Thursday, June 25, 2015

We Survived A Summer Disney Vacay: 48 Hours in Disney

This past weekend I went to the most magical place on earth for a fast, fun filled mini trip. This was the first time I had been to the Walt Disney World resort in the middle of June. Normally we try to go at the beginning of May or the end of July /beginning of August when crowds have died down a little. But with work, school, life schedules you just try to go with what works with your party. It was a great trip! Yes, it was very, very hot and crowded (but not as bad as I imagined) but it was vacation and the perfect get away. After a short flight via Southwest Airlines we arrived at the Contemporary Resort.

The Contemporary Resort
The Contemporary is my personal favorite resort on property. No, it may not be as "flashy" as some of the other resorts but I love the modern vibe. Plus, you can't beat the convenience with the monorail that takes you directly to the Magic Kingdom and also used for Epcot. A little tip, there is a walkway to the Magic Kingdom, it's super short and saves time if you are in a hurry. It's amazing what you can accomplish on foot. It seems the secret has gotten out about this particular resort and it fills up quickly so be sure to book your room early and/or check rates here . Check in was a breeze and soon we were walking over to our lunch reservation at the Liberty Tree Tavern . Located in the "Liberty Square" portion of the Magic Kingdom, the Liberty Tree Tavern serves American fare in colonial themed rooms (think George Washington, Benjamin Franklin décor). The food is not bad for a theme park (my picks would be the cheeseburger and fries, "freedom" pasta and the grilled chicken salad) but really the only reason we come here is for the toffee cake. It's delicious. Maybe the best dessert I've ever had. Seriously it's the best. Just take a look at the picture below.
Oooey Gooey Toffee Cake at Liberty Tree Tavern
We decided to walk around a little after lunch to burn some calories. It was the middle of the afternoon so everything was very crowded so we decided to take a ride on the "people mover" in Tomorrowland. It's basically a go-to ride when you want to rest and it rarely has a wait. One cool thing is you do get a peek at Space Mountain, our car actually got stuck for a few minutes so here is a picture of some astronauts to document the experience. It was already around 4pm by this point so we went back to the resort to take a nap and refresh.

After a much needed two hour break we went over to Hollywood Studios. The Disney resorts also utilize the bus system but make sure you have enough time to get where you are going for say a dining reservation or a fast pass+ ,Disney claims they run every 15 minutes and normally this is pretty accurate but sometimes it's a bit longer. The parks do seem significantly less crowded at night (after 6pm) don't get me wrong, there are still lots of people but we did several rides that were only 10-20 minute wait times. We had late dining reservations for the Sci-Fi Dine In Theater and the decor is so authentic.

One of the best rides at Hollywood Studios

The theme of the restaurant is just like a drive-in movie theater from the 50s (check out my excellent quality picture to get a feel of the restaurant) complete with old horror/monster movie clips. And, no none of the clips will scare children (or adults), it's all in fun. The food is ok but you mainly pay for the experience and ambiance. We had spinach and artichoke dip with chips (it was fine), roast turkey club sandwiches with fries (pretty decent) and some type of donut topped with ice cream and fried apples (it was interesting but not necessarily in a bad way).  After dinner it was rainy so of course we purchased $10 ponchos...the rain stopped like 15 minutes later but they were a pretty good investment since we did use them again the next day.

Sci-Fi Dine In Theater

Besties rocking the ponchos

dancing in the streets...obviously

After hitting soaring and having a grey goose slush in "France", we called it a night. They have club levels at the Disney resorts and this meaning they serve breakfast, mid-day snacks and nightly treats throughout the day. They are free but the rooms are a little more expensive. It's worth it in my opinion since you can snack during the day then save up for a nicer lunch or dinner. Here are a few examples of the breakfast spreads at the Contemporary Resort.

We arrived early (around the opening at 9am) at the Magic Kingdom, the crowds were not bad at all at this time. For instance, the wait time for Space Mountain was 10 minutes (2 hours later it was 65 min) so it just goes to show that it pays to get up early and get going! Having FastPass+ was definitely a good time saver as well.

Around 12, it started getting super crowded at Magic Kingdom so we took the monorail over to Epcot and just walked around the "countries" until our lunch reservations. Please try the mango-strawberry margaritas in "Mexico"! Perfect for a hot summer day and so colorful.

Stop by the free standing margarita stand in the Mexico pavilion

Acting like a tourist in "England"

Lunch that day was at Chefs de France located in the France area of Epcot. This restaurant is very good, especially for a theme park. We all have similar taste so the grilled cheese and crème brulee were the obvious choices (hint: I love a good grilled cheese. Some say I have the taste buds of 5 year old) and both were so good! You also got the choice of French onion soup or lobster bisque, had it not been in the 90's outside then that probably would have been more appealing. After lunch it's a good time to head back to the hotel, shop around the resorts, hit the pool or my favorite option...nap.

Grilled Cheese

Crème Brulee

The Disney characters are super into their jobs...I don't even know what's going on here

Around 7, we decided to walk over to the Magic Kingdom and since we had burned so many calories, it was clear we needed a little sugar break. I highly recommend the treats over at Sleepy Hollow (you must try the fruit and nutella waffle!), they have some really delicious creations.
cookie and ice cream sandwich
The weather was muggy and it was a little rainy (yay ponchos!) and after we did the Carousel of Progress (another good ride to pass the time and rain with no wait) the rain had passed and the rainbows were out!

This has to be good luck, right?

Dinner was at Be Our Guest , the cutest little restaurant inside the "Beast's Castle" from Beauty and the Beast. This restaurant fills up quick! Be sure to get a reservation before you go (you can book dining reservation up to 180 days in advance for all Disney restaurant here ). This restaurant has the décor and theme down to perfection. The food is also a little better quality than what you would normally find in a theme park. And, yes I tried the grey was delicious.

Dining Room at Be Our Guest

The famed "grey stuff"

This trip was so much fun, always go with friends and family who you know will enjoy the experience. I am lucky to have friends who enjoy the parks and Orlando as much as I do. Yes, Disney can be cheesy but that's all in part of the fun. Take a weekend and see for yourself. With just a little preparation and planning, you are sure to have a wonderful trip and memories that will last a lifetime.

Awkward posing with the Beast

Hope you enjoyed this recap! Let me know if you have any questions about the Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort and I will be happy to answer them for you!
Start planning your weekend vacay now!


No comments:

Post a Comment