I’m going to Disney World!
Many of you know how much I love Disney World. I adore it. Even the large lady who fell on me at Peter Pan could not deter me from being a fan of Uncle Walt’s creation. It’s one of my happy places.
I’ll be returning in a few weeks with my friends Connie and Stephanie. It’s been a few years since I visited The World, but I feel so much has changed. I need direction. I need advice. I need some of y’all to plan this bad boy for me!
We are going to the Halloween party. Never fear, costumes have been sewn (thank you Stephanie) and hats have been made (thank you Connie) and candy corn has been purchased (you’re welcome Connie and Stephanie.) Other than attending the party back in 1998 when I worked in Magic Kingdom, I’ve never been. Teach me, oh wise Disney people. What should we not miss? Are the rumors true? Do you really get name brand candy in the trick-or-treat lines? And do cast members look down upon grown adults strolling up to partake?
What about the newly expanded Disney Springs. We are going to eat there the first night, but I have a slight problem. THERE ARE SO MANY CHOICES!!! Which restaurant deserves our business?
Speaking of restaurants, talk to me about your favorite Disney World eating establishments. I want counter service, sit down and can’t miss snack recommendations. This includes carts, dessert counters, random corners in the World Showcase at EPCOT, etc. We will be pretty much staying in the parks all day long, so don’t worry about resort recommendations.
I also need someone to fill me in on the whole Star Wars section of Hollywood Studios. What’s the deal? I hear there’s a night show. Where should I stand? Is it the same time as Fantasmic? Can I ask Chewbacca to marry me or is that weird?
What shows should we make sure to see? Which ones do you think are skippable? Is skippable a word? SOMEONE HELP ME.
Clearly, I need Disney World guidance. Feel free to give it your all in the comments section. I’m counting on y’all! Thank you!
Yes, the Star Wars fireworks have been around the same time as Fantasmic, so there’s no way to see the both on the same night. Hollywood Studios is just a general mess. 🙂
Epcot Food and Wine festival can’t be missed. Via Napoli is an awesome table service meal.
Never been to the Halloween party (only the Christmas one) but from what I understand, getting candy is not frowned upon as an adult. 🙂
Have a magical trip!! So jealous!
I’m so glad the candy is up for grabs! And I have heard the pizza at Via Napoli is awesome. Thanks Page!
We did both in the spring. Second row phantasmic, then made it easily to the fireworks with star wars music. It was fabulous.
I was just at Disney Springs where the conference I went to had an offsite reception at Splitsville. It was SO much fun–the food was great and of course, there was BOWLING!! I hope you have the best time ever!
Awesome! Thanks Kelli!
My only word of advice: avoid the margarita vendor in EPCOT, at least if you intend to finish the tour! Don’t think “This is Disney and it’s 9 a.m. They wouldn’t really put liquor in those frosty delights!” #drunkatDisney #Momwalksfunny
Your hashtags are GOLDEN! Thank you for the advice Lisa!
Dinner with the Princesses at Cinderella’s Castle was really great even if I hadn’t had my 4 year old. They introduce each princess and tell their short story and they make their way by each table for pictures and autographs. I am not sure how they would feel about 3 grown ups dressed as their favorite princess, but I would love to hear if y’all do it!
I did it back in the day with my roommates! We had Christmas morning at the castle with the princesses. It was AMAZING.
First, you do have to go to the Galactic Star Wars fireworks show — if it’s still there — it’s amazing! It looked like they may not keep it past the beginning of October, though. There were apparently complaints about people not having good enough views. I will say, it was kind of hard to get a good viewpoint if you didn’t set up right in front of the taped off area at least an hour before the show. We were not some of those people, but still had a good enough viewpoint to love it. The main part of the show is videos on the Chinese theater, so you want to be able to have a good enough view of it.
If you can handle it, you need to do Star Tours multiple times since there are like 52 different variations of videos for it. I can only do it once within a few hours, but my family can do it back to back, over and over. 🙂 We love Star Wars, so we love all the new shows and everything they have for it. It’s currently in 2 different areas of Hollywood Studios, so make sure you go to both. The 2 “movie” shows they offer are great.
