Planning A Trip to Disney World

Our First Disney World Trip Recap

Planning A Trip to Disney World

We did it. We went on our very first Disney World trip. I have always wanted to go to Disney World. My husband has never been to it but the boys have been with my parents when they were 3 & 5 so only Rylan remembers a little bit of that trip. We wanted to go to Disney World last year (October 2020) but thanks to the pandemic we had to move our trip to this year. Stupid pandemic. Since it was our first Disney World trip as a family we stayed there for 6 nights/7 days! I’ll be talking about where we stayed, what we ate (good/bad), and what rides we’re the best.

Planning A Trip to Disney World

Planning A Trip to Disney World

Planning A Trip to Disney World

If you’re planning a trip to Disney World, I hope you find this post very helpful as they have changed a lot of things since we first booked our trip in March 2020. Buckle up this is going to be a long post.

Where We Stayed:

We were originally going to stay at the Disney World – All-Star Sports Resorts but because that was getting refurbished/remodeled they moved us over to the Pop Century Resort. We stayed in a standard room which had a queen-sized bed + a murphy queen bed/table. We honestly didn’t use the table so we kept the bed down the entire trip. It was a small room, not enough space. They have a 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s & 90’s building when you check in you get to see what building you’re in. We stayed in the 90’s building.

They have 3 different pools, a playground, jogging trail, arcade, dining hall, and shopping center. There’s only 1 bar at the main pool next to the Classic Hall. Be prepared to do a lot of walking from your room to the Classic Hall. That’s where the arcade, dining hall, front desk, bus transportation, and shopping is at. It was super cute to see the different buildings because each had a theme to go along with the era. Would I stay here again? Probably not. Next time we plan to stay in a bigger room especially with having a teenager + preteen.

Shuttle To & From Airport:

They are offering Mickey’s Magical Express until the end of 2021! They will no longer be offering Mickey’s Magical Express start of 2022. You can find more information here on how to get to and from the hotel/airport.

Planning A Trip to Disney World

How To Get To & From The Parks:

Because we were at Pop Century Resort we were able to use the Skyliner to Hollywood Studios & Epcot from our hotel. They had bus transportation to get to Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom. On the Disney World app, you are able to see the times the buses arrive so that you can stand in line to wait to be transported to those parks.  We really enjoyed the Skyliner a lot. It was fun being able to see the properties from up top.

Food

Disney World use to offer the Dining Meal plan where you purchased a dining plan to get 2 quick service meals per night, 2 snacks or non-alcoholic beverages per night, and 1 resort refillable mug per person. Which you would purchase at the time of booking but they removed that start of the pandemic and are unsure if they’re going to bring that back.

We had to pay for every single meal, snack, and drink. We did buy one of their refillable cups! But honestly, we kept forgetting them. So we had to keep buying drinks. Don’t be like us and bring the cups! You get free fountain drinks + water with the cup. I’m not going to lie, we spent about $1,000 on food, snacks, and drinks for the 6 days at the park. That’s for a family of 4! A lot of the snacks we got 1 to share or at least 2 of them.

Genie+ (New Fast Pass)

Absolutely purchase this service. You get to skip the long wait time and scheduled ride times. Ex: With the Genie+ service we were able to book Hollywood Tower Terror for a 10:20 ride time. You get 1 hour window time to show up and skip the long wait time. Once you’re done with that ride you’re able to select another ride for a lightning lane. It is $15 per person per day. For some rides that require virtual queues, you will have to pay a little extra to get the lightning lane.

After Hour Boo Bash

We spent $719.96 on these tickets. This is the new event they do for Halloween. Basically, you get tickets to go to Magic Kingdom watch the fireworks, go on rides, enjoy the treats and trick-a-treat. Sadly this was the same day we arrived and it was raining like crazy. The characters were coming out every 30 minutes and that was a pain to have to wait 30 mins between characters. Rides were so long and the trick-a-treating was scattered around Magic Kingdom. Honestly, neither one of us enjoyed this event. Even if it wasn’t raining this was a waste of money.

