2015 Florida Vacation Recap – Part 2

Last week I recapped the first part of our Florida vacation, and left off with us leaving Cocoa Beach early Tuesday morning to drive back to Disney World.  We spent the morning and early part of the afternoon at Magic Kingdom.  Despite the fact that it was Spring Break for many across the country, the park wasn’t terribly crowded in the morning and we were able to ride several of our favorite rides, including Big Thunder, Space Mountain, and Dumbo.  I also rode the People Mover for the first time ever.

magic kingdom

At the end of February I found out that Be Our Guest started accepting lunch reservations, and am so happy that I was able to get us a reservation for lunch during our trip.  Belle is my favorite Disney princess, so anything Beauty and the Beast related that I can do when we’re at Disney is a plus.


After lunch I decided that I needed a caffeine boost, so we headed to Starbucks on Main Street.  Since I was wearing my “Happy Birthday” button, not only did the barista know how to spell my name, but he also added a balloon to my cup.


By mid afternoon Magic Kingdom was pretty crowded, so we decided to take the monorail over to Epcot for a couple of hours.  Since Epcot was decorated for the Flower and Garden Festival, I was excited to see the topiaries.  We spent a leisurely afternoon walking around World Showcase, enjoying the gardens as well as a couple of adult beverages.

flower and garden festival

dopey and belle


After spending the afternoon at Epcot, we took the monorail to the Polynesian Resort, where we had a dinner reservation at Kona Cafe.  This was my first time eating at this restaurant, and Preston’s first time in at least five years.  We shared a sushi roll as an appetizer, and for dinner Preston had duck and I had scallops.  Everything we ate at Kona Cafe was absolutely delicious!

kona cafe

After dinner we headed back to Magic Kingdom.  This was the only night that we had the opportunity to see both Wishes and the Main Street Electrical Parade, and no trip to Disney is complete without seeing either of them.  After the parade we left the parks for the night, and drove to our hotel to check in.  Just like back in December, we opted to stay off property.  We’ve had two great experiences at this hotel, which is just outside of the Downtown Disney gate, for a fraction of the price of the hotels on property.  For us, saving money is more important than staying at a Disney hotel, and we currently plan to stay at the same hotel for our trip in November for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon.



On Wednesday we started our day at Hollywood Studios.  Upon entering the park, the first thing that I noticed was how different Hollywood Boulevard looked since the Sorcerer’s Hat had been taken down.  It was a bit odd to compare the view to the one we had seen in December when the hat had still been up!



While at Hollywood Studios we enjoyed many of our favorite rides.  We rode Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster twice (we made a beeline for the ride when the park opened, and then got in the single rider line the second time).  We also rode Tower of Terror twice (once when the line was short and once with a Fast Pass).  We also rode Toy Story, and saw both Beauty and the Beast (my favorite show at Disney World), as well as the Indiana Jones Stunt Show.


The highlight of our day at Hollywood Studios was seeing the carriage from the new Cinderella movie.  It was fun to play princess and hold the glass slipper.


Mid afternoon, we decided to head back to our hotel and relax at the pool for a couple of hours before we headed to Epcot for dinner.  We had reservations at San Angel Inn, a restaurant that neither Preston or I had eaten at before.  The food was great and the atmosphere sitting in front of Grand Fiesta Tour was wonderful.


After dinner we wandered around World Showcase and then ended our time at Epcot with Illuminations.  Just like seeing Wishes at Magic Kingdom, no trip to Disney World is complete without seeing Illuminations.


After Illuminations, we decided to head over to Magic Kingdom for a late evening of rides there.  We rode both Winnie the Pooh and Its A Small World, and got to do a card trick with Talking Mickey.


Just before midnight we started getting tired, and decided to call it a night after hitting up three parks in one day.  We had an exciting day the next day, as we were headed to Clearwater for a Spring Training game, but I’ll save that and the rest of our last two days in Florida for my final recap of our trip.

QOTD: When you travel do you enjoy trying out new restaurants and foods, or do you stick to what you’re familiar with?

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53 Responses to 2015 Florida Vacation Recap – Part 2

  1. The Flower and Garden festival looks so cool! Yall really got in a lot of different things in during your time at Disney!

  2. amyc08 says:

    I love fireworks! I like to try new places when we travel, but a familiar favorite is good sometimes too.

  3. So much fun!!! I got to see Cinderella’s carriage during Princess Half Weekend..it was gorgeous!! I love trying new restaurants when I’m traveling but I also like to go back to ones that I love as well. Looks like y’all had a blast!!!