I’m sure you have heard about the new Frozen Ever After ride that took the place of Maelstrom in Norway at Epcot. We tried so hard to do it in July — even had 2 passes for 2 different days, but because it’s so new, it’s been shut down a ton due to working out all the kinks. We never got to do it — even with the passes. We even tried waiting in line right after rope drop on one of the mornings. It never opened that day. So, hopefully they will have it working better when you are there. I’m telling you this just so that you don’t waste a ton of time waiting for it.
Our top 3 favorite table service restaurants are California Grill, Liberty Tree Tavern (although heavy, lunch is our favorite) and Flying Fish. We also love pretty much anywhere in World Showcase at Epcot — especially France and Italy and love the ambiance of San Angel Inn in Mexico, although the food is only ok in our opinions. Of course, all margaritas anywhere in Mexico are great! 🙂 I know you probably already know all of this from your past Disney experiences. I do not recommend the new Jungle Navigation Co. restaurant at Magic Kingdom. I think you and I have similar eating tastes (maybe a little more picky?) and I just did not think this place was very good and it was hard for me to find something somewhat “normal” to eat. It was ok, just not great — and not worth it for a table service. We liked Be Our Guest for Quick Service at MK. It was nice that we could pre-order lunch online before our trip. The food was pretty good, although not great. It was more fun just walking around and seeing all the details of Beast’s castle. We think Epcot has the best quick service and cart food. This is nothing new to you I am sure. It sounds like you will be there for the food and wine festival, so that’s where I think I would spend much of my time. 🙂 We like Sunshine Seasons at Epcot, too.
You probably did the old Soarin’ (over California), which I loved, The new Soarin’ (over the World) is just as amazing! Don’t forget to ask to sit in B1! It’s worth it to wait for it!
Sorry for writing so much. We are huge Disney people and go 2-3 times a year. That said, we have somehow never been to Mickey’s Halloween, so I have no tips for you there. I do have a Disney tips document if you want me to send it to you, but I feel like even though you haven’t been in awhile, you know Disney better than we do! Have a blast!
Catharine — you are WISE! Thank you!
Dinner at Be Our Guest in Magic Kingsom is a MUST. The food is just better than average (in my opinion) but you have to eat there just to see inside the castle and experience it. They won’t let you inside without a reservation. The decor is absolutely gorgeous and Beast is in the library posing for photos after your meal. Visit all three rooms for a look around as they are much different in decor and ambiance. And don’t forget to leave room for dessert! Try the grey stuff…it’s delicious
I’ve been trying to get a reservation for this forever and they are all sold out! I’ll keep trying. Thanks Shannon!
Lincee – Keep trying everyday including the days you are Disney. I second that dinner is soooo good there – best French onion soup – I could eat it all night. and the atmosphere is wonderful. Oh now I want to go back to Disney! Please post lots and lots of photos.
Yes…people cancel all the time…even the day of. Breakfast and lunch are other options, it is counter service for these meals. No reservation required. But at least you can get inside!
We are going in October and didn’t have reservations for Be Our Guest. I just logged in and tried every day – and one day – viola’ – they had some! Do keep trying, the atmosphere alone is worth it!
Our favorite meal of our trip was at Epcot-Teppan Edo in Japan. It’s Hibachi style and the chefs are fantastic!
Yes! Sounds fabulous!
The Halloween party is my favorite Disney event! Don’t miss Hallowishes at the castle and if you can go to the second Boo to Yoo parade. It’s usually less crowded. But get to your spot as early as possible…at least 45 minutes before the start time. The headless horseman rides the parade route right before it starts and you do not want to miss that! Have your camera ready!
The published hours of the party are from 7pm-12am but they will let you in at 4pm. Have your costume on and don’t be hesitant to trick-or-treat! It’s so fun! They give you a little bag to collect your candy when you enter.
If you are purchasing the photo pass, ask the photographers for “magic shots” everywhere you have your picture taken. You will get little surprises in your photos when you get home! Especially Halloween ones!!
How fun! I’ve always wanted to see the headless horseman!
Definitely Be our Guest for lunch. Its quick service so its affordable but you still need a reservation! The food is good and the inside is very cool. Walk through all the rooms!
