I’m excited to write this post because I am excited to go back through all of my NYC photos! This was one of my favorite vacations! It was short but so, so sweet!
First things first, I did my research. I searched through blog posts and Google searches on where to eat, what to do, and where to take cute photos. My biggest tip: stick to what you have planned. On the first day, I started doubting what I had planned out so we ended up walking for a bit trying to figure out what to do. We ended up going to eat at the place I had planned and it was THE BEST experience! A cute little pizza place right under the Brooklyn Bridge. (More on that later)
We flew out of DFW that morning. We each only packed a backpack so we didn’t have to check a bag and wait at baggage claim once we got there. Also, we didn’t want to have to lug around luggage waiting for check-in at the hotel. We wanted to go straight to exploring since we only had 2 days. I 100% recommend only taking a backpack!
Once we landed in NYC, we took a free shuttle and it dropped us off right at the subway! We weren’t sure at this time where we wanted to go so we just got off somewhere random and it ended up being right at Macy’s. We went inside because I obviously needed to step foot inside the iconic NYC Macys. We didn’t stay long because we were hungry. This is when we decided to just stick to my list and take the subway to Brooklyn.
I had read such good reviews on this pizza parlor and it lived up to the hype! There was a short wait but we were seated pretty quickly! We sat by the window and had the best view of the Brooklyn Bridge. After we ate lunch, we walked around Brooklyn. There were so many cute shops and dessert places. If we weren’t so full we would have tried some!
This is where all the cute shops are! We went to Stoney Clover, obviously a must! They had so many other cute shops and it was the cutest area! I loved it because it wasn’t super touristy…we were hanging with the locals. it started pouring rain when we were walking around and it was so beautiful! After this, we headed home to change and rest because we were heading to Broadway that night!
The Motto by Hilton
Our hotel was located in Chelsea. I loved it because it was within walking distance to many shops! Ryan did a lot of research on our hotel and it was perfect! It was so nice and we had the best view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty from our room! It also had a restaurant and bar downstairs. We rested, changed, charged our phones, and headed out to Aladdin!
Aladdin on Broadway
This show was amazing! I am a long-time fan of musical theatre and this just so happened to be my first NY Broadway show! I highly recommend seeing it. I eventually want to see the iconic Lion King. Ryan has already seen it, so we chose a show that neither of us had seen.
Then we walked to the iconic Juniors for a late dinner and cheesecake! It was the perfect end to the best day!
Ryan slept in so I looked up coffee shops in walking distance. I had Ralphs Coffee on my list and one of the many locations was close to our hotel! I got dressed and walked to get coffee. Our hotel was in such a cool location. I passed by so many stores including Trader Joe’s and Micheals. It was so cool to see those stores in NYC style.
Coffee by Ralph Lauren. It was such a cute coffee shop in a cute area! Not touristy at all which I loved. I got an iced white mocha and it was 10/10!
I got home right as Ryan was almost done getting ready for the day. Then we set off to explore day 2 of NYC!
The first thing we wanted to do was go to where had gotten engaged, 8 years prior. So we took the subway to Central Park. We stopped for Ryan to get a donut and me to get another coffee.
Next, we headed to the exact spot where Ryan had proposed. It was so special!
This one was Ryan’s request. It was amazing! I got the chicken parm and he got the chicken parm meatball sub!
We took the Subway to 5th Avenue and saw all of the iconic shops and venues! It was so surreal to see the place that you see on so many shows and movies! We went to the famous Starbucks Reserve which was massive! We had to go to the AG store to buy Finley something! And we went to see Radio City Music Hall!
Jonas Brothers Concert
And that brings us to our main event! The main reason we went to NYC…The Jonas Brothers Concert! We went back to our hotel to rest and get ready! The concert was at Yankee Stadium and we wanted to get there early. We had floor seats and we met some super cool people while we were waiting. The weather was perfect and Ryan went to get us food and drinks before the show. We had VIP tickets so we got to go through a separate entrance with a cute photo backdrop.
Hands down the BEST concert EVER! We left right before the very last song so that we could beat traffic. We took the subway back to our hotel and got home around 1 am…we had to leave for the airport at 4 am.
4 am came way sooner than we wanted. But we booked our taxi and made it to the airport on time! Then we flew home to our babies!
It was the perfect weekend with Ryan and just the right amount of time! We were so excited to get home to see Finley and Harrison. I can not wait until our next couples trip!
I am so excited you’re here! I hope that through this post you can find some helpful tips and tricks for your own Disney vacation! I am going to take you through our vacation step by step so grab a pen and paper and jot down any information that seems helpful!
Disneys Art of Animation
We chose this hotel because of the Little Mermaid room they offer. I did not realize this at the time, but it is one of the top 5 requested rooms in all of Disney. We had originally planned to have our trip in January, however, all of the mermaid rooms were fully booked. So the cast member who was helping us book our trip was able to find a week in February! We moved our trip back a month just for this room and it was well worth it!
