My Disney World Vacation 2018

posted on 11/3/2018

As a special birthday gift my boyfriend surprised me with a trip to Disney World. Disney World was great but Disney World on Halloween was the best surprise ever. Our vacation started on Saturday 11/27/2018. We flew from Frankfurt, Germany and had our first stop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was our first time to fly with a stop, so we were pretty anxious. However, this was SO easy and without any troubles . we were glad.

When we finally arrived in Orlando it was already evening. We waited for our second suitcase which just didn’t show up, when my boyfriend noticed in the side of his eye someone walking away with our suitcase. He stopped them and they apologized, because they had the exact same but very fortunately, we have some stickers on ours. We then headed to our rental car. It wasn’t quite there where we expected it to be, because we had to take a shuttle. 

After getting our rental car, which took us really long, we drove right to Disney Springs, because I had to pick up my annual pass. If you’re wondering why I have an annual pass; it is cheaper to have one annual pass with the discounts and free parking. However, I walked straight into World of Disney, grabbed all the ears I liked and walked to the register. The cashier then wanted $90 from me for 3 pair of ears. I didn’t look at the price since the mouse ears cost around 15€ (around $17) in Paris. After the shock I kindly gave them back. After we picked up the pass we ate at Taco Bell, and drove to the hotel. Since we were awake for more than 24 hours we were glad to see a bed.

The next day was the day I was most looking forward to. We were bounding as Rapunzel and Flynn, we had a reservation at our favorite restaurant, and we attended “Mickey’s Not So-Scary Halloween Party”. We had our breakfast pretty early at “Be our Guest”. I wanted to go there so bad, but unfortunately, I never got a reservation. It is so beautiful in there! I ordered a doughnut; my boyfriend had some eggs with bacon. Besides this you get a drink with your food and a plate with some pastry. It was waaaay too much but so good. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the Beast because he’s only there in the evening. When we got out it was time for our FastPass at Haunted Mansion. Right at the exit was a PhotoPass photographer and we asked her to take a photo of us in front of the mansion. She was so ambitioned and asked us if she could take some photos of us in the Rapunzel area and of course we agreed. There was also a Japanese couple which asked us to take pictures with them, which was really cute. We then rode a few other rides, took a few more pictures and waited then for the parade.

While waiting for the parade there was right in front of us a proposal and my heart melted. When the parade started and the float of Rapunzel and Flynn came by they would notice us right away. I had some pretty good interactions with the character. A lot of them came by and wanted to hold Pascal or just complimented me about my dress. 

A restaurant at Magic Kingdom I can really recommend especially if you’re into Thanksgiving food is Liberty Tree Tavern. There is no classic menu. You just get a lot of different kind of food (entrée, main course and dessert) and if it’s empty they just bring more. The food usually contains turkey, pork, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, salad, bread, vegetables, gravy and stuffing. After dinner it was time to pick up our wristband for the party. 

During “Mickey‘s Not So-Scary Halloween Party” you’re allowed to dress up. A lot dressed up and their costumes were just beautiful. I read you should stand in line for the seven dwarfs as soon as possible, because the line will only get longer. So this was the first thing we did. We stood about an hour but the line got super short behind us. A lot of people were standing in line for the Trick or Treat stations but we rather meet character than stand in line for some sweets. Lotso (the strawberry smelling teddy bear from Toy Story 3) had a wait time of only 5 minutes. Right after Lotso we rode Pirates of the Caribbean which had also no wait times. We literally just walked through. This Halloween was the first time they had live-actors in the attraction. Well, I expected some more. There were two actors in line and one in the attraction standing on the bridge. Afterwards, it was time for the fireworks. On our way there we passed Tarzan, Jane and Terk.  After the fireworks the “Hocus Pocus Show” started and right after the show the second parade began. For your information: I will post tips and tricks in a separate blog post.

Our second day was at Animal Kingdom. I dressed special every day except for that day, so I decided I wear something neutral and just buy something there. I went into the first shop and decided I wanted to be a Navi for the day. When we visited Disney World last year we left 4 days before official opening of Pandora so we haven’t seen it until now. What they created is just breathtaking. We then had our FastPass for the show UP!. I expected it to be like Finding Nemo – the musical or Festival of the Lion King. Well, it was a show about birds. It was quite nice but I guess I’m not the only one who expected another kind of show, because a lot left. Because Expedition Everest was shut down we headed right to our favorite attraction Dinosaur. Sadly, my boyfriend lost his Magic Band in there. He later got it back and I figured he lost it in the vehicle since I have about 15 attraction photos on my PhotoPass from Dinosaur without us in it. We always kept an eye on the waiting time for the new Avatar ride Flight of Passage. When it was around 90 minutes we decided that it’s our turn to wait in line. I heard a lot of good things about it and I imagined it to be like Soarin’. It was pretty cool but it really is like Soarin’. Spoiler Alert: You sit on something that looks like a motorcycle. It turns out to be your Banshee and you can even feel him breath underneath you. You fly through the world of Pandora and go through some shocking moments. When we got out we didn’t wait 90 minutes but 140, which was way too long for me. I started feeling very sick in line and couldn’t really enjoy the ride. Right after we had our FastPass for Na’vi River Journey. Everyone told me they liked Flight of Passage better than Na’vi River Journey, but I adore dark rides so I was betting that I would like the journey better since I already saw pictures of it. Well, the ride was very short. There was one huge animatronic and some cool looking flowers, but that’s it. I was really disappointed to be honest, because I thought it would be similar to Frozen. We then had dinner at Yak & Yeti and it was so good. Unfortunately, I barely ate a thing because I felt so sick, but what I ate was really good. I really cannot recommend it.

