Our Trip to Walt Disney World

Just a bit of a disclaimer about this post…it is rather long but it has some tips if you are going to WDW. Also, I mention names of places but I have no affiliation with any company. I am sharing this post as my own personal experience with my own personal opinions. 

We got back from our trip to Orlando and Walt Disney World a week ago Sunday but I’m finally getting back into a routine. It seems like it’s taking longer and longer to get back on track after we’ve been away. Maybe it’s because we don’t travel as much as we used to?

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.com

Well, we’re home from our 5 day excursion so I thought I’d share some of the highlights and a few tips with you. We used to live in Florida, from 2004-2011, and we visited Disney alot often when the kids were growing up. It’s one of my favorite places to go and it’s been too long since we’ve visited…5 years to be exact and yes, we still enjoy it even though we no longer have kids at home.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.comWhenever we travel we try to spend as little as possible and this trip was no exception. Our airline tickets were insanely cheap, we got a great deal on a rental car and I rented a nice condo on Homeaway.com about 8 miles from WDW. I love staying onsite at a Disney resort but the prices were outrageous this time and we are in the room only to sleep so, for us, it wasn’t worth the expense. Make no mistake though, WDW is an expensive place to visit so we try to spend our money wisely by cutting corners when we can, like staying in a condo 8 miles from WDW, so that we can visit a park and eat dinner at a great restaurant.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.com

When I made all of our travel and sleeping reservations, I also researched and booked our dinner reservations, bought park passes and booked fast passes for the parks we were going to visit. WDW offers magic bands, that you register on Disney.com, that are used as your room key, for park admission and all of your reservations for anything Disney, including fast passes. Since we didn’t stay onsite I had to buy our magic bands but I’m so glad that I did, and we can use them again the next time we visit.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.comI also downloaded the Disney app on my Iphone which listed my itinerary, including my fast pass times and our dinner reservations. I could also check wait times for rides and the times for fireworks and parades. We used the app tons, even to find the nearest restroom.

The first night there was hubs birthday and we tried a new place, Narcoosee’s. It’s on the lagoon at the Grand Floridian where you can see the castle at Magic Kingdom and the Contemporary. It was pricey but oh.my.goodness it was delicious, our best meal, and after dinner we stood on their deck and watched Wishes, the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks, complete with music. All in all, a great experience.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.com

The next day we went to EPCOT. What a great day we had with absolutely beautiful weather and no big crowds. After taking a few pics at Spaceship Earth, we headed back to France where we ate lunch at Chefs De France. I’ve read glowing reviews on this place and it didn’t disappoint.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.com

I didn’t think it was as good as our dinner the night before but hubs loved his meal. After a fun and easy day of walking around all the countries and going on a few rides, you gotta go in Spaceship Earth, we strolled over to England for our dinner reservations at the Rose & Crown Pub. Since we had a big lunch, fish and chips was the perfect meal for us. We ended up eating there at the right time because we were escorted to their VIP section, right on the lagoon, to watch the awesome fireworks show.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.com

Our second day, Friday, was a more relaxed day spent driving around to a few resorts we always visit, riding the monorail and visiting Downtown Disney.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.com I read about Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at the Polynesian so we stopped in there for an afternoon cocktail. It was a fun and unique bar but the drink prices were a little steep. After our Grotto experience we headed to dinner at the Beach Club’s Cape May Cafe…love the steamed clams and crab!

On Saturday we spent the day at Hollywood Studios. It was a Star Wars weekend, unbeknownst to us, so we spent the day fighting crowds in the rain and humidity. We had a great time but I wouldn’t go on a special weekend like that again. Our dinner reservations for this night were at Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.comInstead of driving our rental there, we took the resort bus from the park to the lodge. This was our first time at this restaurant and we ended up having a great meal with awesome service and a curious dining companion. We sat right next to the window looking out on the savannah and this guy (or gal) stood there watching us for a good 30 minutes.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.comAll the food we had was delicious but they are known for their bread service…fresh made naan with dipping sauces. OMG…so good.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.com

After dinner, and one last look at the animals, we hopped on a bus for Hollywood Studios to see Fantasmic! We haven’t seen this show in many years so we really enjoyed it. Back in the parking lot in our car, we were treated to some more awesome fireworks that were part of the Star Wars festivities. A perfect ending to a great day and a fun vacation.

On Sunday we headed home to Chicago and the chilly weather, it was 45 when we landed. Ugh…maybe the weather’s the reason I had a hard time getting back on schedule.