We love this hotel because it has access to the Skyliner. It is considered a value resort, however, as soon as you walk in you feel like you’re at Disney. The pools are great and our themed Little Mermaid room was by far the best room we have ever stayed at. It was so fun for our Ariel-loving girl.
They have a store with Disney apparel, snacks, baby essentials, etc. They also have a Dining Hall, Landscape of Flavors that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. There is also a poolside bar, The Drop Off Pool Bar with the best Pina Coladas.
Other than The Little Mermaid room they also have Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars-themed rooms. Ryan said he would love to stay at Lion king next time. A of A also has a laundry room, arcade, play areas, Movie Under the Stars, and jogging trails.
We always start with Disney Springs on our travel day. We love to go walk through Disney Springs, so we always plan to have an early flight so that we can land around lunchtime and head straight to Disney Springs.
[Here is a little update on how to get to your hotel: Once we landed at MCO we headed to get our luggage and then went to Mears transportation. Disney no longer has its own buses that take you to your hotel. HOWEVER, there is still transportation. Mears is the bus company and it is the exact same thing and located in the exact same spot. It does cost now and you have to reserve your spot ahead of time. Simply log on to the website and put in your flight info and it will reserve a bus for you at the correct time. So easy! It drops you off right at the front door of your hotel.]
If your room is not ready once you get to the hotel, you can drop your luggage off and come back when it’s ready. This is what we usually do, however, this time our room was ready right when we got there. So we went to our room, dropped off our luggage, and headed to Disney Springs.
Disney has free buses to each park and to Disney Springs from your hotel. Once we got to DS we headed straight for D-Luxe burger. It is our fav restaurant and it’s in a great location! If it’s nice you can sit on the patio and it’s right on this little river. We then went to Sprinkles to get a cupcake and then to World of Disney for some shopping. WOD is a huge Disney store that has everything. Disney Springs is so fun at night. They have a stage with performances and fun nightlife. We finished our night with a little train ride for Finley then went home to get some sleep for Magic Kingdom the next day.
Magic Kingdom opened at 9:00 am, however, if you say at a resort you get to enter at 8:30 am. (You can check the times for each park on the Disney app) We left our hotel room at 7:30, went to breakfast at the hotel, took the bus to MK, and got to MK right at 8:30. Ryan headed to get Harrison his first pair of ears while I headed to the castle for photos. (We only found ONE place that sold the boy ears hat. They were located in MK right when you walk in and to the right.)
I like to do photos at the beginning of the day so that we can get them over with and not worry about them later on. Plus, it’s better to do them before anyone gets sweaty or has a blowout. I normally do NOT do photos right in front of the castle. However, I did them this time because there was literally no one right there in front. I think everyone just ran to the rides that have long waits…so I took advantage of the good photo opportunities. The best photo spots are to the left of the castle and to the right by Cinderella’s wishing well. (pictured below)
I obviously needed to start my day with Starbucks so we headed back down Main Street to get coffee. The line looks long but it goes pretty fast. Then we went to meet Mickey because the wait was only about 10 minutes. Make sure to check the Disney app throughout the day to check on wait times.
We always start with Tomorrowland which is right of the castle. So we headed right and started our day! We did the Tomorrowland Speedway, Mad Tea Party, and Dumbo. We had to wait around 30 minutes for each ride so after those rides it was time for lunch. We always eat lunch at Cosmic Rays Starlight Diner because it has a great view of the castle.
After lunch we had lightning lane passes for Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Voyage of The Little Mermaid. So, let’s talk Genie+ and lightning lane…
Disney has discontinued Fast Pass and introduced lightning lanes and Genie+. First, they have introduced Genie which is their free service on the Disney app that helps you plan your day. Based on your location, likes and what you want to do, it creates an itinerary on which rides will have the shortest lines at different times. Next, is the new service Genie+. Genie+ costs $15/person per day. We added it on to our park tickets when we purchased them. This is basically their new fast pass. It allows you to make reservations for SELECT rides. These open at 7:00 am for resort guests. Finally, they have Lighting Lane. LL is a paid fast pass service for the most popular rides in each park. (This is an additional fee from the Genie+) These also open up at 7:00 am for resort guests and these go fast! We paid $15/person for Rise of the Resistance, $8/person for Mickey and Minnies runaway railroad, $11/person for Flight of Passage, $11/person for Remis Ratatouille Adventure, and $11/person for Frozen Ever After. I know it’s frustrating having to pay an additional fee after you already pay to get into the park. However, we skipped all of these lines (most were 2+ hours) and walked right on. Definitely worth it for us.
When we were there they had not brought back the Festival of Fantasy parade. However, they had cavalcades throughout the day so you can wave to different characters. These cavalcades are scheduled on the app so just check each day to see when they will be happening.
We finished our day with the fireworks show which was amazing! We headed back to our hotel for dinner and to get some rest for Hollywood Studios the next day.
Ryan woke up right at 7:00 am to reserve his lighting lane pass for Rise of The Resistance. Then we got ready and headed straight for the Skyliner.
