Corey and I just got back from a quick four-day trip to Disney World for our anniversary. It’s still a little wild for me to wrap my brain around the fact that I spent the first 35 years of my life dying to go to Disney and now I’ve been twice in the last 6 months! I always love sharing little travel recaps here on the blog, and this trip was so different from our family trip in September! So, grab a cup of coffee (and some Mickey ears if you have them) and settle in for a little recap of our anniversary trip!
Day One: Arrival + Magic Kingdom After Hours
We landed in Orlando around 10:15 in the morning, so we had a full day stretching ahead of us. I always prefer to do it this way when I can. We spend most of our vacation at the parks and this gives us a chance to explore our resort a little bit and really soak up everything it has to offer.
We stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter for this trip. It was absolutely stunning, and the perfect resort for an adults-only trip! The kids would obviously have loved the pool and vibes at this resort, too, but when we have them we like to prioritize transportation to the parks a bit more. This resort only offers bus transportation to the parks (and a boat to Disney Springs), and it can be a bit of a pain.
We immediately grabbed some lunch at the dining hall (jambalaya and gumbo!) and followed it up with some Mickey-shaped beignets. Because, of course we did.
The food was absolutely incredible. I’ll admit, I generally have pretty low expectations when it comes to what basically amounts to a hotel food court. But at both Caribbean Beach and Port Orleans, the food was absolutely incredible. I will be dreaming about that jambalaya and gumbo for the next few weeks!
After we stuffed ourselves silly, we took a boat over to Disney Springs to hang out a bit. We aren’t huge shoppers, so we mostly just visited the LEGO store to build a custom minifig (so fun!), and then wandered around and took in the sights a bit.
Once we were done, we hopped on a bus over to Polynesian. We were doing a bit of a recon mission to see if we want to bring the whole family to ‘Ohana when we come back in the fall. You’re able to get a few menu items from there at Tambu lounge, so we grabbed a table and settled in for some ‘Ohana noodles, sticky ribs, and a delicious cocktail with a view of Cinderella’s castle.
It really doesn’t get much better than that, y’all.
It’s safe to say we will absolutely be back for the full ‘Ohana experience in September. It was some of the best food I’ve had at Disney! And that’s saying something because we’ve truly had really great experiences with Disney restaurants.
Once we were done snacking it was time for the real highlight of the night – After Hours at Magic Kingdom!
Our Experience With Magic Kingdom After Hours
I’ve seen so many people ask about this that I really want to take a second to dive into how this special ticketed event was.
After Hours is a seasonal event at Disney World that’s currently running now through mid-summer. It’s separately ticketed and you do not also need a park ticket to get in. It’s about $159 per person (depending on the night and the park), and it includes unlimited popcorn, Mickey ice cream, bottled water, and bottled sodas.
You’re able to get into the park starting at 7:00 PM, and it runs for three hours past park close (which was at 10:00 PM). Pretty much all of the rides in Magic Kingdom are open for this (I don’t think any were closed, actually). In addition to rides, Mickey and the princesses at Fairy Tale Hall meet throughout the event.
Between 7:00 PM and 1:00 AM we were able to walk right on to almost every single ride in all of Magic Kingdom! We didn’t ride Buzz Lightyear, the Barnstormer, or the carousel…but that was by choice. Other than that, we rode everything.
A few other highlights:
- Tron has a standby queue for this event (usually you can’t just hop in line there). We went at the beginning of the event and waited about 30 minutes. I think if we had waited an hour or so, our wait would have been closer to 15.
- We had a nearly private Jungle Cruise tour, with only one other person in our boat. We worried it would be awkward but we agreed it was the best cruise we’ve ever had!
- Getting to snap photos of a nearly empty Magic Kingdom at night was so cool!
- This event is currently the only way you can see the Enchantment fireworks show. It’s not nearly as good as Happily Ever After, but we walked up as the music was starting and had an incredible view. It’s hard to beat a fireworks show with no crowds!
Overall, this event was more than worth it to us. We probably would have skipped it if we had the kids because they can’t hang that late, but we loved every second. It was absolutely incredible. We enjoyed it enough that I could see us planning a future trip specifically around getting to go to it again!
Day Two: Hollywood Studios
The next day we woke up early to rope drop Hollywood Studios. I’m not sure this was the wisest choice (we were exhausted after being up for 20+ hours the day before), but we were determined to ride Rise of the Resistance twice so it felt like a good idea.
