Disney World in May
I had the amazing opportunity to go to Walt Disney World after my college graduation with my mom and brother. In my household, Disney was something we all grew up with. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t watching Disney movies, dressing up as Disney characters, or singing to Disney songs. So when my mom asked me where I wanted to go for my college grad trip, I immediately thought Disney World! The reason we never went while growing up was because our parents wanted to see other places around the nation and we were okay with that. BUT it was about time we saw what Disney World was about and after the vacation we had, it was HARD to leave.
ANIMAL KINGDOM LODGE
We stayed at the Animal Kingdom lodge hotel and it was beautiful! There were giraffes and zebras right outside the hotel, which was pretty freaking cool. All the Disney hotels offer shuttle busses from the hotels to the park of your choosing or Disney Springs, which is a huge shopping center. Animal Kingdom Lodge was an experience within itself, to be honest. Not only were there all sorts of wild animals right outside your window, there were traditional African dances throughout the hotel that were amazing and the restaurants in the hotel were 100%. Boma was our personal favorite because you could try foods from over 50 African countries in their buffet-style dining experience.
To be completely honest, we thought Epcot was going to be our least favorite park and y’all.. we visited Epcot every single day we were there. We absolutely LOVED it. The food, the culture, and the people! The World Showcase is where you could find us, dining in different countries, seeing special performances, meeting characters, and even riding amazing rides like the one in Norway that’s Frozen themed, called Frozen Ever After. Not only that but every country has individuals from each country working there! It’s truly something special. Epcot has themes for every season and, during May, it’s the Flower and Garden festival and my oh my is it gorgeous. I mean see for yourself below.
One of our favorite countries to visit in Epcot was Japan. We lived in the gift shop! I’m a huge fan of Studio Ghibli and the gift shop was FULL of it. What’s really nice about staying in a Disney hotel is that they’ll have anything you purchase in the park delivered to your room so you don’t have to walk around with it. We had dinner at the restaurant in Japan called Tokyo Dining. The three of us started with their vegetable miso soup. Yummm. I’m such a miso soup gal. Mom and I decided to share the Bento box and thank goodness we did, it was A LOT of food. Jake ended up with Nagasaki Sara Udon and the Fresh Sashimi Sampler which included a Tuna, Salmon, and Yellowtail Sashimi roll. Pro tip: we scheduled our reservation for 8:30 p.m. and were able to see the firework show at Epcot from an amazing view! Overall, we can’t wait to come back to Tokyo dining.
We may have loved to eat dinner in Japan, but we loved to spend our time in Germany eating snacks on snacks on snacks! They had the best soft pretzels, caramels, and beer too! The beer steins available were truly beautiful. On our last night at Disney we ran over to Germany before the park closed to stock up on candy for the plane! That’s how much we loved it.
CORAL REEF RESTAURANT
We are huge seafood fans so we definitely knew we had to eat at the Coral Reef Restaurant. Imagine eating with the fishes…well that’s pretty much what this restaurant is about! Dine under the sea, seriously, everywhere we looked were fishes swimming around us in tanks! Mom and I started off with delicious drinks. I had the piña coLAVA which is a piña colada with raspberry rum and raspberry purée and mom had the coral 'rita which is a margarita with Patrón Añejo tequila and Cointreau. We started with calamari as an appetizer and I had the grilled salmon with a mango sauce. Overall, I highly recommend dining under the sea. You might even see Nemo and Dory!
Think zoo + amusement park! Animal kingdom has some of the coolest rides like the Na’vi River Journey and Expedition Everest, and shows like the Festival of the Lion King. Y’all, I didn’t think I would get emotional but I was crying by the end of the show because the singing was incredible, the dancing was beautiful, and the connection between the audience and the performers was unreal. I highly recommend using your fast pass on this show because it definitely fills up fast!
Mom and I were most excited about the safari though. We used one of our fast passes to ride through the safari and see some of the most beautiful animals. It was truly something extraordinary.
Oh Magic Kingdom!! Truly a place where dreams are made of. Magic Kingdom kind of took my breathe away to be completely honest. Once you see Cinderella’s castle, you’re instantly a princess again. As you walk down Main Street, there’s music, dancing, shops, and you truly feel like you’re living in a Disney movie. Magic Kingdom has a little bit of something for everyone. From Tomorrowland to Fantasyland all to way across the park to Adventureland and Frontierland. I highly recommend utilizing the special magic hours for Magic Kingdom if you can. Mom and I were able to ride a lot of rides we couldn’t before because the wait time were crazy busy. Some of the rides I recommend doing that for are: Big Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and of course Space Mountain!
BE OUR GUEST RESTAURANT
The one restaurant I HAD to go to was the Be Our Guest Restaurant. We went for lunch and didn’t wait too long in line. Pro tip though: go to Gaston’s Tavern nearby and get the LeFou's Brew. It’s non-alcoholic and sooooo delicious. Honestly, I’m not sure what’s in it, but it was heaven. We went back for more a couple times while in Magic Kingdom. Once we made it inside Beast’s castle, it was just like the movies. The food was good, but the dessert was better! I highly recommend the lemon cupcake with meringue on top.
Hollywood Studios was our first park to visit right after landing in Orlando and it was a freaking blast. It felt like a more older kid/adult park with most of the rides being very much thrill rides. We rode the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock’n’ Roller Coaster an embarrassingly amount of times then headed to nerd out to everything Star Wars. My parents raised all three of us kids on Star Wars so we were beyond excited to check out Star Tours – The Adventure Continues ride and see the show Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away. They definitely didn’t disappoint.
Our first trip to Disney World was a trip I’ll remember and cherish for the rest of my life. After visiting, I know I’ll be back! Maybe that’s why our parents never took us when we were younger, because now I want to go for every season! Have you been to Disney World? If so, what park is your favorite?
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