[Info on the Skyliner: The Skyliner is our favorite! It is like a ski lift that takes you from certain resorts to Hollywood Studios or Epcot. Our resort has the Skyliner which is one of the reasons why we love staying there. Another great part of the Skyliner is that you do not need to fold up your stroller…you can just roll it on. You have to fold up your stroller on the buses.]
The Skyliner dropped us off at the front and we headed to Galaxy’s Edge. Ryan rode ROR and we walked around a little bit before heading to Toy Story Land. We took our photos (remember, I like doing this first thing). There are so many good photo spots in HS…especially in Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge! Cast Members will take your photo with your phone! We had lunch at Woody’s Lunchbox for the first time and it was one of my fav meals I had!
Next, Ryan rode single rider for Smugglers Run while we ran across the park to see Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage! (Some rides open up Single Rider options which is a way to ride a ride faster. You basically get to ride with another party that needs one more person. This works well for us because Ryan rides a lot of rides that we don’t ride)
We then went to see the Disney JR. characters. I was so excited to see that they brought them back! She got to see all of her fav characters and got to take photos with them!
We usually stay until Fantasmic at night, however, Fantasmic hasn’t returned yet. So, we headed back to the hotel to let Finley swim. We then headed to Epcot for dinner. There are so many food options at Epcot and so many different types of food! We ate at the Mexico Pavilion and it was amazing!
Again, Ryan woke up at 7:00 am to make his selections for different rides. He was able to get Flight of Passage and the Kilimanjaro Safaris. We took the bus to AK and headed straight for Starbucks. It was so nice not having to get there early and try to rush to a ride to beat the crowds.
We started with the Festival of The Lion King which is my favorite! It was a little shorter from the original show pre-covid. But it was still amazing! We headed towards Asia and took photos by the tree. The best photo spot is NOT in front of the tree. It’s on the side (in Asia) on a little walkway. (pictured below)
We then headed to Dinoland USA and saw a boat cavalcade on the way there with Donald and Dasiy! We played games and won some stuffed animals. Finley and Ryan share a love for carnival games. We ate lunch at Flame Tree BBQ. We eat lunch here every time we’re in AK.
Next, we headed to the safari. I feel like this is so underrated! I love it because it’s a cool way to see animals and it’s a nice break from walking! AK is a half-day park for our family so after the safari we headed to Hollywood Studios so Ryan could ride some more rides. We headed to dinner at the ABC Commisionary (we also eat here every time we’re in HS). Then we got Finley ice cream like we had promised her all day. We ended the night playing on this little play area at our hotel.
We were in no hurry to get to Epcot early because there were only two rides that we really wanted to get and we got lighting lane passes for them later on in the day. So we slept in a little and had breakfast at our hotel. We then hopped on the Skyliner and headed to Epcot. Ryan had also got a lighting lane pass for Finding Nemo just in case it was busy. We walked up and there was no line so we canceled the pass so we could use it on something else.
The Finding Nemo are is so cool. After you get off the ride, you enter this huge building with amazing sea life! There are aquariums and interactive areas where you can learn more about different fish. Next, we headed to Spaceship Earth (the Epcot Ball) for photos. I do not have a great photo spot for this so we just took them where we found a free spot. (pictured below) Goofy also happened to be there so we got photos with him too!
We rode Spaceship Earth and then headed to lunch. I wanted to try something different since we had Mexican food the time before. So we went to China and ate at the Lotus Blossom Cafe. This may have been my fav meal of the trip! Next, we went to The Frozen Ever After ride. This is one of the rides Ryan woke up early for to secure a lighting lane pass. This line was about 2 hours and we walked right on! After that, we skipped the 2-hour Ratatouille line and walked right on with lighting lane. Probably my fav ride in all of Disney!
We went to Disney’s Yacht and Beach club for dessert. They have this 50th celebration milkshake at Beaches and cream that I really wanted to try. They actually have a walk-up to-go window so you don’t need a reservation! I walked right up, ordered, and got my shake in like 2 minutes! (photo below)
Every time we go to Disney I like to take photos of Finley in different princess dresses. Her current fav princess is Repunzel, so we got her dressed as Repunzel and headed to Magic Kingdom. We took photos and she got to meet Repunzel while dressed as Repunzel. We ended the night with dinner at the hotel.
We had a slow morning because our Chef Mickey reservation was not until 10:00 am. We got to sleep in and take our time heading to the Contemporary. Chef Mickey is inside the Contemporary hotel. In order to get there, you have to take a bus from your hotel to Magic Kingdom and then hop on the monorail. The monorail will take you to the Contemporary.
It was a fun experience! The restaurant is usually a buffet, however, because of Covid, they do it a little differently. They serve everything family style but you can request more of everything! So it’s still all-you-can-eat. We had cheesy hashbrowns, Mickey waffles, bacon, sausage, brisket, eggs, pastries, and Finley was served a Mickey pancake. We saw Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto. They come by and let you take photos before moving on to the next table. They were patient and waited until I got my photo. I didn’t feel rushed at all. They actually each came by twice! I would definitely do this again!
