Sunday, May 11, 2014

Walt Disney World Trip Report!


This trip was amazing and I learned a lot. Francis as I both agree that the best part of a Disney Vacation is traveling with easy going,  good natured people who love to have fun. You can definitely have an amazing time at Disney parks or on a Disney Cruise even if you don't have children,  as long as you can embrace the Magic!


Highlights:
* I was always skeptical about Le Cellier,  the Canadian Steakhouse at Epcot Canada. I'd heard conflicting reports of the "worth-it-ness" of the difficult to get reservations as compared to the food. Uh,  the food and service were incredible. I would eat there again and again. Worth it.


* Tokyo Dining: sushi restaurant, AMAZING view of Epcot' Illuminations fireworks show. Very basic sushi rolls,  but well-presented. I would recommend this if you can get an 8:30 PM or later reservation, or desperately need sushi,  but otherwise it's not at the top of my list. For a better Japan table service dining experience,  I'd go with Teppan Edo.


* Fantasmic VIP Dining - Hollywood Studios dining package with a special seating area. WORTH IT. Not only is the food,  and general dining experience,  at Hollywood Brown Derby excellent, the Fantasmic arena seats 10,000 people and it is AWESOME to be able to walk right into the VIP area and get an excellent seat. We sat in the 2nd row (note: you will definitely get wet in the first few rows,  but the view is worth it.) You can also get VIP seating with reservations at Mama Melrose's Ristaurante Italiano.


* Star Wars Galactic Breakfast - Special event from May the Fourth through Star Wars Weekends in June. Read more at Craves, Caves, & Graves!


* Cinderella's Royal Table - This is a Princess experience beyond compare. I think this or Akershus Banquet Hall are a MUST for the little Princesses in your life. As childless adults... Skip it unless you have been dying to eat at the restaurant in Cinderella's Castle your whole life. Go for the Be Our Guest restaurant at Beast's Castle instead,  where you can eat fancier food and not make small talk with Princesses throughout your meal (they are required to visit every table and offer photos).


* Resort options: look,  if you are a grownup,  do WDW right.  I see being on a budget with children and going Value or Moderate,  but of you don't have kids,  Deluxe all the way. All Disney resorts are well staffed,  friendly,  and convenient,  but the Deluxe resorts (and better transportation options) make all the difference. Popular choices for adults-only vacations with easy access to Epcot (and stellar restaurants of their own) are Beach Club,  Yacht Club,  and Boardwalk.


Personally,  we will probably stay at Shades of Green next time.  If you are military and have not been to WDW,  you should know that Shades of Green is across from the Polynesian,  which means it has Deluxe park proximity.  USE IT.


* Book special tours! We did Pirates & Pals Fireworks Cruise and the Keys to the Kingdom tour and both were fantastic experiences. Pirates & Pals gives you an unique view of Wishes at Magic Kingdom,  hosted by hilarious pirates (we had Patch),  with snacks and a meet & greet with Captain Hook and Smee. Keys to the Kingdom is a behind the scenes look at the Magic Kingdom that gives you VIP access to Jungle Cruise and Haunted Mansion,  a look at the "utilidoors", tons of trivia, and most importantly,  a keen appreciation for Disney dedication to "good show". Disney fan or not,  you will LOVE this tour if you have ever been involved in theater, film production, or tourism.


* Vacation duration - for our honeymoon,  we did 8 days, and I would stick to that recommendation for a honeymoon. This trip was 4 park days and I didn't feel it was enough. We really had to cram in everything we wanted to do,  and by day 4 we had walked 30 miles and there were times I honestly though my legs would give out on the Keys to the Kingdom tour. Take time to relax. Plan for at least 5 days,  especially if staying at a Value or Moderate resort where you have to account for long walks to bus stops and your room.


Later this week I'll have a detailed cruise report, as well as a detailed report of all the foods we ate, per Sarah's request. :) If you stumbled here via a search engine or outside link, I AM a travel agent and can help you plan your next Disney Vacation!