Disney World Trip

Where We Ate/Favorite Rides:

Everything Pop Dining– We ate breakfast (3x) and dinners (2x) here. Our favorite breakfast meal was definitely the Waffle Bounty Platter because it came with 1 Mickey-shaped waffle, bacon, sausage, eggs, and potatoes.

My favorite dinner meal was the Roasted Salmon with Mashed Potatoes and Brian’s favorite was Pimento Bacon Cheeseburger

Disney World Trip

Disney World Trip

Planning A Trip to Disney World

Disney World Trip

Animal Kingdom:

Rainforest Cafe Restaurant– I personally didn’t care for the food. I got their Fish & Chips and it tasted like frozen fish you get from the grocery store. I was very disappointed especially with the price you pay. Brian got the Creole Mac’n Cheese and he liked that a lot.

Mr. Kamal’s Booth– We got seasoned french fries here as a quick snack and it was literally the BEST french fries we’ve ever had. I don’t know what was in it but we wanted more.

Rides:

Avatar Flight of Passage – We loved loved loved this ride at Animal Kingdom. It literally felt like you were riding one of the banshee. We did pay in order to get on this ride on top of having the Genie+. If you get motion sickness don’t do it.

Safari Ride – This is where we got to go on a real-life safari ride and got to see some of their real-life animals. This was so cool. I loved being able to see the elephants, giraffes, white rhinos, zebras etc. And we were pretty close to the animals.

Wildlife Train– You take a train to pet some of the goats, pigs, cows, and llamas.

Na’vi River Journey – Another Avatar ride. Super cool to do.

Kali River Rapids – Be prepared to get wet lol. We got to go on this 2x and both times we got pretty wet. Thankfully it was hot out so we dried up pretty fast.

Dinosaur –  Fun ride for sure.  Be mindful you’re in the dark a lot. If you get motion sickness don’t do it.

Expedition Everest – Omg Landon & I hated this ride. But Brian and Rylan loved it. It was too scary for us two.


Disney World Trip

Planning A Trip to Disney World

Planning A Trip to Disney World

Planning A Trip to Disney World

Epcot:

La Cantina de San Angel – We ate here for lunch and let me tell you… it was okay. Brian loved his tacos but personally again I got the Tacos de Pescados (fish tacos) because I prefer seafood over meat. The cod tasted frozen, not fresh at all. I ate some of the boy’s chicken tenders and that tasted better than what I got lol.

L’Arte di Mangiare– You guys should know by now that I love Italian food and I got their Frozen Italian Margarita + Bombolini. SO DELISH! It was not overly sweet the boys even loved it.

Rides:

Mission: Space – We hated this ride. Skip this ride if you’re claustrophobic, get motion sickness because you literally sit in this “spaceship” where you are legit constrained like an astronaut. You are in a small spaceship with 4 others. We did Mars’s mission which is the intense one. It uses a centrifuge that spins and tilts to simulate the speed and G-forces of a spacecraft launch and reentry. We definitely don’t recommend this ride.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure – We loved loved loved this ride. It’s a 4D ride and this was our very first ride at Disney World. You do have to get on a virtual queue in order to get on the ride unless you have Genie+ and pay a little extra to skip the wait.

Soarin’ Around the World – This was another cool ride to be on. It felt like you were literally flying to different countries.

The Seas with Nemo & Friends – Was such a cute experience. We also got to see the sea animals.

Epcot is a fun park but, to be honest, it felt like it’s more for adults than kids. They had some rides but the other “attractions” were basically to learn about the other countries. Brian did try a few beers from certain countries that he liked a lot.


Planning A Trip to Disney World

Planning A Trip to Disney World

Planning A Trip to Disney World

Planning A Trip to Disney World

Planning A Trip to Disney World

Planning A Trip to Disney World

Planning A Trip to Disney World

Planning A Trip to Disney World

Planning A Trip to Disney World

Magic Kingdom

Please keep in mind that Magic Kingdom is a dry park. They do not sell alcohol at all.