We then headed to MK to see the castle one last time. After that, we headed to HS one last time. Finley got to see her fav characters again and I had popcorn (my fav snack in the park) while Ryan rode Tower of Terror. We ended HS with seeing Mickley and Minnie again. Then, it was off to Epcot for the last time. I wanted Italian food, however, they did not have any quick-service restaurants and all of their sit-down restaurants were booked. So we went to a cart and got mozzarella balls and a frozen Italian margarita. Then we ended the night with pizza at our hotel.
Our Mears bus came bright and early at 5:55 am to pick us up from the hotel. I am thankful that it came so early because our flight was scheduled at 9:00 and the airport was packed! It took us about 45 minutes just to make it through security. Then we had to take the tram to our terminal. We made it with a little time to spare so we had breakfast and then made it to our gate right in time for priority boarding.
Tips on how to save money? One myth about Disney World is that it has to be crazy expensive. That’s just not true. There are so many ways to cut costs and to save before you get there and while you’re there. 1. Stay at a value resort. 2. Pack your own food (Yes, you can take food and drinks into the parks). 3. Buy Disney cups, bubble wands, etc beforehand so you don’t have to buy merch when you’re there. 4. Ask for Disney gift cards for birthdays, Christmas, etc. 5. Buy Disney gift cards at Target and use your redcard. (I have never done this but I hear of people doing it who get 5% back even on gift cards…with a shot!) Also, it’s a great way to save. Just randomly buy a $10-$15 Disney gift card any time you’re at Target. It will add up and you can just put it aside without thinking about it. 6. Skip Park Hopper. I personally love Park Hopper, however, it does add up. You can easily do one park a day and not pay extra for Park Hopper.
How is Disney different during Covid? I went to Disney back in 2020 right when it opened back up and it was a lot different than pre-covid. However, now things have started going back to normal. I would say the biggest change is not getting to take photos side by side with the characters. They have brought back some characters and you can take photos with them. You just can’t stand right next to them. Also, you have to wear masks on public transportation. The first few days we were there we had to wear a mask at ALL indoor locations. Then on Thursday, they switched it to only transportation. The last thing I would say would be that not all the shows are back…but they’re coming back! We saw Frozen sing-along, Festival of the Lion King, and Beauty and The Beast Live on stage. My fav parade is Festival of Fantasy and they had not brought it back when we were there but I hear that it’s coming back soon! Also, Fantasmic is my fav show and it was not there where we were there but I also hear that it’s coming back sometime this year!
Which rides to use Lighting lane on? This is definitely personal preference. In my opinion…in MK: Seven Dwarfs mine train, Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Railroad, Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan, and Jungle Cruise. Those are all the busiest rides. I would say to not use these passes on Teacups, dumbo, Winnie the pooh, Carasoul, etc. In HS: Tower of Terror, Rise of the Resistance, Smugglers Run, Slingydog Dash, Mickey and Minnies runaway railroad, and Rock “N” Rollercoaster. In AK: Flight of Passage, The Navi River, and Expedition Everest. In Epcot: Frozen Ever After and Remis Ratatouille Adventure.
Tips and tricks
FREE buttons for special occasions.
Refillable mugs. These are great because it’s a souvenir plus you get unlimited refills for the duration of your trip! The only downside is that you can not fill them up at the parks. Only at resorts.
Magic bands. You do not need these but they’re fun to have. You can select the one that you want on the app when purchasing tickets. However, there are so many to choose from once you get to Disney! These are not necessary though. You can now link your park tickets to your phone and apple watch. I love them though because it’s so easy to scan to get into each park and to pay for everything. Every place at Disney accepts magic band payments. Your magic band is linked to your credit card…so easy!
Masks. Required on the plane but our airlines (Spirit) did not make Finley wear one. They are required on all transportation at Disney (including children over 2).
Sneakers. Trust me. Wear sneakers. And take breaks from walking regularly. Your feet will thank you.
Water bottles. Take your own and refill them at the parks.
Stroller sign. This is a great way to identify your stroller in the large mass of stroller parking.
Disney countdown and packing list. These were fun to have while getting prepared for our trip!
I think this is everything that I can think of! If you have any questions please ask! The park is changing daily with covid-precautions so things may be different once you get there. Plus, they are adding more and more things back as time goes on. So stay up to date by following them on social media!
We did it. We did Disney during a pandemic. And Finley did not even notice a difference. We noticed but it was still so magical for her. Here are my tips and tricks for traveling to Disney World during Covid.
Masks are REQUIRED for every person over 2. (We took our masks off for these photos because there was no one around us.) We flew American Airlines. We prepaid for parking at the airport and parked right next to the terminal. It’s cheaper to prepay online ahead of time! Check-in was easy and there was not a ton of people (We had an early flight). We got there very early because we were not sure how crowded it would be and what precautions were set in place). It was so easy to go through bag check and security! Once we were in we go food (many places are not open due to covid…like Starbucks) So we got Mcdonalds and ate while we waited for our flight.