On our third day we visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We usually take all our FastPasses in the morning to receive new ones as soon as possible.  We had our first FastPass exactly at 9 a.m. for Tower of Terror, which was rather unnecessary. The second FastPass was for Rock’n’Rollercoaster which was also super unnecessary. I was bounding Ariel this day so we headed into the Ariel show I really like. I just don’t like the ending. The whole story is stretched but when it comes to being a human it is over? Like, really? We then took a stroll through the new Toy Story Land. Our home Disney Park Disneyland Paris has Toy Story Land since 2010, so this wasn’t completely new for us; still it is better than Paris. When Slinky Dog Coaster had only 60 minutes waiting time we decided to queue for it. We even got the seat in the first row. The coaster was cute, more family coaster than thrill, but still cute. A show I got recommended is Frozen Sing along. I’m not a big Frozen fan, but I LOVED this show. The hosts were SO funny and we laughed so much. Even if you’re not into Frozen, if you have the time watch it! This time we dined at 50’s Prime Time Café. The whole theming inside is just so cute and you don’t have waiters but cousins. The food was o.k. and if you eat everything you get an empty plate club sticker. We then used our last FastPass for Fantasmic and got pretty good seats. Fantasmic was unbelievable crowded but they did flash mobs to shorten the time.

On Halloween we visited Epcot, which is my boyfriend’s favorite park. I wore a Coco inspired Outfit. As I said I’m not into Frozen, so the first thing I did was  to wait in line to meet Anna and Elsa. Just kidding, but it really was the first thing, because the stand-by time was really short. Right after we rode my favorite ride: Frozen. All the animatronics and the whole sceneries are breathtaking even when you don’t like Frozen.  Since it was Food and Vine Festival and they gave us a food passport, we wanted to try some things out and were literally eating the whole time. After we tried out the first few dishes we headed to our first FastPass Living with the Land. The ride was o.k. You just float through some greenhouses, see some tanks and a few sceneries. Then it was time for another FastPass Journey into Imagination. I got to know Figment and I really can’t stand him. The song made me crazy and Figment just annoyed the hell out of me. To top it all we got stuck in it for 20 minutes right in front of a Figment who kept singing and they wouldn’t even stop the music. As we got out my loving boyfriend got me a Figment plush to remind me of him. We discovered that we completely missed Mexico last year. I mean we walked through and everything but I thought it was a Meet and Greet location with Three Caballeros so we didn’t go into the temple. It turned out to be a beautiful Mexican market with a restaurant and a ride. I loved it. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a glance. We then rode a few other rides and met Joy and Sadness; Baymax; Mickey, Minnie and Goofy and Belle. For every park I’ve a favorite restaurant where I need to eat at least once per trip. For Epcot it is Nine Dragons. The food is sooo good and the waiters and waitresses are super polite. You just need to look at your drink they will bring you a refilled one. Each of us drank around 6 glasses. Afterwards we queued for Frozen for 40 minutes and I could hardly walk because I had to pee so badly. 6 glasses of whatever and 40 minutes standing around with no toilet nearby doesn’t match. And then I had to wait 20 (!) minutes in front of the toilet. When I was finally done we used our FastPass for Illuminations, since this is probably the last time we’re able to see it.

This day we visited the Universal Studios. Since I don’t want this blog post to be too long I write about Universal Studios in a separate post.

On our last day we were at the Magic Kingdom again. Halloween decoration was completely gone by then and Christmas decorations was all around. When we were walking around the castle we spotted Anastasia and Drizella and because I was bounding as Cinderella I had to meet them. So we waited in line and had a pretty good interaction. Right after we met the stepsister, we met Cinderella herself and as we walked out Fairy Godmother was greeting guests. Fairy godmother complimented me on my choice of shoes (I wore sneakers) since Cinderella complained about the slipper. By then it really started pouring so we were seeking shelter inside of Casey’s Corner and ate their newest hot dog with mashed potatoes, cheese, onions and some sauce. As it stopped raining we got us a spot for the parade. 10 minutes before the parade started it started pouring again and everyone left. Fortunately, it was still the normal parade and not the rain edition.

It poured until late evening! We were just standing in the outside queue for the people mover when suddenly our phones started to vibrate like crazy and showed us an emergency alert for a tornado. Just to get this clear: We’re from Germany. We don’t get emergency alerts. The rain and the extreme wind didn’t stop so we did everything inside. Space Mountain, People Mover, Monster Inc. Laugh floor (which we did 3 times in a row), used the rain break to rush over to Fantasyland and rode It’s a Small World. The stand-by times for everything outside (which was surprisingly still open) were literally non-existent and everything that’s inside was way beyond 40 minutes. Just in time for Happily Ever After the rain stopped. Happily Ever After is by far my favorite firework. It is full of magic and love. When the fireworks were done we finally had our reservation at Cinderella’s Royale Table. This restaurant is right in the castle and it’s a princess dinner. As you enter the hallway you meet Cinderella. You pay a lump-sum price and then just choose what to eat. Drinks are already included. When you’re seated the princesses come gradually to your table. We had Jasmine, Ariel, Snow White and Aurora. The food was good and totally worth the price. Our waiter was so cute. It was an elderly man from Italy and I think I never had such a good service. He cared on a personal level and was so interested in everything and so ambitioned. When it was time to leave it was beyond park closing. We got to take some good shots of the completely empty Main Street and the castle. Unfortunately, it was that late, that the Monorail wasn’t in service any longer. We had to take the shuttle to the bus stop at the parking lot which was on the complete other side where our car was parked.

Over all this was the most magical vacation I ever had. Everything was just perfect.