You Know

How irritating it is when people make you look at their vacation photos while describing in details every element of the photo?

Well, I won't do that. But I will share a few photos and a coupla tips we picked up on our recent trip to Magic Kingdom and Epcot.

My sweeties near Cinderella's Castle. This is almost the exact same pose they did for EVERY photo. Just different clothes and backgrounds. Very creative.

Tips for Magic Kingdom (MK):
1. Stay at the resort. We picked a Value Resort, which is like a basic motel. It had a pool which the kids loved, a gift shop where I got a rockin' hat, and a food court where we could grab fruit and a drink. The big plus about staying here: when you stay at a Disney resort you get extra Magic hours at Magic Kingdom! That means that you and a few hundred other resort guests get in the park two hours early or get to stay two hours later on certain days! Our first day in Magic Kingdom (MK), we rode about 6 high-demand rides in the first two hours with NO or little wait time: Small World, Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Snow White...all rides that the usual wait can be two or more hours during regular hours!

2. Utilize the Fast Pass! Head straight to the big attraction and get a FP ticket which will tell you to come back to the ride in a few hours. In the meantime, ride a few rides, have a snack and go back to your FP ride. Try not to smirk at the people waiting miserably in line for hours for the ride! Oh, and a extra tip...your FP will say "come back between 10:05-11:05" but you can still use that FP after the "time" has expired! We would get an FP before leaving the parkto go to the resort to take a nap, come back to MK, have dinner and then use our FP hours later than the ticket said!

3. We got the Basic Dinner Plan when we booked our reservations with Mickey. The Basic Plan included a snack, a counter meal and a sit down meal for each us for each day. If you go with a dinner plan, make your reservations like 30-42 days in advance. We highly recommend The Wave Restaurant at the Contemporary Resort (you can eat there even if you are staying at another resort). It is fine dining but kid friendly, I know- that's unheard of! The food is amazing, and the wait staff go above and beyond to make your meal enjoyable! Our waitress sent someone out for pickles for my daughter's burgers because they didn't serve them AND she let me substitute a bowl of fruit for the desert that came with our dining plan meal when NO ONE else at any other restaurant would.

4. To watch the parade at night and the fireworks- don't go to Main street! The crowd is unbelievable and unless you find a seat an hour before the show you will be standing to watch. Look at the parade route on your map and find a place to watch elsewhere. Around the carousel is a good place to see the fireworks.

5. If you are going to MK for more than one day, save Tomorrowland for your second morning and head straight there when the gates open! We got our FP for Buzz Lightyear ride, rode Space Mountain twice, rode the AstroOrbiter (awesome!), laughed hysterically in Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, enjoyed the Carousel of Progress and the Fast Rack all in our first 3 hours! I recommend skipping the Stitch ride, it was so lame and boring!

6. Don't bother waiting on line for the characters photos and autographs. Parents will spend hours searching for Mickey or Cinderella, then stand in line with their pen and book and camera just to snap a photo. That is some serious ride time they are wasting! We did it all that on our previous visit in 2004 and it was a major drag and our four year could have cared less. We skipped it this time and lucked out at Epcot the next morning at the Character Spot- getting to meet and get photos with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Daisy and Pluto! It took less than 10 minutes.

7. There is a great short cut and bathroom area between Frontier Land and Adventure Land that saves A LOT of walking, it is right across from Swiss family Tree house. Use it!

8. Jungle Cruise is very funny if you get a good tour guide. The ride is as old as Methuselah but MK has tried to spice it up by giving the tour guides some snarky comments and having them improv a little. Our first tour guide was hilarious and pointed me out when I didn't bend down, which made me get the giggles. Our second time around the tour guide's game was off. Still fun and it lets your feet rest.

Epcot Tips:
1.Check for extra Magic hours and get their early, leave to go back to your resort to take a nap and come back in the afternoon and stay late til the park closes!

2. Epcot has the best fireworks show! Find a place to sit and enjoy.

3. There aren't any thrill rides at Epcot but still some fun stuff. We liked The Seas, go early or late to avoid the wait- it has a great aquarium, a cute show with Crush from Nemo and a nice ride about Finding Nemo. Test Track was out other favorite ride, especially since the guy taking your through it is the actor who played Jen Aniston's brother in The Break-Up and I could not stop singing (in my head, of course)  "Mooove yourself, You always live your life, never thiiiinkkking of the fuuuture!" just like him in the dinner scene from that movie! Anyho... it was a fun ride.

4. Don't wait for Spaceship Earth, save it for Extra Magic Hours. It is a slow ride through time, and I believe they spray sleepy smoke on you, cause I was drifting off and my 6 year old conked out!

5. Marrakesh restaurant in the Morocco section is delicious and has belly dancers. My girls loved it. Their kids menu doesn't have any ethnic food on it, which was disappointing to me, but the kids tried some of our food. Also they have a great shopping area which I could have spent many hours in and I am still kicking myself for not buying the tagine-styled salt and pepper shakers!!! Doh!

6. Japan section has an amazing gift shop! It goes on and on! I got the girls new bento boxes, there was a HUGE Hello Kitty section with ChocoKat! Lots of beautiful clothing, dishes, amazing bags with Japanese-style renditions of Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, etc. I really, really wanted one but they were out of my price range!

7. Epcot staff is a lot less friendly than MK and there seem to be fewer of them. At MK if you had a question there was always someone close to help, not so much at Epcot. Not a helpful tip exactly but something that I made a note of.

8. Someone recommended the rides in the Norway and Mexico sections. I will say that the Norway ride was so bizarre that is was almost enjoyable but Mexico was lame with Donald Duck?! Do Not wait in line for these! You will be sorry.

9. Club Cool! Find it. You can sample sodas from around the world for free. The floor is sticky but the drinks are cold and bizarre. You must try Beverly- soda from Italy. My husband and I tried it 15 years ago in the Coke museum in Atlanta and have told everyone we know how awful it was. We were excited to see it again and it is just as bad as we remembered. It is something you will never forget and will always marvel that people in Italy LOVE it.

10. Mission Space is most likely to make you use a vomit bag. I hated this ride and hope to never see it again. They list things reasons to NOT ride it: prone to motion sickness, bad back, etc.. I was checking them all off laughingly BEFORE the ride...then

11. Wear good shoes! There is a ton of walking on asphalt at both these parks and wedges, high heels, flip flops will make your feet cry.

Okay, that's it. Have fun.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with all of your tips although I've never been to the restaurants you mentioned. We liked the rotating restaurant at Epcot...forget what it's called though. We also love the 50s Primetime Cafe in MGM.
    Oh yea, and Beverly is NASTY!!!


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