Boarding was easy and our flight was FULL. They do not social distance on the place. We each had a seat so we had a row to ourselves, thankfully. Finley had no problem keeping the mask on. The flight attendants monitored the masks before take off but I did not see them monitoring during the flight. (I am sure if you had it off completely, they would say something. I have heard horror stories about them making families get off the plane.) They did not come around with snacks or drinks. Instead, we got a little bag when we boarded with a bottle of water and crackers.
Disney’s Magical Express
When we landed, we headed straight to bag claim and then to MME. This is a free service that takes you straight to your hotel! (They are discontinuing this service in 2022). Make sure you have your magic band out and ready to be scanned. They will scan only one of your parties’ bands and tell you which line to go stand-in for the bus. The bus driver will load your luggage and drive you straight to the front door of your hotel. They sat each party every other row for distancing. Definitely a service we will miss A LOT!
Pop Century Resort
This was our first time staying here! We actually got to PC before our room was ready so we left our luggage with the bell boys and we hopped on the Skyliner and checked out other resorts and has lunch at Disney Springs! (more on that later). PC in my opinion was very similar to the All-Star resorts…just more expensive. I actually prefer the All-Star rooms. However, PC has the Skyliner so we will probably only stay in resorts that have access to the Skyliner from now on!
The dining experience was…interesting. You can no longer go up and just order food. You have to order on the mobile app. This is cool because you can order while you are walking up. However, there were VERY limited options. They had the normal meal options but snacks and desserts were definitely limited.
The store and the dining hall are connected and you can not enter unless your meal is ready on the mobile app or you are looking in the store. (We would always say that we were looking in the store so we could avoid the long lines to get in. Not really cheating because we would look around until our food was ready.) Once you get in the store there is someone standing at the entrance to the dining hall and you can’t get in unless your food is ready. However, if you’re getting a drink you can go in early. So we would just go get a drink and then sit at a booth until our food was ready.
They have refillable mugs…that you can’t refill. So, for health precautions, they do not let you refill your refillable mugs. But you do get unlimited drinks. They have cast members at the drink stations pouring drinks for you. Just show them your mug and they will give you a disposable cup with your drink. Then you just pour that drink into your mug.
We loved the Skyliner! Like I said earlier, we hopped on the Skyliner the day we got there to go exploring since we did not have a park day that day. It only takes you to Epcot and HS and a few resorts. So we went to Hollywood studios…we were just testing it out. Then hopped on a bus to the Grand Floridian. (They have busses at every park that go to every resort and all the other parks). I wanted to check out the GF because had never been there…loved it! Then we took a bus to Disney Springs for lunch!
We took the Skyliner to HS on day 2 and it was great! So much faster than the busses! The line looked long but it went really fast! The great thing is that you do not have to fold up your stroller…you just roll it right on! Also, if the Skyliner is running…there will not be busses running to Epcot and HS that day. The only busses running will be to the parks that do not have the Skyliner( AK and MK). UNLESS the Skyliner is so packed….then they will call in some busses.
DS is one of our fav places! It is so nice to walk around and window shop and grab something to eat! This is also where they have their big Word Of Disney store which has everything! We also grab lunch at D-luxe burger but they have so many options! It is basically a huge outdoor mall. With Covid, there is only one entrance at most stores and one exit. Finding the one entrance at WOD was interesting. They also limit how many people are in each store at a time. The line looked so long at WOD but moved really fast! We ended our DS adventure with a cupcake from Sprinkles.
We took the bus to MK and they actually were letting people in earlier than stated. We went right through temp checks which was SO FAST, then to bag check then to the line to get in. The temp check process was so easy and so fast. They had a third-party service running it and it was so effective! And they were all so kind!
Right when you walk into the park they have characters up on the train station and they are dancing, singing, and waving to guests! It was a nice way to kick off the day since there are no character meet and greets. Finley got to wave to her fav characters and she was so happy! Next, we went to Starbucks before the line filled up. (It fills up fast and it gets so long). Then we headed straight to the castle to take some pictures. We do this early as well to avoid crowds that may accumulate later in the day.
We then headed straight for the rides because there were not a lot of people and we wanted to hit up all of the popular rides before it got too crowded. THERE ARE NO FAST PASSES! At least when we went there was not. So, it was first come first serve. We waited no longer than 5-10 minutes for most rides. We walked on to Voyage Of The Little Mermaid three times…no wait at all! We rode basically eveyrhitng we wanted to before noon.
Since there are no character meet and greets they do Character Cavalcades. These are spontaneous parades throughout the day that are not scheduled as to not draw a huge crowd. We were able to see the princess one and Finely got to see her fav princesses! They also do some dance party cavalcades with Minnie and Mickey that are fun!
We went in November and it was hot but the masks made it even hotter. At times we just needed to go sit inside because it got to be too much. They have relaxation stations throughout the park where you can go sit inside and cool off. Masks are required and they are strict on it. If it fell below Finley’s nose they would say “pull your mask up princess”. There was not a single cast member that would let it slide. They were on high alert.
