A look at my Disney World 2017 trip – including where to eat, stay and what to do!
“I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse.” – Walt Disney
A few weeks ago, I had the honor to make a trip to Disney World with 7 other girls. It was a whirlwind trip – and we ate and did so much in a few short days. This was my first time at Disney World (and I can guarantee that it won’t be the last!!), but I had no idea just how big Disney World is. I’m glad I had this girl’s trip so that I can plan a trip with my family in the future. So I thought I’d share all the details from my trip to help you if you are planning a trip to Disney World. And since we all know I’m a bit of an over-sharer (especially when it comes to photos) be prepared for lots and lots of photos. Believe it or not, I really narrowed them down here!
Since Disney World is divided into different parks, I decided to break it up that way and let you know just what we did and where we ate at each park (and also Disney Springs). There is so much to do and eat – this is just the tip of the iceberg!
Let’s start with Animal Kingdom, since that is where we stayed.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
There are seriously so many different places to stay at Disney World, but I was over the moon excited when I heard that we were staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Travel tip – book a room with a Savannah view. This way, all you have to do is open you balcony and look outside to see all of the birds and animals. It is quite the thrill to look outside and see a giraffe right outside your window! There is a Wildlife Spotting Guide that you can pick up (mine was in my room) that lists 30 different animals and birds that can be seen. If you don’t book a Savannah view, you can look for the animals in the common areas of the hotel. There are also Cast Members that can help or answer questions at each overlook.
Animal Kingdom – Pandora – World of Avatar
When visiting Animal Kingdom, you cannot miss the newest attraction, Pandora – World of Avatar. I will admit that I’ve never seen the movie Avatar, but that did not matter – this is truly a breathtaking area. The details are amazing. And you cannot miss Avatar Flight of Passage. It is honestly the best ride that I have ever been on. Lines can (and will) be long, so if you are planning ahead, make sure you reserve your fast pass 60 days in advance. The Na’vi River Journey is a great family friendly ride. And if you want a bit of sweet refreshment, check out the Night Blossom Slushies. They are very sweet, so make sure you share!
More from Animal Kingdom
Admittedly, we spent most of our limited time at Pandora, but I did also get over to ride Everest. If time would have permitted, I would have loved to do a safari (and even saw that they have nighttime safaris with night vision glasses!) We had breakfast one day at the Tusker House, which was a delicious African inspired buffet. On our last day, we ate at the Flame Tree Barbecue, which ended up being one of my favorite quick meals. I’ll definitely be taking my husband back there!
Hollywood Studios is so much fun! There is a lot for Star Wars lovers, and one of my favorites is at Hollywood Studios – Toy Story Mania! I also rode the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster for the first time and it became a favorite! You also can’t miss Tower of Terror (especially since you can’t ride this at DisneyLand anymore!) There were also lots of fun treats here – it was hard to choose what to try!
I could have honestly spent a few days at Epcot alone. The food, oh, the food! We were there during the Food and Wine Festival, which I highly recommend checking out. There is so much amazing food, and this is a great way to eat your way around the world.
Some of my favorites from the festival were the Brazilian Cheese Bread from Brazil, the Kalua Pork Slider from Hawaii, and the Croissant Doughnut from the Refreshment Port (seriously the best croissant doughnut I’ve ever had). We barely touched the surface – there was SO much good food there!
While in Epcot, make sure you ride Soarin’, Test Track and Frozen lovers have to ride Frozen Ever After. Soda lovers need to stop at Club Cool to sample sodas from around the world. We were also able to get great seats to the Eat to the Beat concert series and saw David Cook perform up close. It was so fun, and while I was already a fan, this made me even more of one!
Epcot is a culinary playground – even when it’s not the Food and Wine Festival. Some of my favorites were all of the treats from Karamell-Kuche in Germany, the tacos from La Hacienda de San Angel, and the pizza from Via Napoli was some of the best I’ve ever had.
I have been to Disneyland, so the Magic Kingdom felt the most like home. Again, this is a park where you could spend a few days to sample the eats and ride the attractions.
My favorite rides from this trip were the Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train, the Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain and of course, Peter Pan’s Flight.
There is a lot to eat at the Magic Kingdom, as well! Don’t miss the lobster rolls at Columbia Harbor House, the Dole Whips, and the ice cream cones with the cute Mickey ears! We also ate at Skipper’s Canteen and everything was delicious!
My favorite memory from the Magic Kingdom, though, is the new Happily Ever After Fireworks show. Seriously amazing. The best fireworks show I have ever seen. I may have even teared up a little. For the best seats and treats, snag a ticket to the Happily Ever After Fireworks Dessert Party, where you get lots of great desserts and drinks, and then reserved seating for the fireworks show.
You don’t even have to go to Disney World for great shopping and food – check out Disney Springs! Seafood lovers need to eat at Paddlefish. The lobster corn dogs were out of this world, and the table-side guacamole is not to be missed. And their Key Lime Pie was perfection. Also check out Planet Hollywood for the milkshakes or indulge in some sweets from Amorette’s Patisserie or the Ganachery. There is also an amazing Disney Store at Disney Springs – you could get lost shopping in there! There is also a lot of other shopping – both high end retailers, kid friendly stores, and smaller boutiques.
And if all of that didn’t get you excited about Disney World, you should see what is coming up for the holiday season this year. We were able to visit the warehouse where all of the Christmas trees are stored and it was amazing! These trees are huge. We also got to preview the trees for this year’s Christmas Tree Trail. This takes place at Disney Springs, and the trees are so amazing and creative. Definitely a must see!
Also not to be missed is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, A Frozen Holiday Wish with Elsa and Anna, and Sunset Seasons Greetings at Hollywood Studios. There will be amazing holiday decorations and projections of Christmas stories on Sunset Boulevard. It’s going to be amazing!
Make sure to check out all of the holiday swag, as well. We saw some of the ornaments, clothes and even holiday Mickey ears. It’s going to be holiday heaven!
Of course, the food is number one in my book. There are going to be SO many great holiday treats this year. The one I’m most excited about this the Gingerbread S’mores that will be sold at The Ganachery. This was seriously amazing. Don’t miss all of the holiday treats that will be out only during the holiday season at each park. We were able to visit the holiday kitchens and sample a Chocolate Pecan Tart and Maple Buche de Noel that were so good. Also don’t miss the holiday snowflake sugar cookie!
This trip was epic, and makes me very excited to plan another trip. Dreams really do come true at Disney!
Disclosure: this trip was hosted by Disney, and I’m so grateful for their generosity!
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