Tuesday, May 10, 2022

My favorite place...Disney!



Yes, it has been almost a year, but I am finally doing my Disney post! 

Last year after finding out our cruise was going to be canceled again, we last minute decided to go to Disney. I have been to Disney many times and I have always planned it myself. My mom mentioned using a friend that is a Disney vacation planner and I thought it would be pretty useless having been so many times and already knowing what we wanted to do, where we wanted to eat, etc. I was definitely wrong!!! My mom asked her friend Rachael at Unlock the Magic to help assist in planning. She helped my mom every step of the way from booking the hotel to securing dining and queue passes for the rides. If you are in need of someone as a new Disney visitor or as someone that is quite well versed in visiting Disney, she can help! 

Resort

We chose to stay at The Contemporary this time. It was our first time staying at this resort and I was definitely pleased. We liked the convenience of being able to walk to the Magic Kingdom or hop on the monorail. When we were there the monorail wasn't going to Epcot or else it would have been even more convenient. The main building was also under construction, so we stayed in a garden room. The resort was fairly empty, I wonder if it was due to most of the rooms being under construction, so dining etc. were all pretty empty. We also were there the first day that masks were no longer required outdoors so I am thinking covid rules were also playing a part in it being less crowded in general. 

The resort had a nice pool area with a slide and daily activities. It also had a small beach area that never had anyone on it. We were always able to find chairs at the pool. We actually said we wished we would have had an extra day to just relax at the resort in the pool area. 

Our room was a standard garden wing room. It was a small walk to the main building, which we didn't find as an issue. We slept 5 in it without any issues. The room had 2 double beds as well as a daybed. We didn't have many complaints about our room except for the lack of counter space. The bathroom especially really lacked any sort of counter. With 5 girls sharing a room having a lot of counter space is a must! 

The resort did have a few different restaurants that we never dined in and also the food court. This resort definitely had the smallest food court out of the different resorts we have stayed in. Not many choices for food but it was super empty compared to the other resorts we have stayed ins dining areas. One of the changes since the last time we went to Disney was that you could now order your food on an app. A lot of quick dining restaurants actually required it. We also always travel to Disney with a dining plan and that was not an option this trip. We actually liked the ease of using the app to order and we aren't big eaters, so we were able to order kid's meals on the app instead of an adult meal. 

We had very short wait times for busing, even with the amount allowed on the bus at a time reduced. As I mentioned earlier walking to the Magic Kingdom was a huge plus. It was about a 5 min walk to the park. We took the monorail a few times until we realized how close it was to just walk to the park. This made having a park hopper nice because getting to this park even after visiting others was super quick and easy.

Jacket: Old Forever 21, Similar ShortsSimilar ShirtShoes





Parks

On this trip, we chose to get park hoppers to make the most of the trip. They also required reservations to get into the parks, so it was easier to experience more with the hoppers. We did like to bounce around between the parks. 

I hear this asked a lot, which park is the best!? I honestly think it depends on personal preference. My own favorite is Epcot and my kids also like that park. There is so much to see and do in that park. I think people think it is for an older crowd but there is still stuff for all ages. A lot was under construction, and they took out some of the exhibits we liked but we still found plenty to do and see. 

Magic Kingdom definitely has the most to do for the little ones. My girls are a little older, but we still managed to spend a day in the park and came back a bit a few other times. My girl's favorite experience when they were younger was the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, which was closed due to covid when we went. If you have little ones, it is definitely worth the splurge. 

Hollywood Studios had changed some since our last visit, so we were excited to experience the new rides. Rachael had secured us a pass to the Star Wars ride which was really cool. We aren't Star Wars fans at all and had no clue what was going on, but it was definitely worth going on. This park also has the only restaurant in it that we always have to go to, Sci-Fi Diner. You sit in little cars like you are at a drive-in movie to eat. We always look forward to this dining experience and it was all booked when we tried to get a reservation. This was another spot Rachael worked hard at getting us a table. 

Animal Kingdom we've skipped our last few trips to Disney. We decided to go this time and my youngest and I spent 1/2 a day here and then went to another park. My mom, sister, and oldest spent almost all day at the park and said they loved the "bigger" rides. This park did seem to have a bit more to do for the older kids. 



Shorts via BeScene Boutique, Target Basic Cami, Custom Toms, Similar Ariel Tank 






Lily's Dress & My Outfit via ZARA, Summer's via Bershka








Downtown Disney

This is another spot that I would like to have spent more time wandering. Over the years they have really built it up and it is a really neat place to just walk around. We always make a stop at Planet Hollywood to eat, and it just happened Guy from Guy's Burgers was actually in the kitchen and at the restaurant that day. We also like to eat our way around downtown with so many yummy treats to try. We actually aren't huge on Disney treats (dole whip, etc.) but definitely did get some stuff here. You have to make a stop at the Sprinkles ATM, Gideon's Cookies, and also Everglazed Donuts. 

Gideon's is known for its giant cookies. You actually had to put your name on a waitlist, and they called you back when it was your turn to enter the line. The line then took about 15-30 mins. The wait though from putting your name on the list was 2 hours. We were told it was best to put your name in before dinner and come back. That was exactly what we did, and it didn't seem long at all. It was definitely worth all the work and wait. 











Photo Pass

This is one thing I could not live without at Disney. If you buy one souvenir, let this be it!! It is so convenient to just walk up to a Disney photographer and let them take your photos. Some even have cute little edits they can add or poses they can suggest. You then get a log in to access the photos to print or post. This is my absolute favorite purchase we make every time we go. 







Disney Outfits and Packing

I thought I would close out the post with some of my favorite things to pack or bring to Disney as well as places to find the best Disney vacation outfits!

Typically, we go in February, and when we do we wear light fleece jackets on the plane and rain boots. We are normally coming from cold/wet in Detroit and Florida tends to be cooler and rainy. The rain boots have really saved our feet a few times. Disney tends to get huge puddles when it rains and nothing worse than cold, wet feet. I also make sure to pack in any weather rain ponchos. Much easier to pack them and not need them than to try and find some after it is already raining. I found this cute umbrella while searching for Disney wear. 

I usually carry around my stuff at the parks in a backpack. It just makes it easier to have it on my back and not have a purse. I like to make sure it is stocked with wipes, sanitizer, band-aids, snacks, water, etc. It is also great for when you get sick of wearing the Disney ears. I purchased my backpack from BeScene Boutique. A belt bag is also a great option. 

Most of our Disney ears were made by my daughter. You can find cute ones on Etsy.  Amazon also has some great choices at a cheap price point. 

Some of my favorite places to shop for Disney gear:

Amazon (Great place to find autograph books, rain ponchos, etc)

Etsy (So many cute ears and custom shirts)

Disney Store (A great option instead of trying to carry home souvenirs, just order and have delivered) 

Hot Topic (Not a place I would have even thought to look, and they have pages upon pages of Disney gear)

H&M

Zara (My favorite place to buy Disney apparel/purses etc)

Boohoo

Bershka

Mango (They don't usually have a huge selection but have cute pieces when they do carry Disney)

Jadelynn Brooke

United Monograms (Cutest monogram matching apparel)

Judith March 

You can always find Disney gear at places like Target, Walmart, Kohls, JCPenney, and other department stores. 

 

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