Aloha Isle – We tried the infamous Pineapple Dole Whip (not pictured) plus the Tropical Serenade at Aloha Isle. It was so DELICIOUS and refreshing. The Tropical Serenade contains pineapple-orange-guava juice, coconut soft-serve ice cream, and an upside-down pineapple cake pop. Honestly one of the best refreshing drinks I’ve ever had.

Cheshire Cafe – You need to get their Cheshire Cat Tail. It’s a chocolate-filled croissant.

The Frair’s Nook – Rylan, Landon & I got their Bacon Mac’n Cheese which came with tater tots and it was the best thing we ate for lunch. I actually got this twice lol. Brian had their Bacon Macaroni & Hot Dog (not pictured) and he loved it. He too got that twice.

Gaston’s Tavern – This was actually recommended by so many people on TikTok so we knew we had to try this out. The cinnamon roll is HUGE. We shared 1 because that’s how big they are. It was so delicious. Brian did get the LeFou’s Brew which was supposed to come with a souvenir cup but they ran out. It’s basically a Frozen Apple Juice with a hint of Toasted Marshmallow and topped with All-Natural Passion Fruit-Mango Foam. Rylan and I didn’t like it but Brian and Landon loved it.

Prince Eric’s Village Market – We got the Mermaid Slushy. Loved loved loved! It’s a mix of frozen blue raspberry slushy + green apple slushy, whipped cream, and a mermaid tail.

Sleepy Hollow – Get their funnel cake. We got their holiday one for Halloween and it had purple ice cream, m&m’s, whipped cream, and cocoa.

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe – Neither one of us liked this place. The boys and I got their carnitas tacos and it was disgusting. Brian got their nachos and it was mediocre food. We were pissed we wasted money here. We do not recommend this place.

Rides:

It’s A Small World – Skip it. I do not know why this ride is even a thing. It’s also long as hell.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – We loved this ride a lot.

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – Interactive ride and it was so much fun.

Jungle Cruise – Definitely be aware of the long lines. This one is a popular one at Magic Kingdom. It was fun.

Mad Tea Party – Quick and easy ride to do when you have to wait for your next lightning lane ride.

Peter Pan’s Flight – Adored this one bc it felt like you were flying.

Pirates of the Caribbean – This was so cool to see.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – BEST ride we went on. We loved this one so much.

Space Mountain – Nope we didn’t like it. You’re on a ride in the dark the entire time. No thank you.

Splash Mountain – Fun ride to go on and definitely another favorite.


Disney World Trip

Disney World Trip

Disney World Trip

Disney World Trip

Disney World Trip

Hollywood Studios/Disney Springs

It rained both days we were here. We also started our day late so we only went to Backlot Express. They had traditional American food like chicken tenders, burgers, and sandwiches. We ate dinner that night at Disney Springs at the Edison. The food at Edison was really good. I got their salmon which was delicious. Rylan got their tomato soup with grilled cheese, Brian got one of their burgers ( I honestly can’t remember) and we also got their chips & guac. BOMB!

Rides:

Rise of the Resistance – DO IT! DO IT! DO IT! If you have to pay to skip the wait then do it. Because this was the best ride ever at the park. I’m not a huge Star Wars nerd/fan but I did watch the last three movies so I could understand the whole thing lol. I loved it. Super cool and realistic.

Tower Terror – If I was able to record this ride, I would’ve because Landon nearly died in this ride lol. He was so scared and I’m not going to lie, I was too. If you like being dropped from the largest tower multiple times, then this is your ride.

Star Tours – Another great Star Wars ride!

Toy Story Mania – Another interactive ride that we loved.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railroad – Adorable ride.


Overall we absolutely had the best time at Disney World and we plan to do it again hopefully come next year for the Christmas holidays. I just hope that it doesn’t rain as much (which I know we have no control over) and is not so humid. That was the annoying part. On our last day, it cooled down. Also next time, I am bringing curly hair products + my diffuser. I couldn’t style my hair straight lol.

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