As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
In just 9 days, I’ll be back at my happy place – Walt Disney World. This time, I’m traveling with a friend – no family. So, just two girls on their own at Walt Disney World. We do have some FastPasses scheduled and I made several Advance Dining Reservations; but, other than that, we’re doing a leisurely trip – taking our time and taking it all in. I think it will be a nice change of pace from the normal family hustle and bustle that is a trip to Disney. And, quite frankly, I’m in need of some time away!
There are several new things (and a few old favorites) that I’m looking forward to on this next trip. I thought I’d narrow my list down to 8 and share. They are in order based on when we will experience each one (in other words, no top favorites here).
8 Things I’m Looking Forward to at Walt Disney World
#1 – Disney Springs
Back in February, when Brian and I went on our Anniversary Disney Cruise, we got to experience a bit of the new magic at Disney Springs. Of course, we enjoyed lunch at our favorite Earl of Sandwich, and I bought some chocolate at The Ganachery. But, since that time, I’ve seen post after post about updates to this area and I can’t wait to see them for myself. We plan to dine at an old favorite (T-Rex Cafe, thanks to our Landry’s Club cards), but I’m hoping to try a new snack or two.
Suzanne is hoping to purchase a Dooney & Bourke purse (I’m not sure how she’ll choose from all the awesome patterns and designs!) and I’m looking forward to meeting up with some old and dear friends here as well. Honestly, I wish we had more time (days) to devote to Disney Springs – I know we’ll never get to see and do everything. So much to look forward to at Disney Springs!
HONORABLE MENTION – This didn’t make my list because I’m not sure if we’ll be able to squeeze it in, but I’m really hoping that we’ll have our fill of Disney Springs and be ready to head back to Port Orleans Riverside in time to experience some YeHaa Bob at the River Roost Lounge. I’ve seen a bit of his show before and I follow this amazing guy on Facebook – I think Suzanne will enjoy him as much as I do.
#2 – Kilimanjaro Safari at Night
Kilimanjaro Safari is one of my all-time favorite attractions in all of Walt Disney World. We usually try to ride it in the morning and the afternoon for different experiences. Now, we have FastPasses for an EVENING TRIP! And I can’t wait! I think I chose a good time so that it won’t be quite dark yet, so hopefully we’ll be able to see some neat animals.
#3 – Tree of Life Awakenings
Ever since the first time I laid eyes on the Tree of Life, I’ve been fascinated by it. And, it’s one of those things that never gets old. You could stand and stare at it for hours and never take it all in. Now, the thought of seeing it all lit up at night intrigues me. The pictures I’ve seen (like the one above) are so beautiful, and I’m sure it’s even more so in person!
HONORABLE MENTION – When we first started planning for this trip many, many months ago, I was so excited at the prospect of seeing the Rivers of Light show at Animal Kingdom. But, alas, the opening of that show has been pushed back (and back and back). We have FastPasses to see the show that was put together to “hold Guests over” – The Jungle Book, Alive with Magic. I’ve read mixed reviews on it, but don’t want to pass judgment until we see it for ourselves.
#4 – Tonga Toast
Over the years, I’ve been involved in lots of different Disney chat groups – DISBoards, on Facebook, and otherwise. In fact, I discovered my favorite Disney cool treat – the Dole Whip Float – because people were bragging it up so much in these groups and I just had to try it. Another thing that I have heard so much about over the years is Tonga Toast. I’ve always wanted to try it, but the opportunity just hasn’t presented itself (to be in the right place at the right time). Until now.
Suzanne and I are planning a full day on the Magic Kingdom monorail loop. Our day will start with breakfast at Captain Cook’s in the Polynesian (using a Quick Service on the Disney Dining Plan). It just so happens at Captain Cook’s serves Tonga Toast! Sure, it doesn’t have the strawberry syrup over it that you get at Kona Kafe, but it’s also cheaper. And who needs strawberry syrup anyway? Gee, I hope I like it!
#5 – Afternoon Tea
I’ve done Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Tea Room in the Grand Floridian before and it’s a lovely experience. I thought, when planning this trip, that is was definitely something extra that Suzanne and I would want to splurge on. So, this is our mid-afternoon “meal” for the day and I’m so excited for her to share in this experience – I think it will be a great memory (just like my previous visit is locked away in my mind and heart).
#6 – Lapu Lapu
Between tea and dinner, while we’re exploring the resorts, I’ve got plans to finally splurge and purchase a Lapa Lapu for myself! Over the years, I’ve seen so many friends post pictures of this drink that is served in a real pineapple and it has always intrigued me – and tempted me! So, this time, I’m bound and determined to buy one for myself.
Ashley tried it this past spring and assures me that it is worth the approximately $14 price tag (prices don’t seem to be listed anywhere). We shall see!
HONORABLE MENTION – We will be winding up our resort day with dinner at The Wave in The Contemporary Resort. This is a restaurant that I have wanted to eat at for awhile, but the menu hasn’t really appealed to my family of somewhat picky eaters. I love the fact that this restaurant serves local foods and can’t wait to give it a try. I’ve heard really great things about it – now I just need to decide what I’m going to order (because, yes, I’m one of those people who obsesses over menus in advance!)
#7 – Soarin’ Around the World
Since Soarin’ came to The Land pavilion at Epcot, it’s been among my favorites. (Though, I confess that Living with the Land is an OLD favorite of mine as well!) I have cheated and viewed the new film for Soarin’ Around the World online a time or two; but I know that it can’t come close to actually experiencing it. So, this is definitely on my list of things I’m looking forward to. We didn’t get a FastPass, but I’m hoping to head there first thing on our Epcot morning and, since there are now 3 rides (instead of 2), hopefully the wait won’t be too terribly long.
#8 – Frozen Ever After
I defended Disney when I heard that they were replacing Maelstrom (an old favorite) with Frozen Ever After. After all, when Disney does something, anything, they usually do it right. Then, I had mixed feelings about bringing Arendelle – a fictional place – to the Norway pavilion (mostly because I hope this isn’t a reflection of the future of my beloved World Showcase).
But, all that being said, I’ve heard great things about this ride and I know the lines for it have been longer than any other at Walt Disney World to date, so of course I need to be looking forward to it, right? It looks and sounds great, so it I’m anxious to see for myself.
HONORABLE MENTION – Because I’ve been to Disney many more times than Suzanne has, I allowed her the privilege of selecting a lot of our dining options. One place she really wanted to try was Biergarten, a place that has never really appealed to me. First, because it’s German food and we get plenty of German-inspired foods here in Pennsylvania. Second, because I don’t really like the thought of dining with strangers (and I know they seat you at large tables with other guests at this restaurant). But, as the time approaches, I’m excited for the opportunity to try another new-to-me Disney dining experience. I’m sure I’ll have stories to tell when we get home.
Have you experienced any of these things? What are your thoughts? Do you have any more not-to-be-missed experiences that I should check out? Leave me a comment!