Have you ever been hanging out with your friends and you all decide to go on a trip? You talk about it the rest of the night, looking up flights, hotels and things to do. You text about it for a few days after, but then radio silence. The trip never happens. That’s kind of how my latest trip to Disney World came about. A friend and I expressed wanting to go to Disney for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, but I didn’t think anything would come of it. I ran into her at a baby shower a few weeks later where she told me that she was serious about going. I went home, cleared the trip with Jesse and we planned our trip for 3 weeks later. We were both so shocked that we were able to pull everything together and actually go! Even more shocking was how much we fit into just 2 full days at Disney!
What We Did
We started Monday morning off at Animal Kingdom, we arrived just after 8:30 and headed straight for Kilimanjaro Safaris. The morning is the BEST time to ride the safari! The animals are usually out being fed and the lions are still awake and roaming around. The safari is definitely one of my all-time favorite rides. After the safari we walked through Gorilla Falls nature trail. I love walking through and seeing the animals from a different angle. We saw the zebras (my favorite) and the gorillas. There was even a tiny baby gorilla! It was so small and precious! Almost makes me miss the infant days with my babes.
Once we finished at Epcot it was off to Hollywood Studios! We rode Midway Mania in Toy Story Land first. That is hands down my absolute favorite ride of all time. It’s so much fun! After that we split up again so I could go to Galaxy’s Edge! (My friend is going back to Disney with her kiddo and husband this winter and they are all huge Star Wars fans so she decided to wait and go with them for her first time.) Galaxy’s Edge was obviously one of the main reasons for me going on this trip. I’ve watched all the videos and Instagram Stories, but nothing beats going firsthand. I was just so speechless walking in. It was like walking onto a movie set. The details were fabulous, from the doors to the shops. I especially loved the Disney Castmember costumes. They reminded me a lot of what Jyn Erso wears in Rogue One. Of course, seeing the Millennium Falcon up close was just amazing. Since I was alone I really got to soak up each little detail and moment. I Facetimed with Jesse and Mara to show her a Stormtrooper display in one of the stores and just share my joy. I skipped trying to ride Smuggler’s Run in favor of just enjoying the park. I get horrible ride anxiety and didn’t want to spoil my time with knots in my stomach and a long wait. It’s at the top of my list for next time I go! Along with a visit to the Cantina! Before leaving I made sure to grab a Blue Milk and soak up one last stroll. I met back up with my friend after and we did a meet and greet with Darth Vader. He wasn’t a huge fan of my Princess Leia REBEL shirt (it also looks like I’m flashing him haha). Then we headed back to Toy Story Land to ride Slinky Dog. It was my first Slinky Dog experience and it’s definitely a new favorite! So much so that we rode it twice! Then we watched the Star Wars fireworks show and headed out for the day.
Tuesday was the day of the Halloween party and our tickets didn’t get us into Magic Kingdom until 4 pm, so we were able to sleep in and have a slow morning. We decided to ride the Monorail around to the 3 resorts outside of Magic Kingdom, the Polynesian, the Contemporary and the Grand Floridian. I’d never been to any of the Disney Resorts, so resort hopping was a fun, new adventure. We had coffee at the Polynesian and explored the grounds, then did a little shopping at the Contemporary. We decided to have brunch at the Grand Floridian, which was such a nice treat! The grounds for the Grand Floridian were absolutely gorgeous. It was so lovely strolling by the water, seeing the Castle in the distance. I would definitely LOVE to stay at one of those resorts one day, specifically the Polynesian.
After resort hopping we headed back to the hotel to change for the Halloween party. I’ve wanted to go to the Halloween party for years and it certainly didn’t disappoint! We arrived at the park a little after 4 pm and spent the early part of the evening exploring and riding rides with little to no wait times. We were able to ride Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, The Haunted Mansion, Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight and eat dinner all before the 9 pm “Boo to You” Halloween parade.
The parade was so fun! The Headless Horseman kicked everything off, riding up and down the streets. The parade itself was full of characters, some of them in costume, fun music and the villains brought up the rear.
We were able to fit in a quick ride on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and meet Moana between the fireworks and the last showing of the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular. Moana was a special treat for the Halloween party. She isn’t a permanent fixture at Disney World yet, so it was fun to get to meet her. And I missed riding Mine Train on my last Disney trip, so I was so excited to ride it this time. It was an absolute blast of a ride! I wish I could have ridden it at least 3 more times! But it wasn’t as much fun as the Hocus Pocus show! It was the greatest Disney show I’ve seen thus far. The Sanderson Sisters interacted with the other Disney villains to put on a fun and entertaining show. I’m so very glad to have had this experience! I can’t wait to take the girls one day in the future!
