Travel | Orlando, Florida 2015

Back in April my family and I went to Orlando, Florida to visit the Disney Parks as well as Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure. As three adults planning a trip to one of the most kid friendly places on earth we were uncertain as to what to plan and what we would encounter along the way. Below is a list of a few things that we did while on vacation, and what I recommend to anyone going!

1. Stay on a Disney Resort

To start off with this was a questionable move because we figured we would be surrounded by kids 24/7 and that the environment would only cater to little ones. However, this was not the case at all. We chose a resort theme that was less extreme then a lot of them, we chose to stay at Port Orleans – Riverside. The theme was an old New Orleans vibe with our room being based around the Disney film “The Princess and The Frog”. Overall the layout of the resort was beautiful and each night in our little court yard area they would put up an inflatable movie screen and play two Disney films a night. They also had carriage rides around the resort, along with a gift shop which sold everything from toys to clothes to alcohol, a sit down restaurant, a quick meal cafeteria, several swimming pools, play areas, and even a laundry mat. Based on the location of our resort we had access to using a water taxi which went to a few other resorts as well as downtown Disney. The water taxi was an awesome asset for us because in the evenings if we wanted to go and do something we were able to head to downtown Disney (without taking the packed transit bus) and spend some time strolling around there. Taking the bus was another bonus. At every resort they have a bus stop where you can catch a bus to any park, and even the other disney resorts. They come roughly every 15-30 minutes and will also take you back to your resort. They run just passed the time the parks close (aside from the Downtown Disney bus) and start before the parks open. Along with taking the bus you were also granted early access to the parks as well as a later stay. Each night it was offered for a different park so it allowed you to get in an early and stay an hour later then those who were not staying at a Disney resort.

2. Magic Bands

The Magic bands are provided for you when you stay on a Disney Resort. They act as your room key, meal plan (if you choose it), pass to get into the parks, fast pass for the parks, tap for charging purchases to your room, and can even be used to interact with certain games on some of the rides. You get to select your colour, and get your name printed on the inside of it as well. You can even purchase different charms to put on it. They are convent to have because it acts like an all in one key while being at Disney. They are even water proof so you can use them at the waterparks as well.

3. Purchase a Meal Plan

The meal plan is a pre-purchased plan that gets put onto your magic band. It differs based on which plan you choose and for how long you choose, but ours provided us with 1 sit down meal (in a restaurant), 1 quick meal (cafeteria style), and 1 snack per day. Along with the meals you are provided with a Rapid Refill Cup which is a travel mug style cup which you can fill any time at any disney resort with any kind of fountain drink. How the band works is anywhere you go within Disney parks or resorts you can select a snack, meal or whichever you choose and you simply tap your magic band and it deducts what you purchase from your pre-paid plan. Based on a points system some items may cost you two snack points or may not be covered by your band and therefore must be paid for separately, but you can use all of your plan up in however amount of time you wish (you will have to pay from your pocket once your plan is up). Even though there are a few restrictions I highly recommend purchasing the plan because not only is it convenient, but it is cheaper then if you were to be paying straight from your pocket. When is comes to booking sit down meals, make sure that you book them far enough in advanced so that you can get both the times and restaurants that you wish to eat at. Overall the dinning plan was a huge success.

4. Hopper Pass

The Hopper pass is an awesome investment. It allows you to go to and from any of the parks, any time during the day and however often you choose. I recommend this, especially for adults, because you tend to go through the parks faster then if you had little ones, and it gives you the option to go spend your evening enjoying a certain feature at another park or head back to a different park to go on some of the rides again and so on. Say you spent the day at Animal Kingdom and then decided to go and watch the fireworks at Epcot, you had the option to go and switch parks. It’s perfect for allowing you to enjoy more of what the parks have to offer at any time you choose. Without this pass (which is added to your magic band) you would be limited to only attending one park per day, which can lead to being stuck with nothing to do.

5. Visit Universal Studio & Islands of Adventure

Although these are not Disney Parks, you can still book a shuttle to pick you up at your resort to take you there. Since these are Disney Parks our Magic Bands don’t apply here so we ended up spending the extra money and purchasing separate fast passes so that we wouldn’t waste time standing in long lines. We also purchased the Park-to-Park admission which allowed us to access both parks throughout the day. The reason we chose to do this was because in Harry Potter World you can take the Hogwarts Express to and from each park while experiencing Diagon Alley in Universal Studios, and Hogsmede in Islands of Adventure. When going to and from each park you get a different train each experience so it’s necessary to take the train both to and from. Thirty minutes before you wish to leave the park you simply call your shuttle company and they will come and pick you up and take you back to your resort.

I hope that these few tips and ideas were helpful for anyone planning a trip to Disney World. If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comment box below or message me on any of my social media sites. Links are in the top right corner!

– Jacy xo

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Hello there! My name is Jacy Joan and I have a strong passion for all things beauty & fashion related. Alongside beauty & fashion I enjoy traveling, organizing, home decor, reading, living a healthy lifestyle & spending time with my friends & family. After attending College for Business Admin- Marketing and Environmental Science, I have not yet discovered what I plan to do. In hopes of figuring it out I have resulted to spending more time on what I am passionate about and focusing more on my blog. I hope that you enjoy what I have to share! - Jacy Joan xo

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