  4. How fun! I love Disney and can’t wait to go back again!

  5. This makes me want to get to Disney World so bad! Belle is my favourite princess too.

  6. I’ve stayed at the DTD hotels for a long time now and love it. They all have a shuttle to the parks, and are in walking distance to either the shops and restaurants of DTD or in Orlando itself. And since we’re not spending that much time in the room anyway, it doesn’t really matter that it’s not a proper “Disney” hotel. The only time it can stink is after a race you have drive yourself back as none of them offer race transpo. For a major room savings though, I’ll take it…that much more to spend on margaritas in the parks!

  7. Looks like you had a blast! When I was little Dumbo was the only ride I wanted to go on (well, and the teacups) so whenever I return to Disney I always take a spin 🙂

  8. Lesley says:

    I loved walking around the Flower and Garden festival last month. I also enjoyed an adult beverage since my favorite is in French pavilion. Everything looked so pretty with all the flowers and topiaries.

  9. Everything looks like so much fun! I have only been to Disney once and it was when I was about 15. Usually when we travel we try out new restaurants- enjoying new foods is the best part of our travel experiences sometimes 🙂

  10. Sharon says:

    Looks like an awesome time! The food at the Kona cafe looks amazing and that pineapple drink, wow! 🙂 I can’t wait to take the kiddos there sometime, as they are already asking about when we are going to Disneyworld.

  11. mkadens1 says:

    Looks like so much fun! We stayed at a hotel on Coco Beach back when our oldest was 2 or 3. Great memories!

  12. Reading this makes me excited for our Disneyland trip in 22 days! Kona Café is our favorite. We love their breakfast! I missed seeing the carriage this year during PHM.

  13. Oooohhh, maaaaaan…you are making me miss Disney SOOOOO bad. Even though I was just there a couple months ago, lol. I’ve never seen the F&G Festival! Looks like you guys had such a great time, and I love all your pictures! I always try to book at least one new restaurant every time we go, but there are those we hit every single visit…like Crystal Palace. 😉

  14. What a fun vacation! I have not been in YEARS… and look forward to taking my boys.

  15. Gah! I can’t believe it was your first time on the people mover! It’s my favorite! Also love san angel inn. Yummy margaritas!

  16. carmyy says:

    I feel like I should start asking for Princess on my Starbucks haha! Looks like you had a blast!

  17. SO MUCH FUN!!! I still haven’t been to Epcot except for the end of the WDW Marathon. I need to get my butt there.

  18. I am needing a vacation more and more as I have been reading your recaps of your trip:)
    It’s been way too many years since I visited WDW…
    When I travel I don’t mind trying new places, but I stick with types of food I enjoy so I don’t have to spend any weird or crazy long moments in a bathroom or anything from something my stomach decided it didn’t like, LOL I know too much info, sorry:)

  19. Karen :0) says:

    Sounds like two perfect park days! I love it!!! I couldn’t agree more, it’s not a trip to WDW without seeing Wishes…and I love ending my evenings with fireworks!

  20. hollywood studios looks so different without the hat-its a bit weird. at WDW, it is SO hard to branch out because there are so many things I love but I try to make it point to try at least 1 new restaurant a trip.

  21. I think I missed Part 1 so will have to go back and check but GREAT photos!! looks like so much fun 🙂

  22. Sam @ PancakeWarriors says:

    I forgot how fun Disney was – we went as adults during my summer internship in college – it was a blast!! Love the topiaries in Epcot – how fun!

  23. GiselleR says:

    I like trying out new foods when I’m travelling. It’s always fun.
    Also, I need to get back to Disney. I’ve always wanted to go as an adult cuz I’m convinced it would be a million times more epic than when I went as a child haha

  24. ahhh this just made me want to go to disney!! I want to go with my BF…I know it’d be so much fun. The last time I was there was probably over 10 years ago with my family. I think I’d be too scared to ride the tower of terror though 😛

  25. Looks like you had an amazing trip! What was the name of the hotel you stayed at? Hubby and I would like to take our three kids to Disney but have found that their budget hotels do not cater to families of 5 and we’d have to stay at a more expensive one of their hotels. Thanks!

    • We stayed at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Lake Buena Vista (not the one in the Marriott Village). There are two within five minutes of each other, and we’ve stayed at both, but like the one not in the village a lot better. I think they have a room that includes bunk beds, which might be great for your kids!

  26. Jennifer says:

    I like the displays from the Flower and Garden Festival. You captured so many great pics of the fireworks – did you use your point and shoot? Or another camera? My friends had dinner at Be Our Guest and said it was great! Love that they put Princess Kathryn on your cup.

  27. Pingback: 2015 Florida Vacation Recap – Part 3 | From Dancing to Running

  28. Angie Newton says:

    How fun! Kev and I LOVE the Tower of Terror. What a fun vacation you had. Love the recaps!

  29. Pingback: 2015 Year in Review | From Dancing to Running

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