I’m finally recapping my family’s EPIC DADventure to Walt Disney World in November 2019. [Read ALL Trip Recap Stories] I’ve taken the last few months to enjoy the holidays with the family, get over my Post-Disney re-entry whiplash, and let all of what happened sink in.
I’m sharing my thoughts on tricks we used, travel, day by day schedules, how we kept everyone happy, rides, attractions, and of course food with each post.
As I was planning this trip, I used alllll kinds of tools to try to figure out my daily schedule. I made my own spread sheets. I wrote in pages and pages of journals. I tried out the awesome MousePlanner!
Things changed on the fly, of course, however my little family and I headed to Orlando on a Sunday in November and enjoyed every moment of our 5 days in the parks. Today, I’m going to share what we did each day, not all the specifics – that will be posts coming up soon – but here is an overview of how we divided our days. We avoided any cranky tantrums, no one got sick, no one got pissed off and that’s a huge success!
This same plan may not work for your family, but it sure did for us. Take a look at what we did each day, and hit the comments to share your thoughts. Let’s go!
DAY ONE: SUNDAY
We walked about 9 miles this day.
We left our home in New England at 2:00am ET. A quick flight and by 8:15am we were in the Orlando airport.
We take Mickey’s Magical Express (an amazing way to travel) and are dropped off at the front door of the Caribbean Beach Resort.
After a conversation with the folks at CBR, we hopped on the park bus and headed to the Magic Kingdom. We immediately ran into our first character – thanks Peter Pan! And introduced our Littles to a Disney Dark Ride with it’s a small world.
We grabbed lunch at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.
Off to some more Character Meets, more rides, a few quick naps in the stroller, a Dole Whip, more rides and finally by 4pm, received notification that our resort room was ready!
Hopped on the Disney bus back to CBR and made our way to our room in Jamaica. Our luggage was there waiting for us and after unpacking and refreshing, we headed to Centertown Market with a quick stop at the playground.
Then time for a quick dinner. (The Cuban Sandwich was one of the BEST things I ate this whole trip!)
I hooked up our Apple TV to the room television and after a few classic Mickey Mouse shorts on Disney+, the kids were tucked in. I said goodnight to them and my wife and hopped the Disney Skyliner because, even though I’ve been up since 1:00am, I couldn’t wait another moment to see Galaxy’s Edge.
We rode Smuggler’s Run FIVE times in an hour or so.
After all the fun, I hopped the Skyliner again and headed back to find my bed.
Day one was amazing.
DAY TWO: MONDAY
Animal Kingdom & Epcot & Hollywood Studios!
We walked about 10 miles this day.
We rope-dropped Animal Kingdom for 8:00am opening – an hour early thanks to Extra Magic Hours this day. Immediately we ran to the Kilimanjaro Safari!
An amazing side-story of our whole trip, a piece that was SO well planned out, and not at ALL by me, was my brother and sister-in-law showed up as we exited the Safari – a 100% complete surprise to me. They traveled from New England a few days before, hid from us the whole first day, and literally jumped out of the bushes at me as one of the best moments of my life. We got to spend the whole day with them, unexpectedly, and it was glorious.
We ate, met Mickey & Minnie, saw Kevin walking around and enjoyed all the things that Animal Kingdom has to offer. [Read Disney Parents Panel Top 10 Favorite Things to do in Animal Kingdom]
We headed back to the hotel to refresh and a little rest.
Then we all hopped on the Skyliners (can you tell I LOVE THE SKYLINERS!?!) and headed to Epcot for the Food & Wine Festival.
We met up with Bro and Sis-in-Law and ate our way around World Showcase. After we were full, we ended up back on the Skyliners and at the Caribbean Beach Skyliner Station, my wife took the kiddies to bed while my brother, sis and I all headed to Galaxy’s Edge.
Smuggler’s Run, walking around Batuu and a drink at Oga’s Cantina made for an outstanding evening.
Day two was amazing.
DAY THREE: TUESDAY
Epcot & Hollywood Studios
We walked about 9 miles this day.
Ever see Epcot WAY before the park opens? We did.
We were there WAY early to make 8:00am reservations to dine with the Princesses at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway. After this amazing meal, we were FIRST in line for the Frozen Ever After ride.