I also really like Pecos Bill in Frontierland. You pick the base (tacos) then they have a toppings bar for them.
We saw the Star Wars fireworks shortly after they started, before they added all the imagery on the Chines Theater. They were fantastic – I think I liked them better than MK.
I know you said you will be in the parks all day, but a great brunch or dinner is at Kona Cafe in the Polynesian. And, something fun – make a reservation at California Grill for a little before fireworks. Just order dessert since everything is so pricey and watch the fireworks from there. They pipe in the music and they have an outdoor viewing deck.
And some tips on fast passes… you can now make them on our phone. Book your original three for the morning. Then as soon as you use your third one for the day, use your phone to make another one. It counts it as used as soon as you scan your magic band, so you can go ahead and make the next one while you stand in line for your third fast pass ride. We did this and managed to use 7-10 fast passes a day. This would allow to sometimes use more than one per hour which was great.
SHUT IT! 7-10 in one day? I had no idea! Great tip Laura!
I am a Disney Travel Agent and was there over Labor Day–first and foremost–you have not made your advanced dining reservations?! You might be out of luck for table service! But Hands down my favorite at Disney Springs for an easy meal is Wolfgang Puck Express…but it’s not themed or anything. We LOVE ,O’hana and this
trip we ate at Mama Melrose at HS for the first time and loved it. We did Sci Fi there too- will skip that one next time and we like 50’s Prime Time. What about 1900 Park Fare at GF? Cinderellas step sisters will love you! We also did Tusker House in AK- characters were great. My favorite snack EVER is in Norway-the lefse. That comes from my Norwegian background and North Dakota grandparents. It’s kind of like a crepe-but made from potatoes…and has butter and sugar spread on it and rolled up. I bought 2 of them. Almost as good as Grandmas!
Have a great time! The Frozen ride and new Soarin are awesome!
And we love Be Our Guest! We had reservations for dinner one day and a counter service lunch another day. So good!
I’d love to do 50’s Prime Time. I’ve heard it’s really good. Is that were the peanut butter and jelly milkshake is? I heard you can go to the bar and order it to go…
We adore 50’s Prime Time. It’s a must-do every trip. The servers are SO fun and really get into character. “Momma” is in the kitchen making the food and you are all “cousins.” Keep your elbows off the table and you better not have your phone out at dinner or it WILL be confiscated! (We know this firsthand.) And if you don’t eat all your green beans you have to go stand in the corner!!!
And yes, they have PB&J milkshakes. Not sure about buying them at the counter though.
My adult daughter and I go to WDW every summer. Our “must-do” dinner whenever we go is Sanaa at AKL. The food is amazing, the resort is beautiful and don’t miss the wine flights! We also love Raglan Road in Disney Springs. Great food and entertainment.
Don’t miss AK at night. We loved all the action at night with different music and dance going on all over the park. It was so much fun!
I’m excited about AK at night. And I’ve heard the bread service at Sanaa is to die for. Thanks Linda Ann!
It’s a small world… Always have to see that, and under the sea
MY FAVORITE! I like the hula dancers.
Ok download the My Disney Experience app now if you haven’t. It’s great for maps, ride wait times, fast passes, and restaurant reservations. I loved Les Halle’s Boulangerie – Patisserie. Amazing desserts!!!!!
That’s in France, correct?
Yes! Hidden in the bank corner. Best dessert I had the entire trip.
There is a jungle cruise themed restaurant now at magic kingdom. Obviously, you must eat there. It’s called Jungle Skipper Canteen. Food is adventurous. Order the kids volcano dessert. 🙂
I may JUST do dessert!
Sounds like a fun trip! Boma in the AK Lodge is really great. Of course, there’s always 50’s Prime Time and Brown Derby, which I love. And the next time I go, I’m definitely trying Via Napoli in Epcot. That sounds terrific!
Have a blast! 🙂
I was just going to suggest Boma too! It’s a buffet so you can choose a little of everything. Don’t miss out on the carrot ginger soup because somebody told me not to miss it. I got a tiny bit just to taste because I didn’t think it would be good (carrots and ginger, ew?) but went back for a full bowl. In the end had to refrain from licking the bowl clean!