If you’re still with me, congrats you made it to the end. Thanks so much for sticking with me through this long post. If you have any questions about Disney or Orlando, please leave a comment. I read and answer every one. 🙂 Hope you have a great week!

You can find me at …Between Naps on the Porch | A Stroll Thru Life | Savvy Southern Style | Sand and Sisal | The Shabby Nest | Cozy Little House | French Country Cottage | Over 50 Feeling 40 | Dixie Delights 

 

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14 Comments

  1. Monday,June 8, 2015 / 10:54 am

    Kristi, thanks for sharing your vacation. I live in Florida a little over an hour from there but haven’t been since my children were very young. They preferred Bush Gardens over Disney. My husband and I always went to Epcot after the kids grew up. I would love to go to Disney again if I could find someone to go with me since I am a widow now. . I like your dinner companion, although that tongue looking thing on his neck isn’t to appetizing. LOL Great pictures and it looked like great fun. Debbie

    • Kristi
      Tuesday,June 9, 2015 / 2:21 am

      I went to Busch Gardens when I was a kid and I think we took our kids there once. There’s just something about Disney. I hope that you get to go sometime Debbie. I’m sure you would enjoy it. Oh, and our dinner companion didn’t come by until dessert and it was just as well because some of the things he did wasn’t very appetizing. LOL I guess that’s what happens when you dine by live animals. 😉

  2. MaryJean
    Monday,June 8, 2015 / 1:24 pm

    Hi Kristi, looks like you had a great time! I’m in the process of working on painting my tub. Getting all the prep work done. I hate it, but it’s gotta be done if we want to do a good job!

    • Kristi
      Tuesday,June 9, 2015 / 2:15 am

      Oh my MJ, sounds like a lot of work but I’m sure it will look great when your done. Thanks for dropping in today.

    • Kristi
      Tuesday,June 9, 2015 / 2:14 am

      Thanks Deb and it was a wonderful trip. 🙂

  3. Phyllis cooke
    Wednesday,June 10, 2015 / 6:18 pm

    Thanks for sharing your awesome vaca.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,June 11, 2015 / 1:10 am

      Hi Phyllis! Great to hear from you. Hope you and Dwight are doing well. Thanks for stopping in.

  4. Wednesday,June 10, 2015 / 7:56 pm

    Sorry, I posted a Walt Disney trip. As I am looking through the posts, I realize you had also. I didn’t do this intentionally. Honest I went with my daughter’s family a few yrs. ago and I thought I would share a Grandmother’s adventure.
    I like your blog. very nice. xo

    • Kristi
      Thursday,June 11, 2015 / 1:16 am

      No worries at all. I think that there can never be too much Disney info out there and your post really has a ton. Wow, it looks like you had an awesome trip with your family. I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for mentioning it though.

  5. Thursday,June 11, 2015 / 10:08 am

    I enjoyed your trip to wdw! I would love to go to that restaurant on the savannah…. That naan with those dipping sauces looks AMAZING!!

    • Kristi
      Friday,June 12, 2015 / 2:39 am

      Thanks Angelina! We had a great time and will definitely return to the restaurant with the fab naan. I appreciate you stopping by.

  6. JanL
    Monday,June 15, 2015 / 1:43 pm

    We went to WDW in May 2014 with our 6 year old grandson. It was also a Star Wars weekend (which we didn’t know in advance) – and our grandson is terrified of costumed characters if he can’t see their eyes. We had a great visit, but were constantly on alert for storm troopers or Darth Vader walking nearby!! I did not know we could use the Magic Bands for a future visit; thanks for that info, so I’ll know to keep them. We stayed on property, since we flew in & out of Orlando; we were able to use all the buses. My husband and I had not been in almost 30 years, so it was fun to see the changes & also be there with our grandson. He was not as thrilled with it as we thought he would be; mid-afternoon when we were at Magic Kingdom, he asked if we could go back to “our apartment” (hotel room) and SWIM!! Being from Ohio, and having suffered a long cold winter, we understood the need to enjoy warm weather so we did as he asked. [This is my first time visiting your blog; came by way of your Blog Hop from Exquisitely Unremarkable.]

    • Kristi
      Tuesday,June 16, 2015 / 4:28 am

      Hi Jan and welcome. It sounds like you had a great time at WDW with your grandson, except for the costumed characters part. I’m sure it was fun to see all the changes that have happened in the 30 years since you’ve been there. It can be a little overwhelming, even for a 6 year old. I totally understand wanting to swim and enjoy the weather, we live in Illinois so just being outside in the warm sun was great. Thanks so much for sharing your WDW experience.

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