Upcoming Trip Plans
As you read this, we are officially into single digits on our Disney countdown with 9 days to go! We’ve got our tickets and Annual Passes, we dug up hubby’s Magic Band from our last trip and the millennial pink one I ordered for myself is here and has some BBBand buttons adorning it for good measure.
We land at Orlando International pretty early, which we always plan for, but it’s extra good this time with staying off property. Because of that, we don’t get to to advantage of Magical Express and therefore have to go get our own luggage before picking up the rental car and heading to our hotel (#firstworldproblems), which will delay us getting to the parks.
I’m not sure how early we’ll be able to check in to our hotel, so we may well be changing our clothes at the airport and heading straight to the parks with the luggage in the trunk.
If you read last week’s post (if you didn’t catch up by clicking here), you know I bought an Annual Pass. One perk of being an Annual Passholder is you get free parking at the parks. At this point, I won’t yet have my AP because I’ll need to pick it up at the ticket window outside our first park (Hollywood Studios), but my mom upgraded herself to an Annual Pass on the trip she just got back from, so we’ll still be able to get our free parking without making a detour to get my AP at Disney Springs or something.
On deck for Hollywood Studios, hubby and I have FastPasses for Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n Roller Coaster (neither is something my mom will ride) and then all 3 of us have FastPasses for Toy Story Mania!
One thing I learned in planning this trip is the ability to make FastPass reservations 60 days ahead of time is a luxury only granted to those staying on Disney property. Since we aren’t, we had to wait until 30 days out. And, it’s not 30 days ’til the beginning of your trip, but 30 days from each day. So, for 5 days in a row, I logged in at 7 AM WDW time to make FastPasses for 30 days from that day. Kind-of a pain, but I’m not complaining about free accommodations.
We’ll stay at Hollywood Studios until 7:30 or so and then head over to the Polynesian for our dinner reservation at ‘Ohana! As I attempted on our trip last year, I’m hoping to eat at restaurants we’ve never been to before, but ‘Ohana is an absolute must for my husband, and since this whole trip is happening because of him, we definitely had to go there.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is happening that night at Magic Kingdom and our reservation is late enough that we should be able to see Holiday Wishes from the restaurant! We plan to arrive to our reservation on the early side and request a table in the window. We’re honestly willing to wait as long as we need to. It’s going to be weird not going to Magic Kingdom to see my castle on the first day, so this will at least give me a glimpse of her in all her dream light beauty.
Monday is the day everyone else attending the conference my husband traveled for is expected to be traveling in for the day, so his obligations don’t actually start until dinner.
We have an early reservation at Trattoria al Forno for the Bon Voyage Breakfast, where you get to meet Rapunzel & Flynn and Ariel & Eric! We’ve eaten dinner at Trattoria al Forno before and weren’t impressed, but we’ve heard this breakfast is really good and that it’s one of the more affordable meal options on property.
After breakfast, we’ll be able to enter Epcot through the International Gateway entrance and walk through an empty World Showcase as we head to Future World. The park opens at 9:00 AM but the World Showcase doesn’t open until 10:00, so I’m really excited to get to see it without all the crowds, even though we won’t get to actually experience anything the pavilions have to offer at such an early hour.
Our FastPasses for the day are Living with the Land, Test Track, and Spaceship Earth. I personally only think the Test Track FastPass is worth it, but you can’t get that along with Soarin’ and/or Frozen Ever After, and Living with the Land and Spaceship Earth are rides I always enjoy but seem to have outrageously long lines for no reason.
My husband is going to need to part ways with us to attend a welcome dinner that evening for his conference, so my mom and I are going to head to the Contemporary Resort for dinner at California Grill. We’ve never eaten here before and it is pricey but I’ve heard amazing things and am excited to try it. Our reservation right now is around our usual dinnertime, but we’re hoping to make it a little later and catch the fireworks at Magic Kingdom again.
Tuesday is the 1st day of just mother/daughter adventuring and we’re FINALLY going to Magic Kingdom to see my castle!
We have FastPasses for Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. They’re all pretty early in the day so I’m hoping we can grab one for Buzz Lightyear or Pirates or something after we’ve used those 3.
Luckily, hubby does not have a dinner obligation that night, so we’re going to pick him up and head to Disney Springs for dinner at The Edison! This is another new restaurant for us but it seems like it’s right up our alley. They whole look and feel and general vibe seems like it’s very us, so we can’t wait to try it.
This will also be the night we actually spend some time in Disney Springs shopping around and I’m really looking forward to seeing the new World of Disney Store!
Wednesday is a full mother/daughter day and we’re totally going back to Magic Kingdom. We slightly changed up our FastPasses and gotBuzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad again because it’s my fave mountain. If we manage to snag more after, we’ll probably go for some we had on Tuesday.
You may notice I haven’t mentioned trying for a Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FastPass. It’s not because we don’t like it (in fact, all 3 of us LOVE that ride), it’s that it’s so popular that I didn’t manage to get a FastPass at the 30 day mark, so I don’t have much confidence I’ll get one halfway through the day for that same day.
After Magic Kingdom, Mommy and I are heading to Disney Springs for dinner at Paddlefish. This is another new one for us and we both love seafood, so it’s going to be perfect.
We likely won’t stick around Disney Springs, though, and instead are planning to head over to Hollywood Studios for the holiday projection show on the Tower of Terror and to see Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM, a laser light show projected on the Chinese Theater. My husband and I missed out on these on last year’s trip and I don’t want to miss them again.
The last day is always the sad day, but we do get more park time in with my husband before it’s time to say goodbye to my favorite place.
We have my husband’s favorite park in the plans for Thursday: Animal Kingdom. The 2 of us have FastPasses for Expedition Everest and all 3 of us have FastPasses for Dinosaur and Kilimanjaro Safaris. You may remember me mentioning in a post from last year (read it here) that I don’t do Everest. But, my husband gave Mission: Breakout a try when we were in California (it’s basically Tower of Terror in a different skin), so I’m going to give Everest another try on this trip.
We were originally thinking of trying to squeeze one more restaurant in and had late lunch reservations at The Boathouse in Disney Springs, but decided to cancel it to get as much as possible out of the parks. Once we’re done at Animal Kingdom, we’ll head back to the airport for the trip back home.
Thanks for reading along! Stay tuned next week for some of the outfits I’m taking with me and where to get them.