We spent our day riding aaaaall the rides, tracking down some delicious food, and saying hello to some beloved characters. We walked past Goofy’s typical meeting spot and saw that he had Max with him, which was basically Corey’s dream come true. He had even worn his Max & Roxanne shirt just in case he got a chance to see them!
We had lunch reservations at Hollywood Brown Derby and of course we ordered the Cobb Salad. It was easily the best salad I’ve ever (ever!) eaten at a restaurant. I hear you can order it from the lounge outside too, so I can basically guarantee it’ll be a regular for me on future visits.
The parks were much more crowded on this visit than they were when we went back in September, so we were kind of forced to take things a little slower. It was nice, though, to really just soak up the atmosphere and meander around. We still were able to ride everything we wanted to, including riding Rise and Tower of Terror twice each!
We ran out of steam pretty early this day, so we didn’t end up staying for Fantasmic. But, if you’re going and you’ve never seen it, that needs to be on your must-do list. Just trust me. Thankfully, we’ll be watching it in just a few months, so it didn’t feel too upsetting to miss out. It’s an incredible show!
Day Three: Epcot
We were both really excited to get to explore Epcot without the kids! They really did love that park, but there was so much stuff in the World Showcase that we kind of skimmed over when we were there last. We couldn’t wait to really take it all in at a slower pace and take note of things to show the kids next time we’re there.
We slept in this day and didn’t arrive at the park until about 10:00. It was a really wonderful, leisurely morning and thankfully we were still able to knock everything out. We ate so much delicious food, from the Croissant Jambon Fromage at Les Halles (!!!!!) to the tomato soup and pimento grilled cheese at Pop Eats. The festival booths were all delicious, and I finally got to try a margarita from La Cava Del Tequila, too!
We rode Guardians twice (we got One Way or Another and September!), did the paint by number, and met a few characters. It was pretty much a perfect Epcot day, and it really made me fall (even more) in love with the park.
We stayed for fireworks and then headed back to the hotel to pack up and prepare for our final day.
Day Four: Magic Kingdom + Heading Home
And finally, we had one last park day before it was time to go home. Our flight was at 7:00 PM, so we hung out in Magic Kingdom until about 3:30 before we caught a bus back to our hotel, and then an Uber to the airport.
We hopped in line for Space Mountain as soon as we got in the park, and once that was done we rope dropped a big ol’ cinnamon roll (with extra icing) from Gaston’s Tavern. Because we’re adults and we can.
The park was crowded that day, so it was hard to get too many Genie+ reservations. But, despite the crowds we were able to do almost everything on our must-do list. The only thing we missed out on that day was Jungle Cruise, but we had already gone on it our first day, so it was fine!
That’s actually one of my very biggest recommendations when planning any park day, but especially a shorter day or a day when the parks are busy. Sit down ahead of time and write down everything you want to make sure you do! Our list included things like have some spring rolls, ride Peoplemover more than once, and watch the parade. You can include food you want to try, rides you want to ride, or experiences you want to have. Use that list to plan your day, and as long as you accomplish the list (or most of it), it will be a successful day! It’s a great way to beat the “we have to do everything!” mindset and set appropriate expectations.
And with that, we said goodbye to the most magical place on earth and headed home to the kids! It was truly a perfect trip. I wouldn’t change a single thing about it! Doing Disney World with just Corey was an entirely different experience, and I absolutely loved getting to do it. There’s no question about it, we’ll be back for more adults-only trips in the future.
Now, we have one week at home before we jet off on another adventure! Look at us – going from never going on a vacation without the kids to two in one month. We didn’t exactly plan it this way, but we’re rolling with it and it’s gonna be a fun February!
We’ll be back at Disney World in September with the kids and my parents, and I’m really excited for that, too.
Planning a Disney Vacation?
I recently announced that I’ve completed my training to become a travel agent specializing in Disney and Universal vacations! I truly fell head over heels in love with all things Disney when we went in September, and I finally decided to give myself a legitimate excuse to talk about it all the time. So, if you’re considering planning a trip to any Disney location (including Aulani in Hawaii, a Disney cruise, or Disneyland!) or Universal, click here to work with me!
This little passion project isn’t replacing any of what happens here on the blog. It’s just a side gig that I’ve been dreaming of starting for a little while! I can do more than just Disney and Universal too, so if you have another destination in mind just fill out the form linked above and let me know!