Travel Guide || Disney World; Epcot and Magic Kingdom (For Adults!)

Warning ahead..... this is LONG. 

So as I was growing up, Walt Disney World just was not in the cards for me. I remember asking to go for my 16th birthday, and that obviously didn't happen. But that just goes to show that even as an older child I wanted to go! 

Well fast forward to now! Derek and I got lucky with getting free flights to Orlando from building up airline miles, and Hilton Honors called us and gave us a fantastic deal to stay in one of their resorts, and all we had to do was listen to their spill on why we should buy a timeshare from them (we remembered why we hated those during those 90 minutes haha). Basically, we lucked out on all of that so we got to keep our costs relatively low. 

One thing that it did do the entire time we were there was RAIN. It rained every day except the day we arrived. It also wasn't just the normal Florida rain for 15 minutes then be done kind of rain. It was bad storms (haha! Our luck!) So I will begin with what we did, what we liked/didn't like now and quit chatting.

One thing we also noticed is that Orlando is very spread out. We spend over $100 on Uber our first day there. We decided next time we will 100% be renting a car. It was very easy just taking an uber to Disney and not having to park in the giant lots, but for outside of the parks... Definitely rent a car. 

Some information you will need before you get to the parks:

1- You can't take a selfie stick into the parks. (I feel like I should have known this but oops)
2- Before you get to your first park of the trip, bring your confirmation email and the credit card you used to purchase! They will need to scan both of those and will hand you your entry cards. (I didn't get a magic band so if you have that this may not apply). You will just follow the masses and go to the main lines. Each person scanning tickets has the capability to give you your cards! Very easy!
3- These cards are also your entry to fast passes, so keep them handy at all times. You also use these to keep track of photos taken around of you by the photographers!
4- Fast Passes fill up QUICK! If you're not staying at a resort, book those babies 30 days out. I did about 15 days out and it was already slim pickings on the good rides. After you have used your three free ones, you can sometimes get an extra at the end of the day! So always leave some time at the end of the day for those spots!

Day 1: Poolside/Nice Dinner
We stayed at the Hilton Parc Soleil Resort. It was gorgeous! We also had two pools, three hot tubs, and 2 restaurants (i think?) We got there a little before check in, but we just went had a few cocktails by the pool and just relaxed after a day of flying.

That night was dinner. If you're at Disney (without kids), you need to go to Narcoossee's. You will need to make reservations as soon as you know you're going because we did it 10-15 days out and we had to have dinner at 9pm. Although that worked out.... and here's why...

The famous fireworks show at Magic Kingdom start at 9pm and they say to get your reservation for 8:30 so you can for sure get to see them. Narcoossee's is right on the lake at the Disney Grand Floridian so you have a direct view of the fireworks. They also pipe the music into the restaurant and outside so you can watch it play out. It is so so spectacular. It is nothing compared to watching them at MK, but it is still a cool experience. 

Derek and I both had the Surf and Turf. It was delicious, and we had leftovers! The restaurant gets 4/5 stars for me and $$$ as it would show on yelp!

Day 2: Epcot

Okay, so Epcot is a BLAST for adults. The rides were fun, and the lines really weren't that long (relatively).

The first thing we rode was Living With the Land. It is not a thrill ride AT ALL. But it is really cool to just see how they're growing plants above ground in what looks like irrigation systems. It also shows important times throughout the country on how we have evolved in living conditions. In the video below, you will see some footage of what they're growing. They even sell their products to grocery stores and cook it at the parks. How cool is that!? Now the important question.... Should you use a fast pass on it? No. We probably wouldn't have ridden it if it wasn't a monsoon outside and we wanted to try to wait out the hard rain. But it was only a 30-minute wait, so it was pretty cool for that!

The second ride was Soaring. Seriously guys, so cool! The lines were always 90 minutes on this one so if you want to use a fast pass on this, you really need to! Funny story, we were just going to wait it out in the standby line because our ride was closed at the time due to the weather and we got ALMOST to the front of the line (after 35 minutes) and we got an email saying we could use our Fast Pass for Soaring at the time we were there. So we get out of the standby line (it was long might I add and we didn't know we were close to the front) and we got in the fast-pass line. They're usually much much shorter.  Anyway, we skip to the front of the fast pass line (yay!!!) and look on the other side of the wall where stand-by was, and we saw the kids we were standing by... they were RIGHT THERE. Anywho, after the ride was over we walked out with the same people we were in the stand-by line with and we all lived happily ever after.... except we basically wasted a fast pass.. lol #newbs All in all though, the ride is FANTASTIC. It really hits all of your senses and when the scene changes you can SMELL it! It is so so cool. Part of that ride is also featured in the video! But if you have the option, use this as a fast pass!!

The last ride that we rode at Epcot was The Seas with Nemo and Friends. It was pretty cool. Again, not a thrill ride but someone who grew up watching Finding Nemo, it was pretty neat! Derek and I both enjoyed it. A lot of the ride you're down by the real aquarium tank so the fish you are seeing behind the projections are real fish! After the ride, you get to go up through the aquarium and look at all of those cool things. I got a shark swimming by the glass on the video. Should you use a fast pass on this? We are 50/50. If you loved finding Nemo then sure, but if not... the waits shouldn't be that long. 

Unfortunately, our ride that got rained out was Test Track. Everyone says it is fun, but you're just sitting down and you go fast. It doesn't have any drops or things like that, so I heard. I wish I could have ridden it but that dang rain messed with our plans! The ride did open back up but by that time we were deep in the heart of China so we did not want to go back. 