We ate lunch at our fav quick service restaurant, Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe because it is fast and you have a view of the castle! We debated going back to the hotel after lunch and resting because we had ridden almost everything. We decided against it because it was so hot and we did not want to make the trek. So we stayed and then decided to leave early.
They do not do the fireworks show at the castle at this time…which is my fave show at Disney. We knew this going in though. They did do Christmas projections though which were really pretty. We then headed home early and ate dinner at the hotel.
In order to rise Rise Of The Resistance, you have to get a boarding pass beforehand. Boarding groups open up at 7:00 am the day you are going to HS. You can now reserve your BP from your hotel. You do NOT need to be in the park anymore. Ryan logged on at 6:59 (like 5 seconds before it turned 7:00) and he got boarding group 4. Useful tip: don’t get on Disney’s wifi. Ryan stepped outside of our hotel room to do it because his service wasn’t good inside the room.
We took the Skyliner to HS and got there pretty fast! Like I said before, they were letting everyone in early so we walked right through temp screening, bag checks, and ticket scan really fast. Then we headed straight for ROR. Finley was not tall enough to ride it so I stayed back with her and Ryan rode it by himself. He walked right on and did not have to wait at all.
After that, we walked onto the Alien Saucers. Mickeys Runaway Railroad was probably our longest line. It said 50 minutes but we were probably through the line and done with the ride in 40 minutes. The line looks SO LONG because of distancing. However, we really never stopped moving. It moves pretty fast. Same with Toy Story Mania and Slinky Dog.
We ate lunch at a QS restaurant and it was a nice break from the heat. We did the Disney Jr dance party and it was a nice break in the AC as well. They have Mickey, Timon, Vamperina, and Doc Mcstuffins live on stage so it was fun for her to see characters that way.
They also do Calvalcades with characters so you can see them without getting too close. That was fun but Finley didn’t understand why she couldn’t hug them. So that was hard. We left an hour before closing and had no line getting on the Skyliner. We went back to our hotel and ate pizza.
We got to Ak and Ryan ran to Flight Of Passage while Finely and I went to Starbucks. This is how we always start our day at AK. Ryan was one of the first in the park and still said the line was so long but it moved pretty fast. (Again, because of social distancing) We sat outside of Starbucks and enjoyed coffee, muffins, and OJ. Ryan text me and told me that Minnie and Mickey were heading our way on a boat Cavalcade so we ran towards the nearest lake. We caught them just in time and Finley got to wave to them. I was surprised they had a cavalcade that early in the morning! I think Pochahontas was before them and we missed that one. We did not see another cavalcade after that. So that just shows how random they are. You never know when they will be coming. (Or how early!)
AK was VERY HOT. And we were there in November. We took many breaks in the shade. We made our way through AK pretty quickly. Since there are no shows, it did not take a long time. I have always thought of AK as a 1/2 day park. We opted out of the walkthrough zoo because we have done it many times. Plus, I was pregnant and my feet were hurting. So, we did the Kilimanjaro Safari (drive though zoo) for the first time! It was a nice break from the heat and a nice break from walking. We also went on a little bus ride to Rafikias planet watch. We had never done this either! It was a nice break from the heat and from standing on the quick little bus ride. It was cool because you got to see a little behind-the-scenes of AK while on the bus! Once we got there, Finley got a book where she got to collect stickers along the way at different stands if she completed the little tasks. Tasks that involved learning about different animals. She loved this! The planet watch was inside…again, another great break from the heat!
We then headed to DinoLand U.S.A. which is a fun area for kids! We rode the TriceraTop Spin for the first time and Finley loved it! It is just like the Dumbo ride. They also have little carnival games so we played some of those. Finley won once and so did daddy! So, Finley got a little Minnie and Mickey which was the highlight of her day!
P.S. this is the stroller we use when we travel. It folds up and fits in the overhead bin on the plane! It is also easy to fold up when you get off and on the bus.
We then headed back to the hotel and had dinner there. It was a fun day but we were so hot and ready to relax.
I think I covered everything! Disney is still so magical but we said we would probably not go back until masks are no longer required or until it isn’t very hot outside! However, we are actually going back in January 2022 and even if masks are still required the weather should be perfect! So hopefully it’s more manageable! Plus, I want cute pics with no masks!
Disney in 3 days? Yes, it is possible and SO much fun. This was our 4th time to go and our second 3-day trip! I have compiled a list of tips and tricks on how to make it just as magical. (If you want to read about how to do Disney for longer, check out my other post here)
Disney’s Magical Express
We arrived at the Orlando airport and headed right for the Magical Express. There are signs as soon as you get off the airplane that point you in the right direction. We did not check bags so we did not have to wait at baggage claim (praise). Another time-savig trick: we took this foldable stroller so we put it up above out seat on the plane. We did not have to wait for them to bring it to use after the flight.
Have your magic bands ready to be scanned and they will tell you which bus to stand in line for. The bus line goes fast and the bus drops you off right at your hotel.