We then spent the morning all around Epcot and bid a sad farewell to brother and sister-in-law who were flying back to reality that afternoon.
After lunch from more Food & Wine booths, we Skylined (is that word? It is now.) back to the hotel, laid in bed and watched Wreck it Ralph Breaks the Internet on Disney+. Was a great way to recharge.
We Skylined to Hollywood Studios and my 5yo son bee-lined to see Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy.
We headed over to Toy Story Land where we met, wait for it… my wife’s cousin, her husband and two little kids. Another fantastic family visit!
We hunted down our Jack Jack Cookie Num Num.
We watched some shows, enjoyed some rides and then indulged in the goodness of Woody’s Lunch Box and Totchos!
We said goodbye to the cousins and spent the rest of the night walking around Galaxy’s Edge before enjoying some Mickey Pretzels at Fantasmic with the kiddies.
A quick Skyliner ride later, we were all back in our beds and fast asleep.
Day three was amazing.
DAY FOUR: WEDNESDAY
Hollywood Studios & Magic Kingdom
We walked about 8.5 miles this day.
Had a quick breakfast at the resort and rope-dropped Hollywood Studios. We didn’t run to Galaxy’s Edge, or Toy Story Mania – no. We changed it up!
After spending time with BB-8, Chewbacca and Darth Vader, we headed to use our FastPass for Toy Story Mania and then my son and I went off to build our own droid at Droid Depot.
After, we met up with the girls to meet the Disney Jr. characters, get soaked in the Little Mermaid Show [read my DADventure Dozen things that surprised me on this trip] and spent the rest of the kids’ energy at the Disney Jr. Dance Party.
We headed for Galaxy’s Edge and some far out food. [Read how to talk in Galaxy’s Edge]
Skylined back to the resort, did some swimming, and hopped the bus to catch sunset in the Magic Kingdom.
We ate some more from Sleepy Hollow, and rode rides including finally convincing the littles to trust me on Pirates of the Caribbean. We had ice cream sundaes and shakes from Merchant of Venus.
More rides (rocked the FastPass system all night) and then caught the Happily Ever After Fireworks show.
It was the ONLY night of our trip that Magic Kingdom was open to the public (not closed for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party) and thus it was Extra Magic Hours in the evening. We used that to our advantage and ticked a bunch more rides off our list. The kids were troopers! Not a single whine.
Day 4 was amazing.
DAY FIVE: THURSDAY
Magic Kingdom, Disney Springs, Epcot
We walked about 8 miles this day.
Our last day in the parks. We didn’t let it get us down and bused it over for rope-drop at Magic Kingdom.
We walked right on to Peter Pan’s Flight and were happy to check that box. We did SEVEN rides (including Journey of the Little Mermaid three times in a row), ate a cinnamon roll at Gaston’s Tavern and did Enchanted Tales with Belle – all before 11:30am lunch reservations!
Lunch was our Advanced Dining Reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant. It’s 100% worth the wait or need to wake up at the crack of dawn the day you can make ADRs to score. And yes, try the gray stuff – it truly is delicious.
We happened upon Main Street right at Parade time and sat and enjoyed. However, it was on the ‘wrong’ side of the street…
Back to Caribbean Beach for another swim and resting up.
Then we bused it over to Disney Springs because we couldn’t leave without some shopping, Guy Fieri chicken or seeing the Lego Store.
After lightening our wallets a bit, we headed to the resort and in the spur of the moment decided to Skyline our way back to Epcot to see Epcot Forever. We got off the Skyliner and walked right up to the bridge overlooking World Showcase Lagoon between UK and France.
With that final firework, we bid farewell to the Disney Parks and slept well that night.
Day 5 was amazing.
With Jet Blue stealing our 6th day from us by changing flight times, we woke up, ate breakfast, played on the playground and swam one more time.
A flight and limo ride home and mere hours after swimming in Florda, we were shivering back in New England.
This week was AMAZING!
The details of each day are coming soon, but you get the gist of what we did. How does it all sound? Did we do way more than you’d think? Should we have crammed more in? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below or on Instagram and Facebook.
DADventure is out there!