We are going back to Disney! Actually, for the first time ever, we have a double countdown on which is really exciting (more about that in a future post). We are headed back to Walt Disney World soon, seventy some days, and holy mouse ears are we excited! I actually already have our entire itinerary planned out with the exception of our fast passes because we can’t book those for another 14 days.
You may think that is a little crazy to be seventy some days out and already have our itinerary set but when you think that if you are staying on property, you can book your dining reservations 180 days out, it makes sense to have your itinerary started, or in our case finished.
On our next trip, we are staying at the Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa for the first time EVER! This is the closest we have ever stayed to the Magic Kingdom and our first time staying at a Monorail resort. A Monorail resort is one of the three resorts that are directly on the Monorail line; The Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Resort.
When you book your stay at a Walt Disney Resort, you have the option to book a package to include your park passes. If you select this, it will automatically give you park passes for the duration of your stay but you can change them to fit your needs. You have the option to select a park hopper pass, which is where you can go from park to park not just one specific park per day, or you can book specific parks for specific days.
At the bottom of your reservation it will also give you the option to book transportation through Disney’s Magical Express. If you select this option and enter your flight information you will receive luggage tags and Disney will assume responsibility for getting your checked luggage to your hotel room. That’s right! You check your luggage at the airport where you start your vacation and Disney brings your luggage directly to your hotel room; all you have to do is find the Magical Express and get on the bus.
When we stayed at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in 2016, we arrived in Orlando around 10 p.m., which was right around the last flight of the day that they offer the Magical Express service; we arrived at our hotel around midnight maybe a little before and we did not get our luggage until the next morning because it was so late so if you are arriving late at night, be sure to have your jammies and any toiletries you need for the night in your carry-on luggage. The Magical Express is great but be warned that it is time consuming. We sat on the bus at the airport for about 45 minutes before we headed to the hotel so don’t make immediate reservations upon landing in Orlando, give yourself ample time, especially since the bus will stop at multiple resorts and if you are like us, your resort will always be the last drop off.
When we arrive we are taking Disney’s Magical Express to our hotel. We have the park hopper pass but to be honest, rarely do we leave a park and go to a different park but we will be a couple times on this trip in order to maximize fireworks viewings.
So, we will arrive in Orlando around 4:15 pm and will take Disney’s Magical Express to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, check-in drop our carry-ons in our room, freshen up and then we are off to Epcot! We are doing the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party and I will be doing a post-trip blog post just on this night to give you all of the insider details on it.
The Frozen Ever After Dessert party will likely be another episode of Crystal getting chocolate wasted (post to come reliving my birthday in Magic Kingdom last year for the Holiday Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party). I’m really excited about this because I absolutely love IllumiNations, the nighttime show at Epcot and the dessert party is supposed to be a real treat. On top of all the food, drink and fireworks, everyone with a ticket to the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party gets to ride Frozen Ever After after IllumiNations. This is a coveted ticket, possibly the most coveted fast pass in all of Epcot and it’s kind of cool to be able to ride the ride when no else can.
This is the only thing that we will get in on this day but considering we won’t get to our resort until probably around 6 p.m. that is a great first day in Disney. If we have time, we will likely do a little exploring around our hotel because I am beyond excited to see the giant gingerbread house in the center of the hotel and also the massive Christmas tree and other decor.
That’s an outline of day 1 of our upcoming Disney trip. I hope you found some of this information helpful if you are planning a trip to the house of mouse in the near future. More to come on the itinerary of our 2017 trip and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse!