Saturday, July 22, 2017

Disney World: Free And Easy 7-Day Itinerary | First Timer's Guide

I honestly have no idea where I should start with this post because there's so much to share about this trip. I have planned for it 3 months in advanced to make sure that I don't freak out because a trip to Disney World on a 4th of July week can be pretty intense, or so I heard.

Disney did make things a lot more convenient through their dining plans and all. So basically, if you're staying with them, you get to purchase the all-in-one package that includes park tickets, meal plans and hotels. Upon arrival, they'll give you your 'Magic Band' that works as your ticket, room key and a payment method -- then you're good to go.

I'll try not to bore you with too much information but I thought I'll share my itinerary if you'd like to see..

Disney World Happily Ever After Fireworks

Day 1 - Animal Kingdom

• Quick service dining: Flame Tree Barbecue
• Get Wilderness Explorers badge
• Fast pass: DinosaurAvatar Flight of Passage, It’s Tough to be a Bug
• Watch: Festival of the Lion King
• 2nd round Fast Pass: Na'vi River Journey
• Table service dining at Tiffins (ROL Viewing Package) - make a reservation! 
• Watch: Rivers of Light

Animal Kingdom's newly built Pandora was out-of-this-world amazing. Flight of Passage blew me away and it's definitely my no.1 favorite Disney ride so far. And we honestly weren't expecting to have any culinary experience during this trip but man dinner at Tiffins was ultra delicious.

Day 2 - Hollywood Studio

• Fast pass: Star Tours - The Adventure ContinueToy Story ManiaFrozen Sing A Long
• Watch: Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
• Table service dining at Hollywood & Vine (Fantasmic Dining Package) (character dining with Mickey and the gang) - make a reservation! 
• Watch: Fantasmic at 9:00 PM
• Watch: Star Wars - A Galactic Spectacular 9:30 PM

Due to its smaller size compared to other parks, we got to wake up a little bit late and really enjoyed the day without being rushed. Dinner at Hollywood & Vine was really fun and because it was my first character dining experience, I got soo nervous every time a character was approaching because what do you say to them? Do you hug them or shake hands? Do you high-five?

Day 3 - Magic Kingdom

• Quick service dining at Breakfast at Be Our Guest - make a reservation! 
• Pick up cards at fire station - Sorcerer of Magic Kingdom (highly recommended! Magic Kingdom best kept secret)
• Fast pass: Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger SpinPirates of the CaribbeanMickey’s Philharmonic
• Watch: Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
• Watch: Happily Ever After Fireworks

Magic Kingdom was the most crowded park, as expected. And because it was summer in Florida, the combined heat and humidity can made it really uncomfortable during the day (Frogg Toggs' Chilly Pad saved our lives!). Glad that we're planning to come back again on the 6th and 7th day - which mean we didn't have to hit every single spot within a day.

Day 4 - Animal Kingdom

• Fast pass: Kilimanjaro SafariFestival of The Lion KingNa'vi River Journey
• Second round of fast pass: Flight of Passage!
• Table service dining at Yak & Yeti - make a reservation! 

Had to come back to Animal Kingdom again for the 2nd time because Flight of Passage kind of blew us away and we couldn't leave without riding it again for one last time!

Day 5 - EPCOT

• Quick service dining at Sunshine Seasons
• Fast pass: Spaceship EarthFrozen Ever AfterThe Seas with Nemo & Friends
• Table service dining at La Hacienda de San Angel - make a reservation! 

I think I was most excited to go to EPCOT because I'm curious to see this other side of Disney that felt a little less fairy tale-y and a little more futuristic. Spaceship Earth was our first ride of the day and I loved it so much because I think it's the EPCOT experience that I was looking for.

Day 6 - Magic Kingdom

• Quick service dining at Columbia Harbor House
• Fast pass: Peter Pan’s FlightSpace MountainHaunted Mansion
• Watch: Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
• Table service dining at Cinderella's Royal Table (character dining with the princesses) - make a reservation at least 2 months in advance! 
• Watch: Happily Ever After Fireworks

Disney World was not crowned as the most magical place on earth for no reason. Imagine walking down a parade in those costumes under a 90 degree weather! Huge kudos to all the cast members for making my Disney World experience an even more memorable one :)

Day 7 - Magic Kingdom

• Table service dining at Crystal Palace (character dining with Pooh and friends) - make a reservation! 
• Fast pass: Peter Pan’s FlightBig Thunder Mountain RailroadSeven Dwarfs Mine Train
• Watch: Happily Ever After Fireworks

The best highlight of the trip is definitely Magic Kingdom's Happily Ever After fireworks show. We legit were sobbing during the show and we're definitely not the only ones who were emotional! The show combines many of Disney's stories that we grew up familiar with, enchanted visual, music and state-of-the-art projection and fireworks -- I still have goosebumps watching its recording.

Are you ready for your Disney World vacation?

If you're planning a Disney World's vacation soon, do your homework. This trip definitely does not belong to the 'slow travel' category because it requires extra time and effort to do all the research to best maximize your time while you're in the parks.

Read more about my other Disney trip here and here.

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