A week or so ago The New York post ignorantly posted an article claiming that millennials who go to Disney sans kids are weird. The article was ignited by a Facebook post that had resurfaced where a mom went on a rant declaring that Disney World should ban childless visitors. The article claims that millennials have an unhealthy relationship with Disney, and that they should stick to exploring other more enriching parts of the world. The problem with this train of thought is that (A) it assumes that those visiting Disney are not also travelling to other parts of the world and (B) its beyond judgemental and exclusionary. Why should Disney be reserved for people with children? The whole thing is absurd.
I took this article a little personally because 3 months before I got pregnant Dom and I decided to do a Disney trip. So, why did we go to Disney without kids? Because Disney is a lot of frikken work with kids, and we wanted to enjoy it at a leisurely pace before we attempted it with a child in the future. Also, I love Disney and some of my fondest memories are from my childhood trips to The Magic Kingdom. I wanted to share that with Dom, who had never been. Do I have an unhealthy relationship with Disney? I guess it depends what you define as unhealthy. I have a soft spot for the nostalgia, I enjoy watching Disney movies from my youth being remade, and I really enjoy being transported to a simpler time in my life by the Disney songs of my youth. Perhaps that’s unhealthy in your opinion. If it is, maybe your heart is Frozen (wink wink).
The Magic Kingdom is magical because it tells a story, and its a story you know and love. Its nostalgia, and kindness and childlike wonder all brought to life in one magical place. Universal Studios is all about the thrill. It’s cool, and immersive and exciting. It doesn’t just tell a story, it makes you part of it. We wanted those experiences so we went to both parks in two days and it was one of the most memorable trips we’ve ever taken together, so NY post can shove it. But I don’t want this post to be a rant about the NY Post article. What I want to do is share some thoughts on the trip that could potentially translate and help you with your fam trip to the most magical place on earth. This is. a long ass post, but if you are looking into Disney then you already know that a long post is warranted, as this sort of trip takes a TON of planning and research. Let’s get into it….
We stayed on property for 3 nights, and then picked up a car and drove to my aunts beach house for the remainder of the trip. During those three nights in Disney World we went to Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios, so technically, this wasn’t a Disney exclusive trip but we did stay in Disney World.
I do wish I had stayed one extra day to visit Epcot. As a kid I hated Epcot, but as an adult, I am sure I would have loved it. For those of you who don’t know, Epcot serves as a mini trip around the world, under the ocean and into outer space. But there are two things that really make me regret not going to Epcot; Epcot offers the opportunity to indulge in a world of flavours with food and drink from 11 different countries. And Illuminations – the most talked about Fireworks display in Disney World, which is taking its final bow this September. Now, we stayed on the Disney Boardwalk at the Swan Hotel. You won’t find Swan or Dolphin on the official Disney World website, as these are unofficial Disney World properties, yet provide all the benefits of staying on property at a fraction of the cost. When staying in this area of Disney World you can take ferry rides over to Epcot, and you can also see Illuminations right from the Boardwalk (music is piped through the speakers ensuring you get the full experience), so the fact that we missed it is still something I kick myself about, but what can you do. Epcot does food and wine festivals, so if you are going to Disney World and you are planning to visit Epcot, I would check the dates to see if you can line it up with their Food & Wine or Beer Festivals.
A quick note/thought on Swan Hotel. Even though it’s far cheaper than the other hotels, the pool/grotto area is very cool, and the location is great as the boardwalk is super charming. However, when we go with Lucas we would probably want to stay somewhere with a more child focused theme, as there isn’t a ton that’s to exciting here for kids. The Boardwalk is definitely targeted to an older Disney crowd, so if you are going sans children, you’ll want to check this out. Unless you’re staying at The Grand Floridian of course (ladida $$$$$).
We flew in in the evening which was a huge mistake. We fully lost a day and it sucked. Its such a quick flight, so if you can leave in the morning it will allow you to spend that evening at Disney Springs (more on that later) and even watch Illuminations from the Disney Boardwalk (if you’re in that area)
Ok, let’s get park specific…..
For our Magic Kingdom experience click here
For our Universal Studios experience click here
For notes on packing for a day at the park click here