What We Ate
Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar – On our first night we wandered around Disney Springs and stopped at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar for a quick dinner before heading back to the hotel. Jock Lindsey was the pilot with a pet snake from Indiana Jones, so the bar has a very “Indy” vibe. It has plenty of decor that calls back to the movie and is styled to look like a 1940’s plane hangar. The atmosphere was really fun to take in! I wasn’t very hungry because I’d had Earl of Sandwich just a few hours before, but I also knew that if I didn’t eat I would be starving by the time I got to bed. I ordered the Snakebite Sliders, which were topped with homemade tomato-jam and pickles. The sliders were delicious as was my cocktail, which I don’t remember the name of. It was a special the night we were there and isn’t on the menu online. It was basically a spin on a French 75 and had Prosecco, a liqueur of sorts and vodka instead of gin. I wish I could remember the name! The service the night we were there was incredibly slow, but with good food and drinks it was forgivable.
Satu’li Canteen – One of the best Disney meals I’ve had was at Satu’li Canteen! We had a bowl with Red and Sweet Potato Hash, sliced grilled beef and topped with a creamy herb dressing. It was absolutely delicious! If we had stayed at Animal Kingdom a full day I definitely would have gone back for dinner.
EPCOT Food and Wine Festival – I’m so glad we were able to attend the Food and Wine Festival while we were there. It was such a treat to see all of the different food stalls. I snagged a glass of red sangria, made with red wine, blackcurrant liqueur, strawberry puree and rum, in Mexico to start off the afternoon. Nothing beats a refreshing glass of sangria while enjoying a lovely day in the parks.
I walked around with my sangria, totally overwhelmed by all of the food options, until I got to the kiosk for Spain (between Germany and Italy). They had a Charcuterie Cone, which was a paper cone filled with olives, cheeses, Spanish meats and an herb vinaigrette drizzled over everything. It was absolutely delicious!
After my lobster roll I was feeling a little full so I walked to the France Pavillion to join my friend and to snag some dessert. It’s not part of the Food and Wine Festival, but L’Artisan des Glaces serves macaron ice cream sandwiches. I had the chocolate macaron filled with chocolate ice cream and it was heavenly! This will definitely be a must have item for future trips to EPCOT. Just thinking about it makes me drool a little!
Woody’s Lunch Box – I grabbed dinner at Woody’s Lunch Box that evening after I had such a good experience on my last trip. After a long day, and lots of food, I wasn’t overly hungry and was really craving something more simple. I opted for the Smoked Turkey Sandwich and a side of the vegetable macaroni salad. The sandwich had thick-sliced Turkey Breast with Dijon mustard and mayonnaise, plus lettuce, served cold on a multigrain bread. It was good, but not my favorite thing. The turkey was indeed sliced very thick and the smokey flavor was a bit overwhelming. I ended up pulling most of the meat off to make a normal meat to sandwich ratio. The macaroni salad was just as delicious as I remembered though and I gobbled that up!
Grand Floridian Cafe – Our brunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe was such a fun experience! It felt so fancy, but also had a bit of Disney magic. I ordered pancakes, not the most adventurous thing on the menu, and they were good. (Jesse makes the best pancakes of all time, so I’m rarely impressed by restaurant pancakes any more.) Their menu offers various benedicts, sandwiches and salads for brunch, in addition to waffles and pancakes. Overall, I just enjoyed the atmosphere of brunch here. I’d definitely branch out to something else in the future though.
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe – Truth be told, I didn’t really eat here, but my friend did and I had some of her food. Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe will absolutely be a spot that I visit in the future. She had a simple bowl with pork carnitas, yellow rice and black beans. It was so yummy and didn’t feel like eating junk food. I definitely wish I’d have waited and eaten a full meal there with her.
Jack Skellington Push-Pop – I didn’t try as many of the Halloween themed treats as I wanted to, mostly because a day of indulgent eating had me feeling kinda bleh, but I did get the Jack Skellington Push-Pop cake pop and it was soooo good. It had chocolate cake, vanilla buttercream, white and dark chocolate pearls, dark chocolate shavings and was topped with a little chocolate Jack. I loved the concept of it being a push-pop because I felt like I really got to enjoy each layer without getting too much of one thing. There was icing on top, then cake, then the pearls, then more icing and more cake. I ate this while we waited for the Spooktacular fireworks to start and it definitely gave me a little pep for the last few hours of the night.
Earl of Sandwich – If you read my last Disney post, and my September Favorites post, then you know that I LOVE Earl of Sandwich. It is a must-have every time I’m at Disney and I had it twice this trip. The first time was for a late lunch after our flight got in and the second was for breakfast before our flight left. Talk about starting and ending on a good note! I always get the Earl’s Club when I go and it was an option for breakfast, but I decided to mix it up and try a breakfast sandwich. I got the bacon, egg and cheddar, topped with their special sauce and it did not disappoint! It was so yummy!
What I Wore
No trip to Disney isn’t complete without a Disney themed outfit or two! My theme for this trip was definitely Star Wars. Since I was going to Galaxy’s Edge on Monday, I knew I had to wear a Star Wars shirt of some kind. I decided on my badass Princess Leia REBEL tee that I got a Target last year.
I tried to hide it when we took photos with Darth Vader because I didn’t want him to be mad at me, but my friend ratted me out and we ended up with a few photos that look like I’m flashing him. Haha!
I’m so glad that I got to take this last minute vacation! It was a nice break from mom life and I loved getting to do something that’s been on my bucket list for years. Now, who wants to come with me on my next Disney trip?!