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.
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.
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!
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?