All-Star Movies Resort
We really enjoy the all-star resorts. We have stayed in all three all-star resorts and they are all very similar. The Moives resort is recently upated. However, our favorite is the All- Star Sports becasue it is the first one the bus goes too. So it picks you up first and drops you off first!
Free transportation! Which is a HUGE reason why we stay on property! These busses will take you to each of the parks, to Disney Springs and to either of the All-Star resorts. If you want to check out the other resorts (which is really fun), you will have to take the shuttle to one of the parks and then take the correct shuttle to the resort you prefer.
We only did two parks this time so I will be reviewing the two parks that we went too. We started with Hollywood Studios becasue we feel like it is a 1/2 day park. We went to HS right when we got there so it was aroud 1:00 pm. We went straight to check out Star Wars. We continued with Toy Story Land, Disney Jr., and The Frozen Sing Along. We also met Minnie and Mickey here. They are located towards the back. We ended the night with Fantasmic. (My favorite show!)
Star Wars: Ryan was only able to ride one ride. He rode it may times becasue it has single rider. He was not able to ride the other ride. In order to ride it, you have to get there early before the park opens and wait in line. Once the park opens and you enter then you can check in for a boarding pass. The boarding pass will give you a boarding group. If you do not get there early enough then you will not get in a baoring group. IMPORTANT: If you get in a boarding group it does not mean that you will get on. You could be in boarding group 123 and they could only make it to group 80. So it is not guaranteed unless you are a very low number. You are able to leave the park BUT you can not miss your boarding group being called or you will not get on.
One of our fav rides is Toy Story Mania! We used a fast pass for ths one! We also used a fast pass for the Frozeon Sing Along. However, it is not needed! Also, a fast pass for Fantasmic is not needed either! There are so many seats!
My favorite park. We used our three fast passes for meeting Mickey Mouse, Meeting Ariel, and riding the Ariel ride. We got there right when MK opened and I highy ecommend it. Main Street opens before the park opens. So we got there about 30 minuts early and we were able to enter Main Street and we headed straight for the castle. The have ropes to rope off the entrances to the rides. They do an opening ceremony that was so cool! It was our first time to see it!
Once the ropes dropped, we headed straight for Peter Pan’s Flight Of Passage. We were not able to get a fast pass for this ride because they go so fast. So, we sprinted and waited no more than 5 minutes! After that, we headed to It’s A Small World After All and walked right on!
We got there early and were able to do all of the rides that we wanted to ride by lunch time. So, after that we just walked around and rode our fave rides, watched our fave shows, ate our fave food, etc!
We ended the night with both of the shows. Yes, there are two shows. Everyone usually leaves after the fireworks, but STAY for the second show!
We finished our trip with Disney Springs. This is an outdoor shoping mall. You do not need a park ticket to get in. There are shops, restaurants, a movie theatre, and more! It is out fav way to end our trip! It feels like Disney without actually going into a park. Our fav place to eat is at D-Luxe burger. They also have this huge Disney store called World of Disney that has everything you could ever want!
Well there are some of my tips on how to do Disney in 3 days!
We did it. We did Disney world with a 6-month-old. I had many questions about what it was like, so after much consideration, I decided to write about it!
(Our matching shirts are from Old Navy)
Airport and the Plane ride
We took Finley’s stroller and her car seat. BEST DECISION. I want to travel with a stroller every. single. time. We put all of our carry-on bags under the stroller so I was hands-free the entire time at the airport. It was amazing! We took two stroller bags to put the stroller and car seat in and we checked them at the gate. (I definitely recommend stroller bags). Security was very easy. I had to take off my shoes but Finely did not. We had to break down our stroller and car seat and put the whole thing on the conveyor belt. Ryan did this while Finley and I went through the x-ray. (On the way back home they let me take a water bottle through security for her bottle). P.S. I have heard that you need to take a birth certificate when you are flying with an infant. However, we were never asked for hers.
I decided to feed Finley during take-off so that her ears would not pop. Finley is formula fed so we bought a water bottle at the airport and I had individually packaged formula packets (from Walmart). I made her bottle on the plane and it was incredibly easy. I fed her during take-off and she slept the whole plane ride. When we got off the plane, the man sitting behind us said that when we got on the plane with a baby he was a little worried but he was very surprised at how well she did.
Arriving at Disney
We rented a car because we wanted to have the freedom to drive whenever and wherever. Plus we went to the beach one day. However, if you only plan on going to the hotel and the parks then you do not need to rent a car. The Disney shuttle takes you from the airport to the hotel and to all of the parks (Even Disney Springs).
We stayed at the All-Star Music hotel. This was the more affordable hotel, however, it was still very nice. Everything was Disney themed and gave you all the Disney feels! Once we arrived we checked into the hotel and hung out at the cafe until it was time to check in to our room. We saw Goofy and purchased a refillable soda cup. (If you arrive early, it is completely fine because there is so much to do at the hotel. EX. A Disney store, cafe, TV’s playing Disney movies, a pool, and so much to look at.) We asked for a pack-and-play for her to sleep in and they brought one to our room.
