So, I sat down and started to write a blog post about jamming in an awesome Disney trip in 3 days. Don't get me wrong, I am experienced in all things Disney, so it would have been a decent post, but it wouldn't have shed light that Disney, while being the happiest place on earth, has plagued my husband every time we have visited.
This year, we planned a quick 3 day trip to include one full day of activities (I will share our itinerary because it really was an epic day), then two milder laid back days. We have been with the girls 3 separate times now in 2015, 2016, and now 2018, all during fall break. Again, I am not expert, but my personality is very people pleasing, so I bend over backwards for the girls pulling out all the stops for these quick trips.
This was our first trip. Rick had a sprained ankle from lifting boxes and rolling his ankle two days prior to leaving. Of course, we knew nothing about staying at Disney, so we stayed at Port Orleans Resort...which while it is nice, it requires a ton of walking. Walking to the bus, an hour and half-ish ride on a bumpy bus to get to the magic kingdom, and then of course all the walking in the park. Rick was a trooper and Callie had no clue he was injured. He endured riding everything from Dumbo to Space Mountain in excruciating pain and managed to smile through it all. It did make great memories, but Pro Tip # 1 - lesson learned injury or not, stay on a resort on the monorail if possible. It makes it way quicker and easier to get to Magic Kingdom, which is where the fun is at.
We saddled up for Paynters Take Disney Part #2 in 2016. This time, I knew how to plan for Disney and what to do & not to do. We stayed at Bay Lake Tower, which is monorail stop numero uno. It is within walking distance to the Magic Kingdom and has a private entrance, so no metal detector or stroller lines. We came prepared for long waits, but scheduled times with characters and alllll the lunches. Day one, we awake to Rick complaining about his hands hurting really bad.
As an aside, Rick gets everything the kids get. He could stay in a hotel for three days away from any sickness they get and he would still get it. So, I look at his hands and it is hand, foot & mouth, which if you don't have kids, goes around schools like Chicken Pox did back in the day. Back to Rick, he is describing his pain as like an 8. So, he takes some Tylenol and we set off on our magical day. We walked to the park as it began to get a little overcast. We hopped on Pirates of the Caribbean first thing, and as soon as we get off the ride, it came. Torrential downpours. As Forest Gump would say, that straight down kinda rain. Pro Tip #2 - Bring a jacket even if it means packing it in a backpack all day. We buy ponchos for $52 each, and continue with our day.
It didn't quit. It rained and rained, and rained. Again, we had fast passes planned for several rides, so we ran from ride to ride, attraction to attraction, all while getting soaked. Because we are last minute planners, we did not get the much coveted fast pass to meet Elsa, so Rick took on the task and waited three hours. Pro Tip #3 - Don't be last minute people like us. Book well in advance to get better chances at the best fast passes. Callie got to meet her favorite princess and we embraced the crazy, Rick was miserable all day, but of course making lemonades out of lemons, the highlight of the trip being dancing in the rain in front of the castle. It rained all three days and we made every second of it count.
Disney just doesn't quit for Rick. When taking a product promo photo, he casually thought he would run to our backyard, which is wooded and grab some leaves. Well,the leaves he grabbed were poison sumac. Three days later and the day we left for Disney, his body was 70% covered, he was on a prescription steroid and basically covering himself in calamine lotion. We got to the parks early the first day for a very mild day at Hollywood Studios and it was 96 degrees with very high humidity. He was miserable and for the first time in three trips, I could really see it. Day two, we woke up for our big day, (Itinerary below - I suggest trying to follow it, because it was great) and Rick was not much better, but now again complaining about pains in his hands other than the obvious rash from the Sumac. It was HFM...again. The guy just couldn't get a break.
You will see how busy the day was below and we ran through it like it was going out of style. The picture below of space mountain speaks for itself - Sumac all over his face. The man was miserable but never allowed the kiddos to see it and even pulled out his David S. Pumpkin costume to make them smile even more. I was his ghost companion and we had the best time at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Pro Tip #4 - Do the extras. It is totally worth the extra admission to see this event come to life. Such a great time. We stayed at Bay Lake Tower again, and again it was wonderful and would truly recommend it.
Highlights and Recommendations
- Eat at Chef Mickey's - It can be a little pricey, but worth it to meet a lot of characters at one time. It is buffet style and the food is actually really good.
- Bippity Boppity Boutique - It is a must if you have a little girl. They transform your little ones into princesses in the matter of about 30 minutes. Must be booked well in advance for the most part.
- Disney Springs - Formerly Downtown Disney, Disney Springs is a great place for shopping and eating during the downtime in the evenings. There is a lot of free attractions to see that the kiddos loved like the lego store.
- Stay on the Monorail if possible - This includes Bay Lake Tower, Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian.
- Get there early - By being there at park open we were able to ride four of the most popular rides in about an hour.
- Bring Reusable Water Bottles - There are restaurants all over the parks that allow you to refill water bottles. Save the planet and such.
- Take a time out - The parks are great, but a break in the day is much needed if you want to make it to fireworks.
- Use Rewards - Okay, this is totally not an ad or a plug, but we have went to Disney three times now for practically free including the flight, because we use a Disney Rewards credit card for the business through Chase. You can even fill a rewards card for food, beverage, and souvenirs.
- To Park Hop or not - I would suggest not. Pick a park and soak it in for the day. We have never had huge success going between parks as it may be an hour ride there and back.
- Embrace the crazy - Make or order the matching tees, put on your ears, smile, eat the junk food, laugh, and ride. It's Disney!
Our Epic Day Out Itinerary
5:30AM - Wake up and get ready
7:00AM - Chef Mickey's - Breakfast & Character meet up
8:30AM - Walk to the Magic Kingdom
9:00AM - Big Thunder Mountain
9:15AM - Splash Mountain
9:30AM - Pirates of the Caribbean
10:00AM - Aladdins Magic Carpet Ride
10:15AM - Break for a Dole Whip
10:45AM - Small World
11:15AM - The Carousel
11:30AM - Lunch at Pinnochio's Ville Hause
12:15PM - Appointment at Bippity Boppity Boutique
1:15PM - Space Mountain Fast Pass
2:15PM - Buzz Lightyear Ride Fast Pass
3:00PM - Monorail back to the hotel for a break
3-5PM - Lounge by the pool (Margaritas for Parents)
5PM - Get ready for Mickey's not-so-scary halloween party
6PM - Walk to Magic Kingdom
7PM - Not-so-scary Halloween Party
8PM - Dinner at Casey's Corner
9:30PM - Monorail back to hotel
10:00PM - Watch fireworks from hotel balcony
10:30PM - Fall asleep watching Hocus Pocus