Disney Trip 2021

We had the most amazing trip to Disney! We didn’t want it to end. I mean it is the happiest place on earth. This trip was packed with adventure and fun, it was hard to capture it all. I tried my best to be in the moment as much as possible so unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures to share, but I hope by giving you a peek into our trip, it will hopefully help you plan your own.  

Planning for a Disney trip can honestly turn into a part-time job. There is so much to plan, from which parks to go to, to planning how you’re going to work your way through the parks, character experiences and of course planning meals. Below, I mapped out our favorite spots, activities, rides, and experiences at each park. It’s honestly so hard to experience it all, but I highly recommend making an itinerary before going to make sure you don’t miss anything you had your heart set on.  

Our trip was seven days long and we could have easily stayed for another week, it’s magically never ending. We were sore like we had been running a marathon, but it was so worth it! Seven days was perfect for our little family to experience it, capture it and take in all the magic.

Below are all the details from our trip and tips for future planning. Brace yourself as this is a long post.

A Basic Outline of our Trip

Sunday – Check in, get groceries, dinner at Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill – Disney Springs

Monday – Magic Kingdom

Tuesday – Epcot

Wednesday – Pool Day, dinner at Boathouse restaurant – Disney Springs

Thursday – Animal Kingdom

FridayBreakfast with Chef Mickey, pool day, dinner at Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill – Disney Springs

Saturday – Hollywood Studios

Sunday – Head back home

Trip Deets & Faves

How we got there and around –

First off, we flew. This was the first time we didn’t drive to Orlando and man oh man was it easier. We took a late morning flight and rented a car at the airport when we landed. The timing of it all was perfect, we arrived at the resort 10 minutes before check in.

Whenever we went to the parks, we took Disney buses. Buses come every 15-20 minutes and there are bus stops in front of each building. It’s so convenient.

Where we stayed –

We always stay at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa. This resort is beautiful! We got a 1-bedroom villa, they’re set up like condos. You have a full kitchen, washer and dryer, and separate living room. Not to mention it’s located within walking distance from Disney Springs.

Where I shopped –

I got all our Disney gear and clothing from Amazon, Gap, Target, and Kohl’s. They all had a great variety of Disney merchandise.  

Favorite mom essential – Stroller

This by far was the biggest essential for the trip if you have young children! Dean used it the entire time. We never had to worry about his feet getting too tired, or him falling behind. We had an itinerary so sometimes we had to hustle to our next location. We would just strap him in and be on our way.

Favorite restaurant – Wolf Gang Pucks

The food was amazing! This is a must anytime we’re in Orlando. Get a cookie tray to go, trust me you won’t regret it.

Favorite character experience – Breakfast with Chef Mickey

Mickey, Daisy, Goofy, Donald and Daisy all stopped by our table multiple times. Dean absolutely loved it!

Favorite time saver – Magic Bands

They are wrist bands that also act as a key to your hotel room, you can add your credit card for quick and easy purchases and it acts as photo storage whenever a Disney photographer takes your photos with the Memory Maker App.

Favorite travel item – Fans

This was a must have in July! We each had our own neck fan and I added 3 fans to Dean’s stroller.

Must have park itemsStroller, drinks, snacks, sunscreen, band aids, and extra chargers

Disney Parks Breakdown

Best of Magic Kingdom: 

Favorite things to do – Peter Pan Flight, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Tomorrowland Speedway, Mad Tea Party, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Splash Mountain, Jungle Cruise

Favorite thing to see – Happily Ever After Fireworks show

Favorite thing to eat – Funnel cake at Sleepy Hollow

Best of Hollywood Studios:

Favorite things to do – Jedi Training Academy, Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Droid Depot, Disney Junior Dance Party

Favorite things to see – Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy

Favorite place to eat – Woody’s Lunch Box

Best of Animal Kingdom: 

Favorite things to do – Kilimanjaro Safari, Pandora’s Valley of Mo’ara, Avatar Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey, Maharaja Jungle Trek

Favorite thing to see – Festival of The Lion King

Favorite place to eat – Yak & Yeti

Best of Epcot:

Favorite things to do – The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Mission: Space, Soarin’ Around the World

Favorite thing to see – All of the countries

Favorite place to eat – Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria

A few other things I wanted to share about our experience.  We went in July; we never go in July and never will again. It was SO HOT!!! Since we hadn’t traveled anywhere since before the pandemic, we were desperate to go as soon as possible.  We usually go in February or March when the weather is much cooler. Try and schedule your trip for late Fall or early Spring.

Lastly, I want to share 10 Free and Affordable Things to do at Disney World.

  1. Visit Disney Springs. An outdoor shopping area with lots of attractions, live music and amazing restaurants.

2. Disney’s Boardwalk. Walk down the gorgeous “turn of the century” boardwalk, grab an ice-cream, why not have a picnic along the water too!

3. Movie Under the StarsHead over to Fort Wilderness as they play a Movie Under the Stars every night. Be sure to catch a Disney classic. Our resort plays an outdoor movie on the grass area by the pool when it gets dark. Most Disney hotels and resorts offer fun movies, so make sure to check if yours is playing one too!

4. Swimming. Take a day off to enjoy a day at your hotel pool. If you’re staying at a Disney Resort many have fun activities for the kids too! It’s a great way to break up the trip and all that walking. The kids will approve too!

5. FireworksYou might not be visiting the park that has its firework show on that night or perhaps you missed it when you were at Magic Kingdom or Epcot. There are great spots around the property that you can watch the fireworks and enjoy them just as well. I did some research and the Happily Ever After fireworks held at Magic Kingdom can also be watched at the Ticket & Transportation Centre to the right of the entrance.

Epcot Fireworks– Illumination’s fireworks can be seen from most places around the Yacht & Beach Club or BoardWalk.

6. Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing AlongNightly campfire show at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground (7 or 8 p.m., depending upon the time of year.)

7. Boat rides & Ride the Monorail. The transportation in Disney World is free, and a great way to take the kids on a little adventure too.

8. Mickey Scavenger Hunt. At Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, pick up a map at the front desk and go out on a self-guided Hidden Mickey property scavenger hunt. Guided tours are also available.

9. Go for a HikeLove the wilderness? You can hike the 2.5-mile trail that connects Wilderness Lodge and the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds for some time with nature, fun actives, and a campfire ready for you at the end.

10. Drawing Classes. Head to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort for a free drawing class anytime from 9am-4pm. Classes happen every 30 minutes. They are lead by the artists on the property, and teach you so many amazing tips about animation. Afterwards, go through the Art of Animation Resort and walk over to the Pop Century Resort too. The themed decorations and massive character statues make for awesome photo opportunities.

I hope this helps you plan your next trip to Disney. Please comment below with any questions you may have!

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August 23, 2021

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