Refillable soda cups
These are $19.99 are you have unlimited refills for a week. The only place you are able to fill up is at a Disney hotel. However, you can fill up at any hotel, not just the one you stay at. We would always fill up right before we headed out to the parks and fill up as soon as we got back.
These will take you to any Disney park and to the airport. One important thing to know is that you have to fold up the stroller on the shuttle. It was kind of a pain but we got the hang of it.
(My dress is from Francesca’s and her dress is from Amazon)
If you are only doing one park, then you want to do magic kingdom. This park has the most rides and attractions. My advice is to get the app. It has a map of the park and will tell you the wait times at each attraction. My favorite thing to do is to meet all of the characters at this park. I also love the Dumbo ride and the spinning teacups, because who doesn’t 🙂
This is basically a glorified zoo. If you have animal lovers, then you will want to definitely visit this park. This is also the park with the Yeti roller coaster and Pandora. They have a Lion King show that is amazing.
This park is geared more for adults. You eat your way around the world. My favorites include the nachos in Mexico and the egg rolls in China. My advice is to get only one of whatever you want and split it with whoever you are with. This way you do not get full as quickly and you can try as many items as possible. My favorite part of Epcot is trying all of the different foods and riding the Frozen ride. You will want a fast pass for this ride. Trust me.
This park is mostly restaurants, stores, and shows. They do have the new Tory Story Land that I have not yet been too. It opened the week after we left last time we went. This park is decorated as old Hollywood which is fun. My favorite part of this park is Beauty and the Beast Live and the Frozen sing-along. Also, this is where all of Disney Jr is located.
You can book 3 fast passes per person ahead of time. Once those three are out you can book more, however, you can only book one at a time after your first 3. Do your research if there are rides that you really want to ride and book ahead. The rides that usually have a long line are: Avatar, Peter Pan, Space Mountain, 7 dwarfs mine train, and Frozen Ever After.
We actually have never done a dining pass so I have no knowledge on that. I will say that if you do not want to do a meal plan then you do not have too. For breakfast we just did Starbucks and we ate a lot of Mickey shaped food throughout the day. So we would eat a small lunch at a quick service restaurant. For dinner, we would either find some place at the parks or we would leave (we had our own car) and go somewhere outside of the park. Tip: When dining at a quick service restaurant order ahead of time on the app so that you do not have to wait in line!
Tips + Tricks
Bring portable chargers. Your phone will die.
Bring your own first aid kit.
You can take food and drinks into the parks.
Do not miss the parades or shows. They’re amazing.
Take a stroller or wagon. We took our stroller that is able to fold down so Finley could sleep. We would walk through the park while she slept and it was so easy.
Purchase a spray fan. Especially in the summer.
The stores on Main Street all connect so if it is hot, you can walk through the stores to get some A/C and to get out of the heat.
Mickey waffles are also served at the Disney hotels.
Use the buddy system on rides if you have kids and you and your spouse both want to ride.
SAY YES to the park hopper. It is so nice to be able to go to more than one park a day. We visited every park, so on our last day we went to ALL 4 parks and did our favorite thing from each park. It was so nice to have the ability to go back and do all of those things again! Plus, some parks only take 1/2 a day!
Do not skip out on Fantasia. Trust me.
Buttons! Buttons are free so just ask for one either at your resort or at the parks! These are a fun way to add excitement to your vacation!
Boat Ride. One day when we were leaving Hollywood Studios and going to Epcot we took a boat ride instead of the shuttle. It was so nice and relaxing. We got to see many of the resorts that were on the river and we passed by the Disney Boardwalk. It was a very enjoyable break from walking all day.
Club Cool in Epcot. This is where you can taste sodas from all over the world for FREE.
These are free if you stay in a Disney hotel. These are how you access your hotel room and your credit card is linked to it. You just scan your magic band any time you want to purchase something. SO EASY! Every time your photo is taken at WDW your photos are linked to your magic band, as well.
Extra Mickey Hours
These are available if you stay in a Disney Hotel. This means that on certain parks on certain days you can get into the park early and leave later. This is great if you want to ride a ride but are not able to get a fast pass for it. My husband wanted to ride the Avatar ride but it was always 3+hours to ride it. He went one morning when Animal kingdom had EMH and beat the line! He only waited 10 minutes!
(My top is from Stitch Fix and my shorts are from Old Navy. Finley’s dress is from Gap Kids)
Do not skip on this if you have time. It is free to get in so anyone can go. It is owned by Disney so it still feels like you’re at Disney. The shuttle from your hotel will take you here as well! It has a movie theatre, restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. It is so much fun. The best place we ate at in Disney was at a restaurant called D-luxe burger in Disney Springs.
AduIt and kid-friendly
We have done Disney with and without kids. It was so much fun both times. I honestly can not rate one time higher than the other. They were both magical. Disney has so much geared for children. However, they have gone above and beyond with making it aduItfriendly too. I will say that Epcot is geared more towards adults.