**By this time it had stopped raining** 

My Favorite Part of Epcot is the World Showcase. That place is PACKED. But its one of the few places you can buy booze at Disney. We started off in Mexico. I stopped and got a yummy margarita and this good meal because I was starving at this point at the joint right beside the pyramid. Inside the pyramid, there was some super cool shops and a long long long long line to get the famous tequila shot that is one the "Unofficial Official Drink Around the World Tour". Just google it and you will see lots of options. We just wanted to get a drink at each country, we didn't care if it was on the actual list. 

We walked through every country and that is all shown in the video, but my favorites were Mexico, Germany, Norway, and the UK. Now, the UK was at the end so I don't know if it was my favorite because of the drinks, the people we met there, or the actual "country" but regardless. It was sure a good time! So what is cool is there are beers, drinks, and food that are all authentic to that country. So you're getting a taste of what it is like there. I love craft beer, so I loved trying the different beers in each country. The Norway pilsner was one of my favorites!

On top of the cool beer and food, this was during the International Flower and Garden Festival so all of the florals were astonishing!

The World Showcase also has a great fireworks show! We watched it on the waterfront in France right before the International Gateway. I think they start at 9pm but we got a good seat at 7:30pm and just got drinks to pass the time with this other lovely couple we met. By 8:30pm rolled around, you could barely walk through so I am so glad that we did that. The first set of fireworks in the video are from this! 

Day 3: Magic Kingdom

The day my childhood dreams came true. I am getting giddy again as I type this... that's how much I loved it!! This day it rained and rained, then would quit for about 10 minutes, then rain again. Needless to say, our rain jackets were our best accessory this day!

The first thing we did when we got to the Magic Kingdom was head to Tomorrowland and just look around! It was the first park that we noticed so we just went for it! We walked around a bit more and you will never guess what our first ride was.... the teacups. Haha! 

The Teacups ride itself only takes about 90 seconds so the lines move very fast. I think we waited for like 15 minutes? It was worth it to me. I mean, all you do is spin while you're spinning, but my little heart loved every second of it! I feel like it is a classic so I had to do it! Footage on this is on the video too! Should you get a fast pass for this? No. The waits aren't long enough to justify it!

We had some lunch at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe. It wasn't great, but everywhere was packed! It was 2:00pm and pouring rain so we made it work! I got Nachos and they had a condiment bar so I got to make it as hefty as I wanted it! It was just your typical American food place: Burgers, nachos, BBQ.  Pretty good if you want something quick and easy!

After we had lunch we went and rode was Pirates of the Caribbean. Derek really wanted to ride this one! It was so cool though! We waited for about 30 minutes to ride this but it was worth it for the first time rider! It is a boat type ride, so you're floating the entire time. It is not a thrill at all, but the visuals of it are FANTASTIC! Derek and I both really enjoyed it! Would we ride it again? Maybe not just because we have seen it once but hey, its cool for a first timer! Fast pass worthy? Depends on how much you like Pirates of the Caribbean!

Then we ventured onto Splash Mountain! It was so much fun! As a first time rider- there were so many times that I thought we were getting to the big drop and it definitely was not. This is filmed in the video! Thankfully we had rain jackets handy so we didn't get wet! The poor girls in the front though, they were soaked! You should definitely use a Fast Pass for this one in my opinion! 

We had a fast pass at Space Mountain but had some time to kill so we thought we should ride Its a Small World because it had a short wait time... Well there was a short wait for a reason. That ride was so weird. I can say I did it, but I could even see how it would be kind of scary if you don't like dolls. The point of the ride it cool though. It sings the song "It's a Small World" over and over and over again. The only difference is in each "room" it's in different cultures and it sings in that language. Honestly, if you feel the itch to ride this.... just wait for it and don't use a fast pass

Next up: Space Mountain.  You 100% need a fast pass for this.. We even waited in line for 15/20 minutes with the fast pass! Funny dialog happened here. I was pretty nervous because you're in these tiny cars and its pitch black and I had just told this to Derek. Not 5 seconds after I said that, this 5/6-year-old who was riding with his grandparents looked at Derek and said "this is my favorite ride. It's so fun!". So I made the decision that if he could do it, I could do it! Haha, It is just a lot of drops and turns, but it is pitch black (with stars around), so that's what makes it fun!

We did have a fast pass for Big Thunder Mountain, but it was for after the fireworks and by that time we were exhausted. I 100% recommend using a fast pass for that though! It looks so much fun!

We didn't have fast passes or time to wait for Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger, Peter Pan's Flight, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, or The Barnstormer. Those are all very very popular and we will definitely be riding them next time!

The Magic Kingdom also has the most gorgeous fireworks I have ever seen. They played songs from the Hunchback of Notre Dam to Frozen. Basically, here are some pictures to give you an idea!

Basically.... I loved Disney World even though we went to only two parks. Even Derek loved it and he was skeptical about going in the beginning. Next time we hope to be able to stay longer so we can check out the other parks as well!

If you have made it this far... CONGRATS and THANK YOU! I know this was very long but I really wanted to be as thorough as possible! 

You can get my black shiny ears HERE.
My red polka dot ears HERE
This Etsy shop has ones that are CUTE!

This trip was so so so so so fun! And I already can not wait to go back! I only wish there was a beach closer to Orlando- we drove to one, but that's another story for another day. Haha!

xoxo, Brooke Anne

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