenever I want, then I should make the most of it. But for the last 3 or 4 days, I had to sleep in and head to the parks for about noon as I just couldn’t handle anything more than that! But I did spend a total of 13 days in a Disney theme park so it was still a good innings!
For me it was the ideal holiday. I was on my own for a lot of it but I have no problem doing Disney along. Besides, I don’t have to worry about tailoring the day to suit a lot of people. I can ride when I want, eat when I want etc. I did some things I hadn’t done in a long time or ever before and I interspersed that with other favourites. And I was one of the lucky few to get my hands on the Annual Passholder backpack that got released, so all in all, a successful vacation!